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Dolly Parton distributes last checks to wildfire victims

Dolly Parton's Dollywood Foundation has given $10,000 each to nearly 900 families displaced by deadly wildfires in Tennessee last year.

The singer said in a statement that the final distribution of checks was made this week to families in Sevier County to help them rebuild. The Country Music Hall of Fame singer started the My People fund after wildfires struck in November, killing 14 people in the Gatlinburg area and destroying or damaging thousands of buildings.

Parton held a star-studded telethon to bring in hundreds of thousands of donations to the fund. But the singer isn't stopping her charity. She said $3 million will be used to start a new fund called Mountain Tough Recovery, which will continue to aid residents affected by the fires.

The top 10 songs and albums on the iTunes Store

Top Songs

1.I'm the One (feat. Justin Bieb., DJ Khaled

2.Despacito (feat. Justin Bieber), Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee

3.HUMBLE., Kendrick Lamar

4.(tie) Something Just Like This, The Chainsmokers & Coldplay

4.(tie) That's What I Like, Bruno Mars

6.Believer, Imagine Dragons

7.Body Like a Back Road, Sam Hunt

8. Issues, Julia Michaels

9.It Ain't Me, Kygo & Selena Gomez

10.Shape of You, Ed Sheeran

Top Albums

1.DAMN., Kendrick Lamar

2.Humanz, Gorillaz

3.Strength of a Woman, Mary J. Blige

4.Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. ., Various Artists

5.÷, Ed Sheeran

6.SHINE, Wale

7.Moana, Various Artists

8.God's Problem Child, Willie Nelson

9.Places, Lea Michele

10.24K Magic, Bruno Mars


(copyright) 2017 Apple Inc.

Club owner who turned Sunset Strip into rock heaven dies

Mario Maglieri, the Hollywood entrepreneur who doubled as a godfather figure to generations of rock stars from the Doors' Jim Morrison to Guns 'N Roses' Axl Rose, has died at age 93.

Maglieri died Thursday morning "surrounded by loved ones," his family said in a statement. No cause of death was given.

For decades he operated two of Hollywood's most venerable and legendary Sunset Strip nightclubs — the Whiskey A Go Go and the Rainbow Bar & Grill.

"Rest In Peace Mario Maglieri King of The Sunset Strip," the marquee over the Whiskey proclaimed Friday.

It was at the Whiskey that the Doors found a following as the house band in the 1960s. Over the years Led Zeppelin, the Police, Van Halen and literally hundreds of other acts spanning generations have played there.

The Beatles dropped by for a visit during their first U.S. tour in 1964. George Harrison, annoyed by a paparazzi, threw a drink at him, hitting actress Mamie Van Doren instead.

At the Rainbow, Maglieri would keep many of his musicians in booze and food, occasionally having to throw one or more of them out when they caused too much trouble.

"The rowdiest? Oh, Guns N' Roses! I had to put them out I don't know how many times," he told the Los Angeles Times in 1993. "They're good guys, but they get out of hand."

Born Feb. 7, 1924, in Seppino, Italy, Mario Mikeal Maglieri moved to the United States with his family at age 4.

He ran restaurants and clubs in Chicago for a few years before moving to Los Angeles in the 1960s to manage the Whiskey, eventually taking it over. A few years later, he and partners took over a nearby Sunset Strip restaurant and renamed it the Rainbow.

It was a heady time on the Strip in those early years, one punctuated by up-and-coming young musicians and their groupies, many living in nearby Laurel Canyon. There was an abundance of drugs and alcohol as well, although Maglieri said he never partook of the former.

"I'm 70 years old, and I've never smoked a joint in my life," he told the Times in 1993. "People ask me and I tell them, 'Dope is for dopes.' People want to fight me on that, I'll fight them. I've seen too many lives destroyed by drugs."

He said he bought Janis Joplin a bottle of her favorite whiskey, Southern Comfort, three days before she died of a drug overdose in 1970. He also spent a good deal of time trying to talk Morrison into cutting back on his substance abuse before he died in 1971.

