R. KELLY’S ASSISTANT: HE DOES NOT KNOW HIS SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER
NEW YORK (AP) – R. Kelly’s assistant of 15 years has testified she did not witness the kidnapping and sexual abuse that Kelly is on trial for, but she did see a lot of bizarre behavior from him. Diana Copeland testified yesterday in New York that Kelly made her write a letter falsely confessing to stealing from him. She also said Kelly did not track his royalties and did not even know his own Social Security number. She said Kelly, who has trouble reading and writing, would ask her to draft text messages for him before voice-to-text programs were common. Copeland testified Kelly once asked her to change into a robe to prove she was not wearing a wire. Kelly has denied accusations of leading a criminal enterprise that sexually exploited women, girls and boys.
DRAKE RACKS UP ANOTHER NUMBER-ONE ALBUM
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” makes a big debut on the Billboard 200 album chart. It moved 613,000 units in its first week, the biggest debut on the chart in a year. It’s Drake’s tenth number-one album. “Certified Lover Boy” pushes last week’s champ, Kanye West’s “Donda,” down to second. Iron Maiden debuts in third place with “Senjutsu.” “Sour” by Olivia Rodrigo is number four, and Doja Cat’s “Planet Her” is number five.
STEVE PERRY MAKES A HOLIDAY RECORD
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Former Journey singer Steve Perry says he was recording a version of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and got so caught up in the memory of being at his grandmother’s house that he had to stop singing. Perry says in a statement he was so in the moment that he felt like he was really there. “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is one of eight tracks that Perry sings for his holiday album “The Season.” It also includes songs like “Winter Wonderland,” “The Christmas Song,” “Silver Bells” and “Auld Lang Syne.” “The Season” will be out Nov. 5.
SHAED ANNOUNCED PREGNANCY
NEW YORK (AP) – Married couple Chelsea Lee and Spencer Ernst of Shaed (SHAYD) are expecting. They announced on social media over the weekend that Lee is at 20 weeks in her pregnancy. The news was confirmed by their publicist. In March, Lee had revealed she had suffered a miscarriage at 13 weeks.
DOLLY PARTON, “AMERICAN UTOPIA” WIN EMMYS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Dolly Parton has won her first Emmy. On Sunday, the Creative Arts Emmy Awards named her “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” special on Netflix as outstanding television movie. Parton receives a trophy as the show’s executive producer. “David Byrne’s American Utopia” won two Emmys, for sound mixing and lighting design. The Emmy Awards are on Sunday.
ALY AND AJ EXPLAIN THE “CBA” CONCEPT
CHICAGO AP) – Aly and AJ made an agreement with their producer when recording their “A Touch of the Beat” album: they each got one “CBA” — “can’t be argued.” It means if one of them had an idea that the others wanted to cut, they could declare “CBA” and it stayed. Aly Michalka (mih-SHAW’-kah) says they stole it from the band The National. She says she used her CBA to preserve a lyric from being cut. AJ Michalka won’t say what she used her CBA on, because she does not want listeners to be skeptical about her choice to keep something. Aly and AJ don’t even know The National, but they like them enough that they covered The National’s song “I Need My Girl.”
NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL FOUNDER GEORGE WEIN DIES
NEW YORK (AP) – The man who helped found the Newport Jazz and Folk festivals has died. A family spokesperson confirms George Wein (WYN) died in his sleep yesterday in New York. He was 95. In 1954, local socialites urged Wein, a former jazz club owner, to stage an event because the summer scene in Newport was boring. The first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954 had Billie Holliday, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Lester Young on the lineup. Pete Seeger helped Wein launch the Newport Folk Festival in 1959. The festivals became a blueprint for other music festivals like Woodstock, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Lollapalooza.
FOX NEWS MEDIA REVIVING “COPS”
NEW YORK (AP) – Last summer, as the nation was reeling from the murder of George Floyd and there were BLM protests all around the country, Paramount announced it was canceling the police reality show “COPS.” The show had been popular for decades. But it was also criticized for glorifying rough police tactics and reinforcing negative racial stereotypes. Now the show is coming back. Fox News Media is bringing back the series for its Fox Nation streaming site. The site is aimed at police, firefighters and other first responders. The first of the new “COPS” shows is to air Oct. 1.
MIKE RICHARDS “ERA” BEGINS ON “JEOPARDY”
NEW YORK (AP) – Want to catch the beginning of the brief Mike Richards era on “Jeopardy!”? – you’re already a day late. The first of the five shows Richards did as the official replacement for the late Alex Trebek aired last night. And there are just four more to go. Richards stepped down as host right after he taped that one week of shows. Shortly after that, he was fired as the show’s executive producer. All this came after it got out that Richards had made comments on podcasts that demeaned women and minorities.
R. KELLY ASSSTANT DESCRIBES INNER-WORKINGS OF COMPOUND
NEW YORK (AP) – R. Kelly’s longtime assistant says she didn’t see any of the activity that prosecutors allege the singer engaged in as part of a sex-trafficking enterprise. But Diana Copeland’s testimony gave a New York jury a view of a man who was both suspicious of – and dependent on – his crew. Copeland said Kelly was clueless when it came to his finances – even to the point of not knowing his own Social Security number. She also said he had no idea what was going on with his bank accounts or music royalties. And Copeland told the jury he once demanded she change into a robe to prove she wasn’t secretly recording him.
TONY AWARDS HOSTS NAMED
NEW YORK (AP) – The long-delayed Tony Awards have landed two masters of ceremonies. One is Tony and Grammy winner Leslie Odom Jr. – and the other is singer Audra McDonald. Producers made the announcement yesterday. The pair will split the duties, with Odom handling the 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. part of the show in the eastern and pacific time zones and McDonald holding down the 7-to-9 p.m. segment. The Tony Awards are set for Sept. 26.