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Cellist Yo-Yo Ma to speak at MIT about the role of culture

World-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma is set to give a lecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The school says Ma will visit the campus Monday to deliver a talk titled "Yo-Yo Ma: Culture, Understanding and Survival " as part of a lecture series featuring figures in modern thought.

Ma is a prolific performer who has recorded more than 100 albums and has worked to promote collaboration among artists from different cultures.

He was born in Paris and became a child prodigy after learning the cello at age 4. He has won 18 Grammy awards, the National Medal of the Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The event will feature a lecture from Ma and a conversation between the cellist and MIT President L. Rafael Reif.

Demi Lovato celebrates 6 years sober at show with DJ Khaled

Demi Lovato celebrated six years of sobriety at a concert in New York with tour mate DJ Khaled, whose powerful words brought the pop star to tears.

Lovato performed Friday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, telling the audience that March 15 was a proud day for her.

DJ Khaled played the role of preacher, life coach and best friend as he offered words of inspiration, motivation and admiration to Lovato, who has been open about her issues with drugs and alcohol. He told the crowd "this is a special day" and repeatedly said "happy birthday" to Lovato, as she began to tear up.

"Every time I see you I say, 'Man, this is a strong queen,'" he said. "What you've overcome through trials and tribulations, through dark clouds, you found the sunshine, and now the sun is shining on you forever."

"You inspire me," Khaled added.

DJ Khaled and R&B singer Kehlani, another tour mate, encouraged the crowd sing "Happy Birthday" to Lovato in honor of her sixth year of sobriety.

The crowd then chanted "Demi!" as she sat down by the piano and dabbed her eyes with tissues handed to her by a crew member.

"Six years ago, I was drinking vodka out of a Sprite bottle at 9 in the morning, throwing up in the car," Lovato said. "So, I took a look at my life and I said, 'Something has to change, I've got to get sober.' So, I did."

"Thank you for being a part of saving my life. I love you guys," she added before performing the song "Warriors."

Lovato struggled with an eating disorder, self-mutilation and other issues, entering rehab in 2010. The 25-year-old has spoken out about her battles over the years, detailing her recovery in the YouTube documentary "Simply Complicated," which was released last year.

Grammy-nominated Kehlani, who has also been open about her personal struggles, thanked Lovato and said she's honored to know the singer.

"As a 22-year-old woman, you represent me, you represent every single women in this room and even every single young boy," the singer said. "You are 100 percent yourself, and that is so rare in this world and this industry."

Lovato's concert took another emotional turn when she performed the song "Father," saying this was the first tour she's been able to sing the song. Her biological father, who she has described as mean and abusive, died in 2013.

"I had love for him and I forgave him," she said. A photo of her father holding her as a baby closed the performance.

Lovato ended the concert, backed by the New York City Gay Men's Chorus, with the songs, "Sorry Not Sorry," and "Tell Me You Love Me."

The 'force' with Mark Hamill at Dublin's St. Patrick's Day

Mark Hamill has tweeted that "today the whole galaxy is Irish" as he appeared as international guest of honor at Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade.

The "Star Wars" actor, whose great-grandmother was born in Ireland, was invited to represent the Irish diaspora at the celebration. Hamill spent time on Ireland's rocky Skellig Michael island filming the most recent "Star Wars" movie, "The Last Jedi."

Hamill sported a tweed cap, a green scarf and a shamrock sprig as he attended the parade, which sees floats, colorfully clad performers and marching bands wind their way through the Irish capital.

"Game of Thrones" actor Liam Cunningham was the grand marshal of Saturday's parade, attended by Irish President Michael D. Higgins.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is at New York's St. Patrick's Day parade.

Watch Keith Richards, Ann Wilson, Billy Gibbons + More at Love Rocks NYC! Benefit Concert

Love Rocks NYC! brought together an incredible array of talent to raise money for God's Love We Deliver, an organization that delivers meals to people who can't cook because of illness.

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With torn ligament, SZA powers through performance

R&B singer SZA didn't let a torn ligament in her foot slow her down at a concert for her feverish fans in New York City.

She walked into the venue Friday with a crutch helping her to the chair placed in the middle of the stage. She injured her foot while performing last week at the BUKU Music + Art Project festival in New Orleans.

