Rawlses celebrate 1st yearwith the birth of a son
LOS ANGELES -- Grammy-winning R & amp;B singer Lou Rawls and his wife, Nina, celebrated their first wedding anniversary with the birth of a son. Aiden Allen Rawls was born Monday in Akron, Ohio, and weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces, Paul Shefrin, the singer's Los Angeles-based publicist, said Thursday. The couple called their son "the perfect belated first anniversary gift," according to Shefrin. Rawls and his wife, who is also his manager, were married Jan. 1, 2004. It's the first child for Nina Rawls, while her 69-year-old husband has three grown children. Rawls' hits include "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" and "A Natural Man." For years, he was the voice of Anheuser-Busch's beer commercials.
Griffith to participateat ceremony in N.C.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Television icon Andy Griffith, who appeared in campaign ads with North Carolina governor Mike Easley for two elections, will participate in his second inauguration. The 78-year-old Griffith has agreed to read a poem at today's swearing-in of the Democratic governor and other Council of State members, Easley's office said. The North Carolina native, who played Sheriff Andy Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show," will read "The Bridge Builder" by Will Allen Dromgoole at the ceremony in downtown Raleigh. Griffith delivered the state toast at Easley's January 2001 inauguration. His appearance in an ad during the 2000 gubernatorial campaign was touted as a key component in Easley's victory.
Serena Williams unveilsnew line of tennis apparel
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Just days after being ranked No. 6 on Mr. Blackwell's annual worst-dressed list, Serena Williams unveiled her new line of lime green-and-white Nike tennis apparel. She co-designed a three-in-one dress and knee-high boots. Williams, No. 7 in the world tennis rankings, modeled the outfit Thursday, stepping out of the dress to reveal what she'll be wearing at the Australian Open next week: a top and shorts that are just "ideal" for practice. Unconventional? "You bet!" she said. Like the black knee-high warm-up boots that made headlines at the U.S. Open in August, the new boots can be unzipped and removed between the warm-up and a match. "My legs take a little longer to warm up than the next opponent, so it's perfect for me, they'll keep me warm and then I'll be able to blast off," she said.
Giamatti to host 'SNL'
NEW YORK -- For a "character actor," Paul Giamatti is certainly getting a lot of front-man gigs. The "Sideways" star will host NBC's "Saturday Night Live" on Jan. 22. It will be the actor's "SNL" debut, with Ludacris to appear as the musical guest. Up for a Golden Globe this Sunday night, Giamatti already received a Screen Actors Guild nomination for best actor earlier this week. Previously known more for smaller roles such as Howard Stern's boss in "Private Parts," his portrayal of a wine-obsessed writer in "Sideways' is Giamatti's second well-regarded lead performance in two years, following 2003's "American Splendor."
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Singer-songwriter James Arthur Griffin, a founding member of the 1970s pop group Bread, died at his home Tuesday after a battle with cancer, funeral home officials said. He was 61. Griffin, known as Jimmy, won an Academy Award for best song for co-writing The Carpenters' hit "For All We Know" for the movie "Lovers and Other Strangers." He also wrote country hits, including Conway Twitty's "Who's Gonna Know" and Restless Heart's "You Can Depend On Me."
PETALUMA, Calif. -- Spencer Dryden, drummer for the Jefferson Airplane in the rock band's glory years, including the Woodstock festival, died of cancer at his home Monday. He was 66. Dryden retired from performing 10 years ago. A benefit concert last year raised $36,000 for the musician, who was facing hip replacement and heart surgery and whose home had been destroyed by fire. He was later diagnosed with cancer. Dryden was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 for his work with the Jefferson Airplane.
LOS ANGELES -- Thelma White, whose portrayal of a hard-boiled addiction queen in the 1936 movie "Reefer Madness" was largely forgotten until the 1970s, when the film resurfaced as a cult classic, died of pneumonia Tuesday at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital. She was 94.
Actress Margaret O'Brien is 68. Singer Don Van Vliet (aka "Captain Beefheart") is 64. Actress Andrea Martin is 58. Rock singer Martha Davis is 54. Actor-director Mario Van Peebles is 48. Singer Lisa Lisa (Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam) is 38. Actor Chad Lowe is 37. Actress Regina King is 34. Actor Eddie Cahill is 27.
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