LAS VEGAS (AP) - Sin City is set to ring in 2014 with big-name concerts, celebrity-hosted parties and an eight-minute rooftop fireworks display billed as the nation's largest. Pop star Bruno Mars is christening the Cosmopolitan's new Chelsea Ballroom, John Legend is performing at Aria, and Maroon 5 is playing at Mandalay Bay. Other casinos are touting pricey nightclub bashes hosted by reality-TV and music celebrities, including the original celebutante, Paris Hilton. More than 330,000 tourists are expected to count down the end of the year as law enforcement officers keep the peace and casino bosses watch profits roll in. With New Year's Eve falling on a Tuesday, casinos are offering up special "New Year's Eve Eve" events on Monday.
UNDATED (AP) - Beyonce is defending her use of audio from the Challenger explosion in her video for "XO." The video opens with NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt's comment after the shuttle exploded in 1986. He says, "Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction." A former NASA employee who runs the NASAWatch.com website says using the "historic and solemn audio is inappropriate in the extreme." He wants the clip edited out and an apology to the families of the Challenger crew. However, in a statement given to ABC News, Beyonce says it was her "sincerest intention to help heal those who have lost loved ones and to remind us that unexpected things happen, so love and appreciate every minute that you have with those who mean the most to you." She says her "heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster."
NEW YORK (AP) - The Situation has sobered up. He tells In Touch magazine that not only has he stopped drinking, he's back with his college sweetheart. He says he's at a stage of his life where he can be "on the couples road." The Situation says he looks forward to having "three kids and a dog." He's filming a new reality show focusing on his sobriety and the other things going on in his life.
UNDATED (AP) - JWoww is pregnant. She announced on her blog that she's expecting her first child with her fiance Roger Matthews. She posted a copy of her ultrasound with the caption "We Are Expecting!" She says they "couldn't have wished for a better Christmas gift this." She says "Baby Matthews" is due to arrive in July.
NEW YORK (AP) - Sylvester Stallone knows how to stage a boxing scene. He's been in enough of them. But he didn't try to tell Peter Segal how to direct "Grudge Match." He jokes that he was dying to. He says "it's like you're the world's greatest fighter pilot" but someone else is flying the plane. He says you can't ask to take the controls when you hit some turbulence. Stallone says he did tell Segal that if he needed any help, he was there for him. He says he knows "the angles that work and the angles that don't."
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Oscar voters, start your ballots. Voting begins Friday for 2014's Academy Awards nominees. Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are invited to cast secret ballots for their favorite film work from the past year until Jan. 8, 2014. The academy is offering electronic voting for the second consecutive year. It announced last week that 289 feature films are eligible for best-picture consideration. Nominations for the 86th Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 16. Ellen DeGeneres will host the ceremony when the Oscars are presented on March 2.
NEW YORK (AP) - Universal Pictures has delayed the release of "Fast & Furious 7" for almost a year following the death of star Paul Walker. The studio announced Monday that the "Fast & Furious" sequel will be released in April 2015, instead of July. Shooting on the film was about halfway finished when the 40-year-old Walker died in a car crash outside of Los Angeles. Walker will still appear in the film, though Universal has not said exactly how it will handle his unfinished performance. Co-star Vin Diesel first posted the news on Facebook, telling his fans that, "He'd want you to know first." The franchise has been one of Universal's most lucrative, grossing almost $2.4 billion worldwide since 2001. The last film, "Fast & Furious 6," made $789 million.
LONDON (AP) - Singing star Adele has been honored at Buckingham Palace, being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Prince Charles. The 25-year-old with the soulful voice has become a worldwide star since her debut album topped the charts in 2008. Last year she performed the title song in the latest James Bond film, "Skyfall." She received an Academy Award for that effort. Adele has recovered from throat problems that jeopardized her singing voice two years ago. She won a record six Grammy awards last year.
NEW YORK (AP) - Foo Fighters, The Roots and Imagine Dragons will perform on a cruise ship ahead of the Super Bowl. The bands will hit the stage on the Bud Light Hotel New York, which will be docked at Pier 88 in Manhattan on the Hudson River. The Super Bowl will be played Feb. 2 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The Roots will perform with Run DMC and Busta Rhymes on Jan. 30, while Grammy-nominated Imagine Dragons will perform a day later. Foo Fighters will headline the main event on Feb. 1, where Zac Brown Band will also perform. Fall Out Boy and country singer Jake Owen will play a concert before the Super Bowl. The cruise ship will offer lodging for 4,000 guests in 1,900 staterooms.
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (AP) - No one is more surprised by the results of Tuesday's "The Voice" finale than season five winner, Jamaican powerhouse Tessanne Chin. The 28-year-old said the news was simply "unbelievable" backstage after the NBC singing competition. Chin's coach, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, was also thankful to add a second win to his resume while breaking Blake Shelton's three-time winning streak. Before the winner was announced, Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga teamed up for Gaga's "Do What U Want" in matching, iridescent outfits. Aguilera told the crowd that the "Paparazzi' singer was "the most down to earth, real person" she had ever met. Celine Dion, Ne-Yo, Paramore, OneRepublic and Aloe Blacc also performed during the two-hour season finale.