DENVER (AP) – Singer Patti LaBelle said she takes it as a compliment when younger musicians like Nelly and Kelly Rowland take on her music.

“Whenever they do my songs, I know I’m in the land of the living,” she said outside Michael Jordan’s party this weekend before Denver’s NBA All-Star game.

Jordan, who threw the party to launch the Air Jordan XX, planted a kiss on the rhythm ‘n’ blues diva on the red carpet. Fans cheered LaBelle, whose latest hip-hop collaboration resulted in a video with Outkast.

Before the party, LaBelle, who lost three sisters to cancer before they were 44, received an award from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She has worked with a number of charitable organizations on issues like cancer, AIDS, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

“Thank God people are listening,” LaBelle said.

BOSTON (AP) – Jose Canseco may need to use his book advance to cover his tax bill.

The slugger-turned-author owes more than $32,000 in back taxes to Massachusetts and is listed on a “cybershame” database of people who underreported or failed to report income, The Sun of Lowell reported Saturday.

Canseco sent ripples through baseball with his book, “Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big.”

In it Canseco calls himself the “godfather of steroids in baseball” and names baseball players he says used steroids, including former teammate Mark McGwire. McGwire has repeatedly denied steroid use

The newspaper obtained copies of two liens totaling $29,841 the Massachusetts Department of Revenue placed on property owned by Canseco.

Canseco’s agent, Doug Ames, said the taxes were paid to Massachusetts but that the accounting firm that handled Canseco’s taxes did not file an income tax return as required.

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) – Queen Noor of Jordan says her husband put Middle East peace ahead of his health.

She recalled that when peace talks were stalling, former President Clinton asked King Hussein to help. He temporarily halted his cancer treatment to “fervently help the peace process out of stalemate,” she said.

Queen Noor has spent much of her royal tenure as advocate of world peace and justice, and didn’t stop her activism after the death of her husband in 1999 of cancer.

Speaking at the Aspen Writers’ Foundation, Noor said she said the faith King Hussein put in the possibility of peace still motivates her.

“True peace comes from your heart’s desire for your neighbor’s well-being. We all can extend a hand to a neighbor. Take your own leap of faith,” she said.

TORONTO (AP) – Chris Landreth may be going to the Oscars, but he knows that’s no guarantee of success: His film honors an animation pioneer who made his own trip to the Academy Awards before landing on the streets here, panhandling.

Landreth’s animated short film “Ryan” is a tribute to animator Ryan Larkin, who created groundbreaking animated films in the 1960s and 1970s before falling on hard times with addictions to cocaine and alcohol.

Part documentary, part animation, “Ryan” uses computer animation that peels away skin and bone to reveal fluctuating collapsed skulls, decayed bodies and whittled skeletons as a visual metaphor for personal and psychological scars.

“What I wanted to do was use computer graphics for a different purpose: To reflect human nature in a visual way,” said the filmmaker, who formerly worked on the television show “Alias.”

In “Ryan,” Landreth urges Larkin, a one-time Oscar nominee, to stop drinking and get back into the business, but is rebuffed. Larkin lives on welfare in a Montreal church-run mission and panhandles.

Landreth, a Chicago native living in Toronto, praised The National Film Board of Canada for supporting the film.

“I would never get this made in the United States,” he said. “The fact that they are doing stuff that is so weird and unique is a real inspiration.”


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