SNOOP DOGG, STING, CHRISTINA, AGUILERA AND OTHERS CELEBRATE A SOGGY NEW YEAR
NEW YORK (AP) — Rain drops fell along with confetti as revelers rang in 2019 in New York’s Times Square, capping a soggy New Year’s celebration that included singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha’s stirring rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” just before midnight.
Snoop Dogg, Sting and Christina Aguilera also helped the soggy crowd welcome 2019.
Crews used squeegees to sweep puddles from the performance stages, but the wet weather was still evident as boy band New Kids On The Block splashed up puddles while performing their hit “Step by Step” on a giant set of steps.
BRIAN MAY CREATES MUSIC FOR SPACECRAFT FLY-BY OF ULTIMA THULE
LAUREL, Md. (AP) — Brian May of Queen rung in the new year with fellow astronomers. May, who holds a doctorate in astrophysics, joined scientists at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, early this morning as the New Horizons spacecraft flew by the most distant cosmic body ever explored by humans. It’s nicknamed Ultima Thule (THOO’-lee), an icy object beyond Pluto. May debuted a music composition written in honor of the event. May says there’s “nothing more exciting in the world of exploration than going to a place about which we know nothing.” Radio signals from the spacecraft take six hours to reach earth.
MIKE SHINODA MARKS NEW YEAR’S DAY THE TRADITIONAL JAPANESE WAY
CHICAGO (AP) — New Year’s Day is a big deal in the family of Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. Shinoda says because his dad’s family is Japanese-American, they have a big event to celebrate the new year. He says they eat traditional Japanese foods like ozoni and pickled vegetables -- and black beans, lots of black beans. Shinoda says the beans are for good luck. He says the joke in his family is if they had a bad year, it’s because they didn’t eat enough black beans the previous New Year’s Day.
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MASTER P PAYS COSTS FOR 13-YEAR-OLD’S FUNERAL
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Master P plans to pay for Thursday’s funeral of a 13-year-old anti-violence advocate who was killed in a car crash after a police chase. News outlets report Ki’Anthony Tyus was a passenger in a car reported stolen that crashed into a utility pole Dec. 22 in Louisville, Kentucky. His family says they don’t know why he was in the car. Police are looking into whether the chase violated the department’s pursuit policy. Master P became friends with Ki’Anthony after he was shot by a stray bullet while playing basketball in 2015. Master P writes on Instagram Ki’Anthony “could’ve been the next Lebron James” and “no one is too young to die.”
BARACK OBAMA NAMES JANELLE MONAE, ASHLEY McBRYDE, LORD HURON TO HIS 2018 FAVORITES LIST
UNDATED (AP) — Former President Barack Obama had diverse taste in music in 2018. Obama released his traditional end-of-the-year favorites in books, movies and music. As far as music, he likes “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monae, “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” by Ashley McBryde, “Wait By The River” by Lord Huron and “Mary Don’t You Weep” by Prince. Obama also is a fan of The Carters, Leon Bridges, Brandi Carlile, Cardi B, J. Cole, Anderson East and Chance The Rapper. He also singled out the late Nancy Wilson’s “The Great American Songbook” in honor of what he calls “one of the great jazz singers of all time.”
WOODSTOCK’S PRODUCER SAYS HE’S PUTTING ON THE OFFICIAL ANNIVERSARY CONCERT
NEW YORK (AP) — Could there be two major concerts to mark the 50th anniversary of Woodstock in August? Michael Lang, who produced the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969, says the anniversary concert announced by Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, New York, is not the official anniversary concert. Bethel Woods Center is built on the site of the original concert. Lang says while that site remains close to his heart, “it no longer has the capacity to hold a real Woodstock Festival.” Lang is not opposed to the other concert, though. He says he’s “delighted that Bethel Woods is doing events in the coming year to celebrate what we brought to life in 1969.” Lineups for either concert have yet to be announced. If you go, perhaps camping is the way to go. The Times Herald-Record of Middletown reports most motels and B-and-Bs near Bethel are already booked solid.
SONGWRITER NORMAN GIMBEL DIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The man who co-wrote “Killing Me Softly With His Song” for Roberta Flack and “I Got A Name” for Jim Croce (KROH’-chee) has died. The Hollywood Reporter reports Norman Gimbel died Dec. 19 at his home in Montecito, California, according to his son. Gimbel was 91. Gimbel and songwriting partner Charles Fox won the 1973 Song of the Year Grammy for “Killing Me Softly.” Gimbel and songwriter David Shire won the Best Original Song Oscar for writing “It Goes Like It Goes” from “Norma Rae.” Gimbel also wrote the English lyrics to “The Girl from Ipanema” and “So Nice (Summer Samba).” As if that wasn’t enough, Gimbel and Fox also wrote the theme songs for “Happy Days” and “Laverne and Shirley.” Their names are on the record that’s on the jukebox during the opening credits of “Happy Days.”
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WALK OFF THE EARTH’S MIKE “BEARD GUY” TAYLOR DIES
NEW YORK (AP) —Singer-keyboardist Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor of the Canadian band Walk Off The Earth has died. The band say Taylor died of natural causes in his sleep on Sunday. His age was not given. Walk Off The Earth made a name for themselves when they put out a video covering Gotye’s (GOHT’-yays) “Somebody That I Used To Know” featuring all five members on the same guitar. Walk Off The Earth canceled their scheduled concert last night in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The future of their upcoming tour is uncertain.
By Margie Szaroleta