Secluded Stars: Tom Morello gifts 10-year-old a guitar; Marlee Matlin honors Marlo Thomas

  • Rage Against the Machine band member and former Libertyville resident Tom Morello gifted a guitar to Nandi Bushell, a 10-year-old British girl.

    Rage Against the Machine band member and former Libertyville resident Tom Morello gifted a guitar to Nandi Bushell, a 10-year-old British girl. YouTube

  • Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin, center, popped into a celebrity-filled "Stars in the House" online special dedicated to Marlo Thomas and "Free to Be ... You and Me."

    Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin, center, popped into a celebrity-filled "Stars in the House" online special dedicated to Marlo Thomas and "Free to Be ... You and Me." YouTube

  • Libertyville native Phillipa Soo and Lin-Manuel Miranda, center, led the original Broadway cast of "Hamilton" in the song "Helpless" in a remotely recorded version featuring The Roots and Jimmy Fallon.

    Libertyville native Phillipa Soo and Lin-Manuel Miranda, center, led the original Broadway cast of "Hamilton" in the song "Helpless" in a remotely recorded version featuring The Roots and Jimmy Fallon. YouTube/NBC

  • Former Glen Ellyn resident Ryan Kelley tweeted about his role in the movie "Prayers for Bobby."

    Former Glen Ellyn resident Ryan Kelley tweeted about his role in the movie "Prayers for Bobby." Courtesy of Greg Gorman

 
 
Updated 6/29/2020 4:56 PM

A 10-year-old British girl's quick cover of Rage Against the Machine's "Guerrilla Radio" caught the attention of Tom Morello, the band's guitarist and a former resident of Libertyville.

So Morello sent Nandi Bushell a new black Fender Soul Power Stratocaster -- his signature guitar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Bushell, a multi-instrumentalist, posted the song on YouTube in early June as a show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

"You rock!" Morello said in a video message played by Bushell's parents for her in a YouTube video posted last week.

"It really gives me hope for the future," Morello said. "You've got a lot of soul, and here's a little soul power to go with it." Free to be ... Marlee

Academy Award-winning actress and Morton Grove native Marlee Matlin wasn't originally scheduled to be a guest on a recent episode of "Stars in the House." The daily online lockdown show raises money for charities such as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

A star-studded June 26 episode was dedicated to actress Marlo Thomas and her pivotal role in the creation of the 1972 album and 1974 TV special of "Free to Be ... You and Me." With just hours to spare, Matlin recorded and emailed a quick video of herself to the show's hosts. Matlin's appearance moved many of the on-screen guests to tears.

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Matlin later tweeted: "THANK YOU @SethRudetsky @JamesWesleyNYC for letting me perform (without makeup!) one (of) the first songs I ever learned as a kid in sign language, 'Free to Be You And Me' -- for @MarloThomas!! OMG!"

'Helpless' from home

Libertyville native Phillipa Soo is in the "Hamilton" spotlight again. A filmed stage version of the 10-time Tony Award-winning musical will be streaming on Disney+ starting Friday, July 3.

Soo and "Hamilton" creator and co-star Lin-Manuel Miranda recently led the original Broadway cast in a remote rendition of the song "Helpless." Backing the singers was The Roots, the house band of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" which helped put the video together.

Kelley as 'Bobby'

Former Glen Ellyn resident and "Teen Wolf" star Ryan Kelley reminded his fans about "Prayers for Bobby." The 2009 TV movie starred Kelley as a gay teen whose suicide prompts his religious mother, played by Sigourney Weaver, to change her views.

Lifetime is re-airing "Prayers for Bobby" at 11 a.m. July 5, so Kelley recently tweeted: "I was soooo lucky to be apart of this project that touched so many hearts. If you haven't seen it, I definitely would this time!"

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