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The Point Blog

Elton John Calls Himself "Truly Blessed" as He Celebrates 30 Years of Sobriety

Elton John revealed Wednesday on Instagram that he celebrated 30 years of sobriety with a cake and some special words on Instagram.

"Reflecting on the most magical day having celebrated my 30th sobriety birthday. So many lovely cards, flowers and chips from my sons, David, friends in the Program, staff at the office and in our homes," the 73-year-old icon wrote about husband David Furnish and Alcoholics Anonymous.

"I’m truly a blessed man. If I hadn’t finally taken the big step of asking for help 30 years ago, I’d be dead."

He signed off by telling fans, "Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the people who have inspired and supported me along the way."

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"Facts of Life" Star Mindy Cohn Claims She Sang Backup Vocals on Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T."

Did Mrs. Garrett approve of this?

This past weekend, former Facts of Life star Mindy Cohn claimed that she sang backup on Michael Jackson's early-'80s pop classic "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)."

Cohn's confession came in the comments of DJ Mad Marj’s Saturday tea dance party on Twitch after the song began to play. “Me and Janet [Jackson]," Cohn--who played Natalie on the long-running sitco--wrote. "And I’m the kids at the end, too. We went to listen to the record and Quincy Jones put us on the mike."

She added that she'd “have to post the pic on Instagram of the session … It’s kinda wild!” But as of Tuesday morning, it seems she still hadn't done so.

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Bearded Alex Trebek Updates Fans, Says He's "Feeling Great" Amid Cancer Treatment

A newly bearded Alex Trebek provided a health update to fans on the Jeopardy! Twitter account on Thursday, telling fans he's doing well. "I've been continuing my treatment and it is paying off though it does fatigue me a great deal.

My numbers are good. I'm feeling great," the Jeopardy! host said.

Trebek also mentioned his memoir that will be released the day before his 80th birthday, on July 21.

The longtime and beloved host also talked about "very special 'Jeopardy!' episodes that will be coming up in July." "For the first time ever, we are going to open the 'Jeopardy!' vaults and take another look at some of our favorite episodes, including the very first 'Jeopardy!' show I ever hosted, mustache and all," he said.

"I can't wait to return to the studio and start recording shows for the new season in September," Trebek said.

"Meanwhile, my wish for all of you -- stay safe."

 

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Rolling Stones to Release Unheard Tracks From 1973 "Goats Head Soup" Album

The Rolling Stones are releasing a deluxe edition of their 1973 album Goats Head Soup, which will feature three previously unheard tracks, the AP reports.

The band announced that the new edition will drop on September 4, and will include a four-disc CD and vinyl box set editions with 10 bonus tracks, including outtakes and alternative takes.

One of the three unheard tracks is called “Scarlet,” which featured Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page. The band also released a video for another called "Criss Cross" on Thursday. 

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Jude Law in Talks to Play Captain Hook in Disney's Live-Action "Peter Pan" Film

Just call him Jude Lawless! Variety reports that Jude Law is in talks to play the big, bad Captain Hook in an upcoming live-action version of Disney's Peter Pan.

The new remake, titled Peter Pan and Wendy, will be helmed by director David Lowery, who previously directed the critically acclaimed Ain't Them Bodies Saints and The Old Man and the Gun.

There's no other casting news so far for the project, which is expected to be released theatrically instead of on the Disney+ streaming service.

Hopefully, Peter Pan and Wendy will fare better at the box office than 1991's Hook and 2015's Pan--two other live-action Peter Pan remakes that both flopped in theaters.

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Benny Mardones of "Into The Night" Fame Dies at 73

Rock and soul musician Benny Mardones, best known for co-writing and performing the hit "Into the Night," has died from complications of Parkinson's disease.

He was 73. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Mardones grew up in Maryland and served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. As a songwriter, he was on staff at Mercury Records in the '70s before casting out on his own in 1978 with the debut LP Thank God For Girls.

However, 1980's Never Run, Never Hide served as his breakout, as the LP included the ballad "Into the Night," which he wrote with Robert Tepper. The song peaked at No. 11 in 1980, and a rerecorded version of the tune peaked at No. 20 in 1989.

Mardones was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2000 but kept performing until several years ago; in fact, he last performed "Into the Night" live in 2017.

According to Billboard, Mardones is survived by his wife Jane; a son, Michael; and sister Louise.

 

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Bob Dylan Becomes 1st Artist to Chart a Top 40 Album in Every Decade Since the 1960s

 

With the #2 debut of the new Rough and Rowdy Ways, Bob Dylan is enjoying his highest-charting album since 2009's Together Through Life topped the charts.

