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Sparks takes to the court

“American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks will headline the opening-night program Aug. 27 at the U.S. Open tennis tournament.
Sparks will perform a song from her upcoming movie, “Sparkle,” which includes the late Whitney Houston’s final screen performance. Sparks also will sing the national anthem.
Houston appeared at the 1997 grand opening of Arthur Ashe Stadium, the main court at the U.S. Open, singing “One Moment in Time.”
Sparks won the TV singing competition “American Idol” as a teenager in 2007, then sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl the next year.
Her father, Phillippi Sparks, was a defensive back in the NFL.

Eminem thanks fans for help

Eminem, who battled an addiction to prescription drugs, thanked his fans at a New York concert for helping him get through dark times.
The 39-year-old told hundreds Thursday night that he “wouldn’t have gotten out of that dark place without y’all” before he performed the Grammy-winning song “Not Afraid.” He said the performance was “dedicated to anybody tonight who’s been through personal struggles.”
Eminem’s addiction and climb to sobriety is detailed in his 2010 album “Recovery.” It was that year’s best-selling album.
At the Hammerstein Ballroom the rapper performed more than a dozen songs at an event for the watch brand G-Shock, including the hits “Lose Yourself,” “Love the Way You Lie” and “The Real Slim Shady.”

Evangelist in hospital

A spokesman for Billy Graham says the 93-year-old evangelist has been admitted to an Asheville, N.C., hospital for an infection in his lungs.
A joint statement Sunday from Graham’s spokesman and Mission Hospital says Graham was admitted overnight for evaluation and treatment of an infection thought to be bronchitis. The hospital is near his home in Montreat.
Pulmonologist Dr. David Pucci says Graham is resting comfortably and his condition is stable. He is receiving antibiotics.
Graham spokesman Larry Ross says the evangelist was able to watch a television feed of his grandson, Will Graham, preaching on Sunday morning.

Beyonce plays to UN audience

Superstar singer Beyonce has serenaded a different New York City venue: The United Nations.
Beyonce performed her song “I Was Here” on Friday in the U.N.’s General Assembly Hall in honor of World Humanitarian Day, which is next Sunday. A video of the performance will debut the same day.
Beyonce sang in front of hundreds, including actress Julia Stiles, R&B singer The-Dream and songwriter Diane Warren, who wrote the song.
Warren said in an interview that she initially called Beyonce’s husband, Jay-Z, and played the song for him over the phone. He quickly called Beyonce, and days later she recorded it. It appears on her album “4,” released last year.
Anderson Cooper hosted, saying with a laugh: “Is this what happens at the U.N. every Friday night?”

From News and wire service reports.