Friday, April 18, 2003

Vandross recovering from stroke

New York -- Grammy-winning singer Luther Vandross was recovering in a hospital Thursday after suffering a stroke, his spokeswoman said.

The veteran R&B performer, who turns 52 on Sunday, suffered the stroke Wednesday,said his manager, Carmen Romano.

"Family and friends are hopeful for a speedy recovery," the statement said. No further details about his condition were included.

Forbes fills Rogers' shoes

Greensburg, Pa. -- Fred Rogers' death has transformed Seton Hill University's commencement ceremonies.

Rogers, the host and creator of the children's television show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," had been scheduled to speak at the May 10 commencement of the private Roman Catholic school.

Instead, the ceremony will feature a tribute to Rogers, who died Feb. 27 of stomach cancer, and an address by publisher Steve Forbes, a former candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

Forbes, president and chief executive of Forbes Inc., agreed to speak at the ceremony out of his regard for Rogers and at the urging of his two daughters, lifelong fans of Rogers, university officials said.

Olajuwon presents face of Islam

Houston -- Houston police officers learned a lesson about Islam from former Houston Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon as part of a program to educate officers about the city's diverse communities.

Olajuwon spoke to officers Wednesday at the Hakeem Islamic Dawah Center, a mosque and Islamic education center built with money provided by the NBA star.

"This type of program is so important in today's world, where Islam has been so misunderstood by so many people," Olajuwon, a native of Nigeria, told the officers. Most Muslims are peaceful and law-abiding, he said.

Run-DMC among rap pioneers

New York -- The pioneering rap group Run-DMC tops VH1's list of the 50 greatest hip-hop acts, which includes Tupac Shakur, Nelly, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and MC Hammer.

The full list will be revealed today during a "50 Greatest Hip-Hop Artists" special.

Run-DMC -- Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Joseph "Run" Simmons and DJ Jam Master Jay, or Jason Mizell -- helped take rap mainstream with multiplatinum records and hits including "It's Tricky," and "Walk This Way" with Aerosmith in the 1980s.

Mizell, 36, was shot to death in his Queens, N.Y., recording studio in October. His killing remains unsolved.