Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Chicago bluesman Magic Slim dead at 75
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Guitarist Magic Slim, a mainstay of the Chicago blues scene who followed in the footsteps of such greats as Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, died on Thursday at age 75, his manager said. Slim, the son of Mississippi sharecroppers, gave up the piano and turned to guitar after losing his right pinky finger in a cotton gin accident at age 13. He died at a Philadelphia hospital where he had been under treatment for various ailments, manager Marty Salzman said.
Lady Gaga has hip surgery, calls injury "bump in the road"
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lady Gaga said she has undergone surgery to repair an injured hip that forced the pop singer last week to cancel the remainder of her concert tour. The "Born This Way" singer thanked fans in a blog post on her littlemonsters.com fan website on Thursday, saying the setback was "just a bump in the road."
Seth MacFarlane bringing a surprise factor as Oscar host
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar night traditionally comes packed with shocks and upsets for the winners, but on Sunday the biggest surprise could be the host - provocative comedian, actor and singer Seth MacFarlane. MacFarlane, 39, the creator of the edgy animated TV series "Family Guy," "American Dad" and "The Cleveland Show," has awards watchers and audiences intrigued as to what he has up his sleeve for the movie industry's biggest night.
Congolese teen actress gets U.S. visa to walk Oscar red carpet
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The teenage star of the Oscar-nominated Canadian drama "War Witch" will get to travel from her native Congo to the Academy Awards in Los Angeles after she received a last-minute visa, the film's U.S. distributor said on Thursday. Amateur actress Rachel Mwanza, 16, who grew up an orphan on the streets of capital Kinshasa, received her visa to the United States earlier in the week and will arrive in Los Angeles on Friday, two days ahead of Sunday's Oscar ceremony, a spokeswoman for distributor Tribeca Film said.
Best Picture contenders produce $2 billion box office bounty
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The movie studios behind this year's Best Picture nominees already have brought home a treasured prize: big box-office sales that placed the Oscar contenders among the most-watched films of 2012. The nine competitors for Hollywood's top film award sold a combined $2 billion in tickets worldwide heading into Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony. Six of them, including frontrunners "Argo" and "Lincoln," hauled in at least $100 million apiece at U.S. and Canadian theaters.
Singer Morrissey will not get meat-free concert in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British vegetarian rock singer Morrissey's concert in Los Angeles next week will be a little more meaty than the former Smiths frontman had initially hoped. The longtime animal rights activist said earlier this week he had urged the Staples Center arena to close the concessions of fast-food chain McDonald's <MCD.N> and to halt the sale of meat by other outlets at the venue for his March 1 performance there.
"Scary Spice" Mel B joins "America's Got Talent" panel
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former Spice Girl Mel B will join the judging panel on summer TV talent show "America's Got Talent," broadcaster NBC said on Thursday. The 37-year-old Briton, known by the nickname Scary Spice when she was part of the chart-topping 1990s British girl band, will replace Sharon Osbourne who quit the series in a dispute with NBC over their decision to drop her son Jack from another reality show.
Jennifer Hudson, Zeta-Jones to sing in Oscars musical tribute
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar winners Russell Crowe, Jennifer Hudson and Catherine Zeta-Jones will perform at the Academy Awards in a tribute to the resurgence of big-screen musicals, organizers said on Wednesday. The performance, which will also feature Oscar nominees Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman from "Les Miserables," is part of the several musical acts at the annual Hollywood awards on Sunday.