Nelson forgetful of album
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Willie Nelson is so prolific that sometimes even he forgets he has another record coming out. At a recent Nashville show with Bob Dylan, Nelson performed a long list of hits, but not a single song from his new long-awaited reggae album. "I keep forgetting," Nelson said a few days later by telephone from the road, which he's called home for most of the last 30 years. "The set is so short." Nelson's reggae album, "Countryman," is due out Tuesday, and, at least sporadically, he's been working some of the songs into his shows. Produced by Don Was, who has worked with the Rolling Stones and Bonnie Raitt, the album includes reggae versions of Nelson songs such as "Darkness on the Face of the Earth" and "One in a Row." At 72, Nelson continues to record and perform at a breakneck pace. He believes his best record is still ahead of him. "I feel like we're doing one now that's going to be better than anything else we've ever done," he said.
Shields back to Broadway
NEW YORK -- Brooke Shields is coming back to Broadway to play Roxie Hart in the long-running revival of "Chicago." Shields, currently starring in the London production of the Kander and Ebb musical, joins the New York company Sept. 6 at the Ambassador Theatre. The show is in its ninth year on Broadway. The actress scored a critical and popular success in New York last season when she stepped into the role of Ruth Sherwood in the revival of "Wonderful Town." Shields also has appeared on Broadway as Rizzo in the revival of "Grease!" and as Sally Bowles in "Cabaret." She also recently wrote a book, "Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression," about her experiences after giving birth to daughter Rowan Francis in 2003.
All-Star national anthem
DETROIT -- R & amp;B artist Brian McKnight will perform the national anthem before the All-Star game at Comerica Park on Tuesday. The Canadian All-Star Choir, a combination of three choirs from Windsor, Ontario, located across the Detroit River from the city, will perform the Canadian national anthem before the game. Members of the Grammy-winning Winans gospel family will join McKnight to perform "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch, organizers said Saturday.
Skater clears Great Wall
LOS ANGELES -- Skateboarder Danny Way rolled down a massive ramp at nearly 50 mph and jumped across the Great Wall of China on Saturday, becoming the first person to clear the wall without motorized aid. Way botched the landing on his first attempt but then successfully completed the jump across the 61-foot gap four times, adding 360 degree spins on his last three tries, according to sponsor Quiksilver Inc. "I was aware of the dangers and my heart was pumping in my chest the whole time, but I managed to pull it off with the help of my team, and I'm honored to have my visions embraced by the people of China," Way said. Several thousand people, including China's ministers of extreme sports and culture, gathered at the Ju Yong Guan Gate, about a 40-minute drive from Beijing. Way made the jump on an adaptation of the so-called mega ramp, a gigantic structure that he helped create near his home in the Southern California desert. He set a skateboard jump world record for distance (79 feet) on a mega ramp at last summer's X Games, and in 2003 he set the height record of 23 1/2 feet at the desert ramp.
'Rush Hour 3' stalled
HONG KONG -- Jackie Chan says the third installment of "Rush Hour" is stuck in neutral because co-star Chris Tucker is making too many demands. "He wants too much power. The movie company hasn't obliged. He wants final editing rights and the final look at the movie and so on," Chan told The Associated Press Thursday. Chan called Tucker a "good friend" but questioned whether he had the stature to be so demanding. "He's still a new actor," Chan, 51, said. "How many movies has he made? Two movies have already made him very famous and made him a lot of money. He needs to learn slowly." A call by AP to Tucker's publicist, Samantha Mast, wasn't returned Friday. While "Rush Hour 3" remains in limbo, Chan said he's going ahead with another project -- one with famed Chinese director Zhang Yimou. Zhang's recent films include "House of Flying Daggers" and "Hero." Chan declined to reveal details of the movie, saying only that it would be "galvanizing" and is set in the 1980s. He said the idea is his, but Zhang will work on the script. "He relies on imagination ... like an arrow flying through water," Chan said. "He has elevated the martial arts genre. I believe he can make any type of movie now."
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