"He was a good boy. It's too bad I couldn't straighten him out, because I tried awful hard," he said.

But he also recalled numerous good times, among them talking politics with John Lennon in the parking lot and watching members of Led Zeppelin have fun.

"Every time they were in town, they'd party in the middle booth," he said. "And them guys know how to party."

He is survived by his wife, Scarlett; a son, Mikeal; and three grandchildren.

A public memorial is scheduled May 28 at the Rainbow.

Rapper T.I.: 'I have 2 or 3 albums left in me'

Rapper T.I. says he only plans to release about two or three more albums.

He told The Associated Press in a recent interview that he expects to release an album revolving around "trap music" this year. He's released nine full-length albums so far, and says he has "two or three albums left in him."

The 36-year-old added: "But it's definitely time to transition."

The rapper-actor has the future album titles figured out, calling them "Trap Music," ''Dope Boy Meets Girl" and "Kill the King."

T.I.'s hits include "What You Know," ''Whatever You Like" and "Live Your Life."

Last year he released the politically-charged projects "Us or Else" and "Us or Else: Letter to the System." They served as inspiration for his short film, "Us or Else," which debuted on BET last week.

Review: Chris Stapleton delivers with honesty, rare talent

Covering a song that Willie Nelson has already turned into a masterpiece might seem like a fool's errand — unless you manage to make it your own.

Chris Stapleton does just that on "Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning," a song Nelson covered memorably more than three decades ago. In the process, Stapleton proves he belongs in any conversation about the best things that have happened in country music ever since.

Two years to the day after releasing the landmark "Traveller" album, Stapleton delivers "From A Room, Volume 1," the first batch of songs recorded in Nashville's legendary Studio A with red-hot producer Dave Cobb. It's sure to solidify Stapleton's status as one of the most authentic voices working in any genre.

Yet even as conventional wisdom crystallizes around Stapleton's authenticity — a notion reinforced by the brutal honesty of "Either Way," among other cuts — the transcendence of his singing can't be missed.

Like a handful of great country vocalists — including those named Jones, Haggard and Cash — Stapleton sounds like he downed a shot of whiskey before every song.

But when he leans into a build-up anthem called "I Was Wrong," steadily pleading his way toward a higher register, Stapleton's passion evokes the likes of Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and other blues, gospel and soul legends.

Yes, that's heady territory. But it's also an indication that Stapleton is an artist with rare talent, still ascending.

Wilco, Dave Matthews on main stages at New Orleans festival

Wilco, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds and Earth, Wind & Fire closed the main stages at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Friday under sunshine, blue skies and a breeze.

Festivalgoers also saw performances by hometown jazz artist Terence Blanchard and blues musician Sonny Landreth, who lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

The festival is one of the city's biggest tourist draws and features hundreds of artists from around the state and well-known out-of-town musicians.

Another New Orleans-born band, the Revivalists, opened for Matthews and Reynolds. Times-Picayune reports ( ) the band, which blends rock and New Orleans' funk, is led by David Shaw, whose smoky voice sent the sounds of "Keep Going" and "Bulletproof" whipping around the crowd standing at the Acura Stage.

"I don't know about you, but I think it's gonna be a good one today," he told the onlookers.

The festival continues Saturday, with performances by Stevie Wonder and Snoop Dogg, whose sets were canceled last year because of rain. Also scheduled are Meghan Trainor, the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Big Freedia, Jeremy Davenport, the Soul Rebels and Irma Thomas.

Adele, Pearl Jam, Dolly Parton among stars on Brandi Carlile's 'Cover Stories' benefit album

Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile pulled out all of the stops to load up her benefit album with top talent, and she succeeded. Adele, Pearl Jam, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, The Avett Brothers and the Indigo Girls are just some of the music legends and contemporary stars appearing on the album.

>> Read more trending news

She even snagged former President Barack Obama, but don't worry, he doesn't sing. Obama provides a foreword to the album, "Cover Stories," which is a benefit for War Child, a UK-based charity that assists children in areas facing conflict. Carlile was able to snag Obama for the record because of her connections with former White House photographer Pete Souza.

