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Rita Moreno serenades Stevie Wonder with ‘Happy Birthday’

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May 11, 2022 | 6:17pm

From one legend to another.

Rita Moreno caught Steve Wonder by surprise when she serenaded him at the Legal Defense Fund’s 34th National Equal Justice Awards Dinner at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Tuesday.

The EGOT winner presented Wonder, who turns 72 on Friday, with the LFD Inaugural Icon Award and surprised him with an impromptu performance of his “Happy Birthday” song before she left the stage.

“The crowd got on their feet and everyone sang to him. It was like a birthday chorus,” a guest at the gala told Page Six.

Wonder created his version of “Happy Birthday,” often referred to as “the black happy birthday song,” to honor Martin Luther King Jr. The song appeared on his 1980 album, “Hotter Than July,” and was released as a single the following year.

Stevie Wonder
Wonder turns 72 on May 13.
Getty Images for The Recording A

Wonder “was overjoyed, smiling from ear to ear as the crowd serenaded him,” according to our source.

“It took him by complete and genuine surprise. He turned to Rita and said, ‘Thank you,’” the source said.

Wonder also brought his own surprises to the event. He joined singer John Legend for a duet of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” before he exited the stage and it left the crowd in tears, we’re told.

And the surprises didn’t stop there. The night ended with another special performance by Legend and Wonder joined him again.

John Legend
Legend closed out the evening performing his 2004 song “Ordinary People.”
Getty Images for Robin Hood

“John started playing ‘Ordinary People’ on the piano and Stevie decided to change the words and started singing, ‘My Cherie Amour,’” the source said. 

Wonder kept Legend on his toes and changed the lyrics back to “Ordinary People” as Legend played the piano.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and LFD’s outgoing president and direct-counsel Sherrilyn Ifill were also honored at the dinner. Former First Lady Michelle Obama and Broadway star Audra McDonald appeared virtually.

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Trailer for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Shows Tatiana Maslany Turning to a Special Avenger for Help

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Tatiana Maslany on Unexpected Win at 2016 Emmys

She-Hulk has met the most formidable, daunting force in all of the MCU: dating apps!

The newbie superhero attempts to navigate the worlds of family, career and, yes, dating in her 30s in the new trailer for Disney+’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany stars as She-Hulk (a.k.a. Jennifer Walters) in the series,”a single, 30-something attorney who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered hulk,” according to the streamer.

“I’m Jennifer Walters,” Maslany says in the trailer. “I’m a lawyer. I have great friends. A demanding job. And a frustrating family.”

That family, of course, comes in the form of cousin Bruce Banner (a.k.a. The Incredible Hulk/Smart Hulk), played by Mark Ruffalo. “Being a superhero is a trial by fire,” he says in the trailer. “Who’s going to protect the world, if not people like you?”

You won’t like this family when they’re angry!

After she is made the face of the Superhuman Law Division by her boss, Bruce works with Jennifer to bridge the gap between Jennifer and She-Hulk. “The transformations are triggered by anger and fear,” Bruce tells her. 

“Those are like the baseline of any woman just existing,” Jennifer tells him. 

Jennifer does her best to ease into the She-Hulk persona—just don’t put a label on her.

“I’m not a superhero,” she says. “That is for billionaires and narcissists. And adult orphans, for some reason.”

While being a giant, green lawyer doesn’t exactly allow her to blend in, she does to get lift up men by barely lifting a finger. Sounds like a decent trade-off. 

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law also stars Tim Roth, Benedict Wong, Jameela Jamil and Renée Elise Goldsberry.

Check out all the high-heeled hijinks when the series premieres August 17 on Disney+.

Behind the scenes drama? What do I watch next? Click here to get all the TV scoop straight in your inbox.

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Megan Fox Reacts to Machine Gun Kelly’s “Vulnerable” Moment at Billboard Music Awards 2022

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Machine Gun Kelly’s BBMAs 2022 Tribute to Megan Fox & ‘Unborn Child’

Megan Fox is showing her twin flame support.

After Machine Gun Kelly dedicated a song he performed at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas to his “wife” and “unborn child,” Megan has shared a message to commend MGK’s vulnerability.

“Baby- so proud of you for giving such a vulnerable and emotional performance,” Megan wrote in a May 17 Instagram post. “You are magic.”

