- - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Women in Hollywood honorees laud Streisand

Nine women were honored at the annual Women in Hollywood event Monday, yet two ladies in particular stole the show.

According to the Associated Press, Viola Davis surprised her fellow honorees and an audience of Hollywood insiders by announcing that she had adopted a baby boy. Barbra Streisand was credited repeatedly by fellow honorees including Michelle Pfeiffer, Evan Rachel Wood, Freida Pinto, Naomi Watts and Miss Davis for being the inspiration for their success.

It was a lovefest that continued throughout the evening at the 18th annual celebration of the industry’s leading ladies sponsored by Elle magazine at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Jennifer Aniston told the 69-year-old entertainer that she loved her, and Miss Pinto said that “sharing the same oxygen” as Miss Streisand was an incredible birthday gift. The actress turned 27 Tuesday.

“You’re a legend not only in Hollywood but literally all over the world,” the “Slumdog Millionaire” star told Miss Streisand. “I can say that because I come from India.”

She said Miss Streisand’s song “Putting It Together” is “like a reality check that every girl that wants to get into this big entertainment industry needs to listen to.”

“That was a truly inspirational song, so thank you so much for that,” Miss Pinto said.

Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow introduced Miss Streisand as “a world icon” and “somebody who has mastered virtually every art form imaginable: directing, acting, composing, singing, producing, writing.”

Miss Streisand returned the love in kind, congratulating her fellow honorees, who also included actress Elizabeth Olsen and DreamWorks Studios chief Stacey Snider.

“They’re all so charming, so well-spoken and so thin,” Miss Streisand said, adding, “I ate the chocolate cake.”

She said that only 7 percent of the top 250 films last year were directed by women, and she urged her colleagues to be fearless about moving forward in the entertainment industry.

“Let’s be bold and don’t wait for the phone to ring,” she said. “Create your own material. Tell me a story.”

Country stars raise money for Texas wildfire victims

Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines told a thunderous crowd Monday night that “there was zero hesitation” when the band was asked to perform with fellow country stars to raise money for victims of recent wildfires in her home state of Texas.

She and her bandmates joined Willie Nelson, George Strait and other musicians during a megaconcert in Austin that raised more than $500,000, the Associated Press reports.

A fire that started Sept. 4 in central Texas’ Bastrop County destroyed at least 1,500 homes and killed two people, marking the most devastating of the numerous fires that have scorched about 6,000 square miles in Texas in the past year.

“When they called us to do this show, there was zero hesitation,” Miss Maines said. “You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the girl.”

Mr. Nelson was joined onstage by folksy newcomers the Avett Brothers and, backed up by Asleep at the Wheel, they invigorated the crowd with rowdy versions of Mr. Nelson’s classic “On the Road Again” and the gospel “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

Actor Quinto feeling ‘grateful’ since coming out as gay

Actor Zachary Quinto said he feels a range of emotions after coming out in a recent New York magazine interview, but most of all he is grateful for the kindness he has received since, the Associated Press reports.

“I feel so incredibly grateful to all of the people who’ve reached out to me directly or indirectly or just in spirit and I feel really, really like my entire future is laid out in a different way and it’s thrilling and scary and overwhelming,” Mr. Quinto said at the premiere of his film “Margin Call” Monday night in New York.

The 34-year-old said he looks forward to the day when saying you’re gay “won’t be hard” and won’t matter.

“There’ve been people on this path who were much bigger trailblazers than me who did this at a time when it was even harder … and if me standing up and making some kind of acknowledgment and declaration helps that, then I can’t ask for anything more out of my life.”

Mr. Quinto is best known for playing Spock in the latest “Star Trek” movie and for the TV show “Heroes.”

Charities to benefit from Bieber Christmas album

Justin Bieber is in the holiday spirit: The singer is the first artist on the Universal Music roster to have part of his album sales benefit charity.

Partial sales from “Under the Mistletoe,” his Christmas album that is out Nov. 1, will go to various charities, including Pencils of Promise and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“Universal never actually allowed money from the album to go to charity, so it’s kind of a unique thing and I’m very happy and proud of what we’ve done,” the 17-year-old said in an interview from Lima, Peru, on Monday.

Universal Music Group is the parent company to labels such as Interscope Records and Island Def Jam Motown Music Group. Its roster includes Eminem, Rihanna, Kanye West and Lady Gaga.

Justin said he wasn’t sure how much of the sales would go to charity, but thanked his team for helping him achieve his goal of wanting to help others during the holiday season.

“I tell them basically what I want and they kind of go and help me get it done,” said Justin, who also plans to donate money to various food banks.

“Under the Mistletoe” features collaborations with Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, among others. He said he wanted to “work with people who had great experiences with Christmas albums.”