Who Will Be Joining Marc this Week?
Episode 13: Christina Milian
By the time she reached her twenties, Christina Milian was already one of Hollywood's biggest stars. Having an album that received two Grammy nominations, 3 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 chart, two #3 songs in the UK top 40, plus nominations by the Teen Choice Awards, the talented singer and actress is about to show what she really made of.
Cuban by ancestry, Milian who was born September 26, 1981 had known since the age of sheer four that her heart was set on entertainment business. Soon after her birth, the family moved to Maryland and later on decided to settle there with her two younger sisters. However, Milian then moved to LA, California in 1994 to pursuit a better career in showbiz. Though it took for years for Milian to get her first job, she was immediately signed by Walt Disney to be the junior reporter of Disney Channel's “Movie Surfers”. Liking this on-screen job, she agreed to make a brief appearance in one of the episodes of TV series “Sister, Sister” (1994). Then her sweet voice won her an additional voice cast in Disney's “A Bug's Life” (1998). Almost immediately, her name became a regular in popular TV series “Charmed” (1998), “Clueless” (1999) and “Get Real” (1999) as guest stars.
Not wanting to waste her musical talent, she was getting serious about the particular field. In 2000 she provided her melodious voice to Ja Rule's first single “Between Me and You” which was taken from his album “Rule 3:36” (2000). The song was a blow in music industry and quickly gained Milian a reputation. Trusted to contribute a song for Jennifer Lopez' “J.Lo” album, she didn't squander the opportunity to produce as well as provide a backing vocal for the 'hot' song titled “Play”. She also co-wrote the song “Same Ol' Same Ol” for girls band P.Y.T. Speaking about her works going for other artists' benefit, she said, “I am not greedy, so I would gladly give a song to someone else to sing if it makes more sense.”
Already known for her capability in singing and writing songs, her name as a prominent singer was never as sonorous as when she released the single “AM to PM” in 2001. The catchy lines and up-pumping rhythm became the top song in her self-titled album. It instantly sat on top 40 of U.S. Billboard Hot 100, in Netherlands and reigned top 5 in U.K. and Denmark. Her career was inevitably uprising. Thus, being a young star in music industry, she was the perfect candidate to host MTV's “Wannabe” (2001). The next year she released the second single “Whatever You Want” which still came from her self titled album and also released the U.K. version of album “AM to PM”.
Thriving in her music career, she was trusted to write the theme song for Disney's Kim Possible in 2002 which was titled “Call Me Beep Me.” Later that year, she started dating young actor, Nick Cannon. They appeared in the same movie “Love Don't Cost a Thing” (2003) where they became a matching item. Along with that first lead role, she made a comeback with yet another amazing album “It's About Time” (2004). Still employing R&B style, Milian hit #2 in the U.K., #5 in the U.S. and top 40 in Australia with the first single “Dip It Low”. The album itself earned the 2005 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary R&B Album, while the single was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Besides reaching such attainment, the album also marked Milian's physical transformation which according to many was too similar to Beyonce Knowles. In fact, she remained true to her identity, saying “I myself, just the type of person that I am, I like being friends with everybody.”
Recommended personally by director Joseph Kahn, she was to appear in “Torque” (2004) as Nina and continued taking bigger roles in “Man of the House” opposite Tommy Lee Jones and “Be Cool” alongside John Travolta and Uma Thurman in 2005. Apart from the gleaming career, Milian still spared some slots between her time consuming schedules for charity works. Hosting “The Reign”, an event designed to raise fund for HIV/AIDS awareness and also involving herself in Fresh Air Fund, an organization focusing on inner city children, she was awarded Outstanding Achievement Award with actor and singer Eric West. Besides, she prepared a more mature 3rd album with mentors Jay-Z and L.A. Reid. While in 2006, she made her presence in movie industry more notable by appearing in horror movie “Pulse”. Upon answering the question of her priority between singing and acting, she said, “If music could go my way, I would say music. But, y'know, movies pay the bills. And I could always play a musician in a movie.”
Episode 12: Michael Yo
Michael Yo is an actor, TV Host, Hollywood expert and stand-up comedian. Best known for his work on E!’s Chelsea Lately, this self-proclaimed “Half-Black Brother with a Korean Mother,” has appeared on The Daily 10, E! News, Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami and his own show, Yo on E! Michael has been a correspondent on Showbiz Tonight, Today, EXTRA and currently can be seen on CBS’s The Insider as well as a regular guest on The Talk.
You can catch Michael on the silver screen in Losing Control, Cookout 2 and Sofia Coppola’s Bling Ring. Michael has appeared at numerous comedy clubs across the country including: Improv’s, Stand-Up Live, Palms Hotel, Laugh Factory, Comedy Store, and Comedy Juice among others. His Hot Mess Tour also performs at colleges throughout the country.
Episode 11: Randy Spelling & Sarah Colonna
Randy Spelling is an ICF Certified Life Coach. He has a keen ability as an Intuitive Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, Writer and Spiritual Facilitator. Randy does relationship coaching, spiritual coaching and career coaching. He works with clients and groups all over the world in discovering who they are and utilizing their own unique gifts to express themselves. Randy has been called a gentle and powerful leader who encourages people to look within to find meaning and purpose in life. Although, anything to do with food and experiencing new things are some of Randy’s biggest joys in life, his favorite moments are the moments of connection. He says that when he can be a part of watching someone realize how truly special they are, there is nothing more enjoyable than that.
Randy was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He became a Life Coach in Los Angeles, CA and He grew up in the center of Los Angeles in a Hollywood family. Growing up quickly and going through many things at a young age, Randy had the chance to learn through experience how to be fulfilled from the inside out, not the outside in. This nurtured a fascination with psychology, human behavior, emotions, relationships, health and spirituality. He now lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and two daughters. As a Life Coach, he loves working with people in the Portland area face to face or in Los Angeles, CA when he travels back there. He enjoys working with clients from all over the world by phone or skype, facilitating groups, leading workshops and being a family man. He also enjoys traveling, hiking, being outdoors and laughing a lot.
Sarah is well known as a popular roundtable regular on the hit late night talk show “Chelsea Lately.” She also served as a full time writer on “Chelsea Lately,” as well as a producer, writer and star of the show’s spin-off scripted series “After Lately.”
She was recently seen in Michael Rosenbaum’s new movie “Back in the Day,” alongside Rosenbaum, Nick Swardson, Harland Williams, Morena Baccarin and many others. She’s also recently appeared in Diablo Cody’s “Paradise,” CBS’ “Battle Creek,” and “Killing Hasselhoff” with Ken Jeong.
Her first book, “Life as I Blow it,” debuted at number 5 on the New York Times Bestseller list, followed with a sold out book tour in several major cities in the country. It was also sold to NBC to be developed for television with producers Happy Madison two years in a row. Her second book, “Has Anyone Seen My Pants,” is due for release March 31st, 2015.
Sarah continues to tour across the country headlining comedy clubs regularly. She’s appeared on several other TV shows, including “The United States of Tara,” “Scare Tactics,” and “Monk,” and was a semi-finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.”
Episode 10: Tony Horton
Meet Tony Horton, the master behind the best selling fitness program in America P90X®. Tony helps people get fit all over the world by keeping them motivated in health, physique, and lifestyle. Over the last 20 years Tony has acquired, perfected, and shared his fitness expertise with countless individuals across America. From professional athletes, sports teams, television and major movie stars, recording artists to the average American, Tony has helped people turn their lives around with the perfect mix of encouragement, humor, discipline and fun.
His expertise includes post-rehabilitation training, advanced stretching, yoga, weight/resistance training, cardiovascular/aerobic training, boxing and kickboxing, plus circuit, cross and interval training. Aside from his powerful programs with Beachbody and operating ASH Fitness, a state-of-the-art training facility in Santa Monica, California, Tony hosts a minimum of three fitness camps per year where he personally helps scores of people meet their goals.
His first book “Bring It,” with Rodale books debuted January 2010, and his second eBook “Crush It,” debuted in May 2012. Tony completed a fourth tour with Armed Forces Entertainment – the Tony Horton “Ripped and Ready” Tour, where he traveled overseas to Japan, Italy, Bosnia, Kosovo and Germany. Here he reached our soldiers, airmen, sailors and their families motivating them with a fitness regime geared especially for them. Tony loved helping teach and lecture on how working out is the practical tool that helps them prepare for the rigors of their job. Tony also regularly goes to Washington, D.C., where he is the race marshal for the National Press Club’s 5K yearly Race. He also whips about 140 members of Congress into shape on Capitol Hill at the Results Gym. He did his first workout at the Pentagon this June. He has also warmed up the crowd for our First Lady, Michelle Obama and her “Let’s Move Campaign.”
