LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Queen of Soul will perform for the Queen of England at the monarch's 50th Jubilee.
Aretha Franklin will perform four or five songs for 15,000 invited guests in the gardens of Buckingham Palace on June 3, 2002, the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's ascension to the throne.
"This is such a wonderful invitation, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Franklin said in a statement released Thursday by Sanford Brokaw, her Los Angeles-based publicist. "You just don't get that many invitations to sing for the Queen of England. I'm going to go the extra mile to be there."
The event will air on BBC television and radio, and will be broadcast in the United States later.
The 60-year-old Franklin, the first female performer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has won 15 Grammy Awards, the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
She performed at former President Clinton's inauguration in 1993, and has given at least one Royal Command Performance for Elizabeth II. Her voice has been designated a natural resource of the State of Michigan.
It's not New York, but it is
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The stylized New York of "The Royal Tenenbaums" is nothing like any version of the city you've ever seen — and that was director Wes Anderson's point.
"Sort of what I had in mind is a New York in a book that's not called New York, but as soon as you see this fictional city, where it's set, you know that in the fictional United States of this movie, this would be the New York," he told reporters.
"We actually have one scene with a guy at the bottom of Battery Park City, and he's actually blocking the Statue of Liberty," Anderson said. "That was Gene Hackman's first day, and he was like, 'What are you doing? You have the Statue of Liberty and you're blocking it with a guy's face?' And, um, that's the way we did it."
The movie, which Anderson co-wrote with Owen Wilson, stars Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson and Ben Stiller as a family of failed geniuses. It opened in New York and Los Angeles on Friday and goes wider later this month.
Prince Charles urges kids to be farmers
LONDON (AP) — Prince Charles urged agriculture students Friday not to let "mad cow" disease and the foot-and-mouth crisis deter them from farming.
"You are the future. You've got to keep (farming) going," he told the students from Kingston Maurward agriculture college near Dorchester in southwest England.
The prince, who farms organically on his Highgrove country estate, met the students at Poundbury, the working village on the edge of Dorchester that has been built in keeping with Charles' ideas of agriculture and design.
He urged them not to be put off by recent setbacks in British agriculture, including this year's outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, which has driven some farmers out of business.
Later, Charles met parents at a kindergarten in Poundbury, whose stone and brick houses incorporate the prince's ideal of marrying traditional design and materials with modern construction and planning techniques
He also attended the consecration of the new Poundbury cemetery by the Right Rev. Tim Thornton, bishop of Sherborne.
The cemetery will offer environmentally friendly burials, with trees being planted instead of headstones, and coffins made of biodegradable material. Part of the site has also been specially set aside for Muslim burials, with the plots facing the holy site of Mecca.
Flutist received knighthood
LONDON (AP) — More than five decades after he began performing, Belfast-born flutist James Galway went to Buckingham Palace to receive a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.
The 62-year-old son of a shipyard worker, styled "the man with the golden flute," has sold more than 30 million records of everything from Christmas carols to Celtic melodies and pop numbers.
"In March last year I underwent heart surgery so to be at Buckingham Palace today, being made a knight, is a tremendous feeling," Galway said after Wednesday's ceremony.
"It's not bad for a boy from Belfast."
Galway, who entertained other award winners at the palace with an impromptu tune on the penny whistle, said he thought he was dreaming when the palace informed him that he had been awarded a knighthood — "but when I came to I was delighted."
The queen awarded an MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire, to Galway.
Joe Walsh receives honorary doctorate
KENT, Ohio (AP) — Joe Walsh will receive an honorary doctorate from Kent State University during a commencement ceremony on Saturday.
Walsh, guitarist for the Eagles and an accomplished solo artist, attended Kent State from 1965-67.
Kent State spokesman Jim Szatkowski said Walsh's wife contacted the university about the honorary degree, saying Walsh regretted that he never graduated.
The 54-year-old will receive an honorary doctor of music in recognition of his musical achievement, as well as his involvement in environmental and humanitarian causes.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 with the Eagles.
Crown Prince Haakon's sister to wed
OSLO, Norway (AP) — Crown Prince Haakon's older sister, Maertha Louise, announced that now it's her turn to get married.
"I am sorry for all those who are sick and tired of royal weddings because here comes another one," she joked at a news conference on Thursday.
Maertha Louise, 30, is engaged to Ari Behn, 29, a short-story writer. She is trained as a physiotherapist.
Last August, Haakon married Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby, now Crown Princess Mette-Marit. Much of European royalty attended the glittering ceremony at Oslo Cathedral.
Maertha Louise's wedding is set for May 24 at Nidaros cathedral in Trondheim, 340 miles north of the capital Oslo. The restored gothic church was for centuries the main seat of the Norwegian church, where kings were crowned or blessed, and where Norway's patron saint Olav is buried.
Behn was born in Denmark and raised in England, northern Norway and Moss, 30 miles south of Oslo. By tradition, he will not receive the title "prince" when he marries into the royal family.
After the constitution was amended in the 1980s so women could inherit the throne, Maertha Louise became second in line after her brother, at least until he and Princess Mette-Marit have children.
Like Haakon, Maertha Louise was brought up quite like most young Norwegians, attending public kindergartens and schools. She has her own apartment in the center of Oslo, and often is seen at cafes and cultural events.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Recording Academy has named Billy Joel as its 2002 MusiCares Person of the Year, citing his accomplishments as a musician and humanitarian.
The 52-year-old will be honored at a special tribute dinner in Los Angeles on Feb. 25.
"Billy Joel's gift for lyric and melody rank him among the industry's most talented and accomplished musicians," Michael Greene, president and chief executive officer of the MusiCares Foundation and the Recording Academy, said Wednesday.
"He is a living symbol for what the Recording Academy stands for — his musical accomplishments are matched only by his endeavors as an advocate for music education."
The Recording Academy also cited Joel's contributions to charities for AIDS, cancer and victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Joel, who has won five Grammy Awards, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
MIAMI (AP) — Now there will be a different kind of racket in former tennis star Mary Joe Fernandez's house.
The Olympic gold medalist, who was ranked No. 4 in the world three times, gave birth Tuesday to her first child, a daughter.
Isabella Maria Godsick was born at Baptist Hospital to Fernandez and her tennis agent husband, Tony Godsick, their publicist said. The baby weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces.
Fernandez and Godsick have homes in Cleveland and Key Biscayne, an island town off Miami. Godsick is a vice president of IMG Tennis, with clients including Monica Seles and Lindsay Davenport.
The 30-year-old Fernandez has worked as a tennis broadcaster and commentator since her retirement.
Along with winning several professional tennis titles from 1990 to 1997, she also won a gold medal in doubles and a bronze medal in singles at the 1992 Olympics and a gold medal in doubles in the 1996 Olympics.
— Arizona Daily Sun