LOS ANGELES (AP) — The new round of auditions for the final season of “American Idol” will include Kanye West — as a contestant, not a judge. West tried out during the San Francisco auditions, with Kim Kardashian cheering him on. Find out if he gets a golden ticket on tomorrow’s premiere. Keith Urban says he tends to forget it’s the farewell season until someone mentions it. Harry Connick Junior says he’d love to see another star come out of the final season to “put a bookend on what Kelly Clarkson did the first year.”
NEW YORK (AP) — Blues Traveler frontman John Popper will share his life story. He is putting out an autobiography called “Suck and Blow and Other Stories I’m Not Supposed To Tell.” His publisher says Popper will call out some musicians and praise others, talk about his ongoing battle with obesity and his love of guns, and explain how he turned himself from a failing high school student into a Grammy-winning musician. “Suck and Blow” will come out March 29.
KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — A panel of judges has ruled that city officials in Key West, Florida, just don’t understand Jimmy Buffett. The Key West Citizen reports city officials twice referenced lyrics to Buffett’s song “Margaritaville” in a case against Brad Buerhle of Richmond, Virginia, who wants to open a tattoo parlor in Key West. City officials opposed Buerhle’s plan because rash tourists would get “regrettable tattoos” and Key West would get a negative connotation. They cited the “Margaritaville” lyric describing a tattoo as, “A Mexican cutie/How it got here I haven’t a clue.” However, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals says the city misunderstood the lyrics, because the character in the song also calls the tattoo “a real beauty” and does not seem embarrassed about it. The case has been sent back to district court for more proceedings consistent with the appeals court opinion.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Adele’s “25” is the number-one album in America for a sixth straight week. Billboard reports “25” moved another 363,000 units. It’s sold 7.44 million copies in the U.S. as of last week.
UNDATED (AP) — Funeral arrangements are still being worked out for Natalie Cole. She died Thursday in Los Angeles at the age of 65 from ongoing health issues. She had suffered from drug problems and hepatitis, and she had a kidney transplant in 2009. Aretha Franklin calls Cole one of the greatest singers of our time and “she represented the Cole legend of excellence and class quite well.” Tony Bennett says Cole was “a lovely and generous person who will be greatly missed.” Jordin Sparks says she was lucky enough to share a stage with Cole a few years ago but doesn’t remember too much of her own performance because she was in awe of Cole.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Singer Natalie Cole, the daughter of jazz legend Nat “King” Cole who carried on his musical legacy, has died.
Publicist Maureen O’Connor says Cole died Thursday night. She was 65. O’Connor had no details about how or where Cole died.
Cole had battled drug problems and hepatitis that forced her to undergo a kidney transplant in May 2009.
Cole’s 1991 album, “Unforgettable … With Love,” sold some 14 million copies and won six Grammys. It featured reworked versions of some of her father’s best-known songs.
On the title cut, “Unforgettable,” she sang along with her father’s taped version to create a memorable duet.
Nat “King” Cole died of lung cancer in 1965.
NEW YORK (AP) — Taylor Swift will premiere her new video for “Out of the Woods” during tonight’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” on ABC. The musical lineup is packed: Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Demi Lovato, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer, Andy Grammer, Fall Out Boy, Elle King, Ellie Goulding, Nick Jonas, Tove Lo, OMI, Pentatonix, Rachel Platten, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Jimmy Buffett. On Fox, Pitbull will host New Year’s Eve celebrations from Miami. Musical guests include Shawn Mendes, Austin Mahone and Prince Royce.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The father of a film worker killed by a train on the set of a movie about Gregg Allman is asking a Georgia judge to keep the film’s director in jail. Richard Jones, the father of camera assistant Sarah Jones, is asking the judge to deny a request from “Midnight Rider” director Randall Miller for early release from his two-year jail sentence. Miller entered a plea deal last March for involuntary manslaughter. Sarah Jones was killed in February 2014 while the crew was filming without permission on a railroad bridge and a freight train came through. Miller’s lawyers are asking for early release because they say Miller’s weight gain, shortness of breath and elevated blood pressure may be signs of congestive heart failure. They say he’s also been a model prisoner. Richard Jones says if Miller gets early release, it sends the message that “Hollywood gets a break.”
MIAMI (AP) — John Fogerty will perform the halftime show for the Orange Bowl tomorrow afternoon. Yolanda Adams will sing the national anthem before the game as Oklahoma takes on Clemson. The game will be shown live on ESPN.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — It took more than 50 years for Nat “King” Cole to have a top-40 hit with “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You).” Cole recorded four versions of the songs from 1946 to 1961, and it hit number 65 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1962. It never hit the top 40 until this week, when it checks in at number 38. The highest it ever got before this year was number 45 two years ago. Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” is also a top-40 hit this year, for the first time since 1961.