- - Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chris Brown to perform at Grammy Awards

Chris Brown will perform at this year’s Grammy Awards, the event where his career almost ended three years ago.

Mr. Brown admitted assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna at a pre-Grammy party in 2009 and is serving five years of probation for the felony attack. According to the Associated Press, the Recording Academy announced Tuesday that Mr. Brown will take the Grammy stage on Sunday.

After the attack, Mr. Brown’s reputation plummeted, but he has since bounced back, releasing multiple mixtapes and the multihit album, “F.A.M.E. (Forgiving All My Enemies).” He is nominated for three Grammys, including best R&B album.

Rihanna also will perform at the show. She’s nominated for four awards, including the top prize - album of the year - for her platinum effort “Loud.”

Carrie Underwood and Tony Bennett also were announced as performers, as were Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt, who will pay tribute to blues singer Etta James, who died last month.

The Grammys will air live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Mr. Brown and Rihanna were supposed to perform at the 2009 Grammys, but that changed after Mr. Brown attacked the pop singer in the early morning hours before the awards show. Since then, Mr. Brown hasn’t attended the Grammys, though he was nominated for three awards last year.

A judge eased a restraining order last February after an attorney for Rihanna said she didn’t object to removing the stay-away provisions. The former order required Mr. Brown to stay 50 yards away from 23-year-old Rihanna, but the restriction was reduced to 10 yards if they were at a music industry event.

Mr. Brown, 22, has been nominated for Grammys in five of the past six years, though he has never picked up the top prize in music. His song “Look at Me Now,” which features Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes, is nominated for best rap song and best rap performance.

Rihanna is the owner of four Grammys, three with Jay-Z. She won a Grammy last year for her No. 1 smash, “Only Girl (In the World)” for best dance recording. In addition to album of the year, her fifth CD, “Loud,” is up for best pop vocal album. Rihanna is also nominated twice for best rap/sung collaboration for another No.1 jam - the Drake-assisted “What’s My Name?” - and for her guest appearance on Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.”

Iowa woman accused of blackmailing Duggars’ show

An Iowa woman is charged with extortion in an alleged plot to get Discovery Communications Inc. to cancel the TLC show “19 Kids and Counting” or pay her $10,000 in exchange for not revealing compromising photos of a cast member, according to federal court documents.

Teresa Hunt, of Bettendorf, is accused of threatening to release photos of a cast member in “apparently intimate situations” to a magazine, according to the Associated Press.

Ms. Hunt was arrested Feb. 1 after she allegedly sent television executives typed and handwritten letters demanding the show be canceled, along with a business card for “Perfect Pictures.”

The reality show follows Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children.

The letter was sent in January to the parent company of LTC describing Ms. Hunt’s professional relationship with a 56-year-old musician who performs in Branson, Mo., and providing details of an affair with an unspecified female cast member, according to an affidavit in U.S. District Court in Davenport.

Ms. Hunt’s arrest was first reported Thursday by the Quad-City Times in Davenport.

In the letter, Ms. Hunt allegedly said the Duggars “claim to be so Christian so they keep popping out more babies to keep their ratings up.”

In the affidavit, an FBI undercover agent called Ms. Hunt, saying he represented Discovery and was following up on her letter. She said she was a photographer and was in possession of damaging pictures. Ms. Hunt then sent an email with three pictures attached to the undercover agent, according to the affidavit.

“I have more buried in a box at my parent’s home, but it will take some time to go through the boxes to find them. I’m attaching what I currently have on my computer. I hope these are enough,” the email said.

Ms. Hunt allegedly said she’s willing to “settle for $10,000,” and has no reason to hurt the cast member “except that’s she’s on a reality show and pretends to be a right-wing Christian and she’s sleeping with a 56-year-old man.”

There is no telephone listing for Ms. Hunt. A call to her attorney, Jack Dusthimer, wasn’t returned.

Univision, Disney work on English channel for Latinos

Univision and Disney are in talks to create a 24-hour news channel for Latinos in English, two sources close to the negotiations said Monday.

Both sources declined to go on the record because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

The goal would be to begin broadcasting before the November presidential election. According to the Associated Press, that would give the network plenty of time to provide political coverage geared toward Hispanics, who are considered influential swing voters in states such as Florida, New Mexico and Colorado.

Univision is the nation’s largest Spanish-language media company, and it has long prided itself on its Spanish-language content. In recent years, officials quietly have acknowledged that in order to maintain and expand viewership, they also need to provide content to second- and third-generation Latinos who speak English as their first language.

Univision officials and ABC News spokesman Jeffrey W. Schneider declined to comment Monday.

The move comes in response to the 2010 census, which showed U.S. born Latinos made up nearly 60 percent of the growth in the nation’s Hispanic population over the last decade.

The proposed deal also reflects the stepped up efforts of mainstream media companies to target Latinos. Fox News added its Fox News Latino website in 2010 and Huffington Post now has a HuffPost LatinoVoices site. Meanwhile, NBC Universal has increased the cross-pollination between its NBC News division and that of its Spanish language network, Telemundo.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.

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