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Rap's Jay-Z explains why he took role of president



Published: Tue, August 30, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Rap's Jay-Z explains why he took role of president

NEW YORK -- Jay-Z took the job as president of Def Jam Recordings for a couple of reasons: He needed a challenge and he wanted to prove he's more than just a rapper. "I'd been in my comfort zone for a while," the rapper and mogul told the New York Times for its Sunday editions. "I was bored. I didn't want to be doing rap just to do it: Oh, it's November again. Time to put out another record." Jay-Z, whto's real name is Shawn Carter, said the limited number of black executives in the music industry was also a concern. "I know people think that this is a vanity job or that I'm the guy that just brings in talent and I'm out of the office three months a year and I only come in once in a while," he said. "But yes, I'm really there." Jay-Z, 35, released 10 albums in less than a decade that have sold more than 33 million copies. He also won four Grammy Awards.

'Dirty Dancing' continues

TORONTO -- Patrick Swayze never knows when "Dirty Dancing" fans will strike. "It's incredible," says the actor, who played the hip-swinging Johnny Castle in the hit 1987 film. "All of the sudden I'll be pinched on the rear and jump and turn around and I'll see this little blue-haired old lady running back to her group of friends going: 'I did it Martha. I did it!'" While Swayze went on to star in films like "Road House," "Point Break" and "Ghost," he's probably best known for "Dirty Dancing," in which his bad-boy character teaches teenager Baby (Jennifer Grey) some risque moves during her summer vacation. "Little girls who weren't even born when the movie was made [are] huge fans. It's hysterical," says Swayze's wife of 30 years, dancer Lisa Niemi. These days, the 53-year-old actor is again strutting his stuff, this time in "One Last Dance," written and directed by Niemi, who also co-stars.

Today's birthdays

Country singer Kitty Wells is 86. Opera singer Regina Resnik is 83. Actor Bill Daily is 77. Actress Elizabeth Ashley is 66. Actor Ben Jones is 64. Cartoonist R. Crumb is 62. Skier Jean-Claude Killy is 62. Actress Peggy Lipton is 58. Comedian Lewis Black is 57. Actor Timothy Bottoms is 54. Actor David Paymer is 51. Actor Michael Chiklis is 42. Music producer Robert Clivilles is 41. Actress Michael Michele is 39. Country musician Geoff Firebaugh (BR549) is 37. Country singer Sherrie Austin is 34. Actress Cameron Diaz is 33. Rock musician Leon Caffrey (Space) is 32. T-V personality Lisa Ling is 32. Singer Rich Cronin (LFO) is 30. Rock musician Matt Taul (Tantric) is 27. Rock singer-musician Aaron Barrett (Reel Big Fish) is 25. Actor Cameron Finley is 18.




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