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Thursday, December 13, 2007; 2:32 AM

Ike Turner dead at 76

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rock 'n' roll pioneer Ike Turner, whose achievements as one of the founding fathers of the genre were overshadowed by ex-wife Tina Turner's claims that he regularly beat her for almost two decades, died on Wednesday at his home near San Diego. He was 76. His cause of death was not immediately known, said his manager, Scott Hanover.

Groban ties Elvis with No. 1 holiday album

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Josh Groban's "Noel" led the U.S. pop album charts for a third week Wednesday, tying Elvis Presley as the record-holder for the most consecutive weeks at No. 1 with a Christmas album. Now in its ninth week of release, "Noel" moved 581,000 units in the period ended December 9, according to Nielsen SoundScan, an 8% boost over the previous frame. Presley's "Elvis' Christmas Album," meanwhile, ruled the charts for three weeks in 1957.

Will Smith looks to save Hollywood at box offices

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Will Smith waltzes into the press conference as if he were the living embodiment of his character in his latest film, "I Am Legend" -- here to save Hollywood from a bad case of the box office flu. Smith shakes every hand, shouts "WHEE" several times and declares "I'm excited to see me!"

Arab film brings bellydancing, not bin Laden to West

DUBAI (Reuters) - No bombs. No bloodshed. No bin Laden. Belly dancing is the theme Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch says can best communicate the Arab world to the West and reconcile cultural differences. "Whatever Lola Wants," Ayouch's story of an American woman who encounters Arab life through belly dancing lessons, premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival this week, impressing many critics.

Trespassing charge dropped against actor LaBeouf

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A trespassing charge against U.S. actor Shia LaBeouf was dropped on Wednesday after prosecutors announced the drugstore in which he was arrested asked that the case be dismissed, the actor's lawyer said. LaBeouf, a protege of director Steven Spielberg, was arrested in the early-morning hours of November 4 in a Chicago Walgreen Co. store after he refused several requests by a security guard to leave.

Rosanne Cash recovers from brain surgery

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash has undergone successful brain surgery to correct a benign condition, and is expected to make a complete recovery, her record label said on Tuesday. The 52-year-old Grammy-winning musician, the eldest of late country icon Johnny Cash's five children, is resting at her New York home, two weeks after her operation at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, said a statement from Manhattan Records.

Author Terry Pratchett says he has Alzheimer's

LONDON (Reuters) - British fantasy and science fiction author Terry Pratchett, 59, has been diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's disease, he said in a statement to his fans. "I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news," Pratchett said.

Studios count cost of writers strike

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Hollywood studios have suggested all along that striking writers will be sadly surprised when they discover the high cost of their six-week-old strike. Now they're actually helping them calculate that cost.

Art director Boyle to receive honorary Oscar

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Production designer Robert Boyle will receive an honorary Oscar during the Academy Awards ceremony on February 24, organizers said Wednesday. Boyle, 98, earned four Oscar nominations in the art direction category for his work on "North by Northwest," "Gaily, Gaily," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "The Shootist."

Hollywood producer and agent Freddie Fields dead at 84

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood talent agent, studio executive and producer Freddie Fields, whose film credits include "Glory," "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" and "American Gigolo," has died of lung cancer at age 84, friends said on Wednesday. Fields, whose clients included such screen giants as Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, Woody Allen and Steven Spielberg, died at his home in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, publicist Warren Cowan said.




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