However, Billboard notes that's not his only impressive achievement.

With Rough and Rowdy Ways' high debut, Dylan has become the first artist to land at least one new album in the Top 40 in each decade starting with the 1960s through to the 2020s.

Overall, this is Dylan's 23rd top 10 album, and 50th LP overall to reach the top 40; 1963's The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was the first. Rough and Rowdy Ways earned 53,000 equivalent album units, which measures sales and streams. 

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Patti LaBelle Says Prince Treated Her "Like His Mother"

During Sunday night's episode of Watch What Happens Live, Patti LaBelle said that Prince treated her like she was his mother while the two collaborated on her 1989 album, Be Yourself.

"He treated me like he was my son [and] I was his mother," recalled LaBelle. "He just treated me like his mother. And then when he did the Arsenio Hall Show, he said he wouldn't do it unless I came with him. So I came, sat on the couch, I didn't say a word. He had this great feeling for me and I feel so proud and blessed."

She added that she once cooked a meal for Prince, but that he only ate a single biscuit before taking LaBelle out dancing at a nightclub.

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Amazon Worker Complies With Request to Scream "Abracadabra" During Delivery

In Delaware last week, a 13-year-old boy by the name of Jacob Staffieri ordered a package from Amazon.

In the section where he was asked to provide the delivery person "additional instructions," he wrote, "Knock on the door three times and scream 'abracadabra' as loud as you can and run super fast away."

After the woman who delivered Jacob's package was caught on a doorbell camera following the teenager's instructions to a tee, his embarrassed mom apologized and wrote on Facebook, "I do appreciate that the driver looked closely enough at the instructions, though, because I know a lot of people wouldn't."

 

Watch the video:

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Facebook Will Now Allow Users to Shut Off Political Ads on Their Feed

Facebook will now allow users to shut off political ads on the social media platform.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the policy change in a Tuesday op-ed for USA Today. "For those of you who just want the election to be over, we hear you," he wrote.

In addition to this opt-out policy, the social media giant pledged to help four million people register to vote for the November presidential election, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The changes came after widespread criticism for Facebook's previous policies, which allowed anyone to run ads that contained misinformation and harmful content.

On top of the external criticism, Facebook has received significant internal pushback from employees. Twitter banned all political ads last October.

 

Here's How to Turn Off Political Ads on Facebook:

On Facebook, via ad settings:

  1. In the Facebook app, tap the menu button (the three stacked bars).
  2. Tap the Settings button.
  3. Tap Ad Preferences.
  4. Tap Ad Topics.
  5. Tap “Social Issues, Elections or Politics.”
  6. Tap “See fewer ads about this topic.”

Visit FastCompany.com for instruction to shut off political ads on Instagram.

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Alice Cooper Is Spending His Quarantine . . . Tap Dancing?

ALICE COOPER has picked up an interesting hobby during the COVID-19 quarantine:  TAP DANCING.

He says, quote, "We have a friend who's a great tap dancer, and every Wednesday night, he has an hour-long online class.  So the whole family goes in the backyard where we have all this plywood on the ground, and everybody's got tap shoes on.

"My wife and daughters are professional dancers, so they're way ahead of me.  But every Wednesday night is tap night."  Alice is 72 years old.

 

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Journey Is Bringing Back . . . Former "Idol" Judge Randy Jackson?

Earlier this year, JOURNEY fired their rhythm section, booting bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith.

And now, they've announced that a VERY famous former member is returning . . . but it's not who you're thinking.

Former "American Idol" judge RANDY JACKSON has been named the band's permanent bassist.  And they've also hired drummer Narada Michael Walden and keyboardist/vocalist Jason Derlatka.

Randy played on Journey's 1986 album "Raised on the Radio" and the subsequent tour.  On Instagram, he said, quote, "The boys are back."

Guitarist NEAL SCHON called Journey an "ever-changing unstoppable force," and said they're entering "a completely new chapter."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Y'all vibe with @journeymusicofficial revival tonight!? The boys are back ????

A post shared by Randy Jackson (@randyjackson) on

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10-Year-Old Girl Sends 1,500 Art Kits to Kids in Foster Care & Homeless Shelters

A 10-year-old girl in Connecticut is making it her mission to lift the spirits of kids stuck in foster care or homeless shelters during the coronavirus crisis.

CNN reports that Chelsea Phaire has sent out more than 1,500 art kits that include markers, crayons, paper, coloring books, colored pencils, and gel pens as part of Chelsea's Charity, which she co-founded with her parents. 

