Orpheus names Mardi Gras-season celebrity monarchs

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Rocker Bret Michaels and Grammy-winning singer Cyndi Lauper are among the celebrities heading to New Orleans for Carnival 2012.

Orpheus parade organizers named the pair as their celebrity monarchs Wednesday.

Mardi Gras is Feb. 21, but Orpheus is among the dozens of parade krewes rolling before Fat Tuesday.

Orpheus was founded in 1993 by actor and crooner Harry Connick Jr., who is from New Orleans. The star-studded parade is scheduled to roll the Monday night before Mardi Gras.

For last year's Mardi Gras, the stars of the HBO television series "Treme" led the Orpheus parade.

Past Orpheus monarchs have included Whoopi Goldberg, Sandra Bullock, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Laurence Fishburne, Dan Ackroyd and James Brown.