People in the news

By United Press International  |  Dec. 20, 2011 at 4:00 AM
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The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

MISS VENEZUELA: Eva Ekvall, a former Miss Venezuela who went on to work as an actress and journalist, has died of breast cancer, her representatives said. She was 28.

The Latin American Herald Tribune said Ekvall was diagnosed with the disease last year and died Saturday.

"Sadly, cancer had the last word," writer Leonardo Padron told Globovision, adding Ekvall demonstrated "extraordinary calm and courage in her fight against cancer."

Ekvall wrote about undergoing treatment for the disease in her memoir "Fuera de Foco."

CHAZ BONO: Chaz Bono's spokesman said Monday the U.S. reality TV personality has called off his engagement to Jennifer Elia.

Bono, the transgender son of pop star-actress Cher and the late entertainer-turned-politician Sonny Bono, proposed to Elia on a TV special called "Being Chaz," which aired last month.

"They leave this relationship with great love, respect and affection toward one another. No further amplification will be forthcoming and they ask that you respect their privacy at this time," Bono's publicist Howard Bragman told TMZ.

COMMON: U.S. poet Maya Angelou says she had "no idea" rapper Common planned to use the N-word throughout a song featuring one of her poems.

Angelou told the New York Post Common, a recently acquired friend, asked her to write and recite verse to use on his new track "The Dreamer."

An example of what she penned is: "From Africa they lay in the bilge of slave ships / And stood half naked on auction blocks /... and still they dreamed."

Common's lyrics include lines like: "Told my [expletive Kanye West] I'm 'bout to win the Grammys now" and "[expletive] with no heart, I'm the peacemaker."

"I had no idea that Common was using the piece we had done together on [a track] in which he also used the N-word numerous times," Angelou told the Post, adding she feels the use of the slur is "vulgar and dangerous" to the black community.

"I'm surprised and disappointed. I don't know why he chose to do that. I had never heard him use that [word] before. I admired him so because he wasn't singing the line of least resistance," she said.

Common admitted to the Post he didn't tell Angelou he intended to use the objectionable word in the song, but he also insisted they have since talked and agreed to disagree regarding the melding of their two works in the song.

"I told her what 'The Dreamer' was about and what I wanted to get across to people," he told the newspaper. "I wanted young people to hear this and feel like they could really accomplish their dreams."

One of the dreams Common mentions in the song is living in Miami with "exquisite thick [expletive]," the Post said.

DANIEL RADCLIFFE: British actor Daniel Radcliffe will be the host of an upcoming episode of "Saturday Night Live" in New York, NBC said Monday.

Radcliffe is best known for his portrayal of the titular boy wizard in the Harry Potter movies.

He has been starring for several months in the Broadway musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."

NBC said Radcliffe is to take the stage to serve as host of "SNL" Jan. 14. The musical guest that night will be Lana Del Rey.

The National Board of Review recently declared "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" one of the 10 best films of 2011.

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