Tony has been featured in numerous national publications like Men’s Fitness, Fitness, SELF, Women’s Health, People, LA HEALTH, ESPN, Washington Post, Washington Examiner, Politico, LA Times, Roll Call, Military Times and has made multiple appearances on National Television, including CNN, ABC, A&E, NBC, CBS, FOX and TV Guide Network. His training techniques have produced amazing results for TV celebrities such as Without a Trace’s Poppy Montgomery and Roselyn Sanchez, Brothers and Sisters star Rob Lowe, James Bond star Sean Connery and legendary film star Shirley MacLaine. Music celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen, Usher, Tom Petty, Billy Idol, Annie Lennox and Sheryl Crow credit Tony for their mean touring machines. Former New York Giant Carl Banks. Finally, current Philadelphia Eagle David Akers, credits the P90X® Extreme Home Fitness program with helping him set the NFL record for most consecutive post-season field goals in 2011.
With a whopping $500+ million in sales of an extremely impressive library of fitness programs like the highly acclaimed P90X®, Power 90®, One on One with Tony Horton, Ten Minute Trainer, Power Half Hour™, Tony & the Kids! (for ages 5 to 12), Tony & the Folks! (for senior citizens), and Great Body Guaranteed!™, this East Coast (Rhode Island, CT) native incorporates his personal training experience and engaging personality to get people of all ages moving and digging deep to get their best results.
Episode 9: Hana Mae Lee
An American-Korean actress (comedian), an artist and a fashion designer.
She plays a role,'Lily' a quiet college student in the musical comedy film, "Pitch Perfect”. Hana Mae began her career modeling and doing commercials from the age 16. Booking over four dozen national campaigns, she modeled for campaigns such as Jeep, Honda, Verizon, Apple, Sebastian, American Express, and Nokia having shot with the world's top photographers such as Ellen Von Unwerth. On the small screen, Hana Mae began her career as a guest star on CBS' "Mike & Molly," playing Soo-Jin, a high maintenance girlfriend of Abe of Abe's Hot Beef, who hates manual labor yet forced to fill in as a waitress. She also guest starred on the ever popular Comedy Central television series "Workaholics." Hana Mae began performing stand-up comedy in 2009. Her comedy sets are known to be fierce, avant guard and ballsy. That same year, Hana Mae helped break "get gaysian," a comedy duo. Performing with Matthew John Daly; her good friend and fellow alumni of Baron Brown Studios where they met. Their comedy styling includes stand-up, sketch, impersonations, original characters and singing. An Alumni of Otis College of Art and Design with a BFA in fashion design, Hana Mae began her own jewelry line in 2001; Hanamahn ("just one" in Korean). And in 2010 Hana Mae expanded into apparel and outerwear. She says her designs have the intention of "dare to inspire" rather than to the trends that come and go so quickly. The one of a kind pieces have been worn by collectors, musicians, actors and business creatives.
A California native, Hana Mae Lee brings a fresh take on life and what it means to be creative in everything she does. Staying clear away from the adjective, "normal," Hana Mae grew up in Los Angeles loving the intricate details of life. She puts her authentic touch on anything she creates, be it a garment or a character on screen. Hana Mae currently resides in Santa Monica, CA with her bearded dragon named Emmanuel.
Episode 8: Marissa Jaret Winokur
Marissa Jaret Winokur is best known for creating the role of “Tracy Turnblad” in the hit Broadway musical Hairspray, a performance for which she won a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress. As Hairspray reached the end of its Broadway run, Winokur returned to close the show, reviving her role as the zaftig lead. Currently she can currently be seen as co-host of "All About Sex" on TLC.
Winokur danced her way into the hearts of America on the hit ABC series, Dancing With the Stars, where her stellar performance and fan-favorite personality placed her 4th in the competition. She has been seen co-starring with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon in the Farrelly Brothers film Fever Pitch from Fox 2000, and on the hit comedy Stacked with Pamela Anderson on FOX. Winokur also starred in the Lifetime movie It Was One of Us. Winokur was most recently seen as the host of Oxygen Network’s dance and weight loss competition entitled Dance Your Ass Off. The show, which has been described at The Biggest Loser meets Dancing With the Stars, had the most watched original series premiere in Oxygen Networks history.
A native of New York, Marissa started her career on the stage, appearing as “Jan” in the Broadway production of Grease. After moving to Los Angeles, Marissa quickly landed roles in the features Teaching Mrs. Tingle and Never Been Kissed. These were followed by her memorable roles in Scary Movie and American Beauty, where she immortalized the phrase “You are so busted.” In television, she starred alongside Fran Drescher and Mark Consuelos in the ABC Family Channel romantic comedy Beautiful Girl. Winokur also Executive Produced the film, which was the network’s highest rated original movie of the year. Marissa has recurred on Dharma and Greg and Moesha, and her guest starring roles include Curb Your Enthusiasm, Jack and Bobby, Just Shoot Me, Felicity, and Get Real.
Marissa, her husband, comedy writer, Judah Miller and their son Zev reside in Los Angeles
episode 7: Lance Bass & michael turchin
As a young boy, Bass dreamed of becoming an astronaut, so much so that his father took him to Florida's Cape Canaveral to see a shuttle launch when Bass was 9 years old. But after getting a chance to sing with his church choir, Bass started to rethink his dreams.
He performed frequently at Clinton High School and began taking voice lessons with a vocal coach, who soon put him in touch with another one of his young singers, Justin Timberlake. At the time, Timberlake had begun singing with three others, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick, and they needed another member to round out the group. Following an audition with Timberlake and his bandmates, Bass was asked to join them. Together, they formed the all-male singing group 'N Sync, which would become a foundation piece of the bubblegum pop craze of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The band's first album, No Strings Attached, sold a record-breaking 2.4 million copies its first week, launching 'N Sync as an unrivaled force in pop music. The band released a second album, 2001's Celebrity, before breaking up in 2002.
In the years since 'N Sync's demise, Bass has pursued work as an actor and producer. In 2008, he competed on the hit reality show Dancing with the Stars, and wound up finishing third.
He's also continued to be a science and math buff. In 2002, he made headlines by trying to partner with Russian space officials and become the youngest person ever to go into space. Bass had hoped to turn the event into a reality TV series, but was unable to finalize the deal after failing to secure the $20 million needed to pay for his training and flight.
Michael Turchin was born and raised in the cultural melting pot that is Miami Beach, Florida. From an early age he showed an immediate love and ability to create impressive works of art, and by age 10 he had several pieces chosen to be held permanently on display at the Department of Education in Washington DC. After high school, Michael entered and ultimately graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelors of Science in Finance. Instead of pursuing a career in business, Michael made the decision to move to Los Angeles to pursue his passion for both the dramatic and visual arts.
Inspired by the Hollywood’s effervescent pop culture, Michael decided to once again pick up a paint-brush and delve back into what he knows best. Using bursts of color, dynamic patterns, and drawing from popular graffiti art, Michael has created a modern signature take on retro celebrity-driven pop art. In just over six months he has already begun to make a name for himself in the Los Angeles art scene and has been commissioned by celebrities including Jamie Lynn Sigler, Sela Ward, Lance Bass, Joanna Garcia-Swisher, Aj Mclean, and Lisa Vanderpump among others. Michael is eager to make a permanent splash in today’s popular art scene, and at the current rate his mark will be as bold as his paintings.
Lance Bass married Michael Turchin in December 2014.
Episode 6: Taylor Dayne & chaz dean
From platinum pop songs to chart-topping dance hits, Taylor Dayne is one of the most popular vocalists of the modern age. She has enjoyed Top 10 hits in three consequent decades, selling a combined 75 million singles and albums along the way. Originally signed by music mogul Clive Davis in the 1980s, Dayne has become a true crossover artist, someone whose popularity spans multiple generations and many different music formats.
