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Quick Takes: Madonna rebukes M.I.A

February 11, 2012

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Madonna broke her silence Friday on the uproar that followed her Super Bowl halftime show, which was upstaged when fellow performer M.I.A. appeared to curse and gave the middle finger to the more than 110 million Americans watching.

Madonna said that she learned of the antics only after the fact — and was none too pleased.

"I was really surprised," the 53-year-old performer told Ryan Seacrest during a call-in interview to his morning show on KIIS-FM (102.7). "I didn't know anything about it. I wasn't happy about it. I understand it's punk rock and everything, but to me there was such a feeling of love and good energy and positivity, it seemed negative."

She added: "It's such a teenager … irrelevant thing to do … there was such a feeling of love and unity there, what was the point? It was just out of place."

—Rene Lynch

Will.i.am benefit raises $5 million

Will.i.am said he hoped to raise $1 million for his charity that benefits needy students at a concert Thursday night. Instead, he raised $5 million.

He hosted an event that featured performances by Stevie Wonder, Ne-Yo and others at the Hollywood Palladium for his I.am Angel foundation, established in 2009.

The Black Eyed Peas leader said he was inspired by the 2010 documentary "Waiting for 'Superman,'" about U.S. public education.

—Associated Press

Oprah's Oscar special due

It's been two years since Barbara Walters put an end to her annual Oscar special and almost a year since Oprah Winfrey ended her daily talk show. But that doesn't mean Oscar fans will be lacking in gauzy, feel-good sit-downs with Oscar nominees this year.

Oprah has announced her plan to begin airing an annual Oscar special on her cable channel, OWN, beginning Wednesday.

The three nominees who'll be interviewed are Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer from "The Help" and "Moneyball's" Jonah Hill.

—Patrick Kevin Day

Glass' Disney opera to bow

Philip Glass' "The Perfect American," imagining the final months of the life of Walt Disney, will have its world premiere at Madrid's Teatro Real on Jan. 22, 2013.

The opera was originally commissioned by New York City Opera when Gerard Mortier was to become general manager. Mortier quit before he officially started, saying he wasn't given a sufficient budget, and took over as the Teatro Real's artistic director in 2010.

The opera, commissioned in honor of the composer's 75th birthday Jan. 31, is based on the novel by Peter Stephan Jungk.

—Associated Press

Memorial irks Eisenhowers

A Virginia congressman asked a federal panel Friday to reject a design for a memorial honoring President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Washington, saying the World War II general's family objects to it.

In a letter to the National Capital Planning Commission, Rep. Frank Wolf said he is worried the approval process is being rushed and won't have public support.

Architect Frank Gehry has proposed a memorial park framed by large metal tapestries depicting Eisenhower's boyhood home in Kansas. Eisenhower as military hero and president would be represented in stone on a smaller scale.

The Eisenhower family has complained that the design overemphasizes Ike's humble roots and neglects his accomplishments.

—Associated Press

San Francisco Tony Bennett

San Francisco is honoring legendary crooner Tony Bennett, whose famous song "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" was recorded 50 years ago.

Mayor Ed Lee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Nancy Pelosi are among those expected at a ceremony for Bennett at City Hall on Valentine's Day.

The event Tuesday will include renditions of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" by the San Francisco Boys and Girls Choruses and the San Francisco Symphony, among others. It will conclude with a singalong of the song.

—Associated Press

Finally

Rap film: "Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap," a documentary directed by Ice-T that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month, will be released in theaters by the Indomina Group on June 8. It features Snoop Dogg, Mos Def, Q-Tip, Eminem, Nas and Kanye West.

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