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Britney says she's OK

Britney Spears says that though her family has been stressed lately, she's doing OK.

The pop star on Tuesday posted a video to her Instagram, telling her fans: "Just checking in with all of you who are concerned about me. All is well. My family has been going through a lot of stress and anxiety lately, so I just needed time to deal. Don't worry. I'll be back very soon."

In January, she said she was putting her career on indefinite hiatus for the sake of her father, who is sick. The launch run of her "Britney: Domination" residency in Las Vegas was put on hold until further notice. Earlier this month, Spears said she had decided to focus on self-care as she goes through a rough stretch.

In the caption of Tuesday's video post, Spears wrote that she "wanted to say hi, because things that are being said have just gotten out of control!"

"There's rumours, death threats to my family and my team, and just so many things crazy things being said. ... Don't believe everything you read and hear," the 37-year-old wrote.

She posted a new video of herself working out and dancing Wednesday on Instagram, writing: "Who knew stress would be a great 5 pound weight loss. Yay for me."



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Garner most beautiful

Jennifer Garner couldn't hide her blushes as she unveiled her cover of People magazine's Beautiful Issue on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The 47-year-old actress graces the front of the publication's annual edition, following in the footsteps of last year's honouree Pink, and spoke about the tribute in an interview filmed for Wednesday's episode of Ellen's chat show.

Seeing the cover flashed up on the big screen behind the host, Jennifer went red and giggled: "Oh there it is. Oh, gracious!"

The mother-of-three added she'd "never been more nervous than I am today" and explained: "I guess I thought you guys would boo. You know what I mean? Like you guys are expecting Kaia Gerber and it's me. I feel like bolting."

And when Ellen showered her with compliments, including "you're a beautiful person inside and out," Jennifer continued to struggle to hide her blushing complexion as she smiled: "It's so silly! But it's nice, thank you."

In her interview with People, Jennifer spoke about her style and make-up regimes, and also opened up about how her role as mother to Violet, 13, Seraphina, 10, and Samuel, seven - her children with ex-husband Ben Affleck - is changing.

"I'm starting to get to the point where I realise this job is not going to be forever," she mused. "Not in the all-encompassing every meal, every moment, every day way that I have loved for the last thirteen years. It's going to shift. But there's beauty in how it works in episodes."

Jennifer added that while her offspring are used to seeing her get glammed up for red carpet events or premieres, they are always keen for her to return to her "Mom" clothes.

"I'll feel like the best possible version of myself," Jennifer said of when she's dressed to the nines. "They'll look at me and say, "Can you wash your face? Can you put your hair in a ponytail and put your glasses and sweats on?' And I see the compliment in that. They just want me to look like Mom."



Longoria spices up her life

Eva Longoria is spicing up her career away from Hollywood by launching her own salsa.

Eva's Kitchen Cantina Style Salsa is a new joint project between the former Desperate Housewives star and family-owned Arizona-based company FoodStory Brands.

Using notes from a family recipe, the actress reveals her "Texas-inspired salsa" is a labour of love years in the making.

"Being a Texas-native and growing up in a Latino family filled with passionate cooks, the smell of cilantro, onions, peppers, and charred tomatoes was always present," she tells WENN in a statement. "I inherited my family's love of fresh-tasting salsa, and in my house, my husband and I eat it on everything - eggs, baked chicken, salads, tacos, and even pizza.

"Like most people, I don't always have time to make salsa from scratch. Adapting one of my family's recipes with the Fresh Cravings team (at FoodStory Brands) means that you get an authentic salsa that's as close to homemade as possible."

Eva's Kitchen Cantina Style Salsa packs "a rich and smoky bite that's derived from chipotle, jalapeno, cayenne, and Anaheim peppers, fresh vegetables and vine-ripened tomatoes that are specially charred and roasted to bring out their most robust taste".

It's not the first time the actress has teamed up with FoodStory Brands bosses - they first paired together last year for Longoria's Tres Leches Cake, which was also inspired from a treasured family recipe.

Meanwhile, Longoria recently showcased her slim post-baby body in a swimsuit, eight months after giving birth to son Santiago.

The star was on a weekend break with a group of friends, including Prison Break actor Amaury Nolasco, when she showed off her moves as she celebrated winning a game of backgammon. She posted footage of her victory dance on her Instagram Story account.

The actress gave birth to Santiago, her first child with businessman husband Jose 'Pepe' Baston, last June.



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Sheeran must remove sign

Local authorities in Suffolk, England, have ordered Ed Sheeran to remove a big sign he had made for his private pub as a special dedication to his new wife.

The Shape of You hitmaker boasts his own drinking establishment on the grounds of his country estate, and he chose to name the bar The Lancaster Lock, as a nod to his partner Cherry Lancaster Seaborn.