With the release of her first two albums, 1988's Tell It to My Heart and 1989's Can't Fight Fate, Dayne racked up three number 1 singles: "Tell It to My Heart," "Love Will Lead You Back" and "Prove Your Love to Me." Her Grammy-nominated songs could be heard across the radio dial, from Top 40 pop stations to adult contemporary channels. Meanwhile, Dayne sang in front of audiences across the world, even joining Michael Jackson for the European leg of his sold-out "Bad" tour.
As the '80s gave way to the '90s, she began establishing herself as a film, television and stage actress, too, appearing alongside Warren Beatty in the movie "Love Affair," starring in Elton John's Broadway award-winning production of Aida, and playing Grizzabella in the 2013 Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival's production of "CATS." She also gained notice not only for her singing ability, but her songwriting skills, as well. Several of Dayne's gold and platinum-selling solo albums featured her own compositions, and "Whatever You Want," a song she co-wrote for Tina Turner, became a Top 40 hit in 10 different countries in 1996.
After taking a break from music to raise her two children, Dayne made a highly publicized return with her 2008 release, Satisfied. She co-wrote the album's lead single, "Beautiful," which climbed to number 1 on the dance charts. It was her 17th time cracking the Top 10 on the Billboard charts. Two years later, Dayne performed the official theme song of the 2010 Gay Games, "Facing a Miracle." She followed that song's release with her 18th Top 10 hit, "Floor on Fire," and continued making appearances on film and TV. Fans of "American Idol" even chose her as the top candidate to replace former judge Paula Abdul in a poll conducted by Rolling Stone, proof that Dayne was still a household name.
More than 25 years after the release of her single, Taylor Dayne continues to tour the world. She was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2012, joining other time-tested luminaries like Billy Joel and Joan Jet.
Celebrity hair stylist Chaz Dean has single-handedly transformed the beauty industry with his wildly successful WEN® Hair Care. The line has replaced detergents and sulfates in soap and shampoo with nourishing botanical ingredients that work wonders on even the most dry, damaged and frizzy hair.
A true pioneer in the green movement, Chaz began working on formulations for WEN® in 1993 and tested the products for five years before it's official debut. Clients like Jennie Garth were some of the first to try Chaz’s cleansers when he had a namesake salon in Bel-Air.
“Shampoos contain so many harmful ingredients from detergents, sulfates and surfactants that not only build up with continual use, but are simply bad for the scalp and hair,” Chaz explains. “This is why so many women struggle with premature stripping of color, frizziness, dullness, dryness.”
Born in Vermont and adopted at birth, Chaz was raised in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Arizona before moving to Los Angeles in 1985. A renowned photographer who once trimmed the hair of dolls, siblings and friends, Chaz decided to enroll in cosmetology school to further expand his creative abilities. After working at a top salon he struck out on his own and has since forged a path that has made him an international superstar.
When he’s not focusing on developing new groundbreaking products and his personal clients at Chaz Dean Studio in Hollywood, you’ll find the Los Angeles resident cooking, doing yoga, hiking with his dogs and meditating.
Episode 5: Alec Mapa
Ellen Degeneres has called him “smart, hilarious and funny. Variety has said “Alec Mapa is a freak. No one should be this talented.” With uproarious live performances and ground breaking television roles, actor and comedian Alec Mapa has entertained audiences worldwide in every imaginable medium.
Alec’s television career has gone from desperate to ugly with not one but two recurring roles on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and “Ugly Betty”. On Wisteria Lane Alec is known as Gabriel Solis’ personal shopper “Vern” . On “Ugly Betty no gossip report would be complete without the latest from Alec as fashion reporter extraordinaire “Suzuki St. Pierre” .
Audiences first discovered Alec on Broadway in the Tony Award winning production of “M. Butterfly”. He guest starred on over 40 television series, including Alias, Friends, Roseanne, Seinfeld and NYPD Blue. Alec played network television’s very first gay asian series regular role on the short lived CBS sitcom “Some Of My Best Friends”. He then starred in four seasons of the UPN sitcom “Half and Half”. Film audiences howled at Alec as “N’Cream” in the wildly popular drag queen musical “Connie and Carla”. Other films include “Playing By Heart “ ,”Marley and Me” and “You Don’t Mess with The Zohan” .Alec’s “Wisecrack “ stand up comedy special premiered on LOGO in 2005 and has since gained a huge cult following.
Alec has entertained live audiences with Rosie O’Donnell aboard her R Family Cruises and all over the world with Atlantis Cruises. Alec was awarded the prestigious Davidson Valentini GLAAD Award for promoting equal rights for the LGBT community. A tireless fundraiser Alec has toured the country on behalf of The Human Rights Campaign and The Matthew Shepard foundation earning him the unofficial title of “America’s Gaysian Sweetheart”.
Episode 4: Vivica A. Fox
Vivica keeps busy! Fox will be adding her movie star grace to the challenging Celebrity Apprentice this fall on NBC and starred as Skye on The Syfy Channel twitter phenom hit, Sharknado 2: The Second One. Also! Fox starred in the drama film, Green Card Warrior, with Manny Perez and Paige Heard. In the indie film hit, In The Hive, directed by Robert Townsend she co-starred with the late Micheal Clarke Duncan and Loretta Devine. Fox also graced the small screen in the sitcom, Mr Box Office alongside Bill Bellamy, John Lovitz and Essence Atkins playing Cassandra. Fox hosted Big, Rich Texas Reunion Special and the last two Jerseylicious Reunion Specials along with Lifetime's Prank My Mom! She guest starred in Fox Network’s Raising Hope and is also the voice of Angel Dynamite on Cartoon Network’s, New Scooby Doo. Another fun guest appearance was in the critically acclaimed Cinemax’s Femme Fatale’s second season. After completing her second season on HBO's Emmy Nominated hit comedy, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fox appeared in Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva and Hallmark's Christmas movies, "Farewell Mrs. Kringle" and “Annie Claus is Coming to Town”.
Fox has co-starred with some of Hollywood’s hottest actors, including Academy Award® winners Jamie Fox, Halle Berry and Whoopi Goldberg and Academy Award® nominees Will Smith, Uma Thurman and Queen Latifah. Fox’s feature credits include Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill,” “Ella Enchanted,” “Independence Day,” “Soul Food,” “Batman and Robin,” “Kingdom Come,” “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” and “Juwanna Mann.” She also co-produced and starred in “The Salon” with Academy Award® nominee Terrence Howard and in “The Hard Corps” alongside Jean Claude Van Damme. Fox's television films include Showtime's Hendrix and the ABC/Disney movie, A Saintly Switch opposite David Alan Grier and Rue McClanahan.
Some of Fox’s most memorable characters are also seen in such films as Independence Day, Set It Off, Soul Food, Batman and Robin, Kingdom Come, Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Double Take, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Juwanna Mann, Boat Trip and Idle Hands.
On the comedic film front, Fox co-starred with Jessica Simpson in Private Valentine as well as produced and starred in Three Can Play That Game with Tony Rock. Switching over to dramatic roles, Fox starred as an FBI Agent in the suspense thrillers Junkyard Dogs and a detective in Trapped in Haitian Nites. Fox returned to her action roots in The Hard Corps, with Jean-Claude Van Damme, and also co-starred in Cover, directed by Bill Duke.
In the world of reality, Fox hosted TV Land’s, The Cougar, and teamed up with VH1 to executive produce and host, Glam God. Vivica was also a fan favorite on ABC’s, Dancing With The Stars and served as a judge alongside Academy Award winner Faye Dunaway on the WB's, The Starlet. On the Fox Network, Vivica also enjoyed success headlining her own sitcom, Getting Personal, opposite Elliot Gould, Jon Cryer and Duane Martin. Fox's numerous television credits include Alias, My Wife & Kids, All of Us, Eve, and Out All Night.
In 2008, Fox was honored at the NAACP Theater Awards where she received the prestigious Spirit Award for starring in and producing the stage play Whatever She Wants alongside Boris Kodjoe and Richard Roundtree. In 2005 and 2006, Fox won the NAACP Image Award and the Prism Award for Best Actress in a Television Series—Drama. In 2003 she was honored with the Lady of Soul Lena Horne Career Achievement Award. She and Will Smith won the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss for “Independence Day.” Fox has also been voted one of People magazine’s fifty most beautiful people.
Episode 3: Sara Gilbert
Sara Gilbert serves as host and executive producer of THE TALK, CBS’s Daytime Emmy Award-nominated talk show that examines topical events and contemporary issues through the eyes of five female hosts. She hosts the show alongside Julie Chen, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler and Sheryl Underwood..
