12:48 PM EDT 11/19/2013
Originally posted 11/14/2013 09:30AM
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, Hoda Kotb says it was a perfect stranger who inspired her to open up about her private struggle.
"Often we are so busy with our heads buried in a book or looking at Twitter, you don't look up and notice what's around you," the anchor, 49, tells PEOPLE as the morning show continues its weeklong series "#InspiredBy," which honors Today's personal heroes.
"You might miss a life-changing moment because you weren't paying attention. I started paying attention and I ended up meeting two people."
Originally posted 09/26/2013 12:40PM
It wasn't quite like the first time he laid eyes on singers Austin Jenckes or Holly Henry on The Voice, but another face-to-face meeting got Blake Shelton fired up Wednesday: his official introduction to Hoda Kotb's dog, also named Blake Shelton, on Today.
"I love him. I've seen so many pictures of him that I feel like I know him," the country singer told Kotb, as he snuggled with the pooch in a chair beside her.
Kotb adopted the black and white cockapoo in March after a segment on rescue dogs. A few days later, Shelton called into the morning show and convinced Kotb – who has been open about having a celebrity crush on the singer – to name the dog after him.
Originally posted 06/14/2013 11:10AM
Breaking up is hard to do, but Hoda Kotb is back in the dating game.
Having been linked to lawyer Jay Blumenkopf, the NBC star went so far as to say on Bethenny Ever After in February 2012 that Blumenkopf was "the real thing."
Only the real thing didn't last.
"You know what, I was with someone for two years," Kotb, 48, tells PEOPLE. "Now I'm getting back in the groove. It's really fun again."
Originally posted 06/04/2013 09:45AM
They were an unlikely pair at first: serious Dateline reporter Hoda Kotb and performer Kathie Lee Gifford, who shot to fame as Regis Philbin's morning chat show partner of 15 years.
Combined, the co-anchors have energized the once-stale fourth hour of the Today show since 2008. The chatty hosts drink wine, dish on celebs (and themselves) and share heartfelt girlfriend wisdom to a growing group of fans.
Their partnership is chronicled in the June-July issue of AARP The Magazine, which has the supportive TV colleagues appearing on the cover in bathing suits and wide grins.
Originally posted 06/03/2013 12:25PM
Cyndi Lauper has plenty to celebrate – and she's not doing it alone.
Not only is the singer-songwriter Tony-nominated for her critically acclaimed score to the best-musical contender Kinky Boots, but she's also marking the 30th anniversary of the monster hit that first put her on the map, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," which she released in 1983.
To celebrate? She was totally surprised by the Kinky Boots ensemble. After quietly securing permission from Lauper's manager and her record company, Sony Music, they assembled this performance music video (see below) of Lauper's signature number.
"It's so sweet, I'm crying," Lauper, 59, during a quick break from rehearsal Monday, told PEOPLE of her reaction to what was done – and about those who participated. She first saw the video Sunday night, before it was posted to YouTube.
Originally posted 10/12/2012 01:20PM
Things usually get slippery on the fourth hour of Today, but even Kathie Lee Gifford is feeling shaky after Thursday's episode.
In a segment featuring adoptable rescue dogs, the morning show's co-host picked up one of the visiting pooches.
"Oh, puppy needs a bath-y," Gifford remarked, before the dog quickly tumbled out of her arms.
Gifford's fourth-hour partner, Hoda Kotb, backed away from the scene just as quickly, saying, "Puppy took a nose dive-y!" Gifford apologized profusely to the dog as she picked it up again to comfort it after the fall.
Originally posted 06/21/2012 03:35PM
Is Ann Curry leaving the Today show?
According to a The New York Times report (citing unidentified parties involved in the negotiations), Matt Lauer's latest co-host may soon find herself off the popular morning show and into a new job at the network as a foreign correspondent.
An official announcement is reportedly expected before the start of the summer Olympics next month.
Originally posted 06/22/2011 02:00PM
Even at 47, Hoda Kotb was anxious about bringing her boyfriend home to meet the family.
"I was a little nervous, I have to say! 'Cause it doesn't matter your age. You're still bringing your boyfriend home to meet your mom, and it's still weird," the Today co-host told PEOPLE Tuesday at the Women of Concern Awards luncheon in New York.
It all went well, though. Asked what her family liked most about her boyfriend – reportedly a Boca Raton lawyer named Jay Blumenkopf – Kotb replied: "I think the way he cares about me, probably. You know when you watch someone care about someone you care about. It's just so nice."
Originally posted 04/06/2011 02:30PM
Who would you like to wake up to in the morning?
With Meredith Vieira reportedly considering leaving the Today show when her contract is up in the fall, the obvious next question is: Who should replace her.
Veteran Today anchor Ann Curry seems like a serious contender for the gig. Having been the show's news anchor since 1997, Curry has paid her dues and is a familiar face to viewers. As the host of Dateline NBC and often a fill-in anchor on NBC Nightly News, Curry certainly has the chops for the job.
Originally posted 09/29/2008 11:15AM
The Today show helped make a dream come true Monday morning, when Lance Carr of Colorado got a phone call from the program's fourth-hour hosts, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.
Carr, who, since the age of 10 months has had a rare form of muscular dystrophy, is the first winner in the show's "Everyone Has a Story" contest in which entrants sent essays telling their story, explaining what makes it special. The prize? A chance to have his story to told on the air – and have a brand new song, inspired by the tale, written and performed by a Broadway star.
As Gifford said of 38-year-old Carr – who wrote in to say that his father Larry is his hero – his disease renders him unable to move any part of his body except for his thumbs, making him completely dependent upon his parents.
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