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Elton John marks 70th birthday with help from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, James Corden & more

L: Bernie Taupin, R: Elton John/Michael Kovac/Getty ImagesElton John’s milestone 70th birthday bash brought out the stars to L.A. on Saturday night.

According to People magazine, the guest list at the charity gala included Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, James Corden, Jon Hamm, Neil Patrick Harris, Ryan Phillippe and more. 

In addition to Gaga, the musical guests included Roseanne Cash, Stevie Wonder and Ryan Adams, but Gaga and Stevie led the “Happy Birthday” singalong to the guest of honor.

Some big stars who couldn’t make it to the event sent video greetings, including Prince Harry, Bono, Ellen DeGeneres and David Beckham.

Elton also shared a photo of himself and his two sons, Zachary and Elijah, admiring a huge chocolate birthday cake, with the caption “Birthday bliss.”

The party doubled as a celebration of the 50-year songwriting partnership of Elton and Bernie Taupin, who also attended the event.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Paul McCartney working on new album with Adele producer; his “Flowers in the Dirt” reissue released today

Mary McCartney/MPL CommunicationsPaul McCartney has revealed that he’s working on a new studio album with Greg Kurstin, who produced and co-wrote three songs on Adele‘s Grammy-winning album 25, including her smash hit “Hello.”

Speaking with the BBC Radio 6 Music channel, McCartney said, “I’m making a new album, which is great fun. I’m in the middle of that. I’m working with a producer I first worked with two years ago on a piece of music I’m doing for an animated film.”

Sir Paul then pointed out that Kurstin had just won Grammys for Song of the Year and Record of the Year for “Hello,” as well as the Producer of the Year award.

“My only worry is, people are going to go, ‘Oh there’s Paul going with the flavor of the month,'” he admitted. “I suppose you always think the worst of it…But [Greg’s] a great guy, [and he] is musical.”

The main focus of McCartney’s radio interview was the just-released deluxe reissue of his 1989 album, Flowers in the Dirt, which features several songs co-written with Elvis Costello.

Paul explained that when it was first suggested that he collaborate with Elvis, “It seemed like a good idea. I thought, ‘Well, yeah, he’s from Liverpool. He’s good, which helps. And we have a lot of things in common.’ And so, I thought, ‘Well, that could work.'”

McCartney noted that the way he wrote songs with Costello was the same way he and Lennon collaborated on tunes, sitting down across from each other with acoustic guitars and bouncing ideas back and forth.

“Elvis was very happy to work like that,” McCartney said, adding, “So he was John, basically…and I was Paul.”

You can check out full details of the Flowers in the Dirt reissue at PaulMcCartney.com.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bronchitis Blues: Eric Clapton postpones L.A.-area shows until September

Credit: Dave KaplanFans planning to attend Eric Clapton‘s concerts this Saturday and Sunday at The Forum in Inglewood, California, will now have to wait almost six months to see the guitar legend. A case of “severe bronchitis” has forced him to postpone the shows. The gigs have been rescheduled for September 13 and September 18, respectively.

A post on Clapton’s official Facebook page explains that he postponed the concerts “under doctor’s advisement,” adding, “He is very sorry to disappoint his fans but looks forward to these shows.”

Those who purchased tickets can either hold on to them and use them on the new date, or return them for a refund at their point of purchase.

The rescheduled concerts will sandwich two previously announced shows at The Forum on September 15 and 16.

Clapton, who celebrates his 72nd birthday this Thursday, March 30, has just two other U.S. performances on his 2017 itinerary, September 7 and 8 gigs at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Eric just played a pair of concerts at the Garden this past Sunday and Monday.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


You’re Welcome: Extended spot announces “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” tickets now on sale

Marvel Studios – 2017

(LOS ANGELES) — Marvel Studios has released an extended peek at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as a way to announce that tickets for the May 5 release are now on sale

The ad, set to David Bowie’s “Suffragette City,” gives fans a tantalizing few extra seconds of the movie, tying together parts of scenes shown in earlier coming attractions.