During the May 15 event, MGK performed his track “twin flame” on the BBMAs stage. Before beginning the song, MGK noted, “I wrote this song for my wife.” And halfway through his performance, the “Emo Girl” singer added, “And this is for our unborn child.”

Following his performance, Machine Gun Kelly tweeted a string of thoughts about the raw moment, writing, “broke my heart to sing the end of that song.”

In another tweet, MGK shared that the song was written in two parts, seemingly referencing the two dedications he provided during the performance.

“i recorded twin flame 2 years ago today, the second half came a year later,” he shared. “beautifully serendipitous getting to sing it for you tonight.”

The exact meaning of MGK’s onstage dedication has not been confirmed. What is certain is that Megan and MGK are in full wedding-planning mode.

While walking the red carpet at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards, Machine Gun Kelly exclusively told E! News their nuptials are going to be “completely out of the box.”

ABC via Getty Images

They also plan to keep celebrating Megan’s 36th birthday.

“Well, it’s my fiancée’s birthday at midnight,” MGK shared with E! News on the 2022 BBMAs red carpet. “So we’re celebrating her wonderful life being here on planet earth.”

In her May 17 Instagram post, Megan—who previously hosted the Travel Channel’s Legends of the Lost —reminded the world that despite her glam Hollywood image, she’s a nature girl at heart. “Vegas it’s been nice but you are my version of the innermost ring of hell,” she wrote. “Off to the wilderness for my birthday.”

Watch a brand new episode of Nightly Pop Monday through Thursday at 11:30 p.m., only on E!

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Matt James Says Marriage Is His Relationship “Endgame” With Girlfriend Rachael Kirkconnell

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Bachelor’s Matt James Says Marriage With Rachel Is Possible

Matt James can see his future with girlfriend Rachael Kirkconnell clear as day.

Chatting with E! News’ Daily Pop on May 17 about his new memoir, First Impressions: Off Screen Conversations With a Bachelor on Race, Family, and Forgiveness, the former Bachelor shared that his relationship with Kirkconnell has always been headed towards marriage.

“I think marriage is always the endgame at my stage of the game,” he told hosts Justin Sylvester, Bobby Berk and Loni Love. “I’m not in the business of wasting anybody’s time, and I think the good thing about our relationship is we go at our own pace. And you’ve seen with other couples—they force the engagement and they’re not together anymore. So, I think what we got is a working recipe and we’re gonna get there.”

The two met on James’ season 25 of The Bachelor in 2020, in which he made history as the series’ first Black lead. But he was unaware of the importance of his casting for quite some time.

“Listen, I was fully consumed in quarantine. That wasn’t really my focus,” he said. “I thought I was going on The Bachelorette. And when I first got that call, I thought that Tyler [Cameron] and someone in the house was messing with me.”

He continued, “When they offered it to me, I’m like, ‘Oh, bet,’ like, ‘Who’s messing with me?’ And then, you know, as the process furthered, I’m like, ‘Oh, wow, okay. This is monumental.'”

James’ experience on the ABC dating series is the main inspiration behind his debut book.

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“There was a lot of things that I talked about that I shared on the show that never made it to everybody else’s television boxes,” he shared, “and I’m hoping that they can resonate with my story a little bit more once they’ve seen and felt everything I’ve gone through.”

He shared that he always “talked about real s–t with the people on the show” to give them insight into what life with him post-show would be like, only some of those moments didn’t make the final cut.

“When a lot of that didn’t come across, it just lacked depth,” he shared. “I feel like we could have capitalized on being the first Black Bachelor and having important conversations.”

Long before he joined the franchise, Rachel Lindsay made history as the first Black lead of The Bachelorette in 2017, a role which she’s used to call out the series’ issues with representation.

“Listen, Rachel Lindsay is a force,” James said. “I don’t think I could ever step into that light and take on everything that she’s taken on, but I have had conversations with her in terms of, you know, the things that I—she prefaced her experience with mine and said, ‘Watch out for X, Y and Z,’ and without that context, I think that the show could have played out completely different.”

Check out the full interview in the clip above.

First Impressions: Off Screen Conversations With a Bachelor on Race, Family, and Forgiveness, is available now where books are sold.

Watch Daily Pop weekdays at 11 a.m., only on E!.

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