Oprah Winfrey

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Oprah Winfrey (born January 29, 1954) is an American talk show host and an Academy Award nominated actress. She is one of the most successful entrepreneurs and television personalities in the world. She is currently involved in many business ventures, but is most identified with her massively popular and eponymous talk show. She is currently ranked as the most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine[1] as well as the ninth most powerful woman in the world.[2]She is the first African-American woman to become a billionaire.

Youth and early career

Winfrey was born Orpah Winfrey in Kosciusko, Mississippi to a moderately wealthy, Baptist family. The name on Winfrey's birth certificate is Orpah, after the Moabite woman in the Old Testament Book of Ruth, but her family and neighbours would often transpose the R and the P when pronouncing and writing her name; as a result, Oprah eventually became her accepted name.

Her mother, Vernita Lee, was a housemaid, and her father, Vernon Winfrey, a coal miner and later a barber. Her parents were unmarried and still teenagers when Oprah was born. After Winfrey was born, her mother travelled north for better job opportunities, and Winfrey spent her first six years living with her grandmother. Winfrey's grandmother taught her to read and took her to the local church, where she was nicknamed "The Preacher" for her ability to recite Bible verses.

As a child, Oprah showed signs of extraordinary intelligence and drive, such as learning to read at age two. At age six, Winfrey moved in with her mother, who was less supportive and encouraging than her grandmother. While there, she suffered abuse from her comparitively darker skin, such as being forced to sleep on the porch in the cold and other forms of verbal abuse based on her features. Oprah was raped at age 9, and was repeatedly molested by her mother's cousin's boyfriend. Oprah became progressively sexually premiscuous, and at age 14, she became pregnant and her mother sent her to live in better conditions with her father, Vernon, in Nashville, Tennessee. Winfrey gave birth to a premature boy who soon died. Vernon was strict but encouraging, and made her education a priority. Winfrey became an honors student and received a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, a historically Black institution, where she studied communications. At age 18, Winfrey won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant.

Winfrey's grandmother has said that ever since Oprah could talk, she was "on stage". In her youth she played games interviewing her corncob doll and the crows on the fence of her family's property. But her true media career began at age seventeen, working at her high school radio show.

Working in local media, she was both the youngest news anchor and the first black female news anchor at Nashville's WTVF-TV. She moved to Baltimore's WJZ-TV in 1976 to co-anchor the six o'clock news. She was then recruited to join Richard Sher as co-host of WJZ's local talk show, People Are Talking, which premiered on August 14, 1978.

Career and success

Television

Oprah on the first national broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986.

In 1983, Winfrey relocated to Chicago, Illinois to host WLS-TV's low-rated half-hour morning talk show, AM Chicago. Her first episode aired on January 2, 1984. With Winfrey as the host, the show was so successful that it was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show, expanded to a full hour, and broadcast nationally beginning September 8, 1986. Originally, the show followed traditional talk show formats. By the mid-1990s the shows adopted a more serious format, addressing issues that Winfrey thought were of direct importance and of crucial consequence to women. Winfrey began to do a lot of charity work, and her show featured people suffering from poverty or the victims of unfortunate accidents.

The Oprah Winfrey Show is extremely successful and popular, in large part due to the fact that Oprah is able to relate to her audience. She overcame numerous difficulties in her childhood, including sexual abuse, which has made her want to be an advocate for children as well as women. She often interviews celebrities or other issues that involve the celebrity in some way, such as cancer, charity work, or substance abuse, although more often she focuses on ordinary people that have done extraordinary things or been involved in important current issues. Oprah frequently features the plight of others around the world in her show, and uses the show to promote charitable causes. Oprah's trademark in recent years has been her "Wildest Dreams" tour, which fulfills the dreams of many deserving people, be it a new house, an encounter with a favourite performer, or a guest role on a popular TV show, who have been reported to her producers by loving friends and family. As well as the hour-long regular show, she tapes informal discussions or Q&A sessions with celebrity guests after the show, which are broadcast as Oprah After The Show on her Oxygen network.

During a lawsuit against Winfrey (see Influence), she hired Dr. Phil McGraw's company Courtroom Sciences, Inc. to help her analyze and read the jury. Dr. Phil made such an impression on Winfrey that she invited him to appear on her show. He accepted the invitation and was a resounding success. McGraw appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show for several years before launching his own show, Dr. Phil, in 2004, which is produced by Winfrey's production company, Harpo Productions.

Perhaps Oprah's most famous recent show was the first episode of the nineteenth season of The Oprah Winfrey Show in the fall of 2004. During the show each member of the audience received a new Pontiac G6 Sedan; the 276 cars were donated by Pontiac as part of a publicity stunt.

Winfrey recently made a deal to extend her show until the 2010 – 2011 season, by which time it will have been on the air for twenty-five years. She plans to host 140 episodes per season, until her final season, when it will return to its current number, 130. [3]

The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Concert was hosted by Oprah and Tom Cruise. There were musical performances by Patti Labelle, Andrea Bocelli, Joss Stone, Chris Botti, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett and others. The concert was broadcasted in the United States on Dec. 23, 2004 by E!. An unofficial Oprah fanclub, also organized a petition drive [4] in 2005, to nominate Oprah for the Nobel Peace Prize.

