Stevie Wonder is calling off a concert for a group that raises money for the Israeli military.
Wonder had been scheduled to perform Thursday for Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, which raises money for Israeli soldiers and their families.
Wonder said the United Nations recommended canceling his performance because he is an official “Messenger of Peace” for the organization. The United Nations overwhelmingly voted to recognize a Palestinian state on Thursday over vehement U.S. and Israeli objections as hopes for Mideast peace talks stalled.
Wonder said in a statement he was canceling with a heavy heart but that “I am and have always been against war, any war, anywhere.”
Adkins defends Confederate earpiece
Trace Adkins wore an earpiece decorated like the Confederate flag when he performed for the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting but said he meant no offense by it.
Adkins appeared with the earpiece on a nationally televised special for the lighting on Wednesday. Some regard the flag as a racist symbol and criticized Adkins in Twitter postings. But in a statement released Thursday, the Louisiana native called himself a proud American who objects to any oppression and said the flag represents his Southern heritage. He noted he’s a descendant of Confederate soldiers and said he did not intend offense by wearing it.
Brown cleared in phone flap
Grammy-winning singer Chris Brown will not face criminal charges for snatching a woman’s cellphone when she tried to snap a photo of him outside a Miami Beach club, prosecutors said Friday.
A memo released Friday by Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle concludes there is no evidence that Brown intended to steal the phone in February or that he deleted any photos.
A felony charge against Brown, 24, might have triggered a violation of his probation for his 2009 assault on singer Rihanna, who was his girlfriend at the time.
The birthday bunch
Former CIA director Stansfield Turner is 89. Actor-director Woody Allen is 77. World Golf Hall of Famer Lee Trevino is 73. Singer Dianne Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 73. Rock singer-musician Eric Bloom (Blue Oyster Cult) is 68. Rock musician John Densmore (The Doors) is 68. Actress-singer Bette Midler is 67. Actor Treat Williams is 61. Actress Charlene Tilton is 54. Actress-model Carol Alt is 52. Actress-comedian Sarah Silverman is 42. Rock musician Brad Delson (Linkin Park) is 35.