Backed by three musicians, she delivered her direct lyrics from songs that helped her become the most nominated woman at this year's Grammy Awards, while her fans sang along.

Though injured, she performed in style, wearing fuzzy, platform, pink slippers though her right foot had a brace on it.

"I don't really have a plan, but we're gonna, like, wing this," she said after singing her first song, holding onto the microphone stand for support.

SZA danced excitedly while the Travis Scott verse played from her hit, "Love Galore," and she used both crutches while singing her popular slow groove and crowd favorite, "The Weekend."

Her performance at Samsung 837 was in celebration of the company's new Galaxy S9 phone, released Friday.

Sporting a long sleeved, tie-dye-styled shirt and white pants, she thanked the audience for "vibing with me."

SZA was nominated for five Grammys at January's show, including best new artist and best urban contemporary album for "Ctrl," her major label debut that recently hit platinum status. She will launch "The Championship Tour" on May 4 in Vancouver with her Top Dawg Entertainment label mates Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q and others.

Theron calls idea of arming US teachers 'so outrageous'

Actress Charlize Theron says the idea of arming teachers after recent U.S. school shootings or "adding more guns" to the situation is "so outrageous."

The South African says: "I have a very personal experience with gun violence. I lost my father to gun violence."

She added: "I just don't understand when people try to make the conversation, the argument that the fix is more guns. It is so outrageous to me."

Theron spoke Saturday at the Global Education and Skills Forum being held in Dubai.

Theron says people should "listen to our kids" to solve the problem, speaking just after three students talked about the Feb. 14 Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.

The Rise, Fall and Rise of Gary Numan

It's easy to forget that celebrities are just like the rest of us — trying to pay the bills. But Gary Numan spills it all when it comes to managing his finances.

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40 Years Ago: Elvis Costello Releases His Masterpiece, 'This Year's Model'

Elvis Costello's debut album arrived less than a year before its follow-up. But the two records boasted a sound, style and attitude that were far removed from each other.

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Neil Young, Daryl Hannah 'Don't Give A S—' What People Think of Their Relationship

Neil Young says he and Daryl Hannah “don’t give a s––-” about what the media and other people think of their relationship.

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Spokeswoman: Damon not fleeing to Australia in Trump huff

A publicist for Matt Damon is batting down reports that the actor is moving to Australia with his family, and that such a move would have been inspired by anger over President Donald Trump.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Sydney had reported that Damon was buying a home in Byron Bay near actor Chris Hemsworth. The two recently appeared in "Thor: Ragnarok" together.

Damon spokeswoman Jennifer Allen said Damon has been to Australia a lot recently. But Damon has not bought a home there nor is he relocating there, she said.

The New York Post's Page Six gossip site, citing an unnamed source, said the "Good Will Hunting" and "Jason Bourne" star told friends and colleagues he wanted to leave the country because he disagrees with Trump's policies.

When asked about Damon's rumored motivation, Allen wrote in an email, "He's not moving out of the U.S." Damon has publicly supported Democrats, including Trump's rival in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton.

Archive of Studs Terkel radio shows to be released to public

More than 5,600 of Studs Terkel's radio interview programs on the Chicago station WFMT will be released to the public.

The Studs Terkel Radio Archive will launch May 16, the 106th birthday of the late author, activist and oral historian. Terkel died in 2008 at age 96. The archive will be available on

For 45 years — 1952 to 1997 — the legendary Terkel elevated oral history to a popular genre by interviewing both the celebrated and everyday people for books and on WFMT. Among the radio interviews to be released are those with Martin Luther King Jr., Simone de Beauvoir, Bob Dylan, Cesar Chavez and Toni Morrison.

Terkel won the 1985 nonfiction Pulitzer Prize for his book, "'The Good War': An Oral History of World War II."

Authorities investigating claims teacher fed puppy to turtle

Authorities are investigating reports a teacher fed a sick puppy to a snapping turtle in a rural Idaho town that was the setting for the teenage cult classic film "Napoleon Dynamite."

The uproar has forced police to step up security amid threats at Preston Junior High School and other schools in the district following the incident that reportedly occurred on March 7 in front of several students after school.

