Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
One year later, Grammys recall scramble over Whitney Houston death
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Grammy host LL Cool J called it a "death in our family" and it was he who suggested starting the Grammy Awards show last year with a prayer for Whitney Houston. Behind the scenes, Grammy Awards producers had worked all night to re-shape the music industry's biggest night just 24 hours after the drowning death of the troubled superstar in a Beverly Hills hotel.
Springsteen says "freaky" to be honored at pre-Grammys tribute
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bruce Springsteen was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year on Friday at a star-studded pre-Grammys event where some of the biggest names in music like Sting, Alabama Shakes and Neil Young paid homage to "The Boss." The annual event, now in its 23rd year, celebrates a star's musical achievements and philanthropic work, and is hosted by Grammy organizers to kick off the weekend of the awards show.
Iran says English-language TV channel dropped in North America
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's English-language Press TV channel has been dropped from the satellite platform that allowed it to broadcast in the United States and Canada, the channel said. The state-owned, 24-hour network broadcasts world news and pro-government views beyond Iran's borders.
Humble Damon cheers Oscar hopeful, friend Ben Affleck
BERLIN (Reuters) - It seems that wherever Matt Damon goes to promote his movies he is asked about something else altogether - his old friend and collaborator Ben Affleck, whose Iranian hostage drama "Argo" is in the running for a Best Picture Oscar. Damon shared a screenplay Academy Award with Affleck for the 1997 film "Good Will Hunting" and has gone on to become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, with blockbusters including the "Ocean's Eleven" and "Bourne Identity" series.
Charlie Sheen revisits alter-ego in movie "Mind of Charles Swan"
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - It's a downward spiral for Charlie, a successful professional whose life slides into despair when his girlfriend breaks up with him. This Charlie could be Charlie Sheen, but it's actually the fictional Charles Swan, a charming, immature character played by Hollywood's favorite bad boy actor and filmed only a few months after Sheen's off-screen antics got him fired in 2011 from TV comedy "Two and a Half Men."
Dame Shirley Bassey to appear at the Academy Awards
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dame Shirley Bassey, who recorded the theme songs for the James Bond films "Goldfinger," "Diamonds Are Forever" and "Moonraker," will make her first appearance at the Academy Awards this month, the show's producers said on Friday. Bassey, whose career has spanned more than six decades, will perform at the awards show on February 24 in Los Angeles, along with others including Adele, Norah Jones and Barbra Streisand.
New Polish film tackles homosexuality in Catholic Church
BERLIN (Reuters) - Polish director Malgoska Szumowska tackles the controversial topic of homosexuality in the Roman Catholic priesthood in her film "In the Name of" that had its world premiere on Friday but she said her aim was not to deliver a political message. "In the Name of", the first of 19 competition entries to screen at this year's Berlin film festival, focuses on a priest's struggle with his sexuality while working with troubled youths in a deprived corner of rural Poland where drug and alcohol abuse are commonplace.
Day-Lewis carries hopes of home crowd at top British film awards
LONDON (Reuters) - Home-grown talent will feel the pressure to perform at the BAFTAs on Sunday with Daniel Day-Lewis expected to win best actor for his role in "Lincoln" and British films as diverse as "Les Miserables" and "Skyfall" up for a range of trophies. But there could be stiff competition at Britain's top movie awards ceremony from "Argo", a drama directed by Ben Affleck about the rescue of American hostages from Iran in 1979, which has just beaten Lincoln to a clutch of prestigious U.S. prizes.
Keep breasts, buttocks under wraps, CBS tells Grammy performers
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Grammy performers have been told to cover up at Sunday's big music awards show, and keep their buttocks, nipples and genitals under wraps. Their politics can't show either. In a "wardrobe advisory," broadcaster CBS also asked musicians and audience members likely to appear on camera at the February 10 Grammy Awards ceremony to avoid wearing brand names on T-shirts as well as clothing with political or activist slogans.
Britney Spears considers long-term Las Vegas deal
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop star and former "X Factor" judge Britney Spears is in talks to sign a long-term contract to headline a show at a Las Vegas resort, Caesars Entertainment Corp. said on Friday. "We can now confirm the company is actively engaged in discussions with Britney Spears' representatives regarding a potential headlining residency at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino," the company said in a statement.