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Entertainment Briefs November 15, 2010

| November 15, 2010 8:00 PM

Field honored at high school alma mater

LOS ANGELES - Sally Field's high school still likes - really likes - the actress.

The 64-year-old Oscar and Emmy winning star of ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" was honored Friday at the Birmingham Community Charter High School in the San Fernando Valley community of Lake Balboa. Students and faculty gathered at the school's performing arts center, originally built in 1976, to dedicate the auditorium in Field's name.

"I want to say how lucky you are that this beautiful theater exists for you," Field told students on stage during a ceremony before the unveiling of the theater's new sign. "Use it. Explore not only the world of language, the spoken word and that of storytelling - because that's what we do up here on this stage, we tell stories - but use it to explore you."

Field graduated from the school in 1964 before starring in "Gidget" on television and later winning Academy Awards for her roles in the films "Norma Rae" and "Places in the Heart." She said that the school's drama department "quite simply saved my life" and was the place that she could "most truly and absolutely be me, where I lost myself and found me."

"I didn't feel like a fit in at all," she recalled of her high school tenure.

Field reminisced about the school being a former Army hospital, then a cluster of rickety buildings "made out of pine wood." She also recalled waiting in the wings during the dress rehearsal of a production of "The Miracle Worker" in 1963 when another student leaned out of the sound booth and quietly announced that President John F. Kennedy had been shot.

Lou Ramirez, one of Field's teachers, remembered her as a "very sweet and enthusiastic, beautiful young lady."

West cancels upcoming 'Today' performance

NEW YORK - Kanye West has backed out of a scheduled performance on NBC's "Today" show after getting upset with how his interview with host Matt Lauer this week was handled.

West's record company confirmed the cancellation to "Today" on Friday after the rapper said on his Twitter account that he wouldn't perform. He was scheduled to appear Nov. 26, part of a promotion drive for his new disc, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," which is being released Nov. 22.

During the interview, which was taped Tuesday and aired Thursday, West appeared thrown when "Today" aired a video clip of an embarrassing moment - when he grabbed a microphone from Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and said Beyonce should have won an award instead of Swift.

West tweeted this week that he felt "set up" by the interview and that Lauer tried to force his answers. His cancellation notice was accompanied by mixed messages.

"Much love to Matt and the whole Today show," he said in a Twitter message. "I accept ya'll future apology in advance LOL!"

In the interview, West talked about former President George W. Bush's angry response to West saying after Hurricane Katrina that Bush "doesn't care about black people." ''Today" played a clip of Bush speaking about it in his recent interview with Lauer. In seeking a reaction, Lauer noted that it was the most emotional Bush had become during three and a half hours of talking with him.

"Don't even listen," Lauer said. "I want you to look at his face."

That appeared to upset West, who looked away.

"I don't need you guys to show me the tape in order to prompt my emotion about what I'm going to say," he said.

Later in the interview, punctuated by pauses where West appeared to be searching for words and Lauer looked perplexed, West became angry when the Swift video was shown.

Fiance reveals Miranda Lambert's birthday present

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - What do you get for the girl who has everything? An iPad.

Country singer Miranda Lambert celebrated her 27th birthday at the CMA Awards in Nashville Wednesday night, taking home three awards. Before the show started, her fiance and fellow country singer, Blake Shelton, revealed to The Associated Press what he got her for her birthday.

"She's been after me wanting an iPad lately, or asking me if I've seen one," he said. "She's freaking rich, man. She can get whatever she wants. So, I just have to go buy things like right when they come out so she doesn't have a chance to get them yet."

The couple, who plan to wed in the spring, have been dating for five years.

Shelton and Lambert are now the reigning male and female CMA vocalists of the year. In addition, Shelton won CMA musical event of the year for "Hillbilly Bone" with Trace Adkins, and Lambert won album and video of the year.

- The Associated Press

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