A vegetarian since the age of 13 and self-proclaimed imperfect environmentalist, Gilbert published her second book, “The Imperfect Environmentalist, A Practical Guide to Clearing Your Body, Detoxing Your Home, and Saving the Earth (Without Losing Your Mind)” in 2013. Her book is an entertaining and informational read with easy tips on living an eco-friendly life.
Gilbert may be best known for her role as Darlene Conner in the long-running hit series "Roseanne," for which she earned two Emmy Award nominations and numerous other awards.
Gilbert’s additional television credits include a role on CBS’s THE BIG BANG THEORY, a starring role in “Twins,” recurring roles in “The Class,” on the Network, and “ER,” as well as guest appearances on “Will & Grace,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “24” and “Welcome to New York,” also on the Network.
Among her film credits are “Poison Ivy,” for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination, “Riding in Cars with Boys,” “Desert Blue,” “Light It Up,” “High Fidelity” and a cameo role in “The Big Tease.”
Gilbert made her directorial debut with the critically-acclaimed short film, "Persona Non Grata." The film was selected for the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.
On stage, Gilbert’s credits include the off-Broadway play “The Exonerated,” an appearance in the world premiere of Gray Stewart’s play, “Downwinder Dance,” in Ohio and a starring role in the Williamstown Theater Festival production of “The Hot L Baltimore.”
A magna cum laude graduate of Yale University with a degree in art, Gilbert's concentration was in photography. She has exhibited her photographs in New York at the Paul Morris Gallery, and her work was shown at the Deutsche Guggenheim Museum in Berlin during the summer of 2008. She lives in Los Angeles with her family. Her birth date is Jan. 29. Follow Sara on Twitter at @THEsaragilbert .
EPISODE 2: JON SECADA 12/14
Some artists rocket to stardom so completely and with such a clear and defined musical style, that we identify their music intrinsically as ours. We grant these artists the highest possible status by making their songs our private refuge, the very soundtrack of our lives. These artists are a part of who we truly are. Multiple Grammy Award-winner Jon Secada is one of those artists.
With a career spanning over two decades, two Grammy Awards, 20 million albums sold, and starring roles on Broadway, the acclaimed, romantic sounds of Jon Secada, have resulted in numerous hits in English and Spanish establishing him as one of the first bilingual artists to have international crossover success. Adored by millions around the world, Secada is recognized as an international superstar by both fans and peers alike for his soulful and melodic voice. In honor of the 20th Anniversary of his first hit (“Just Another Day”), Secada recently released his latest single and music video, “I’m Never Too Far Away,” which is currently climbing the Billboard Magazine Adult Contemporary chart.
Jon’s sound features soaring melodies accompanied by lush, detailed harmonies and accessible rhythms. His lyrics explore love, loss, separation and redemption while always focusing on the positive. His songs generate a tangible sense of hope to millions of fans around the globe. The Cuban-born, yet distinctly American recording artist, producer and songwriter Jon Secada has not only written and produced hit songs for his own career, but also written and produced numerous songs and #1 hits for such artists as Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan.
Secada’s latest single, “I’m Never Too Far Away,” celebrates a musical milestone. It marks the 20th anniversary of his professional career with a stylish contemporary radio single, still sprinkled with that instantly recognizable Secada sound. The single is also Secada’s first collaboration with Billboard Magazine’s five-time “Producer of the Year,” “Producer of the Decade” (2000–2010) and six-tiime ASCAP “Songwriter of the Year,” Rudy Perez.
Most of the songs in his career, including “Just Another Day” (Billboard Top 5 pop hit), “Angel,” (Billboard Top 10 pop hit), “Do You Believe in Us”, “If You Go”, “Too Late Too Soon”, “Same Dream” and, the soaring “Someday,” share a theme, the exploration of loss and, most importantly, the hope that can exist within that loss is everywhere. It is Secada’s lyrical mantra
in many of his songs - the constant message to his audience that something lost can be found again if you make a conscious choice to believe in hope. It’s a philosophy that perfectly describes the man as well as the artist.
The “man”, Juan Francisco Secada was born on October 4,1961, and at nine years old arrived in Hialeah, Florida, from Cuba, with his devoted mother Victoria and his heroic father Jose, who had just been released after being unjustly incarcerated for three years as a political prisoner. Once the family immigrated to the United States and started new lives in Hialeah, Florida, his parents managed a coffee shop while Secada helped out even as he attended school. It wasn’t until well into his teens that he discovered his affinity for music.
Growing up in a culturally diverse city like Miami, Secada was exposed to many different musical influences. Spanish radio was filled with salsa, merengue and tropical rhythms that he loved, but he also developed an equally deep and abiding passion for American Pop, Dance and R&B. Inspired by musical giants such as Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Elton John and Marvin Gaye, Secada’s early musical style became a fusion of all these sounds. With a touch of Latin, Soul and Blues percolating as musical undertones beneath the surface of his Pop anthems, Secada crafted a completely original style of his own and Jon Secada the “artist” was born.
After graduating from Hialeah High School, Secada enrolled at the University of Miami in the hopes of becoming an accomplished jazz musician. Education was, is and always will be, a key component to what makes him “tick.” Speaking about this time period in his life, Secada has said, “My intention when I began in this industry was to be a musician, not necessarily a recording artist, just a musician in general. And that's the reason I went to college and got my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, which have been great for me. It's helped me a lot with my career and I knew that no matter what, I could always teach and I’d be ok. I’m a big believer in education, period."
Almost immediately after graduating from school in the late 1980’s, Secada met Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Jr. and at the time, he was completely unaware of the impact this meeting would have on his career. Soon after they met, Secada was invited to join Gloria’s band as a background singer but they quickly realized his potential and he became a valuable addition to Estefan Enterprises in every conceivable way. His talent as a songwriter became evident when he started composing well-received songs including some of Gloria’s best-loved ballads.
Among other tunes, Secada co-wrote and sang background vocals on “Coming Out of the Dark,” Gloria’s Number One hit from her 1991 album Into the Light. During Gloria’s “Coming Out of the Dark” tour Jon Secada was given the life-changing opportunity of taking over the stage for a few minutes every show and performing a solo song as the lead artist. The crowd absolutely loved him and it wasn’t long before Jon was signed to a record contract and finally given an opportunity to record his own solo album.
His self-titled debut album Jon Secada (SBK/EMI), released in 1992, skyrocketed his career when it sold more than six million copies worldwide, was certified triple platinum in the U.S. and reached No. 15 among Billboard Pop albums. His debut single, “Just Another Day,”became a Number 5 Pop hit with a bullet and achieved Gold status and to this day, is Secada’s signature song that became an anthem to an entire generation. Three more Top 30 hits, “Angel,” “I’m Free,” and “Do You Believe in Us?” from the debut album all established Jon as a pop music mainstay. In addition, the Spanish-language version of the album, Otro Dia Mas Sin Verte (EMI-Latin), became the Number One Latin album of 1992 and earned Jon his first Grammy Award, for “Best Latin Pop Album.”
As a two-time Grammy award winning recording artist and a dynamic, versatile, live performer, Secada is an international superstar who is constantly touring and performing all across the globe. His versatility is evident with his numerous collaborations. He has performed with opera legend Luciano Pavarotti and recorded a duet with the late Frank Sinatra on “The Best Is Yet to Come” from Sinatra’s Duets II album. He has also recorded duets with pianist Jim Brickman, Grammy winning icon Olivia Newton-John, and collaborated on dance remixes with the legendary Pablo Flores.
In addition to his time in the recording studio for four years Jon served as a celebrity judge on the international hit show, Latin American Idol. Having enjoyed his time on television with Idol, Jon also participated as a celebrity contestant on Univision's hit dance show "Mira Quien Balia" (the Latin version of "Dancing with the Stars"), to over 10 million viewers.
Jon has devoted himself to assisting charitable groups all over the world, under his organization, "Jon Secada Charities". He has been active with many causes to help children, education, AIDS research, and child abuse. His commitment to education and helping others led him to create the Jon Secada Music Scholarship at the University of Miami. He’s also led an ongoing effort to raise awareness to Hepatitis C by partnering with pharmaceutical giant MERCK and The American Liver Foundation. For his efforts, The Pan American Health Organization recently acknowledged Secada with an award that acknowledged him as a leader in Hepatitis C awareness around the world. It is a painful but necessary subject for Secada to discuss as he recently lost his beloved father, Jose Secada, to the disease. Jose Secada’s condition was undiagnosed for much of his life and tragically, after a valiant effort, it ultimately consumed him. Jon is determined to raise awareness against this awful affliction in any way that he can.
