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Willie Nelson unveils statue of himself

Country music legend Willie Nelson has helped the city of Austin, Texas, unveil an 8-foot statue of himself on a day long reserved to celebrate marijuana use.

Nelson also sang his new song, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” during the ceremony Friday.

Organizers say they didn’t intentionally choose the date, but once they found out, they set the time for 4:20 p.m. as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Nelson’s openness about his marijuana use and advocacy for its legalization.

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell accepted the privately funded statue, which stands in front of the Austin City Limits Studio. Fellow singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson congratulated Nelson, who thanked the Texas city as marijuana smoke wafted through the crowd.

‘Idol’ Hicks to launch Vegas show

“American Idol” Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks is getting his own short-term show on the Las Vegas Strip.

Casino officials announced the Alabama native will headline an eight-week show at Bally’s Las Vegas beginning June 26.

He’s the first “American Idol” winner or finalist to secure a Las Vegas residency.

Shepherd’s back, and on the ‘List’

For Cybill Shepherd, her role on “The Client List” is all about happy endings.

The 62-year-old Shepherd has focused on family and work since a successful career in film and television in the 1980s. She’s a regular in Lifetime’s “The Client List,” which last weekend saw its audience grow to 2.9 million viewers, making it the network’s second-highest-rated Sunday series, right behind its perennial hit “Army Wives.”

In the series, Shepherd portrays the Bible-thumpin’, tough-Texas-talkin’ mama Linette with the tease-it-to-Jesus-hairdo. Her only child, Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Riley, is forced to support her family working as a masseuse – and not the kind her mama thinks.

For Shepherd, the “Client List” role feels a bit like following in the shoes of her mentors. She was just 20 when she did “The Last Picture Show,” opposite veterans Eileen Brennan, Ellen Burstyn and Cloris Leachman (the latter winning an Oscar for her performance). “And they were all playing these wonderful older characters in their prime. And I feel like this is my chance to do that.”

The birthday bunch

Actress/writer Elaine May is 80. Actor Charles Grodin is 77. Rock musician Iggy Pop is 65. Singer/actress Patti LuPone is 63. Actor Tony Danza (“Taxi,” “Who’s the Boss?”) is 61.