LAS VEGAS (AP) — The children of B.B. King are promising to keep fighting for the best care for him. A judge in Las Vegas threw out the family’s case claiming that his longtime manager, Laverne Toney, was neglecting his care and has stolen as much as a million dollars from him. The family also claimed Toney was keeping friends like Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy and Carlos Santana from visiting. A judge found no evidence that King is being abused or neglected. Toney says visits can be scheduled as they have always been. King’s physician and his attorney say they see no signs of neglect or abuse. King is 89 and in home hospice care.
UNDATED (AP) — Sam Smith will have surgery next week to fix his vocal cords. Smith writes on Instagram he’s really nervous about it but he hopes in eight weeks to be able to sing like never before. He says he will not be able to speak for three weeks after the operation. Smith said last week he has a hemorrhage on one of his vocal cords.
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.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joni Mitchell’s friend is now in charge of her medical decisions and Mitchell may be released from a hospital soon. Attorney Alan Watenmaker told a judge in Los Angeles yesterday that Mitchell’s longtime friend, Leslie Morris, needed emergency conservator powers because of Mitchell’s possible release. Mitchell has no family members who can care for her. An attorney appointed to represent Mitchell’s interests agreed that Mitchell should be placed under a temporary conservatorship. Morris does not have control of Mitchell’s finances. Mitchell has been in a hospital since March 31 for undisclosed reasons.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — B.B. King is still at home in Las Vegas and still in hospice care. King’s longtime business manager, Laverne Toney, says King is resting. King is 89 and had been hospitalized last week.
BROOKFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Jim Peterik (PEE’-ter-ihk) of Survivor fame jokes that his second-biggest franchise is .38 Special. Peterik co-wrote the .38 Special hits “Rockin’ Into The Night,” ”Hold On Loosely,” ”Caught Up In You” and “Wild-Eyed Southern Boys.” Peterik also co-wrote “Heavy Metal” with Sammy Hagar. The one song he still has trouble convincing people he wrote is “Vehicle,” the hit for his other band, The Ides of March, because a lot of people think it’s a Blood, Sweat and Tears song. Peterik says he found an ally in former “American Idol” finalist Bo Bice, who had a hit with that song while on the show. Bice is now the singer for Blood, Sweat and Tears and sings that song in concert. Peterik says Bice always gives credit to The Ides of March.
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.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Bono will start the U2 tour without the full use of his hands. Bono was in a bike accident in November that fractured his eye socket, shoulder, elbow and left hand. The New York Times quotes Bono as saying while his shoulder and face are better, he feels like he has someone else’s hand. He can’t bend two of his fingers, and he has numbness in his forearm. He says he can’t play guitar but he adds with a grin his bandmates “don’t seem to mind.” The tour starts in Vancouver on May 14.