'IDOL' REJECT DEBUTS WITH FAMOUS HIT



'Idol' reject debutswith famous hit
HONG KONG -- William Hung, who shot to instant fame as a reject on the U.S. talent show "American Idol," has debuted in Asia at a Macau casino.
Accompanied by sexy dancers in red tube tops, the Hong Kong-born singer belted out his most famous hit -- an off-key rendition of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" -- at Kam Pek casino in Macau, local press reported Sunday.
"I don't mind having some people ridicule me," Hung was quoted as saying in the South China Morning Post.
Hung, a 21-year-old civil engineering student at the University of California at Berkeley, became famous after he responded to the mockery of "American Idol" judges by saying that he had done his best and had no regrets.
He went on to sign a singing contract with Fuse Music Network and Koch Records.
Actress swearsshe never snoops
BOSTON -- Brittany Murphy plays a woman who goes through her boyfriend's Palm Pilot to learn about his past in her new movie, "Little Black Book."
She swears she doesn't do that in real life.
"There was a screening a couple of days ago that 500 people attended. Seventy percent of all the women said that they snooped. Thirty percent of all the men said that they had snooped," Murphy told the Boston Herald in its Sunday editions.
Later, over a Chinese dinner for the cast, "everyone was asked if they had snooped before. Everyone raised their hand but me," Murphy said.
That's when co-star Holly Hunter yelled, "Liar!"
"I said 'I'm not a liar. I swear I've never done something like that in my whole life and I wouldn't even think of doing something like this."'
Murphy's past relationships include Eminem and Ashton Kutcher. She also was briefly engaged to her manager, Jeff Kwa-tinetz.
Celebrities signletter of thanks
LONDON -- More than a dozen celebrities, including Bono, Jude Law and Bob Geldof, have signed an open letter thanking Prime Minister Tony Blair's government for its promise to boost aid to poor countries.
"It's unfashionable to congratulate politicians in public but we're going to do it anyway, to say thanks for increasing the funds available to tackle world poverty now and for committing to reach the U.N. aid-giving target by 2013 at the latest," said the letter, published in today's Independent newspaper.
Treasury Chief Gordon Brown announced last month that Britain would increase development aid to $11.7 billion, or 0.47 percent of national income, by 2007. He said that by 2013 the country plans to meet a United Nations target of giving 0.7 percent of gross domestic product to aid poorer countries.
Notable death
PHILADELPHIA -- A young cancer patient who started a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer research, sparking a nationwide fund-raising campaign that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, died Sunday at her home.
Alexandra Scott, 8, of Wynewood, whose battle with pediatric cancer captured hearts nationwide, "passed on peacefully with us holding her hands," her parents, Jay and Liz Scott, said in an e-mail, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported today.
Alexandra, diagnosed before her first birthday with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer, decided to set up a lemonade stand to raise money for treatment. She took in $2,000 that first year, and a series of stands had raised a total of $200,000 after four years.
Today's birthdays
Former Senator Paul Laxalt, R-Nev., is 82. Actor Peter O'Toole is 72. Country singer Hank Cochran is 69. Rock musician Garth Hudson (The Band) is 67. Movie director Wes Craven is 65. Singer Edward Patten (Gladys Knight & amp; The Pips) is 65. Singer Kathy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 61. Actor Max Wright is 61. Actress Joanna Cassidy is 59. Actress Kathryn Harrold is 54. Actress Victoria Jackson is 45. Actress Apollonia is 45. Actress Cynthia Stevenson is 42.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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