KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD APOLOGIZES FOR PAST CONFEDERATE FLAG USE
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Kenny Wayne Shepherd has apologized after the Blues Foundation rescinded an award nomination because of his use of the Confederate flag. The Blues Foundation has withdrawn Shepherd’s nomination for best blues artist for the Blues Music Awards in June. The foundation says Shepherd has used the Confederate flag on his “General Lee” replica car from “The Dukes of Hazzard” and on his guitars. Shepherd says in a statement he put the car in permanent storage years ago, and had painted over the Confederate flag some time ago. He does not mention the guitars. Shepherd says he has always opposed racism and oppression.
LAUREN ALAINA TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS
UNDATED (AP) – Lauren Alaina was planning to play a socially-distanced concert over the weekend to keep fans safe, but she was the one who tested positive for the coronavirus. Alaina called off her appearance at an acoustic concert with Jon Pardi in Lexington, Kentucky, on Saturday. Alaina says she is in quarantine and trying to get better, but fans sending her pictures and videos would cheer her up.
GRAMMY PRODUCER EXPLAINS EDDIE VAN HALEN TRIBUTE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The executive producer of the Grammy Awards says he felt the spotlight moment for Eddie Van Halen during the “In Memoriam” segment was “an appropriate tribute to him.” Ben Winston tells Variety his team asked Van Halen’s son, Wolf, to play in his father’s memory, but he declined. Winston says eight or nine guitarists were suggested to do it instead, but Wolf requested for a video of Eddie himself playing. Winston says Eddie Van Halen was the only person in that segment to play his own music, and he would have loved to have made it longer. He says usually the show can fit 35 to 45 people in that segment, and this year they did 60. That’s out of 970 names submitted. Wolf Van Halen had complained the tribute was too short.
MORGAN WALLEN STAYS ON TOP OF BILLBOARD ALBUM CHART
LOS ANGELES (AP) – “Dangerous: The Double Album” by Morgan Wallen notches a tenth week at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart. It moved 69,000 units this past week. “Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon” by Pop Smoke is in second place. Dua Lipa gets a sales bump from her Grammy Awards appearance last week, jumping from sixth place to third with “Future Nostalgia.” The Weeknd’s “After Hours” is in fourth. Giveon (GIV’-ee-on) debuts in fifth with “When It’s All Said and Done.Take Time.”
RINGO STARR REMINISCES ABOUT FIRST ALL-STARR BAND
LOS ANGELES (AP) – You’d think when you handpick who is going to be in your band, you’d have all the confidence in the world. That was not the case for Ringo Starr on the first All-Starr Band tour in 1989. Starr says he was so insecure that he brought along not one but two fellow drummers: Levon Helm of The Band and noted session drummer Jim Keltner. Starr had such a blast he’s been touring with variations of the All-Starr Band since then, even though he comes home from each tour and tells his wife it’s the last one. After a couple of weeks, Starr tells her he’s got to get another band together. Starr, who is 80, intends to tour with the All-Starr Band again, once pandemic restrictions are lifted. Starr has just released a book called “Ringo Rocks: 30 Years of the All-Starrs” and an EP called “Zoom In.”
LAWSUIT FILED IN HIT-AND-RUN DEATH OF NICKI MINAJ’S FATHER
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) – Nicki Minaj’s mother has filed a $150 million lawsuit against the man accused of killing the rapper’s father in a hit-and-run crash last month. An attorney for Carol Maraj says the suit was filed against Charles Polevich, who’s accused of striking Robert Maraj, 64, on Long Island on Feb. 12 – then driving off without calling 911. Maraj died at a hospital the next day. The suspect was arrested Feb. 17 on charges of leaving the scene of an incident and tampering with physical evidence. He pleaded not guilty, was freed on bail – and ordered not to leave New York state.
MAN SENTENCED IN DEATH OF NICKI MINAJ’S STAGE MANAGER
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A man convicted of the stabbing death of Nicki Minaj’s stage manager in 2015 has been sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison. The Philadelphia Enquirer reports 39-year-old Khaliyfa Neely was sentenced Friday for third-degree murder, aggravated and simple assault and possession of an instrument of crime in the death of 29-year-old De’Von Andre Pickett. Prosecutors say Pickett was in Philadelphia for rehearsals for Minaj’s tour when the stabbing occurred outside a bar.
NBC DEVELOPS SITCOM FOR MEGHAN TRAINOR
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Meghan Trainor is working on a sitcom. NBC says it’s developing a scripted comedy series for Trainor, but it did not give details on what it will be about or when it will air. Trainor says in a statement the sitcom deal is “so beyond a dream come true.” Trainor previously has voiced characters for the animated films “Playmobil: The Movie” and “Smurfs: The Lost Village.”
PINK DOC COMING IN MAY
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A documentary about Pink is arriving later this spring. “Pink: All I Know So Far” will chronicle her 2019 “Beautiful Trauma” tour. The film comes out May 21 on Amazon Prime Video.