As well as hosting and appearing on television shows, Winfrey co-founded the women's cable television network Oxygen. She is also the president of Harpo Productions (Oprah spelled backwards).

Film

In 1985, Winfrey co-starred in Steven Spielberg's epic adaptation of Alice Walker's award-winning novel The Color Purple. She earned immediate acclaim as Sofia, the distraught housewife. The following year Winfrey was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, but she lost to Anjelica Huston. Many believe this was due in part to the Academy's "anti-Spielberg" bias, thinking the film would have been better directed by an African-American. The Color Purple has now been made into a Broadway musical and opened late 2005, with Oprah credited as a producer.

In October 1998, Oprah produced and starred in the film Beloved, based upon Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name. To prepare for her role as Sethe, the protagonist and former slave, Oprah experienced a 24-hour simulation of the experience of slavery, which included being tied up and blindfolded and left alone in the woods. Critics said this would not even come close to the experience. In the run-up to filming, and in an attempt to break the only field she hadn't conquered -- film stardom -- Oprah lost a great deal of weight and underwent rejuvenative plastic surgery, becoming the Oprah that the public is now accustomed to seeing. However, despite major advertising, including two episodes of her talk show dedicated solely to the film, it opened to sour critical reviews and poor box-office results, losing approximately $30 million.

In 2005, Harpo Productions released another film adaptation of a famous American novel, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). The made-for-television film Their Eyes Were Watching God was based upon a teleplay by Suzan-Lori Parks, and starred Halle Berry in the lead female role.

Winfrey was the recipient of the first Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the 2002 Emmy Awards for services to television and film. In 2004, Oprah and her team filmed and episode of her show entitled Oprah's Christmas Kindness, in which Oprah, her best friend Gail, Stedman, and some crew members travelled to South Africa to bring attention to the plight of young children affected by poverty and AIDS. During the 21-day whirlwind trip, Oprah and her crew visited schools and oprhanages in poverty-stricken areas, and at different set-up points in the areas they visited distributed christmas presents to 50,000 children, with dolls for the girls and soccer balls for the boys. In addition, each child was given a backpack full of school supplies and received two sets of school uniforms for their sex, two sets of socks, two sets of underwear, and a pair of shoes. Throughout the show, Oprah appealed to viewers to donate money to Oprah's Angel Network for poverty-stricken and AIDS-affected children in Africa, and she personally would oversee where that money is spent. From that show alone, viewers around the world donated over (US)$7,000,000.

Books and magazines

Winfrey publishes her own magazines, O, The Oprah Magazine and O at Home. She is also a prolific author.

Online

Oprah.com is a premiere women's lifestyle website, offering advice on everything from the mind, body and spirit to food, home and relationships. It provides comprehensive resources related to The Oprah Winfrey Show and exclusive interactive content based on O, The Oprah Magazine. In addition, the website has unique original content, including Oprah's Book Club, which offers free in-depth reading guides for each book selection, online discussion groups and Q&A sessions with literary experts. In 2003, Winfrey relaunched Oprah's Book Club with an online component and it quickly became the largest book club in the world, attracting more than 670,000 members. That same year, Oprah.com also launched Live Your Best Life, an interactive multimedia workshop based on her sold-out national speaking tour that features Oprah's personal life stories and life lessons along with a workbook of thought-provoking exercises.

Since then, Winfrey has also used Oprah.com to continue her crusade to help those in need and against pedophiles by raising over 3 million dollars for Katrina victims and helping to capture 3 convicted child predators. Oprah.com averages more than 100 million page views and more than three million users per month. The book club has since grown to over 800,000 members.

Future projects

Winfrey's latest television project will be developing and producing a new talk show for popular Food Network celebrity chef, Rachael Ray, which will begin airing sometime in 2006.

Recently, Winfrey has been interviewed several times by Anderson Cooper, with whom she has completed several side projects. This has fueled a rumour that Winfrey and Cooper are planning to make a movie together.

Personal life

Oprah Winfrey is believed to own a net worth over $1.3 billion USD according to the 2005 Forbes Magazine Issue. She currently lives on "The Promised Land", her 42 acre (170,000 m²) ocean view estate in Montecito, California, outside of Santa Barbara. Rumors state that Winfrey was at a party the previous owners were throwing and so fell in love with the estate that she was reported to have purchased it by writing a personal check for $50,000,000 USD, although it was not for sale. Winfrey also owns a house in Lavalette, New Jersey.

Winfrey has never married but it is widely assumed that she has lived with her partner Stedman Graham for almost twenty years. The relationship of Oprah and Stedman has been documented through the years with numerous romantic tabloid articles often accompanied by color spreads of the couple at home and on lavish vacations. While most people are convinced the relationship is genuine, some speculate that it is more likely a matter of public relations, and, in fact, Graham is the co-founder and owner of his own public relations firm.

Her celebrity status notwithstanding, the billionaire Winfrey served on the jury of a murder trial jury in 2004. The trial was held in Chicago, Illinois, and involved a man accused of murder after an argument over a counterfeit fifty-dollar bill. The jury voted to convict the man of murder.[5] [6]

In June 2005, Winfrey was allegedly denied access to the Hermès company's flagship store in Paris, France. Winfrey arrived fifteen minutes after the store's closing time, and the doors were locked while the last of the shoppers were being attended to. Winfrey felt she could enter the store after closing time, but when told that they were indeed closed, she claimed she was mistaken for a poor black woman and denied entrance because the store had been "having problems with North Africans lately." In September 2005, Hermès USA CEO Robert Chavez was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and sincerely apologized for not catering to "O" on behalf of the store. In a later show, Winfrey changed her report of the event and no longer claimed she was denied entrance on account of her race.

