Private funeral for Donna Summer

Florence Anthony | 5/23/2012, 6:04 p.m.
Donna Summer's funeral will be a private one for family and close friends. Publicist Brian...
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Donna Summer's funeral will be a private one for family and close friends. Publicist Brian Edwards said in a statement that Summer's family is overwhelmed and appreciates the outreach from fans and friends, but that the funeral services will nonetheless remain private. Although Summer died of lung cancer, her spokesman said she didn't smoke.

Summer was one of the nicest, most down-to-earth, real celebrities to grace the entertainment industry. Whenever I spoke with her, she was forthcoming and honest, and I always came away with so much more than I expected. She was also a very gifted painter, and several of her paintings hung up in O.J. Simpson's Brentwood mansion. He was very proud of them. I understand she did 45 in all, but there are also lithographs available.

In response to the National Enquirer's explosive story claiming that Raven-Symone is a lesbian and has moved her girlfriend into her $11,000-a-month New York City apartment, the "That's So Raven" star-turned-Broadway actress tweeted: "My sexual orientation is mine and the person I'm dating to know. I'm living my personal life the way I'm happiest. I'm not one, in my 25 year career, to disclose who I'm dating, and I shall not start now." She neither denies nor confirms the story.

Sean "Diddy" Combs, Cassie and Rita Ora attended the Chopard Mystere party during the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on Monday night. Chopard is the official partner of the festival for the 15th consecutive year. Kanye West premiered his film on May 24 at Cannes.

Film Life Inc. announced the narrative features competition selections and grand jury award nominees for the 16th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF), taking place in South Beach Miami, Fla., from June 20-23. Kimberly Elise, Isaiah Washington, Common and S. Epatha Merkerson are among the stellar list of thespians nominated to receive the grand jury prize for their work. The films in the ABFF's 2012 narrative features selection include "Better Mus' Come," "The Dark Party," "The Last Fall" and "Elza." Cadillac, one of the official sponsors for the festival, will present the grand jury prize for best director.

"The Empress of R&B," Natasha C. Coward is heating up the last of spring and the beginning of summer with performances all over the Big Apple. The singalicious songbird, whose hit CD "No Warning Signs," is sizzling on the charts, has joined the cast of Vy Higginsen's "Sing Harlem Sing!" She has the whole town buzzing about her rendition of "I'm Every Woman," which she will perform onstage Saturday, May 26 at 1 p.m. at the Dempsey Theatre in Harlem. Then fast-forward to June 30, when LEJ Entertainment presents a return engagement of "From My Heart. With Love Natasha," live at Iguana, 240 W. 54th St. Showtime is 8 p.m.