Keke Palmer explains her desire to play Whitney Houston in a movie

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If there's one person Keke Palmer would love to play in a film, it'd be the late Whitney Houston. Her desire comes from wanting to do the singer some justice and tell her full story, unlike the projects that mainly discuss her highly publicized lows.

"I think that with Whitney's story, a lot of times people exploit just the more sensational aspects in terms of her relationship with Bobby or the conversations around drug use," Keke said in an interview with E! News. "I think there's so much to Whitney that has not been explored in terms of just her family and her relation to the kind of music she did and how that was accepted culturally."

"There's just so many other nuanced aspects of who Whitney Houston is and the barriers that she broke, that I think have not been as explored," she continued. "When I think about her story, I just would want to show her truly as the sweetheart that she was and everything that she did that changed culture forever."

Keke's wish to portray the "I Have Nothing" star is not far-fetched, at least not in the eyes of social media users. Last week, a fan sharing a compilation of funny Whitney clips tweeted, "Keke Palmer and Whitney Houston act exactly the same."

Keke replied, "Let's get the movie made y'all. I'm ready to ACK, we abt to weep in the theaters."

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NeNe Leakes shares touching birthday tribute to late husband Greg

ABC/Paula Lobo

NeNe Leakes remembered her late husband Greg on what would have been his 67th birthday.

Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, the Real Housewives of Atlanta alum shared a photo of the two in which she embraces him from behind.

"Missing the man that always had a plan!" she captioned the snapshot. "Today is a tuff one…every year on this date we would be out celebrating you! I can’t believe we are wishing you a heavenly Birthday today. I feel like you went somewhere and you’ll be back."

"I miss you everyday Gregg!" she added. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH."

Greg died in September 2021 of colon cancer. At the time, a representative for the couple told ABC News that Gregg "passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by all of his children, very close loved ones and wife NeNe Leakes."

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Adrienne Bailon welcomes son Ever James with husband Israel Houghton: “We are so in love”

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Elton John AIDS Foundation

Surprise! Adrienne Bailon and her husband Israel Houghton are officially parents!

Taking to Instagram Tuesday, the couple announced that they welcomed a baby boy via surrogacy named Ever James.

Alongside a heartwarming black-and-white photo of the trio snuggled in bed together, they wrote, "Ever James / For this child we have prayed / Just to hear our baby cry / Skin to skin and face to face /Heart to heart and eye to eye."

"Our baby boy is here & we are so in love! If you have followed our love story… you know that our journey to baby has been very challenging - But God is true to His word and His promises," the post continued.

Bailon and Houghton, who wed in 2016, continued, "We have quietly prayed while sitting on this most magnificent secret for the last 9 months. He is worth every tear, every disappointment, every delayed prayer, every IVF cycle, every miscarriage. Everything."

The new parents shared that they feel "joy and overwhelming love & gratitude" after welcoming their son and thanked those who "have stood with us over 5 years on this journey." 

"He’s here and we have never been happier to lose sleep!" the post concluded. 

The couple was flooded with congratulatory messages in the comments section, including from celebrities like Khloe Kardashian

"I am so beyond happy for you A!!! He is the luckiest little boy to have you both as his parents," the reality star wrote. "You are going to be the most incredible mommy! I love you! Enjoy every second."

Country singer Mickey GuytonReal Housewives of Atlanta alum NeNe Leakes and others also sent the couple well wishes.

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First trailer debuts for Oprah Winfrey-produced Sidney Poitier doc

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ has debuted the first trailer for Sidney, a documentary on the late legendary actor Sidney Poitier.

The documentary, produced by Oprah Winfrey, explores Poitier’s journey from his early life in the Bahamas to becoming a successful Hollywood actor and civil rights activist. It features interviews with Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Robert Redford, Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand, Spike Lee and more – as well as Poitier himself, filmed before his passing in January 2022 at age 94.

