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Archive for Tuesday, July 25, 2006

People in the news

July 25, 2006

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Pavarotti not finished yet

Rome - Luciano Pavarotti says he has no intention of letting the curtain fall yet on his singing career despite recent surgery for pancreatic cancer.

"I have every intention of returning to singing," the 70-year-old tenor said in an interview published Monday in the Italian daily La Stampa.

"I want to finish my tour. I can't give precise dates because I'll have to discuss it with the doctors, but I think I'll start again next year," said the man considered the greatest tenor of his times by many opera buffs.

Pavarotti was preparing to leave New York earlier this month to resume his farewell tour when doctors discovered a malignant pancreatic mass.

He underwent surgery in a New York hospital, and all his remaining 2006 concerts were canceled.

Because pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, it has one of the worst recovery rates of all types of malignancies.

But Pavarotti's representatives have said his cancer was contained and doctors were able to surgically remove it, offering improved odds for survival.

"In misfortune I was quite lucky," Pavarotti told the Turin-based newspaper in a phone interview a few hours after returning to his New York home from the hospital.

Pavarotti took advantage of the television age to become a widely marketed artist - especially as one of the Three Tenors alongside Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.

He retired from staged opera in 2004 but continued his concert career, embarking on a worldwide farewell tour.

'Survivor' winner sent to prison in Oklahoma

Providence, R.I. - Richard Hatch has been sent to a federal prison in Oklahoma as he serves a 51-month sentence for failing to pay taxes on the $1 million he won on the debut season of "Survivor."

Hatch, 45, of Newport, arrived last week at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City. It wasn't immediately clear why Hatch was moved or whether he will serve out his prison sentence at the facility, which is a hub for prisoners transferring through the federal system.

A federal jury convicted Hatch in January of failing to pay taxes on the "Survivor" prize and other income. He was sentenced in May to 51 months in prison by a judge who said the reality TV star had lied repeatedly on the witness stand.

Hatch became known on the CBS show as the "fat naked guy" for refusing to wear clothes.

Critics honor Carol Burnett

Pasadena, Calif. - Carol Burnett, whose long-running variety show became a TV classic, has received a career achievement award from the Television Critics Association.

"Does this mean I'll never get another bad review?" the 73-year-old actress-comedian joked Sunday as she accepted the honor.

Burnett went on to recount how "The Carol Burnett Show," which aired from 1967-78, got started. A pay-or-play clause in her contract with CBS for 30 hourlong variety shows was about to run out and she decided to exercise it.

The network, she said, wasn't thrilled. A CBS executive told her that variety was the proper domain of male stars like Jackie Gleason, Sid Caesar and Milton Berle and suggested she consider a proposed sitcom titled, "Here's Agnes," Burnett said.

"I'm so glad I didn't do 'Here's Agnes,"' she said, dryly.

The variety show represented "the greatest years of my professional life" and the TV critics' honor rightly belongs to the show's cast and crew, she said.

Christina Aguilera tones down sultry image in album

New York - Christina Aguilera says she's toned down the sexuality on her new double-disc album, "Back to Basics," but has no regrets about the sultry image she's projected in the past.

"The sexuality coming forward on this record is more softened," the 25-year-old singer says in the July 31 issue of Newsweek. "It's more pinup, tongue-in-cheek. It's playful. People take sex far too seriously."

Aguilera said she was proud of the image she projected on her last album, "Stripped," in part because it elicited strong opinions.

"If you liked it, you wanted to root for me - 'Look, she's empowered.' If not, well, you'd stick all those labels on me."

Aguilera also told the magazine there was never a feud between her and a fellow ex-Mouseketeer, Britney Spears.

"We were like best friends, but the media saw a navel and blond hair and had to create some drama," she said.

"Back to Basics" is set for release Aug. 15.

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