He had a special post erected on the outside of the pub, but planning officials have since ruled it is "unauthorized signage," and have requested the singer take it down.

The building violation was recorded by inspectors from the Suffolk Coastal District Council last month, when they paid a visit to Sheeran's property to investigate claims from concerned neighbors suggesting he wanted to turn a wildlife pond at his home into a swimming pool.

Authorities found "no evidence" to support the allegations regarding the pond, which is located feet away from The Lancaster Lock, but they did notice a sauna had been added to the area, which the pop star did not have the planning approval for.

He has since had the sauna removed, according to the Daily Mail.

It's the latest council issue Sheeran has had to deal with in recent months, after he was denied planning permission to build his own chapel at the property last summer.

He had reportedly been hoping to erect the place of worship so he could exchange vows with Seaborn there, but they had to abandon those wedding plans after the application was rejected in June.

Sheeran and Seaborn, who became engaged in late 2017, are said to have married in a secret ceremony at their home just before Christmas.



Spice Girls Vegas residency?

The Spice Girls have reportedly been offered a Las Vegas residency.

The group, consisting of Mel B, Geri Horner, Emma Bunton and Mel C, are reuniting for a U.K. comeback tour without their fifth member - Victoria Beckham - this June. And while talks about taking the tour Stateside have been rumoured for some time, it's now been claimed that the four-piece group are considering following in the footsteps of stars such as Celine Dion and Britney Spears by taking on a residency in Sin City.

According to Britain's The Sun newspaper, the group have been offered a big money deal at The Colosseum inside Caesars Palace.

"The girls haven't committed to a full U.S. tour, but their production team think a residency could be the perfect fit," a source told the publication. "There is massive money on the table depending on how their UK tour goes. When Celine Dion leaves The Colosseum next June the owners are planning a refurb and want a flagship act to get punters back when it reopens."

While Geri, Mel C and Emma are all based in the U.K., Mel B lives in Los Angeles - meaning a residency would be the "perfect fit" for her. And her bandmates are also said to be keen on the idea because it requires less of a commitment than a full U.S. tour.

Reports are continuing to swirl about animosity between Mel B and Geri following the former's revelation that she had sex with Ginger Spice in the Spice Girls' heyday. While Geri, Emma and Mel C have been rehearsing for the upcoming tour in London, Mel B has been practising on her own in Los Angeles - fuelling rumours of a falling out.



Blac Chyna 'humiliated'

Blac Chyna has opened up about being "bullied, humiliated, manipulated and discredited" as a mother in a passionate Instagram post.

The 30-year-old model and reality TV star has two children - six-year-old son King Cairo with ex Tyga and two-year-old daughter Dream with former fiance Rob Kardashian.

In a heartfelt post on the social media site on Monday after celebrating Easter with her family, Chyna, real name Angela White, told fans she's been through a hard few years, but isn't entirely innocent herself.

"Over the last couple of years, you guys have been given a perspective of who I am from the media and people closest to me," she wrote. "I've been Bullied, Humiliated, Manipulated and Discredit(ed) as a mom! Looking back at a lot of my actions, I'm reflecting and realizing that confusion is a serious thing. Of course, I'm not proud of some of the pain I have caused, and I'm working to be the best me."

Chyna didn't name names in her post, but told her followers that going forward she's going to try and be more open.

"Blac Chyna doesn't define Angela White as a person," she continued. "At 30, I am overwhelmed by the blessings I have. Being a mother of two amazing children.

"I don't talk on things often but I promise to give you guys more of me. Angela White perspective."

Concluding her post, Chyna wrote: "Thank you for years of endless love. Your support for me is a blessing."

Sharing the post on Instagram, Chyna captioned it: "Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as being where you do not belong! #newbeginnings."

She didn't go into any details as to what she was referring in the post. However, Chyna has been through some difficult times, including a tumultuous split from Rob, which saw the pair battling over custody of Dream and child support arrangements. The former couple are now on better terms, with the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star even defending her on social media recently.



Britney held against will?

Britney Spears' fans held a "Free Britney" protest in Los Angeles on Monday, alleging the singer is being held against her will in a mental health facility.

It was reported earlier this month that the 37-year-old singer had checked herself into a treatment center in the wake of her father Jamie's health battle, after she indicated to fans in an Instagram post that was taking a little "me time."

However, it was recently claimed on the Britney's Gram podcast that the mother-of-two is being held at the facility against her will - with some of her fans protesting outside West Hollywood City Hall amid the unsubstantiated allegations.

Armed with signs bearing slogans such as "Free Britney" and "In Godney we trust", many of the fans blamed Britney's management company for the alleged conspiracy.

