Oprah Winfrey's taking her show on the road next week for Barack Obama's inauguration - and she's bringing an all-star cast of stars with her.
Fans on Monday will see an exclusive, one-time-only, music performance by Bono, Will.i.am, Faith Hill, Seal, David Foster and Mary J. Blige of a brand-new song celebrating Obama's inauguration and her show's trip to D.C.
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher will also appear on Monday's show - and other stars, including Scarlett Johansson, will share special messages about the event.
Actor Forest Whitaker and musician Jon Bon Jovi will join Winfrey on Wednesday as she broadcasts her show live from chef Art Smith's "Art and Soul" restaurant.
Saying it was the most controversial moment of her "Best Life" Week series, Oprah Winfrey said Monday her show's message boards were flooded with responses to statements made by a religious leader that being gay was OK in God's eyes.
Responding to a viewer who Skyped into the show, The Rev. Ed Bacon, declared being gay is a "gift from God."
Bacon appeared live via satellite during today's show and didn't back down from statements made last week.
"I meant exactly what I said," Bacon said.
It is so important for every human being to understand he or she is a gift from God. ... and it's important to remember that God made them, he said.
Bacon said he's received a lot of response from his appearance last week, most of it being positive.
"It simply unleashed a flood of healing," Bacon said.
Bacon will appear live for a 90-minute webcast Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on Oprah.com.
Day three of Oprah Winfrey's "Best Life" series took on a revelation even Oprah Winfrey says she's never heard.
Responding to a viewer who Skyped into the show to talk about being gay, one of Winfrey's panelists, The Rev. Ed Bacon, declared being gay is a "gift from God."
Bacon is the rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif., a well-known liberal and progressive church.
"Well you are the first minister I've ever heard say being gay is a gift from God, I can tell you that," Winfrey said.
"We're not talking religion, we're talking spirituality," said Michael Bernard Beckwith, founder and spiritual director of Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles. . "People don't just happen to be gay. When people are born, they have that type of orientation, so he is gay by diving right."
In a much-anticipated return from winter hiatus, Oprah Winfrey tackled head on one of the biggest issues that's plagued her public life: weight.
Winfrey debuted her new "Best Life" week series today with an admission that last year she'd just about "given up" on herself and that her life had been out of balance.
While Winfrey herself didn't say she was suffering mild depression, adviser and fitness expert Bob Greene suggested she was.
"I looked in her eyes, and she wasn't there. She was very vacant and distracted. It was alarming to me," Greene recalled while walking with Winfrey one day last year at her California estate. "I think I felt she was losing her zest for life, and that was one of the saddest moments."
With a crazed schedule that balanced her talk show and several other arms of her empire, Winfrey began suffering sleep issues and heart palpitations over a year ago. Four doctors and several prescriptions later, the sleep Winfrey craved didn't come. But, the added pounds did.
"None of the doctors recognized it was a thyroid problem, but our viewers did," Winfrey said. "The moment I heard I had a thyroid problem, I thought I don't even know how to fight this."
"It's not about using food or abusing food. It's about balance. When I ask myself what I am hungry for, I am hungry for balance."
Winfrey admitted during the show and in this month's edition of "O" magazine that her entire body hadn't been featured on the cover last year because she was embarassed by her weight.
"This past year has been really difficult, because I didn't feel like a cover girl. I'd rather not be seen," Winfrey said. " All this year I've been hiding my body because I didn't want you to see it. Here I am one of the most visible people in the world, trying to hide my body."
Winfrey might have been down, but definitely not out. She pledged 2009 would be about having more joy and balance in her life.
"When you love yourself enough, you take care of yourself. You have to make yourself a priority."
Winfrey's "Best Life" week continues all this week, with expert advice from Bob Greene, Dr. Oz, Elizabeth Lesser, Suze Orman and Sun-Times columnist Dr. Laura Berman. Visit Oprah.com/bestlife for more and for info on live webcasts Winfrey will host next week at Oprah.com
Note: Special thanks to online entertainment editor Thomas Conner for keeping readers up to date on Oprah news while I was away for a two-week vacation!