People in the news
Former Biden adviser Symone Sanders to host MSNBC show
NEW YORK — MSNBC has hired Symone Sanders, former aide to President Joe Biden and spokeswoman for Vice President Kamala Harris, to host shows on its television and streaming services.
The announcement Monday continues the trend of political veterans jumping to cable news, often at dizzying speeds. Sanders announced only last month that she was leaving her job as chief spokesperson for Harris.
Sanders, 32, will host a Washington-based weekend show on MSNBC, along with a program on “The Choice from MSNBC,” a news and analysis destination on the Peacock streaming service.
MSNBC President Rashida Jones, who announced the hiring, was not immediately made available for an interview.
Sanders, from Omaha, Neb., was press secretary for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. She worked as a commentator for CNN following that campaign before signing on as a senior adviser to Biden’s campaign in 2020. A former fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, she wrote the book “No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America in 2020.”
Lionel Richie to receive
Gershwin Prize for pop music
LOS ANGELES — Lionel Richie will be honored all night long for his musical achievements.
The Library of Congress said Thursday that Richie will receive the national library’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. He will be bestowed the prize at an all-star tribute in Washington, D.C., on March 9.
PBS stations will broadcast the concert on May 17.
“This is truly an honor of a lifetime, and I am so grateful to be receiving the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song,” Richie said in a statement. “I am proud to be joining all the other previous artists, who I also admire and am a fan of their music.”
Past recipients include Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett, Emilio and Gloria Estefan and Garth Brooks.
Richie is known for his catalog of hits including “All Night Long,” “Endless Love,” “Lady,” “Penny Lover,” “Truly” and “Stuck on You.” He co-wrote the historically popular song “We Are the World” with Michael Jackson.
Before his superstar solo career, Richie was a founding member of the Commodores, a funk and soul band that made waves in the 1970s. The group had tremendous success backed by chart-climbing hits such as “Three Times a Lady,” “Still” and “Easy.”
Irish singer Sinead O’Connor’s 17-year-old son found dead
LONDON — Sinead O’Connor’s 17-year-old son, Shane, was found dead in Ireland on Jan. 7 after the Irish singer-songwriter notified authorities that he had gone missing.
Police said the missing person case was closed after a body was found in the eastern coastal town of Bray, about 12 miles south of Dublin.
O’Connor posted on Twitter that her son, “the very light of my life, decided to end his earthly struggle today and is now with God. May he rest in peace and may no one follow his example. My baby, I love you so much. Please be at peace.”
Earlier, the 55-year-old singer had appealed to her son on social media not to harm himself. She noted that he had been hospitalized following two suicide attempts.
Shane was one of O’Connor’s four children. His father was Irish musician Donal Lunny.
O’Connor first became famous for her arresting 1990 cover of the Prince song “Nothing Compares 2 U.” She emerged from an abusive family in Ireland and has been candid about her own struggles with mental illness.
Jesse Watters is Fox News’
new 7 p.m. Eastern host
NEW YORK — Fox News Channel has given its 7 p.m. Eastern hour on weeknights beginning Jan. 24 to opinion host Jesse Watters, whose star has risen at the network with the ratings success of “The Five,” where he is one of the regular panelists.
Watters will remain on “The Five,” but will give up his Saturday night show “Watters’ World,” Fox said on Monday.
Fox’s Martha MacCallum used to host a more news-oriented program at 7 p.m., but a year ago the network moved her to daytime when rival Newsmax began getting traction at that hour with host Greg Kelly. For the past year, Fox has rotated a series of guest hosts, including Watters, doing opinion shows at 7 p.m.
“Jesse’s versatility and hosting acumen has grown exponentially over the last five years, and he has developed a deep connection to the audience,” said Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News Media.
Watters will be followed in the evenings by Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.
Watters, 43, started with Fox News in 2002 as a production assistant and quickly gained an on-air role conducting hostile man-on-the-street interviews for then-Fox star Bill O’Reilly. He was elevated to his own weekend show and a role on “The Five” in 2017.
Machine Gun Kelly, Megan Fox announce engagement
LOS ANGELES — Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly are engaged.
The actor and rapper have decided to legalize their dramatically eccentric coupling, according to Instagram videos that each posted Wednesday.
Fox shared video of Kelly taking a knee at the top of a flight of outdoor stairs under the tree where the two say they fell in love in July of 2020.
“Somehow a year and a half later, having walked through hell together, and having laughed more than I ever imagined possible, he asked me to marry him,” Fox wrote in the post. “And just as in every lifetime before this one, and in every lifetime that will follow it, I said yes.”
An Instagram video from Kelly shows Fox wearing the two merged rings he had made for the occasion, with a diamond and an emerald that form “the obscure heart that is our love.”
Fox ended her post with, “and then we drank each other’s blood,” a moment not shown in the video.
It’s the second marriage for Fox, the 35-year-old star of the “Transformers” films. She was married to actor Brian Austin Green from 2010 to 2021. The two have three sons together.
It’s the first marriage for the 31-year-old Kelly, who has a daughter from a previous relationship.
Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet
split after 16 years together
LOS ANGELES — Jason Momoa and wife Lisa Bonet have ended their 16-year relationship.
A joint statement posted on the “Aquaman” star’s Instagram page Wednesday that he and his wife were parting ways.
“We have all felt the squeeze and changes of these transformational times… A revolution is unfolding (tilde)and our family is of no exception,” the post said, adding that they were announcing the split so “as we go about our lives we may do so with dignity and honesty.”
Momoa, 42, and Bonet, 54, met and started dating in 2005 and officially married in late 2017. They have a son and daughter together.
Bonet, who rose to fame playing one of Bill Cosby’s daughters on “The Cosby Show” and its spinoff, “A Different World,” was previously married to rocker Lenny Kravitz.