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Stevie, Smokey pay tribute at Natalie Cole’s funeral

Singer Natalie Cole was laid to rest Monday with a funeral taking place at West Angeles Church of God in Glendale, California. According to reports, Chaka Khan sang at the funeral, and Stevie Wonder, Lionel Ritchie and Smokey Robinson paid tribute to the star who died at age 65 on New Year’s Eve. “Natalie had one extra pressure that she was faced with every day of her life,” said Richie, reported the L.A. Times. “She was a little girl who wanted to be a superstar in a family that already had a superstar ... That’s what made her prize of winning so unforgettable.” Angela Bassett, Johnny Mathis, Gladys Knight, record producer David Foster and the Rev. Jesse Jackson also were among the nearly 5,000 family and friends who attended.

LeVar Burton to speak at O.U. MLK Day event

Actor LeVar Burton will visit Oakland University for its annual Keeper of the Dream Martin Luther King. Jr. talk and scholarship event Monday. The free event is at 11:30 a.m. in the Banquet Rooms at Oakland Center. Best known for his role in the 1977 television miniseries “Roots,” Burton will be the event’s keynote speaker. Burton, an Emmy, Grammy and NAACP award winner who also starred on PBS’s “Reading Rainbow,” is an executive producer on a remake of “Roots,” which is scheduled to be released next year to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the original.

Disney ‘The Jersey’ actor Michael Galeota is found dead

Disney star Michael Galeota died this month after leaving the hospital against doctor’s advice. TMZ reports that “The Jersey” star checked himself in after complaining of abdominal paints, but left the hospital before he was supposed to. The actor, 31, had a history of hypertension, high cholesterol and a digestive tract issues.

Also ...

■Actor Charlie Carver from MTV’s “Teen Wolf” confirmed via his Instagram account that he is gay. “Honesty is probably a great step in the right direction,” he wrote in a post this week. “I now believe that by omitting this part of myself from the record, I am complicit in perpetuating the suffering, fear and shame cast upon so many in the world. So now, let the record show this: I self-identify as gay. As a young man, I needed a young man in Hollywood to say that.”

■In other Instagram reveals, actor Liv Tyler announced she is pregnant with her third child, and her second with fiancé David Gardner, a sports agent.

■Singer Adam Lambert will perform at the Fillmore Detroit on March 25. Tickets are $25-$55. The Cult is also coming to the Fillmore, on March 26. Tickets are $25-$45. Both shows are on sale Friday.

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Wednesday’s birthdays

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 55

Trace Adkins, 54

Patrick Dempsey, 50

Shonda Rhimes, 46

Orlando Bloom, 39

Liam Hemsworth, 26

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