UTFO’S KANGOL KID DIES OF CANCER
UNDATED (AP) – Kangol Kid of the hip-hop group UTFO has died after a battle with colon cancer. His family says Kid died Saturday at a hospital in Manhasset, New York. He was 55. UTFO — which stands for Untouchable Force Organization — were known for songs in the 1980s like “Roxanne, Roxanne” and “Ya Cold Wanna Be With Me.” Kid’s trademark Kangol hat is on display at the National African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington.
“WE ARE THE WORLD” CO-ORGANIZER KEN KRAGEN DIES
NEW YORK (AP) – An entertainment producer who helped organize the 1985 charity single “We Are The World” has died. Ken Kragen died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles, according to his family. He was 85. Harry Belafonte wanted to record a charity single similar to the Band Aid song “Do They Know It’s Christmas.” Belafonte called Kragen in 1984 without even knowing him, simply because he kept seeing Kragen’s name as manager for acts like Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie and Cyndi Lauper. Kragen later organized the “Hands Across America” fundraiser in 1985. His early credits include producing “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” and Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” TV movies.
RAPPER DRAKEO THE RULER STABBED; CONCERT CANCELED
LOS ANGELES (AP) – West Coast rapper Drakeo (DRAY’-koh) the Ruler was fatally stabbed at the Once Upon A Time in LA concert on Saturday. His publicist, Scott Jawson, confirmed Drakeo’s death to The New York Times and Rolling Stone. Drakeo was 28. Los Angeles police say they have not made any arrests. Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and Ice Cube were on the lineup for the concert. Organizers called it off without explanation after the stabbing. In February, Drakeo released his debut album, “The Truth Hurts,” which featured Drake on the track “Talk To Me.”
ROD STEWART AND SON PLEAD GUILTY TO MISDEMEANOR BATTERY
UNDATED (AP) – Rod Stewart and his son, Sean, have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of simple battery stemming from an altercation on New Year’s Eve 2019 at a hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, according to court records. Stewart’s attorney, Guy Fronstin, says in a statement his client entered a plea to avoid an unnecessary burden on the court that a high profile case like this would cause. Fronstin says nobody was injured and Stewart was not found guilty. He says the Stewarts will not do jail time, pay fines or go on probation. Rod Stewart was accused of punching a hotel security guard in the ribs, and Sean Stewart was accused of shoving the guard. The guard had refused them entrance into a party at the hotel.
CHARGE DROPPED AGAINST ALABAMA SHAKES DRUMMER
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) – A charge of child abuse has been dismissed against Alabama Shakes drummer Steve Johnson. Court records show a judge in Limestone County, Alabama, dismissed the charge Thursday. Johnson had been arrested in March, but details of the alleged abuse were not given. Johnson’s lawyer, Nick Lough, tells The Associated Press it was “a spanking incident and nothing more,” and Johnson “maintained his innocence the entire time.”
LAUREN ALAINA INVITED TO JOIN OPRY
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Lauren Alaina calls the Grand Ole Opry “the most magical place on earth,” and it’s been the biggest dream of her career to become a member. Alaina was on her knees and in tears before Trisha Yearwood could finish inviting Alaina to become a member during Saturday’s show. Alaina was hyperventilating when she accepted and called Yearwood her hero. Alaina’s induction date has not yet been announced.
DAVID GUETTA DEFENDS PLAYING IN SAUDI ARABIA
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – David Guetta (GET’-ah) says if he only performed in countries whose politics he agreed with, he’d probably stay home. Guetta has come under fire for performing multiple times in Saudi Arabia, including yesterday at the MDLBeast music festival in the capital of Riyadh. Human rights activists say the Saudi government is bringing in high-profile celebrities to distract from its record of abuses. Guetta says he’d never play in the U.S. or his native France if it was only about politics. As he puts it, “I don’t play for politicians, I play for people.”
ADELE’S “30” STAYS AT NUMBER ONE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – For a fourth week in a row, Adele’s “30” album is number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It moved another 183,000 units in the past week. “Fighting Demons,” the second posthumous album from Juice WRLD (WORLD), debuts in second. “Red (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift is in third place. Michael Buble’s “Christmas” is number four, and Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” is fifth.
LATEST SPIDER-MAN MOVIE TOPS BOX OFFICE LIST
UNDATED (AP) – The power of Spider-Man showed up big-time over the weekend. The new version of the superhero movie not only won the weekend box office race, it made a run at the all-time record for a movie debut. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” earned $253 million in ticket sales over the weekend – even as fears of the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus grabbed plenty of headlines. That total far exceeds any pandemic-era box office take. And it’s the third-best opening ever. The only other movies to do better were “Avengers: Endgame” with $357.1 million and “Avengers: Infinity War with $257.7 million.
OTHER MOVIES STUMBLE OUT OF GATE
UNDATED (AP) – While the box office numbers for the latest “Spider-Man movie” were impressive, some other movies fared poorly. Guillermo del Toro’s star-studded “Nightmare Alley” is one of them. The film starring Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara earned a paltry $3 million. That placed it fifth on the weekend box office list, below “Encanto,” “West Side Story” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”
“SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE” AIRS WITHOUT AUDIENCE, MOST OF CREW
NEW YORK (AP) – The spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus put a crimp in “Saturday Night Live’s” style. The show aired. But instead of going fully live, it went on without a live audience and without most of its crew. Viewers ended up seeing sketches taped earlier in the week, as well as highlights from years past. The night’s musical guest Charli XCX also sat out the show. Paul Rudd hosted, making this year’s People’s Sexiest Man Alive a five-time host, or as Kenan Thompson called him, a four and a half-time host.
ROCKETTES CANCEL REST OF RADIO CITY SCHEDULE
NEW YORK (AP) – A longtime holiday tradition in New York has been short-circuited by the omicron variant of the coronavirus. The annual Rockettes Christmas show has been shelved for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, several Broadway shows have been shut down because members of their casts tested positive for COVID-19. Last week New York State reported more than 21,000 cases of COVID-19 had been reported – the highest single-day total since testing became widely available.
DISNEY CONTENT RETURNS TO YOUTUBE TV
NEW YORK (AP) – YouTube TV is restoring access to Disney content, this after the two media firms settled a dispute between them. During the outage, YouTube TV customers couldn’t see shows on Disney-owned networks like ESPN, FX, National Geographic and local ABC stations. After the beef was settled yesterday, YouTube apologized for the disruption and said it would provide a $15 credit to affected customers.