On December 1, 2005, Oprah appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman to promote the new Broadway musical The Color Purple, of which she was a producer, joining the host for the first time in sixteen years. The episode was hailed by some as the "television event of the decade" and helped Letterman attract his largest audience in more than 11 years: 13.45 million viewers.[7] Although a much-rumored feud was said to have been the cause of the rift, both Winfrey and Letterman balked at such talk. "I want you to know, it's really over, whatever you thought was happening," said Winfrey.

In 1998, Oprah began Oprah's Angel Network, a charity aimed at encouraging people around the world to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged others. Accordingly, Oprah's Angel Network supports charitable projects and provides grants to nonprofit organizations around the world that share this vision. To date, Oprah's Angel Network has raised more than (US)$27,000,000. Oprah personally covers all administrative costs associated with the charity, so 100% of all funds raised go to charity programs. The Angel Network

Oprah's show is based in Chicago, Illinois, so she spends time there but otherwise resides in California. Reportedly, she has recently purchased several properties on Maui, Hawaii.

Influence

Winfrey's prominence as a media personality has led her to be highly influential, both intentionally and unwittingly.

In the late 1990s, Winfrey introduced a new segment on her television show: Oprah's Book Club. The segment focused on new books and classics, and often brought obscure novels to popular attention. The book club became such a powerful force that whenever Winfrey introduced a new book as her book-club selection, it instantly became a best-seller (known as the Oprah Effect); for example, when she selected the classic John Steinbeck novel East of Eden, it soared to the top of the book charts. Being recognized by Oprah often means a million additional book sales for an author.

The sign in front of Oprah Winfrey's Chicago based Harpo Studios.

Oprah's show often contributes to the fabric of American pop culture. Many of her guests have become instant celebrities.

Such heavy influence upon both America and the world has led many to become conscious of her effect on culture. Some feel as if Oprahs influence is irresponsible. Either way, there seems to be no slowing down for Oprah whose followers seem to support her no matter what. During a show about mad cow disease with Howard Lyman (aired on April 16, 1996), Winfrey exclaimed, "It has just stopped me cold from eating another burger!" Texas cattlemen sued her and Lyman in early 1998 for "false defamation of perishable food" and "business disparagement," claiming that Winfrey's remarks subsequently sent cattle prices tumbling, costing beef producers some USD$12 million. After a trial spanning over two months in an Amarillo, Texas court in the thick of cattle country, the jury found on February 26 that Winfrey was not guilty, did not act with malice, and was not liable for damages. After the trial, she received a postcard from Rosie O'Donnell reading, "Congratulations, you beat the meat!"

Criticism

Some believe there to be a gender bias in some of Winfrey's shows. Those about infidelity, for example, often focus either on cheating men or on cheated-on wives. Some critics say Winfrey makes inadequate reference to women who cheat or may only make cursory comments.

Oprah's Book Club has occasionally chosen books which have proven to be modestly controversial. Most notably, one of its attempted selectees, Jonathan Franzen objected to his book The Corrections being chosen, believing that its selection as an Oprah's Book Club book would demean his literary reputation. "She's picked some good books, but she's picked enough schmaltzy, one dimensional ones that I cringe. . ." he said in a www.Powells.com interview.

Oprah confronts James Frey, January 26, 2006

In a more recent controversy, Winfrey's selection of the drug rehab book A Million Little Pieces is under scrutiny, with the online publication The Smoking Gun arguing that its author James Frey is guilty of subterfuge and deceit in composing his allegedly autobiographical memoir. While Winfrey initially supported Frey, she reversed only ten days later, confronting him on her show with barely concealed outrage. She also expressed dismay with the publisher for not telling her about the embellishments. Winfrey removed the references to Frey's work on the main page of her webpage but left references in the Oprah's Book Club section earlier in the week.

It has also been noted that the occasions on which various guest celebrities on her show "reach out" and perform charitable acts (such as performing for sick children) seem to nearly always coincide with a release of a project in which they have a prominent role (such as starring in a movie or releasing a music album). Some have said that this trivializes and degrades the various causes they help by turning them into vessels for marketing and have even suggested that it verges on exploitation, especially when children are involved.

Winfrey is also charged with being too self-focused and also very insecure. For instance, Harpo Productions makes employees sign contracts prohibiting them from disclosing anything about their time employed with her. Many staffers have said off the record that she can be egotistical and difficult to work with.

