Thursday, December 12, 2013
From news service reports
NEW YORK - Both Anderson Cooper and Frank Ocean made revelations about their sexuality this week, but Ocean's could end up being the more significant announcement.
Frank Ocean, the highly acclaimed R&B singer, says his first love was a man. He is part of the hip-hop collective Odd Future.
2011 Associated Press File
KISS, from left, Tommy Thayer, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Gene Simmons, sign their book Wednesday in London.
The Associated Press
Ocean -- the rising R&B singer behind the single "Novacane" and the self-released album "nostalgia, ULTRA," which critics heralded as among the best of 2011 -- announced on his Tumblr page Wednesday that his first love was a man. He also tweeted a link to the post.
Earlier this week, CNN's Cooper acknowledged that he was gay. But the admission from the 24-year-old Ocean -- who is part of the hip-hop collective Odd Future and was prominently featured on Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Watch the Throne" album -- is noteworthy because he inhabits the world of rap, where anti-gay sentiments have long been part of the regular vocabulary. Gay epithets are often used in lyrics -- one of Lil Wayne's catch phrases is "no homo."
"I think it's definitely important and it really signifies that there is a changing of the face of hip-hop," said Chuck Creekmur, founder of the leading website allhiphop.com. He called Ocean's announcement "a sign of the times," noting Cooper's announcement and President Obama's recent support of gay marriage.
Ocean wrote: "4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide."
Ocean concludes the post: "I don't have any secrets I need to keep anymore. ... I feel like a free man. If I listen closely. I can hear the sky falling too."
While Creekmur stressed that Ocean's announcement did not hold the same weight as if a rapper had come out, he said it was significant that the hip-hop community's initial reaction was positive.
"I don't believe that Frank Ocean revealing his gay experience at the age of 19 will cause a bunch of rappers to come out of the closet. I don't think that we're there yet."
KISS book sells for $4,299 each in U.K.
LONDON - American glam rockers KISS are unleashing their "Monster" on the U.K. public.
The band -- Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer -- was in London on Tuesday to launch its new retrospective book, "KISS Monster," and to hold a news conference.
The limited-edition book -- which is 3 feet tall -- features previously unseen photographs from the band's 40-year career.
"A band that is bigger than life deserves a book that's bigger than life. You could call it a coffee table book, but if you put legs on it, it is a coffee table," joked Stanley.
Only 1,000 copies of "KISS Monster" will be on sale and each one will be signed by the band. It will retail at a staggering $4,299.
"It's not a cheap book because it is hand bound, hand put together. It's the Rolls-Royce of books," said Simmons.
"KISS Monster" is now on sale in the U.K.
Coney champ eats 68 dogs, tying his best
NEW YORK - Joey Chestnut won his sixth straight Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest at Coney Island, downing 68 dogs and buns on Wednesday to tie his personal best in a sweaty, gag-inducing spectacle.
Last year, the 28-year-old San Jose, Calif., man nicknamed "Jaws" won with 62 hot dogs. He scarfed down all 68 in 10 minutes to take home $10,000 and the mustard yellow belt.
"I feel good, it was a great win," Chestnut said. "I tried my best. I'm looking forward to next year already."
Second place went to Tim Janus of New York with 52 hot dogs, who received $5,000. Third place went to Patrick Bertoletti of Chicago with 51, who won $2,500.
Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., downed 45 hot dogs to win the women's competition and $10,000.