July 7, 2013 in Nation/World

In brief: Oklahoma benefit draws country stars

From Wire Reports
 

Brooks
(Full-size photo)

Thousands of people turned out for a Saturday concert benefiting Oklahoma tornado victims.

The star-studded concert featuring Oklahoma natives Toby Keith and Garth Brooks was sold out, with officials estimating a crowd of nearly 65,000, the Tulsa World reported.

The money raised from ticket sales benefits the United Way of Central Oklahoma. The organization has established a fund to aid victims of the tornadoes and violent storms that pummeled the state in May and killed dozens of people.

Saturday’s concert was organized by Keith. A separate benefit concert last month hosted by Oklahoma native country music star Blake Shelton raised more than $6 million in donations and pledges.

Brooks took to the stage Saturday afternoon at the Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

“Today the healing begins,” he said.

Brooks played “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House” and “Papa Loved Mama.” His wife, Trisha Yearwood, joined him for a duet, “In Another’s Eyes.”

Rappers’ daughters pen teen novel

The teenage daughters of rappers Lil Wayne and Birdman are in New Orleans with their dads this weekend, but it’s the girls who are greeting fans and signing autographs at the Essence Festival.

Reginae Carter is the 14-year-old daughter of Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Carter. She collaborated with 16-year-old Bria Williams, daughter of Bryan “Birdman” Williams, on a teen novel, “Paparazzi Princesses.” It’s based on stories and characters inspired by their own life experiences.

“It’s about the ups and downs of having celebrity parents,” Reginae Carter said. “It’s about how we go through everyday drama like everybody else.”

They hope their book will inspire more teens to read.

“Every book is not everybody’s choice,” Carter said, adding that she likes the idea of book clubs, where teens can get together and read the same thing. “We hope they’ll read ours.”

The book covers the privileges and challenges of being teenagers whose fathers are hip-hop stars. The girls, whose dads have been friends and musical collaborators for years, said they have the same worries and stresses as most teenagers, including peer pressure at school, chores and family relationships.

The birthday bunch

Bandleader Doc Severinsen is 86. Drummer Ringo Starr is 73. Singer-guitarist Warren Entner (The Grass Roots) is 70. Actor Joe Spano is 67. Actress Shelley Duvall is 64. Singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard (“Ally McBeal”) is 50. Comedian Jim Gaffigan is 47. Actress Jorja Fox (“CSI”) is 45. Actress Berenice Bejo (“The Artist”) is 37.


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