One shot in the teaser shows Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill/Star-Lord piloting his ship The Milano through a firefight, with his passengers — including Baby Groot and Karen Gillan’s cybernetic Nebula — hanging on for dear life. 

Another shows Rocket trying to talk his way out of a sticky situation where dozens of space pirates have their guns drawn on him and Michael Rooker’s Yondu.

The new spot also shows, for the first time, Elizabeth Debicki’s villainess Ayesha, who doesn’t appear to think that Star-Lord and his pals are much of a threat. 

The sequel also stars Dave Bautista, who returns as Drax; also returning are the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, as, respectively, Rocket and Baby Groot.  Kurt Russell makes his Marvel movie debut as Peter Quill’s long lost extraterrestrial dad Ego. It’ll be released by Marvel Studios which, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bill Murray cheers on Xavier basketball team’s upset win over Arizona

ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) — Bill Murray was seen cheering on No. 11-seed Xavier University in the team’s victory over No. 2-seed University of Arizona in Thursday’s NCAA tournament matchup.

Murray’s son Luke Murray is in his second year as an assistant coach for Xavier’s basketball team.

When the team pulled off the shocking 73-71 win over Arizona, Murray went crazy in the stands, high-fiving those around him and rubbing the head of Sister Rose Ann Fleming, the now-famous 77-year-old nun who makes sure all of Xavier’s student-athletes meet the school’s academic standards.

Murray, 66, hasn’t missed a single tournament game, which has some suggesting he could be behind the team’s winning streak.

“Tons of credit to Bill Murray,” Entourage actor Jerry Ferrara tweeted after the win.

Murray is having a stellar sports year. Not only is his son’s team on a roll, but last year, his favorite major league baseball team, the Chicago Cubs, clinched the World Series title for the first time in 108 years.

You can bet the actor will be in the stands when Xavier takes on No. 1-seed Gonzaga on Saturday for a chance to go to the Final Four.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Michael Pena lays his “CHIPS” on the table, hides “Ant-Man 2” cards

GMA After Hours(NEW YORK) — Michael Pena played a policeman in the acclaimed drama End of Watch, and plays motorcycle cop in the film reboot of the ’70s TV series CHiPs — but he’s possibly more famous for stealing scenes as a petty thief in Marvel’s Ant-Man.  

GMA After Hours host Lynda Lopez caught up with the versatile star, and he talked — or didn’t — about the superhero sequel.

As for the ’70s cop show he’s rebooting opposite co-star and director Dax Shepard, Pena admitted he was a fan of the original series, but added, “I think my mom was a bigger fan! It came on Saturdays and she would like get ready…she would make dinner early. It was almost like she was going out on a date with [CHiPs star] Erik Estrada.”

As for Ant-Man 2 — officially titled Ant-Man and The Wasp — Pena said, “They just pitched me the entire story last week,” adding with a smile, “and I can’t say anything about it.”

Lopez protested, and the actor offered: “Paul Rudd is in it…I’m in it…That’s it.”

CHIPS, which also stars Shepard’s wife Kristen Bell, opens Friday.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Investigators look for answers in a deadly small plane crash in Alabama

iStock/Thinkstock(HAYDEN, Ala.) — A family of four was killed in a small plane crash in Hayden, Alabama, after flying home from a vacation.

The parents, Joseph and Jennifer Crenshaw, and their two teenaged children were traveling from Florida to Tennessee when witnesses said the plane was ripped apart in mid-air, creating five debris sites scattered over a mile.

Authorities are investigating what caused the deadly plane crash. Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were at the scene on Sunday.

Family members of the Crenshaws told ABC News that both husband and wife were experienced flyers.

Officials said Saturday that a band of wind and rain came through at the time of the crash.

“Right now weather does not seem to be the most likely cause, but it does seem to be a contributing factor in some way,” ABC News contributor and aviation consultant Stephen Ganyard said.

