U2 among Kennedy Center honorees
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.