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Elton John donates to Leon Russell Monument Fund

Rock ’n’ roll legend Elton John made a $5,000 donation through his charitable organization to the Leon Russell Monument Fund.

Organizers of the monument made the announcement on its website Friday.

John’s donation brought the fund within $3,600 of its $42,000 goal.

John and Leon Russell collaborated on a 2010 album, “The Union.”

Russell, an Oklahoma native, died in Nov. 13, 2016 at the age of 74.

Blockbuster founder, former Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga dead at 80 

Longtime South Florida sports owner, philanthropist and businessman H. Wayne Huizenga died Friday. He was 80.

>> Read more trending news

Huizenga owned the Miami Dolphins and their stadium for 15 years and was the initial owner of the Florida Marlins and Florida Panthers.

In business, he started Waste Management in the 1960s, was the catalyst behind Blockbuster Video’s growth in the 1980s and ’90s and created AutoNation.

Huizenga was involved in various charities and funded the business school bearing his name at Nova Southeastern University.

He bought a small portion of the Dolphins in 1990 and became full owner of the team three years later. They went to the playoffs seven times during his ownership, and South Florida hosted three Super Bowls.

Huizenga sold the team to Stephen Ross over the course of 2008 and 2009. He sold the Marlins in 1998 and the Panthers in 2001.

Garth Brooks supports March for Our Lives protesters with new song

Garth Brooks played a never-before-released song on his Facebook series, “Inside Studio G,” this week in support of Florida school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez and the upcoming “March for Our Lives” protest happening across the country this Saturday, March 24.

>> Read more trending news 

In the final segment of his March 19 Facebook show, Garth read excerpts from Emma’s letter explaining the purpose behind the march to end gun violence.

She writes, “This isn’t a political rally. It’s literally a march for our lives. Please help us amplify our voices by using yours. Be part of this moment in time. I believe the young people in this country can change the world, and wouldn’t that be something?”

>> Related: Tim McGraw takes another bold step in the gun control debate

Garth was moved by her statement and said, “OK, Miss Emma. It’s not yours to change, it’s yours. You understand that? You’re the future. Our children are our future. Your parents are fine with this. Trust me. All parents are. So, this is your world. Take it. Shape it. Mold it.”

>> Related: Brothers Osborne talk about their emotional Grammy tribute performance

Garth also gave Emma and the rest of the marchers some advice on how to deal with those who oppose their efforts.

“Just remember when you march, you have a voice, and you’re representing yourself when you march,” Garth said. “So, how you march is so important. Be patient. Be loving, because there might be some cross voices that enter in this march. Be tolerant. Be loving. Do not let hate win.”

Garth also told Emma that she wasn’t just marching for herself and her friends who were lost in the Stoneman Douglas school shooting last month in Parkland, Florida. She’s also marching for the generations to come.

Garth explains, “Try to remember this — in the blink of an eye, you’re walking for your children that you haven’t had yet. Because this is something new. Your generation is the generation for the school shootings. Let’s make sure the next generation is not. Fair enough?”

After that, Garth performed a song he’s never released that fit in perfectly with his message for Emma and her fellow marchers. Garth got visibly emotional as he sang the lyrics about working for positive change for future generations.

Check it out starting at just before the 25 minute mark in the Facebook video above.

Legendary rocker Bruce Springsteen extends successful Broadway run through December

Legendary rocker Bruce Springsteen is doing so well on Broadway, he’s staying for the rest of the year.

>> Read more trending news 

The veteran musician’s mega-successful one-man show, “Springsteen on Broadway,” has already been extended twice. Now, The Boss has decided to add 81 more shows between July 10 and Dec. 15 for a third and final extension.

Tickets for the new dates at the Walter Kerr Theatre will go on sale at 11 a.m. March 28 through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program. Only fans who previously registered and have not purchased tickets will be eligible to receive an invitation to the onsale. Those who are eligible will receive additional information on March 26.

A digital lottery will continue to operate through the extension of the show for those interested in purchasing tickets after the March 28 onsale. For details, visit

>> Related: Who was Harry Houdini? 10 facts about the amazing mastermind and magician 

“Springsteen on Broadway” opened Oct. 12, 2017. By the end of his run in December, Springsteen will have played 236 performances.

Glen Campbell’s widow opens up about the family feud over his estate

The widow of country music legend Glen Campbell is telling her side of the story in the legal battle over her late husband’s estate. Kim Campbell also addresses allegations that she barred his children from seeing him.

>> Read more trending news 

Campbell is breaking her silence on the legal battle currently playing out in court over her late husband’s reported $50 million fortune. Several of the country crooner’s older children have claimed their step-mother barred them from seeing their father when he was in an Alzheimer’s care facility in Nashville. She’s denying the allegations.

