R. KELLY JURY SELECTED
NEW YORK (AP) – Seven men and five women will decide R. Kelly’s fate at his sex trafficking trial. The jurors were sworn in yesterday in federal court in New York City, where Kelly will face charges that he led an enterprise of employees to recruit women and girls for sex. Kelly has pleaded not guilty. Jury selection took three days. Some potential jurors said they were aware of Kelly from his song, “I Believe I Can Fly.” Many said they did not know much or anything about Kelly’s case. Kelly wore a suit to court and sat impassively at the defense table. Opening arguments begin next week.
THE KILLERS INCLUDE HOMETOWN VOICES ON “PRESSURE MACHINE”
NEW YORK (AP) – Singer Brandon Flowers of The Killers did not just write about his hometown for their new album, “Pressure Machine.” He put voices from there on it. The album includes snippets of interviews of residents of the small remote town of Nephi (NEE’-fy), Utah. One man talks about the spirits in the hills, and a woman discusses a horrible accident involving a horse. Flowers says it was a last-minute decision to include the conversations, but he feels it’s just as important as the instrumentation. “Pressure Machine” comes out tomorrow.
JUSTIN BIEBER LEADS VMA NOMINATIONS
NEW YORK (AP) – Justin Bieber has seven nominations for the MTV Video Music Awards, including video of the year for his performance on “Popstar” by DJ Khaled featuring Drake. Megan Thee Stallion has six nominations, including video of the year for her collaboration on “WAP” with Cardi B. One notable snub: DaBaby. He’s got zero nominations, despite being featured on one of the hottest songs of the year, Dua Lipa’s “Levitating.” That song did get a nomination for song of the year for Lipa. The VMAs will be held Sept 12 in New York.
ALY & AJ – YEAH, WE GREW UP
CHICAGO (AP) – Aly and AJ laugh every time they see a headline that says they’re “all grown up.” Aly Michalka (mih-SHAW’-kah) is 32 and AJ Michalka is 30. Aly says she will continue to get older as long as she’s on planet earth, and AJ says everyone is growing up. Aly says because they started as teens and are associated with the Disney Channel, they’ve had to break through preconceived notions of how their music will sound or what they’re like in concert. AJ says people are realizing that their music can stand on its own. Their album, “A Touch Of The Beat Gets You Up On Your Feet Gets You Out And Then Into The Sun,” is out now.
COVID OUTBREAK LINKED TO MUSIC FESTIVAL
PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) – Health officials have linked an outbreak of COVID-19 to an outdoor music festival in Pendleton, Oregon, on July 10. KATU-TV reports local health officials have tied 66 COVID cases to the Pendleton Whisky Music Fest, which featured Toby Keith, Cole Swindell (swin-DEL’) and Clay Walker. Umatilla County Public Health Director Joseph Fiumara says 61 of those people were unvaccinated. Fiumara says it’s raising concerns about outdoor transmission and the more contagious delta variant.
12 O’CLOCK AND MURDOCK OF BROOKLYN ZU KILLED
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Two members of a hip-hop group who worked with ODB of Wu-Tang Clan have been fatally shot, according to police in Portland, Oregon. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the men killed were cousins, 45-year-old David Turner and 42-year-old Odion Turner, who performed as 12 O’Clock and Murdock of the group Brooklyn Zu. Police have not released many details about the shooting, except that it happened early Tuesday morning and four others were injured.