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March 13, 2019

BRITNEY SPEARS MUSICAL IN THE WORKS

NEW YORK (AP) — A stage comedy based on the music of Britney Spears will premiere in Chicago this fall. “Once Upon a One More Time” will begin preview performances at the James M. Nederlander Theatre in October. The play is about fairy tale princesses in a book club with only “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” to read — then, a rogue fairy godmother drops a copy of “The Feminine Mystique” on Cinderella’s lap. Spears calls the musical “a dream come true.” The production replaces another jukebox musical that was canceled at that theater: “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough,” based on Michael Jackson’s music.

PHIL SPECTOR’S HOME IS FOR SALE

ALHAMBRA, Calif. (AP) — The walled French-style chateau where music producer Phil Spector killed actress Lana Clarkson in 2003 is for sale. The Los Angeles Daily News reports the home, known as “Pyrenees Castle,” is listed for $5.5 million. It has nine bedrooms, ten bathrooms, two kitchens, a hair salon -- and a sordid past. Spector is serving 19 years to life for second degree murder after Clarkson was found shot to death in the foyer. Jurors had visited the home to inspect the scene of the crime.

ANDREW RIDGELEY WILL WRITE AUTOBIOGRAPHY

LONDON (AP) — Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! is telling his life story. His book “Wham! George and Me” will come out Oct. 3. Ridgeley and George Michael met as schoolboys in 1975 and bonded over music. The book will chronicle their rise as one of the world’s biggest pop acts through their farewell concert in London in June 1986.

AVRIL LAVIGNE’S LYME DISEASE FORCED HER TO HIT “PAUSE”

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There was a silver lining to Avril Lavigne (AV’-ril lah-VEEN’) getting Lyme disease: she finally got a breather. Lavigne says it was the first break she’s gotten in 15 years. The unintended time off allowed her to create music at her own pace, and the result is the album “Head Above Water.” Lavigne says from the time she was 17, it was a non-stop workload, but she does not regret it. She says for one thing, she got to travel the world and sharpen her business skills. For another, she says she’s reaping the benefits of all that hard work now.

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TOM DELONGE EXPLORES GOVERNMENT UFO PROGRAM ON HISTORY CHANNEL SERIES

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge (deh-LONG’) will host a History Channel series featuring his interview with a former military intelligence official who confirmed the Pentagon’s UFO program. The six-part series “Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation” will feature Luis Elizondo. He’s the man who told The New York Times in 2017 he used to run the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. DeLonge, who has long been fascinated with all things extraterrestrial, says everyone who watches the show “will walk away with questions answered and a feeling of, ‘Wow, I get it now.’” The series will air in May.

HAL BLAINE REMEMBERED

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tributes are pouring in for session drummer Hal Blaine because he played on so many hits. Blaine died Monday of natural causes at his home in Palm Desert, California. He was 90. Nancy Sinatra says Blaine “made the world a better place.” Ronnie Spector thanks Blaine “for the magic he put on all our Ronettes records.” Micky Dolenz of The Monkees says Blaine played “on the soundtrack of our lives for many of us.” Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys calls Blaine “the greatest drummer ever.” Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders says, “It’s a very sad day in the music world, but I know somewhere the beat goes on.”

“LEAVING NEVERLAND” GETS BIG RATINGS FOR HBO

NEW YORK (AP) — HBO says “Leaving Neverland” is already the channel’s third most-watched documentary of the past decade. “Leaving Neverland” features two men who say Michael Jackson molested them as boys. HBO says “Leaving Neverland” drew 3.67 million viewers with its first half and 2.45 million with the second, with that number likely to go up as people catch up with delayed viewing. HBO says “Leaving Neverland” will likely surpass the number-two record-holder, “Bright Lights,” the documentary about Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. HBO’s top-watched documentary of the past decade is “Going Clear,” about Scientology.

ACMS ANNOUNCE PERFORMERS

NASHVILLE (AP) — Thomas Rhett, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town and George Strait are among the performers announced for the Academy of Country Music Awards. Other performers are Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton, Jason Aldean and host Reba McEntire. The ACMs will be shown live from Las Vegas on CBS on April 7.

PILGRIMAGE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES LINEUP

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — The Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival will give this year another try, after last year’s festival got rained out. Foo Fighters, The Killers and Keith Urban will headline the festival on Sept. 21 and 22 in Franklin, Tennessee. Leon Bridges, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, The Head And The Heart and Live (LYV) also will perform. Last year’s festival was hit with severe weather, prompting evacuations and the canceling of the headliners’ performances.

by Margie Szaroleta