“I never ever denied them a visit — ever,” Campbell told “Inside Edition.” “They never, ever called me to see how he was doing or if they could help.”

>> Related: Controversy continues in the fight over Glen Campbell’s will

Three of the musician’s older children, including his eldest son, Travis, have filed a lawsuit seeking what they claim is their piece of the family fortune. They were left out of their father’s will, and Kim Campbell says she had nothing to do with that decision.

“That was all done in 2002, and that was a choice that was made by Glen — not me — and there were reasons for it,” she said.

Campbell also claimed Travis Campbell did not visit his father in the 20 years before the superstar’s death in 2017. She said the allegations against her by the children have been difficult.

“It has been very painful and hurtful. It’s a nightmare to have people on the internet threatening to kill you because they think you are this horrible person who wouldn’t let people visit, which is totally false,” she said.

>> Related: Country legend Glen Campbell to release final album, 'Adios'

Campbell is also speaking out about her husband’s former girlfriend, country star Tanya Tucker, who released a song about him titled “Forever Loving You,” following Campbell’s death last year.

“This Tanya Tucker, who dated my husband for a hot minute 35 years ago, going on TV the day after my husband dies, [promoting] ‘Forever Loving You,’ [and] exploiting my husband,” the angry widow said.

The proceeds from that song benefit Alzheimer’s disease research, and Tucker maintained her motives were pure in writing and releasing the song.

>> Related: Country singer Glen Campbell dead at 81

A statement from Tucker’s press rep reads, “Tanya has nothing but love in her heart for the entire Campbell family. Tanya released ‘Forever Loving You’ last year in tribute to Glen and to raise awareness for all those suffering with this heartbreaking disease.”

>> Related: Who was Harry Houdini? 10 facts about the amazing mastermind and magician

Meanwhile, Kim Campbell is moving forward with her advocacy work for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. She has teamed up with the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation and ride service Lyft to help provide transportation for people with the disease who are participating in clinical trials.

It’s devastating to lose someone to this disease. It’s heartbreaking, but I want to bring something positive out of it,” she said.

Who was Harry Houdini? 10 facts about the amazing mastermind and magician

He’s the godfather of escapism and illusion, a magical mastermind whose tricks dazzle to this day. But how much do you know about the man in the handcuffs?

>> Read more trending news 

Here are 10 fun facts about the genius known as Harry Houdini.

Houdini was born Erik Weisz on Mar. 24, 1874, in Budapest, Austria-Hungary. His family immigrated to the United States in July 1878, settled in Wisconsin, and changed the spelling of their last name to Weiss. Young Houdini’s first named changed as well, from Erik to Ehrich.

The Weiss family eventually moved to New York City, where 9-year-old Ehrich took a job as a trapeze artist. He launched his professional magic career in 1891 and changed his name once again. “Harry” is a derivative of his childhood nickname, Ehrie, while “Houdini” is an homage to one of his idols, French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin.

In 1893, he married Wilhelmina “Bess” Rahner, who would become his stage assistant.

Houdini got his big break in 1899, when he impressed manager Martin Beck with his ability to break out of handcuffs. Beck booked the Houdinis on the vaudeville circuit. They eventually took their escape show to Europe, where Houdini challenged local police in several countries to keep him restrained with shackles and locked in jail.

>> Related: 5 facts about the charming Charlie Chaplin

Beginning in 1907, Houdini’s American productions got bigger and more dangerous. They included escaping from a locked milk can filled with water; releasing himself from a straitjacket while dangling by his feet from a rope above a city street; and the famous Chinese Water Torture Cell, which forced Houdini to hold his breath for more than three minutes while getting out of a glass and steel cabinet overflowing with water, all while suspended upside down.

One 1915 trick nearly killed Houdini. He was buried alive in a dirt pit, then started to panic as he desperately clawed his way out. No one could hear his cries for help. His hand eventually broke free, and he was pulled to safety — and passed out once he was back on the ground.

It was not magic that ultimately brought down Houdini, but a ruptured appendix. He died of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital on Oct. 31, 1926, at age 52.

>> Related: 5 fun facts about iconic musician Little Richard

Magic wasn’t Houdini’s only talent. He founded his own film company, The Film Development Corporation, and starred in several productions. He was also an accomplished aviator who made one of the first aerial flights in Australia. He even taught American soldiers how to escape sinking ships and get out of ropes or handcuffs in case they were captured by the enemy during World War I.

Actor Fred Savage denies assaulting former crew member of 'The Grinder'

Actor Fred Savage is being sued for assault and battery by a former crew member of the Fox show “The Grinder,” The Los Angeles Times reported.

