R. KELLY ASKS COURT FOR PERMISSION TO TRAVEL TO UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago judge today could consider R. Kelly’s request to perform in the United Arab Emirates next month and meet with its royal family. Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, says in a court filing that Kelly needs to raise money to pay his child support. The filing says Kelly had contracted to perform three to five shows in Dubai (doo-BY’) in April before he was arrested in February. Kelly has been charged with ten counts of aggravated sexual abuse. The details on what Kelly is supposed to do in Dubai are unclear. There’s no publicized Kelly concert, although often Dubai nightclubs and rich families pay for celebrity performances. It’s also uncertain which royals he would meet. Could Kelly be trying to skip the country? The U.S. has about 5,000 troops stationed in the UAE, and Greenberg’s filing acknowledges that the UAE is not going to jeopardize its relationship with the U.S. to harbor Kelly.
GERMAN MICHAEL JACKSON EXHIBIT STILL A GO
BONN, Germany (AP) — An exhibit of art about Michael Jackson will go ahead in Germany, despite new controversy since the airing of the documentary “Leaving Neverland.” Curator Nicholas Cullinan of the Bundeskunsthalle (boon-des-KOONST’-HAL-eh) in Bonn says the show was never meant to be celebratory, but to be “about the complexity of Michael Jackson, how he means very different things to many different people.” He says the exhibit, which had run previously in London, was scheduled for Bonn long before “Leaving Neverland” aired. The documentary is about two men who say Jackson abused them as boys.
JESSICA SIMPSON HAS HER THIRD CHILD
UNDATED (AP) — Jessica Simpson is a mom again. She posted a baby photo on Instagram and says she gave birth to a girl on Tuesday. Simpson and her husband, former NFL tight end Eric Johnson, have named her Birdie Mae Johnson. They also have a six-year-old daughter, Maxwell, and a five-year-old son, Ace.
OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN NEARLY PASSED ON “PHYSICAL”
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Olivia Newton-John nearly lost out of one of the biggest hits of her career. Newton-John says she freaked out after recording the song “Physical” when she realized what it was about. She told her manager she wanted to pull it, but he told her it was already out and climbing the charts. She says she thought, “We’ll make the video about....exercise!” Her friend made the headband, and director Brian Grant came up with the twist at the end, so the video took off too. That wasn’t the only near-miss she had. Newton-John says she had her doubts about making the movie “Grease.” Her new memoir, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” is out now.
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TIMBERWOLVES WILL GIVE AWAY PRINCE 7-INCH SINGLE
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves will wrap up their season of celebrating Prince by giving away a vinyl record at their April 5th game against Miami. The team will give away a seven-inch vinyl version of Prince’s song “Rock and Roll is Alive! (and it lives in Minneapolis).” The song originally was released as a B-side to the song “Gold” in 1995. The Timberwolves collaborated with the Prince estate all season to feature his music during games, wear purple jerseys and have acts like Sheila E. and Morris Day as halftime entertainment.
DONNY AND MARIE WILL END LAS VEGAS RUN
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Donny and Marie Osmond intended to do their Las Vegas show for six weeks. Eleven years later, they’re announcing it’s finally ending. They said on yesterday’s “Good Morning America” their last show is scheduled for Nov. 16 at the Flamingo Las Vegas. Donny Osmond says, “It’s the end of the Donny and Marie show. It’s not the end of Donny and Marie.” He says he has no tricks for the final performance and adds, “I’m just going to get out there and I’m going to have the time of my life.”
TANYA TUCKER PROMOTES TEQUILA
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tanya Tucker is getting into the tequila business. She has teamed with maker Elle France to create Cosa Salvaje (KOH’-sah sal-VAH’-hay) Tequila, which translates as “wild thing.” Tucker says in a statement she used to be a wild thing, but now she just drinks it. She says it was important to her that the distilling process was environmentally friendly, and the bottles are made from recycled glass. It sells for about $50 at CosaSalvajeTequila.com.
JASON DERULO COLLABORATES WITH K-POP ACTS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jason Derulo has sampled Imogen Heap, collaborated with Luke Bryan and made tracks featuring Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj and Snoop Dogg. This time Derulo has gone K-Pop. He teamed with Asian pop acts Lay Zhang and NCT 127 for a song called “Let’s Shut Up and Dance.” Derulo says they come from totally different worlds, but he really loves their talent. The video has been seen more than 18 million times on YouTube since its release a month ago. Derulo will release the song as part of his “Greatest Dancer” EP, out June 25. He’s also appearing in the movie version of “Cats,” along with Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson and Ian McKellen.
TEXAS HOUSE APPROVES LAW SPURRED BY ENRIQUE IGLESIAS APPEARANCE
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Enrique Iglesias’ appearance at a 2015 Christmas parade in McAllen, Texas, has prompted an overhaul of the state’s open records laws. The Texas House has given tentative approval to requiring more disclosure over entertainment events that use public funds. The city of McAllen had refused to reveal how much it paid Iglesias, saying that could negatively impact negotiations with other performers. The bill still needs approval in the Texas senate.
by Margie Szaroleta