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Archive for Thursday, August 14, 2008

People in the news

August 14, 2008

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Rock 'n' Roll Hall to open NY annex

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is on the road to New York - the city that spawned hip-hop and gave Bob Dylan and the Ramones their start.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday that the Cleveland-based museum is opening an annex in downtown Manhattan. It is the first of several planned outposts that will take its collection of artifacts to a wider audience, possibly as far as the Middle East.

Billy Joel and Clive Davis joined the mayor at the location in SoHo where the branch will open in November. The 25,000-square-foot annex will house Bruce Springsteen's 1957 Chevy and will feature a number of different exhibits.

Another annex being planned for Las Vegas will be on or near the Strip and will be less focused on rock artifacts and more entertainment oriented, according to Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the rock museum. A city has not been selected for the proposed Middle East branch.

Spears revels at mom, aunt roles

Britney Spears tells OK! magazine she's focused on family life these days, looking forward to her two sons meeting their new cousin, daughter of her sister, Jamie Lynn Spears.

"She's going to come out here for the kids' birthdays," Spears, who lives in Beverly Hills, Calif., says of Jamie Lynn in the Aug. 25 issue of OK! "It will be the first time the cousins meet. I'm sure the boys will be like big brothers to Maddie," who was born June 19.

Spears, 26, flaunts her maternal side in photos with sons Sean Preston and Jayden James on the cover and inside pages of the magazine.

After several years of custody battles, estrangements and high-profile meltdowns, Spears reports life with all family members is calm and pleasant.

She says she's also getting along with her father, James, who's been in control of her personal and professional matters as her legal conservator.

As for being an aunt, it did take a little getting used to, says Spears, who was a little "shocked" while visiting her 17-year-old sister and actress Jamie Lynn in the hospital for the birth of her newborn daughter.

Spears also appears fit and confident in promotional ads for the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards - the opposite of her widely panned appearance at last year's ceremony. MTV has said they are in talks to have the singer appear at this year's Sept. 7 ceremony.

Accused stalker can stand trial, judge says

A judge says a woman accused of stalking John Cusack is competent to stand trial, but cannot represent herself.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Susan M. Speer made her ruling Wednesday afternoon based on a psychiatrist's evaluation of Emily Leatherman. The 33-year old was arrested earlier this year outside the actor's home.

The judge made his ruling based on the recommendation of a court-appointed psychiatrist who evaluated Leatherman and said she was "delusional" and "paranoid."

Leatherman sobbed in court and repeatedly talked over Speer, prompting the judge to issue her several warnings. The judge appointed an attorney to represent Leatherman during her trial, which she says can begin Sept. 9.

Lil Jon shifts from crunk to 'world music'

Lil Jon is known for crunk music, but he's hoping his upcoming album will show that he has a broader appeal.

"It's not just music for the United States: It's world music," Lil Jon said of his new sound in an interview. "I'm touching so many different kinds of people on this album as well as keeping my core fan base at the same time."

The producer and rapper, best known for hits like "Get Low," Usher's "Yeah" and Ciara's "Goodies," is working on a new album following his release from his longtime label, TVT Records. TVT filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and its assets were purchased by the digital entertainment company The Orchard.

The working title of the CD was "Crunk Rock," but Lil Jon says he's thinking of changing the title to reflect the album's new direction - and his new freedom.

Lil Jon, 37, says he's looking to incorporate different musical styles in his synth-rap sound, working with dance acts, soca musicians, rock stars and more.

"I want people to say it's breath of fresh air from everything that's out there," he says. "It's still going to be me and what they know me for, but it's still going to be newer."

'Virgin' actor pleads not guilty in attack

A Hollywood actor best known for his performance in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of attempted murder in an attack that left his former girlfriend in critical condition with 20 stab wounds, authorities said.

Shelley Malil, 43, of Los Angeles, faces a possibility of life in prison if convicted, said San Diego District Attorney spokesman Paul Levikow. The charges against him include allegations of using a knife, domestic violence and causing grave bodily injury.

Malil was detained Monday night as he got off an Amtrak train in Oceanside, a coastal city about 35 miles north of San Diego. He had traveled there to meet with his attorney in preparation for turning himself in to police, according to a statement from Lt. Phil Brust of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

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