Poitier became the first Black man to win an Academy Award for best actor in 1964 for his role in Lilies of the Field. He also starred in films including To Sir, with Love; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner; and In the Heat of the Night.

Sidney will premiere in select theaters and globally on Apple TV+ on September 23.

 

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Viola Davis joins cast of ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’

Lionsgate

Viola Davis has landed a role in The Hunger Games prequel.

The Oscar-winning actress will be playing the “diabolical” Head Gamemaker Volumnia Gaul in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, based on the best-selling novel by Suzanne Collins.

“From the beginning, Viola has been our dream for Dr. Gaul because of the finely layered intelligence and emotion she brings to every role,” producer Nina Jacobson says in a statement. “A brilliant and eccentric strategist, Gaul is instrumental in shaping a young Coriolanus Snow into the man he will become. We are incredibly fortunate to have an actor with Viola’s extraordinary range and presence to play this pivotal role.”

Director Francis Lawrence adds, “Dr. Gaul is as cruel as she is creative and as fearsome as she is formidable. Snow’s savvy as a political operator develops in no small part due to his experiences with her as the games’ most commanding figure.”

The film stars Tom Blyth as an 18-year-old Cornelius Snow, years before he becomes the evil president of Panem – a role played by Donald Sutherland in the original Hunger Games films. Rachel Zegler plays tribute Lucy Gray Baird, whom Snow is tasked with mentoring.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes debuts in theaters worldwide on November 17, 2023.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Viola Davis joins cast of ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’

Lionsgate

Viola Davis has landed a role in The Hunger Games prequel.

The Oscar-winning actress will be playing the “diabolical” Head Gamemaker Volumnia Gaul in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, based on the best-selling novel by Suzanne Collins.

“From the beginning, Viola has been our dream for Dr. Gaul because of the finely layered intelligence and emotion she brings to every role,” producer Nina Jacobson says in a statement. “A brilliant and eccentric strategist, Gaul is instrumental in shaping a young Coriolanus Snow into the man he will become. We are incredibly fortunate to have an actor with Viola’s extraordinary range and presence to play this pivotal role.”

Director Francis Lawrence adds, “Dr. Gaul is as cruel as she is creative and as fearsome as she is formidable. Snow’s savvy as a political operator develops in no small part due to his experiences with her as the games’ most commanding figure.”

The film stars Tom Blyth as an 18-year-old Cornelius Snow, years before he becomes the evil president of Panem – a role played by Donald Sutherland in the original Hunger Games films. Rachel Zegler plays tribute Lucy Gray Baird, whom Snow is tasked with mentoring.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes debuts in theaters worldwide on November 17, 2023.

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“There’s no fiction” in Hulu’s ‘Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers,’ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says

Courtesy of Hulu

Want to know the real story of how the Lakers became the Showtime Lakers? Then the new docuseries Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers is for you.

The Hulu series, debuting Monday, details how Dr. Jerry Buss bought the team in the late '70s and created one of the greatest dynasties in sports. NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is featured in the show, and he tells ABC Audio the secret to their success was that they "kept trying to build a family situation."

"We never got to a point where it was develop an individual," he explains. "It was always about all of us. And we tried to help each other."

Abdul-Jabbar adds that this docuseries is kind of an antidote to the recent HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, which has been criticized by many former players for alleged inaccuracies.

"It's a chance for us to tell our stories...There's no fiction in this," Abdul-Jabbar says.

Legacy also gets into the power struggle among Buss’s children that came after he died, which his daughter, and current Lakers president, Jeanie Buss, says was "very healing" for their family. 

Additionally, the series shows how the Lakers family, fans included, bonded after several tragedies like "Magic [Johnson] having to retire because of HIV" and "the tragedy of losing Kobe and Gigi [Bryant]."

"What's happened is Laker Nation comes together and leans on each other," Buss shares. "And we know there's going to be another day...where we play basketball again. And that's how we start to heal because we grieve together."

