Metropolitan Opera singers make sure 'FOP' benefit is no flop

New York � Metropolitan Opera stars including Denyce Graves, Bryn Terfel and Samuel Ramey sang at the Waldorf-Astoria to help cure a rare genetic disorder that turns children's bodies to bone.

The musical fund-raiser Thursday was called "Songs for Sophia," in honor of 5-year-old Sophia Forshtay, who suffers from fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, or FOP. Sophia was still able to run around among the several hundred guests.

Comparing the girl's battle to New York's struggle after Sept. 11, Graves said that "meeting this little girl and seeing how spirited she is, even with all of the great heartache, we shouldn't forget that in moments of great devastation, there's always beauty, there's always love, there's always God at the center."

McCartney subs for Tyson-Lewis

Las Vegas � Paul McCartney will make a two-day concert stop in Las Vegas during his "Driving USA" tour.

The April 5-6 concerts at the MGM Grand hotel-casino's Grand Garden Arena will replace a canceled heavyweight boxing title fight between Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, hotel-casino spokesman Scott Ghertner said Friday.

The Tyson-Lewis match, scheduled for April 6, was canceled after the Nevada Athletic Commission denied Tyson a boxing license on Jan. 29. That decision came a week after a brawl at a news conference held in New York to promote the fight.

Tickets to the McCartney show go on sale Monday for $350, $250 and $125

Grammy boosts Colombia

Bogota, Colombia � Carlos Vives, who won a Grammy for the best traditional tropical Latin album, said the award "gives Colombian music the recognition it deserves."

In an interview Thursday, Vives said many believed the traditional Vallenato music he plays would never become popular abroad.

"We've dreamed of our music reaching many people," said the 40-year-old singer, who won a Grammy for "Dejame Entrar."

Vallenato, the traditional music of Colombia's northern plains, is known for its simple lyrics about village life and its specific instruments.


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