Works

Television

  • Before Women Had Wings (1997) (also producer)
  • There Are No Children Here (1993)
  • Lincoln (1992) (documentary) (narrator)
  • Brewster Place (1990-1991)
  • The W Brewster Place (1989) (also executive producer)

Movies

  • Bee Movie (2007) (voice) (currently in pre-production)
  • Charlotte's Web (2006) (voice) (currently filming)
  • Emmanuel's Gift (2005) (documentary) (narrator)
  • Brothers of the Borderland (2004) (short subject) (narrator)
  • Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives (2003) (documentary) (narrator)
  • Beloved (1998)
  • The Lives of Quincy Jones (1990) (documentary)
  • Throw Momma from the Train (1987) (Cameo)
  • Native Son (1986)
  • The Color Purple (1985)

Books by Oprah

  • Make the Connection : Ten Steps to a Better Body and a Better Life, by Bob Greene and Oprah Winfrey, 1999; ISBN 0786882980.
  • Journey to Beloved, by Oprah Winfrey and Ken Regan, 1998; 0786864583.
  • The Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah Winfrey : A Portrait in Her Own Words, by Bill Adler (ed) and Oprah Winfrey, 1997; ISBN 1559724196.
  • A Journal of Daily Renewal : The Companion to Make the Connection, by Bob Greene and Oprah Winfrey, 1996; ISBN 0786882158.
  • In The Kitchen With Rosie: Oprah's Favorite Recipes, by Rosie Daley and Oprah Winfrey, 1994; ISBN 0679434046.

Books about Oprah

Oprah has many books written about her such as

The Gospel according to Oprah by Marcia Z. Nelson


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Nelson.
. The Gospel according to Oprah by Marcia Z. Years reflect the year in which the awards were presented, for music released in the previous year. Oprah has many books written about her such as. World. Many staffers have said off the record that she can be egotistical and difficult to work with. Traditional Pop.

For instance, Harpo Productions makes employees sign contracts prohibiting them from disclosing anything about their time employed with her. Spoken. Winfrey is also charged with being too self-focused and also very insecure. Surround Sound. Some have said that this trivializes and degrades the various causes they help by turning them into vessels for marketing and have even suggested that it verges on exploitation, especially when children are involved. Rock. It has also been noted that the occasions on which various guest celebrities on her show "reach out" and perform charitable acts (such as performing for sick children) seem to nearly always coincide with a release of a project in which they have a prominent role (such as starring in a movie or releasing a music album). Reggae.

Winfrey removed the references to Frey's work on the main page of her webpage but left references in the Oprah's Book Club section earlier in the week. Rap. She also expressed dismay with the publisher for not telling her about the embellishments. R&B. While Winfrey initially supported Frey, she reversed only ten days later, confronting him on her show with barely concealed outrage. Production and engineering. In a more recent controversy, Winfrey's selection of the drug rehab book A Million Little Pieces is under scrutiny, with the online publication The Smoking Gun arguing that its author James Frey is guilty of subterfuge and deceit in composing his allegedly autobiographical memoir. Pop.

." he said in a www.Powells.com interview. Polka. "She's picked some good books, but she's picked enough schmaltzy, one dimensional ones that I cringe. Packaging and notes. Most notably, one of its attempted selectees, Jonathan Franzen objected to his book The Corrections being chosen, believing that its selection as an Oprah's Book Club book would demean his literary reputation. New Age. Oprah's Book Club has occasionally chosen books which have proven to be modestly controversial. Music Video.

Some critics say Winfrey makes inadequate reference to women who cheat or may only make cursory comments. Musical Show. Those about infidelity, for example, often focus either on cheating men or on cheated-on wives. Latin. Some believe there to be a gender bias in some of Winfrey's shows. Jazz. After the trial, she received a postcard from Rosie O'Donnell reading, "Congratulations, you beat the meat!". Historical.

After a trial spanning over two months in an Amarillo, Texas court in the thick of cattle country, the jury found on February 26 that Winfrey was not guilty, did not act with malice, and was not liable for damages. Gospel. During a show about mad cow disease with Howard Lyman (aired on April 16, 1996), Winfrey exclaimed, "It has just stopped me cold from eating another burger!" Texas cattlemen sued her and Lyman in early 1998 for "false defamation of perishable food" and "business disparagement," claiming that Winfrey's remarks subsequently sent cattle prices tumbling, costing beef producers some USD$12 million. Folk. Either way, there seems to be no slowing down for Oprah whose followers seem to support her no matter what. Film/TV/Media. Some feel as if Oprahs influence is irresponsible. Disco.

Such heavy influence upon both America and the world has led many to become conscious of her effect on culture. Dance. Many of her guests have become instant celebrities. Country. Oprah's show often contributes to the fabric of American pop culture. Composing and arranging. Being recognized by Oprah often means a million additional book sales for an author. Comedy.

The book club became such a powerful force that whenever Winfrey introduced a new book as her book-club selection, it instantly became a best-seller (known as the Oprah Effect); for example, when she selected the classic John Steinbeck novel East of Eden, it soared to the top of the book charts. Classical. The segment focused on new books and classics, and often brought obscure novels to popular attention. Children's. In the late 1990s, Winfrey introduced a new segment on her television show: Oprah's Book Club. Blues. Winfrey's prominence as a media personality has led her to be highly influential, both intentionally and unwittingly. Alternative.

Reportedly, she has recently purchased several properties on Maui, Hawaii. Béla Fleck has been nominated in more categories than any other musician, namely country, pop, jazz, bluegrass, classical, folk, and spoken word, as well as composition and arranging. Oprah's show is based in Chicago, Illinois, so she spends time there but otherwise resides in California. Christopher Cross (Grammy Awards of 1981) and Norah Jones (Grammy Awards of 2003) are the only artists to receive the "Big Four" (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist) in a single ceremony. The Angel Network. The most Grammys won in a single night is eight -- a record shared by Michael Jackson (1984), and Carlos Santana (2000). Oprah personally covers all administrative costs associated with the charity, so 100% of all funds raised go to charity programs. Conductor Sir Georg Solti holds the record for most Grammys won, having won a total of thirty-eight awards before his death in 1997.