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Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

New York City sanitation workers retrieve a woman’s wedding rings against the odds

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — A New York City woman said she felt “helpless” after losing her wedding ring and band in the trash, but thanks to the city’s sanitation department, the items were returned to her.

“I had just cleaned them and I had them in a paper towel. I think I got distracted with the kids, it’s hard to figure out, and I think I just crumpled it up, and I didn’t feel the weight of them and I threw them out,” Shannon Lombardo told ABC station WABC-TV about her missing rings.

The crisis was put to rest when New York City sanitation workers went above and beyond the call of duty to locate Lombardo’s rings, sorting through the unimaginable horrors of a massive garbage heap to get it back to her.

New York City generates more than 14 million tons of trash per year, according to the city, putting it among the largest trash producers in the world.

Still, however, the workers are trained to locate small items in emergencies, and succeeded in getting Lombardo’s rings back to her safe and sound.

“Seeing the happiness on their face, and I said that it’s a great time for them to renew their vows and stuff. As long as they felt good, I felt good,” said Sekou Callender, a Sanitation worker who helped find the ring, told WABC-TV.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Frenchmen traveling across U.S. in jeep in honor of Pulse nightclub victims visit Tampa Pride

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Manuel Frederic and Alex Tisba lost friends in the November 2015 terror attack at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, and because of this, the Frenchmen have felt a kinship with those affected by the massacre last June at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.

So the pair decided to visit the U.S. and travel across the country in a Jeep, armed with a message of peace and unity, in honor of the 49 people murdered by gunman Omar Mateen at the LGBT nightclub, reports ABC affiliate WFTS in Tampa.

On Saturday, they stopped at Tampa’s Pride parade, about 85 miles west of Orlando.

And they’ve already visited Orlando, where they put the initials of the Pulse victims on the Jeep. Survivors of the attack — the largest massacre in modern U.S. history — signed the Jeep, while friends and family members placed their handprints on the vehicle.

They’ve also visited Washington, D.C., where they scored signatures from lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“We’re just people, citizens of the world, and we should all be united as one,” Frederic told WFTS. “We started here because this is the United States. People from all over the world living together in peace, or should be living together peacefully and that’s what we’re trying to reconnect here.”

So far the Jeep has visited 25 states, but the duo are planning to take it to all 50 states. They are also keen on getting former president Barack Obama’s signature on the vehicle, since he was in the Oval Office when the shooting rampage occurred.

Frederic and Tisba’s long-term goal is to return the Jeep to Orlando so it can be part of the Pulse memorial.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


South Carolina, UNC advance to ‘Final Four’

Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — The Final Four of the NCAA Tournament is set, with one more impressive victory after another filling out the final two spots.

In Sunday’s first game, seventh seeded South Carolina took on fourth seeded Florida in an SEC mathcup. By the end of the first half, the Gamecocks were down 40-33, but South Carolina’s defense came alive in the second half.

SC held the Gators to no three pointers and outscored them 44-30 in the second, to advance to their first Final Four in program history with a 77-70 victory. The Gamecocks take on first seeded Gonzaga, who also made their first Final Four, next Saturday.

The second game featured first seeded North Carolina take on second seeded Kentucky. The two met in one of the best games of the regular season, with the Wildcats defeating the Tar Heels 103-100.

Much like that contest, this game was tight until the end. Kentucky’s Malik Monk hit a three to tie the game at 73. As Tar Heel fans were flashing back to last year’s final, when they lost on a heartbreaking buzzer beater to Villanova, UNC drove down the court and Luke Maye hit a jumper with under a second to go to seal the victory for North Carolina.



UNC will play third seeded Oregon on Saturday. 

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell critical of Oakland as an owners’ vote to move the Raiders to Las Vegas looms

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — ESPN reports NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff, criticizing Oakland’s solution to keep the Raiders in their city while NFL owners are preparing to vote on whether to allow the franchise to move to Las Vegas.

