Baltimore Sun

U2 among Kennedy Center honorees

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It’s going to be a “Beautiful Day” for the band U2 and four other artists when they receive this year’s Kennedy Center Honors in December. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Thursday that the Irish rock band along with actor George Clooney, singers Gladys Knight and Amy Grant, and composer Tania Leon are being honored this year.

The center generally honors five people annually for influencin­g American culture through the arts. But bands and other groups sometimes get honors, too. Disco-funk band Earth, Wind & Fire was the most recent, in 2019, the year the children’s TV show “Sesame Street” was honored.

Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in an interview that her group has “worked really hard to think about ‘Are we including all of the performing arts?’ ” as it hands out its awards.

She singled out Grant’s music in particular as a different genre being represente­d in the honors this year. “We’ve had gospel before. We’ve had plenty of R&B and soul . ... We’ve had country music, but we haven’t necessaril­y had Amy Grant and Christian pop in the same way.”

This is the 45th year of the honors, which will include a gala performanc­e Dec. 4 in Washington, D.C. The show will be broadcast on CBS at a later date.

Rutter said the honor is “not about one work that happens to be popular this year. Or one movie. Or one piece of choreograp­hy.” It’s “about lifetime achievemen­t.”

Martin restrainin­g order case closed:

A Puerto Rico court “archived” a restrainin­g order issued against superstar Ricky Martin,

meaning the case was closed, a judicial spokespers­on said Thursday.

The case had brought intense media attention, and without giving details, the Puerto Rican singer had only denied any wrongdoing. On Thursday, hours after the court ruling, he said that he was a “victim of lies” from a relative.

“I’ve been working onstage in the public eye for almost four decades,” he said on a video released by his publicists. “And I’ve never, ever had to deal with anything as painful as what I’ve been through in the last two weeks.”

In early July, a judge issued a restrainin­g order against the Puerto Rican singer. The order was filed under Puerto Rico’s domestic violence law, but police didn’t provide further details.

On Thursday, “the petitioner ceased his claims voluntaril­y; therefore the case was archived,” the judicial spokespers­on said.

Singer Hart dies: William “Poogie” Hart, a founder of the Grammy-winning trio the Delfonics who helped write and sang a soft lead tenor on such classic “Sound of Philadelph­ia” ballads as “La-La (Means I Love You)” and “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time),” has died at age

77. His son Hadi told The New York Times that Hart died July 14 at a Philadelph­ia hospital. The cause was complicati­ons during surgery. From the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, the Delfonics had six top 40 pop hits and more than a dozen top 20 R&B hits.

July 22 birthdays: Actor Louise Fletcher is 88. Singer George Clinton is

81. Actor Danny Glover is

76. Singer Don Henley is

75. Actor Albert Brooks is

75. Actor Willem Dafoe is

67. Actor John Leguizamo is 62. Singer Emily

Saliers is 59. Actor David Spade is 58. Singer Rufus Wainwright is 49. Singer Selena Gomez is 30.

 ?? EVAN AGOSTINI/INVISION 2018 ?? U2, including its singer Bono, above, will receive the Kennedy Center Honors in December.
EVAN AGOSTINI/INVISION 2018 U2, including its singer Bono, above, will receive the Kennedy Center Honors in December.

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