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Makeba returns home; Legend on Latin Grammys; N. Richie hosts Lighting ceremony; civil rights DVD; Flo Rida in Gap ad; Van Peebles on panel; Lohan praises first ‘colored’ prez November 12, 2008


The body of singing legend and activist Miriam Makeba, also known as “Mama Africa,” will return home to South Africa sometime today, per the wishes of her family. The widely-respected artist will have a funeral service and cremation, according to foreign affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa.


       *Five-time Grammy winner John Legend and 12-time Latin Grammy winner Juanes will team for a performance on the 9th Annual Latin Grammy Awards telecast, set for tomorrow (Nov. 13) at the Toyota Center in Houston and broadcast live on the Univision Network from 8 – 11 p.m. ET/PT. Tickets are available at the Toyota Center Box Office atwww.toyotacentertix.com, or by dialing 1.866.4HOUTIX (1.866.446.8849).


       *The U.S. Fund for UNICEF announced that Nicole Richie and her husband, UNICEF Ambassador Joel Madden, will host UNICEF’s 2008 Beverly Hills Snowflake Lighting ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 22 at the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Blvd. The ceremony highlights the City of Beverly Hills’ “Light the Night” annual holiday event where the UNICEF Snowflake and the 20 Baccarat chandeliers that grace Rodeo Drive are illuminated to kick off the holiday season. Festivities begin at 3 p.m. with the official lighting at 6 p.m.


       *”Dare Not Walk Alone,” a feature-length documentary about little-known events in America’s civil rights struggle, is now available on DVD from Brooklyn-based artist and director Jeremy Dean. While documenting Dr. King’s heroic campaign to end segregation, the film also paints a disturbing portrait of lingering inequality, some 40 years later, in one community where that campaign was waged. The “Dare Not Walk Alone” trailer can be seen at the film’s Web site: http://darenotwalkalone.com 


      *The Gap has recruited rapper Flo Rida and singers Trey Songz and Janelle Monae for its new “Merry Mix It” ad campaign. The clip features a “street smart rendition” of “Jingle Bells” that will be used in select store-video displays, as well as online and in movie theaters beginning tomorrow (Nov. 13).


       *IFP will present conversations with Melvin Van Peebles, as well as Gus Van Sant and HBO’s Sheila Nevins at the Gotham Independent Film Awards Series. The program will include panels featuring breakthrough director and actor nominees from the 18th annual Gothams, as well as Museum of Modern Art screenings of “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You” award contenders. The series runs Nov. 20 to Dec. 6 at venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn. A complete schedule and lineup of participants is available here.


      *Lindsay Lohan, a supporter of Barack Obama for president, actually used the term “colored” when discussing her joy over the Election Night results. In an interview with “Access Hollywood’s” Maria Menounos that aired Monday night, Lohan said of Obama: “It’s so amazing. It’s our first colored president. So that’s like – I’m so thrilled to be a part of the country while that’s going on.” View clip here.  


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