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J-Lo, other stars add pleas for relief to Puerto Rico

Jennifer Lopez said Thursday night that she still hasn’t heard from her family in Puerto Rico – two days after Hurricane Maria slammed into the island and left millions without power, People reported. Maria’s 155-mph winds ripped trees from the ground, tore roofs from buildings, and caused massive flooding.

>> Read more trending news

Lopez, 48, is one of several celebrities with ties to Puerto Rico. She was born in the Bronx, New York to Puerto Rican parents. She is making pleas for donations to help residents recover from the hurricane.

Ricky Martin, Daddy Yankee, Marc Anthony and Rosie Perez are also making appeals, People reported, using their star power to help raise awareness and money for Puerto Rico.

“What’s on my mind is what’s going on in Puerto Rico. The devastation is beyond belief,” Lopez said in an Instagram post. “Me and my cousin still haven’t been able to hear from our families over there.

“What’s foremost on my mind and many others is trying to figure out the best way to help,” she said. “Today, Puerto Rico needs our help. I urge you to support and donate to the efforts of the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Areizaga. Together we can help rebuild our island, and the Caribbean.”

Martin, who was born in San Juan, posted a similar plea for help on Instagram, People reported. Puerto Rico’s capital city was hit hard by the hurricane.

“Puerto Rico needs you at the moment. Just go to youcaring.com/rickymartin and help us,” Martin said in an emotional video. “Donate whatever you can, just one dollar would make a difference. If everyone would give me a dollar, my goodness. Puerto Rico is in a precarious position at the moment. We can’t do it alone. We need you.”

As of early Saturday, Martin’s site alone had raised more than $228,000.

Daddy Yankee, 40, asked his fans to bring donations to his concert in New York City on Thursday and shared a video of volunteers loading up trucks, People reported. He’s asking the same for those attending his Chicago concert on Friday.

Anthony, 49, posted a similar video to Lopez and Martin’s, while Perez 53 — who also has family in Puerto Rico she is still attempting to contact — tweeted out links to aid groups FRMA and Politica.

Chester Bennington's widow shares video of singer that shows the many faces of depression

To portray the many faces of depression, Talinda Bennington — the widow of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington — shared a video on Twitter showing her husband playing a game with his children hours before his death.

The 41-year-old singer died of suicide in July.

>> On Rare.us: Chester Bennington is all smiles in a heartbreaking family photo taken before his death

In the video, Chester eats a “rotten eggs”-flavored jelly bean, which he immediately spits out. He chuckles as he tries to get the gross taste out of his mouth, much to the amusement of those around him.

>> Click here to watch

"This is what depression looked like to us just 36 hrs b4 his death," Talinda Bennington tweeted. "He loved us SO much & we loved him."

>> Read more trending news

Since her husband’s death, Talinda Bennington has been actively updating her social media feed with messages of support for those who struggle with mental illness, often adding the hashtag #MakeChesterProud. 

Nicki Minaj, Nas fuel dating rumors at rapper’s birthday party

Are Nicki Minaj and Nas an item? It certainly looked that way Thursday night when the two were photographed with their arms around each other during Nas’ 44th birthday party, People reported.

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Nas celebrated his birthday during a private dinner at The Pool Lounge in New York. Minaj, 34, posted a picture of her and Nas on her Instagram account. She has her arm around Nas while they stand next to Alicia Keys and her husband, Swizz Beatz, People reported.

In a video from the event, a man Minaj identified as “Nasir” was spotted creeping up behind Minaj and kissing her on the cheek. Many fans have speculated the man was indeed Nas, whose given name is Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones.

The Shade Room also posted a video of Minaj and Nas together that night. In the video, Nas had his arm wrapped around Minaj’s shoulder as Minaj had her hand placed on his chest while the rapper was presented with his birthday cake.

Rumors of the pair dating began to circulate when Manaj posted a picture of them cuddling to her Instagram account.

Then in May, Minaj told television host Ellen DeGeneres that she had plenty of respect for the rapper.

“He is the king of Queens, and I like to think I’m the queen of Queens,” Minaj said. “He’s a rap legend. Let’s just say that I have a lot of respect for him, and you know, he’s kind of cute, too.”

But Minaj stressed that the relationship with Nas was not intimate, People reported.

“I’m just chillin’ right now. I’m celibate. I wanted to go a year without dating any men. I hate men,” Minaj told DeGeneres. “I might make an exception to the rule for him, because he’s so dope.”

NTSB report: Mechanical problems caused Troy Gentry’s fatal helicopter crash

Mechanical problems are the cause for the fatal helicopter crash on September 8 in New Jersey that claimed the life of Montgomery Gentry’s Troy Gentry.

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According to the preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, the pilot reported he couldn’t control the RPM of the engine just a few minutes after takeoff. He discussed options for landing with two flight instructors on the ground, and they decided he would stop the engine and perform something called an autorotation. It was a maneuver the experienced pilot had performed several times before.