To date, Oprah's Angel Network has raised more than (US)$27,000,000. Soul and R&B legend Aretha Franklin has won 11 awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, including 8 consecutive (and the first 8 ever awarded) awards in the category:. Accordingly, Oprah's Angel Network supports charitable projects and provides grants to nonprofit organizations around the world that share this vision. Legendary Opera Diva Leontyne Price has won 18 awards. In 1998, Oprah began Oprah's Angel Network, a charity aimed at encouraging people around the world to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged others. Session drummer Hal Blaine played on six consecutive records which won Record of the Year:. "I want you to know, it's really over, whatever you thought was happening," said Winfrey. Metheny, as of the 2004 Grammy Awards, holds the record for Grammy wins in the most different categories:.

The episode was hailed by some as the "television event of the decade" and helped Letterman attract his largest audience in more than 11 years: 13.45 million viewers.[7] Although a much-rumored feud was said to have been the cause of the rift, both Winfrey and Letterman balked at such talk. Pat Metheny and the Pat Metheny Group have won 16 Grammys in total, including six consecutive awards for six consecutive albums. On December 1, 2005, Oprah appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman to promote the new Broadway musical The Color Purple, of which she was a producer, joining the host for the first time in sixteen years. . In a later show, Winfrey changed her report of the event and no longer claimed she was denied entrance on account of her race. The Grammys are currently broadcast on CBS. Winfrey felt she could enter the store after closing time, but when told that they were indeed closed, she claimed she was mistaken for a poor black woman and denied entrance because the store had been "having problems with North Africans lately." In September 2005, Hermès USA CEO Robert Chavez was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and sincerely apologized for not catering to "O" on behalf of the store. So, for example, John Lennon & Yoko Ono's album Double Fantasy was released in November, 1980, a month-and-a-half too late to qualify for the 1981 Grammys, and thus eligible for the 1982 awards (it eventually won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year).

Winfrey arrived fifteen minutes after the store's closing time, and the doors were locked while the last of the shoppers were being attended to. Unlike the Academy Awards, for which the eligibility period begins January 1, the eligibility period for the Grammys begins October 1, which results in September being considered the Christmas sales period for the music industry (in which artists generally release big albums to qualify for the next year's Grammy). In June 2005, Winfrey was allegedly denied access to the Hermès company's flagship store in Paris, France. Of the "big three" music awards shows, the Grammys are the highest rated. The jury voted to convict the man of murder.[5] [6]. In fact, many artists who are placed in high regard, artistically, by many fans and critics (such as Elvis Presley, Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks, Pink Floyd, Kenny Rogers, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, ) have been awarded very few Grammys. The trial was held in Chicago, Illinois, and involved a man accused of murder after an argument over a counterfeit fifty-dollar bill. Hence, the Grammys are not taken seriously by some musicians and music fans.

Her celebrity status notwithstanding, the billionaire Winfrey served on the jury of a murder trial jury in 2004. Some feel that because Grammy voters tend to vote conservatively, and are marketed to by record companies, the most widely-recognized Grammys tend to go to either well-established artists or those being hyped by the recording industry. While most people are convinced the relationship is genuine, some speculate that it is more likely a matter of public relations, and, in fact, Graham is the co-founder and owner of his own public relations firm. The awards ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and some of the more prominent Grammys are presented in a widely-viewed televised ceremony. The relationship of Oprah and Stedman has been documented through the years with numerous romantic tabloid articles often accompanied by color spreads of the couple at home and on lavish vacations. The awards are named for the trophy which the winner receives - a small gilded statuette of a gramophone, handcrafted by Billings Artworks. Winfrey has never married but it is widely assumed that she has lived with her partner Stedman Graham for almost twenty years. Like the Oscars, the Grammys, which currently have 108 categories within 30 genres of music (such as pop, gospel, and rap), are voted upon by peers - voting members of the Recording Academy - rather than being based upon popularity (as with the AMAs) or sales and chart achievements (the BMAs).

Winfrey also owns a house in Lavalette, New Jersey. However, the Grammys, usually held in February, (last of what are considered the "big three" music awards shows, including the BMA and AMA shows) are considered the approximate equivalent to the Oscars, in the music world. Rumors state that Winfrey was at a party the previous owners were throwing and so fell in love with the estate that she was reported to have purchased it by writing a personal check for $50,000,000 USD, although it was not for sale. The Grammy Awards (originally the Gramophone Awards), presented by the Recording Academy (an association of Americans professionally involved in the recorded music industry) for outstanding achievements in the recording industry, is one of four major music awards shows held annually in the United States (the Billboard Music Awards, the American Music Awards, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, make up the rest). She currently lives on "The Promised Land", her 42 acre (170,000 m²) ocean view estate in Montecito, California, outside of Santa Barbara. Best Contemporary World Music Album. Oprah Winfrey is believed to own a net worth over $1.3 billion USD according to the 2005 Forbes Magazine Issue. Best Traditional World Music Album.

