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Aerosmith Have Begun Recording a New Song

Brad Whitford said the band spent time in a London studio during their recent European tour.

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Bill Ward Blasts Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi

Bill Ward continues to be offended by accusations made by his former Black Sabbath band mates about his health.

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Prize-winning Polish-US playwright Janusz Glowacki dies

Renowned Polish-U.S. playwright and screenwriter Janusz Glowacki, who won top prizes for his bitter, ironic analysis of the difficult lives of immigrants, died Saturday at 78.

His wife, actress Olena Leonenko-Glowacka, announced his death but its cause was not immediately revealed.

Popular in New York and Polish artistic and intellectual circles, Glowacki was the author of award-winning plays "Antigone in New York" and "The Fourth Sister," which set classic themes in the contemporary world. A keen observer of reality, Glowacki's works are permeated with sarcasm but also with sympathy for the often-futile struggles of his characters.

Born in 1938 in Poznan, western Poland, he made a name for himself in the 1960s with short stories and screenplays, including for the movie "Hunting Flies" by Poland's leading filmmaker Andrzej Wajda. His dark and absurd humor was also helpful in protecting his works from censors, like the 1970 movie "The Cruise" that in a convoluted way showed the absurdities of life under communism in Poland.

He settled in New York in the early 1980s, choosing not to return to Poland after its communist authorities imposed martial law. He was in London for the opening of his play "Cinders" when the clampdown was announced.

Glowacki did return to Warsaw after the 1989 ouster of communist rule.

In 1987, his drama "Hunting Cockroaches" won the Hollywood Drama League Critics Award. "Antigone in New York" was awarded the Le Balladine Award in Paris for the best play of 1997, and "The Fourth Sister" won the main Grand Prize at the International Theatre Festival in Dubrovnik in 2001.

Funeral arrangements are still pending.

Glowacki is also survived by his daughter, Zuzanna Glowacka, and his ex-wife, Ewa Zadrzynska.

The Latest: Kennedy Center awards to go on without Trump

The Latest on President Donald Trump's decision not to participate in the Kennedy Center arts awards (all times local):

9:45 a.m.

The Kennedy Center arts awards program will go on.

Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah Rutter say in a statement that they respect President Donald Trump's decision to cancel a traditional White House reception for the five honorees. The White House reception had been scheduled for Dec. 3.

Rubenstein and Rutter say a State Department reception and awards dinner on Dec. 2 and the Honors Gala on Dec. 3 will continue as planned.

They say the five honorees — Carmen de Lavallade, Gloria Estefan, LL COOL J, Norman Lear and Lionel Richie — are expected to attend both events. Several of the honorees had said they would not attend a White House reception presided over by Trump.

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8 a.m.

The White House has announced that President Donald Trump and the first lady have decided not to participate in events honoring recipients of this year's Kennedy Center arts awards.

The statement says the decision to break with tradition was made to "allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction."

Past presidents and first ladies have hosted a reception for honorees at the White House before the Kennedy Center gala and sat with them at the televised event.

The decision comes a day after the entire membership of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities resigned to protest Trump's comments about last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

But Trump has long had a contentious relationship with the arts world and some of the Kennedy Center honorees already had said they would not attend the White House reception in December.

Trump to skip Kennedy Center Honors

The White House announced in a statement Saturday that President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will not attend this year's Kennedy Center Honors.

The statement said that the president made the decision to not participate to “allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.” The statement said the president and first lady “extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year’s award recipients for their many accomplishments.”

>> Read more trending news

The Kennedy Center Honors is an annual tradition. Past presidents and first ladies host a reception for honorees at the White House before the Kennedy Center gala and attend the televised event. 

One of this year's honorees, television writer and producer Norman Lear, had announced he was skipping the White House reception due to Trump, and other honorees also planned to boycott the reception, the Washington Post reported.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Trump to skip Kennedy Center Honors awards program

In a break with tradition, President Donald Trump and the first lady have decided not to participate in events for this year's Kennedy Center Honors arts awards so honorees can celebrate "without any political distraction," the White House announced Saturday.

