Live 8 finale downloads
LONDON -- "Hey Jude," the finale of the London Live 8 concert led by Paul McCartney, was offered as a download while the opening number topped the online charts in several countries, the distributor said. The McCartney/U2 concert opener, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," was No. 1 on the iTunes charts in Britain, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Belgium, said Adam White of Universal Music International. The track was No. 2 in Spain and No. 3 in France. Universal said Monday it logged the first "Pepper" sale just 45 minutes after Saturday's performance. McCartney's "The Long and Winding Road," from the end of the concert, was made available for downloading Sunday, White said. He said Universal is donating its share of the sales to Live 8. Live 8 concerts, organized by Bob Geldof, were held worldwide to raise awareness of poverty in Africa.
No laughing matter
The American Liver Foundation on Saturday condemned the Nicole Kidman film "Bewitched" for an insensitive joke regarding people with hepatitis C. In the film, a woman discourages romantic advances from a character played by Michael Caine by saying she has hepatitis C. "Bewitched" was written by Nora Ephron and released by Columbia Pictures. "Tragically, this remarkably tasteless comment plays into the stigma that many people with hepatitis C have to cope with every single day," said Frederick G. Thompson, president and chief executive officer of the foundation. "I can't imagine anyone in Hollywood making a joke about HIV infection, for example. But because the public is so uneducated about hepatitis C, it apparently seems acceptable to trivialize the disease in a comedic context, at the expense of millions of hepatitis sufferers." More than four million people are or have been infected with hepatitis C, and 10,000 people die each year from complications of hepatitis C, which can cause severe liver damage.
Jolie adopts again
Angelina Jolie, who has been romantically linked with her "Mr. & amp; Mrs. Smith" co-star Brad Pitt, is adopting an orphaned Ethiopian baby girl. Jolie visited the Horn of Africa nation last week to file her adoption request, accompanied by Pitt and her 3-year-old son, Maddox, whom she adopted in Cambodia, an official said Wednesday. "The paperwork has gone through. Miss Angelina's request was accepted last week," Hadosh Halefom, head of the country's state-run adoption agency, told The Associated Press. The child "is less than a year old," Hadosh said, refusing to elaborate. The actress filed her request through a private adoption agency. "If people's paperwork is in order, it can take only two days to finalize everything," Hadosh said. In a posting on People magazine's Web site, Jolie is quoted as saying the child's name is Zahara Marley Jolie and that she and Maddox are "very happy to have a new addition to our family."
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- "Big" Al Downing, a singer-songwriter and pianist who had success in country, rockabilly, rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll and even disco, died Monday after suffering from leukemia. He was 65. Downing, of Leicester, Mass., was hospitalized last week and died in Massachusetts, his publicist Martha Moore said Tuesday. He was one of the few successful black country artists. Downing began his career as a keyboard player in rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson's band, performing on Jackson's biggest hit, "Let's Have a Party."
Composer Gian Carlo Menotti is 94. Blues musician Pinetop Perkins is 92. Musician-conductor Doc Severinsen is 78. Country singer Charlie Louvin is 78. Historian-author David McCullough is 72. Rock star Ringo Starr is 65. Singer-musician Warren Entner (The Grass Roots) is 61. Rock musician Jim Rodford is 60. Actor Joe Spano is 59. Country singer Linda Williams is 58. Actress Shelley Duvall is 56. Actress Roz Ryan is 54. Actor Billy Campbell is 46. Rock musician Mark White (Spin Doctors) is 43. Singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard is 42. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ricky Kinchen (Mint Condition) is 39. Actress Jorja Fox is 37. Actress Cree Summer is 36. Actor Troy Garity is 32. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Michelle Kwan is 25. Rapper Cassidy is 23. Country singer Gabbie Nolen is 23.