SINGER GARY BROOKER OF PROCOL HARUM DIES
LONDON (AP) – Procol Harum singer-keyboardist Gary Brooker has died after a battle with cancer at the age of 76, according to a statement from the band. Brooker died on Saturday at his home. If you play Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” in his honor, he’d be flattered, but it’s not what he would have chosen. Brooker said in a 2017 Associated Press interview he would not have that song on his grave, or even played at his funeral. He said, “I’m going to write something much better for my funeral.” Procol Harum formed in the 1960s and went through various lineups, but Brooker was a constant member. He leaves behind his wife, Franky, to whom he was married for 53 years.
SINGER MARK LANEGAN OF SCREAMING TREES DIES
UNDATED (AP) – Singer Mark Lanegan has died at the age of 57. Lanegan’s social media say he died yesterday morning at his home in Killarney, Ireland, but details were not given. Lanegan was the frontman for Screaming Trees, who had a number of alternative-rock hits, including “Nearly Lost You” in 1992. The group split in 2000. Lanegan released several solo albums. He also was a frequent collaborator with Queens of the Stone Age.
RASCALS’ FELIX CAVALIERE WILL GET FREE SPEECH AWARD
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) – Felix Cavaliere (kav-ah-LAYR’-ee) of The Rascals will receive an honor today from Middle Tennessee State University. The school’s Free Speech Center will present Cavaliere with the Free Speech in Music Award, given to individuals who use their talents, fame and visibility to address social issues. The center will recognize Cavaliere for refusing to perform Rascals concerts for segregated audiences, for writing socially-aware songs like “People Got To Be Free,” and for supporting civil rights issues and military veterans.
MEMBERS OF ALT-J LOOK FORWARD TO STAGE FRIGHT
LONDON (AP) – Before the coronavirus pandemic, Alt-J were so used to doing shows that they were almost like zombies before hitting the stage. Keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton says it would be a minute until showtime and they’d still be on their phones. That’s all different now. Unger-Hamilton says he’s looking forward to having stage fright when they resume touring this week, because it will be nice to feel alive again. Alt-J’s tour with Portugal. The Man begins Friday in Pittsburgh.
TORI AMOS CREATES GRAPHIC ALBUM FOR “LITTLE EARTHQUAKES”
NEW YORK (AP) – Tori Amos will celebrate the 30th anniversary of her “Little Earthquakes” album with a “graphic album.” Amos has teamed with Z2 Comics to create 24 stories inspired by the album. Author Margaret Atwood creates a story based on “Silent All These Years,” while author Neil Gaiman tackles “Tear in Your Hand.” The hardcover version will be released to bookstores and comic shops in September. The deluxe version, which includes a vinyl copy of “Little Earthquakes” and other goodies, will be available through the Z2 website.
ACMS ADD MORE PERFORMERS
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – More entertainment has been added to the lineup for the Academy of Country Music Awards. Carrie Underwood, Brothers Osborne, Chris Young, Mitchell Tenpenny, Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Kane Brown, Jordan Davis, Brittney Spencer and Luke Bryan will perform. Other performers previously announced include Walker Hayes, Maren Morris, Blanco Brown and Carly Pearce. The ACMs will be March 7 in Las Vegas and streamed on Amazon Prime.
WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW IS GOING AWAY
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The producers of “The Wendy Williams Show” say they’re open to working with Williams again, if her health allows. But for now, the show that bears her name is going away – and will be replaced in the fall by one hosted by Sherri Shepherd. Williams hasn’t been on her show since last July, when season 12 ended. She was due back in September, but got COVID. Williams hasn’t returned – and neither she nor the producers have explained why. Shepherd was one of a series of guest hosts on the show – and producers say she was the most popular, making her a natural pick to get her own show. For now, the show will continue with guest hosts the rest of this season, with Shepherd among the fill-ins.
OSCARS PLAN TO DROP SOME AWARDS FROM TELECAST
NEW YORK (AP) – The Academy Awards show is being tweaked to fight slumping TV ratings. To shrink a bloated broadcast, producers will limit the number of awards given out during next month’s live show in Los Angeles. The Academy says eight awards will be announced in a pre-broadcast ceremony. That means no big props for categories like film editing, production design, sound, makeup and hairstyling. The winners will have a moment in the sun, though – as clips from their wins will air on the live show.
CELEBRITIES NAMED TO OPEN SAG AWARDS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Some top stars will be on hand to kick-off Sunday’s SAG Awards. Named to open the broadcast are Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. The announcement of the show openers comes on the heels of word that Kate Winslet will present the 57th SAG Life Achievement Award to Helen Mirren.
RYAN REYNOLDS MOVIE “FREE GUY” BEGINS STREAMING TODAY
UNDATED (AP) – It was one of the few big-budget movies to come out in theaters last year. And now, the Ryan Reynolds action comedy “Free Guy” is making its transition to streaming services. It arrives today on both Disney+ and HBO Max. “Free Guy” earned $331 million at the box office. It co-stars Jodie Comer, Taika Waititi, Lil Rel Howery and Channing Tatum.
TRUMP RAPE ACCUSER SEEKS DNA, NOT DEPOSITION, IN DEFAMATION CASE
NEW YORK (AP) – A lawyer for a woman who says former President Donald Trump raped her in the mid-1990s, then filed a defamation lawsuit against him, says she no longer wants Trump to sit for a deposition. E. Jean Carroll and her reps say trying to get a deposition will just delay things. Carroll says she still wants Trump to provide DNA in the case, which she says will prove her claim that Trump sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s at a New York City department store.