The album features fresh takes on Brandi Carlile's well-received 2007 album, "The Story." Songs from the album have appeared on TV shows and commercials, and the album was certified gold earlier this year, according to The New York Times

"Cover Stories" is out now. All proceeds will benefit War Child.

Alanis Morissette’s ex-manager headed to jail for stealing $7 million

A Hollywood accountant who stole more than $7 million from singer Alanis Morissette and other clients wept Wednesday when he was sentenced to six years in federal prison and ordered to pay $8.6 million in restitution, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

Jonathan Todd Schwartz, 48, admitted to stealing the money as part of a scheme to pay for his lavish lifestyle, officials said.

“I alone am responsible for the devastation,” Schwartz said at the hearing. “I will spend the rest of my life asking for forgiveness.”

In addition to Morissette, Schwartz also embezzled more than $1 million from an unnamed entertainer and nearly $800,000 from another former client, CNN reported.

Appearing at Schwartz's sentencing on Wedneday, Morissette told U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee that the former accountant stole from her in a “long, drawn-out, calculated and sinister manner.”

When first confronted about the irregularities in Morissette's accounts, Schwartz lied and said the funds were an investment in an illegal marijuana-growing operation.

Schwartz, who was working at the time as a certified public accountant at Los Angeles's GSO Business Management LLC, withdrew funds from Morissette's accounts, then reported them as “sundry/personal expenses” to his employer, CNN reported. He would pick up the money himself or have it delivered to his office, with the resulting bank statements also going to GSO, rather than to his clients, CNN reported. GSO subsequently sent financial statements to clients based on the falsified information provided by Schwartz.

After Schwartz's crime came to light, GSO fully cooperated with the FBI and IRS investigation into his actions, officials said.

“Mr. Schwartz used his clients' funds as a personal ATM machine and, in doing so, financially victimized his clients and colleagues,” said Deirdre Fike, the assistant director in Charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office.

Jay Z is on the music festival circuit; will perform at ACL

Jay Z is in a festival state of mind.

Austin City Limits organizers announced Thursday that the rapper will perform at the festival in October. Jay Z will also perform during his Made in America festival in Philadelphia over Memorial Day weekend.

The performances could mean the icon will release new music soon.

Austin City Limits will take place at Zilker Park on Oct. 6-8 and Oct. 13-15. Other performers across its eight stages include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chance the Rapper, the Killers, Gorillaz, Martin Garrix and the xx.

Tickets go on sale Thursday.

Jay Z's Made in America festival, occurring in Philadelphia on Sept. 2-3, will feature Solange, J. Cole, the Chainsmokers, Migos, Little Dragon and Kaskade.



2nd weekend of Jazz Fest kicks off with 'locals day'

Fans braved an inordinate amount of rain on Thursday to kick off the second weekend of the seven-day New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The rain muddied and puddled the infield of the Fair Grounds Race Course but failed to keep music lovers away from the festival, which showcased performances by Widespread Panic, Darius Rucker and Corinne Bailey Rae.

A packed crowd stood under gray skies before the festival's largest stage to cheer Widespread Panic, the jam band from Athens, Georgia, who went through a litany of their songs, including "Travelin' Light," and "Heroes."

Rucker, who gained fame with Hootie & the Blowfish before pursuing a solo career as a country music performer, closed out the festival's second-largest stage, dancing and singing his way through his 90-minute set.

Thursday is often less crowded than the weekends and is a popular day for New Orleans-area residents to attend the festival. Times-Picayune reports ( ) there also are usually lots of younger faces in the crowd thanks to School Day at the Fest, a program dedicated to bringing New Orleans students to the city's largest classroom to get an education in what makes their city's culture unique.

Sunny skies are expected for the last three days of the festival, which ends Sunday. Friday's headliners include Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Wilco, Earth, Wind & Fire and Boney James.

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