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Archive for Monday, July 11, 2005

People in the news

July 11, 2005

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Willie Nelson sometimes forgets to promote reggae

Nashville, Tenn. - Willie Nelson is so prolific that sometimes even he forgets he has another record coming out.

At a recent Nashville show with Bob Dylan, Nelson performed a long list of hits, but not a single song from his new long-awaited reggae album.

"I keep forgetting," Nelson said a few days later by telephone from the road, which he's called home for most of the last 30 years. "The set is so short."

Nelson's reggae album, "Countryman," is due out Tuesday, and, at least sporadically, he's been working some of the songs into his shows.

He began work on the album in 1995 for Island Records, but the project was shelved after Universal bought Polygram, and Island founder Chris Blackwell left the company. It languished until Nelson moved to Lost Highway Records.

Shields to take on 'Chicago'

New York - Brooke Shields is coming back to Broadway to play Roxie Hart in the long-running revival of "Chicago."

Shields, currently starring in the London production of the Kander and Ebb musical, joins the New York company Sept. 9 at the Ambassador Theatre. The show is in its ninth year on Broadway.

The actress scored a critical and popular success in New York last season when she stepped into the role of Ruth Sherwood in the revival of "Wonderful Town."

Shields also has appeared on Broadway as Rizzo in the revival of "Grease!" and as Sally Bowles in "Cabaret."

R&B artist to sing anthem at the All-Star game

Detroit - R&B artist Brian McKnight will perform the national anthem before Major League Baseball's All-Star game at Comerica Park on Tuesday.

The Canadian All-Star Choir, a combination of three choirs from Windsor, Ontario, located across the Detroit River from the city, will perform the Canadian national anthem before the game.

Members of the Grammy-winning Winans gospel family will join McKnight to perform "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch, organizers said Saturday.

Skateboarder conquers Great Wall of China

Los Angeles - Skateboarder Danny Way rolled down a massive ramp at nearly 50 mph and jumped across the Great Wall of China on Saturday, becoming the first person to clear the wall without motorized aid.

Way botched the landing on his first attempt but then successfully completed the jump across the 61-foot gap four times, adding 360 degree spins on his last three tries, according to sponsor Quiksilver Inc.

"I was aware of the dangers and my heart was pumping in my chest the whole time, but I managed to pull it off with the help of my team, and I'm honored to have my visions embraced by the people of China," Way said.

Several thousand people, including China's ministers of extreme sports and culture, gathered at the Ju Yong Guan Gate, about a 40-minute drive from Beijing.

Way made the jump on an adaptation of the so-called mega ramp, a gigantic structure that he helped create near his home in the Southern California desert. He set a skateboard jump world record for distance (79 feet) on a mega ramp at last summer's X Games, and in 2003, he set the height record of 23 1/2 feet at the desert ramp.

Museum to honor Winfrey, 'Hotel Rwanda' inspiration

Media queen Oprah Winfrey and Paul Rusesabagina, whose heroism inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda," will receive the National Civil Rights Museum's top honors in November.

The National Freedom Award, previously bestowed on Coretta Scott King and Presidents Clinton and Carter, goes to Winfrey for aiding poor children in Africa and helping create a database of convicted child abusers here.

The International Freedom Award, which also gone to Nelson Mandela and Bono, will be given to Rusesabagina, who hid 1,200 people in a hotel he managed to prevent their slaughter by Hutu militias.

The museum, built around the former Lorraine Motel in Memphis where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, will present its new Lifetime Achievement Award for civil rights activism to actress Ruby Dee and her late husband, Ossie Davis.

Celebrity stalker sentenced

Catherine Zeta-Jones didn't make it to the Los Angeles courtroom Friday to see her stalker sentenced to three years in state prison.

But the actress sent along a letter to Dawnette Knight, 35, that was read aloud by the prosecutor.

Calling Knight "evil," Zeta-Jones said, "You have profoundly affected me in how I conduct my life - how I will be constantly observing, looking over my shoulder," and added, "You will never be famous, you will never be infamous, you are just a criminal."

Knight, who pleaded no contest, was credited with time served and could be free in seven months.

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