JERRY LEE LEWIS IS RECOVERING FROM A STROKE
NASHVILLE (AP) — Jerry Lee Lewis is expected to make a full recovery after suffering a minor stroke Thursday night. Lewis, who is 83, is recovering in Memphis, according to his publicist. Lewis was about to go into the studio to record a gospel album. He also plans to return to touring.
SURVIVOR BASSIST STEPHAN ELLIS DIES
UNDATED (AP) — The surviving members of Survivor are paying their respects to former bassist Stephan Ellis. Survivor guitarist Frankie Sullivan and guitarist Jim Peterik (PEE’-ter-ihk) write in separate Facebook posts Ellis died at the age of 69, but they do not give details. Ellis was in the band from 1981 to 1987, then again in 1996 to 1999. He played on their hits “Eye of the Tiger,” ″I Can’t Hold Back,” ″High on You” and “The Search is Over.” Sullivan calls Ellis “underrated yet never dated.” Peterik says Ellis was a “true rocker” and “nothing mattered to him as much as his bass guitar and a cold Heineken in his hand.”
ARETHA FRANKLIN CHECK UNDER INVESTIGATION
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Someone cashed a check from Aretha Franklin for $178,000 just before her death. The question is whether Franklin authorized the check. Prosecutors say Franklin had filed a complaint with police in Bloomfield Township, Michigan, in June about a missing check. She died in August. Prosecutor Paul Walton tells The Detroit News it’s difficult to determine if Franklin gave the check to someone who had permission to cash it. He says police have talked with the person who cashed it, but he declined to release a name.
ASHLEY MONROE STILL THRILLED WITH HEARING HERSELF ON THE RADIO
LONDON (AP) — Ashley Monroe doesn’t know what to do when one of her songs comes on the radio. Monroe says she’s not sure if it’s weird to turn it up, or if there’s something else she’s supposed to do. She says one time she was driving in Nashville with her husband when her song “Hands On” came on the radio. She says it was the one time she did an Instagram Story session so she could prove she was on the radio. Monroe says hearing herself on the radio is “such a cool, powerful moment.”
JOHN MAYER EXPLAINS WHY HE WANTS TO HELP VETERANS
NEW YORK (AP) — John Mayer decided to boost his charitable support of military veterans after he was able to visit a Marine Corps base without anyone realizing he was there. Mayer says he visited Camp Lejeune in 2008 as the guest of a friend. Mayer says he was able to get “a really fluorescent look at what was going on in the barracks” because the camp did not know he was coming. He says he visited the wounded warriors’ barracks and realized his idea of the wounds of war was completely wrong. Mayer founded the Heart and Armor Foundation to improve the health of veterans with scientific research. He founded it in 2012 but only announced the foundation on Friday. Mayer’s father was a World War II veteran.
CLOTHING BRAND SUES NETS OVER NOTORIOUS B.I.G.-INSPIRED UNIFORMS
NEW YORK (AP) — The clothing brand Coogi is suing the Brooklyn Nets, the NBA and Nike over a uniform design inspired by the Notorious B.I.G. The New York Times reports Coogi, which is heavily associated with the rapper, is taking issue with the Nets’ uniforms that feature a multicolor stripe pattern the team calls “Brooklyn Camo.” The team says in marketing materials the pattern was inspired by Biggie. Coogi says the pattern is too similar to one it’s been using for years. An NBA spokesman tells the Times there’s no merit to the claims. The Nets and the NBA declined comment.
“A STAR IS BORN” IS BACK AT NUMBER 1
LOS ANGELES (AP) — That hot duet of “Shallow” at the Oscars has propelled the soundtrack to “A Star Is Born” back to number one. Billboard reports the soundtrack moved 128,000 units in the past week, to give it its fourth non-consecutive week at number one. It’s not just Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance that pushed it back to number one. Amazon dropped the price of the digital version last week and Lady Gaga tweeted it to her followers. Ariana Grande’s (GRAHN’-dayz) album “Thank U, Next,” is in second. It also benefited from a price drop on Amazon and Grande promoting it on Twitter. Gunna debuts in third with “Drip or Drown 2.” Offset’s “Father of 4” takes number four. The “Bohemian Rhapsody” soundtrack is fifth.
BLUES HALL OF FAME WILL INDUCT FRANKLIN, BASIE, BOOKER T.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Aretha Franklin, Count Basie and Booker T. and the MGs will be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame this year. The hall of fame also will include Ida Cox, who was famous in the 1920s during the classic vaudeville blues era. It’s also inducting guitarist Pee Wee Crayton, who was the first musician to top the R&B charts with an instrumental, when “Blues After Hours” hit number one in 1948. The hall of fame will also induct the classic recordings “Rollin’ Stone” by Muddy Waters, “I Got A Woman” by Ray Charles and the Elmore James album “The Sky Is Crying.” The induction ceremony will be May 8 in Memphis, Tennessee.
YO-YO MA BRINGS CULTURAL CAMPAIGN TO FLINT
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — You might think of Flint, Michigan, for its water crisis, but cellist Yo-Yo Ma urges people to think beyond that. Ma, who performed in Flint on Thursday, says the water problems are just one aspect of Flint. He says there’s a huge part of Flint that “has that knowledge base and the willpower and the history and the looking forward to what’s new, what’s coming down the pike.” Ma is part of a cultural campaign to show music’s power to create moments of shared understanding. Ma met with local community leaders about how cultural collaboration can bring about social change.
MUSCLE SHOALS MARKS HALF A CENTURY
SHEFFIELD, Ala. (AP) — The studio where Bob Seger recorded “Old Time Rock and Roll” and The Rolling Stones recorded “Brown Sugar” will celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 27. Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama, will host a celebration featuring the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, also known as the Swampers. Studio co-founder and Swampers bassist David Hood will be part of the band. Hood tells AI.com that fifty years have felt like “a blink of an eye.” Cher recorded her “3614 Jackson Highway” album there and named it for its address. The Staple Singers recorded “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself” at Muscle Shoals. The Black Keys recorded much of their “Brothers” album there. The first Muscle Shoals hit was “Take A Letter, Maria” by R.B. Greaves.
KELLY CLARKSON WILL HOST BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kelly Clarkson will return to host the Billboard Music Awards. Clarkson says she had so much fun doing it last year that she’s back for more. The awards show will be May 1 in Las Vegas and shown live on NBC.
by Margie Szaroleta