Howard’s new neighbor


DALLAS (AP) – Howard Stern is getting a new neighbor in his extraterrestrial neighborhood.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is getting his own midday Sunday talk show on Sirius Satellite Radio starting this summer. The Dallas billionaire will air on Sirius Stars channel 102, right next to Stern’s two Sirius channels.

The New York-based satellite radio provider says Cuban’s “Radio Maverick” will feature conversation on “sports, business and everyday life.” Cuban also will take calls from listeners and interview prominent guests.

“Mark Cuban is candid, animated and incredibly accomplished, having achieved extraordinary success at a young age in the worlds of business and sports,” Scott Greenstein, Sirius president for entertainment and sports, said in a statement Tuesday. “Radio Maverick will be a forum without limits, where he can talk to Sirius listeners about everything from the NBA to an MBA.”

Cuban, 47, made his fortune as co-founder with partner Todd Wagner of the pioneering online audio streamer Audionet. The service, later named, was sold by Cuban and Wagner to Yahoo! in 1999.

Cuban also co-founded the HDNet high-definition television service.

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A concerto drawn from Billy Joel’s 2001 classical album, “Fantasies & Delusions,” will debut in June at the Eastern Music Festival.

Jeffrey Biegel, who arranged the piano part at Joel’s request, will perform the “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” on June 24 with the EMF faculty orchestra.

Stuart Malina, who shared a 2003 Tony Award with Joel for the Broadway musical “Movin’ Out,” will conduct. Malina, who leads the symphony in Harrisburg, Pa., is the former music director of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra.

“With a piece like this and an artist like this, it is a huge deal for us,” said EMF President and CEO Tom Philion.

Philion said he and Biegel had discussed the concerto months ago, but he had expected the piece to premiere somewhere else.

“As the months wore on, it became apparent that we were going to be first,” Philion said.

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HYANNIS, Mass. (AP) – The Cape Cod house where Jack Kerouac once lived has been sold for $300,000, but the new co-owner said she wasn’t familiar with the Beat Generation author.

“He has a fan now,” Ida Perry told the Cape Cod Times of Kerouac, whose 1957 road-trip novel, “On the Road,” is considered a classic.

Perry, 40, and her mother, Gladysann Lewis, bought the house last Wednesday. They expect to move into their new home this week.

The 1,344-square-foot, single-story house on Bristol Avenue where Kerouac lived in 1966 was put on the market five months ago by then-owner James Upton, who originally asked $356,000. He had bought the house in 1986 for $115,000.

The property is assessed at $322,000, according to town records.

“We did a walk-through and I was like, “This place is perfect,”‘ Perry said in Tuesday’s editions.

Kerouac married his third wife, childhood acquaintance Stella Sampas, at the house on Nov. 18, 1966.

In 1967, Kerouac moved back to Lowell, where he was born. An alcoholic, he died two years later in Florida at age 47.

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Angelique Kidjo left Africa more than 20 years ago to pursue a music career in Paris and New York – and she has been looking back ever since.

The 45-year-old singer, who is from the West African nation of Benin, said that raising awareness about poverty and natural disasters on her native continent goes hand in hand with making music.

“This continent – that’s where my inspiration comes from,” Kidjo told reporters Tuesday, a day before her first-ever concert in Kenya.

Kidjo, who is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, toured the drought-ravaged area of Wajir, in northern Kenya, this week to bring attention to the problems there. Some 70 percent of Wajir’s population live below the poverty line and depend on cattle and goats for survival.

The singer, who is known for her mix of African, funk and jazz styles, said living in New York did not mean she had turned her back on Africa.

“Go to Harlem! We call it Little Senegal now,” Kidjo said, laughing. “Wherever I go, Africa is in my roots.”

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NEW YORK (AP) – Mandy Moore says she isn’t among those who criticize “American Idol” contestants for wanting instant stardom.

Moore plays a singer with diva-like aspirations in the new movie “American Dreamz,” directed by Paul Weitz. The film also stars Dennis Quaid, Willem Dafoe and Hugh Grant, whose character hosts an “American Idol”-type TV talent show.

“I think they work so hard overcoming all of these obstacles just to get on the show in the first place, and then every week they’re judged in front of all of America,” the 22-year-old singer-actress told reporters recently, according to AP Radio. “It must be overwhelming, all the pressure.”

“I give them complete credit for getting up on stage,” she said. “I think I would crumble under that kind of pressure, so, no, I think they deserve all the success that they get.”

Moore’s screen credits also include roles in “Chasing Liberty” and “The Princess Diaries.”

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HONG KONG (AP) – Former Bond girl Michelle Yeoh says she has no immediate plans to wed Ferrari racing boss Jean Todt, according to newspaper reports.

“We’ve talked about it. I’ve been married before. We’ll stay together as long as we’re happy. We don’t necessarily have to get married. Marriage is a bonus. Being together is enough. I also like to be independent,” Yeoh said in Monday’s editions of the Apple Daily newspaper.

The actress was previously married to Hong Kong tycoon Dickson Poon.

As for children, Yeoh was quoted as saying, “I can’t even take care of myself. Having children is a long-term commitment. I don’t think this world is so great that I need to have many children.”

Yeoh’s screen credits include roles in “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and the 1997 James Bond film, “Tomorrow Never Dies.”

Ming Pao Daily News reported that Yeoh has finished shooting her scenes in England for Danny Boyle’s “Sunshine,” but will return there for dubbing work. Boyle is best known for directing the 1996 film “Trainspotting.”

CHADDS FORD, Pa. (AP) – Andrew Wyeth, the subject of a career retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, says he is uncomfortable viewing his own work in a museum.

“To have all your life’s work and to have them along the wall, it’s like walking in with no clothes on. It’s terrible,” Wyeth told NBC Nightly News recently.

The normally media-shy Wyeth has granted a handful of select interviews as thousands of visitors see “Andrew Wyeth: Memory and Magic,” on view at the Philadelphia museum through July 16.

Two decades ago, Wyeth stunned the art world when he revealed a secret cache of works he had done of neighbor Helga Testorf. He is still answering questions about the works, which included many nudes.

Wyeth, now 88, says he never had an affair with Testorf and that he still paints her occasionally. He recently told The Philadelphia Inquirer the story of how he informed Testorf’s husband of his wife’s modeling.

“Her husband, he’s German you know,” Wyeth told the Inquirer. “When her husband came to me, I said, “John, you don’t mind me painting your wife.’ And he said, “No, that’s fine, just don’t paint her nude.”‘

Wyeth added, “Well, I had already painted three nudes by then.”

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) – The Food Network has a new star – Guy Fieri, who beat out the competition in “The Next Food Network Star.”

Fieri’s spicy food and attitude beat out fellow finalist Reggie Southerland, a baker from Los Angeles. The reality TV episode was televised Sunday evening.

“This is kind of like hitting the nitrous button on a food career. This is full throttle,” Fieri said from New York.

Fieri is a 38-year-old graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who moved to Santa Rosa from Southern California and opened Johnny Garlic’s with a partner in 1996.

They later opened Russell Ramsey’s Chop House and Tex Wasabi’s Rock-N-Roll Sushi BBQ in downtown Santa Rosa.

Fieri will now have a run of six cooking shows starring none other than himself.

“This is beyond what I ever imagined would happened,” Fieri said. “The only thing that I can compare this to, even though it doesn’t quite compare, is the birth of my sons.”

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AP-ES-04-25-06 1340EDT