Aretha on road back
Aretha Franklin says “the side effects were rough” from her treatment for an undisclosed condition.
The 71-year-old singer sat at a piano Wednesday inside a Westin hotel in the Detroit suburb of Southfield. She sang Etta James’ “At Last” and told reporters she’s “glad to be back in it” – a reference to her music. The Detroit News reports she’s starting on a new album with producers Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Don Was. Franklin says she and Edmonds were supposed to team up in July, but couldn’t because of her medical treatments. She says it was music executive Clive Davis who suggested she collaborate with Was, known for his work with the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt and Willie Nelson.
Baldwin the delinquent
An attorney for Stephen Baldwin says the actor will turn over $100,000 on Friday toward his delinquent New York tax bill. That leaves him just $200,000 in arrears. Baldwin, who starred in 1995’s “The Usual Suspects,” admitted in March that he failed to pay state taxes for 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The total bill in taxes, interest and penalties was $400,000, but he had paid $100,000 before entering his guilty plea. Attorney Russell Yankwitt said Thursday that another $100,000 will be paid Friday in Rockland County Court.
Under his plea agreement, Baldwin’s record will be wiped clean if he pays the full amount by next March. If not, he faces five years of probation.
A judge on Friday dismissed Nicollette Sheridan’s long-running wrongful termination lawsuit against ABC over her ouster from the hit television series “Desperate Housewives.”
Without ruling on the facts of the case, Superior Court Judge Michael Stern determined the actress should have exhausted her claims to a labor commissioner before pursuing a trial.
The ruling stalled Sheridan’s push for a retrial on claims filed in 2010 that she was fired after she complained that show creator Marc Cherry struck her on the head on the set in 2008.
Last year, a jury deadlocked 8-4 in favor of a Sheridan lawsuit alleging ABC had retaliated against her and cut her Edie Britt character due to her complaints about Cherry.
Billion dollar ‘King’
“The Lion King” has more reason to roar – it’s on pace to end the week as the first Broadway show to earn $1 billion.
According to The Broadway League, the show ended last week with a 16-year gross of $999,267,836, and it regularly pulls in between $1 million and $2 million a week over eight performances at the Minskoff Theatre.
The show, featuring the music of Elton John and Tim Rice, including the Academy Award-winning “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” brought the 1994 animated Disney movie to life onstage in 1997. Director and designer Julie Taymor created the memorable costumes, puppetry and scenic design.
“This humbling milestone is a testament to the vision and artistry of Julie Taymor,” producer Thomas Schumacher, president of Disney Theatrical Productions, said.