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May 24, 2019

MELVIN EDMONDS OF AFTER 7 DIES

UNDATED (AP) _ Members of After 7 say they are deeply hurt and saddened by the sudden death of group member Melvin Edmonds last Saturday. The Indianapolis Star reports Edmonds died after a short illness, according to his son. Edmonds was 65. After 7 had top 20 hits in the late 1980s and 1990s with “Heat of the Moment,” “Ready or Not” and “Can’t Stop.” Edmonds and his brother Kevon (kee-VOHN’) formed the group with Keith Mitchell. The Edmonds are brothers of Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds.

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“BONGO ROCK” PERCUSSIONIST PRESTON EPPS DIES

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The man who made “Bongo Rock” a hit has died. The Hollywood Reporter says percussionist Preston Epps has died of natural causes in Los Angeles, according to his daughter. Epps was 88. Epps had only one hit, the instrumental “Bongo Rock,” which hit No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1959. He followed it up with songs like “Bongo Bongo Bongo,” “Bongo in the Congo,” “Bongo Rocket” and “Bongo Boogie.” Epps also was the main percussionist on “Earth Angel” by The Penguins. He later toured with Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, Little Richard and Sam Cooke, among others. He’s credited with discovering Lou Rawls at Pandora’s Box, the nightclub he managed in Los Angeles. Epps last performed in 2014.

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THE VERVE REGAINS RIGHTS TO “BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY”

LONDON (AP) _ Twenty-two years after The Verve released “Bittersweet Symphony,” frontman and songwriter Richard Ashcroft can finally call it his song. Ashcroft tells the BBC Mick Jagger and Keith Richards signed over their publishing rights to the song to him last month. He calls it “a truly kind and magnanimous thing for them to do.” “Bittersweet Symphony” sampled an orchestral version of the Rolling Stones song “The Last Time.” A legal battle resulted in Ashcroft having to hand over 100 percent of the royalties for “Bittersweet Symphony” to ABKCO Records, with Jagger and Richards getting song credit. Ashcroft says his gripe was with Stones manager Allen Klein for pursuing the lawsuit, rather than the Stones. Ashcroft says the Stones “always have been the greatest rock and roll band in the world.”

RIHANNA MAKES HER ENTRANCE INTO THE PARIS FASHION INDUSTRY

PARIS (AP) _ The fashion industry in Paris is dominated by white men _ which is why it’s such a big deal that Rihanna has entered the game. She has become the first black woman to launch a major Parisian fashion house. Rihanna has teamed with luxury group LVMH to launch her Fenty fashion label, which is available for sale in Paris and will be online by Wednesday. It’s not just her demographics that are raising eyebrows. Rihanna has no formal design training. She’s also forgoing the usual fashion season previewed designs in favor of a “See-Now-Wear-Now” model. Rihanna admits she’s feeling the pressure, but as she puts it, “It’s not like crumbling pressure, but it’s like: ‘You better get it good, girl.’”

METALLICA’S ROBERT TRUJILLO PARTICIPATES IN “DAY OF SERVICE”

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo (troo-HEE’-oh) thinks making music to make people happy is great, but helping them with meals is just as rewarding. Metallica held their second annual “day of service” on Wednesday, during which Metallica fans volunteered at food banks around the country. Trujillo joined volunteers at a food bank in Los Angeles to sort apples. Trujillo says he believes in positive energy and the day was fun because he was surrounded by Metallica fans.

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SKRILLEX, ALESSO PLAY INDY 500’S SNAKE PIT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ The challenge: who can be louder, Skrillex or 33 race cars? Skrillex will headline the Snake Pit concert in Turn 3 of the infield at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. Alesso also will perform.

SHINEDOWN’S BASSIST SUFFERS BACK ISSUES

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Shinedown bassist Eric Bass has been sidelined with a back injury. Guitarist Zach Myers says in an online video Bass’ back is “very messed up,” although he does not give details. Myers says Josh Stern, who filled in for him when Myers’ wife had a baby, will handle bass duties through Sunday. The band takes a break until the tour resumes June 21 outside Houston. Bass writes on Instagram he was on stage and doing “beast workouts,” and 48 hours later he was seeing spinal specialists. He jokes, “Not sure if 44 is the new 24, or if 44 is the new 84.” He promises to give updates in a week.

SCIENCE FESTIVAL WILL BESTOW HONOR UPON BRIAN ENO

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ Brian Eno will receive a science medal next month. Organizers of the Starmus festival in Zurich, Switzerland, say Eno will be one of the recipients of the Stephen Hawking Medal for science communication, in recognition of Eno’s contribution to the popularization of science. Entrepreneur Elon Musk also will receive the medal. Starmus is a festival celebrating scientists, astronauts and musicians. Brian May of Queen and Peter Gabriel are on its board. May, along with Steve Vai (VY), Rick Wakeman of Yes and steel guitarist Paul Franklin will play a concert led by film composer and former member of The Buggles, Hans Zimmer. The festival will be June 24.

FRANK SINATRA BAR AND LOUNGE SET FOR NASHVILLE

NASHVILLE (AP) _ A bar dedicated to Frank Sinatra will open early next year in Nashville. Frank Sinatra Enterprises has given its blessing to the Sinatra Bar and Lounge. It will feature an old-school cocktail menu with an emphasis on Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Sinatra’s beverage of choice. The menu also will focus on Sinatra’s favorite Italian recipes.

GRACELAND OPENS NEW EXHIBITION HALL

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ If you want to learn about different climates, you could go to a museum, to a university _ or to Graceland. The home of Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee, will open a massive new exhibition and entertainment hall tomorrow. One exhibit is “National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers,” which focuses on polar regions, oceans, rain forests, mountains, caves and the African savanna. Another exhibit is about Presley’s friend, boxer Muhammad Ali. A third one is a display of motorcycles. Afterward, you can stop by a new food hall or a full-service bar based on Graceland’s “Jungle Room.” Graceland executives hope to bring traveling exhibits to Memphis, even if they have nothing to do with Presley. Besides the new exhibition hall, the Graceland complex now includes a 450-room hotel, restaurants and a concert venue.

FORMER MANAGER SETTLES LAWSUIT WITH MICHAEL JACKSON ESTATE

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Michael Jackson’s estate has settled a lawsuit with one of Jackson’s former managers. Tohme Tohme (TOH’-may TOH’-may) had claimed in his 2012 lawsuit that the estate owed him nearly $20 million, including a 15% commission on deals he arranged that were received after Jackson’s death in 2009. The estate had said Tohme’s contract ended with Jackson’s death. The trial had been underway for five days in Los Angeles before a confidential settlement was reached.

by Margie Szaroleta

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