Barbara Gray and Tess Barker, who are responsible for making the initial claims on the podcast, told Entertainment Tonight that their main aim with the protest is to call for an end to the conservatorship over Britney.

"We're here trying to expose the #FreeBritney movement and let everyone know something severely wrong is going on," Gray explained. "She's been in a conservatorship for over 10 years that we don't believe she should be in any longer and we're trying to spread awareness of it.

"We believe that, through the proof of her work, over the past number of years, she's proven herself that she's capable of being her own person. We can't speak exactly to her mental health, but we can speak to what we've seen as fans and as the public. It's obvious that she shouldn't be under that amount of control."

In 2008, Britney's dad father Jamie and attorney Andrew M. Wallet were installed as co-conservators of her estate by a judge in the wake of the singer's dual emergency hospitalizations in January of that year.

Britney's fans' claims come as the Toxic star was photographed alongside boyfriend Sam Asghari leaving The Montage Resort and Hotel in Beverly Hills on Sunday.

Reports suggest the singer was granted a weekend pass by wellness facility officials to visit with her loved ones, days after she was also seen at a Los Angeles hair salon.



Jeopardy! champ tops $1M

There's no truth to the rumour that James Holzhauer is a cyborg created to be the perfect "Jeopardy!" contestant.

But given how he's made a level of excellence rarely seen on the television quiz show appear almost mundane, it sometimes seems that way. Holzhauer eclipsed the $1 million mark in winnings Tuesday on his 14th appearance. Not only has he won $131,127 to shatter the program's previous one-day record of $77,000, he already has the top five one-day scores in the history of a game that has aired regularly since 1984.

The professional gambler from Las Vegas is quick on his feet and quick with the buzzer, displays an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and — true to his profession — is cold-blooded in his willingness to risk big sums of money.

The show's most hallowed records, set in 2004 when Ken Jennings won 74 games in a row and earned more than $2.5 million, seem like a plausible goal.

"James is just a perfect 'Jeopardy!' machine," Jennings told The Associated Press this week.

Like most of the game's best players, he did his share of studying in advance, finding that books geared to young people were a good way to learn about unfamiliar topics. He built a replica of the show's buzzer and practiced while playing along on TV, standing in his living room like he has to do now in front of a podium. Holzhauer says he rarely guesses — he doesn't like those odds — but seems never to have forgotten a fact.

"My goal was just to be less nervous than the other players," he said. "Whenever I felt overwhelmed, I snapped my fingers three times and pictured a fun snow festival with my daughter."

He did have one audacious goal: to honour his daughter by winning $110,914 in a single episode, since her birthday was Nov. 9, 2014. He accomplished that on his fourth show.

His strategy is to begin games with the highest-value clues, hoping to quickly build winnings and land on the one "Daily Double" in the first round. When he does, he usually bets everything, punctuating it with a motion that makes it seem like he's pushing in all his chips. If he's wrong, there's enough time to earn more money. But he's rarely wrong.

The two "Daily Doubles" in the game's second round are also coveted. He doesn't bet everything then, but he puts a lot on the line.

Holzhauer said show host Alex Trebek once told him that he doesn't gamble because he could win $1,000 and not care, but that losing $20 annoys him.

"I'm not surprised that most contestants don't gamble the way I do," he said. "Loss aversion is a very real factor."

The Final Jeopardy round gives him one more chance to place a big bet. On the show that aired April 17, Holzhauer bet $60,000 on the category of 20th Century literary figures. The clue was: His first name refers to the ancient district in which you'd find the Greek capital; his surname is a bird.

He correctly answered: Who is Atticus Finch?

"Most 'Jeopardy!' players never think about maximizing winnings," Jennings said. "I never did. I just wanted to survive the game and get to play again. But he's a sports bettor. Maximizing winnings is everything to him. I wouldn't have the stomach to bet $60,000 on a Final Jeopardy clue. What if you get that wrong, and you have to come back in five minutes and play another game knowing that you just blew a year's salary on a single trivia question? Psychologically, I doubt that I could have rattled off a long streak doing that. But James just seems to be made for those dangerous plays. He's a cool customer."

Jennings can envision future players trying to imitate Holzhauer's strategy of building up big winnings fast. But in a lesser player, that could be disastrous.

"I'm not sure I can really bet any more boldly than I have already," Holzhauer said. "I can keep my foot on the accelerator, though."



Big Sugar leads festival

Canadian reggae-rock icons Big Sugar are coming to the Okanagan this summer, along with opening act Econoline Crush.

The band will headline Gonzo Okanagan’s second annual Music Industry Golf Tournament & Festival June 14 at Sunset Ranch Golf Club in Kelowna.
 
This year’s event supports MusiCounts, and brings together musicians and fans for an 18-hole Texas scramble/best ball golf and concert festival. The unique event features music on every tee box, and throughout the festival site from morning to night.
 
