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    There will be laughing, singing, and music swinging when singer Martha Reeves receives another honor in May. >> Read more trending news  Reeves, 77, the lead vocalist of 1960s group Martha and Vandellas, will be honored by the Alabama State Council on the Arts on May 22, AL.com reported. Reeves was the singer for the group’s hits, including “Dancing in the Streets,” “Heat Wave” and “Jimmy Mack.” Reeves, a native of Eufaula, will receive Alabama’s 2019 Distinguished Artist Award. The award recognizes “a professional artist who is considered a native or adopted Alabamian and who has earned significant national acclaim for their art over an extended period,' according to the council’s website. Other recipients of the award include Jim Nabors, Fannie Flagg and George Lindsey. Vandella moved to Detroit as a child and grew up singing in church, AL.com reported. Her gospel-influenced vocals were evident in the group’s pop and rhythm and blues songs, which gave the Vandellas a string of hits on the Motown label. Reeves was inducted with the group -- Rosalind Ashford-Holmes, Annette Sterling-Helton, Lois Reeves and Betty Kelly -- into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. “Martha and the Vandellas were the Supremes’ tougher, more grounded counterpart,” the Rock Hall website says. “With her cheeky, fervent vocals, Martha Reeves led the group in a string of dance anthems that are irresistible to this day.” Reeves was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1995. 
  • Singer Justin Timberlake had a double surprise for fans attending his concert Saturday night in Omaha, Nebraska. >> Read more trending news  The “Sexy Back” singer, who has had five No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 during his career, told concert-goers that Saturday’s stop on his “Man of the Woods” tour at the CHI Health Center was the highest grossing concert at the Omaha venue, KETV reported. Timberlake’s second surprise was even bigger -- the Grammy Award-winning singer announced that a portion of all ticket sales from Saturday night’s show will be donated to assist flood relief in the metro Omaha area, the television station reported. Live Nation said it would match the donation, KETV reported, and a sponsor will deliver water to affected areas.
  • Bar patrons in New York's Greenwich Village were in the right place at the right time when Adele and Jennifer Lawrence showed up. The Daily News reports Grammy-winning singer Adele and her Oscar-winning actress pal hit the gay bar Pieces on Friday night, to the delight of the crowd. They drank and danced and schmoozed, hugging shirtless men and taking selfies while the crowd applauded. They danced to Kylie Minogue and played a drinking game. And Adele participated in a game show hosted by a drag queen and introduced herself as a married, stay-at-home mom. Adele has long been a favorite in the LGBTQ community. She told Time magazine in 2015 that she couldn't wait to find out who her young son's 'girlfriend or his boyfriend is going to be. ... Whatever my kid wants to do or be I will always support him no matter what.' ___ Information from: Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com
  • The Latest on Barbra Streisand's comments about the sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson (all times local): 6:10 p.m. Barbra Streisand is apologizing outright for her comments about sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson. She said in a second statement Saturday that she should have chosen her words more carefully, and admires the accusers for 'speaking their truth.' Streisand was quoted in The Times of London as saying that Jackson's accusers were 'thrilled to be there' and that the alleged abuse 'didn't kill them.' After an initial statement to The Associated Press in which she sought to clarify her remarks, Streisand posted an apology that went further. She writes in part: 'I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims.' She writes that she feels 'deep remorse.' ___ 3 p.m. Barbra Streisand is coming under intense criticism on social media for telling a newspaper that two men who say they were molested as children by Michael Jackson were 'thrilled to be there' and that the alleged abuse 'didn't kill them.' In a wide-ranging interview with the Times of London, Streisand said she 'absolutely' believes the accusers. Wade Robson and James Safechuck make their allegations in the HBO documentary 'Leaving Neverland.' But the legendary singer also raised eyebrows by saying Jackson's 'sexual needs were his sexual needs.' Streisand said through her representative Saturday it's never OK 'for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of.' Jackson's estate has condemned the documentary. The pop star, who died in 2009, was found not guilty in 2005 of charges he molested a 13-year-old boy. ___ 2:20 p.m. Barbra Streisand is coming under intense criticism on social media for telling a British newspaper that two men who say they were molested as children by Michael Jackson were 'thrilled to be there' and that the alleged abuse 'didn't kill them.' In a wide-ranging interview with the Times of London, Streisand was quoted as saying she 'absolutely' believed the accusers. Wade Robson and James Safechuck make their allegations in the HBO documentary 'Leaving Neverland.' But the legendary singer also raised eyebrows by saying Jackson's 'sexual needs were his sexual needs.' A message was left Saturday with Streisand's representatives for comment. Jackson's estate has condemned the HBO documentary. The pop star, who died in 2009, was found not guilty in 2005 of charges he molested a 13-year-old boy.
