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Published: Fri, April 12, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

newsmakers

Jay-Z references Cuba trip in ‘Open Letter’

NEW YORK

Jay-Z is defending his recent trip to Cuba in a new song.

The rapper released “Open Letter” on Thursday after two Florida Republican lawmakers critical of the trip questioned if the rapper’s visit to Havana with wife Beyonce, which coincided with their fifth wedding anniversary, was officially licensed.

On the song, Jay-Z talks about his distaste for politicians and raps: “Want to give me jail time and a fine? Fine, let me commit a real crime.”

U.S. Treasury officials said Tuesday the couple’s trip was licensed as an educational exchange after Cuban-American U.S. Reps Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart expressed concerns about the trip and wanted to know if it was licensed.

U.S. citizens aren’t allowed to travel to Cuba for mere tourism, though they can obtain licenses for academic, religious, journalistic or cultural-exchange trips. The so-called people-to-people licenses were reinstated under the Obama administration. Beyonce and Jay-Z marked their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana last week.

Bruno Mars’ sisters get reality series

NEW YORK

Bruno Mars isn’t the only singer in the family.

The 27-year-old Grammy winner’s four sisters will appear in a We TV reality series documenting the recording process of their debut album, the cable network announced Wednesday.

The show will air this fall. It will include eight hourlong episodes.

Tiara, Tahiti and Presley Hernandez are moving from Hawaii to Los Angeles to join their older sister Jamie. The sisters perform as The Lylas.

Mars, who was born Peter Hernandez, moved from Hawaii to live with Jamie in Los Angeles in 2002 after he graduated from high school. He released his platinum-selling debut, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” in 2010 and last year released his sophomore album, “Unorthodox Jukebox.”

His No. 1 hits include “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Just the Way You Are” and “Grenade.”

Woody Allen collaborator dies

LOS ANGELES

A childhood friend of Woody Allen who co-wrote his movies “Bananas” and “Take the Money and Run” has died. Mickey Rose was 77.

His daughter, Jennifer, told the Los Angeles Times that he died Sunday from cancer at his home in Beverly Hills.

Rose and Allen met in high school in Brooklyn and became friends. They shared a love of playing jazz and baseball.

Rose met his late wife, Judy, through a blind date arranged by Allen.

Rose became a TV comedy writer. He wrote for Johnny Carson and Sid Caesar and for shows including “The Smothers Brothers,” “All in the Family” and “The Odd Couple.”

In a statement, Allen said Rose was one of the funniest humans he’s known — and a “wonderful first baseman.”

Associated Press


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