This has fueled a rumour that Winfrey and Cooper are planning to make a movie together. Best World Music Album. Recently, Winfrey has been interviewed several times by Anderson Cooper, with whom she has completed several side projects. Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Winfrey's latest television project will be developing and producing a new talk show for popular Food Network celebrity chef, Rachael Ray, which will begin airing sometime in 2006. Best Spoken Comedy Album. The book club has since grown to over 800,000 members. Best Spoken Word Album.

Oprah.com averages more than 100 million page views and more than three million users per month. Best Surround Sound Album. Since then, Winfrey has also used Oprah.com to continue her crusade to help those in need and against pedophiles by raising over 3 million dollars for Katrina victims and helping to capture 3 convicted child predators. Best Rock Album. That same year, Oprah.com also launched Live Your Best Life, an interactive multimedia workshop based on her sold-out national speaking tour that features Oprah's personal life stories and life lessons along with a workbook of thought-provoking exercises. Best Rock Song. In 2003, Winfrey relaunched Oprah's Book Club with an online component and it quickly became the largest book club in the world, attracting more than 670,000 members. Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental.

In addition, the website has unique original content, including Oprah's Book Club, which offers free in-depth reading guides for each book selection, online discussion groups and Q&A sessions with literary experts. Best Metal Performance. It provides comprehensive resources related to The Oprah Winfrey Show and exclusive interactive content based on O, The Oprah Magazine. Best Hard Rock Performance. Oprah.com is a premiere women's lifestyle website, offering advice on everything from the mind, body and spirit to food, home and relationships. Best Rock Instrumental Performance. She is also a prolific author. Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Winfrey publishes her own magazines, O, The Oprah Magazine and O at Home. Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo. From that show alone, viewers around the world donated over (US)$7,000,000. Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. Throughout the show, Oprah appealed to viewers to donate money to Oprah's Angel Network for poverty-stricken and AIDS-affected children in Africa, and she personally would oversee where that money is spent. Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. In addition, each child was given a backpack full of school supplies and received two sets of school uniforms for their sex, two sets of socks, two sets of underwear, and a pair of shoes. Best Reggae Album.

During the 21-day whirlwind trip, Oprah and her crew visited schools and oprhanages in poverty-stricken areas, and at different set-up points in the areas they visited distributed christmas presents to 50,000 children, with dolls for the girls and soccer balls for the boys. Best Rap Album. In 2004, Oprah and her team filmed and episode of her show entitled Oprah's Christmas Kindness, in which Oprah, her best friend Gail, Stedman, and some crew members travelled to South Africa to bring attention to the plight of young children affected by poverty and AIDS. Best Rap Song. Winfrey was the recipient of the first Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the 2002 Emmy Awards for services to television and film. Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. The made-for-television film Their Eyes Were Watching God was based upon a teleplay by Suzan-Lori Parks, and starred Halle Berry in the lead female role. Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

In 2005, Harpo Productions released another film adaptation of a famous American novel, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). Best Male Rap Solo Performance. However, despite major advertising, including two episodes of her talk show dedicated solely to the film, it opened to sour critical reviews and poor box-office results, losing approximately $30 million. Best Female Rap Solo Performance. In the run-up to filming, and in an attempt to break the only field she hadn't conquered -- film stardom -- Oprah lost a great deal of weight and underwent rejuvenative plastic surgery, becoming the Oprah that the public is now accustomed to seeing. Best Rap Solo Performance. Critics said this would not even come close to the experience. Best Rap Performance.

To prepare for her role as Sethe, the protagonist and former slave, Oprah experienced a 24-hour simulation of the experience of slavery, which included being tied up and blindfolded and left alone in the woods. Best Contemporary R&B Album. In October 1998, Oprah produced and starred in the film Beloved, based upon Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name. Best R&B Album. The Color Purple has now been made into a Broadway musical and opened late 2005, with Oprah credited as a producer. Best R&B Song. Many believe this was due in part to the Academy's "anti-Spielberg" bias, thinking the film would have been better directed by an African-American. Best Rhythm & Blues Recording.

The following year Winfrey was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, but she lost to Anjelica Huston. Best Urban/Alternative Performance. She earned immediate acclaim as Sofia, the distraught housewife. Best R&B Instrumental Performance. In 1985, Winfrey co-starred in Steven Spielberg's epic adaptation of Alice Walker's award-winning novel The Color Purple. Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. She is also the president of Harpo Productions (Oprah spelled backwards). Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

As well as hosting and appearing on television shows, Winfrey co-founded the women's cable television network Oxygen. Best R&B Solo Vocal Performance, Male or Female. An unofficial Oprah fanclub, also organized a petition drive [4] in 2005, to nominate Oprah for the Nobel Peace Prize. Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. 23, 2004 by E!. Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The concert was broadcasted in the United States on Dec. Remixer of the Year, Non-Classical.

There were musical performances by Patti Labelle, Andrea Bocelli, Joss Stone, Chris Botti, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett and others. Producer of the Year, Classical. The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Concert was hosted by Oprah and Tom Cruise. Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. [3]. Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical. She plans to host 140 episodes per season, until her final season, when it will return to its current number, 130. Best Engineered Recording - Special or Novel Effects.

