Hill sentenced for taxes
NEWARK - Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill was sentenced Monday to three months in prison and an additional three months in home confinement for failing to pay taxes on about $1 million in earnings.
Hill, a 37-year-old South Orange resident, pleaded guilty last year in the case.
During a forceful statement to the judge Monday, Hill explained she had always meant to eventually pay the taxes but was unable to during a period of time when she dropped out of the music business, echoing a defense she wrote last year in a long post online.
"I needed to be able to earn so I could pay my taxes, without compromising the health and welfare of my children, and I was being denied that," Hill said Monday, without explaining what exactly triggered her actions.
Before the sentencing, her attorney had said Hill had paid more than $970,000 to satisfy the state and federal tax liabilities.
Hill had faced a maximum sentence of one year each on three counts. Her attorney had sought probation.
Clinton and Led Zeppelin
NEW YORK - It's a diplomatic failure at the highest level: Bill Clinton couldn't get Led Zeppelin to reunite.
The CBS "60 Minutes" webcast reported Monday that the former president was enlisted to ask the British rock gods to get back together last year for the Superstorm Sandy benefit concert in New York City. He asked, they said no.
David Saltzman of the Robin Hood Foundation says he and film executive Harvey Weinstein flew to Washington to ask Clinton to make the plea. Led Zeppelin's surviving members Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page were in Washington just before the Sandy concert for the Kennedy Center Honors.
Led Zeppelin last played publicly at a one-night reunion in London in 2007.
Bieber copyright lawsuit
NORFOLK, Va. - Two Virginia songwriters are suing Justin Bieber and Usher for $10 million for copyright infringement.
Devin Copeland and Mareio Overton claim Bieber's song "Somebody to Love" contains numerous lyrical and stylistic similarities to the song they wrote in 2008 by the same name. The duo filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Norfolk, Va., claiming that numerous producers conspired to copy their song. The lawsuit says Copeland and Overton provided a copy of their song to musical promoters, who in turn provided it to representatives of Usher.
Hagar wins case
IOWA CITY, Iowa - A defamation lawsuit against Sammy Hagar filed by a former Playboy bunny who claims he fathered her child has been dismissed, and the former Van Halen frontman is pleased with the result, his attorney said Monday.
U.S. District Judge Linda Reade ruled
April 30 that Hagar did not defame the woman - identified as Jane Doe in court documents - when he accused her in his 2011 memoir of falsely naming him as the baby's father in order to extort money.
"We're certainly gratified by the result and we hope this means that it's all over," said Hagar's attorney, Wesley Kinnear of San Francisco. "It's difficult to be involved in litigation like this. It was a surprise to him. And he's very pleased that the judge ruled the way that she did."
The woman, of Waterloo, Iowa, claims she and Hagar had an affair in the 1980s, when she was a Playboy bunny and that she became pregnant with his child after a concert in 1988. The child died shortly after birth in 1989 and no paternity tests were conducted. In all, Hagar paid the woman $7,000.
CNN anchor robbed
ATLANTA - Atlanta police are investigating after a CNN anchor reported that her iPhone was snatched from her hand as she strolled down a street in the city's midtown section.
Carol Costello was talking on the phone while walking around 4:30 p.m. Thursday when two teenagers ran up from behind and grabbed the phone.
Costello said in a post on her Facebook page that she struggled with one suspect as she tried to keep her phone, but he pulled out a chunk of her hair and she let go.
"As he ran down the street, laughing, I hurled a few expletives his way," Costello wrote on her Facebook page.
"I felt no fear at the time, I was just angry," she said. "Now I'm angry, shaken and sad. What a lousy life those kids have ahead of them."
No arrests have been made.
Shania Twain in Vegas
LAS VEGAS - Shania Twain has announced 22 new show dates this fall to round out the first year of her two-year Las Vegas Strip residency.
Twain told The Associated Press Monday that the show at Caesars Palace is "a dream performance scenario" that allows her to balance her roles as a mother and as a country superstar.
The 47-year-old Canadian singer known for "Any Man of Mine" and "That Don't Impress Me" made a grand entrance into Sin City on horseback and returned to the stage in December after nearly a decade in hiatus.
She sold out her first 24 performances of "Shania: Still the One" at the casino's Colosseum. Twain begins another set of 12 shows on May 14.
Ritter protests gay policy
GRANTHAM, Pa. - Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter says he won't play a central Pennsylvania Christian college again unless it changes its policy against "homosexual behavior."
Ritter made the announcement on Facebook hours after playing a Friday night concert at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., southwest of Harrisburg.
Messiah students and staff have to sign a "community covenant" promising to avoid homosexual behavior and premarital sex.
Ritter calls the policy exclusionary and bigoted. He says he's donating his fee to an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services.
Messiah spokeswoman Beth Lorow says the administration is disappointed that Ritter is speaking in favor of tolerance but isn't applying those principles to their religious freedoms.
Ritter talked about the policy during the show. Lorow says his comments on stage weren't as harsh as his Facebook posting.