Jon Secada’s music is filled with and informed by the deepest faith in the power of love. His music inspires us to embrace the positive side of our nature and to believe that darkness is the temporary to the constant that is light.
With his current and ongoing projects, Jon’s popularity is as strong as ever. An avid fan of social media, he is currently followed by more than 825,000 fans on Twitter. For more information on Jon, “I’m Never Too Far Away” and his concert schedule, visit www.JonSecada.com, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter @JonSecada.
EPISODE 1: TIA CARRERE 12/7
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Tia Carrere is an accomplished actress in motion pictures and television as well as a Grammy award-winning musical artist.Since she was discovered in a grocery store for her first movie role in “Aloha Summer”, she has shown her range of acting talent and versatility starring in numerous blockbusters; among them, “Wayne’s World 1 & 2” with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, “True Lies” opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Rising Sun” with Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes. Tia also voiced the character of Nani in Disney’s classic animated film and tv series “Lilo & Stitch”. Most recently, Tia co-starred in “You May Not Kiss The Bride” alongside Rob Schneider and Mena Suvari. She also can be seen in “Wild Cherry” with Rumer Willis and Kristin Cavallari and “Hardbreakers” with Tom Arnold, Chris Kattan, and Sophie Monk. Currently, Tia is producing a biopic of Hawaiian surf legend Rell Sunn in which she will star.
In television, Tia launched her acting career in Los Angeles with a regular role on the daytime drama “General Hospital”. Since then she has been seen in numerous TV programs. Recently Tia could be seen recurring on “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “Nip/Tuck”, and “Back To You”. She has just been made a recurring character on SyFy network’s Warehouse 13. “Relic Hunter”, her own action/adventure television series continues to play in syndication all over the world.
Tia and her long-time friend, artist/producer Daniel Ho have been nominated for a Grammy each of the last three years and won music’s highest honor in 2009. The acclaimed CDs consist of all original Hawaiian language compositions. With ‘hawaiiana’, they reached #10 on Billboard’s World Music Chart. Prior to this, Tia performed on the double- platinum movie soundtrack for “Wayne’s World”, had the end title song on “Batman:Mask of the Phantasm” as well releasing her own Warner Bros. record “Dream.”
Episode 6: Margaret Cho 7/20
Born Margaret Moran Cho on December 5, 1968, Margaret Cho grew up on San Francisco's Haight Street during the 1970s. "There were old hippies, ex-druggies, burnouts from the '60s, drag queens and Chinese people," the Korean-American comic said of her official site. Her upbringing provided plenty of fodder for Cho's early standup days. Her first comedic inspiration may have been her father, who once wrote Korean jokes books.
Humor definitely helped a pubescent Cho deal with teenage angst and bullying. She started doing standup at age 14, and by the 1990s, she had moved to Los Angeles, where her comic career gained traction. Cho's first nighttime gig was on The Arsenio Hall Show. She became known for her outspoken and sometimes crude routines, as well as an ability to shed light on prejudices and stereotypes, especially those relating to gays, women and Asian-Americans.
Cho followed in the footsteps of other comedians by eventually earning her own TV sitcom: All-American Girl debuted on ABC in 1994, and was based on Cho's real life as a rebellious Korean-American young woman amidst more traditional relatives. The series was groundbreaking, as it was the first primetime show to focus on an Asian-American family. While it was supposed to be her real big break, Cho has always been quite vocal over her dissatisfaction with the show, especially with, as she calls it, the network haranguing her to "act more Asian" and lose weight. In fact, Cho has often recalled publicly how she wound up with kidney failure after starving herself for her series.
Despite the cancelation of All-American Girl after only 19 episodes, Cho's comic career continued to soar, especially after her critically acclaimed off-Broadway show, I'm the One that I Want, which was also developed into a concert film. Her Notorious C.H.O. performance at Carnegie Hall led to another smash film. The tours and taped specials haven't stopped since, nor has Cho's interest in TV stardom. She took another stab at her own program in 2008: VH1's The Cho Show was a scripted reality approach to the comic’s life, featuring her real life entourage and parents. The following year, she was cast on Lifetime's hit show, Drop Dead Diva, as lead actress Brooke Elliot's assistant sidekick—a role that Cho has continued for four seasons.
For her many years in showbiz, Cho finally earned an Emmy nod in 2012 for her hilarious gender-bender guest portrayal as North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. "It's shocking to me how much I really look like him," Cho said in an NBC.com video.
But that's not the only role in recent years that garnered the performer media buzz. Cho competed on season 11 of ABC's Dancing with the Stars (2010). While she didn't last long in the competition, Cho did stir up the press by doing a Samba to Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" while wearing a gay-pride-themed dress, and later voicing her opinions on the need to protect today's gay youth from bullying.
Cho's activism isn't new: She's been at the forefront of gay rights, anti-bullying and anti-racism campaigns for years, and her efforts have been honored organizations like Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the American Women in Radio and Television, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Gay rights is in particular is a cause near and dear to Cho’s heart. In an interview with The New York Times Magazine, she said, "I refer to myself as gay, but I am married to a man [artist/writer Al Ridenour]. "Of course, I've had relationships with women, but my politics are more queer than my lifestyle."
Episode 5: Vansessa Lachey / Denise Richards 7/13
Born Nov. 9, 1980 at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, Minnillo's mother was a Filipino native who married Minnillo's father, a USAF aircrew member, while he was stationed at Clark. The couple separated when the youngster was only six, with her mother gaining custody of her and her older adopted brother, Vince. The three then set about moving around the world, living in Florida, Nevada, Japan and Germany. After the mother remarried another serviceman, the family moved to Turkey. It was the last time that Minnillo and her brother would live with their mother, as she returned her children to their father in Charleston, SC, following Saddam Hussein's invasion of neighboring Kuwait. The young girl spent the rest of her childhood in Charleston with her father and stepmother, remaining estranged from her mother until she was 19 years old. As a cheerleader at Bishop England High School in Charleston, Minnillo's unique, exotic beauty turned quite a few heads. She loved performing in front of a crowd so much that a friend suggested that she enter the Miss South Carolina Pageant. She not only took the crown, but swept all the categories.
Buoyed by her success, she entered the 1998 Miss Teen USA Pageant. She won again, this time taking home $150,000 in cash and prizes. Unfortunately, for Minnillo, her first big televised moment was pre-empted by President Clinton's live speech regarding the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Following her incredible pageant success, Minnillo decided on a change of plans. Instead of going directly to college, she opted to move to Los Angeles in search of ubiquitous fame and fortune. Her camera-friendly face landed her small jobs as host on Fox Sports and a short stint on the soap opera "The Bold and The Beautiful" (CBS 1987- ). In 2003, she began her all important relationship with MTV, following an appearance on "Beach House 2003." MTV executives liked what they saw and Minnillo was given her first big break as the host of "Total Request Live" (1998- ). Within a matter of days, she was on a plane from L.A. to New York City.
Once ensconced in New York, people immediately took notice of the 5'8" stunner. In particular, she caught the roving eye of Derek Jeter, the Yankee's star short-stop with a well documented history of dating beautiful women in Hollywood. Jeter and Minnillo embarked on what would become a tumultuous on-again off-again romance in November 2003. They were spotted all over NYC hot spots, including courtside at Knicks games - all of which garnered the starlet considerable tabloid ink. In April of 2006, Vanessa starred in Nick Lachey's music video for his song "What's Left of Me" - a ditty about the very public demise and heartbreak of his marriage to pop singer Jessica Simpson. In the weeks following the shoot, Minnillo and Lachey were spotted getting cozy in NYC and Las Vegas, but it wasn't long before Lachey was out and Minnillo was back with Jeter. Ironically, in a 2004 interview, Minnillo had named Lachey and Simpson's reality show "Newlyweds" as her favorite MTV show.
