Entertainment

Duran Duran plays AIDS benefit

The Cannes Film Festival isn't all about movies. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, the focus shifted to music as Duran Duran stole the spotlight for a good cause. The band took time out from touring and promoting their latest album, "All You Need is Now," to rock onstage at a party partly sponsored by the Red organization to bring awareness to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

"We feel that we help out wherever we can," lead singer Simon LeBon said. "The Red organization is a very fine organization indeed. ... It seemed like a good thing for us to do."

The party was held at the exclusive VIP room and was hosted by Belvedere and Red, which have teamed up and created a special-edition bottle aimed at raising money to help fight HIV and AIDS.

Duran Duran has an emotional attachment to Cannes as one of their earlier records was made in the region.

"When we came to record our third album, we rented a big chateau just outside of Cannes in the mountains and spent all of our time writing, recording and coming down here to party in the evening, so great memories, really great memories of this town," said drummer Roger Taylor .

What's the fuss?

Bob Dylan doesn't understand all the fuss about his tour last month in China.

In a brief letter posted Friday on his website, www.bobdylan.com, the singer-songwriter disputed reports that he had originally been denied permission to perform in the country or that government officials had censored his playlist.

"As far as censorship goes, the Chinese government had asked for the names of the songs that I would be playing," Dylan wrote. "There's no logical answer to that, so we sent them the set lists from the previous three months. If there were any songs, verses or lines censored, nobody ever told me about it and we played all the songs that we intended to play."

In an April 9 column, the New York Times' Maureen Dowd criticized Dylan for not singing such protest anthems as "The Times They Are a-Changin' " and "Blowin' in the Wind." Dylan, she wrote, "sang his censored set, took his pile of Communist cash and left."

Defenders of Dylan noted that he did perform one of his greatest protest songs, "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," along with such biting classics as "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Ballad of a Thin Man." He opened his shows with "Gonna Change My Way of Thinking," which includes the lines: "I'm gonna change my way of thinking/Make myself a different set of rules."

'Recovering nicely'

A representative for Mary Tyler Moore says the veteran sitcom star is "recovering nicely" after surgery to remove a benign tumor on the lining of her brain.

Spokeswoman Erica Tarin says Moore will require no additional treatment after the four-hour procedure. Tarin would not specify when the surgery took place or where.

The procedure was to remove a meningioma, a slow-growing tumor in the membranes that cover the brain. Meningiomas usually occur in older adults and are mostly benign.

The 74-year-old Moore won fame as housewife Laura Petrie on "The Dick Van Dyke" show in the 1960s, then went on to even greater success starring in her own long-running sitcom.

Town welcomes 'Idol'

Thousands of "American Idol" fans have turned out in a small North Carolina town to welcome home finalist Scotty McCreery .

McCreery rode a yellow convertible through the streets of his hometown of Garner on Saturday, blowing kisses. He signed autographs before a scheduled concert. Afterward, he was to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game in nearby Raleigh between N.C. State and Florida State.

The 17-year-old McCreery is one of three semifinalists on "American Idol," and celebrations also are being held for Haley Reinhart and Lauren Alania . One of the three will be voted off the show next week, and the 10th season winner will be named May 26.

McCreery says he was honored by the hometown support and was glad to finally hear Southern accents again.

Another year older

Today's birthdays: Playwright Sir Peter Shaffer , 85 ... counterculture icon Wavy Gravy , 75 ... former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright , 74 ... singer Trini Lopez , 74 ... actress-singer Lainie Kazan , 71 ... country singer K.T. Oslin , 69 ... singer-songwriter Brian Eno , 63 ... actor Chazz Palminteri , 59 ... baseball Hall-of-Famer George Brett , 58 ... musician-composer Mike Oldfield ("Tubular Bells"), 58 ... TV personality Giselle Fernandez , 50 ... football Hall-of-Famer Emmitt Smith , 42 ... singer-rapper Prince Be (PM Dawn), 41 ... actor David Krumholtz , 33 ... actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler , 30 ... rock musician Nick Perri , 27

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