>> Troy Gentry killed in helicopter crash

>> Country music community reacts

The report\ reads, “During the descent, the rotor rpm decayed to the point where the instructor could see the individual rotor blades. The helicopter descended from view prior to reaching the runway threshold and the sounds of impact were heard.”

The pilot was also killed in the crash. The listed reason for the flight was “to provide an orientation/pleasure flight to the passenger who was scheduled to perform in a concert on the airport later that evening.”

Montgomery Gentry was to play a concert at the Flying W Airport & Resort that night.

Troy Gentry will be remembered with a celebration of life service at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET. The service will be livestreamed at Opry.com/Troy-Gentry.

Willie Nelson, Paul Simon and more to play Harvey benefit concert in Texas

Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Leon Bridges, Lyle Lovett and Edie Brickell & New Bohemians are heading up “Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas: A Benefit Concert for Hurricane Harvey Relief,” an all-star event and telethon set for Sept. 22 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.

>> Read more trending news

Tickets to the four-hour concert, which runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and will air live on TEGNA stations, go on sale at 3 p.m. CDT Wednesday via RebuildTX.org for $30 to $199.

Billed as “the largest live concert benefit in Texas” for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the event follows Tuesday night’s “Hand in Hand” national telethon event that included performances by George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton and others.

Others scheduled to appear at the Erwin Center event include Matthew McConaughey, Dan Rather, Renee Zellweger, Luke Wilson, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Houston Chief of Police Art Acevedo. Additional musical performers include Ryan Bingham, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and the Mexican pop duo Ha*Ash.

The concert will feature “exclusive performances and rare collaborations,” according to a press release announcing the event. Asleep at the Wheel will be the house band, and Charlie Sexton will serve as music director.

Proceeds will benefit the Rebuild Texas Fund, created by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in collaboration with the OneStar Foundation. According to the Rebuild Texas website, the fund “will support community partners in four focus areas — health and housing; schools and child care; workforce and transportation; and capital for rebuilding small businesses.” The concert is part of the Dell Foundation’s effort to raise $100 million toward hurricane recovery efforts.

“This fund was created to help rebuild all of the communities, big and small, that have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey,” Houston native Michael Dell said in the event’s press release. “We will be rebuilding for years to come.” His wife, native Texan Susan Dell, added, “For us, this is personal.”

The telecast will air without commercials. In addition, an hour of the event will stream internationally on YouTube.com/TexasStrong from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. CDT. Google will match $500,000 in telethon donations, with volunteers from Google’s Austin office and employees of TEGNA working the telethon phone banks. Donations also will be accepted at the RebuildTX.org website.

“The outpouring of support from the local community and communities across the nation is a testament to the spirit, grit and determination of the people of Texas,” said TEGNA president/CEO Dave Lougee.

The concert is the biggest fundraiser to be held at the Erwin Center since a 2011 benefit for victims of Bastrop wildfires that included performances by Nelson, Strait, the Dixie Chicks, Lovett and others.

Others who have donated “efforts and services” to the event, according to the press release, include the Erwin Center, Springboard Productions, Solomon Group, Big House Sounds, Soundcheck Austin, Hotel Van Zandt, Sodexo, GSD&M, Andy Langer, the Texas Music Office and the City of Austin. TEGNA is producing the broadcast in partnership with Debra Davis Productions. Austin company C3 Presents is producing the live event and also is donating all its services.

Country’s ‘Gentle Giant,’ Don Williams, dead at 78

Country music is mourning the loss of one of its most iconic singer-songwriters and a major influence on many of today’s country hitmakers.

>> Read more trending news 

Don Williams, the “Gentle Giant,” has died at the age of 78 after a brief illness.

RELATEDChris Stapleton honors country music’s gentle giant with this stripped-down performance

Known for his gently rumbling baritone, as well as his tall, lanky frame, Williams’ career yielded a catalog of timeless hit songs, including 21 No. 1 chart toppers, that remain popular today. Songs such as“Some Broken Hearts Never Mend” positioned him as a gifted songwriter, while his signature vocal style made him appreciated as a storyteller whose breathtaking renditions of songs such as “Tulsa Time,” “Amanda,” “Good Ol’ Boys Like Me” and “I Believe In Love” gave an incomparable voice to these now-classics.

Keith Urban has been one of the most outspoken fans of Williams’ work. Earlier this year, he told CMT that Williams’ recordings “influence the way I make records ... They’re the masters of recorded simplicity and honoring a song in a way that I cannot think of other records that hit that spot of extraordinary craftsmanship. It’s about achieving that.”

RELATEDKeith Urban reveals how his father’s death has inspired his new music

Urban, Vince Gill and Alison Krauss were all part of Williams’ 2012 album, “And So it Goes.”

Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and, in 1978, earned the CMA’s Male Vocalist of the Year award.

