BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — “I love the smell of estrogen in the morning.” So said Katie Couric opened her keynote address Tuesday at the Hollywood Reporter’s Power 100 Women in Entertainment breakfast, an annual event that brings together the entertainment industry’s most powerful female executives and shot-callers.

The 19th annual breakfast event, held at the Beverly Hills Hotel, featured Couric and Dame Helen Mirren, who received the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award.

Halle Berry presented Mirren with the award in recognition of her personal and professional integrity, lauding her fellow Oscar winner as “a giant talent” and someone who has “conducted her whole life with such grace and dignity.”

Mirren said that though her parents were old school – her mom “was convinced that she would personally walk on the moon before there would be a female prime minister” – they raised her to strive for economic independence in whatever career she chose.

Berry said the 65-year-old actress is single-handedly breaking down age barriers in Hollywood “because you can age, you can do films that are successful and still be hot as hell.”

Mirren said that while she resents “having witnessed in my life the survival of some very mediocre male actors and the professional demise of some very brilliant female ones,” she refused to complain about the dearth of roles for women over 50.

Ex-Sunshine Band member sentenced on sex charges

NEWARK, Ohio — Telling a judge he was embarrassed, disgusted and ashamed, a former member of KC and the Sunshine Band has been sentenced in Ohio to seven years in prison for sex charges involving teen boys.

Bassist and music producer Richard Finch entered pleas of no contest in Licking County Common Pleas Court on Monday to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and several other charges.

His voice breaking, the 56-year-old Finch apologized to a judge and the teens, saying he had little memory of the activities because he was impaired by alcohol.

The multiple Grammy Award winner was arrested in March after police said a boy reported that he’d had sexual contact with Finch at the man’s home in Newark in central Ohio.

Japanese singer taking a hiatus from stardom

TOKYO — Japanese pop star Hikaru Utada, one of the country’s best-selling artists of all time, is calling it quits at the end of the year, but not before performing for fans this week in a concert that will be streamed live online.

The New York-born singer-songwriter shocked fans when she announced on her blog in August that she would be taking a hiatus starting in 2011 to focus on self-improvement. She hasn’t said if the break is permanent or temporary.

She’ll perform to sold-out crowds on Wednesday and Thursday in Yokohama, near Tokyo. The Wednesday show will be simulcast at 64 movie theaters around Japan.

Utada shot to fame when her debut album “First Love” was released in 1999.

Suzanne Somers touts alternatives

LAS VEGAS — Former sitcom star Suzanne Somers is due to lead a panel at a Las Vegas conference searching for a new-age fountain of youth.

The 64-year-old actress is scheduled to speak at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine’s 18th annual conference Thursday through Saturday in Las Vegas.

The event is expected to attract more than 6,000 visitors looking for answers about how to extend their lifespan.

Somers has for years frustrated mainstream doctors by touting bioidentical hormones and advocating against chemotherapy as a cancer treatment.