COUNTRY MUSIC ACADEMY AIRS SHOW IN LIEU OF AWARDS - BECAUSE OF COVID-19
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country music’s biggest stars should have been on the carpet of the Academy of Country Music Awards last night in Las Vegas. But like most of America, they were homebound because of the coronavirus. Still, the musicians played on, surrounded by spouses, kids and — in one case — a horse. “ACM Presents: Our Country,” a TV special aired on CBS instead of the delayed awards show. It featured acoustic performances, special duets, clips from previous ACM Awards telecasts and a tribute to the late country star Kenny Rogers.
ACM Awards: https://www.acmcountry.com
PINK HAS CORONAVIRUS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pink had tested positive for COVID-19. The singer made the announcement Friday — along with a statement that she’s donating $500,000 each to two emergency funds. In a tweet, Pink says she and her 3-year-old son had symptoms two weeks ago and she tested positive. Her family had already been sheltering at home and continued to do so. She says they were tested again “just a few days ago," and were negative. Pink is calling for free and widespread testing calling it “an absolute travesty” that more testing is not available.
MARIANNE FAITHFULL - CORONAVIRUS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Marianne Faithfull is being treated for coronavirus in a London hospital.
Her manager Francois Ravard says the English singer-songwriter is stable and responding to treatment. He added, “We all wish her well and a full and speedy recovery.”
The 73-year-old singer has had health issues over the years, including a long battle with hepatitis C and breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2006.
An icon of the 1960s' British music scene, Faithfull rose to fame with the hit song “As Tears Go By." Severe laryngitis coupled with drug use in the 1970s would forever alter her crisp, clear voice to become something lower, raspier and perhaps even more distinctive.
After an absence from music, she had a celebrated comeback in 1979 with the album “Broken English.” Her most recent album, “Negative Capability,” was released in 2018.
SELENA GOMEZ - BIPOLAR
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Selena Gomez discussed being diagnosed with bipolar disorder during a social media chat with Miley Cyrus.
Gomez spoke about her diagnosis during a 20-minute conversation Friday on Cyrus’ “Bright Minded” series on Instagram. The singer says she realized she was bipolar after she recently visited a mental hospital.
The 27-year-old singer says understanding her disorder more “took the fear away.”
Gomez revealed in 2017 that she underwent kidney transplant due to her struggle with lupus. She said at the time the transplant was needed for her “overall health."
In her discussion with Cyrus, Gomez said she has witnessed mental health issues within her family.
RAPPER ARRESTED ON DRUG, TRAFFIC CHARGES
JONESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Rapper Playboi Carti has been released from custody following his arrest on drug and traffic charges in Georgia.
Playboi Carti, whose real name is Jordan Carter, was arrested Thursday after sheriff's deputies stopped a Lamborghini with an expired license plate tag. The sheriff’s office says in a Facebook post that deputies searched the vehicle and found 12 bags of marijuana, three guns and other drugs, including oxycodone, Xanax and codeine.
Carter is 24. He is the boyfriend of Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. His best-known songs include “Magnolia” and “wokeuplikethis(asterisk)” featuring Lil Uzi Vert.
BILL WITHERS MOURNED
UNDATED (AP) — Bill Withers had a hit with “Lean On Me” in the 1970s — but when he passed away last week, the song had sparked a resurgence because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care workers, choirs, artists and more posting their own renditions on “Lean on Me” to help get through the difficult times. Withers died a week ago at age 81. His family announced the death this past Friday — and said he suffered from heart complications. “Lean on Me,” a tribute to friendship and loyalty, was performed at the inaugurations of both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. It and “Ain’t No Sunshine” are on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
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TRIBUTE TO ELLIS MARSALIS HELD IN NEW ORLEANS
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A tourist riverboat calliope blasted hymn and gospel tunes across New Orleans' French Quarter on Friday as a tribute to the late jazz pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis.
Marsalis, who taught generations of jazz players, including four of his six sons, died Wednesday of pneumonia brought on by COVID-19.
On Friday, a medley including “How Great Thou Art” and “I’ll Fly Away” climaxed with “When the Saints Go Marching In” and the “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Most of the city has been staying inside, but Tristan Dufrene was among several people making cellphone videos of the performance, which she said she'd learned about from an Instagram post.
"It was beautiful,” she said afterward.
About two dozen people, many of them journalists, spaced themselves along the Bienville Street wharf for the 15-minute performance by Debbie Fagnano, who plays calliope on the riverboat Natchez.