Investigators are looking into possible animal cruelty charges. The teacher has not been named by authorities.

Preston Police Chief Mike Peterson said Friday the threats were vague but linked to the allegation that the reportedly ailing puppy was fed to the turtle March 7.

"It was enough of a threat that our parents thought we ought to have a bit of a presence over there," Peterson said.

He said two police officers and four Franklin County sheriff's deputies were stationed at schools on Thursday that are normally patrolled by one sheriff's deputy. The district doesn't hold classes on Fridays, but officers may return to provide added security on Monday.

Peterson said the sheriff's office has submitted its findings of the incident to Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Vic Pearson. But Pearson said his agency has a conflict of interest and earlier this week forwarded the report to another prosecutor in the region that he didn't name.

He said in a news release that the high volume of calls being received by law enforcement and his office was "hindering our ability to complete what needs to be done to reach the end goal of justice in this case."

Franklin County Sheriff David Fryar didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press on Friday.

The Preston School District's answering system said its mailbox was full and not accepting messages. But in a previous statement, Superintendent Marc Gee said the district became aware of "a regrettable circumstance involving some of the biological specimens."

The Idaho Humane Society has called for an investigation and has contacted local officials offering its help.

In a statement, it said it shares the concern "of all our constituents who are deeply disturbed by the news from Preston, Idaho, regarding allegations of the mistreatment of a puppy in a classroom setting."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in a statement said the teacher is a "bully who should not be allowed near impressionable young people."

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture on Friday said the turtle was euthanized on Wednesday because it's an invasive species. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game helped obtain the turtle.

"Our concern is they are omnivorous, can be highly predacious on native species, can live a long time, and once they reach a certain size, they have few natural predators," said Fish and Game spokesman Roger Phillips.

The 2004 film "Napoleon Dynamite" was set in rural Preston, which has a population of about 5,200. The film portrays a shy and unpopular teenager helping his friend run for high school class president.

Reports of the puppy being fed to the turtle have put the town near the Utah border back in the spotlight, but in a negative way.

"I think people are disappointed, disappointed that the incident happened," said Peterson, the police chief. "We don't want that media attention. This is a small town that runs at its own pace."

Aretha Franklin cancels concerts due to doctor's orders

Aretha Franklin is canceling two upcoming concerts on doctor's orders.

The Queen of Soul's management team says in a statement Friday that Franklin will not perform March 25 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey. That show would have taken place on her 76th birthday.

Franklin also won't appear April 28 at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Organizers say Rod Stewart will perform as the headliner instead.

The statement says the singer has been ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest completely for at least the next two months. It adds that Franklin is "extremely disappointed she cannot perform as she had expected and hoped to."

Last year, Franklin announced her plans to retire, saying she would perform at "some select things."

St. Louis high school band gets surprise visit from the pope

A group of 45 band students from a Jesuit high school in St. Louis didn't know they'd get a surprise visit from Pope Francis when they recently performed at the Vatican.

The St. Louis University High School students had been on a musical trip in Italy since March 9 to celebrate the school's bicentennial. The band was excited to perform Wednesday before thousands in St. Peter's Square, when a Swiss Guard motioned them over to the steps of St. Peter's Basilica, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported .

"We all had instruments and music stands, but we just picked them up and started running over," said Jeff Pottinger, the band director. "And our tour guide shouted, 'You're going to meet the pope.'"

The band played "O Sacred Head Now Wounded" as the 266th head of the Roman Catholic Church entered the area. Pottinger said he expected Pope Francis to continue on quickly, but instead he stood attentively in front of the band.

"Half the boys aren't even playing at this point, they're just standing there like, 'My God, that's the pope,'" he said.

Pope Francis then met with the students and chaperones, even posing for some selfies. He eventually rode away on the popemobile as the band played its school fight song.

"We are still all freaking out," Pottinger said. "You see a picture of yourself with the pope and it's almost like an out-of-body experience."

The band members, who were set to return to St. Louis on Friday, will have a story they can share for years, Pottinger said.

"I told the students this is something you can tell your family for three generations," he said. "It's unforgettable."


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Lawyer: Porn star who alleges Trump affair has faced threats

A porn actress who said she had sex with Donald Trump before he became president has been threatened with physical harm, her attorney said Friday.

Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has been seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election in order to discuss their relationship, which she said began in 2006 and continued for about a year.

Lawyers for Trump, in a filing late Friday, claimed Clifford could owe more than $20 million in damages for violating the agreement.

Clifford's attorney, Michael Avenatti, told The Associated Press his client had been "physically threatened," but he didn't provide details. He would not comment on whether the threats came from anyone tied to the president, the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization.

Clifford will discuss the threats during a segment on CBS' "60 Minutes," which is scheduled to air later this month. Avenatti said he was confident that people would believe her after watching her interview.

"There's the act and there's the cover-up, and the American people are going to learn about both in the interview and beyond," the lawyer said during an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Friday that she had no knowledge of the situation and hadn't spoken with the president about it.

But, she said, "obviously we take the safety and security of any person seriously" and "certainly would condemn anyone threatening any individual." Sanders said last week that Trump has "made very well clear that none of these allegations are true."

Clifford filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles last week that sought to invalidate the agreement so she could "set the record straight" and has offered to return the $130,000 she was paid for agreeing not to discuss the relationship. Clifford's lawsuit claimed the "hush agreement" she signed in October 2016 is legally invalid because it was only signed by Clifford and Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, but was not signed by Trump.

The lawsuit refers to her beginning an "intimate relationship" with Trump in 2006 that continued "well into the year 2007." She said the relationship included encounters in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and Beverly Hills, California. Trump married his current wife, Melania Trump, in 2005, and their son, Barron, was born in 2006.

In a Friday evening court filing, an attorney for Cohen sought to move the case from a state-level court to federal court in Los Angeles. The court filing accused Clifford of violating the agreement's confidentiality clauses more than 20 times and said she could be liable for $1 million in damages for each violation.

A separate filing by Charles Harder, another attorney for Trump, said the president planned to join an "anticipated petition" to have the case heard by an arbitrator.

Avenatti accused Cohen and Trump of trying to move the case to federal court to increase their chances of having the case heard by a private arbitrator, "thus hiding the truth from the public."

"The filing today is yet another bullying tactic from the president and Mr. Cohen," Avenatti said on Twitter. "The fact that a sitting president is pursuing over $20M in bogus 'damages' against a private citizen, who is only trying to tell the public what really happened, is remarkable."

In addition to Clifford, six women have contacted Avenatti with similar stories, he said. Two of the women appear to have signed nondisclosure agreements, Avenatti said.

Clifford also has previously denied through a lawyer that she and Trump had an affair, but Avenatti has said that was to meet the terms of the nondisclosure agreement.

Cohen has denied there was ever an affair and said he paid the $130,000 out of his pocket. He has said neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Clifford and he was not reimbursed for the payment.

Cohen did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Friday.

Former Suge Knight lawyers deny witness-tampering charges

Two former lawyers for Marion "Suge" Knight have pleaded not guilty to charges that they conspired to pay off witnesses for false testimony in the rap mogul's murder trial.

Matthew Fletcher and Thaddeus Culpepper entered the pleas Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court to counts including conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Fletcher's attorney Mark Geragos said outside court that the men's indictment is a "full frontal assault on those who practice criminal defense."

Culpepper, who was kicked off Knight's case by a judge last week, emphatically denied that he tried to get witnesses to lie.

Knight is awaiting trial for murder and attempted murder after hitting two men with his truck outside a Compton burger stand in 2015. He has pleaded not guilty.

April 2018 New Music Releases

Record Store Day dominates this list, but that doesn't mean the rest of April sits empty.

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40 Years Ago: Billy Idol's Generation X Release Their Debut Album

The backlash began before Generation X had even put out their first album.

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How Jim Morrison Evolved Into the Lizard King: Exclusive Video

Robby Krieger and John Densmore of the Doors recalled witnessing their shy and retiring singer Jim Morrison's transformation into his dynamic Lizard King persona.

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Paul Stanley Explains Why Kiss Wants to Trademark 'The End of the Road'

Frontman Paul Stanley reveals Kiss' trademark application on 'The End of the Road' is about getting their ducks in a row, and doesn't signal pending retirement.

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