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Tuesday, 22 January 2013 10:58

Billboard begins magazine, website revamp

NEW YORK (AP) - Billboard is undergoing a revamp with the help of its newest Icon. The magazine will debut a redesign that includes new content on newsstands Tuesday with Prince on the cover. Revamps of its websites are coming later this week, including new chart features. Prince grants the magazine a rare interview in the reboot issue and will be awarded the Icon Award on May 19 at the Billboard Music Awards. Country singer Tim McGraw has contributed an exclusive track for Billboard's website relaunch. Along with content upgrades and expansions, the magazine, owned by Prometheus Global Media, will offer an iPad edition with playable charts. The online charts will be upgraded to include the ability to share charts on Facebook or Twitter and to export them on streaming services Spotify or Rdio. 

CAPITOL HILL (AP) - Katy Perry and John Mayer sure looked like a couple in the stands at President Obama's inauguration. Perry took photos of her and Mayer and of Mayer holding an inaugural trinket next to his head. Not far from them was Eva Longoria, who co-chaired Obama's re-election campaign, and Marlon Wayans. Beyonce and Jay-Z were there, as well as Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor. They all performed.

CAPITOL HILL (AP) - As Senator Chuck Schumer put it: "Wow!" That was his reaction to Kelly Clarkson singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" after President Obama took the oath of office. Clarkson gave a dramatic and emotional rendition of the song. She was complimented by the president afterward. Beyonce was up next. After getting a kiss from Obama, she gave a soaring interpretation of the national anthem, pulling out her earpiece in the middle of the song to belt out the final lines. She got a hug from her husband Jay-Z when she went back to her seat. Former GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan watched from the row behind. James Taylor was the first performer. He gave an understated version of "America the Beautiful."

Wednesday, 09 January 2013 14:39

Super Bowl Ads

NEW YORK (AP) - What can $4 million buy you? A 30-second spot during the Super Bowl. That's the top price ads have been going for. It's a half million dollars more than last year. Advertisers aren't blinking an eye. All the commercial time is sold out. They figure they'll get their money's worth. More than 111 million people watched last year.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Beyonce will sing the national anthem at President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony. The committee planning the Jan. 21 event also announced Wednesday that Kelly Clarkson will perform "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and James Taylor will sing "America the Beautiful" at the swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol's west front.  Richard Blanco, the son of Cuban exiles, is the 2013 inaugural poet, joining the ranks of Maya Angelou and Robert Frost to have served in that capacity. Blanco's works explore his family's exile from their native country and "the intersection of his cultural identities as a Cuban-American gay man," the inaugural planners announced.

Thursday, 03 January 2013 11:37

Rare Stephen King book for auction in Maine

ELLSWORTH, Maine (AP) - A signed copy of a rare Stephen King book is up for auction at a Maine bookstore, with proceeds going to a nearby homeless shelter's emergency home heating fund. The copy of the "The Regulators," written by horror writer and Maine native King under the pen name Richard Bachman, was donated by a customer of Scottie's Bookhouse in Hancock. Owner Michael Riggs says there are only 550 copies of the book in a special collector's box. Auction proceeds will go to the Emmaus Homeless Shelter's emergency fuel fund in Ellsworth. Emmaus director Sister Lucille MacDonald says it's an "ingenious" way to help people struggling to buy heating oil. The book is on display at Scottie's and bids are being accepted by email, phone and in person until Jan. 31.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 16:17

Best and Worst Celebrity Neighbors

UNDATED (AP) - Which celebrity would you most like to borrow a cup of sugar from? Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert top this year's Celebrity Neighbor Survey by Zillow.com. Reese Witherspoon and Taylor Swift are tied for second. Then comes Jon Stewart. Beyonce and Jay-Z are tied for fifth with Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel. Kristen Stewart and Justin Bieber are tied for last. Nearly half the people surveyed said they wouldn't want to live next to any celebrity. That's the highest percentage in the six years Zillow has conducted the survey. But if they had to choose, Honey Boo Boo is the star they'd least like to have as a neighbor. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are in second place, followed by Donald Trump. Lance Armstrong and Clint Eastwood are tied for fourth place. Taylor Swift is in fifth, followed by Kristen Stewart.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 16:16

Hugh Hefner marries runaway bride

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Hugh Hefner has married his runaway bride. Hefner and Crystal Harris tied the knot at the Playboy mansion on New Year's Eve, a year and a-half after she broke off their engagement a few days before the wedding. She's 26, he's 60 years older. But Harris said on E!'s "The Girls Next Door" that she never noticed the age difference. After the private ceremony, Hefner and Harris celebrated with Gene Simmons of KISS, Jon Lovitz and other stars. It's Hefner's third marriage, her first. Harris has already changed her name to Crystal Hefner on her Twitter page. She's posted photos of her in her wedding dress and the flowers decorating the wedding room in the mansion.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 16:16

Ty Pennington to host new HLN series

NEW YORK (AP) - Ty Pennington is doing some traveling again, this time for the HLN television network. HLN said Wednesday that Pennington, who stars in "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," will host a monthly series called "American Journey." It will focus on people with unusual lifestyles, and debuts Saturday, Jan. 12. Each episode will air multiple times over the weekend on the network formerly known as CNN Headline News, with a new edition starting each month. Early episodes will focus on lobstermen and Delta blues musicians. Pennington said he wants to follow the growing subculture of entrepreneurs and creative thinkers trying to rebuild the country.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 16:15

'Tennessee Waltz' singer Patti Page dies at 85

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Patti Page, who made "Tennessee Waltz" one of the best-selling recordings ever, has died. She was 85. Page died on New Year's Day in Encinitas, California, according to her manager. She was one of the top-selling female singers in history with more than 100 million record sales and created a distinctive sound for the music industry in 1947 by overdubbing her own voice when she didn't have enough money to hire backup singers for the single, "Confess." She had 24 records in the top 10, including four that reached No. 1. She was also the first singer to have television programs on all three major networks, including "The Patti Page Show" on ABC.

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