In 2005, Minnillo's career continued its upward trajectory when, in addition to her "TRL" gig, she became the New York correspondent for "Entertainment Tonight" (CBS 1981- ). One "ET" assignment in particular put her on the non-MTV radar - she donned a fat suit under the pretense of shining a spotlight on what overweight people go through each day out on the street. Minnillo, who was apparently unaware of the cruelty of others, was said to have felt shocked and horrified when people sneered at her or simply ignored her. In an ironic twist, that same year Maxim magazine named Minnillo No. 62 on their Hot 100 List. Striking while the iron was hot, she made her feature film debut with a cameo as the wedding date of the Human Torch (Chris Evans) in the superhero hit sequel, "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" (2007), followed by a starring role in the parody "Disaster Movie" (2008), an aptly-titled box-office disaster. After a brief separation in 2009, Minnillo and Lachey reconciled and by 2010 were officially engaged.
Lachey and Minnillo were married in an intimate ceremony held on the privately-owned island of Virgin owner, Richard Branson, in July 2011. Shortly thereafter, she announced via Twitter that she had adopted her husband's last name professionally and from that point on would be known as Vanessa Lachey. During this same period, Ms. Lachey expanded her acting résumé with guest turns on such popular TV series as "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005- ), "CSI: NY" (CBS, 2004- ) and "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006- ). She put her hosting experience to good use once again in 2011 when she replaced Jill Wagner as one of the co-hosts on the obstacle course reality competition show, "Wipeout" (ABC, 2008- ).On September 12, 2012, they welcomed son Camden John into their lives. In the spring of 2012, Lachey broke the news that she and her husband were expecting their first child. She has just revealed that she is pregnant with her second child.
Denise Lee Richards was born in Downers Grove, Illinois, on February 17, 1971, and moved with her family to Oceanside, California, when she was 15 years old. Her parents, Joni, a small business owner, and Irv, a telephone engineer, are entrepreneurs that own the Jitters chain of coffee shops in Oceanside, California. Denise Richards and her sister Michelle were always active in sports; Denise played on a boy’s baseball team as a child.
Following her 1989 graduation from El Camino High School in Oceanside, Richards was signed by a modeling agent and quickly began working internationally, traveling to Paris, Tokyo, New York and other cities to do photo shoots and commercials. She also worked as a make-up artist for Bonne Bell cosmetics.
Richards was soon hit by the acting bug and started to audition for various roles in Los Angeles. She scored bit parts on television shows including Saved By the Bell, Married With Children, Seinfeld, Melrose Place and Friends, but gained wide attention for her first starring role in the 1997 big-budget film Starship Troopers, directed by Paul Verhoeven. The film brought in over $120 million in worldwide box office receipts—the mark of a hit movie. Richards was nominated for a Blockbuster Entertainment Award (favorite female newcomer) for her performance in the film.
The actress gained even more recognition for her next film role, a manipulative rich girl in the 1998 erotic thriller Wild Things, starring opposite Neve Campbell and Matt Dillon. The following year, she won a coveted role as a Bond girl in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, playing nuclear physicist Christmas Jones opposite Pierce Brosnan.
Richards continues to be a favorite of men’s magazines—she has consistently been featured in sexy titles like FHM, Maxim and Men’s Health. She posed nude for Playboy in 2004—five months after her first daughter’s birth.
Partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Richards appeared on the eighth season of ABC's hit dancing-competition show, Dancing with the Stars, in 2009.
Episode 4: Ian Ziering 7/6
Ian Ziering (pronounced "EYE-AN" and rhymes with Brian) was born on March 30, 1964 and was raised in West Orange, New Jersey, a suburb of New York City. By the mid-1970s, young Ian was landing spots in national commercials at the age of 12, which led to roles in various soap operas and stage plays, most notably "Guiding Light," the Broadway production of "I Remember Mama," and a national touring production of "Peter Pan." In 1981, he made his feature film debut as Brooke Shields' little brother in "Endless Love" - a film that also marked the big screen debuts of Tom Cruise and James Spader.
However, in 1990, Ziering landed the role that would change his life - Steve Sanders on the teen drama, "Beverly Hills 90210." The show brought instant worldwide fame to the cast. Ian was suddenly an international heartthrob, and he played the role for the show's entire 10-year run. During his years on "90210," he was also featured in various films and television shows, including Russell Crowe's "No Way Back," "What I Like About You" and "Melrose Place," to name a few.
Since "90210," Ziering has appeared on numerous television shows including "CSI: NY," "JAG" and Fran Drescher's "Happily Divorced." In addition, he has continued to be one of the most in-demand actors for various animated films and television shows including "Spider-Man," "The Mighty Ducks," "Batman Beyond" and "Biker Mice from Mars." In 2005, in a real change of pace from his normal acting roles, Ziering also appeared in the Tony Scott feature film thriller, "Domino," with Keira Knightley. Other film credits include National Lampoon's "The Legend of Awesomest Maximus," "That's My Boy" with Adam Sandler, "An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars" with Nia Vardalos, and the forthcoming "Snake and Mongoose."
In 2007, Ziering showed the world that he was a true triple threat when he signed on to the fourth season of the hit ABC series, "Dancing with the Stars." A fan and judge favorite with his partner, two-time Mirror Ball Champion Cheryl Burke, the pair eventually danced into the show's semifinals. In addition to his ongoing acting roles and voiceover work, Ian is a much sought-after television host and was most recently seen hosting HGTV's "A-List Pets."
2013 proved to be a major year for Ziering both professionally and personally. In June, at 49 years old, Ian became a Las Vegas headliner when he starred as the special celebrity guest host of the award-winning production of Chippendales at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. Taking on this new role, the actor hit the gym and dropped 30 pounds, transforming himself into a fit and muscular man, thrilling the sold-out audiences. His Chippendales' engagement brought him a new wave of fans and international acclaim, thrusting him once again into the limelight.
During his final week with the Chippendales in Las Vegas, Ian's small budget film "Sharknado" aired on the SyFy Channel, instantly becoming a social media and worldwide phenomenon. Garnering more than 5,000 tweets per minute during its initial broadcast - more than any other television show to date - Sharknado became an instant science fiction cult classic and even received a theatrical release in movie theaters around the world due to its popularity with fans.
In addition to his "Sharknado" and Chippendales successes in 2013, Ian's personal life saw some changes as well. He and his wife, nurse Erin Ludwig Ziering, welcomed their second daughter, Penna Mae. Their first daughter, Mia Loren, was born on the same day, two years earlier. The quintessential father and family man, Ian was named DaddyScrubs' Daddy of the Year 2013, an award that recognizes fathers who are extremely proactive in raising their children.
Ian shows no signs of slowing down in 2014. In June, he returns to Las Vegas to heat up the Chippendales stage once again as celebrity guest star for a limited six-week engagement. The highly anticipated SyFy movie "Sharknado 2: The Second One" will receive a simultaneous worldwide release on July 30, with Ian reprising his role as Fin Shepard. Ian also recently finished taping a celebrity competition show for a major television network.
Ian currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and daughters.
Episode 3: Olivia Newton-John 6/29
Born in Cambridge, England in 1948, the youngest child of Professor BrinNewton-John and Irene, daughter of Nobel Prize winning physicist, Max Born, Olivia moved to Melbourne, Australia with her family when she was five. By the age of fifteen, she had formed an all-girl group called Sol Four. Later that year she won a talent contest on the popular TV show, “Sing, Sing, Sing,” which earned her a trip to London. By 1963, Olivia was appearing on local daytime TV shows and weekly pop music programs in Australia. Olivia cut her first single for Decca Records in 1966, a version of Jackie DeShannon's "Till You Say You'll Be Mine." In 1971, she recorded a cover of Bob Dylan's "If Not For You," co-produced by John Farrar, who she continues to collaborate with today.
Olivia's U.S. album debut, "Let Me Be There," produced her first top ten single of the same name, with Olivia being honored by the Academy Of Country Music as Most Promising Female Vocalist and a Grammy Award as Best Country Vocalist. This proved to be only the beginning of a very exciting career. With more than 100 million albums sold, her successes include three more Grammys, numerous Country Music, American Music and Peoples Choice Awards, ten #1 hits including “Physical,” which topped the charts for ten consecutive weeks, and over 15 top 10 singles. (In September 2008, Billboard Magazine listed “Physical” at #6 on their Top 100 Songs Of All Time list and in 2010 listed it as “The Sexiest Song of All Time”.) In 1978, her co-starring role with John Travolta in “Grease” catapulted Olivia into super-stardom. This film's best-selling soundtrack featured the duets "You're The One That I Want" and "Summer Nights," with Travolta, as well as her mega-hit, "Hopelessly Devoted To You." To date “Grease” remains the most successful movie musical in history. Her other feature film credits include “Toomorrow,” “Xanadu,” “Two Of A Kind,” “It's My Party,” “Sordid Lives,” “Score: A Hockey Musical,” and “A Few Best Men.”
