Originally created 09/23/04

People in the News



NEW YORK -- It's Hammer Time - again.

In a blast from the past, MC Hammer will perform at VH1's inaugural Hip Hop Honors next month, the cable station announced Tuesday. The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and others are already set to appear, as well as newly announced performances by Ice-T, Kid Rock, Fat Joe and Grandmaster Flash.

Vivica A. Fox and Mos Def will host the awards show, which pays tribute to groundbreaking hip-hop artists. Among those in the first group of honorees are the Sugar Hill Gang, KRS-One, Run DMC and Tupac Shakur.

The show, scheduled for taping in New York on Oct. 3, will air Oct. 12 on VH1.

On the Net:http://www.vh1.com

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LONDON -- Real Madrid soccer star David Beckham and his wife, Victoria, are taking legal action against a British tabloid newspaper that said the celebrity couple's marriage was in trouble.

The law firm Harbottle and Lewis, which represents the Beckhams, said in a statement Tuesday that an article in the News of the World on Sept. 12, headlined "Posh and Becks on Rocks," was untrue and caused the couple "considerable distress."

"The News of the World was given the opportunity to provide an apology but have chosen not to respond to the couple's request," the law firm said.

The newspaper declined to comment.

It's not the first time the soccer star and his wife, a former member of the Spice Girls, have been fodder for the tabloids. Their marriage came under scrutiny in April when a former personal aide, Rebecca Loos, claimed she and Beckham had had a 10-day affair.

He dismissed the claim as "ludicrous" and "absurd."

The couple have two children, Brooklyn, 5, and Romeo, 2, and are expecting their third child in March.

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LONDON -- Six books are on the shortlist for Britain's most prestigious literary award, the Man Booker Prize, selected from among 22 nominees.

The winner of the $89,500 prize, open to writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth of former British colonies, will be announced Oct. 19 at a ceremony in central London.

Books on the shortlist, announced Tuesday, are "Bitter Fruit" by Achmat Dangor, "The Electric Michelangelo" by Sarah Hall, "The Line of Beauty" by Alan Hollinghurst, "The Master" by Colm Toibin, "I'll Go to Bed at Noon" by Gerard Woodward and "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell.Although full of praise for the six shortlisted books, the judging panel criticized the general standard of the 132 novels that entered.

"Of the books submitted, I have to say quite a number were not very good," said Chris Smith, the panel chairman.

On the Net:

http://www.bookerprize.co.uk/* * * *

CONSTANTA, Romania -- Amos Oz, a leading Israeli writer and a well-known peace activist, has been awarded the Ovidius prize by Romania's Writers Union.

He won the $10,000 prize because of his literary merit and his peace work, Eugen Uricaru, president of the Writers Union, said Tuesday. He also said Oz's writings demonstrate interethnic tolerance and devotion to the concept of freedom of expression.

Oz is best known for "My Michael," one of his many novels. He also has written several short stories and numerous articles on the conflict in Israel. His family emigrated to Israel from Russia and Poland.

"I am especially honored to receive this prize. ... Romanian culture has many Jewish dreams in it, and Israeli culture is enriched by Romanian dreams," he said in a phone interview.

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NEW YORK -- R&B singer Usher, whose album "Confessions" steamed up the charts with songs about sex, affairs and breakups, will perform at the American Music Awards.

Usher has a leading four AMA nominations. The awards will be presented Nov. 14 in Los Angeles. Kanye West, Josh Groban, Jessica Simpson, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney and Gretchen Wilson also are scheduled to perform, it was announced this week.

Jimmy Kimmel will host the show, to air live on ABC.

Nominations for the AMAs are based on sales figures and radio play. Winners are selected by a survey of about 20,000 listeners.

West, whose album "The College Dropout" combines gospel, rap and braggadocio, has three nominations, the second most after Usher.

Additional performers will be announced later.

On the Net:

http://abc.go.com/primetime/ama/

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RIVERSIDE, Iowa -- Capt. James T. Kirk came home to Riverside this week.

William Shatner, who played the commander of the starship USS Enterprise in the '60s "Star Trek" series, arrived in Riverside Tuesday to hold auditions for four small parts in a low-budget, sci-fi movie he wrote with "Star Trek" co-star Leonard Nimoy.

The working title of the movie is "Invasion Iowa."

Shatner called the film "his baby," and said he's dreamed of putting the story on the big screen for 30 years.

The 73-year-old actor and more than 100 crew members will be in Riverside for several days to film scenes for the movie.

Although Kirk's hometown was never mentioned in the TV series, Gene Roddenberry, the show's creator and executive producer, wrote in "The Making of Star Trek" that Kirk was "born in a small town in the state of Iowa."

The Riverside City Council picked up on the idea in March 1985, declaring a site behind what used to be the town's barbershop the "future birthplace" of Kirk.

Shatner is a native of Canada.

On the Net:http://www.startrek.comhttp://www.williamshatner.com