In the letter Goodell sent Friday, which was obtained by ESPN, the NFL commissioner claims:

“The material that we reviewed earlier today … confirms that key issues that we have identified as threshold considerations are simply not resolvable in a reasonable time… and in that respect, the information sent today does not present a proposal that is clear and specific, actionable in a reasonable time frame and free of major contingencies.”

ESPN reports Goodell sent the letter on the same day Oakland and its partners submitted a revised financial plan to fund a new stadium. In the proposal, the city would construct a $1.3 billion mixed-use stadium on the southern edge of the Oakland Alameda Coliseum, which the Raiders and Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball currently share.

Goodell added that he has concerns about Oakland having two professional teams, saying, “The long-term nature of the commitment to the A’s remains a significant complication, and the resolution of that issue remains unknown.”

Other cities, such as Seattle, Baltimore, and Arlington, Texas, have multiple professional clubs with similar set ups to what is being proposed by Oakland.

The Raiders need two thirds of NFL owners to vote yes (24 of 32) to receive approval for a move. Owners can vote as early as Monday on Raiders’ owner Mark Davis’ application to move the team to Las Vegas.

Las Vegas has already pledged $750 million in public funding to build a new stadium for the team.

The Raiders moved back and forth from Oakland to Los Angeles over its 58 season-franchise history, spending 45 of them in Oakland.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Indiana hires Archie Miller as men’s basketball team’s next head coach

Eddie Perlas/ESPN Images(BLOOMINGTON, Indiana) — The Indiana Hoosiers have hired Archie Miller to become the next head coach of their men’s basketball team according to an ESPN report.

Miller will leave the University of Dayton, where he served as head coach for the past six years. He brought the Flyers to the NCAA Tournament in each of his final four seasons with the school, leading the program to a surprise Elite Eight appearance in 2014.

ESPN reports Miller agreed to a seven-year deal worth $3.5 million annually.

Miller released a statement on Saturday, saying:

“I am honored to be the head coach at Indiana University. IU is one of the greatest basketball programs and academic institutions in the country, and I cannot wait to get started. With peerless fan support, outstanding facilities and tradition, a beautiful campus, and located in one of the most fertile recruiting areas in the country, IU is a dream destination for me and my family.”

Miller replaces Tom Crean, who the Hoosiers dismissed on March 16 after nine seasons.

Dayton says it is already searching for Miller’s replacement.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Hundreds of anti-corruption protesters arrested in Russia after mass demonstrations: state media

iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) — Hundreds of people have been arrested in Russia in a crackdown after thousands gathered for massive anti-corruption protests Sunday in the nation’s capital.

Huge crowds gathered in Moscow’s Pushkin Square for a protest against the Russian government, and about 500 people were arrested in the wake of the protests, according to Interfax, a privately-held, independent Russian news agency.

Protesters posted photos on social media, some of them selfies, showing people getting taken away by police. Some included playful or self-deprecating remarks.

Independent radio station Ekho Moskvy estimated that unsanctioned rallies in 82 cities and towns assembled 60,000 opposition supporters, in what may be the biggest anti-Kremlin protest since 2008.







Alec Luhn, a reporter for The Guardian, a British-based media outlet, wrote on Twitter that he was arrested at the rally and charged with “administrative violation for participating in unsanctioned rally,” despite showing press credentials to police.



Leader of the anti-corruption movement Alexei Navalny’s spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, told Interfax the opposition leader had been placed under arrest until Monday, when a hearing is to be held.

The deputy director of Navalny’s organization, the Fund for Combatting Corruption (FBK), which had called for the protests, said the organization’s offices had also been raided by police.

The FBK conducts investigations into senior Russian officials and releases its findings in slick, irreverent videos. The protest today was organized to demand that Russian authorities look into the fund’s latest investigation, released this month, which alleged that Russian prime minister and ex-president Dmitry Medvdev had amassed a massive property empire using a corrupt scheme based on phones charities.

