Barrino dedicates songto young mothers
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Reigning "American Idol" Fantasia Barrino said one song on her new CD, "Free Yourself," is dedicated to young mothers who struggle to support themselves and their children -- just as she does, reports The Associate Press. Her "Baby Mama" track has elicited some criticism as endorsing children out of wedlock, but Barrino, 20, said she isn't promoting teenage motherhood. Barrino has a 3-year-old daughter named Zion. She said she isn't ashamed of being a teenage mother, but "if I could have waited, I would have." Young teens come up to her and tell her, "I'm a baby mama." "That's cool," she tells them, but then she asks, "What are you doing to try to better yourself?" Traveling with her daughter serves as a reminder of why she works so hard, said Barrino, who was among the artists who sang a tribute to Elton John at the 27th annual Kennedy Center Honors in December. She will be a co-host of the Soul Train Awards on Feb. 28, and she is nominated for an NAACP Image Award as outstanding female artist.
Schlessinger's sonto join Special Forces
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Tough talking radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger's 19-year-old son will join the U.S. Special Forces later this year -- an endeavor that could take him to the Middle East. Schlessinger, famous for doling out conservative advice on her nationally syndicated call-in show, told about 300 people at a 425th Civil Affairs Battalion event that she wasn't too worried about her son, Deryk Bishop. "I brought my son up to be a warrior," she said. "I feel sorry for the mothers of the bad guys. And I just have a good feeling." Bishop, who enlisted last year, joined his mother on stage and told the audience including U.S. Army reservists that he resents how Americans criticize the war without recognizing the sacrifices soldiers make -- a theme echoed by his mother. "Real people were fighting and I wanted to be part of that," Bishop said.
Movin' to Marley music
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Bob Marley's potent music promoting "one love" and social justice roared Sunday as reggae lovers from around the globe gathered in his birthplace of Jamaica and the Rastafarian holy land of Ethiopia to celebrate the late star's 60th birthday. Huge speakers thumped the bass lines of Marley songs as dozens of tourists bobbed their heads and swayed along outside the singer's home-turned-shrine in Kingston, the Jamaican capital. Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has declared an official yearlong celebration to mark Marley's birthday, while thousands are expected to attend tribute concerts to honor the singer, who died of cancer in 1981 at age 36. At Marley's former home, now a museum, tourists took turns getting their photographs taken with a bronze statue of the dreadlocked singer holding his Gibson guitar and pointing a finger skyward.
Iglesias signs with Hilfiger
NEW YORK -- Women love to see him -- now men can smell like him. Enrique Iglesias recently partnered with Tommy Hilfiger to be the spokesmodel for the designer's new fragrance. Anna Kournikova's beau has signed a contract for several years to appear in ads for True Star Men, slated for release this fall. No details were made public about how much Iglesias, who will release his next album later this year, will get for this new gig. Beyonce is the face for the female version of True Star. TV ads feature her singing an a cappella version of "Wishing on a Star."
Close, Chiklis to hook up
NEW YORK -- Glenn Close and Michael Chiklis hooking up on FX's "The Shield"? He'd dig it. Having Chiklis' rogue Detective Vic Mackey get involved this season with his new captain, Glenn Close's Monica Rawling, "sounds like an amazing idea," he says. "It would be very exciting. It would definitely lend itself to tremendous drama. It's an obvious conflict of interest. It would create all kinds of havoc and put some serious wrenches in the works." "Shield" launches its fourth season March 15. Chiklis, who has shot five episodes with Close, says he has no idea what the writers have in store, "but I guarantee you, I'm going to ask. "On 'The Shield,' anything is possible."
Composer-conductor John Williams is 73. Actor Jack Larson is 72. ABC News anchor Ted Koppel is 65. Actor Nick Nolte is 64. Comedian Robert Klein is 63. Country singer Dan Seals is 57. Singer Ron Tyson is 57. Actress Brooke Adams is 56. Actress Mary Steenburgen is 52. Author John Grisham is 50. Rock singer Vince Neil (Motley Crue) is 44. Rock singer-musician Sammy Llanas (The BoDeans) is 44. Actor Gary Coleman is 37. Actress Mary McCormack is 36. Actor Seth Green is 31. Rock musician Phoenix (Linkin Park) is 28. Actor Ryan Pinkston is 17. Actress Karle Warren ("Judging Amy") is 13.