  • Barbra Streisand apologized Saturday for her remarks about Michael Jackson and two men who have accused him of sexual abuse, saying that she should have chosen her words more carefully and that she admires the accusers for 'speaking their truth.' Streisand had received bitter criticism online after she was quoted in The Times of London as saying that Jackson's accusers were 'thrilled to be there' during the alleged abuse, which 'didn't kill them.' After an initial statement Saturday to The Associated Press in which she sought to clarify her remarks, the superstar of song, stage and screen posted an apology online that went further. 'I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims,' she wrote. 'I didn't mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way,' she wrote. 'Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives. I feel deep remorse and I hope that James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth.' The apology went far beyond the earlier statement to the AP, in which she elaborated on her published remarks, saying she felt 'nothing but sympathy' for the men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who accuse the late star of molesting them as children. She wrote in that earlier statement: 'To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone.' The remarks in question came deep into a wide-ranging interview with The Times. Asked about Jackson, Streisand was quoted as saying she 'absolutely' believed Robson and Safechuck, who make their allegations in the recent HBO documentary 'Leaving Neverland.' Jackson's estate has condemned the HBO documentary. Jackson, who died in 2009, was found not guilty in 2005 of charges he molested a 13-year-old boy. Streisand was asked about the documentary, which she called 'too painful.' She then said that Jackson, when she met him, was 'very sweet, very childlike.' Asked how she reconciled that man with the one portrayed in the documentary, she replied: 'His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has. You can say 'molested,' but those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them.' Among those firing back on social media was the director of 'Leaving Neverland,' Dan Reed, who wrote of that last quote: 'Did you really say that?!' Asked by The Times whether she was angry at Jackson, Streisand said: 'It's a combination of feelings. I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him. I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him.' Also attracting attention Saturday for remarks about Jackson was his close friend and mentor Diana Ross. 'This is what's on my heart this morning,' Ross wrote on Twitter. 'I believe and trust that Michael Jackson was and is A magnificent incredible force to me and to many others.
  • The surviving members of the band The Prodigy have invited fans of the late Keith Flint to line a procession route ahead of a private service celebrating his life on March 29. The band tweeted Saturday that a church service for Flint will be for family and close friends only but that speakers would be provided so fans outside can hear. The Prodigy star took his own life in early March at the age of 49. The service will take place in Essex about 40 miles (65 kilometers) northeast of London. Flint was the fiery frontman of the dance-electronica band known for hits including Firestarter and Breathe. Following his death, The Prodigy cancelled all upcoming shows. ___ This story has been corrected to say the band is The Prodigy, not Prodigy.
  • “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Porsha Williams and fiancé Dennis McKinley welcomed their first baby, Pilar Jhena McKinley, Friday, according to an exclusive interview given to People magazine.  >> Read more trending news  Pilar was born at 1:36 p.m., weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and measuring 20 inches long. This is the first child for the Williams, 37. Porsha’s pregnancy has been featured prominently on the current season of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” which generally airs three to five months after the fact. The reunion episode, taped earlier this month, will feature a very pregnant Porsha. That three-part reunion will begin airing March 31. 
  • For Sean Hannity, the 'witch hunt' was finally over. Rachel Maddow considered it the start of something. The diametrically opposed opinion hosts, who vie for the distinction of the most popular in cable news, were the windows through which many Americans digested Friday's news that special counsel Robert Mueller had concluded a nearly two-year investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. While his report, or even a summary, has not been released, television news still had hours to fill talking about it. Fox News Channel's Hannity, a close Trump ally, focused on reports there will be no additional indictments from Mueller. 'The left's favorite conspiracy theory is now dead,' Hannity said. 'It is buried, and there was no collusion, no conspiracy, no obstruction. The witch hunt is over and there will be no further charges.' He lamented that lives were ruined by the investigation and said that people who have been prosecuted or convicted had committed 'process crimes.' The accusations against Trump were 'what we always said, a hoax, a lie conceived by hate.' While Hannity's Fox colleague Tucker Carlson suggested it was a night Americans 'should be celebrating the great news' that no crime was apparently found regarding collusion, Hannity said citizens should be outraged by the amount of time and money spent on the case. He promised a reckoning in the coming weeks of politicians and media figures he claimed were guilty of a rush to judgment, and his first target was U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. 