Lil Wayne's 'doing fine' after seizure reports, daughter says

Lil Wayne is “doing fine,” said his daughter, Reginae Carter, who is assuring fans after reports surfaced that her dad was hospitalized over the weekend due to seizures.

He was taken to a hospital Sunday after suffering seizures in Chicago, TMZ reported. The rapper also known as Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. has been hospitalized before for the same reason in years past.

>> Read more trending news

Here are Carter’s recent posts giving updates on her dad’s condition:

Carter is the daughter of Lil Wayne and his ex, Toya Wright. They teamed up for their daughter’s 16th birthday bash and the star-studded extravaganza was featured on MTV’s “Super Sweet 16” in February 2015.

“Her dad was like, ‘Give her whatever she wants,’” Wright said of her ex-husband during an interview at her boutique, Garb, in Smyrna, Georgia. “I’m big on budgets. We ended up pulling it off.”

>> Report: Rapper Lil Wayne suffers seizures, cancels show

“The most exciting part was getting my cars: I got a Ferrari and a BMW X4,” Carter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the time. “That’s what I asked for but I didn’t know they were going to get it for me so that was surprising. I can’t really drive the Ferrari. I drive the Beemer a lot. That’s my every day car.”

The best gifts from her parents, though, are priceless.

“The best thing I inherited from my mother was the way she raised me to be humble and grounded,” she said. “With my father I’ll say his work ethic. I’ll go from singing to acting – I just like to do a lot of things. That’s what my father likes to do. It’s never enough.”

Oh, JibJab, you’re not fine: Toni Basil sues over use of “Mickey” 

Toni Basil thinks that JibJab’s use of her No. 1 hit “Mickey” is not so fine.

>> Read more trending news

The singer-choreographer, whose one-hit wonder “Mickey” has been a staple on music video channels since it debuted in 1982, is suing the digital entertainment studio, TMZ reported.

According to the lawsuit, Basil, whose real name is Antonia Christina Basilotta, charges that JibJab used her voice, image and likeness when it released a “Mickey” video promo in February for its musical e-cardss, TMZ reported. She also charged that JibJab did not verify who owned the musical rights to “Mickey,” and that the company used the e-card it designed as a promotional ad to entice customers to subscribe to its other products and services.

Basil, 73, said in the lawsuit that she has become "despondent and physically ill" over JibJab’s actions and now suffers from sleep deprivation, nightmares and anxiety. She is suing for damages, lost profits and emotional stress, TMZ reported.

JibJab claims it did obtain a license for the video, but honored her request to take it down once it learned she was in a separate dispute over the rights, TMZ reported.

“Mickey” was released as a single in September 1982 and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 two months later. It was certified gold and in early 1983 hit platinum for sales of more than two million copies in the United States, according to Billboard. The music video for the song was an early favorite on MTV.

Music documentary filmmaker Murray Lerner dead at 90

Murray Lerner, a music documentary filmmaker of the 1960s and ′70s who recorded historic footage of Bob Dylan going electric at the 1965 Newport Jazz Festival, died Saturday in Long Island City, New York, Variety reported. He was 90.

>> Read more trending news

Lerner also captured Jimi Hendrix and The Doors giving the final performance of their careers in 1970 at the Isle of Wight Festival.

Lerner died following an illness of about three months, according to his son Noah Lerner, a writer and producer at HBO. “He was a complete filmmaker,” Lerner told Variety. “A cinematographer first and foremost, but someone who also wrote, edited, produced and directed.”

Lerner won an Oscar for best documentary in 1981 for “From Mozart to Mao: Isaac Stern in China,” but it was his second film, “Festival,” released in 1967, that made him famous, Variety reported. The chronicle of the Newport Folk Festival from 1963 to 1966 earned Lerner his first Academy Award nomination.

In the months preceding his death he was working on a documentary about Joni Mitchell, titled “Both Sides Now: Joni Mitchell Live at the Isle of Wight 1970.” Due for release in 2018, it is the eleventh complete project from the concert.

Lerner was born in Philadelphia and raised in New York City. He attended Harvard on a full scholarship, according to his son, graduating in 1948. He is survived by his wife Judith, to whom he was married for 60 years; his son; daughter-in-law Julie; and two grandchildren. Private services will be held Wednesday in New York.

Report: Rapper Lil Wayne suffers seizures, cancels show

Rapper Lil Wayne was taken to a hospital Sunday after suffering multiple seizures in his Chicago hotel room, a representative for the singer confirmed to TMZ.

>> Read more trending news

Lil Wayne, 34, whose given name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr, spent several days at a Los Angeles hospital four years ago, Reuters reported. Upon his release, he told radio station Power 106 he was epileptic and prone to seizures, Reuters reported.

Lil Wayne’s representative said the rapper’s show in Las Vegas, which had been scheduled for Sunday night, had been canceled, TMZ reported.

Lil Wayne was found unconscious in his Westin hotel room in Chicago, TMZ reported, and suffered another seizure after being taken to the hospital.

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