THE YEAR of Lupita continues.
Lupita Nyong'o, the Mexican-born actress who was raised in Kenya, won an Oscar for her first movie role in "12 Years a Slave" and then signed a lucrative endorsement deal with Lancome Paris, has been named People magazine's World's Most Beautiful Woman for 2014.
"It is exciting and just a major, major compliment," Lupita, a young-looking 31, told People. "I was happy for all the girls who would see me on it and feel a little more seen."
Others on this year's most beautiful people list are actresses Keri Russell, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Mindy Kaling, Gabrielle Union, Molly Sims, Kerry Washington and Amber Heard, plus pop singer Pink and former professional wrestler Stacy Keibler.
Justin Bieber apologized yesterday - couldn't that be a story every day? - after this time offending the nation of China.
While in Japan.
Bieber's offense came when he visited the Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo. Yasukuni enshrines 2.5 million war dead, including Japan's 14 convicted war criminals, and operates a war museum that defends Japan's wartime aggression. It is a flashpoint between Japan and its neighbors, who see the shrine as distinct from other Shinto-style establishments that mainly honor gods of nature. China and South Korea in particular see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan's past militarism and consider Japanese officials' visits there as a lack of understanding or remorse over wartime history.
Two images posted on Bieber's Instagram account were met with outrage from Chinese officials and by commenters on social media. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the pop star should remember China's position on Yasukuni.
"I hope this Canadian singer, after his visit, can have some knowledge of the Japanese militaristic history of external aggression and their militaristic thinking," he said.
Yeah, we're sure the Biebs is going to get right on that.
In a new Instagram post last night, Bieber said, "I was mislead (sic) to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer. To anyone I have offended I am extremely sorry."
* Meg Ryan has been tapped to voice the role of the mother in CBS' upcoming "How I Met Your Mother" spin-off "How I Met Your Dad," reports TheWrap.com.
Ryan will provide the voice for Greta Gerwig's lead character in the future as she relates the tale to her children, in a parallel role to the one Bob Saget filled on "How I Met Your Mother."
* A Nashville judge has issued a stern warning to a man accused of stalking country-music singer John Rich.
The Tennessean reports that the judge yesterday told Mark "Chris" Sevier to stop "playing games" with the court or go to jail.
Sevier faces two counts of aggravated stalking and one count of criminal impersonation after being accused of stalking Rich at a Nashville coffee shop. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond awaiting trial.
* According to TheWrap.com, on May 3, "Amazing Spider-Man" Andrew Garfield will make his "SNL" hosting debut. The following Saturday, Charlize Theron takes her second turn hosting. On May 17, Golden Globe winner Andy Samberg returns to host his former sketch comedy show's season finale.
Their musical guests are Coldplay, the Black Keys and St. Vincent, respectively.
* Chris Brown's D.C. trial on an assault charge was put on hold for months yesterday after prosecutors declined to grant immunity to his bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, who would be a key witness in the case.
Brown's trial had been set to start yesterday, and Hollosy had been expected to testify and say that he, not Brown, hit a man outside a Washington hotel in October. Hollosy was tried separately and convicted Monday of assault, but he plans to appeal.
Hollosy's lawyer has said that unless Hollosy is granted immunity, he will not testify until he is finished with the appeal.
A lawyer for Brown said in court yesterday that that could take at least six months. Prosecutors have said it could take a year.
And that's without it ping-ponging from Philadelphia to Delaware.
* Jodie Foster wed girlfriend Alexandra Hedison over the weekend, Foster's publicist confirmed yesterday.
E! was the first to report it.
It's the first marriage for Foster, who came out publicly in a rambling, heartfelt speech at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards, where she accepted a lifetime achievement award.
Foster has two sons with longtime partner Cydney Bernard. They ended their 20-year relationship in 2008.
* In wacky movie ideas, deadline.com reports that Adam Rifkin has purchased the movie rights to Peeps.
The gooey marshmallowy sweets.
How long until someone remakes "The Hobbit" with the Keebler elves?
* You know who's allegedly getting a live-action movie?
Not the woman who spends so much effort to look like her.
The movie will be written by Jenny Bicks ("Sex and the City") and produced by husband-and-wife team Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald ("Men in Black 3").
The movie will reportedly be a comedy because the thing girls always liked best about Barbie was her sense of humor.
- Daily News wire services contributed to this report.
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