Olivia's appeal seems to be timeless. With a career spanning more than four decades she is still a vibrant, creative individual who is adored by fans across the world. Throughout her career, the much-loved star, who danced with Gene Kelly in “Xanadu,” hosted the popular internationally syndicated “Wild Life” television show, was bestowed an O.B.E. (Order Of The British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth in 1979, has held many humanitarian causes close to her heart, particularly since the birth of her daughter Chloe in 1986. Olivia served as Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Environment Programme and in 1991, the Colette Chuda Environmental Fund/CHEC (Children's Health Environmental Coalition) was founded after the tragic death of Chloe's best friend from a rare childhood cancer, with Olivia serving as National Spokesperson for ten years. Her devotion and shared commitment to CHEC's mission and goals enabled the organization to receive worldwide attention and support.
Her charmed life has not been without its share of upset. In the 90's, Olivia successfully overcame her own battle with breast cancer, which inspired her self-penned and produced album, “GAIA,” her most personal album reflecting upon her experiences with cancer. She used these experiences to gain greater self-awareness and became a positive inspiration to millions of people battling cancer. As a breast cancer survivor, Olivia has become increasingly well known and respected for talking openly about her battle with breast cancer and for promoting public awareness of the importance of early detection. Her personal triumph over cancer led her to announce her partnership with Austin Health and the creation of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre on the Austin Campus in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia (www.OliviaAppeal.com). The ONJCWC will provide a comprehensive range of services and facilities for cancer treatment, education, training and research including a wellness center for the mind, body and spirit and, opened on June 22, 2012.
In April 2008, Olivia led a team of fellow cancer survivors, celebrities and Olympians on a trek along the Great Wall of China and raised more than $2 million to find a new way to treat cancer and build the ONJCWC. A companion CD to benefit the ONJCWC as part of this global fundraising effort, “Olivia Newton-John & Friends: A Celebration In Song,” has been released internationally and features duets with Keith Urban, Delta Goodrem, Sir Cliff Richard, Richard Marx, Amy Sky, and Barry Gibb to name a few. Olivia continues to give back to the community generously and has been acknowledged many times by charitable and environmental organizations for her ongoing efforts, among them: the American Red Cross, the Environmental Media Association, the Women's Guild of Cedar's Sinai Medical Center, the Rainforest Alliance and Concept Cure.
Continuing her efforts to find a cure for breast cancer, Olivia launched the Liv Aid ®, a breast self-examination aid that assists women to exercise breast self-exams correctly (www.Liv.com). Olivia credits her own breast self-exam as the first step to her eventual diagnosis of breast cancer. Now, 20 years later (and cancer free) she has become a passionate advocate in creating awareness for early detection and encouraging women to take a more active role in their breast health.
In 1999, Olivia garnered an Emmy Award for her songwriting and returned to work as a performer touring extensively in the United States for the first time in seventeen years. In the new millennium, her international recognition has continued to grow. She was invited by the Vatican on behalf of Pope John Paul II to perform at the Jubilee Celebration for the Sick and Healthcare Workers and, she was thrilled to perform at the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics to an estimated global viewing audience of four billion people. Adding to this Olympic experience is what Olivia feels is one of her most memorable moments - the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch during the Olympic Torch Relay.
In 2002, Olivia was inducted into the prestigious Australian Music Hall Of Fame at the 16th Annual Aria Awards. Then, in 2006 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by friend John Travolta at the G'Day L.A. Gala. Her passion for Australia was proven once again when Olivia reunited with friend and business partner Pat Farrar to launch their distinctly Australian wines under the iconic homegrown brand Koala Blue, to proudly bring the “taste of Australia” to the rest of the world.
In February 2005, along with her business partners Gregg Cave, Warwick Evans and Ruth Kalnin, Olivia opened the Gaia Retreat & Spa in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia, as an ideal place to renew, refresh and restore. The retreat has received numerous awards since it has opened including: the Conde Nast Traveller 2008 Readers' Spa Award Winner for the “Favorite Overseas Hotel Spa: Australasia & South Pacific.” In January 2010, TripAdvisor named Gaia #3 of the “Top 10 Celebrity-Owned Hotels in the World,” putting Olivia in the company of fellow hotel owners, Robert Redford, Bono and Robert DeNiro among others. In 2011 Gaia also received the “Best Health Retreat” Award at the Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards, as well as TripAdvisor's “Traveller's Choice Award for Best Relaxation/Spa Hotels in South Pacific,” and placed #3 in the World for “Best Relaxation/Spa Hotels.”
Olivia's 2007 holiday recording, “Christmas Wish” features both new and classic holiday favorites and duets with such Grammy winners as Barry Manilow, Michael McDonald, David Foster and Jon Secada, to name a few, and was called one of the “Best Holiday CDs of 2007” by USA Today. In 2007, Olivia premiered her first concert special for Public Television - “Olivia Newton-John: Live From Sydney!” filmed at the historic Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony. A two-hour DVD release of this stunning performance, featuring additional concert footage and Olivia's personal tour of some of her favorite spots in Sydney, was released by Capitol / EMI in January 2008 and subsequently became a favorite concert special on PBS. In 2008, Olivia began co-hosting and co-producing the PBS series, “Healing Quest” and, she reprised her film role of Bitsy Mae Harling from “Sordid Lives” in the television series to rave reviews.
In 2008 Olivia married Amazon Herb Company owner and founder, John “Amazon John” Easterling. Together they are spreading the word about the importance of preserving the Rainforest and, the health values found in the botanicals of the Amazon. In addition, they are working together with the ACEER Organization (www.ACEER.org) to help the indigenous people of the Amazon gain ownership and title to their land. In September 2009, they also joined forces with Prince Charles' The Prince's Rainforest Project (www.RainforestSOS.org) to further stress the global importance of preserving the Rainforest.
In 2010 Olivia also appeared as herself in two episodes of the hit series, “Glee,” adding another Top 100 hit to her credits with a new version of “Physical” sung with Jane Lynch. In October 2010 Olivia starred in the breast cancer docudrama “1 A Minute” and, the Canadian film “Score: A Hockey Musical.” Her latest film, “A Few Best Men,” was released in January 2012, garnering her some of the best reviews of her film career.
Olivia released her first book, “LivWise: Easy Recipes For A Healthy, Happy Life” (Murdoch Books) in Australia in 2011, with all of her royalties to benefit the Wellness Programs at the ONJCWC. In “LivWise,” Olivia explains her belief in the importance of eating a healthy diet in order to maintain wellness and balance. “LivWise” will introduce readers to ways of eating and living that will keep them in good health and happiness and was released in the USA and United Kingdom in April 2012 to critical acclaim.
In 2010, Olivia was also honored with the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia from Governor General Quentin Bryce. In addition to starring in films and on television and writing books and music, Olivia continues to spend time in the recording studio. Her healing CD, “Grace and Gratitude: Renewed” (2010), which she co-wrote and produced with Amy Sky, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Magazine “New Age” chart. The soundtrack to her new film, “A Few Best Men,” features dance remixes of classic hits such as “Sugar Sugar” and “Daydream Believer” recorded by Olivia and remixed by some of the hottest club remixers in the world. In addition, the soundtrack reunites Olivia with her longtime producer and songwriter, John Farrar, on the single, “Weightless.” She is currently working on a new dance remix CD featuring some of her classic hits, as well new songs, and is set for release in 2013.
For the 2012 holiday season, Olivia and John Travolta have reunited for the first time in over 30 years and combined their iconic voices for “This Christmas,” available November 13 from Universal Music Enterprises. A true labor of love made specifically for “the giving season,” Travolta and Newton-John will donate the artist proceeds from the album equally to their respective charities, the Jett Travolta Foundation and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre. The CD is the audio equivalent of those classic network TV specials hosted from the stars’ homes, an intimate, warm set of traditional holiday songs and features special guests Barbra Streisand (“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”), Tony Bennett and the Count Basie Orchestra (“Winter Wonderland”), James Taylor (“Deck the Halls”), Chick Corea (“This Christmas”), Kenny G (“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”), Cliff Richard (“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”) and the original “I Think You Might Like It” by writer/producer John Farrar.