The investigation alleged Medvedev had built himself vast mansions, bought vineyards and yachts worth as much as a $1 billion. The video laying out the investigation has been watched by at least 9 million people. Authorities have ignored the claims and refused to investigate.

The allegations around Medvedev appear to have struck a chord in Russia, as pressure on freedom of expression has reached a peak at the same time people’s living standards have fallen.

The State Department criticized the arrests, and called on Russia to immediately release all the demonstrators who had been detained.

“The United States strongly condemns the detention of hundreds of peaceful protesters throughout Russia on Sunday,” acting spokesman Mark Toner said. “Detaining peaceful protesters, human rights observers, and journalists is an affront to core democratic values. We were troubled to hear of the arrest of opposition figure Alexei Navalny upon arrival at the demonstration, as well as the police raids on the anti-corruption organization he heads.”

The demonstrations in Russia followed protests in neighboring Belarus on Saturday against that country’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the small, landlocked country since 1994.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Strong exit polls in German state mark positive development for Angela Merkel as bid for fourth term as chancellor continues

iStock/Thinkstock(BERLIN) — Exit polls in the German state of Saarland suggest German Chancellor Angela Merkel has won that state’s election with September’s national vote approaching. Merkel is running for a fourth term as chancellor.

The incumbent Christian Democrats (CDU) are projected to win 41 percent of the votes, ahead of Social Democrats (SPD), who currently sit at 29.5 percent. That marks a nearly six percent improvement from the 2012 elections in that state for Merkel’s party, according to BBC News.

The Social Democrats are led by nominee Martin Schulz.

The right-wing populist party running against Merkel and Schulz, Alternative for Germany (AfD), is expected to secure 6 percent of the vote in Saarland.

Saarland is located in the south western part of Germany. The polls closed in the small German state at 4 p.m. ET (16:00 GMT).

More state elections will take place before the country’s federal election on September 24.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Iraqi officials: civilian deaths were not a result of US air strikes

iStock/Thinkstock(MOSUL, Iraq) — Iraqi military officials are shooting down speculation that US air strikes killed hundreds of civilians according to a BBC News report. Instead, they say so-called Islamic State (IS) is responsible for the deaths of those civilians.

The US government announced Saturday it was investigating a March 17 air strike that targeted Mosul in response to allegations of civilian casualties. Iraq’s military believes explosive booby traps set off by IS are what caused the deaths.

Those who died were in west Mosul, where the offensive to retake from IS what was once Iraq’s second-largest city continues.

The US Central Command claimed it was looking into the allegations of civilian casualties after they determined an air strike was carried out on March 17 “at the location corresponding to allegations of civilian casualties”.

BBC reports that some media outlets indicated more than 200 bodies were pulled out of a collapsed building. However, the details of the allegations are somewhat inconsistent.

The Iraqi military released a statement on its Facebook page that denies the air strikes caused the civilian casualties in the neighborhood of al-Resala. It was reported that the air strike occurred in the neighborhood of Jadideh.

The statement continues that the military checked a house “reportedly targeted by an air strike and they found out that the house was completely destroyed and there was no sign that it was destroyed by a strike”.

A detonated booby-trapped vehicle was located by the house, according to BBC News, and the military says eyewitnesses claim IS used houses to fire at security forces.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Today’s 101 Number One Song of the Day was rooted in homesickness although the man that wrote it only briefly lived near the place which provided the inspiration. read more…



The 101 # 1 Song of the Day was recorded by former guitarist for an all girl band called the Runaways who had trouble getting airplay on radio stations because was considered too “punk.” read more…

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Today’s 101 #1 Song of The Day is one of three songs with the same title…it’s from a band that’s all rock and roll but the song you’re about to hear did find a place on the disco chart too… read more…

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The 101 number one song of the day was recorded by an artist who most people would be surprised that he was associated with Motown. In fact he had to buy the rights to today’s featured record back from Motown before it became a hit. read more…

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