Overall, though, director Antoine Fuqua hopes people are left inspired.

"It's the American dream. I think what Dr. Buss did is incredible...coming from very humble means and making his way out here...and what he brought to not only Los Angeles, to sports entertainment. Just it's inspiring." 

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‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ star MeKai Curtis talks “explosive” second season

Starz

Power Book III: Raising Kanan returns to Starz with season two on Sunday, and fans are in for one wild ride. 

After leaving fans with more than a few unanswered questions -- like will Kanan get caught for shooting an officer and is that officer his real father -- season two finds the Thomas family beginning to face the aftermath of their actions. MeKai Curtis, who stars in the titular role of Kanan, tells ABC Audio that his character is on the hunt for answers when he returns to the screen. 

"He's very weary of everything around. He wants more answers to questions that he has. And he's going to get those answers. You know, he's very strong and determined, just like his mother," Curtis explains, referencing Tony Award winner Patina Miller, who portrays Kanan's mother, Raquel "Raq" Thomas, in the series.  

"A lot of the just the way that Raq has raised him, you see that come to play in second season, you know, for better or worse," Curtis adds. "It's actually it's pretty fun to see how that plays out with them but that's the sort of space that Kanan is in in the second season...trying to figure out who he is after being who he thought he wanted to be."

Kanan's hunt for answers is just part of what makes for a wild season ahead -- a season that Curtis and Miller describe in four words: "Explosive, revealing, emotional...and complicated."

Power Book III: Raising Kanan, which has already been renewed for season three, also stars Omar Epps, London Brown, Malcolm Mays, Joey Bada$$, Hailey Kilgore, Shanley Caswell and Antonio Ortiz.

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Kenan Thompson gets Hollywood Walk of Fame star

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Ahead of hosting the 2022 Emmy Awards next month, nearly 20-year Saturday Night Live veteran Kenan Thompson was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Thursday.

His former SNL co-star Leslie Jones was on hand to help unveil the walk's 2,728th star. They were also joined by comedian and actor JB Smoove, and Josh Server, who starred with a young Kenan on the Nickelodeon show All That.

"When we were kids, Kenan had this confidence," Server said while at the podium with Kenan and his young daughters, Georgia and Gianna. "So many of us spend years trying to find who were are, and what makes us unique and special ... Kenan just had that."

"We are brothers," Server said, "The world is a happier, funnier place because of those rare gifts you shared with us all."

For his part, Kenan said, "From the bottom of my heart ... It's really been my pleasure. I do comedy. It's fun, I don't see it as work ... I just wanna be a good partner in the world, a good human being."

He also promised to high-five all the fans who lined up along the famous street.

Thompson's star is located at 6627 Hollywood Blvd., "right next to the GOAT, Lorne Michaels," he said of his SNL boss.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kenan Thompson gets Hollywood Walk of Fame star

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Ahead of hosting the 2022 Emmy Awards next month, nearly 20-year Saturday Night Live veteran Kenan Thompson was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Thursday.

His former SNL co-star Leslie Jones was on hand to help unveil the walk's 2,728th star. They were also joined by comedian and actor JB Smoove, and Josh Server, who starred with a young Kenan on the Nickelodeon show All That.

"When we were kids, Kenan had this confidence," Server said while at the podium with Kenan and his young daughters, Georgia and Gianna. "So many of us spend years trying to find who were are, and what makes us unique and special ... Kenan just had that."

"We are brothers," Server said, "The world is a happier, funnier place because of those rare gifts you shared with us all."

For his part, Kenan said, "From the bottom of my heart ... It's really been my pleasure. I do comedy. It's fun, I don't see it as work ... I just wanna be a good partner in the world, a good human being."

He also promised to high-five all the fans who lined up along the famous street.

Thompson's star is located at 6627 Hollywood Blvd., "right next to the GOAT, Lorne Michaels," he said of his SNL boss.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.