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Stars come out for benefit concert

by The Associated Press on April 18, 2014 10:39 AM

NEW YORK — Near the end of the first half of Thursday’s 25th Anniversary Rain Forest benefit concert at Carnegie Hall, chairwoman Trudie Styler introduced a man that recently found out he was going to be a grandfather, and out came former President Bill Clinton.

After Clinton praised the Rain Forest Foundation, he thanked Sting, Styler and others for their efforts with the organization. Then he acknowledged Kevin Spacey.

“I know Kevin Spacey made fun of me earlier,” he told the crowd.

Clinton was referring to Spacey doing an imitation of him praising his Netflix series, “House of Cards,” where the actor now plays the president of the United States.

Spacey walked out on stage and greeted Clinton.

The former president told the actor that he always wanted to be in his line of work.

But then he quipped to hearty laughs: “Now, damn it, you’re in mine.”

Clinton continued poking fun at Spacey.

“I was always accused of getting away with murder, but Spacey actually does it in 15 minutes” Clinton said, referring to a scene in the first episode of the second season.

Earlier in the day, Clinton’s daughter Chelsea announced that she and husband, Marc Mezvinsky are expecting their first child later this year.

As for the benefit concert, the exception often became the rule with performers coming out of their comfort zone to entertain the audience.

The show opened with Sting and Spacey sitting at a bar performing a duet of Cole Porter’s “Well Did You Evah (What a Swell Party it is)” backed by a huge orchestra. They eventually were joined by James Taylor, who entered the stage wearing a lamp shade on his head.

At the end of the number, Sting welcomed everyone and introduced Spacey as President Unger, his “House of Cards” character.

After opera singer Renee Fleming — who was born in Indiana while her parents attended IUP — did her first selection early in the show, she requested a partner to accompany her on an excerpt from “Don Giovanni,” and out came Sting. After accompanying her seamlessly in Italian, Spacey walked out with a giant daffodil in his mouth and joined in.

Actor Oscar Isaac of “Inside Llewyn Davis” fame performed a solo acoustic version of Rod Stewart’s “Young Turks.” And Sting’s oldest son, Joe, covered Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Some stayed in their comfort zone.

Taylor performed his signature hit, “Fire and Rain,” and later covered the Holland-Dozier-Holland classic, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You.)”

Paul Simon did a couple of his own songs, including “Graceland,” and “The Boxer,” and Dionne Warwick covered some of the Burt Bacharach tunes she helped make famous, including “Walk on By.” Stephen Stills brought the crowd to its feet several times with raucous versions of “For What It’s Worth,” and the finale for the nearly three-hour show, “Love the One You’re With,” where he was joined by all of the evening’s performers.

The Rain Forest Foundation Fund is dedicated to preserving rain forests around the world by defending the rights of indigenous people living in and around them. It was founded in 1989 by Sting, Styler and Jean-Pierre Dutilleux.

In her speech, Styler spoke of the global importance of protecting rain forests around the world, and said that she and Sting no longer mind being described as “Tree-hugging tantric yogis.”

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ATLANTA — Porsha Williams of the Bravo network’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” is facing a charge of battery after fellow cast member Kenya Moore told police she was attacked during filming of the show.

Atlanta police have said they were called to the Biltmore Hotel on March 27, where Moore told an officer that Williams assaulted her.

Moore told the officer she was unable to fill out a statement at the time because she had to be on the set for filming, police said. An arrest warrant was issued later.

Williams surrendered Wednesday evening at the Fulton County Jail and was released that night, Fulton County sheriff’s spokeswoman Tracy Flanagan said. The charge against Williams is a misdemeanor.

Williams’ attorney, Joe Habachy, said in an emailed statement that the battery claim against his client is unfounded and that Williams looks forward to clearing her name. Williams plans to contest the charge and file aggravated assault charges against Moore, Habachy said.

Officials from NBC Universal, the parent company of the Bravo network, declined to comment on the incident in an emailed statement.

Williams is the ex-wife of former NFL standout and one-time Pittsburgh Steeler Kordell Stewart.

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NEW YORK — Miley Cyrus is postponing more concerts as she remains in a hospital for a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics.

A representative says the singer won’t perform in Nashville today and Louisville, Ky., on Saturday. Those concerts will be rescheduled.

Cyrus, 21, suffered from a sinus infection last week during her “Bangerz” tour. Her rep says she had “an extreme allergic reaction” to the antibiotic cephalexin.

This week, Cyrus also canceled concerts in St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo. She postponed a show in Charlotte, N.C., last week because of the flu.

The “Wrecking Ball” singer’s next scheduled tour date is Monday in Philadelphia.

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