'Schifty Schiff' read the words onscreen behind him. 'What is Maddow and all the other MSNBC conspiracy theorists, what are they going to ever do now?' he said. As he talked, Maddow was doing the same. Unlike most evenings, when the two figures work in studios across Manhattan's Sixth Avenue from each other, Maddow had rushed to a studio in Tennessee where she had spent the day trout fishing. 'Finally, it happened,' she said. 'In terms of what that means and what Mueller has found, we know only the smallest little bits. This is the start of something, not the end of something.' In meticulous fashion, she detailed how the news that Mueller's investigation had concluded was reported and what a letter by Attorney General William Barr meant about what will be released to the public. Democrats in Congress have already demanded the full report be released and that they see background materials; Maddow read a letter by Schiff about that on the air. 'Right now we mostly have just a ton of questions, as to what Mueller's report says, who gets to see it, who gets to decide who gets to see it and when,' she said. It wasn't until 16 minutes into her program that she discussed the reports that there will be no new indictments from Mueller. Many Fox News Channel guests, not just Hannity, focused on that detail on Friday evening. Former Trump aide Corey Lewandowski called it 'a very clear signal that this entire hoax is over.' Still, some Fox personalities, including Chris Wallace and Harris Faulkner, had to caution guests that Mueller's report hadn't been seen yet. 'To say that somehow this clears the president seems like the height of rushing to judgment,' Wallace said. He dismissed the idea that those prosecuted had been charged of process crimes, saying they were very serious. Meanwhile, on CNN, analyst and frequent Trump critic Jeffrey Toobin had an answer to colleagues who warned Trump and his supporters against prematurely celebrating. While he isn't necessarily in the clear, the fact that the president's sons or son-in-law Jared Kushner were not indicted 'is unambiguously good news for him,' Toobin said. ___ This story has been corrected to say that Schiff is chairman of the Intelligence Committee.
  • A painting at a Connecticut museum that has long been thought to be by Vincent Van Gogh has been authenticated as such by Dutch researchers. The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford announced Friday that the oil painting 'Vase with Poppies' has been verified by researchers at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam as having been painted by the Dutch artist in 1886, just after he moved to Paris. It has been in the museum's collection since 1957. Its authenticity was called into question in 1990 by art historian and Van Gogh expert Walter Feilchenfeldt, who raised concerns about many purported Van Goghs around the world, the Hartford Courant reported. The artwork was taken out of museum displays and shelved. Years later, with advances in technology and knowledge of Van Gogh, the museum decided to revisit the question. It was examined initially at the Atheneum, where a digital X-ray revealed an underpainting that looked like a self-portrait, which added to confidence about its authenticity. The museum in Amsterdam analyzed the artwork's paint, materials and style to conclude it was indeed done by Van Gogh. 'One can say that slowly but surely, real progress is being made in Van Gogh studies. Some of these floaters even turned out to be firmly anchored in Van Gogh's oeuvre, and 'Vase with Poppies,' I am happy to say, is one of them,' said Louis van Tilborgh, a senior researcher at the Van Gogh Museum. The artwork fits stylistically with other floral paintings he made shortly after arriving in Paris. The Atheneum now officially has two Van Goghs in its collection. The other is a self-portrait painted in 1887. 'Vase with Poppies' will go back on display in April. 'These studies have revealed just how much we still need to learn about Vincent and his growth as a painter, new to Paris and exploring new avenues for his art,' Wadsworth CEO Thomas Loughman said.
  • Papa John's is getting 'Shaq-ified.' The pizza chain said Friday that basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal will be its new pitchman, appearing in TV commercials and promoting Papa John's in other ways. The company hopes O'Neal can repair its image and revive its sales after the company's founder and namesake, John Schnatter, made racially insensitive remarks. Besides being a spokesman, O'Neal will also join the company's board of directors and invest in nine of its restaurants in the Atlanta area. 'If you want to enjoy great pizza and feel loved by the people that serve the pizza, you can come back home now,' O'Neal said in an interview with The Associated Press. ''The Daddy' is here.' The problems at Papa John's started in 2017, when Schnatter criticized the NFL's leadership and blamed protests by football players for falling pizza sales. Last year it was revealed that he used a racial slur during a media training session. Schnatter apologized for the slur and the company scrubbed his face from the company's logo and pizza boxes. He is still the Louisville, Kentucky-based company's biggest shareholder. O'Neal said Schnatter's comments were 'not acceptable,' and said he told the company's executives that it needed more diversity in its leadership. He says he's the first African-American to join Papa John's board. 'We want to create a culture to let everybody know that they're loved, accepted and wanted,' O'Neal said. Papa John's International Inc. said it will pay O'Neal more than $8 million in cash and company stock for the three-year endorsement deal. Wall Street seems to think it's a winning partnership. Shares of Papa John's soared more than 6 percent Friday.