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    Kirsten Dunst, left, and Jean Dujardin, right, recipients of the best-actress and best-actor prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, met backstage Sunday with Robert De Niro, chairman of the Cannes jury.

‘Tree of Life’ triumphs at Cannes Film Festival

CANNES, France » American director Terrence Malick‘s expansive drama "The Tree of Life" won the top honor Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival. The Palme d’Or prize was accepted by two of the film’s producers, Dede Gardner and Bill Pohlad, for the notoriously press-shy Malick, who has skipped all public events at the glamorous festival.

"He just very sincerely wants the work to speak for itself," Pohlad said.

"The Tree of Life," which opens Friday, stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain in a far-flung story of family life that plays out against a cosmic backdrop, including the creation of the universe.

Kirsten Dunst took the best-actress prize for "Melancholia," an end-of-the-world tale whose director, Denmark’s Lars von Trier, was banned from the festival after sympathetic remarks about Adolf Hitler.

Jean Dujardin claimed the best-actor prize for the silent film "The Artist," in which he plays a 1920s Hollywood star whose career crumbles as talking pictures become the norm.

Stars flock to stage at Billboard awards

LAS VEGAS » Rihanna and Taylor Swift were key winners at the Billboard Music Awards, which returned Sunday after a five-year hiatus with a major dose of star power, featuring Beyoncé, U2, the Black Eyed Peas — even First Lady Michelle Obama in a tribute toBeyoncé.

Among Rihanna’s wins were for top radio artist and top female artist. Swift was named top album artist, behind the multimillion sales for "Speak Now." She also won top country artist. Other winners included Justin Bieber, Lady Antbellum and the Black Eyed Peas.

Singer claims Trump’s ‘Apprentice’ crown

NEW YORK » Country singer John Rich went all the way on "The Celebrity Apprentice." He was up against actress Marlee Matlin on Sunday’s finale of the NBC show.

Host Donald Trump said it was his toughest "Apprentice" ruling yet.

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