T.I.’S TRIAL SET FOR FEBRUARY
MCDONOUGH, Ga. (AP) – Prosecutors have dropped a charge of simple assault against T.I. However, he still faces charges of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports a jury trial is set for Feb. 4. Authorities say T.I. had lost his key outside his Atlanta-area home in May, and the guard at his gated community would not let him in. T.I. was eventually allowed inside but demanded the guard’s name and tried to goad him into a fight, according to prosecutors. T.I.’s attorney, Steve Sadow, says the accusations are “baseless, ill-founded and unjustified.”
ELTON JOHN MOURNS LOSS OF ARETHA FRANKLIN, ONE YEAR AFTER HER LAST PERFORMANCE
NEW YORK (AP) – Last year at Elton John’s AIDS foundation gala, he was crying over Aretha Franklin. John says he was shocked to see how thin she was. He says she “just smiled her sweet smile” and told him she didn’t want to let him down. It turned out to be her final public performance. John held a gala for the foundation Monday in New York, featuring Sheryl Crow and Tony Bennett. It raised $3.9 million. John says the organization started off on the kitchen table in Atlanta and has grown to raise $430 million worldwide.
KISS: THE WEIGHT OF THEIR LEGACY
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Paul Stanley of Kiss says if they were wearing jeans and tennis shoes, they could play concerts into their 90s. Stanley says people ask all the time how he can walk in platform shoes, and his response is, “Walk? How about running backward?” He says some of their stage outfits weigh as much as 50 pounds. Kiss will do a farewell tour next year, and they promise this is the last one. Stanley says they can play beat the clock all they want but eventually the clock will win.
CREED BRATTON USED TO BE IN A BAND
NEW YORK (AP) – Creed Bratton can play the biggest song of his career and get zero audience response, even though he’s packing clubs. He can tell a story from his days on “The Office,” though, and they go crazy. Bratton tells Rolling Stone magazine “Let’s Live For Today” by his old band, The Grass Roots, used to be the one song that would drive the crowd wild. He laughs that these days, “I get nothing back from the crowd when I do that song.” Bratton is better known as an extra on “The Office” than he is for The Grass Roots these days. Bratton says at a recent show in Denver, he couldn’t play because people were shouting lines from the sitcom. He finally told them to scream their favorite lines until they were exhausted. It went on for five minutes.
ARIANA GRANDE NAMED BILLBOARD’S WOMAN OF THE YEAR
NEW YORK (AP) – Ariana Grande (GRAHN’-day) will be honored for her professional success and her advocacy for social issues. Billboard magazine has named her its Woman of the Year. Billboard notes that Grande stands up for herself and her decisions in a world that often is not hospitable to that sort of strength in young women. Grande will receive her award at Billboard’s Women in Music event Dec. 6 in New York.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, ERIC CHURCH PLAY STAND UP FOR HEROES SHOW
NEW YORK (AP) – Bruce Springsteen returned as the musical entertainment for the Stand Up For Heroes show in New York on Monday. He has played the event every time since it began 12 years ago, except last year, when he was busy with his “Springsteen on Broadway” show. Springsteen played four songs and made a few off-color jokes. Eric Church played three songs and joined Springsteen for a version of “Working on the Highway.” Comedians who participated include Jon Stewart, Jimmy Carr, Jim Gaffigan and Seth Meyers. The event raised $5.4 million for military veterans.