With her current and ongoing projects and philanthropic endeavors, Olivia's worldwide popularity is as strong as ever!
Episode 2: Carnie Wilson / Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. 6/22
Some people know Carnie Wilson as a pop singer, a progeny of one of the most famous artists of all time (Beach Boys co-founder and mastermind Brian Wilson) with her own hit-laden and Grammy Award-nominated track record with the group Wilson Phillips.
Others know her as a TV personality with a resume that includes co-hosting "The View," hosting her own talk show, "Carnie!," as well as "Bottom Line's Secret Food Cures," and acting on "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch." She also does radio and TV voiceovers, is a published author of autobiographies and a cookbook, a Playboy model and a motivational speaker for health and Morbid Obesity issues.Carnie, in her own words, is simply "a go-getter." "I like to work," she explains. "I don't like to stop moving -- like a shark! But at the same time, I never do something unless my heart's in it. I can't be fake. I really go by instinct, and it seems like everything I do has to have some kind of message behind it."People have actually been enjoying Carnie in a variety of arenas for nearly two decades now.
Music, of course, was a given considering her surroundings while growing up. "When I was five or six, we started performing for the family," she recalls. "We'd have little concerts and charge five cents. Everyone would come into the living room and we'd stand on the fireplace and perform. It was a natural thing to do."
Showing off the combined genes of the Beach Boys and the Mamas and the Papas, Wilson Phillips debuted at No. 1 in 1990 with their first single, "Hold On" -- the Billboard Music Award winner for Hot 100 Single of the Year -- selling more than 11 million copies of their three albums and producing six Top 20 singles. Carnie's voice has also graced albums by her father as well as by James Ingram, Belinda Carlisle, Billy Idol and the late Robert Palmer. In 2006, shortly after the birth of her daughter Lola Sofia, she recorded A Motherðs Gift: Lullabies From the Heart, which featured a combination of originals and covers.
Her TV career has also included a correspondent gig on "Entertainment Tonight," stints on VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club" and "That 70s Show." Her published works include two memoirs -- 2001's "Gut Feeling" and 2003's "I'm Still Hungry"-- as well as the cookbook "To Serve With Love" in 2005.
Suffering from a lifelong battle with Morbid Obesity, Carnie chose not to hide it like some celebrities might but instead turned her struggle into a vehicle to inspire others. Her cybercast gastric bypass surgery in 1999 drew more than 2.5 million hits and attracted worldwide media attention. Since then Carnie has spoken extensively about Morbid Obesity and regularly contributes her message on Lite And Hope's official web site and via her online Carnie Wilson Obesity Support Group.
In 2008 she has more endeavors planned. There are several TV ideas in the works, as well as a desire to record an a capella album with her father and sister and to one day open a restaurant. Whatever she accomplishes -- and, knowing Carnie, it's a safe bet that it will be most of that list -- it will only add to a career of achievements that will go far beyond her list of pop hits.
"I don't get bored," she says. "I'm always thinking of stuff to do, and I'm having a lot of fun. It's cool to look back and see everything I've done. That's why I get into all these different things. It's very fulfilling."
Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. have enjoyed tremendous success through the years as recording artists, performers and authors. They have received 7 Grammy Awards and earned 15 gold and 3 platinum records, and enjoyed starring roles on television and stage. They have performed to sold-out concerts around the world. They are currently celebrating 40 years in the entertainment business with a musical tribute to the hits and productions that have made up their multi-faceted careers.
The husband and wife team celebrate 38 years of marriage in 2007. In 2004 the couple wrote a book, which shares their secrets of staying happy and committed to each other in Hollywood. It’s entitled Up, Up and Away...How We Found Love, Faith and Lasting Marriage in the Entertainment World. It was written in collaboration with Mike Yorkey and was released by Northfield Publishing Company. In it, they talk about how they met, their successful musical careers, and their major struggles behind closed doors, offering practical marriage advice and spiritual encouragement along the way.
As lead vocalists of one of the top singing groups of the late 60’s and early 70’s, The 5th Dimension, they recorded such classics as UP, UP & AWAY, AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN, WEDDING BELL BLUES, ONE LESS BELL TO ANSWER, and STONED SOUL PICNIC to name a few.
After a decade with The 5th Dimension, Billy & Marilyn decided to leave the group and establish themselves as a duo. They had immediate success with the single, YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A STAR (TO BE IN MY SHOW). It was a #1 hit and earned them a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance By a Duo or Group.
That success peaked network interest and CBS-TV premiered THE MARILYN McCOO & BILLY DAVIS, JR. SHOW as a prime-time summer series in 1977. Marilyn & Billy entered the 80’s as an international success. They headlined in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Atlantic City, played to SRO crowds in concerts across the country and won the prestigious Grand Prize at the international Tokyo Music Festival. Back home, they were sought-after guests for every major television show.
In addition to the success they’ve had together, Marilyn & Billy have also enjoyed solo pursuits. McCoo hosted the popular 1980’s television music series, SOLID GOLD, for 5 years and Davis had the chance to realize a lifelong dream to record a religious album with gospel great, the Rev. James Cleveland, entitled, “Let Me Have a Dream”. He also began to explore theatrical opportunities, starring in the hit musical, BLUES IN THE NIGHT, at the prestigious Old Globe Theatre and in the role of James “Thunder” Early in a regional production of DREAMGIRLS.Over the years, the talents of McCoo & Davis have been requested for important events on a national and global level. They were invited to perform for the Pontiff during the 1987 U.S. visit of Pope John Paul II, and have participated in inaugural celebrations for presidents.
In the early 90’s, Billy & Marilyn joined the original members of The 5th Dimension for a special reunion tour, and in August, 1991, the group was honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. In 1997, Arista Records released an anthology CD of the group’s hit releases entitled UP, UP & AWAY: THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION. Also in the 90’s, Marilyn fulfilled one of her lifelong ambitions by appearing on Broadway in the revival of the musical SHOW BOAT, starring in the role of Julie.
Episode 1: Sharon Osbourne 6/15
Last summer, Sharon Osbourne wrapped her fifth season on “America’s Got Talent,” NBC’s hit reality competition series, which brings the variety format back to the forefront of American culture. In the Fall of 2010, Sharon became one of six women to host the new CBS series “The Talk”, a day time talk show that serves as a forum for honest discussion about news, motherhood, issues facing women and their personal lives. Though, Sharon is not only an acclaimed TV personality. She has been immensely successful as a manager, mother, author, producer and philanthropist.
Sharon also starred in Season 3 of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Sharon and other business-savvy celebrity contestants worked towards a greater goal as they raised over $1 million for various charities throughout the season. Sharon was on team “Tenacity” alongside Cyndi Lauper, Summer Sanders, Holly Robinson Peete, Maria Kanellis, Selita Banks, and Carol Leifer. The season finale of “The Celebrity Apprentice” aired on May 23rd, 2010.Her accomplished career in the music industry has spanned over 30 years. Sharon has managed numerous successful artists’ careers, such as Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Electric Light Orchestra, Smashing Pumpkins, Motorhead and Slade. In 1996, Sharon created and produced the biggest and most successful hard rock touring festival in America: Ozzfest. Ozzfest went on to become a prime rock occasion and recently celebrated its 13th year.
Sharon is also credited with creating and producing the first reality celebrity TV show, “The Osbournes”, which had an illustrious run on MTV, earning MTV the highest ratings for any of their programs since its conception. In 2002, “The Osbournes” won a Primetime Emmy for Best Reality Show.Sharon’s additional television credits include guest starring on “Will & Grace,” NBC’s “Days of our Lives” and “Punk’d,” among many other American series. In 2007, she wrapped her 4th season with X Factor in the UK.
Osbourne’s latest book, “Revenge,” about the competitive relationship between two sisters recently debuted at number seven on the UK charts. She’s also the author of her autobiography, “Sharon Osbourne Extreme: My Autobiography.” which has sold over 2 million copies in Europe and is the Best Selling Female Autobiography to date.
Lastly, haven beaten colon cancer, she started the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Foundation in association with Cedars Sinai Medical Center. The Foundation’s mission is to provide free screenings, support and healthcare to those who can’t afford it and are afflicted with the disease.