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The daily dish ...

Speech was a struggle ...

Kim Delaney, star of the television show "Army Wives," had to be escorted from the podium at an event in Philadelphia after struggling to read her speech from a teleprompter.

It happened Thursday at an event honoring former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Delaney is a 52-year-old Philadelphia native. Her remarks were punctuated by long pauses and fragmented sentences. After several minutes, a video began to play. She was escorted away from the podium to a chair on the side of the stage by a woman who appeared to be a producer.

Her publicist did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The event Thursday at National Constitution Center was in honor of Gates. He received the 2011 Liberty Medal, a civic award, for his long public service career.


Joining Jackson tribute ...

The Black Eyed Peas will perform at next month's Michael Jackson tribute concert in Wales.

They'll join Christina Aguilera, Smokey Robinson and Cee Lo Green at the "Michael Forever" show.

Frontman -- who worked with Jackson before the pop star's death in 2009 -- said Friday "we all owe Michael such a lot."

He said Jackson's songs "have been an inspiration to my whole life and certainly formed the soundtrack to my childhood."

The Oct. 8 concert at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium will be hosted by actor Jamie Foxx.

The show is not affiliated with Jackson's estate, but his mother, Katherine, and other relatives are scheduled to attend.

Organizers rescinded an offer to the band Kiss over singer Gene Simmons' past criticism of Jackson.


Celebrity birthdays ...

Sunday: Newswoman Barbara Walters is 82. Actor Mark Hamill is 60. Polka band leader Jimmy Sturr is 60. Actress Heather Locklear is 50.

Monday: Actress Donna Douglas ("The Beverly Hillbillies") is 79. Singer Bryan Ferry is 66. Actress Mary Beth Hurt is 65. Actor Jim Caviezel is 43.

Tuesday: Actress Jayne Meadows is 91. Singer-guitarist Randy Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive is 68. Singer-actor Meat Loaf is 64. Singer Avril Lavigne is 27.

Wednesday: Actor William Windom ("Murder, She Wrote") is 88. Actress Brigitte Bardot is 77. Actress Hilary Duff is 24.

Thursday: Singer Jerry Lee Lewis is 76. Actor Ian McShane is 69. Jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty is 69. Singer-guitarist Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad is 63.

Friday: Singer Johnny Mathis is 76. Actor Len Cariou ("The Four Seasons") is 72. Singer Marilyn McCoo is 68. Singer Sylvia Peterson of The Chiffons is 65. Actor Barry Williams ("The Brady Bunch") is 57. Actress Fran Drescher is 54.

Next Saturday: Pianist Roger Williams is 87. Actress-singer Julie Andrews is 76.

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