MDA telethon raises $59.6M
September 03, 2013 10:00 AM

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s nationally broadcast 48th annual telethon and related fundraising efforts have raised about a million dollars more than last year with $59.6 million in contributions over the Labor Day weekend.

The two-hour “MDA Show of Strength” aired Sunday on ABC. MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks said the money raised will go toward treatment of muscular dystrophy and related diseases, and funding of research to find a cure.

A release from the association said the total amount raised came from pledges during the show and through midnight Monday, as well as money raised by MDA sponsors.

Celebrities including “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest and “Brady Bunch” mom Florence Henderson were part of the show’s lineup this year, along with the Backstreet Boys, singer Paula Abdul and other entertainers.

The telethon was the third since comedian Jerry Lewis’s 45-year role as host ended. Kelli Park, a spokeswoman for the Tucson, Ariz.-based MDA, says the 2012 telethon raised $58.7 million last year.

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CLEVELAND — A northeast Ohio couple had planned every detail of their wedding — except for the sound check of a Beach Boys concert next door during their ceremony.

A few bars of “God Only Knows” played as Mark Kent and Jaime Diadium exchanged vows next to the Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica in Cleveland last month.

The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported that when the band found out about the timing of its sound check, the newlyweds’ guests were told they could attend the concert for free. Many of them wandered over for a couple of songs.

When the bride stopped by the concert, she was brought on stage for the encore and played the tambourine next to Mike Love as he sang “Fun, Fun, Fun.”

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LONDON — With flying pigs and wigs, Lady Gaga debuted her “ARTPOP” songs at the iTunes Festival.

The pop star performed seven new songs, as she headlined the event at London’s Roundhouse Sunday night.

It is Gaga’s first solo show since she had hip surgery in February. The concert started with her swinging over the audience in a cage and involved many on-stage costume changes, elaborate wigs and dancers in hazard suits wearing pig masks, hanging from the ceiling.

The songs included “Jewels & Drugs” — a rap number featuring T.I. — pop song “Sex Dreams” and ballad “I Wanna Be With You.”

Also featured was the title track of Gaga’s new album, “ARTPOP,” which is to be released on Nov. 11.

iTunes Festival continues throughout September with Elton John, Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry on the lineup.

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BERLIN — Actor Michael Douglas says he doesn’t have a crisis at home and that he and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones “are fine” and taking a “temporary separation.”

Douglas was speaking in Berlin on Monday while promoting Liberace film “Behind the Candelabra.”

In response to a question from the media, he said “I have a crisis at home? No, I think the press has a crisis. We, we are fine. My wife and I are, are fine. We take a temporary separation, but the press, it gives you stuff to write about.”

Zeta-Jones, 43, and Douglas, 68, were married in 2000. They have two children. He battled throat cancer in 2010 and made headlines this summer when he spoke out about one potential cause, oral sex.

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