DICKEY BETTS HAS SUCCESSFUL BRAIN SURGERY
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Things look good for Allman Brother Band guitarist Dickey Betts after his surgery Friday. His website reports he had successful surgery to relieve swelling on his brain. Betts had hit his head while playing with his dog last week at his home in Sarasota, Florida. His family says the “outpouring of support from all over the world has been overwhelming and amazing.” Betts was already recovering from a mild stroke suffered last month when the freak accident happened.
ELTON JOHN ACCEPTS LIBEL AWARD
LONDON (AP) — Elton John and his partner, David Furnish, have accepted an apology and libel damages over a newspaper report that said their dog severely hurt a child during a play date. John and Furnish had sued News Group Newspapers, which owns The Sun and the Sun on Sunday, over a February story that said the dog inflicted “Freddy Krueger-like injuries.” Jenny Afia, the lawyer for John and Furnish, says the allegation was false. She says the newspapers have apologized and will pay significant damages and court costs. The newspaper group’s attorney, Jeffrey Smele, says the company is “pleased that the matter has been amicably resolved.”
PAUL SIMON CLOSES OUT FAREWELL TOUR IN NEW YORK
NEW YORK (AP) — The only guest musician at Paul Simon’s final concert of his farewell tour was his wife, Edie Brickell (EE’-dee brih-KEL’). She whistled the solo to “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard.” Simon closed out his tour Saturday at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in New York, a 20-minute bike ride from where he grew up. Halfway through the concert, Simon brought out a baseball glove and said he wanted to play catch. He threw the ball into the audience and twice it was thrown back over his head, but the third return was dead on. Simon has said he will still do the occasional concert — but he won’t do full tours.
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JACK WHITE DONATES $30,000 TO PRESERVE HOUSE FROM “THE OUTSIDERS”
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The preservation efforts for the house used in the film “The Outsiders” are closer to becoming a reality, thanks to Jack White. His management confirms White donated $30,000 to help restore the house in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was used in the 1983 film. Danny O’Connor is leading the efforts to turn the house into a museum. He tells reporters White’s donation helped meet the fundraising goal of $75,000.
LAUREN DAIGLE SEEKS OUT NON-CHRISTIAN MUSIC LISTENERS
NASHVILLE (AP) — Lauren Daigle has a saying with her team: “Extend the tent pegs.” That means they’re trying to reach people who might not listen to Christian music. Daigle says it’s important to her that she does not leave behind any longtime fans, because she is grateful for how they’ve supported her. However, Daigle says she wants to create music that people who don’t normally seek out Christian music will hear it and be “drawn in and feel welcomed and invited.” She says people “need joy anywhere in life.”
ARETHA FRANKLIN’S RED SHOES WILL BE ON DISPLAY IN DETROIT
DETROIT (AP) — The family of Aretha Franklin is looking at a new exhibit of her life at a Detroit museum as a test run to see if an Aretha Franklin museum is feasible. The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which hosted Franklin’s public viewings last month, will open the “Think” exhibit tomorrow through Jan. 21. Among the items on display are the first record Franklin cut in Detroit and the red shoes she wore during one of the viewings. Franklin’s niece, Sabrina Owens, says her aunt used to talk about having a Franklin family museum. She says it’s “not on the immediate horizon,” but the family will watch the public response to the exhibit to see if it’s possible.
HOW COUNTRY MUSICIANS OVERCOME WRITER’S BLOCK
NASHVILLE (AP) — Jordan Davis’ philosophy toward writer’s block is that if he could write one song, then he knows how it should be done. Davis says if he gets too hung up on a song, he will go back to how he used to do write. Kip Moore says every songwriter gets stuck and he has to just push through it. Morgan Evans has never had a block and says he used to write a song or two a day for four or five years. Morgan says the great thing about Nashville is that “you’re always in a room with someone that is most likely way more talented than you are” and you can bounce an idea off that person.
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MELISSA ETHERIDGE: NO, SHE DIDN’T
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Melissa Etheridge says despite popular knowledge, it’s not quite true that the title of her “Yes I Am” album was her way of confirming she’s a lesbian. Etheridge tells Billboard magazine she had written the song “Yes I Am” for the album before that one, and it’s a song that says, “Yes, I am that lover.” She says when the “Yes I Am” album came out right before she came out as a lesbian, she thought, “That is going to be really interesting.” She denies she chose the album title to coincide with her coming out.
J. COLE RESCHEDULES DREAMVILLE FESTIVAL FOR APRIL
UNDATED (AP) — J. Cole has rescheduled his Dreamville Festival to the spring and turned it into a fundraiser for his home state of North Carolina. The festival was set for Sept. 15 but called off as Hurricane Florence blew through. Cole writes on Instagram it’s been rescheduled for April 6. Tickets for the original festival date will be honored or refunded. The lineup for the original festival was Cole, Big Sean, SZA (SIH’-zah), Young Thug and Nelly. No word on who will perform on the April date.
PILGRIMAGE FESTIVAL CALLED OFF DUE TO BAD WEATHER
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — Organizers of the Pilgrimage Festival in Franklin, Tennessee, are promising refunds after lightning storms forced the cancellation of most of this past weekend’s performances. The Nashville Tennessean reports Saturday’s events were called off by 4:30 P.M, which means headliners Jack White and Lionel Richie did not perform. Yesterday’s events did not happen at all, with performances scheduled by Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, and Brandi Carlile canceled. Frustrated festival-goers flooded social media, questioning the event’s “rain or shine” policy.
by Margie Szaroleta