>> Read more trending news

Youngjoo Hwang filed the suit Wednesday, and 20th Century Fox is also a defendant. She alleges that Savage used aggressive behavior and intimidation tactics toward female employees, the Times reported.

Hwang, who worked in the costume department for the 2015 series, alleged that Savage was hostile toward her during her time on the job, adding that the former star of “The Wonder Years” struck her on the arm three times, the Times reported.

Savage denied the accusations in a statement he released Wednesday. 

“After concluding a thorough investigation, Fox determined that there was absolutely no evidence to support these accusations,” Savage said. “None of her claims could be substantiated because they did not happen.”

“Ms. Hwang alleges that not only did she report Mr. Savage’s conduct to her superiors on the set of ‘The Grinder,’ but other female crew members similarly lodged complaints and reported Mr. Savage’s conduct,” said Hwang’s attorney, Anahita Sedaghatfar.

“Fox takes all allegations of improper conduct very seriously,” the network said in a statement. “We conducted a thorough investigation into these allegations and found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Savage. We will vigorously defend against these unfounded claims.”

7 things to know about 'Sex in the City' star Cynthia Nixon, candidate for NY gov.

Former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon announced her run for New York Governor Monday after flirting with the idea for several months.

>> Read more trending news 

"I love New York, and today I'm announcing my candidacy for governor," she revealed on Twitter.

According to her campaign press release, Nixon will be spending the coming weeks traveling across the state to hear from voters.

She will challenge 60-year-old Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a two-term incumbent, in New York’s Democratic primary in September.

She was born and bred in New York.

Nixon, 51, was born on April 9, 1966 and raised in the Upper West Side with her mother. In her campaign video, Nixon said she grew up “in a one-bedroom fifth floor walk-up.”

She later attended Hunter College High School and Barnard College before breaking out into her Broadway career primarily to save money to support herself through college, she told the New York Times in 2012.

Nixon, who identified herself as bisexual in 2012, was in a relationship with David Mozes from 1988 to 2003. The couple have two children together.

In 2004, Nixon began dating activist Christine Marinoni and they eventually married in 2012. They have one child together.

>> Related: Illinois primary could set up most expensive governor's race

Nixon is a Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winner.

For her role as lawyer Miranda Hobbes on “Sex and the City,” Nixon was awarded an Emmy Award in 2004 for outstanding supporting actress, and a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2002 and 2004 for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.

Nixon made her Broadway debut in 1980 in the revival of “The Philadelphia Story” and later earned Tony Awards for her foles in “Rabbit Hole” (2006) and “The Little Foxes” (2017).

She was awarded a Grammy in 2009 for her “An Inconvenient Truth” spoken word album.

Explore her full list of awards at

She’s a survivor of breast cancer.

In 2006, Nixon was diagnosed with breast cancer and admitted to  Good Morning America in 2008 that she initially wanted to keep the news to herself but later became the official spokeswoman for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

"I want them [women] most to hear me saying that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. So the only thing to really be afraid of is if you don't go get your mammograms, because there's some part of you that doesn't want to know, and that's the thing that's going to trip you up. That's the thing that could have a really bad endgame," she said.

Nixon’s cancer was caught at an early stage and required a lumpectomy and radiation, but no chemotherapy.

She’s a longtime activist. 

Nixon first made political headlines during the 2011 campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in New York. During that campaign, she lobbied state lawmakers in Albany and was later honored by GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign with its Visibility Award for her work advocating for marriage equality.

In January, Nixon was also among a group of celebrity activists that came together for "the People's State of the Union,” an alternative event to President Donald Trump's first State of the Union speech.

She has in the past been very vocal about women’s health care and on education issues, serving on de Blasio's advisory board for the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.

>> Related: Georgia Senate advances adoption bill called anti-LGBT

As a spokesperson for the Alliance for Quality Education, Nixon recently spoke out against Gov. Cuomo’s proposed education budget.

“Governor Cuomo had a chance today to put the next generation of New Yorkers first,” she said in a January 2018 AQE statement. “Instead, he proposed yet another budget that will keep New York at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to educational equity and justice. Governor Cuomo claims he has provided record increases in education funding, but in reality, he has created a record spending gap between the wealthiest and poorest school districts.”

If elected, she would make history.

Nixon would become the first female governor and first openly gay governor in New York history.

About her platform

“We are now the most unequal state in the entire country, with both incredible wealth and extreme poverty,” Nixon said in a video posted on Twitter announcing her candidacy.

According to her campaign website, Nixon’s state platform focuses on income inequality, renewable energy, access to health care, concerns about mass incarceration, passing the DREAM Act and “fixing our broken subway.”

She also emphasizes strengthening and renewing expiring rent laws to avoid “raising rents, and forcing people out of their homes.”

