IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Hawking’s wheelchair sells for $393K at auction
LONDON — A wheelchair used by physicist Stephen Hawking has sold at auction for $393,000, while a copy of his doctoral thesis fetched $767,000, auctioneer Christie’s said Thursday.
The motorized chair, used by Hawking after he was paralyzed with motor neuron disease, had been expected to fetch up to 15,000 pounds.
Proceeds from the sale of the motorized chair, used by Hawking after he was paralyzed with motor neuron disease, will go to two charities, the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Diagnosed with motor neuron disease at 22 and given just a few years to live, Hawking instead died in March at 76.
5 Seconds of Summer reach new heights
LOS ANGELES — 5 Seconds of Summer were already in shock when their album beat out Beyonce and Jay-Z for the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart this summer. But having their single “Youngblood” reach the No. 1 spot on the pop songs chart and become an international smash hit has the band in awe.
“Youngblood” recently spent five weeks at No. 1 on the pop songs charts. The track is spending its seventh week in the Top 10 on the all-genre Hot 100 chart.
Singer-guitarist Michael Clifford calls the song “authentically us” and said it allows fans to “see the real version of ourselves and our music in a very bold way than what we’ve delivered in other songs.”
The Australian band also includes Luke Hemmings, Calum Hood and Ashton Irwin.
Mitchell thrills audience just by showing up
LOS ANGELES — Joni Mitchell didn’t speak or sing a word at an all-star concert in honor of her 75th birthday. She didn’t have to. Showing up was enough.
The Canadian folkie-turned-California singer-songwriter ended a 31⁄2-year absence from public life that began when she had an aneurysm in 2015.
When she slowly walked into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Wednesday she got a standing ovation and spontaneous audience chorus of “Happy Birthday.”
Artists including James Taylor, Chaka Khan, Kris Kristofferson and Emmylou Harris serenaded Mitchell with her own songs at the concert. The only song not written by Mitchell was written for her. Graham Nash sang “Our House,” his 1970 song about life with Mitchell when the two were dating in their 20s.
Joni Mitchell is presented with a birthday cake on stage at JONI 75: A Birthday Celebration Wednesday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.
From left, members of the band 5 Seconds of Summer Calum Hood, Ashton Irwin, Luke Hemmings and Michael Clifford