- Created on 19 April 2013
NEW YORK — Robin Roberts spent two days in the hospital fighting off an infection as part of her recuperation from a rare blood disease, and is off "Good Morning America" this week to rest.
The ABC News morning show host said she felt ill last week while on vacation and was told to return to New York and go to the hospital. She's home now, and posted on Facebook on Thursday that she's feeling much better.
Roberts underwent a bone marrow transplant in September to treat MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease. She was off work for five months before returning to the top-rated network morning show on a part-time basis in February.
She's generally worked three days a week, occasionally four. At the beginning of her return, ABC kept a potential fill-in on call at the studio in case she was feeling too ill to continue, the network said.
Roberts said doctors told her that her setback did not occur because she was working or doing too much.
"It's extremely common, post-bone marrow transplant, to have complications," she wrote. "I'm blessed that mine have not been severe."
She said she planned to be back on the top-rated network morning show next week.
Roberts also wrote that her heart goes out to Boston residents.
"It saddens me that I haven't been able to join my colleagues in covering this important story," she said.
- Created on 15 April 2013
LOS ANGELES — Baseball has scored a rare hit in Hollywood.
The Jackie Robinson tale "42" took in $27.3 million to claim the weekend box-office championship domestically, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Released by Warner Bros., "42" easily beat the domestic start of an established franchise in "Scary Movie 5." The Weinstein Co. sequel opened in second-place with $15.2 million, the smallest debut for the horror-comedy series.
Three of the previous four "Scary Movie" installments had debuts of $40 million or more.
On the other hand, "42" outdid the usual expectations for baseball movies, which usually do modest business at best. Box-office trackers had expected "42" to pull in less than $20 million.
The $27.3 million opening for "42" is a record for a baseball flick in terms of straight dollars, topping the $19.5 million debut of "Moneyball" in 2011. Factoring in higher ticket prices, the $13.7 million debut of 1992's "A League of Their Own" would have been on par with "42" in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars.
The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers boss Branch Rickey, who brought No. 42 onto the team in 1947 as the Major Leagues' first black player.
"It's a story that has so much emotion to it. Jackie Robinson's life had such an influence on our country," said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., who noted that all Major League players will wear No. 42 on Monday for Jackie Robinson Day, the 66th anniversary of his Dodgers debut. "Think of what a tribute that is for what he accomplished. Every player wearing 42 on his back."
With generally good reviews, "42" drew in older crowds, with 83 percent of the audience over 25, Fellman said.
- Created on 11 April 2013
MIAMI — U.S. Treasury officials say the trip by Beyonce and Jay-Z to Cuba was licensed as an educational exchange.
Assistant Treasury Secretary Alastair Fitzpayne wrote in a letter Tuesday to congressional representatives that the famous hip-hop couple traveled to Cuba with a group authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control to promote people-to-people contact in Cuba.
The letter was released Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Ros-Lehtinen and U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, both Florida Republicans, had expressed concerns to the Treasury Department about the trip and wanted to know if it was licensed.
Beyonce and Jay-Z marked their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana last week. U.S. citizens are not allowed to travel to Cuba for mere tourism, though they can obtain licenses for academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange trips. The so-called people-to-people licenses were reinstated under the Obama administration.
- Created on 12 April 2013
NEW YORK — R&B star Chaka Khan will be inducted into the Apollo Theater's hall of fame.
The theater announced Thursday that Patti LaBelle and Mary J. Blige will perform in Khan's honor at its June 10 New York gala.
The annual event raises funds for the Apollo's education and community outreach programs.
Khan and Blige received a Grammy Award together in 2008 for "Disrespectful."
Singer-songwriter Lionel Richie and the late Etta James were inducted last year into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame.
Other previous inductees include LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin, to name just a few.
- Created on 09 April 2013
Legendary rapper L.L. Cool J. and country crooner Brad Paisley have teamed up to create “Accidental Racist,” a song so ridiculous and, well, arguably racist, that social media is questioning if it could possibly be satire.
Released Monday, one day before Paisley’s album “Wheelhouse” hits stores, the track has been raked over the coals and mocked by Twitter users.
In an interview with an entertainment industry magazine Paisley said that the song grew from racial inequality and suspicion.
What’s even most astounding is that in explaining this song, Paisley described why it was probably not a good idea to be on the record.