LAS VEGAS (AP) — Blues legend B.B. King is dead. His lawyer says King died in his sleep last night at his home in Las Vegas. King was 89. The former farmhand brought new fans to blues music during his career. He served as an influence to a generation of musicians with his vocals and guitar work on hits like “The Thrill Is Gone” — playing a Gibson model he called Lucille. King sold millions of records worldwide — won 15 Grammys — and was a member of both the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The concert on Tuesday night was part of the Robin Hood Foundation’s annual benefit. Founded in 1988, the organization has raised more than $2 billion to combat poverty in New York’s five boroughs.
McCartney played for about two hours, with a set list that included “Jet” and “Maybe I’m Amazed” as well as a smattering of Beatles classics like “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Others in the crowd of hundreds included tennis great John McEnroe.
LONDON (AP) — Singer Errol Brown of Hot Chocolate has died. His manager, Phil Dale, says Brown died yesterday of liver cancer in the Bahamas at the age of 71. Dale says Brown had been in poor health over the past few months but never discussed it. Hot Chocolate’s biggest hit was “You Sexy Thing,” which hit number 3 in 1976. Hot Chocolate’s other hits include “Every 1’s A Winner” and “Emma.”
NEW YORK (AP) — John Mellencamp believes he doesn’t write songs so much as he channels them. However, he sometimes gets in his own way. Mellencamp says “Pink Houses” was an “inspiration song” but he messed with the last verse too much. He groans every time he hears the last verse. Mellencamp says he’s pretty good at melodies and arrangements but he feels he falls short on lyrics.
BOSTON (AP) — James Taylor debuted his new song “Angels of Fenway” at the ballpark that gave the tune its name. Taylor’s song was played over the P-A system at Fenway Park last night, before the Boston Red Sox hosted the New York Yankees. A video of scenes from the century-old rivalry between the two teams was played as well. Wearing a Red Sox T-shirt and a baseball cap, the five-time Grammy winner also threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
NEW YORK (AP) — Ben E. King, singer of such classics as “Stand By Me,” ”There Goes My Baby” and “Spanish Harlem,” has died.
King died Thursday at age 76, publicist Phil Brown told The Associated Press. Brown did not immediately have other details.
As a member of the Drifters, King co-wrote and sang lead on “There Goes My Baby.” The band had a string of hits featuring King, including “Save the Last Dance for Me” and “This Magic Moment,” before he left in a contract dispute.
The 1961 ballad “Spanish Harlem” gave King his first solo hit. “Stand By Me,” written with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was chosen one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America.
NEW YORK (AP) — It took a long time, but Bob Geldof thinks he’s found The One. People magazine reports Geldof married actress Jeanne Marine in the south of France after two decades of dating. Geldof was previously married to British TV personality Paula Yates, who left him for Michael Hutchence.
NEW YORK (AP) — Sting’s musical was a flop but he still has a chance at a Tony Award. Sting has been nominated for best original score for “The Last Ship.” Sting says he’s thrilled to be nominated and he wasn’t even thinking about a Tony nomination. He says the whole “Last Ship” experience as been “a joy from start to finish” and the nomination is “just another iteration of joy.” The Tonys will be given out June 7 in New York.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Billy Joel will close down the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in New York. Newsday reports Joel will make his 32nd appearance at the venue before it shuts down for a major renovation. Joel will play a concert there on August 4. Banners hang inside the venue commemorating Joel’s record-setting run of nine sold-out shows there in 1998. Joel also played the last concerts at Shea Stadium in 2008.
DETROIT (AP) — Melissa Etheridge’s family has a scandal in its past. Etheridge agreed to be researched for the TLC genealogy series “Who Do You Think You Are?” Billboard reports the research turned up ancestors who sued a man for impregnating a teenage member of the family and refusing to marry her. Etheridge’s family tree also includes a colonial American bootlegger. Her episode runs Sunday.