Saturday, November 22, 2003

'Idol' star a low-key graduate

Charlotte, N.C. -- It'll be pop and circumstance at UNC Charlotte's graduation ceremony next month, with Clay Aiken among the graduating class.

The "American Idol" runner-up will pick up his diploma Dec. 20, his publicist said. And for only the second time in the school's seven-year history, graduation guests must have tickets to attend. Each ticket will be printed with a bar code and scanned at the door to prevent the use of counterfeits.

University spokesman Tony Hoppa said Aiken had asked not to perform at the ceremony and declined a seat on the stage, saying he wants to sit with his fellow students.

Aiken, 24, is finishing an independent study course at UNCC now, his last requirement toward a bachelor's degree in special education.

'Jeopardy!' no charm for Bradley

New York -- Don't sign up Ed Bradley for "Celebrity Jeopardy!"

The "60 Minutes" correspondent tried his luck at "Jeopardy!" for a story about the game show airing Sunday on the CBS newsmagazine.

He picked the category of breakfast cereals for $200 and couldn't provide the right reply for: "This fortunate cereal is magically delicious."

Bradley said Lucky Charms didn't often make it on his breakfast menu.

In another category, the clue was: "Pierce Brosnan played this superspy for the first time in 'GoldenEye.'"

"James Bond," he answered.

But as every "Jeopardy!" watcher knows, he has to phrase it in the form of a question. Two clues, and Bradley is down $400.

"Is Mike Wallace available to play the game today?" host Alex Trebek asked.

Dates set for 'Sex,' 'Sopranos'

New York -- HBO will ring in the new year with the final run of "Sex and the City," then follow up in March with the long-awaited fifth season of "The Sopranos."

"Sex" will begin the march to its series finale Sunday, Jan. 4, with the first of its eight remaining episodes. The show last aired in September, when Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) found herself being swept off her feet by a distinguished Russian artist (Mikhail Baryshnikov).

The eight-week final run of "Sex and the City" will last through most of February, leading up to season five of "The Sopranos" on Sunday, March 7.

Tupac's mom won't censor music

New York -- Afeni Shakur doesn't let her musical taste determine which of the unreleased songs by her son, rapper Tupac Shakur, will be available on his posthumous albums.

"What I don't do is censor. I wouldn't censor any artist, so I won't do that. I won't say, 'This is not good because it says something that's not nice,'" she said in a recent interview. "If he wrote it, I put it out, because my job is to put his music out, not to decide whether it's good or bad."

Not that the 56-year-old Shakur has anything bad to say about the rapper's music. Shakur, who's the executive producer of the new documentary "Tupac: Resurrection," says her son's music is timeless. She created Amaru Records after her son was shot to death in 1996.