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Celebrity Nooz - August 15, 2018

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Beyonce, Jay-Z pay tribute to ill Aretha Franklin
Beyonce and Jay-Z paid tribute to Aretha Franklin onstage Monday during their On The Run II tour as reports continue to surface about the music legend's health.

"We love you and thank you for all the beautiful music," Beyonce said at Ford Field in Detroit, Billboard reported.

The concert was dedicated to Franklin who was described as being gravely ill by her family to Click On Detroit on Monday. The icon was also said to be resting at home surrounded by loved ones.

"She's alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognize people," Franklin's nephew Tim Franklin said in a statement to People magazine about her condition.

Tim acknowledged that Franklin is sick and said that her family is trying to keep her spirits up. "We believe she'll pull through it, she believes she'll pull through it, and that's the important thing," he said.

Other music stars such as Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott, Ciara and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda posted well wishes for Franklin on Twitter.

"Praying for the Queen of Soul," Carey said.

"My prayers are with Aretha Franklin & her family during this difficult time," Elliott said before referencing a tweet she sent out in January about cherishing legends. "LOOK BELOW @ what I tweeted at the top of the year we MUST CELEBRATE the Living Legends while they are here to see it. So many have given us decades of Timeless music," she continued.

"Praying for Aretha Franklin and her family right now!" Ciara said.

"Adding my prayer to the galaxy of prayers for Aretha today," Miranda said.

Ethan Peck to play Spock in 'Star Trek: Discovery'
Ethan Peck was cast in the iconic role of Spock in Season 2 of the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery. The show is set in a time before the original Star Trek and though Peck will play a young Spock, he still will be the USS Enterprise's half-Vulcan, half-human chief science officer.

"Through 52 years of television and film, a parallel universe and a mirror universe, Mr. Spock remains the only member of the original bridge crew to span every era of Star Trek," showrunner and executive producer Alex Kurtzman said, "The great Leonard Nimoy, then the brilliant Zachary Quinto, brought incomparable humanity to a character forever torn between logic and emotion."

Kurtzman emphasized the Star Trek team's efforts to find the perfect fit to succeed Nimoy and Quinto in the part, "We searched for months for an actor who would, like them, bring his own interpretation to the role. An actor who would, like them, effortlessly embody Spock's greatest qualities, beyond obvious logic: empathy, intuition, compassion, confusion and yearning. Ethan Peck walked into the room inhabiting all of these qualities, aware of his daunting responsibility to Leonard, Zack and the fans, and ready to confront the challenge in the service of protecting and expanding on Spock's legacy. In that spirit, we're thrilled to welcome him to the family."

Nimoy's son Adam tweeted, "There's a new Spock in town! Welcome to the family Ethan!! #StarTrekDiscovery #LLAP

At the end of Season 1 there were hints that Spock would be making an appearance soon, with the USS Discovery coming across the Enterprise, which would eventually staff Spock and Captain James T. Kirk.

Kurtzman confirmed that Spock would be included in the series at Comic-Con in San Diego when he said, "Yes, you will be seeing Spock this year."

Peck is the grandson of legendary actor Gregory Peck, known for his roles in To Kill a Mockingbird and Roman Holiday. Peck played Patrick Verona in ABC's TV adaptation of 10 Things I Hate About You and played Saxon on the CW Seed's I Ship It.

The new season of Star Trek: Discovery will be available for streaming in early 2019.

"I actually quite enjoy when people are mad at me about certain things."
--Kanye West, on his support of President Donald Trump, on Jimmy Kimmel Live

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Barbie honored which Olympic gymnast with a new doll?

New Kids on the Block to celebrate 'Hangin' Tough' at Apollo Theater
New Kids on the Block are set to return to the famed Apollo Theater in New York City for a special performance in celebration of their hit album, Hangin' Tough.

The one night only event, set to take place on Oct. 7, will commemorate the 30th anniversary of Hangin' Tough, which was released in 1988.

The album, the boy band's second, featured chart-topping hits such as "Please Don't Go Girl," "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" and "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)."

Tickets go on sale for Block Nation members on Thursday at 10 a.m. ET.

New Kids on the Block released a teaser trailer for the Apollo performance on Twitter featuring the group throughout the years performing onstage.

New Kids on the Block also announced on Twitter that a special announcement will be made following the show.

"Our Apollo show will be followed by a huge surprise announcement the next morning on Monday October 8th! Blockheads converge on New York!!! It's gonna be fun! #HANGINTOUGH30," they said.

'The Middle' spinoff with Eden Sher gets pilot production commitment from ABC
A spinoff of ABC's comedy series The Middle starring Eden Sher's character Sue Heck has been given a pilot production commitment by the network. The Sue Heck Spinoff will follow Sher's character Sue Heck, a high-spirited woman in her twenties from Orson, Ind., as she moves to Chicago where she will encounter the triumphs and pitfalls of working as a young adult.

The comedy half-hour will be written and produced by The Middle creators Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline. After nine seasons on ABC, The Middle had its series finale in May of this year, which is around the time news of the spinoff first circulated. Sue Heck would succeed The Middle, whereas other ABC spinoffs like Grown-ish, of the hit series Black-ish, and Schooled of The Goldbergs run adjacent to their parent series.

Sher won the Critics' Choice TV Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2013 for her role as Sue Heck in the series.

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Barbie honored which Olympic gymnast with a new doll?

Barbie is honoring Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez with a new doll.

The 18-year-old athlete celebrated in an Instagram post Tuesday after Mattel released a "Shero" collection Barbie doll in her likeness.

Hernandez posted a photo of herself holding up her packaged doll. The doll comes with two leotards, athletic pants and a duffel bag.

"GUYS!! I'm so excited to announce the launch of my very own 'Shero' @barbie! Breaking boundaries and reminding all girls that you can be ANYTHING. Available at @walmart! #Barbie," Hernandez captioned the picture.

Barbie praised Hernandez as a role model in a post on its own account.

"Girls need more role models like @LaurieHernandez_ because imagining that they can be anything is just the beginning. Actually seeing that they can makes all the difference," the company wrote.

Hernandez competed in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, winning a gold medal in the team event and silver in balance beam. She is also known for winning Dancing with the Stars Season 23 with Val Chmerkovskiy.

Barbie's Shero collection also includes dolls in the likeness of Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim, conservationist Bindi Irwin and artist Frida Kahlo, among other women. Barbie released its first hijab-wearing doll in November to honor Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammed.