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Taking Names: Lady Gaga arrives in South Korea

- - Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pop diva Lady Gaga arrived in South Korea late Friday, one week before a Seoul performance that will kick off her third concert tour.

The singer, wearing a floor-length low-cut white dress, white gloves and a pearl-encrusted mask, blew kisses to fans at who tried to snap her image on smartphones Seoul's Gimpo airport.

Her schedule in South Korea for the coming week was unclear, and concert organizer Hyundai Card declined to give details, Agence France-Presse reports.

The "Born This Way" Ball tour begins Friday at Seoul's Olympic Stadium.

From there Lady Gaga will take her hits and extravagant costumes to Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia and then on to 21 European cities.

South Koreans younger than 18 have been banned from the concert after it was rated unsuitable for younger audiences. The show had an initial age rating of 12 and older, but the Korea Media Rating Board — a state watchdog — adjusted it upward.

Some religious groups in South Korea have opposed the concert, saying Lady Gaga has advocated homosexuality and performed in an explicitly sexual manner.

"Our Christian community needs concerted action to stop young people from being infected with homosexuality and pornography," the Korean Association of Church Communication said in a statement last month.

Lady Gaga is expected to do 110 shows this year, following up the success of her "Born This Way" album, which has sold nearly 6 million copies worldwide since it was released in May 2011.

The singer, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, has become a strident voice for gay rights and anti-bullying campaigns.

Confetti tributes to Clark to fall on New Year's Eve

Messages written by Dick Clark's fans will be part of the confetti that's showered on Times Square next New Year's Eve.

People can share their memories of Clark on square-inch pieces of confetti at the Times Square Visitor Center and Museum. According to the Associated Press, the messages will be displayed at the center's Confetti Wishing Wall until New Year's Eve.

Tributes also can be submitted online. Visitors to the center can leave flowers and mementoes beneath a photo montage of Clark's life.

The Times Square Alliance said Clark "was instrumental in making New Year's Eve at the Crossroads of the World what it is today."

The longtime host of "American Bandstand" and the "New Year's Rockin' Eve" ball-drop ceremony died Wednesday.

Jackman's 'The Wolverine' to be shot in Australia

The latest installment of the X-Men franchise, "The Wolverine," starring Hugh Jackman, will be shot in Australia, it was announced Friday.

The potential blockbuster was due to be filmed in Japan last year, but the devastation from the tsunami and earthquake that hit in March put production on hold, Agence France-Presse reports.

The Sydney-born Mr. Jackman, who will reprise the role of the metal-clawed, muscled-up mutant, said he could not be more excited.

"It will be great to work with the highly talented crew and to provide employment opportunities to so many people across all levels of the industry," he said in a statement.

"Not to mention, Deb and I will get to spend some time with the family back in Australia," he added, referring to his wife.

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine," the fourth film in the franchise and a prequel to the original trilogy, also was filmed in Australia in 2008.

Kravitz adds designer to creative credentials

Lenny Kravitz has taken a childhood compulsion to decorate his bedroom and turned it into another creative endeavor.

To rocker, songwriter and actor, add designer.

Mr. Kravitz created a series of chairs for Kartell based on Philippe Starck's iconic Mademoiselle armchair, clad, like the rocker himself at times, in python, leather or fur. He also designed black-and-white tiles inspired by water drops and waves for Lea Ceramiche.

Both projects were unveiled last week against the squealing backdrop of adoring fans during the Milan International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, which closed Sunday.

For Mr. Kravitz, it all goes back to childhood, to his drive to create an environment where he felt comfortable to create and write songs.

"Since I was a kid, it was always important how my room was put together. I would buy all these posters, fabrics and lighting, and I would make the room the way I wanted it to be," Mr. Kravitz said in an Associated Press interview late Tuesday night as he perched on a leather version of his chair in a Kartell store window made to look like a stage.

Outside, fans held back by barriers snapped photos with smartphones, the eager horde blocking traffic. The attention at a design event seemed to surprise Mr. Kravitz — despite his status as a rock-venue veteran fresh off touring in Korea.

"The most important thing was to create a vibe," he said. And once that vibe was achieved, "my world was set."

Compiled from Web and wire reports