WITNESS: R. KELLY LIKENED SELF TO JERRY LEE LEWIS
NEW YORK (AP) – One of R. Kelly’s accusers says the R&B star once compared himself to rock legend Jerry Lee Lewis – a man who damaged his career by marrying this 13-year-old cousin. One of Kelly’s girlfriends says he made the comparison “out of the blue” as the two dined together. The accuser says Kelly told her both he and Lewis were musical geniuses – and as such, she says Kelly claimed they “should be allowed to do whatever we want.” The woman also says she was lured into having sex with R. Kelly when she was 17. She’s one of three women to have testified as a “Jane Doe” at Kelly’s sex-trafficking trial.
DIANE WARREN ON NOT WINNING AN OSCAR
LONDON (AP) – If there was an award for not winning awards, Diane Warren would win it. She’s the most nominated woman in the history of the Oscars – and lost out on the trophy all 12 times. Warren is releasing her debut album today. It features collaborations with a variety of musicians. Among those who worked with her include Celine Dion, John Legend and Ty Dolla Sign. The album also features a teaming of rapper G-Eazy and guitar legend Santana.
KENNY MALONE, DRUMMER FOR TOP COUNTRY, POP MUSICIANS, DEAD AT 83.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Drummer Kenny Malone has died. He was a prolific session player who played on hits for Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard and many others. His friend and former bandmate Dave Pomeroy says Malone died yesterday after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He was 83. Malone is credited on hundreds of records made in Nashville, like Parton’s hit “Jolene.”
MUSICIANS ARE DIVIDED ON WHETHER TO REQUIRE VACCINES FOR CONCERT-GOERS
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Should fans be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend concerts? Musicians are split on that. The Foo Fighters, Phish, Maroon 5, The Killers and Dead and Company have called for proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test for their audiences. Eric Clapton and Van Morrison oppose vaccine mandates. Jennifer Nettles says musicians cannot force anyone to get a vaccine, but they can refuse to play for anyone who doesn’t have it because it’s dangerous. Travis Tritt says concert vaccine mandates are discriminatory, and “no government, employer, or private entity should ever be allowed to infringe on those rights and liberties.”
METALLICA HELPS OUT HAITI
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Metallica’s charity has donated $50,000 to help with relief efforts in Haiti after an earthquake hit nearly two weeks ago, followed by a tropical storm. The band’s All Within My Hands foundation donated the money to Direct Relief’s Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. The magnitude 7.2 quake hit Aug. 14, with a tropical storm with heavy rain and strong winds just a few days later.
HEAD OF “TIME’S UP” RESIGNS
NEW YORK (AP) – There’s a change at the top for an organization that calls out sexual harassment. CEO Tina Tchen leaves Time’s Up amid outrage over revelations that group leaders advised former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo when he was accused of sexual misconduct last year. In a statement, Tchen says she doesn’t feel she’s the right one to lead the (hash)MeToo-era organization anymore. Tchen and the chair of Time’s Up drew fire for helping Cuomo. Cuomo quit Monday after a probe conclude he sexually harassed at least 11 women.
R. KELLY CLAIMED HE WAS LIKE JERRY LEE LEWIS
NEW YORK (AP) – A former girlfriend of R. Kelly says the R&B star once compared himself to Jerry Lee Lewis, the rock star whose career was hurt by marring his 13-year-old cousin. The ex testified that R. Kelly told her he and Lewis were misunderstood musical geniuses who like young girls. She also quoted Kelly as a saying he and Lewis “should be allowed to do whatever” they want – because of what they “give to the world.”
POP STAR IS PART OF SAME-SEX PAIR ON “DANCING WITH THE STARS”
LOS ANGELES (AP) – JoJo Siwa will compete as part of the first same-sex pairing on “Dancing With the Stars.” The network says the pop star, who identifies as gay and queer, will be in the cast for the show’s upcoming 30th season. Siwa, who’s 18, says Lindsay Arnold, Jenna Johnson and Britt Stewart are among the show’s regular dance pros she’d like to be paired with.
ESPN PULLS RACHEL NICHOLS FROM NBA PROGRAMMING
LOS ANGELES (AP) – ESPN has benched Rachel Nichols. The network has yanked her from reporting on the NBA – and canceled her show, “The Jump.” This all comes after word got out that Nichols was caught on tape last year griping that her bosses gave one of her jobs to a Black co-worker. Nichols said on the recording that ESPN did that to win diversity points. When the rant was leaked, ESPN pulled Nichols from covering this year’s NBA Finals.