"Since she was 7, she was begging me and her dad to start a charity," mom Candace tells CNN. "Every couple of months, she would ask, 'Are we starting Chelsea's Charity yet?'

When she was turning 10, she asked us again, and we decided it was time to go for it." They finally launched the organization last August, when Chelsea asked for donated art supplies instead of birthday presents.

While they sent out about 1,000 kits in the group's first five months, they've now sent out another 1,500 just since the pandemic began. "I feel good inside knowing how happy they are when they get their art kits," Chelsea says. "I have definitely grown as a person because of this."

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Eddie Murphy Honors Little Richard in "Feeding America" Charity Special

Eddie Murphy unveiled a new character to honor the late Little Richard during Sunday's Feeding America Comedy Fundraiser, USA Today reports.

In a sketch dedicated to Little Richard, Murphy portrayed the fast talking Murray Murray, the greatest soul legend you've never heard of.

"I coined the phrase 'I have a dream' before Martin Luther King. That was actually going to be the name of my album, 'I Have a Dream,'" said Murray Murray. "He liked the way that flowed, with a good hook. He took that and run with it."

The benefit, co-produced by Funny or Die, was hosted by Kenan Thompson, Billy Crystal, Tiffany Haddish, and Byron Allen and featured Stephen Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg, Tina Fey, Kevin Hart, Andrew Dice Clay, and Wanda Sykes--who offered up some funny wisdom about parenting during a pandemic. "Kids, you're only cute on the Zoom call the first time you run into the room," Sykes said. "Every other time after that, we hate you."

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Paul McCartney's Handwritten Lyrics to Beatles' "Hey Jude" Sell for $910,000 at Auction

Paul McCartney’s handwritten lyrics to The Beatles’ classic song “Hey Jude” sold for $910,000 on Friday through Julien’s Auctions.

 

Reuters notes that the winning bid was nine times higher than the original estimate. "It’s obviously a very iconic song that everyone’s familiar with,” Julien’s Auctions music specialist Jason Watkins says about McCartney's scribbled lyrics from 1968. “These handwritten lyrics were used in the studio as a guide when they were recording it.”

 

 

Also sold at the auction for $200,000 was a vintage bass drumhead with The Beatles’ logo on it that the band used during their first North American tour in 1964. More than 250 items of Beatles memorabilia were offered up in total at the online auction, which marked the 50th anniversary of the band’s breakup.

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Marianne Faithfull Hospitalized With COVID-19; Duran Duran's John Taylor Reveals Recovery

Marianne Faithfull, the singer and actress who dated Mick Jagger during London's swinging '60s, is hospitalized and reportedly "barely able to speak" after getting infected with coronavirus. 

 

Page Six notes that friends are particularly concerned about the 73-year-old's prospects because she's already survived bouts with hepatitis C and breast cancer.

 

Meanwhile, Duran Duran bassist John Taylor said Sunday that he's "feeling okay" after being diagnosed with COVID-19 three weeks ago. The 59-year-old compared the illness to a "turbo-charged flu," adding, "I am speaking out to answer to the enormous amount of fear being generated by the pandemic, some of it entirely justified, and my heart goes out to everyone who has had to deal with real loss and pain. But I want to let you know that it isn’t always a killer, and we can and will beat this thing.”

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In Rare Televised Address, Queen Elizabeth Gives Touching Message of Support

On Sunday, Queen Elizabeth gave a rare television address to her country about the coronavirus outbreak, according to The New York Times

 

“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” the Queen said. “A disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.”

 

The queen thanked both healthcare workers and those staying at home. “I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” the Queen said, “and those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humored resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country.” Her remarks were recorded at Windsor Castle.

 

Her son, Prince Charles, and the prime minister, Boris Johnson, both tested positive for the coronavirus. As of Sunday night, more than 40,000 Britons had as well. 

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Jon Bon Jovi Asks Fans to Help Pen Verse on Song About Pandemic, "Do What You Can"

During these trying times, Jon Bon Jovi wants fans to try their hands at songwriting. This past weekend, the rocker asked fans in a YouTube video to contribute lyrics to a song he's working on about the coronavirus pandemic titled "Do What You Can."

 

"I did what I do best, which is to sit down with my guitar and try to put something to words, for you, maybe to brighten up your day.

 

Here's my idea: We're gonna write this one together," Bon Jovi said. "I'm gonna give you the chorus; I'm gonna give you the first verse. I'm gonna play the second verse, but you tell me your story.

Tell me what you're going through. Tell me how you're feeling."

 

He then played the start of the song, which opens with the words, "Tonight they're shutting down the borders and they boarded up the schools / Small towns are rolling up their sidewalks, one last paycheck coming through."