Winfrey recently made a deal to extend her show until the 2010 – 2011 season, by which time it will have been on the air for twenty-five years. Best Engineered Album, Classical. During the show each member of the audience received a new Pontiac G6 Sedan; the 276 cars were donated by Pontiac as part of a publicity stunt. Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. Perhaps Oprah's most famous recent show was the first episode of the nineteenth season of The Oprah Winfrey Show in the fall of 2004. Best Pop Instrumental Album. Phil, in 2004, which is produced by Winfrey's production company, Harpo Productions. Best Pop Vocal Album.

McGraw appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show for several years before launching his own show, Dr. Best Contemporary Song. He accepted the invitation and was a resounding success. Best Pop Instrumental Performance with Vocal Coloring. Phil made such an impression on Winfrey that she invited him to appear on her show. Best Pop Instrumental Performance. Dr. Best Performance by an Orchestra or Instrumentalist with Orchestra - Primarily Not Jazz or for Dancing.

to help her analyze and read the jury. Best Performance by an Orchestra - for Dancing. Phil McGraw's company Courtroom Sciences, Inc. Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. During a lawsuit against Winfrey (see Influence), she hired Dr. Best Contemporary Performance by a Chorus. As well as the hour-long regular show, she tapes informal discussions or Q&A sessions with celebrity guests after the show, which are broadcast as Oprah After The Show on her Oxygen network. Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Oprah's trademark in recent years has been her "Wildest Dreams" tour, which fulfills the dreams of many deserving people, be it a new house, an encounter with a favourite performer, or a guest role on a popular TV show, who have been reported to her producers by loving friends and family. Best Contemporary (R&R) Solo Vocal Performance - Male or Female. Oprah frequently features the plight of others around the world in her show, and uses the show to promote charitable causes. Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. She often interviews celebrities or other issues that involve the celebrity in some way, such as cancer, charity work, or substance abuse, although more often she focuses on ordinary people that have done extraordinary things or been involved in important current issues. Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. She overcame numerous difficulties in her childhood, including sexual abuse, which has made her want to be an advocate for children as well as women. Best Instrumental Performance.

The Oprah Winfrey Show is extremely successful and popular, in large part due to the fact that Oprah is able to relate to her audience. Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus. Winfrey began to do a lot of charity work, and her show featured people suffering from poverty or the victims of unfortunate accidents. Best Performance by a Chorus. By the mid-1990s the shows adopted a more serious format, addressing issues that Winfrey thought were of direct importance and of crucial consequence to women. Best Performance by a Vocal Group. Originally, the show followed traditional talk show formats. Best Vocal Performance, Male.

With Winfrey as the host, the show was so successful that it was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show, expanded to a full hour, and broadcast nationally beginning September 8, 1986. Best Vocal Performance, Female. Her first episode aired on January 2, 1984. Best Polka Album. In 1983, Winfrey relocated to Chicago, Illinois to host WLS-TV's low-rated half-hour morning talk show, AM Chicago. Best Album Notes - Classical. She was then recruited to join Richard Sher as co-host of WJZ's local talk show, People Are Talking, which premiered on August 14, 1978. Best Album Notes.

She moved to Baltimore's WJZ-TV in 1976 to co-anchor the six o'clock news. Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package. Working in local media, she was both the youngest news anchor and the first black female news anchor at Nashville's WTVF-TV. Best Recording Package. But her true media career began at age seventeen, working at her high school radio show. Best Album Cover, Photography. In her youth she played games interviewing her corncob doll and the crows on the fence of her family's property. Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts.

Winfrey's grandmother has said that ever since Oprah could talk, she was "on stage". Best Album Cover - Other Than Classical. At age 18, Winfrey won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant. Best Album Cover - Classical. Winfrey became an honors student and received a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, a historically Black institution, where she studied communications. Best Album Cover. Vernon was strict but encouraging, and made her education a priority. Best New Age Album.

Winfrey gave birth to a premature boy who soon died. Video of the Year. Oprah became progressively sexually premiscuous, and at age 14, she became pregnant and her mother sent her to live in better conditions with her father, Vernon, in Nashville, Tennessee. Best Performance Music Video. Oprah was raped at age 9, and was repeatedly molested by her mother's cousin's boyfriend. Best Concept Music Video. While there, she suffered abuse from her comparitively darker skin, such as being forced to sleep on the porch in the cold and other forms of verbal abuse based on her features. Best Long Form Music Video.

At age six, Winfrey moved in with her mother, who was less supportive and encouraging than her grandmother. Best Short Form Music Video. As a child, Oprah showed signs of extraordinary intelligence and drive, such as learning to read at age two. Best Sound Track Album or Recording of Original Cast From a Motion Picture or Television. Winfrey's grandmother taught her to read and took her to the local church, where she was nicknamed "The Preacher" for her ability to recite Bible verses. Best Musical Show Album. After Winfrey was born, her mother travelled north for better job opportunities, and Winfrey spent her first six years living with her grandmother. Best Salsa/Merengue Album.

Her parents were unmarried and still teenagers when Oprah was born. Best Merengue Album. Her mother, Vernita Lee, was a housemaid, and her father, Vernon Winfrey, a coal miner and later a barber. Best Salsa Album. The name on Winfrey's birth certificate is Orpah, after the Moabite woman in the Old Testament Book of Ruth, but her family and neighbours would often transpose the R and the P when pronouncing and writing her name; as a result, Oprah eventually became her accepted name. Best Tejano Album. Winfrey was born Orpah Winfrey in Kosciusko, Mississippi to a moderately wealthy, Baptist family. Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album.

. Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album. She is currently ranked as the most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine[1] as well as the ninth most powerful woman in the world.[2]She is the first African-American woman to become a billionaire. Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album. She is currently involved in many business ventures, but is most identified with her massively popular and eponymous talk show. Best Latin Pop Album. She is one of the most successful entrepreneurs and television personalities in the world. Best Latin Recording.

Oprah Winfrey (born January 29, 1954) is an American talk show host and an Academy Award nominated actress. Best Latin Jazz Album. In The Kitchen With Rosie: Oprah's Favorite Recipes, by Rosie Daley and Oprah Winfrey, 1994; ISBN 0679434046. Best Contemporary Jazz Album. A Journal of Daily Renewal : The Companion to Make the Connection, by Bob Greene and Oprah Winfrey, 1996; ISBN 0786882158. Best Jazz Vocal Album. The Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah Winfrey : A Portrait in Her Own Words, by Bill Adler (ed) and Oprah Winfrey, 1997; ISBN 1559724196. Best Original Jazz Composition.

Journey to Beloved, by Oprah Winfrey and Ken Regan, 1998; 0786864583. Best Jazz Fusion Performance. Make the Connection : Ten Steps to a Better Body and a Better Life, by Bob Greene and Oprah Winfrey, 1999; ISBN 0786882980. Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. The Color Purple (1985). Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group. Native Son (1986). Best Jazz Instrumental Solo.

Throw Momma from the Train (1987) (Cameo). Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group. The Lives of Quincy Jones (1990) (documentary). Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male. Beloved (1998). Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female. Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives (2003) (documentary) (narrator). Best Historical Album.

Brothers of the Borderland (2004) (short subject) (narrator). Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album. Emmanuel's Gift (2005) (documentary) (narrator). Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album. Charlotte's Web (2006) (voice) (currently filming). Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album. Bee Movie (2007) (voice) (currently in pre-production). Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album.

The W Brewster Place (1989) (also executive producer). Best Rock Gospel Album. Brewster Place (1990-1991). Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album. Lincoln (1992) (documentary) (narrator). Best Inspirational Performance. There Are No Children Here (1993). Best Soul Gospel Performance by a Duo or Group, Choir or Chorus.

Before Women Had Wings (1997) (also producer). Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male or Female. Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male. Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female. Best Soul Gospel Performance, Contemporary.

Best Soul Gospel Performance, Traditional. Best Soul Gospel Performance. Best Gospel Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, Choir or Chorus. Best Gospel Vocal Performance, Male.

Best Gospel Vocal Performance, Female. Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary. Best Gospel Performance, Traditional. Best Gospel Performance.

Best Hawaiian Music Album. Best Native American Music Album. Best Contemporary Folk Album. Best Traditional Folk Album.

Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording. Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (previously in the "composing and arranging" field). Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (previously in the "composing and arranging" field). Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.

Best Disco Recording. Best Electronic/Dance Album. Best Dance Recording (previously in "Pop"). Best New Country & Western Artist.

Best Bluegrass Album. Best Country Album. Best Country Song. Best Country & Western Single.

Best Country & Western Recording. Best Country Instrumental Performance. Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Best Country Performance, Duo or Group - Vocal or Instrumental. Best Male Country Vocal Performance. Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices.

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s). Best Instrumental Arrangement. Best Arrangement. Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (now in the "film/TV/media" field).

Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (now in the "Film/TV/Media" field). Best Instrumental Composition. Best Spoken Comedy Album. Best Comedy Album.

Best New Classical Artist. Best Classical Crossover Album. Best Classical Album. Best Classical Contemporary Composition.

Best Chamber Music Performance. Best Small Ensemble Performance (with or without conductor). Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra). Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra).

Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist or Soloists (with or without orchestra). Best Choral Performance. Best Opera Recording. Best Classical Performance, Operatic or Choral.

Best Classical Vocal Performance. Best Orchestral Performance. Best Spoken Word Album for Children. Best Musical Album for Children.

Best Album for Children. Best Contemporary Blues Album. Best Traditional Blues Album. Best Alternative Music Album.

Grammy Trustees Award. Grammy Tech Award. Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Grammy Legend Award.

Grammy Hall of Fame. Best New Artist. Song of the Year. Album of the Year.

Record of the Year. 1988 - Aretha. 1986 - "Freeway of Love". 1982 - "Hold On, I'm Comin'".

1975 - "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing". 1974 - "Master of Eyes". 1973 - Young, Gifted, and Black. 1972 - "Bridge Over Troubled Water".

1971 - "Don't Play That Song". 1970 - "Share Your Love With Me". 1969 - "Chain of Fools". 1968 - "Respect".

1971 Simon & Garfunkel - "Bridge Over Troubled Water". 1970 5th Dimension - "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In". Robinson". 1969 Simon & Garfunkel - "Mrs.

1968 5th Dimension - "Up, Up and Away". 1967 Frank Sinatra - "Strangers in the Night". 1966 Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass - "A Taste of Honey". Best New Age Album (2004).

Best Jazz Instrumental Solo (2001). Best Rock Instrumental Performance (1999). Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group (1998, 2000). Best Contemporary Jazz Performance/Album (1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2003).

Best Instrumental Composition (1991). Best Jazz Fusion Performance (1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1990).

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