People: Frank Ocean, Katie Holmes, Prince William, Claire Danes, Gabriel Butterfield
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Both Anderson Cooper and Frank Ocean made revelations about their sexuality this week, but Ocean's could end up being the more significant announcement.
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, Associated Press reports.
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 website allhiphop.com. He called Ocean's announcement "a sign of the times," noting Cooper's announcement and President Barack 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. I do think that we'll see a lot of support for him. ... I think that it's a process," he said. "Just a few years ago, if this had happened, it could have marked the end of his career. This could mark the beginning of his career."
Ocean said he had intended his post to be part of his album credits, but because there have been recent rumors about his sexuality, he decided to post it on his Tumblr page.
"My hope is that the babies born these days will inherit less of the [expletive] than we did," he wrote.
It looks like Katie Holmes dropped some hints about her coming divorce filing six weeks ago in her interview with Elle for the magazine's August issue, People reports.
"He has been Tom Cruise for 30 years," she said, when asked about her husband of five years. "I know who I am and where I am and where I want to go, so I want to focus on that."
And that, according to the actress, did not mean identifying herself as Mrs. Tom Cruise to get ahead. "Things are not handed to anyone," she told the magazine, on stands July 17. "If anything, you work a little bit harder when you're in such visible circumstances."
Holmes, who stunned her fans and blindsided Cruise by filing for divorce last week, explains that when she was in her 20s, "It's like you're trying too hard to figure everything out." (Holmes began dating Cruise when she was 26.) Now 33, her attitude has changed.
"I definitely feel much more comfortable in my own skin. I feel sexier," she says. "I'm starting to come into my own. It's like a new phase."
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has a new title: member of the Order of the Thistle.
He received the knighthood on Thursday in Scotland, wearing a deep-green velvet cloak and matching hat decorated with a white ostrich feather. He has already been seen with his Order of the Thistle medal on his Colonel of the Irish Guards uniform at ceremonial occasions this summer, according to People.
This is his second honorary knighthood. He was invested in the Order of the Garter at Windsor Castle in 2008.
The latest title comes from his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II -- the highest honor she can bestow in Scotland -- around the time of his 30th birthday last month.
Even more important, what was the Duchess of Cambridge wearing for the ceremony? Kate wore a soft yellow coat dress specially made for her by Emilia Wickstead, and she carried a scarf decorated in the classic Strathearn tartan pattern.
The couple met and fell in love at St. Andrews University, just across the Firth of Forth from the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, where the grand ceremony took place at St. Giles Cathedral.
As Claire Danes awaits the second season of her hit drama "Homeland," she also shared some good news: She's pregnant with her first child with husband Hugh Dancy.
Danes, 33, and Dancy, 37, met on the set of the film "Evening" and were married in 2009 in France.
Also sharing good news a month after tying the knot, Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves announced on Twitter that they are expecting their third child together, according to HuffPost Celebrity.
They shared the news on Independence Day. Matthew McConaughey @McConaughey: happy birthday America, more good news, Camila and I are expecting our 3rd child, God bless, just keep livin
The couple already have son Levi, who will turn 4 on Saturday, and daughter Vida, 2.
McConaughey and Alves met in 2007 and married on June 9 at McConaughey's Austin, Texas, ranch.
Gabriel Butterfield spent his formative years watching his father play blues, trademark harmonica in hand.
To him, Paul Butterfield wasn't the musical legend who revolutionized the Chicago blues scene in the 1960s.
"I never viewed him as Paul Butterfield," he tells the Associated Press. "I viewed him as Dad."
More than 25 years after the musician's death, Butterfield is working on a documentary that highlights both aspects of his father's persona -- blues legend and family man. Filming will take place at the Briggs Farm Blues Festival in Nescopeck, Luzerne County, this weekend.
"It's to raise awareness and do a series of fundraisers to get the story of my father, Paul Butterfield, out there," he said. "It's the 15th anniversary of their festival, and the 25th anniversary of my father's death, so it's working out nicely there."
Butterfield will also perform at the festival with a revitalized version of his father's band, alongside original drummer Sam Lay and Jimmy Vivino, guitarist and band leader on Conan O'Brien's talk show. His father formed the original Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the early 1960s. After the band broke up, Paul Butterfield performed as a solo act and session musician. He died in 1987 of drug-related heart failure at age 44.
Vivino, who knew the late Butterfield, said he firmly believes the musician deserves more recognition from organizations like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"That's why we were out there doing this, to get some awareness of the Butterfield Blues Band back -- get people to write their congressman," Vivino said.
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band innovated the music scene with a fresh, new sound and style, Vivino said. Their influence can be heard in the works of Bob Dylan, Harvey Brooks, The Electric Flag and Blood, Sweat and Tears, to name a few.
First Published July 6, 2012 12:00 am