CHICAGO — The best tickets cost $1,202 and planners expect thousands of fans to pack an arena in Hoffman Estates, but the headliner isn’t Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen – it’s Glenn Beck.

The popular and polarizing multimedia celebrity is the largest name on the lineup for “Right Nation 2010,” an event aimed at uniting Midwestern conservatives, libertarians, tea partiers and Republicans six weeks before national elections.

The event planned for Sept. 18 at the Sears Centre will mark Beck’s first appearance in “Obama’s backyard,” according to organizers.

Planners hope it will spur the Midwest into leading the country in a “180” away from the direction set when President Obama was elected in November 2008, said Dan Proft, a spokesman for the conservative groups sponsoring the event.

With the possible exception of Sarah Palin, no one galvanizes conservatives the way Beck does, Proft said.

Beck headlines a lineup that includes conservative luminaries such as former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, online publisher Andrew Breitbart and Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill.

Ticket prices start at $77, but, according to the Sears Centre’s website, anyone willing to shell out more than $1,000 for V.I.P. seating can meet Beck and take home a signed copy of one of his books.

Medicine overdose puts Fantasia in the hospital

 

NEW YORK — Fantasia’s manager says the singer has been hospitalized in stable condition after taking an overdose of “aspirin and a sleep aid.”

Brian Dickens said in a statement Tuesday that the former “American Idol” winner was heartbroken and “overwhelmed” after being named in a legal filing by a woman who accused her of breaking up her marriage.

Dickens says the 26-year-old Fantasia is “a fighter and a survivor” and will be released from a North Carolina hospital soon. His statement didn’t specify where Fantasia was taken.

‘Lost’ stars looking for ideas

 

NEW YORK — Michael Emerson confirms that he and former fellow “Lost” star Terry O’Quinn are shopping around for ideas for a TV show.

Emerson says they both want something more lighthearted than “Lost.” He hopes the show can acknowledge their “age and frailty.” Emerson says he envisions a show where, if their characters get hit in the face, they “don’t get up for a month.”

The Emerson, 55, and O’Quinn, 58, are both up for best supporting actor Emmy Awards.

Emerson says he is aware that a segment from the “Lost” final season DVD was leaked recently. Even though he stars in it, however, Emerson says he still hasn’t seen it.

The actor, who played Ben Linus in the ABC show that ended in May, says he does not really get the “whole I-have-to-see-it-before-the-rest-of-the-world mania.”

Outstanding Oldest Worker is a mere 101

LINCOLN, Neb. — A 101-year-old woman who works for the Nebraska Legislature has been chosen as America’s Outstanding Oldest Worker for 2010.

Sally Gordon has been an assistant sergeant-at-arms for the Nebraska Legislature for 26 years, helping with its day-to-day operations when it’s in session. Before that, she worked as a secretary for three Nebraska governors and as a model.

Gordon accepted the award at the Nebraska Capitol.

“I used to be a model,” Gordon said. “Now I feel like a model T.”

Still, she has no plans to retire.