Ice Cube touts West Coast rap
Los Angeles -- It's time to put the rumors to rest, say Ice Cube and fellow rappers Mack 10 and WC -- the death of West Coast gangsta rap has been greatly exaggerated.
In fact, the three are counting on "Terrorist Threats," their latest collaboration as Westside Connection, to dismiss any doubts.
"People are looking for more substance in the music, but just anybody can't give it to them," Ice Cube told the Los Angeles Times in Saturday's edition. "That's why I like this Westside Connection record ... it's still intelligent to a point where it's provoking new thoughts and new ideas."
Ice Cube says the album, scheduled for release Tuesday, will show gangsta rap remains viable on the West Coast, where it has all but disappeared in recent years.
Grammy news enlivens Vandross
New York -- Luther Vandross' physical therapy session turned into an impromptu celebration when his manager informed the ailing singer that he'd received five Grammy nominations for his album "Dance With My Father."
The R&B singer, who suffered a debilitating stroke in April, has been recovering in a rehabilitation center for several months. He was in a physical therapy session Thursday when his manager, Carmen Romano, visited with the news, according to Vandross' publicist, Lois Najarian.
Vandross' song "Dance With My Father," which he co-wrote, was nominated for song of the year. He also was nominated for best R&B album, among other awards.
The Grammys will be awarded Feb. 8 in Los Angeles.
'Idol' screams over nomination
New York -- Kelly Clarkson won the first "American Idol" competition with her powerful voice, but the way she reacted when she learned she'd been nominated for a Grammy Award was loud even for her.
"I was on a radio interview and my manager looked at me and she was like ... 'You got nominated for a Grammy,"' Clarkson said during "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" Friday.
"No kidding, in the interview, I was like," and then she screamed.
Clarkson was nominated Thursday for best female pop vocal performance for "Miss Independent," a song co-written by Christina Aguilera.
Bennett returns to heart of U.S.
Little Rock, Ark. -- Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but this week he returns for the first time to the Arkansas resort town where he gave his signature tune a heartbeat 42 years ago.
The music legend first performed a test run of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" 2,000 miles east of the city by the bay, among the famed rejuvenating vapors of Hot Springs in December 1961.
The 77-year-old said he only intended to use the song to soften notoriously skeptical San Francisco crowds on his first visit there, but Columbia Records executives heard his performance and asked immediately to record it. It was released as the B-side of a single in 1962.