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NEW YORK (AP) - Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson and the Goo Goo Dolls are among the entertainers set to sing at the lighting of the Christmas tree in New York's Rockefeller Center. Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Babyface, Ariana Grande and Jewel will also be part of the lineup. "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" will air live on NBC December 4.

Thursday, 21 November 2013 09:30

"Livin' On a Prayer" re-charts

LOS ANGELES (AP) - It looks like 1987 is making a comeback, because Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer" is back on the charts. Billboard reports the song is number 25 on the Hot 100 chart and number 5 on its Streaming Songs chart, 26 years after it was a hit. It appears to be because of new interest in a three-year-old video of Boston Celtics fan Jeremy Fry dancing to the song during a stop in play. The video was freshly uploaded to UTrend.tv in mid-October. The video has drawn more than 11 million views.

Thursday, 21 November 2013 09:29

Loretta Lynn gets Presidential Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama notes that after 50 years in the business, Loretta Lynn still reigns as "the rule-breaking, record-setting queen of country music." Obama presented Lynn and 15 others with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award the U.S. can bestow upon civilians. He pointed out that Lynn was just 19 when she first won big at the local fair -- for her canned vegetables. He says she brought home 17 blue ribbons and was named "Canner of the Year."

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 10:09

Macy's Thanksgiving parade awash in float flaps

NEW YORK (AP) - Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is awash in animal-related protests over its floats this year. Controversies involve the unlikely pairing of rocker Joan Jett and Shamu the killer whale. Activists plan to line the route of next week's parade to protest a SeaWorld float over accusations in a new documentary that the theme parks treat whales badly. And ranchers succeeded in getting Jett pulled off the South Dakota tourism float after they questioned why the vegetarian and animal-rights ally was representing their beef-loving state. The float flaps threaten to shake Macy's traditional position of staying out of politics and soaring above the fray with massive balloons of Snoopy, Kermit the Frog and others. Macy's issued a statement saying the mission of the parade is "entertainment." 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 10:09

Kelly Clarkson expecting

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Kelly Clarkson calls it the "best early Christmas present ever." The singer and hubby Brandon Blackstock are expecting their first child. No word on when the baby is due. Clarkson and Blackstock were married last month. He is the son of Clarkson's manager and is also the stepson of country legend Reba McEntire. Clarkson is 31 and is the first "American Idol" champion. It will be her first baby. Blackstock has two children from a previous marriage.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 10:08

"It's A Wonderful Life" sequel

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A bell must've rung somewhere because Zuzu has gotten her wings. Karolyn Grimes played George Bailey's daughter in "It's A Wonderful life." Variety says she'll play an angel in a sequel called "It's A Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story." In a switch from the first movie, Grimes shows George Bailey's grandson how the world would've been better if he hadn't been born. He's not a nice guy. The producers hope to have the movie out in time for the holidays in 2015.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 09:49

George W. Bush shows off paintings with Jay Leno

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former President George W. Bush showed off his painting and his granddaughter and poked fun of his post-White House years on the "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno on Tuesday.
 
     The 43rd president said that he was inspired to take up painting after reading a Winston Churchill essay. When he hired an instructor for weekly lessons, he said he told her "There's a Rembrandt trapped in this body. Your job is to find it."
 
     Bush shared paintings of his dog Barney and a stray cat that he adopted and named Bob ("so I can remember how to spell it when I got older") and said painting has changed his life. He presented Leno with a portrait of the comedian, prompting Leno to say: "I can't make fun of him now."
 
     When asked what caused a blocked artery that led to his hospitalization in August, the 67-year-old Bush joked that it was because he "didn't behave that well when I was younger and I might have smoked some."
 
     Bush has kept a mostly low profile since exiting office in early 2009 while the country was in two wars and struggling with an economic crisis.
 
     "It's hard for some to believe, but I think eight years in the spotlight's enough," he said.
 
     Former First Lady Laura Bush also appeared on Leno's couch to discuss the couple's charitable causes. They also showed the strand of pearls Bush gave her for their 36th wedding anniversary and a video clip of their first grandchild, nicknamed Mila.

NEW YORK (AP) - Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" is getting its first official music video, nearly 50 years after the song was released. The interactive video will premiere on Dylan's website Tuesday and marks the release of the new 47-disc box set, "The Complete Album Collection Volume 1." "Like a Rolling Stone" came out in 1965 and remains one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter's most influential songs. The video will allow viewers to switch between 16 different story lines that mimic television channels. The actors and hosts on each of these channels lip-sync the lyrics to the song and viewers can move from one to another during the song seamlessly. There is a Dylan channel as well that features vintage footage.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013 09:57

George Jones monument unveiled at cemetery

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A large monument honoring the late country singer George Jones has been unveiled at his Nashville gravesite and his widow has announced a college scholarship in his name. Fans of the singer who died in April at the age of 81 crowded about the cemetery site on Monday to see the memorial unveiled with his wife and other relatives present. The monument features a large arch with his best known song title, "He Stopped Loving Her Today," inscribed in the stone under his name. It also features images of Jones and his widow, Nancy Jones, a guitar and his nickname, "The Possum." Two benches are placed on either side of his grave for visiting fans. "All of his fans are really hardcore country music fans," his widow said. "I think they deserve to come out and see something just a little different. They can sit on the bench and see their idol." Nancy Jones told reporters that the singer began the design for the monument years ago, but it wasn't complete when he died. She also said that she would be starting a scholarship at Middle Tennessee State University. 

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Celine Dion will host a holiday special that encourages people to adopt children from foster care. "A Home For The Holidays With Celine Dion" will feature songs from Dion's new album, "Loved Me Back To Life." Ne-Yo, Chris Young and other acts yet to be announced will also perform. The special airs December 18 on CBS.

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