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News 04/22/2007

Don Ho, Hawaii's most popular entertainer who achieved fame far beyond his home state with the song "Tiny Bubbles," died on Saturday at age 76, an official said.

Gladys Knight will receive the 16th annual Ella Award from the Society of Singers at a ceremony on Sept. 10. The award, named in honor of Ella Fitzgerald, is given to singers whose musical accomplishments are equaled to their dedication to charitable causes.

Federal prosecutors have named convicted armed robber Ronald "Tenad" Washington as the armed accomplice of a second unidentified gunman who shot Jam Master Jay inside his recording studio in 2002, according to court documents filed earlier this month. Washington also accused of involvement in the 1995 fatal shooting of Randy Walker, a close associate of the late Tupac Shakur.

Malawi police and stone-throwing students blocked journalists from covering Madonna's visit to the Home of Hope orphanage Tuesday, where David, the 19-month-old boy she is in the process of adopting, was slated to be briefly reunited with his biological father for a private visit. The singer has been trailed by hordes of media since touching down in the African nation Monday, accompanied by David and her 10-year-old daughter, Lourdes. Her rep has denied reports that she is looking into adopting another child from Malawi.

Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Stevie Nicks, and Kid Rock were among the artists scheduled to perform Tuesday at the memorial service for Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. Mick Jagger spoke at the service, while Bette Midler served as host of the event. Ertegun died in December at age 83, after suffering a brain injury in a fall backstage at a Rolling Stones concert.

Lily Allen has canceled most of her U.S. tour dates in May and June, writing on her MySpace page that she's been "getting really drunk" recently, and has become "so nervous about doing bad shows." The singer is still planning to perform at Coachella on Apr. 29 and Bonnaroo on June 15 and is aiming to reschedule her canceled dates for this fall. "I am not falling apart at the seems [sic], I am not suffering with exhaustion, I am not pregnant, and I am not going to rehab," she clarified.

Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" took home a leading three honors, including Video of the Year, at the 2007 CMT Music Awards, for which fans vote for the winners online. Meanwhile, the Dixie Chicks remain winless at award shows with the word "country" in the title. Other winners Monday night included videos from Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, and 17-year-old Taylor Swift.

Big & Rich canceled an Apr. 12 show at a California casino after the venue refused to allow an ailing five-year-old fan to attend the concert. A local radio station had arranged for the young girl and her family to meet the country stars and watch them perform, but the casino refused to admit anyone under 21. As a result, Big & Rich elected to spend time with the family instead of doing the show, disappointing 1,600 fans, but making one little girl's night.

With the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death coming up in August, Elvis Presley Enterprises has launched a new ad campaign in a bid to up Graceland's appeal as a tourist destination. The "Discover Your Inner Elvis" campaign extending over television, print, radio, and online platforms, as well as on billboards and in travel guides, marks the first time the brand has advertised nationally.

Tony Bennett postponed two concert appearances in Ohio this week while recuperating from the flu. The 80-year-old entertainer was also forced to bow out of an appearance on "American Idol 6" earlier this month due to the same ailment. A rep for Bennett stated that he plans to rest for the next five days and resume touring later this month.

Madonna and her 10-year-old daughter Lourdes visited a social rehabilitation center for street children that is partly funded by the singer's Raising Malawi foundation on Wednesday. Onlookers cheered as the singer arrived, with one holding a sign reading, "Well done, Madonna. We love you. Adopt more." Despite the words of encouragement, the Material Mom has denied that adoption is on her agenda this time around.

Following her performance at the 2007 Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 6, Joss Stone will partner with New Orleans Habitat for Humanity to volunteer at Musician's Village, working to build homes for musicians uprooted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. A group of about 40 fans will work alongside the singer, after winning the opportunity to do in a contest sponsored by CBS Radio.

Florida governor Charlie Crist stated he is seriously considering pardoning Jim Morrison's 1970 indecent exposure and profanity convictions stemming from a 1969 concert in Miami. The Doors frontman was appealing the convictions at the time of his death in 1971, when he was only 27. "Trying to clear his name and then he dies. If you have a heart pounding in your chest, that has to tug at you a little bit," Crist said.

Pete Doherty told a judge Wednesday that his friends have given him an ultimatum with regard to his drug use. "The people I'm closest to have had enough. They've said it's drugs or them," the Babyshambles frontman said at the progress report hearing in London. Doherty admitted he could not provide a clean drug test as of yet, but claimed he is eager to do so "as soon as possible."

Elizabeth Arden gave away 10 limited-edition video iPods signed by the Britney Spears as part of a promotion for her newly launched fragrance, Midnight. Fans were urged to submit a photo conceptualizing their favorite midnight fantasy to britneyspearsbeauty.com, with the 10 best submissions earning an autographed MP3 player.

Serbian animal lovers protested plans to sedate as many as 300 horses stabled at Belgrade's racecourse to keep them calm during an upcoming Rolling Stones concert, and lobbied for a change of venue. The July 14 show is expected to draw more than 100,000 fans to the Hippodrome, where the horses will be only a few yards from the stage.

An aspiring actress who told lawyers that she had already decided Phil Spector was guilty and couldn't be persuaded to change her mind was dismissed as a prospective juror on the music producer's murder trial, along with four other potential Spector peers. Among the remaining prospects: a TV producer, a city prosecutor, and a woman who said she equated the Spector case with the O.J. Simpson murder trial and believed that Simpson was wrongly acquitted.

A funeral director has complained that the trust managing James Brown's estate still owes more than $70,000 for his elaborate service and the care of the late singer's body for nearly three months before it was laid to rest in March. Trustees of the estate claimed that the remaining balance is on its way to the funeral director and pointed out that it was Brown's children who ran up bills in excess of $150,000.

Britney Spears' father, Jamie, lashed out at his daughter in an email to the New York Post, saying that she blames her family and her fired manager, Larry Rudolph, for "where she is at with her kids and career," and apologizing to Rudolph on behalf of the "Spears family" for her behavior and negative comments about being sent to rehab. Spears responded through her rep that she is "praying for my father. We have never had a good relationship. It's sad that all the men that have been in my life do not know how to accept a real woman's love." Meanwhile, a source told "E! News" that Spears and Rudolph still have a valid contract.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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