Wednesday, November 25, 2015         

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Johnson plugs puka in Bonnaroo lineup

By Chris Talbott

Associated Press


MANCHESTER, Tenn. » It's Jack Johnson to the rescue at Bonnaroo.

Johnson has agreed to take tonight's headlining slot at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival after Mumford & Sons was forced to cancel due to bassist Ted Dwane's illness.

Festival officials announced the move Friday morning. The "Upside Down" singer last headlined at Bonnaroo in 2008.

"The easy choice was, ‘Hell, yeah, we'll play,'" Johnson said while leaning in the shade of a tent. "It's Bonnaroo. It's my favorite place to play in the world. Then as soon as I hung up, it was kind of like, ‘Oh, wait, we haven't played this set in over a year.'"

Maybe longer. Pushed to search his memory, he said the group played a show just once last year, 45 minutes at Farm Aid. Besides a few acoustic sets, that's been it.

"I don't want to think about it," he said. "You're making me nervous."

Mumford & Sons' decision comes after Dwane received treatment this week for a blood clot on his brain. The band postponed three shows in Dallas and Woodlands, Texas, and New Orleans after the blood clot was discovered but hoped to play Bonnaroo tonight.

Dwane has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering from the procedure but is not yet ready to play. Rather than perform with a replacement, the London-based, Grammy award-winning folk-rock band decided to pull out. The band also canceled appearances at the Telluride Festival in Colo­rado and a performance in Bonner, Kan., ending its summer tour early.

"The surgery went well, and the excellent medical team helping him are very pleased with his progress," a band statement said. "He has been nothing short of heroic in how he has handled the whole ordeal, and now it has been medically proved that he does indeed have a brain."

It was a case of being in the right place at the right time for Johnson.

The 38-year-old Hawaii-born folk-rock singer was in town to play with friends ALO on Thursday night. He also was already scheduled to be in Manchester this weekend to perform a small secret show for reporters and participate in a question-and-answer session to promote his new album, "From Here to Now to You," which is due out in September.

He said his band was en route Friday afternoon.

"So we're going to set up a little rehearsal room tonight and jam out for a bit," Jackson said. "If we get one night of practice, we're fine. We don't tend to practice too much anyways. You don't want our band to be too tight. We've got to keep it loose."

Billy Ray Cyrus and wife headed for divorce again

LOS ANGELES »Billy Ray Cyrus' wife has filed for divorce from the country singer after 19 years of marriage.

Court records show Tish Finley Cyrus filed Thursday in Los Angeles, citing irreconcilable differences. She's seeking custody of their teenage child and spousal support.

It's the couple's second divorce attempt. Billy Ray Cyrus filed for divorce in 2010 but later withdrew the petition.

The couple issued a joint statement seeking privacy for their family. They say they want to find a resolution that's in the best interests of their family.

The two got married in December 1993 and have three children together, including actress-musician Miley Cyrus.

Billy Ray Cyrus rose to fame in 1992 with his song "Achy Breaky Heart."

Celebrity website TMZ first reported the divorce.

Adele, ‘Mr. Bean' among recipients of royal award

LONDON » Adele is getting a new medal to go alongside her Grammys and Academy Award: an honor from Queen Elizabeth II.

The "Rumor Has It" and "Skyfall" singer was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE, on Friday in the queen's annual Birthday Honors list.

Her award, for services to music, caps 12 months in which the 25-year-old singer won an Oscar for her James Bond theme song and gave birth to her first child.

The twice-yearly royal honors lists reward hundreds of people for services to their community or national life. Most go to people who are not in the limelight, but there is also a sprinkling of famous faces.

Rowan Atkinson — best known around the world as bumbling Mr. Bean — was named a CBE, or Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Jackie Collins, author of racy page-turners, was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, for services to fiction and to charity.

Britain's honors are bestowed twice a year by the monarch — at New Year's and on her official birthday in June — but recipients are selected by committees of civil servants from nominations made by the government and the public.

California school makes Haggard honorary doctor

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. » They call him "Hag," but now Merle Haggard can answer to "doctor" as well.

Haggard was presented an honorary doctorate Friday by California State University, Bakersfield.

The Doctor of Fine Arts honor was conferred during School of Arts & Humanities commencement ceremonies that also celebrated the late Buck Owens.

The university does not bestow honorary doctorates posthumously, so Owens was instead awarded the President's Medal.

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