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  #511  
Old 10-15-2008, 04:37 PM
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Janet Jackson to resume tour after bout of vertigo


NEW YORK (AP) - Janet Jackson is returning to her "Rock Witchu" tour and - finally - revealing the mystery illness that led her to cancel a string of concerts. Following two weeks of scrapped shows, Jackson was scheduled to resume her tour Wednesday night at the Verizon Center in Washington after a bout of migraine-associated vertigo. She is being treated for the illness, which is characterized by dizziness, imbalance and other symptoms.

"She's a world-class entertainer and needs to be at the top of her game to give her fans the show they expect," Jackson's manager, Kenneth Crear, said in a statement. "She's feeling much better and is ready to hit the road again to finish the tour."

Upcoming stops include Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, New York and East Rutherford, N.J.

Jackson, 42, will announce new dates for concerts she postponed in Montreal; Boston; Philadelphia; Greensboro, N.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Uncasville, Conn.

She is on her first North American tour in seven years.
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:38 PM
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Brad Paisley and wife expecting their 2nd child


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A publicist for Brad Paisley says Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, are expecting their second child.

Spokeswoman Darlene Bieber didn't provide any other details Wednesday, but an announcement on Williams-Paisley's Web site says the 37-year-old actress is due in April.

The couple's first child was born in February 2007 and is named Huck for Mark Twain's character.

Paisley will host the 42nd annual Country Music Association Awards with Carrie Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 12.
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:39 PM
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Lee Ann Womack returns after 3-year hiatus


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Lee Ann Womack's 2005 disc, "There's More Where That Came From," was arguably the best album of her career. It won her three Country Music Association awards, including album and single of the year, and was praised by critics for its deft take on classic country.

But when Womack began recording the follow-up in 2006, something didn't feel right.

"I wasn't sure if my heart and my mind and everything were all in the right place. I changed my mind a lot and was overthinking things. We put a single out and it wasn't performing that well, and I was frustrated and tired."

She wound up scrapping the project last year and taking time off to regroup.

Now, the 42-year-old singer is releasing the album she says she wanted to make all along, "Call Me Crazy."

"The time I spent writing, looking for songs and meeting with Tony (producer Tony Brown) felt so effortless and natural," said Womack, who arrived for a recent interview in a black Mercedes and cradling two Yorkshire terriers.

This isn't the first time she's taken a break between records. There was also a three-year gap between her 2002 release, "Something Worth Leaving Behind," and "There's More Where That Came From."

She said she needs the time at home with her daughters, aged 17 and 9, and her husband, producer Frank Liddell, to recharge.

During her hiatus, she learned some Spanish - "poquito" she says holding her thumb and index finger a smidgen apart - worked on her guitar playing ("I get jealous sometimes when I see someone like Vince (Gill) play really well") and spent a lot of time writing songs.

"I had a sense that the work she did last year was not particularly inspired," said Luke Lewis, chairman of Universal Music Group Nashville, which includes Womack's MCA label. "She sat back and waited and did it again. I've got so much trust in her and her instincts. She knows when she's ready and when she's not."

Musically, Womack mixes traditional and pop styles on her records. But her last album, "There's More Where That Came From," was a nostalgic nod to '60s and '70s country, down to the retro cover art and the vinyl pressing.

While critics loved it, radio was lukewarm. Only one single, "I May Hate Myself in the Morning," made the top 10.

That's a switch from the late '90s when she regularly cracked the top 5 with hits such as "The Fool" and "A Little Past Little Rock," and a far cry from 2000 when her crossover smash "I Hope You Dance" propelled her to multiplatinum stardom.

Lewis said more hits would have been welcome, but the album still went gold and won industry honors.

"We can make money off selling half a million records. There's not that many people doing it," he said. "Let it have accolades and sell 500,000 and be recognized as a great and enduring album and I'm a very happy guy."

Shooter Jennings, son of Waylon Jennings and an outspoken country rocker who's toured and recorded with Womack, said the thing that sets her apart from her contemporaries in mainstream country is the integrity to buck commercial trends.

"There's a certain responsibility that she feels for country music, and that's why she will get so mad at something that's false," Jennings said.

With the new disc, Womack strikes more of a balance than on her last one. While some songs conjure smoky saloons with George Jones on the jukebox, others like "New Again" and "I Found It In You" have a bright, radio-ready sound.

She co-wrote four of the 12 tracks and called in pals George Strait and Keith Urban to sing with her. The first single, "Last Call," is a melancholy tune about a woman who doesn't answer the phone call she knows is coming, yet again, from a bar at closing time.

Womack said she sings what seems natural to her, and more often than not, it's sad country songs.

"I could have gone into any field of music that I wanted to, but when all is said and done, nothing does it for me like country, real country music. I like to listen to it, I like to play it, it makes me feel good. I don't just hear country music, I feel it."
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  #514  
Old 10-15-2008, 04:41 PM
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Author Gore Vidal fractured spine in recent fall


NEW YORK (AP) - Gore Vidal fractured his spine in a fall two weeks ago and canceled an appearance scheduled Thursday at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library in Toledo, Ohio.

