Thursday, June 5, 2003

Bad break for Barry Manilow

Palm Springs, Calif. -- Barry Manilow is trying to get the feeling again after walking into a wall in his bedroom and breaking his nose on May 28.

The 56-year-old singer said that he'd returned to his Palm Springs home after spending two weeks in Malibu working on longtime friend Bette Midler's upcoming Rosemary Clooney tribute album.

In the middle of night, he awoke disoriented and walked into a wall. He passed out for four hours after the accident but was OK, his manager said.

On Wednesday, his publicist, Jerry Sharell, said the bruised entertainer didn't require surgery.

"The doctors say it should heal fine and continue to be big," he joked.

Linkin Park singer hospitalized

Los Angeles -- Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington was admitted to a hospital with what the group's label described as severe back and stomach pains.

Bennington, 27, went to a Los Angeles-area hospital Friday, Warner Bros. Records said Tuesday.

"Doctors are still trying to determine the cause of the ailments," band manager Robert McDermott said.

"All touring and video shoot plans in Europe have been put on hold this month as we wait for him to get better," he said.

The rap-rock group, whose 2001 release "Hybrid Theory" was the top-selling album of the year, had 12 appearances scheduled in June throughout Europe.

Flip side of journalism

New Brunswick, N.J. -- Flip Wilson, most famous for dressing in drag as Geraldine, is the benefactor of a new scholarship for black journalism majors at Rutgers University.

The winner of the annual $23,500 Flip Wilson scholarship will be selected next spring. The decision will be based in part on a 500-word essay that focuses on some aspect of Wilson's work and its impact on television or comedy.

Wilson is best-known for portraying Geraldine, a smart-mouthed, wig- and minidress-wearing woman whose catch phrases were "What you see is what you get!" and "The devil made me do it!"

He was the host of "The Flip Wilson Show" from 1970 to 1974.

Wilson died of liver cancer in 1998.

Spector denies killing actress

Los Angeles -- Record producer Phil Spector denies that he killed an actress found dead at his mansion, telling Esquire magazine the woman shot herself after grabbing a bottle of tequila.

"She kissed the gun. I have no idea why," Spector, speaking to the media for the first time since the shooting, told the magazine for its July issue. "I never knew her, never even saw her before that night. I have no idea who she was or what her agenda was."

Esquire writer-at-large Scott Raab said Spector's "kissed the gun" remark was not literal and meant that Lana Clarkson shot herself. Clarkson was shot in the face.

Spector, 62, was arrested Feb. 3 for investigation of murder in connection with the death of Clarkson. He was released after posting $1 million bail. He has not been charged.

A sheriff's statement issued in March said investigators had discounted suicide as a possible cause of death.