The Kennedy Center said it respected Trump's decision and the show will go on.

Past presidents and first ladies traditionally host a White House reception in the hours before the Kennedy Center gala, which they would then watch from seats high above the stage. This year's honors are to be awarded on Dec. 3.

The Trumps reached their decision Friday, said a White House official who insisted on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

It was made the same day that the entire membership of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities resigned to protest Trump's comments about last weekend's demonstrations by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. The president has blamed "many sides" for the violence that left an anti-racism activist dead.

Trump has had a long and contentious relationship with the arts world and some Kennedy Center honorees, who are being recognized for lifetime achievement in their fields, already had said they would not attend the White House reception.

One honoree, television writer and producer Norman Lear, had also questioned whether Trump would want to attend the gala, "given his indifference or worse regarding the arts and humanities."

Trump has recommended defunding the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dancer Carmen de Lavallade said on her website this week she was honored to be recognized, but would not go to Trump's White House.

"In light of the socially divisive and morally caustic narrative that our existing leadership is choosing to engage in, and in keeping with the principles that I and so many others have fought for, I will be declining the invitation to attend the reception at the White House," she said.

Singer Gloria Estefan earlier had said that she would set her personal politics aside to accept the honor, now in its 40th year. She said the image of a Cuban immigrant, like herself, being honored is important when Latino immigrants in particular have "taken a beating in the recent past."

Estefan once hosted a Democratic fundraiser attended by President Barack Obama. She said she and her husband, Emilio, are not affiliated with a political party.

The other honorees are hip-hop artist LL Cool J, who had yet to say whether he would attend the White House reception, and singer Lionel Richie, who described himself as a maybe. Representatives for both celebrities did not immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday.

Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah F. Rutter said they respect Trump's decision.

"In choosing not to participate in this year's Honors activities, the administration has graciously signaled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the Honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the honorees. We are grateful for this gesture" they said in a joint statement.

The honorees, announced earlier this month, will be celebrated at a Kennedy Center gala in December, featuring performances and tributes from top entertainers that will be nationally televised. A traditional State Department reception and awards dinner on Dec. 2 will be held as planned.

Rubenstein and Rutter said all five honorees were expected at both events.

The White House said Trump and first lady Melania Trump "extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year's award recipients for their many accomplishments."

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Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

New biography about David Bowie reveals details of his wild life

An upcoming biography of David Bowie reveals new details about the singer’s life, including some strange propositions, NME reported.

>> Read more trending news

“David Bowie: A Life” will be released Sept. 12. Written by Dylan Jones, the biography is described as “intimate a portrait as may ever be drawn” about Bowie, who died Jan. 11, 2016, after an 18-month battle with cancer.

In the book, groupie Josette Caruso describes the time Bowie was offered a “warm, deady body” to have sex with while on tour in Philadelphia in September 1972, NME reported.

According to the Daily Mail, Caruso told how Bowie’s bodyguard answered the door and then called for the singer, looking “white as a sheet.”

“He obviously looked like such a freak that some sick people thought he might be into necrophilia,” Caruso said.

“Who on earth do they think I am? Why would they think I’d be interested in something like that?” Bowie reportedly said.

Other details from the book, according to the Daily Mail:

  • Bowie’s sex addiction drove him to sleep with 13-year-old groupies, engage in orgies and declare he was bisexual.

  • Because of his brother's schizophrenia, he did not like LSD but developed a cocaine habit.

  • Born David Jones, he changed his last name to Bowie -- like the Bowie Knife -- after British media nicknamed Mick Jagger, 'Jagger Dagger' 

The book also gives a detailed insight into the singer’s life from his childhood in Brixton, through his wild and successful music career, to his relatively calm last few years with wife Iman, NME reported.by

“David Bowie was his very own creation, his very own work of art,” Dylan Jones writes.“This was the boy from postwar Brixton with his sights set on the world.”

 

Taylor Swift wipes social media accounts; website goes dark

Taylor Swift has wiped her social media accounts clean, and fans of the singer are trying to figure out why, Billboard reported.