Sunset Ranch is turned into a festival grounds for the event, which features live music from 3:30 to 10 p.m.
 
“Our goal is to build the most unique golf tournament and festival out there, not only by distributing live music throughout the event, but also by having our contribution to MusicCounts help put music in the hands and ears of our communities’ children," says organizer Brad Krauza.
 
“At Gonzo Okanagan, we believe music can change lives in many ways. Music can bring joy, create memories, we believe, also heal. Together, through music, we can make a difference."



Ballet leaps into Spring

Ballet Kelowna closes its 2018-19 season with Spring, May 3-4 at Kelowna Community Theatre.

The program introduces three world premieres from a trio of Canadian female choreographers, offering refreshing takes on works by Igor Stravinsky.

Heather Dotto’s jovially abstract Petrushka reflects on a puppet’s desire to be human, while Amber Funk Barton’s Firebird is a dynamic examination of heroism. Rite of Spring is a powerfully raw exploration of liberation from oppression by Ballet Kelowna artistic director Simone Orlando.

The evening will conclude with the company premiere of tender-hearted Spring from one of Canada’s top emerging talents, Alysa Pires, creator of the effervescent fan-favourite MAMBO.

“With Spring, we bring our exploration of the earth’s seasons and its transcendent qualities to a triumphant end with four works that burst with vitality, strength, and vision,” says Orlando. 

Tickets are on sale now at balletkelowna.ca.



Grande pelted with lemon

Ariana Grande temporarily halted her Coachella performance on Sunday night after an audience member threw a lemon at her.

The 25-year-old singer was performing her headline set at the second weekend of the music festival in Indio, California, and strutted down a runway on the stage during a medley of tunes when the piece of fruit came hurtling at her from the crowd.

Luckily, the offending missile missed Ariana's face but hit her squarely in the chest - causing the star to glance at it before continuing with the performance. She later paused the set, apparently an unscheduled halt - and told the audience: "That's 'cause one of y'all threw a lemon at me. S**t."

It has since been speculated that rumours of a pay row surrounding previous Coachella headliner Beyonce may have been responsible for the lemon-throwing incident. It was claimed that Beyonce, who released her groundbreaking visual album Lemonade back in 2016, earned $4 million for her performance at the 2018 festival, while Ariana earned $8 million.

However, an insider later clarified to The Blast that Beyonce actually took home $4 million per weekend - meaning they both earned $8 million for two weekends of performances.

"We're told the contracts for Grande and Beyonce were structured exactly the same way - $4 million for the first weekend and another $4 million for the second," the source said.

Others put the lemon throwing down to a drunk and/or unruly fan in the crowd, with the nature of the piece of fruit hurled just a coincidence.

Whatever the reasons for the pelt, thousands of fans took to social media to slam the culprit, with one writing: "Someone threw a lemon at our baby!!! Who the f**k throws lemons at a concert??Wtf s**t... this ain't no one direction concert right @ArianaGrande?"

Another wrote: "Y'all I wake up to find out someone threw a LEMON at Ariana Grande last night a Coachella... y'all really out here being CHILDISH."



Britney reunites with BF

Britney Spears took an Easter break from her stay in a mental health rehabilitation facility over the weekend to spend some quality time with her boyfriend Sam Asghari.

The Toxic hitmaker indicated she was taking a little "me time" earlier this month amid reports suggesting she had checked herself into a treatment centre in the wake of her father Jamie's own health battle.

However, she was photographed back in Los Angeles on Sunday, when she and model and actor Sam were spotted leaving The Montage Resort and Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Britney, who wore an off-the-shoulder red sundress, appeared a little disheveled as she made her way to a waiting car.

Reports suggest the singer was granted a weekend pass by wellness facility officials to visit with her loved ones, days after she was also seen at a Los Angeles hair salon.

The mother-of-two has been laying low since postponing her new Las Vegas residency in January to spend more time with her ailing dad, who suffered a ruptured colon in November and had to undergo multiple surgeries.

She had been expected to launch Domination at the Park Theater at Park MGM in February, but decided to take an indefinite break to put her "family first" at the beginning of the year.

On April 3, Britney appeared to assure fans she was OK as rumours surfaced alleging she was struggling with life.

"Fall in love with taking care of yourself, mind, body, spirit," the quote read.

She added the caption: "We all need to take time for a little 'me time'."

It's not known how long Britney plans to spend at the treatment facility, but Sam has been fully supportive of her decision to seek professional help.

Following the news of her rehab stay, he reposted Britney's Instagram quote and wrote, "It isn't weakness, It's a sign of absolute strength, people should only be inspired by this, at least I am #stronger."

The couple has been dating since late 2016.



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