“Andrew Cuomo has given massive tax breaks to corporations and the super rich while starving the state and its cities of the most basic services and decimating our infrastructure,” Nixon wrote on her campaign site. “His inhumane budgets have been passed on the backs of our children, our working and middle class, and our elderly.”

“Together,” she added, “we could show the entire country and the world that in the era of Donald Trump, New Yorkers will come together and lead our nation forward.”


Chances against Cuomo

“Her campaign may test the appetite of New Yorkers for a celebrity leader in the age of President Trump, a deeply unpopular figure here among Democrats,” the New York Times reported.

But Nixon has her work cut out for her. A Siena College poll released Monday showed Cuomo leading her 66 percent to 19 percent among registered Democrats, and by a similar margin among self-identified liberals, AP reported. The poll of 772 registered voters was conducted March 11-16. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Cuomo, whose approval ratings have dropped below 50 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released in February, recently mocked the celebrity status the Grammy, Emmy and Tony winner could bring to the race.

"Normally name recognition is relevant when it has some connection to the endeavor," Cuomo said earlier this month. "If it was just about name recognition, then I'm hoping that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Billy Joel don't get into the race."

Jefrey Pollock, pollster and political adviser to Cuomo and other prominent Democrats, told AP that celebrity isn't likely to trump governing experience in the voting booth.

"Over and over in our research, Democratic primary voters say they're not looking for an outsider because they look to Washington, D.C., and see what the outsider has meant to this country," Pollock said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal files lawsuit to speak about alleged Trump affair

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal is suing to break a 2016 contract that reportedly requires her to keep silent about an affair with Donald Trump years before he became president.

>> For the latest Trump coverage, visit Jamie Dupree’s Washington Insider blog

In the complaint — which was obtained by The New York Times — McDougal’s lawyers allege that she had a “10-month relationship with Mr. Trump” in 2006. They say McDougal decided to pursue a lawsuit because “she has become aware of the broad effort to silence and intimidate her and others.”

The former Playmate is suing in the Los Angeles Superior court, and she’s charging American Media Inc. with paying her $150,000 for her story, then killing it. American Media Inc. owns the National Enquirer, which has been friendly to Trump during his candidacy and tenure in the White House.

McDougal also claims that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was involved in the deal and that she was misled in the proceedings.

>> Read more trending news 

She is the second woman to accuse the president’s personal lawyer of paying her to keep silent about an extramarital relationship with Trump. McDougal says she was paid $150,000 for her silence — earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal outlined payments Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels. Both women claim that their affairs with Trump occurred in 2006, after he married Melania Trump.

Daniels is currently being sued by Cohen, who claims that she violated the confidentiality agreement she signed in 2016. Daniels' story doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon, as she’s lined up for an interview with “60 Minutes.”

Country music personality Hazel Smith has died at the age of 83

There are many who have played a part in the landscape of country music, many who have added their talents to the tapestry of the music genre that has had an impact on so many lives. many who have affected the history of Nashville and country music and many who have left us sooner than we would have liked.

>> Read more trending news 

One of those people is Hazel Smith.

According to “The Tennessean,” the longtime Nashville media personality passed away at her home on March 18 following “a period of declining health.” She was 83.

Declaring herself country music’s mother hen, Hazel was a fixture on Nashville’s Music Row for decades. She was a journalist when female journalists weren’t a common thing. She was also a songwriter, a publicist, a cookbook author and a television personality as host of CMT’s “Southern Fried Flicks.”

Related: Photos: Notable deaths 2018

Yet, one of her most meaningful and lasting contributions to country music is the fact that she coined the term “outlaw music” while she was working as a publicist back in the early 1970s for the Glaser Brothers’ Hillbilly Central office and studio.

“Now, it doesn’t say this in mine or any other dictionary I’ve seen, but it said that ‘outlaw’ meant virtually living on the outside of the written law,” Hazel told “The Nashville Scene” in 1997, as reported on by “The Tennessean.” “It just made sense to me, because [record producers] Owen Bradley and Chet Atkins were doing marvelous music, but this was another step in another direction.”

Soon after the news of her death was released, many in the country music community headed to their social media accounts to express their sadness over the news, including producer Buddy Cannon.

Very sorry to hear of the passing of Hazel Smith,” Buddy said. 

Hazel was a wonderful lady who was a great friend to many of us. She was a colorful, tell it like she saw it kind of a person, and you never had to wonder about her stand on something. Willie Nelson credits Hazel with connecting the term ‘outlaw music’ with himself, Waylon, Tompall [Glaser] and all the musical renegades that broke out of the Nashville music factory prison back in the 1970s. We all loved Hazel, and her presence will not soon be forgotten. Rest easy Hazel Smith,” Cannon said.

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