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By United Press International   |   May 25, 2011 at 4:00 AM

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The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

HINES WARD: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and his professional dance partner Kym Johnson are the Season 12 winners of "Dancing with the Stars."

The pair beat out fellow finalists Kirstie Alley and Chelsea Kane and their professional dance partners for the honor Tuesday night.

"Starting this competition, I never thought I'd be in the finals, but I owe it all to Kym. She is an amazing teacher and I want to thank the judges for giving us constructive criticism to help me get better each week. I also want to thank the fans," Ward said upon learning his fate.

"It's like the most extraordinary adventure I've ever been on in my life," runner-up Alley said.


LAUREN ALAINA: Lauren Alaina competed in the "American Idol" finals Tuesday night, despite losing her voice earlier in the day.

People.com said she had blown out a vocal cord during rehearsal.

TMZ said third-place holder Haley Reinhart, who was eliminated from the singing competition show last week, was on deck to battle finalist Scotty McCreery for the title if Alaina couldn't perform.

However, Alaina recovered in time and competed against McCreery as planned.

The winner will be determined by a viewer vote and announced on Wednesday's edition of the show.

Ryan Seacrest is the series' host. Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are the judges.


CHRIS MELONI: U.S. actor Chris Meloni is leaving the police procedural series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" after 12 seasons, NBC said Tuesday.

The Hollywood Reporter quoted Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, as telling advertisers in New York the network has plans to "reset the tone" of the show, which co-stars Mariska Hargitay.

Warren Leight, who is replacing Neal Baer as showrunner this fall, intends the stories to be "compelling but a little more grounded," Greenblatt said.

The Hollywood Reporter said NBC is looking for an actor to replace Meloni after lengthy negotiations failed to produce a new contract amenable to Meloni and the network.


KEYSHIA COLE: Cleveland Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson has confirmed via Twitter he married his longtime girlfriend, singer Keyshia Cole.

The couple, who announced their engagement in January 2010, are the parents of a 1-year-old son named Daniel Hiram Gibson Jr.

"It's OFFICIAL!" UsMagazine.com reported Gibson said on Twitter Monday, as he posted wedding pictures from this past weekend. "Mr. and Mrs. Gibson. We appreciate all the well wishes."

"I've come so far as a entertainer, Wife,Mother. God has been so good 2 me.. it just amazes me at times," Cole said in a separate Twitter posting Tuesday. "SO amazing. will cherish every moment."

UsMagazine.com said no details about the wedding were immediately available.

Topics: Hines Ward
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