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Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Sony Pictures executive: "Zero Dark Thirty" "does not advocate torture"
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sony Pictures executive Amy Pascal lashed out on Friday at a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) who accused Osama bin Laden film "Zero Dark Thirty" of promoting torture and urged fellow Academy members not to vote for it in the Oscars race. In a strongly worded statement, Pascal said the "attempt to censure one of the great films of our time should be opposed."
Evan Rachel Wood expecting first child with actor Jamie Bell
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Evan Rachel Wood said on Friday that she and her husband, British actor Jamie Bell, are expecting their first child. "Thanks for all your warm wishes," Wood, 25, wrote on her Twitter account. "We are very happy. I'm gonna be a mama!"
Alicia Keys, Katy Perry top bill at Obama inauguration parties
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - R&B singer Alicia Keys, country guitar slinger Brad Paisley and pop star Katy Perry are some of the A-list performers who will entertain partygoers at President Barack Obama's inaugural celebration, organizers said on Friday. Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder, two prominent elder statesmen of American music, also will perform at one of the three official parties planned for the onset of Obama's second term in office, the inaugural committee said.
Britney Spears calls off engagement, quits "X Factor"
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop star Britney Spears on Friday called it quits with both fiancé Jason Trawick and as a celebrity judge on "The X Factor" talent show. Spears, 31, and Trawick, 41 - her former agent - got engaged in December 2011.
Smile or grimace? Royal Kate portrait splits opinion
LONDON (Reuters) - The first official portrait of Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, popularly known by her former name Kate Middleton, was unveiled in London on Friday, and opinion was sharply divided over an image many deemed unflattering. The 31-year-old, who as a glamorous future queen is one of the world's most photographed women, is portrayed in the large canvas with a faint smile, long, copper-tinted hair and shadow under her eyes.
"$ellebrity" explores paparazzi influence in fame game
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As one of the entertainment industry's most sought-after photographers, Kevin Mazur is training his lens on fellow photographers who traffic in the high-stakes game of capturing images of Hollywood stars as they go about their everyday lives. Mazur, a Rolling Stone magazine staffer who has shot bands including U2 and Bon Jovi and also is the co-founder of photo agency WireImage, makes his directorial debut with "$ellebrity," which opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday.
In spite of violent national tragedies, horror films endure
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The unexpected turnout this month to see horror movie "Texas Chainsaw 3D" just weeks after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut underscores the enduring appeal of the genre to both filmgoers and studios. The lucrative return on such low-budget films, combined with studio success releasing them in January, means U.S. audiences will get their fill of horror in the weeks to come.
Jazz world mourns Montreux founder "Funky Claude"
GENEVA (Reuters) - Claude Nobs, who founded the Montreux Jazz Festival nearly 50 years ago, has died after several weeks in a coma following a skiing accident, the festival said on Friday. The Swiss impresario immortalized by rock group Deep Purple as "Funky Claude" in the song "Smoke on the Water" and who lured the biggest stars of the music world to his festival on the shores of Lake Geneva died on Thursday at the age of 76.
''Beasts,'' ''Amour'' actresses make history with Oscar nods
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar presenters, pundits and fans may struggle to pronounce Quvenzhane Wallis' name, but they are going to be hearing it a lot in the next six weeks. The 9-year-old breakout star of independent film "Beasts of the Southern Wild" on Thursday was among the handful of new faces who will compete against veterans for an Oscar statuette next month.