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Stars line up for Fourth



Published: Sat, April 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Stars line up for Fourth

PHILADELPHIA -- The stars will be converging here for July Fourth. Bryan Adams, Patti LaBelle and Walter Cronkite are the newest additions to Sir Elton John's Philadelphia Freedom Concert and Ball at the Art Museum, organizers announced Friday. Adams, the husky-voiced Canadian who brought us such '80s hits as "Heaven," and LaBelle will sing. Cronkite, better known for his tenure at "CBS Evening News" than for his musical talents, will emcee. John will headline the event, designed to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. Philly Pops conductor Peter Nero will direct.

McLachlan postpones

NEW YORK -- Sarah McLachlan's last leg of touring behind her latest album, "Afterglow," is off to a rough start, reports Billboard Online. According to her official Web site, the singer is suffering from laryngitis and was forced to postpone two shows earlier this week in Victoria, British Columbia, and also called off gigs Friday and Saturday. The tour is expected to resume Monday in Spokane, Wash. In other news, McLachlan has re-recorded her single "World on Fire" with former The Band leader Robbie Robertson for use in the upcoming TNT series "Into the West." Executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, the program will premiere June 10.

Court tosses lawsuit byEminem's ex-classmate

LANSING, Mich. -- A Michigan state appeals court Friday threw out a lawsuit by a former schoolmate of Eminem who accused the Detroit rapper of portraying him in a false light in the song "Brain Damage." DeAngelo Bailey, a sanitation worker, admits he picked on Marshall Mathers III -- who grew up to be Eminem -- in school. But, he says the most he did to that very slim and quite shady cat was to shove him and give him a little bump, and that he most definitely did not bang Marshall's head on a urinal or choke him, as the colorful, if baroque, "Brain Damage" claims. The court upheld a Macomb County judge's '03 decision to dismiss the suit, saying Em's lyrics, which have him singing that his "whole brain fell out," were not intended to be taken literally. Bailey's lawyer said he would not appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Hip-hop's Simmonsto return to Def Jam

NEW YORK -- Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons is returning to Def Jam, the label he created two decades ago, reports The Associated Press. He'll head the Russell Simmons Music Group, a joint label with Island Def Jam Music Group. Simmons sold Def Jam for $100 million in 1999 but hasn't strayed far from the business. Over the years, he's expanded Def Jam into television (HBO's "Def Comedy Jam"), Broadway ("Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry") and several clothing lines. After his contract with Def Jam expired several months ago, it was unknown whether Simmons would return to producing music or continue with his myriad entrepreneurial activities. His first album will be a new disc from his brother, the Rev. Run, a founding member of Run-DMC. "There are a lot of great records to be made out there -- like the Run record," Simmons said. "Nobody would make that record. Nobody would know to make that record. ... I like the idea of doing something different." Simmons, 47, is planning further expansions from Def Jam. He says MTV has greenlighted a reality show, "Run's House," that will chronicle the life of his brother, now an evangelical preacher, and his five children. "It's the first functional family on television. It's like Bill Cosby on steroids. They live next door to me and Kimora, and we're heathens!" Simmons said, referring to his wife, Kimora Lee. Island Def Jam, which is under the Universal Media Group umbrella, is now run by chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid. Simmons had reportedly feuded with Reid when Reid took over the label last year, and had questioned Reid's hip-hop credibility, but they say that is now water under the bridge.

NEW YORK -- Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons is returning to Def Jam, the label he created two decades ago, reports The Associated Press. He'll head the Russell Simmons Music Group, a joint label with Island Def Jam Music Group. Simmons sold Def Jam for $100 million in 1999 but hasn't strayed far from the business. Over the years, he's expanded Def Jam into television (HBO's "Def Comedy Jam"), Broadway ("Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry") and several clothing lines. After his contract with Def Jam expired several months ago, it was unknown whether Simmons would return to producing music or continue with his myriad entrepreneurial activities. His first album will be a new disc from his brother, the Rev. Run, a founding member of Run-DMC. "There are a lot of great records to be made out there -- like the Run record," Simmons said. "Nobody would make that record. Nobody would know to make that record. ... I like the idea of doing something different." Simmons, 47, is planning further expansions from Def Jam. He says MTV has greenlighted a reality show, "Run's House," that will chronicle the life of his brother, now an evangelical preacher, and his five children. "It's the first functional family on television. It's like Bill Cosby on steroids. They live next door to me and Kimora, and we're heathens!" Simmons said, referring to his wife, Kimora Lee. Island Def Jam, which is under the Universal Media Group umbrella, is now run by chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid. Simmons had reportedly feuded with Reid when Reid took over the label last year, and had questioned Reid's hip-hop credibility, but they say that is now water under the bridge.

De Rossi's tattoo is gone

LOS ANGELES -- Guess Ellen DeGeneres really has found the right gal. Former "Ally McBeal" star Portia De Rossi has removed a tattoo on her ring finger with the initials of her ex-girlfriend -- that'd be Ringo Starr's stepdaughter, Francesca Gregorini -- to show her true devotion to DeGeneres. De Rossi tells Details magazine she doesn't really regret getting that tattoo. "I'm not saying it's anything I regret doing, because I don't, but it just doesn't make any sense now."

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