Fans can submit their lyrics in the video's comments, or use the hashtag "#DoWhatYouCan."

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Mark Wahlberg to Star in HBO Max Docuseries About His Life Called "Wahl Street"

On Tuesday, HBO Max announced that among its inaugural streaming offerings in May will be an eight-part docuseries about Mark Wahlberg's life titled Wahl Street.

UPI reports that the show, which stars the rapper-turned-actor, will focus "on how Wahlberg juggles his film career with other business ventures, such as his production companies, clothing and sports nutrition lines, and car dealership."

In a press release, an HBO exec said, "Mark's entrepreneurial spirit is fun to watch and we hope to show both the struggle and triumphs of what it takes to succeed."

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"Jeopardy!" & "Wheel of Fortune" to Tape Without Studio Audiences Due to Coronavirus

On Monday, the popular game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune said they would begin taping without studio audiences in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

A person close to the shows says that the move is "being taken out of an abundance of caution." The shows are taped months in advance at a studio in Culver City, California, so it'll be a while before the unattended shows air.

Last week, CBS announced that it was suspending production on The Amazing Race in response to the potentially deadly virus.

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Bill Clinton Feels "Terrible" About What He Put Monica Lewinsky Through

In Hillary, the new Hulu docuseries about his wife's life and career, Bill Clinton says he feels "terrible" that his affair with Monica Lewinsky made it difficult for the former White House intern to "get a normal life back." He says he entered into the affair as a means of coping with life's "pressure and disappointments and terrors" and says he used extramarital sex to "manage [his] anxieties for years." All in all, he says what he did was "awful" and insists, "I am a totally different person than I was."

Is this psuedo-apology coming 15-20 years too late?

 

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Sting Says All Six of His Kids Were Accidents

Apparently, tantric sex has one major drawback . . . UNWANTED PREGNANCY.  STING has six kids with two women . . . and not a single one of them was planned.

 

He says, quote, "I never intended to be a dad but became a dad by accident six times . . . yet they were the happiest accidents of my life because they're remarkable human beings.

 

"I didn't intend to be the patriarch of a tribe, but I am."

 

As much as Sting loves his kids, they can't necessarily count on his $400 million fortune.  He says, quote, "I haven't promised my kids anything.  I'll obviously help them if they're in trouble, but they're not waiting for a handout.

 

"I wouldn't want to rob them of that adventure in life: to make your own living.  It's a wonderful and difficult thing to do."

 

(ABC News)

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Dustin Diamond Says "Saved By the Bell" Isn't the Same Without Screech

DUSTIN DIAMOND is NOT a part of the "Saved By the Bell" revival, and in an interview he admits he's bummed about that, and says that "Saved By the Bell" isn't "Saved By the Bell" without Screech.

 

He points out that Screech was in more episodes than any other character, and he thinks that if you're going to reboot it, you should "bring back all the staples."

 

Obviously, Dustin's life and relationships with the other cast members have been turbulent over the years, which is probably why he wasn't invited back.  But from how he's talking in the interview, he seems to be doing better. 

 

Dustin Diamond isn't the only original Saved By The Bell cast member being left out. We recently reported Lisa Turtle was "hurt" that she wasn't included in the revival, saying she believes her bipolar diagnosis is to blame.

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Kirk Douglas Left Most of His $61 Million Fortune to Charity

KIRK DOUGLAS was worth $61 million when he died earlier this month, and $50 million of that is going into the Douglas Foundation, with the purpose of, quote, "[helping] those who cannot otherwise help themselves."

 

Beneficiaries will include a scholarship for minority and underprivileged students at St. Lawrence University, and the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.

 

There's no word where the other $11 million is going, but obviously Michael doesn't need it.  Kirk is also survived by his wife Anne and two other sons, Joel and Peter.

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Lisa Turtle Was "Hurt" That She Wasn't Included in the "Saved By the Bell" Revival

LARK VOORHIES is on "The Dr. Oz Show" today, and in a preview released online, she admits that she's upset she wasn't asked to be a part of the "Saved By the Bell" revival.

 

She said, quote, "I have to admit I did feel a bit slighted and hurt when I was not invited to be part of the 'Saved by the Bell' reunion, as well as other cast members events . . .

 

"I also realized that having [bipolar] disorder may have played a major part in that factual decision.  With that in mind, I am truly thankful for having had the chance to work on a show that has been so successful."

 

Dustin Diamond, a.k.a. Screech, has also been absent from any cast reunions . . . and he's not expected to be on the show either.  Of course, he's also had his own struggles . . . and he hasn't been on great terms with the rest of the cast.

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