LABELLE’S SARAH DASH DIES
NEW YORK (AP) – Patti Labelle and Nona Hendryx are mourning the death of their Labelle groupmate Sarah Dash, who has died at the age of 76. Details on her death were not disclosed. Labelle writes on social media that Dash was “an awesomely talented, beautiful and loving soul” who shared a stage with Labelle just this past Saturday. Hendryx says on social media she and Dash “spoke a musical language.” She refers to Dash by the nickname “Nightbird.” Dash formed the group the Ordettes, which became The Bluebells, then Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, then Labelle. Their best-known song was “Lady Marmalade.” Dash continued as a solo act after Labelle disbanded in 1976. She also wrote music with Keith Richards and toured with the Rolling Stones.
THE FUGEES REUNITE
NEW YORK (AP) – Somewhere in New York City today, the three founding members of The Fugees will perform. The concert at a secret location will be in support of the Global Citizen Live concerts, which will be broadcast from around the world on Saturday. The Fugees will reunite to mark the 25th anniversary of “The Score” album, beginning Nov. 2 in Chicago. Lauryn Hill says in a statement they want to honor “The Score” by “creating a peaceful platform where we could unite, perform the music we loved, and set an example of reconciliation for the world.”
KEITH URBAN WANTS TO TEACH YOU TWO CHORDS
LAS VEGAS (AP) – If you can learn two guitar chords, you can learn one song, and with one song, you can impress people. That’s Keith Urban’s advice for beginning guitar players. He’s teamed with Yamaha to create a guitar aimed at newbies and an app in which Urban teaches the basics. Urban says plenty of people would love to walk into their friend’s house, pick up a guitar and play a song, and two chords is how to start. It helps if you WANT to play guitar, though. Urban says he’s tried teaching his kids to play, but they’re more interested in other instruments because “Dad plays guitar, so that lane’s already taken.”
GEDDY LEE WRITES HIS LIFE STORY
TORONTO (AP) – Singer Geddy Lee of Rush got through the pandemic and the grief of drummer Neal Peart’s (PEERTS) death by inadvertently writing a memoir. Lee writes on Instagram that Daniel Richler, his collaborator on “The Big Beautiful Book of Bass,” tried to cheer up Lee by telling funny stories of his youth and encouraging Lee to tell his own stories. Lee says he started writing, and soon his “baby-step stories were becoming grownup chapters.” Lee says Richler helped him “clean up some of the grammar and remove a lot of the swearing.” The as-yet-untitled memoir will come out in the fall of next year.
JAY-Z’S TEAM ROC LOOKS INTO KANSAS CITY POLICE CONDUCT
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – The criminal justice division of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation entertainment company has filed a petition seeking records from the police department in Kansas City, Kansas, relating to what it calls officer misconduct. The Kansas City Star reports Team Roc says in its petition the department has failed for decades to hold officers responsible for such misconduct as planting evidence and soliciting sex from victims and witnesses. The police department responds it has given hundreds of pages of documents to Team Roc, but it’s not required to give personnel records or criminal investigation files. “SEX AND THE CITY” STAR WILLIE GARSON DIES
UNDATED (AP) – Willie Garson, who played Stanford Blatch on TV’s “Sex and the City” and its movie sequels, has died. He was 57. His son announced his father’s death yesterday, but provided no details on the cause. Garson portrayed Blatch, a talent agent and best male friend of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw for six seasons. He did the same role in two movies based on the HBO series. Garson had also been filming an upcoming series revival for HBO Max called “And Just Like That.” His “Sex and the City” costar Cynthia Nixon, who played Miranda in the series, says Garson was “endlessly funny on-screen and in real life.”
R. KELLY LIKELY WON’T TESTIFY AT HIS SEX-TRAFFICKING TRIAL
NEW YORK (AP) – There’s a pretty good chance R. Kelly’s defense team will rest its case today. The likelihood of a quick end to testimony increased yesterday when one of the singer’s attorneys told the judge that Kelly is unlikely to take the stand. So far, since getting the case on Monday, the defense has put on few witnesses, none of whom did much to rebut the often lurid testimony of prosecution witnesses who described Kelly as having sex with them while they were underage – and engaging in abusive and manipulating behavior like locking them in rooms and denying them food or access to bathrooms. If the defense follows through on its intention to rest, closing arguments could begin as early as this afternoon.
DEFENSE WITNESS TESTIFIES R. KELLY SPLURGED ON GIRLFRIENDS
NEW YORK (AP) – Another former R. Kelly associate has testified for the R&B star who is charged with sex trafficking. Accountant John Holder told the jury yesterday he never saw his boss torment his alleged accusers. Rather, Holder says he’d see Kelly head out with a backpack full of cash to take the women and girls who hung with him on shopping sprees.
LATINOS UNDERREPRESENTED IN MEDIA
PHOENIX (AP) – A U.S. congressman says Americans aren’t getting a full picture of the Latino community. Joaquin Castro of Texas says there aren’t enough Latinos in the nation’s newsrooms, media firms and in Hollywood. As a result, the Democratic lawmaker says portrayals of a key part of American society aren’t as balanced as they should be. Castro’s remarks dovetail with a report by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which has asked the Government Accountability Office to look into the lack of balance in the way those of Hispanic heritage are portrayed in society.
NIELSEN RATINGS SERVICE TWEAKS OPERATIONS TO BLUNT NETWORK CRITICISM
NEW YORK (AP) – The Nielsen company says it will make some changes in the way it does ratings – after getting blistering criticism from the TV industry. At issue is how the company determines who’s watching TV and how. The networks have complained the numbers Nielsen generates don’t fully account for homes that have “cut the cord” when it comes to cable or satellite service – and instead get their TV programming online. Nielsen says it will now include such viewers when counting local markets, as they already do nationally. At stake is billions of dollars in ad money for both TV stations and networks.
BURT REYNOLDS GETS A BUST AT HIS GRAVE IN LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Burt Reynolds died in 2018. But it’s only now that his final resting place in Los Angeles has been finalized. It had a plaque and palm tree, but now there’s also a bronze bust of him. It was unveiled Monday night by his son Quinton and his ex-wife, Loni Anderson. The bust portrays Reynolds with his moustache and the hat he wore in the “Smokey and the Bandit” movies.
SUPERDOME IN NEW ORLEANS CATCHES FIRE
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Authorities in New Orleans say a fire at the Superdome yesterday didn’t do as much damage as it might have seemed. Images of the blaze showed smoke and flames shooting up the side of the stadium. But officials say the damage was minimal and there was no structural damage. Officials say the blaze started when a pressure washer used to clean the outside of the arena caught fire. But the flames were knocked down shortly after fire crews arrived. One person was taken to the hospital for treatment of what city officials describe as “minor burns.”