Mandela's HIV Benefit Canceled Organizers have called off an HIV/AIDS benefit concert that Nelson Mandela was due to host on Robben Island, where the former South African president was imprisoned for 18 years.
The concert was scheduled for Feb. 2, but John Samuel, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said in a statement that a final agreement could not be reached with the concert's would-be promoters. "We were overwhelmed with the enthusiastic response to Mandiba's [Mandela's] call by the international artists who rose to the occasion to offer support," the statement said. "We have, however, concluded that the concert cannot take place since the proposed producers were not able to come to a satisfactory agreement with the Foundation."
Artists including Bono, Macy Gray and Shaggy had been expected to take part in the concert within the walls of the island jail, which is now a World Heritage site. It was to have been televised globally, with proceeds going to the Mandela Foundation, the U.N. agency UNAIDS and to the Robben Island Museum. It is believed that at least 1 in 9 South Africans either have AIDS or are infected with the HIV virus.
Run-DMC Calls the Dr Even death can't stop a man from selling a can of soda.
Slain hip-hop legend Jam Master Jay will appear in a commercial for Dr Pepper, which is scheduled to debut this weekend. The spot, a tribute to Run-DMC by fellow artist LL Cool J, was created before the deejay's October slaying. It features the group's surviving members, Joseph "Run" Simmons and Darryl "DMC" McDaniels.
Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc. marketing chief John Clarke said he wasn't concerned that the new ad might be seen as a crass way to cash in on the shooting. "Not only did Dr Pepper feel that it was appropriate," he said, "so did Run and DMC, so did Terri, Jam Master Jay's wife, so everybody seems to be extremely comfortable with the spot."
Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell, was gunned down in his Queens recording studio last October. Run-DMC has been in the advertising business for a long time, getting the Adidas shoe company to sponsor its 1987 tour, at a time when many felt that hip-hop was a passing fad.
The new spot is part of a series that also features a tribute to Cyndi Lauper by Anastacia and a tribute to "The Queen of Salsa" Celia Cruz by Paulina Rubio.
An Angel's Miracle Cure Actress Jaclyn Smith says she has beaten cancer.
"My health is excellent," the 55-year-old actress tells TV Guide in its Jan. 25 issue. "I'm on my knees every night saying, 'Thank you, God.' "
Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer after a routine medical checkup. She underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatment.
Smith currently appears opposite Craig T. Nelson on the TV show "The District," and will be reprising the role that made her famous, Kelly Garrett, in this summer's "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," the sequel to the 2000 movie inspired by her late-'70s series.
End Notes Actress Shirley MacLaine has been named to the newly created New Mexico Film Advisory Board. She has lived near Santa Fe for nearly a dozen years. Gov. Bill Richardson, upon appointing her to the board, called her "one of New Mexico's greatest assets." . . . Andy Griffith, 76, whose failed attempts at a singing career in his youth led him into acting and one of television's most memorable careers, will finally get a chance to croon at the Grand Ole Opry tonight. The man behind "Matlock" released two gospel albums in the 1990s, one of which won a Grammy, and has appeared at the famed theater before, though as a comedian. "Here at the back of my life, I'm singing and it is very rewarding," Griffith said.
-- Compiled by Pete L. Zanko
from staff and wire reports