Music still No. 1 with Moore

Washington -- While other young performers flaunt their sexuality, Mandy Moore says she doesn't feel comfortable doing that.

"There are those out there that definitely play up their sexuality and whatnot, but I don't and I never really have, so it's kind of weird to kind of see yourself in that light or for people to regard you in that light," the 20-year-old actress-singer said.

Her films include "The Princess Diaries," "A Walk to Remember" and "Chasing Liberty." Her upcoming movie "Saved!" also stars Jena Malone, Macaulay Culkin and Patrick Fugit.

Would she ever give up singing?

"No. Never. Never. Music is my passion. It's my priority. I love it," Moore said. "And it kind of challenges me each and every time, the fact that the music isn't necessarily the most successful thing that I have going on in my life."

Little town lands big stars

Waveland, Ind. -- A tiny western Indiana town is organizing a concert featuring country music stars Kenny Rogers, Sarah Evans and Ricky Van Shelton to raise money to revive the community.

The town of Waveland, population about 500, will use the proceeds of the June 5 concert to repair sidewalks, install streetlights and improve playgrounds, said Brenda Jones, one of the organizers.

"We are raising funds to help this little town stay alive," she told the Tribune-Star of Terre Haute for a story Thursday. "We need streetlights and lights for the school ball fields and money to help get this town beautified."

MTV awards show heads south

New York -- MTV's Video Music Awards are hitting South Beach.

For the first time in its 20-year history, the VMA show will venture outside the show-biz hubs of New York and Los Angeles. The 2004 show will jump off live Aug. 29 from Miami's American Airlines Arena.

"The VMAs are always the biggest, craziest party of the year, and Miami is a beautiful backdrop for this summer's show," MTV president Van Toffler said. "When we made the decision to move the VMAs this year, we found a perfect host in Miami, a town with a rich musical heritage and strong cultural diversity."

Nominees, hosts and presenters for the awards will be announced in coming weeks.

School snags Murdoch library

London -- England's Kingston University has bought a library of more than 1,000 books belonging to the late novelist Iris Murdoch, along with her notes, letters and original manuscripts.

Anne Rowe, who teaches courses on Murdoch at the university, said Thursday it had paid "near to the asking price" of $267,000.

Murdoch, one of Britain's most respected 20th-century novelists, died of Alzheimer's disease in 1999. Her husband, John Bayley, put her working library up for sale last year, saying that after remarrying he no longer had room for it in his house.

Murdoch's final years were depicted in a memoir by Bayley and an Oscar-winning film, "Iris," starring Kate Winslet and Judi Dench.


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