"I'm trying to grow a new vertebrae, which I believe tadpoles can do, but I'm not so sure about humans," the 83-year-old author joked in a telephone interview Wednesday from his home in Los Angeles.

Known for such novels as "Lincoln" and "Myra Breckinridge," Vidal said he fell while entering a restaurant in Los Angeles and was briefly hospitalized.

He said he wasn't wearing a brace or taking painkillers. When asked how long he would need to recuperate, Vidal responded, "I don't think about such things."

Vidal said he was working on a new novel, about the U.S.-Mexican war in the 1840s.

"I have every intention of completing it," he said. "I am just sorry that I couldn't come to Ohio during such a historic election. It was very hard to keep me away."
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  #515  
Old 10-15-2008, 04:43 PM
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CNN to start weekend comedy show with D.L. Hughley


NEW YORK (AP) - The latest entrant into the TV comedy business is ... CNN?

The news network announced Wednesday that it's starting a show with comedian D.L. Hughley. Tentatively titled "D.L. Hughley Breaks the News," it will air live at 10 p.m. Saturdays and replay 24 hours later.

The show will debut Oct. 25.

Hughley describes it as a news-oriented talk show - more like David Letterman's and Jay Leno's program than Jon Stewart's. It will air before a live audience from CNN's New York studio.

Jon Klein, CNN U.S. president, said he took note of Hughley when the comic made an appearance on Glenn Beck's CNN Headline News show last year. Hughley, one of the four "Original Kings of Comedy," had a four-year run as the star of his own ABC sitcom and his own late-night show for Comedy Central.

Hughley was shopping his prospective one-hour show to two other networks when Klein called his agent to express interest.

"My agent called to say, 'What do you think about CNN?' and I said I'm not a newscaster," Hughley said.

But the more he thought about it, the more it seemed to make sense.

Comedy on news networks - planned comedy, that is - is unusual but not unprecedented. Fox News Channel aired the "Half Hour News Hour," but production stopped in 2007. CNN International, seen outside of the United States, airs reruns of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

"The audience that gets so much of its news from comedians these days clearly has no problem with that," Klein said.

Klein said CNN drew a record high audience for cable television among the youthful 18-to-49-year-old audience during the second presidential debate, so the network wants to keep those young viewers engaged. News viewership tends to skew old, an audience less valuable to advertisers.

As for setting limits on Hughley, Klein said, "Anything goes."

"It's as if we're shutting off the lights at the end of the day and letting him run amok," he said.

TV veteran Mitch Semel is the executive producer. Semel was the first head of programming at Comedy Central, started "Politically Incorrect" with Bill Maher and was a CBS late-night programming executive.

Hughley already has a road trip planned, to interview participants at a Sarah Palin rally in North Carolina.

"It's a black guy and a Jewish producer, so we will stand out like 'Mississippi Burning,'" he said.
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  #516  
Old 10-15-2008, 04:44 PM
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'Ellen' airs video against gay marriage ban


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ellen DeGeneres has made a public service announcement urging California voters to oppose a ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage.

DeGeneres married actress Portia de Rossi on Aug. 16, two months after the California Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage took effect. In recent days, the popular talk show host has been criticized in the gay press for not giving money to the campaign to defeat Proposition 8 or otherwise lending her star presence to the cause.

She still hasn't made a campaign contribution, but on Tuesday she posted a video on her show's Web site. She said when she got married it was the happiest day of her life.

DeGeneres' mother, Betty, has given $700 to help defeat the initiative.
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  #517  
Old 10-15-2008, 04:46 PM
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Courteney Cox, Demi Moore make directorial debuts


LOS ANGELES (AP) - When women make movies, Hollywood pays attention, as scores of A-listers turned out to see Demi Moore, Courteney Cox and screenwriter Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith make their directorial debuts.

Jennifer Aniston, Lucy Liu, Sheryl Crow, Kirsten Dunst, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ashton Kutcher and David Arquette were among the stars who gathered at the Directors Guild headquarters Tuesday for Glamour magazine's annual Reel Moments event, where Moore, Cox and Smith each showed a short film based on stories by Glamour readers.

"It's a tremendous gift" to have the opportunity to direct, Moore said. "I realized, besides being completely terrified about taking this on, that people had faith in me far more than I had in myself, and that I will keep for the rest of my life."

Moore's 12-minute film, "Streak," features her daughter Rumer Willis as a free spirit who inspires a calorie-counting college girl (Brittany Snow) to shed her restrictive lifestyle and have fun.


Cox showed "The Monday Before Thanksgiving," a 19-minute drama about a woman who finds peace and acceptance on the anniversary of her mother's death. Cox opened the program by announcing, "I'm available for directing."