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On average, Swift has put out a new album every two years since her debut in 2006. Her last album, however -- “1989” -- was released in October 2014.

Friday morning, fans noticed that Swift had deleted her Twitter avatar and header, along with blanking out her Facebook page. All of her posts on Tumblr also were deleted, Billboard reported.

Swift has more than 102 million followers on Instagram, but that site also has been wiped clean, Billboard reported. Her official website is blacked out.

What does it all mean? Have her sites been hacked, or is she gearing up for a comeback. Several Twitter followers speculated about both scenarios. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the singer could not be reached for comment, Billboard reported.

On Monday, a jury ruled in favor of Swift in her countersuit against former radio host David Mueller for alleged assault and battery.

Former Yankees star Derek Jeter, wife welcome first child 

Former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was called “The Captain” during his major-league career.

>> Read more trending news

Now he can be called a dad.

Jeter’s wife Hannah gave birth to a girl, Bella Raine Jeter, on Thursday, according to the verified Twitter account of The Players’ Tribune, which was founded by Jeter in 2014.

The Jeters were married in July 2016, and Hannah Jeter announced her pregnancy via a February essay in The Players’ Tribune, Newsday reported.

Jeter, 43, retired from the Yankees in 2014 after a 20-year career. He finished with a franchise-record 3,465 hits and a .310 batting average while leading the Yankees to seven World Series and five titles.

Venezuelan president blasts maestro Dudamel for speaking out

President Nicolas Maduro has angrily blasted Venezuela's classical music maestro Gustavo Dudamel, accusing his one-time supporter of being duped into criticizing the government that has for years been one of his biggest promoters.

"I hope God forgives you," Maduro said in a televised appearance on Friday, swiping at the Venezuelan-born conductor for roving around Madrid and Los Angeles while his compatriots build a revolution that he once helped glamorize.

"Welcome to politics, Gustavo Dudamel. But act with ethics, and don't let yourself be deceived into attacking the architects of this beautiful movement of young boys and girls," the socialist leader said.

Maduro was referring to Dudamel's longtime association with Venezuela's world-famous El Sistema musical education program. Dudamel, 36, began studying music as a child in El Sistema and has continued to tour with its ensembles the world over even after becoming the Los Angeles Philharmonic's musical director a decade ago.

But he joined a growing cadre of internationally-known Venezuelan athletes and celebrities and publicly broke with the government in May after a member of El Sistema was killed amid a wave of protests that went on to kill more than 120 people.

In an online essay titled "I Raise My Voice," Dudamel urged Maduro to reduce political tensions by listening to instead of cracking down on youth protesters. In July, he went further, calling on Maduro to scrap his plans to rewrite the constitution, a move condemned by dozens of foreign governments as an illegitimate power grab

"Our country urgently needs to lay the foundation for a democratic order that guarantees social peace, security and a prosperous future for our sons and daughters," he wrote in a column published in the New York Times.

Maduro's rebuke comes as Dudamel is scheduled next month to conduct the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela in a four-city U.S. tour — concerts that may now be in doubt as his relations with the Maduro government sour. Last month, on the eve of the elections for the questioned constitutional assembly, Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra abruptly canceled a series of shows in Colombia's capital, citing unspecified logistical problems.

There was no immediate response by Dudamel to Maduro's criticisms.

The world-famous El Sistema, created more than four decades ago, is one of the rare institutions to have survived — even thriving — under the 17 years of socialist rule. The program connects about 400,000 Venezuelan children, many of them poor, with classical music, and has been emulated by music educators in dozens of countries.

While Maduro seemed betrayed, his opponents and fellow classical music performers appear in no mood to embrace Dudamel, who they've long accused of being too cozy with the increasingly autocratic leader. Still fresh in many people's minds is Dudamel's appearance alongside Maduro during an earlier wave of deafly unrest in 2014 while reviewing architectural plans for a Frank Gehry-designed concert hall to be built in the conductor's name.

Gabriela Montero, a world-renowned Venezuelan pianist, in an essay published this week called Dudamel the "king of silent complicity and equivocation."

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Follow Goodman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjoshgoodman

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