June 9th, 2009
02:34 PM ET

Natalie Cole Thanks Fans

Natalie Cole is speaking out after her recent kidney transplant and the death of her sister.  The singer  "would like to express her deepest appreciation and gratitude towards her fans for the amazing outpouring of well wishes, love and support she has received since undergoing her kidney transplant and the death of her sister, Carole, on May 19." 

According to Cole's publicists, the kidney was a directed donation from a deceased organ donor and came through the regional organ procurement agency, One Legacy.  Cole is spending the summer recovering from her surgery.

“My family and I want to express our extreme appreciation for the outpouring of kindness we have received from all over the country,” said Cole.  “In the midst of sorrow I am still able to celebrate my new lease on life.  There is always a silver lining.  I thank God for this golden kidney and I look forward to going back to work in the fall.  I will see you in the music.”

For those who had tickets to see Cole, tour dates are being rescheduled. Her first appearance will be at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday, September 9, 2009.

June 9th, 2009
01:23 PM ET

GLAAD lends support to Lambert

GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano just released this statement to Showbiz Tonight regarding Adam Lambert's interview with Rolling Stone magazine:

“As more and more Americans get to know gay and lesbian people, it has a tremendous impact in terms of creating awareness, understanding and acceptance of our community.  American Idol has become iconic in our culture, and as Adam continues to share his story during his post-Idol career, we hope his decision to live openly and honestly inspires gay people and opens the hearts and minds of his fans and others he will continue to entertain.”

Watch Showbiz Tonight for more on Adam Lambert's coming out, 11pm Eastern and Pacific on HLN.

June 9th, 2009
10:42 AM ET

Adam Lambert comes out

So it’s official: After several months of playing coy -– or, at least, letting people believe what they wanted -– Adam Lambert has told Rolling Stone that yes, he’s gay.

Adam Lambert is the subject of this week's Rolling Stone cover story.

And what’s the big deal?

“I don’t think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear that I’m gay,” Lambert told the magazine in this week’s cover story, just out.

It may not be a surprise, but it was the topic of water-cooler conversation throughout “Idol’s” 2009 edition. The New York Times wrote a story wondering if an openly gay person could win “American Idol.” Entertainment Weekly put Lambert on the cover and featured a Mark Harris story about how the contestant had shaken up the show.

There’s no question he did. Like him or not, Lambert’s guyliner and often dramatic (some would say screeching) interpretations of songs including Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and Tears for Fears’ “Mad World” earned him more chatter than any other “Idol” contestant, including eventual winner Kris Allen.

“Love him or hate him, Lambert has added an element to the competition that has been woefully lacking in seasons past: a contestant so unique that you can't wait to see what he will pull next out of his bag of tricks,” wrote CNN.com’s “Idol” blogger Lisa Respers France, earning another avalanche of pro- and anti-Lambert commentary.

For his own part, Lambert would rather just sing, thank you very much.

“I’m trying to be a singer, not a civil rights leader,” he told Rolling Stone.

And he’ll have plenty of opportunity now. As expected, Lambert just signed a record deal with the “Idol”-connected 19 Entertainment and RCA Records. His debut album is expected in the fall.

- Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer

Filed under: Celebrities
June 9th, 2009
08:45 AM ET

'Idol' winner Kris Allen on way to stardom

It did not take long for "American Idol" winner Kris Allen to sign a record deal. The 23-year-old signed with 19 recordings and Jive Records. He has plans in the works for a new album this fall. CNN's KJ Matthews tells us more in today's The Buzz:

Filed under: Music
June 9th, 2009
08:13 AM ET

Jokin' around with Chickenfoot

Most rock and roll super-groups take themselves very seriously, with sexy-sounding names like Velvet Revolver and Audioslave. And then there's Chickenfoot.

Comprised of singer Sammy Hagar and bassist Michael Anthony from Van Halen, along with guitar hero Joe Satriani and drummer Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers, the quartet releases its self-titled debut album today, June 9. Friday night, a handful of TV crews interviewed the band in a back room at Best Buy in West Los Angeles, California. Each journalist walked out of the room chuckling and shaking their head, with a flabbergasted look on his or her face like, "What just happened here?!"

Hagar is known to be quite the jokester, but it was Smith who won the prize as class clown. During our chat, he made an unrepeatable crack about Ryan Seacrest, tickled me under the armpits, and walked out after pretending to be offended when his resemblance to Will Ferrell was pointed out. And that was during the first three minutes.

Even more amusing - none of his bandmates batted an eyelash. Even Satriani - who's not known for being a cut-up - displayed some good comedic timing. He dodged a question about his current copyright infringement lawsuit against Coldplay, but Hagar wasn't above pointing out the alleged similarities between their 2008 hit, "Viva la Vida," and Satriani's 2004 instrumental, "If I Could Fly."

"I was SHOCKED that Joe would steal that song," Hagar deadpanned. "Somehow he erased the words and made it an instrumental."

"Yeah," cracked Satriani, "and somehow I did it four years earlier."

Hear some of Chickenfoot's music and see more of the interview here:

June 9th, 2009
01:22 AM ET

A Special Night in Harlem

Tonight the Apollo Theater celebrated its 75th anniversary and the common thread from all of the celebrities, as they walked on the red carpet, was that the Apollo has always had the toughest crowds.

As Ruby Dee, Quincy Jones, Bill Cosby, Paul Mooney and Phylicia Rashad worked an overly crowded and small red carpet, the story that got the most attention belonged to Jamie Foxx.

He recounted his first time appearing on stage and how the fans let him have it.

“I came out you know it was a whole LA thing. Well he’s from LA, boo boo boo. Man they booed me in opera.”

But no harm no foul according to Foxx, the tape of the event was never aired and even with the reaction, “It was my favorite time… you get booed it’s part of it.”

And with that Foxx walked in to present an award to Quincy Jones.

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