"I love it," she said in an interview. "I would do it again in a heartbeat."

Smith, whose writing credits include "Legally Blonde" and "The House Bunny," showed "The Spleenectomy," a surreal comedy starring Anna Faris as a community-theater actress who stumbles into a life-or-death audition.

Stars celebrated at a private after-party at the Chateau Marmont. Guests included Matthew Perry, David Spade, Paul Haggis and James Van Der Beek.

Reel Moments, now in its fourth year, invites actresses and other women in entertainment to adapt and direct films based on real women's stories, said Glamour publisher Bill Wackermann. Past participants include Aniston, Dunst, Kate Hudson, Rita Wilson and Rosario Dawson.
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  #518  
Old 10-16-2008, 01:32 PM
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Tony-winning actress, TV star Edie Adams dies

She was a close friend & neighbor of Alex Trebeck's (Jepopady host)



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  #519  
Old 10-16-2008, 04:56 PM
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Both sides rest in Spears driving case


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Britney Spears did not appear at her driver's license trial Thursday. Instead, her father did the talking.

Spears' defense consisted solely of the testimony of Jamie Spears, who told jurors his daughter intends to return to Louisiana once she has custody of her children. The singer's attorney, J. Michael Flanagan, said in his opening statement that she was exempt from having a California driver's license because she didn't meet residency requirements.

On cross-examination, however, Jamie Spears acknowledged that his daughter got married, had two children and divorced in California.

Both sides rested their cases Thursday afternoon and jurors will return for deliberations Friday morning.

Throughout the day Thursday, the possibility of the 26-year-old testifying during the trial remained. That prospect was quashed Thursday afternoon when Flanagan asked Jamie Spears whether he would allow his daughter to take the stand.

"No," he replied.

The singer's trial on a misdemeanor count of driving without a valid license began with jury selection Wednesday. The case is the last remnant of an August 2007 incident in which Spears was photographed hitting a parked car and leaving the scene.

While Spears settled a hit-and-run charge, Flanagan rejected a plea deal that prosecutors offered Spears on the driving-without-a license charge because he said Spears did not want a criminal record.

Prosecutors relied on testimony from Jamie Spears and two witnesses, a Department of Motor Vehicles investigator and a paparazzo assigned to Britney Spears around-the-clock, to build their case that the singer's home is in Los Angeles. The paparazzo, Sondro Rodregues, told jurors Britney Spears spends roughly 80 percent of her time in the area.

Flanagan tried to establish that Los Angeles is a temporary home for Britney Spears and that she will likely leave once she has custody of her young sons. Ex-husband Kevin Federline currently has full custody of the couple's children, and Spears remains under the conservatorship of her father, who controls the singer's personal and financial affairs.

Flanagan gave jurors three examples of her ties to Louisiana: she is registered to vote there; she takes a homestead exemption on her property taxes there and until late last year, she had a Louisiana driver's license.

Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Michael Amerian chipped away at those ties, however, including revealing that Spears' voting registration in Louisiana had lapsed due to inactivity. He then introduced divorce records that Spears signed in 2006 and a couple weeks before the hit-and-run accident that stated, under penalty of perjury, that she lived in California.

Spears' fate will be decided by a jury of eight women and four men.

Once a jury was seated, the case barreled forward, with Amerian spending two minutes to give his opening statement. He called the case "very straightforward."

The prosecution's first witness, Gary Edmonds, said records indicated that Spears had not applied for a license as of Aug. 15, 2007 - more than a week after the hit-and-run.

Flanagan also told jurors that Spears had attempted to apply for a California license months before the accident, but the DMV was unable to take her photo.

If convicted, Spears faces jail time and a fine, although she has no prior criminal record, so her penalty is unlikely to be severe.

Flanagan has said he will appeal if Spears is convicted. Before the trial he had said he was considering mounting no defense, but changed his mind and called Spears' father. He was able to speak with authority about his daughter's affairs since he has controlled them since February, when a court granted him conservatorship over Spears' personal and financial matters.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:01 PM
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Ryan O'Neal, son charged with meth possession


MALIBU, Calif. (AP) - Ryan O'Neal and his son, Redmond, were charged Wednesday with possession of methamphetamine.

Both face felony drug possession charges, deputy district attorney James Garrison said. Redmond O'Neal, 23, also faces misdemeanor charges for possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of pepper spray.

He and his 67-year-old actor father are scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 13.

The father and son were arrested Sept. 17 after deputies searched their Malibu home, part of Redmond's probation. Police said drugs were found on Redmond and in Ryan O'Neal's living area.

Ryan O'Neal's attorney said the drugs did not belong to his client.

"It's unfortunate because Ryan O'Neal didn't possess methamphetamine, doesn't use methamphetamine and it wasn't his methamphetamine," attorney Mark Werksman said. "He never should have been prosecuted for this. We intend to vigorously challenge these charges in court, where they should be dismissed."
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