Nation/World


Rockers tout power of music to kids

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons made a surprise appearance at a Sioux Falls, S.D., benefit concert Saturday, where he spoke of music’s power to positively shape children’s lives.

Simmons’s appearance came on the final day of a week of concerts to benefit the music academy for Sioux Falls Boys & Girls Clubs members.

Music, Simmons said, is self-empowering.

“It doesn’t matter if you become a star. If you don’t believe in yourself and get up on stage, everybody is watching. You can feel the power … and it helps you get through life, especially when you’re impressionable.”

Motley Crue singer Vince Neil was also at Saturday’s show, and he, too, expounded on the positive benefits of music.

“Say you finish your first song, it could be ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb,’ it doesn’t matter, but at least it’s something you’ve played,” Neil said. “And I think for kids, they could go into a whole other direction because they accomplished something.”

Neil said he was 10 when he first started taking guitar lessons.

“I was terrible,” he said laughing. “That’s why I’m not a guitarist. I went into the other direction.”

Baldwin admits $300,000 tax debt

Stephen Baldwin, the youngest of four brothers in show business, said Friday he’s looking forward to “clearing the wreckage of my past.”

Step 1 will be coming up with $300,000 for the tax man.

Baldwin, 46, admitted in Rockland County Court that he failed to pay New York state income taxes for 2008, 2009 and 2010. Under a plea bargain, he gets to stay out of jail – so he can make some money – and can have his record wiped clean if he pays the taxes within a year.

Baldwin is currently appearing on “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice.”

If he doesn’t pay all the money within a year, the plea bargain provides for a five-year sentence of probation and repayment within that time.

Asked if he was getting any help from the family – his brothers William, Daniel and Alec are also actors – Baldwin said: “Just support as family support. … The responsibility lies ultimately with myself.”

No sentencing date was set. Another court appearance is planned in June to see how repayment is going.

The birthday bunch

Actress Debbie Reynolds is 81. Country singer Jim Ed Brown is 79. Actress Ali MacGraw is 75. Singer Rudolph Isley (Isley Brothers) is 74. Reggae singer Jimmy Cliff is 65. Actress Annette O’Toole is 61. Rapper-actor Method Man is 42. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is 40. Actor Sam Huntington is 31. Singer Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum) is 27.


 

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