- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 14, 2005

U2 honored

Associated Press

Members of U2 yesterday received Portugal’s Order of Liberty, one of the country’s highest honors, in recognition of their work for humanitarian causes over the past 25 years.

President Jorge Sampaio presented the medals to vocalist Bono, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. in a formal ceremony at the presidential palace before the band’s concert in the Portuguese capital.

U2’s activism includes work with Amnesty International and efforts to get global powers to forgive Third World debt. The band played at the Live Aid concert for Ethiopian famine relief in 1985, and was one of the key performers last month at the Live 8 concerts, aimed at pressuring the world’s wealthiest nations to increase aid for Africa.

Riled at Rosario

New York Post

Residents of a squatters’ building in New York City’s East Village where actress Rosario Dawson and her mother, Isabel, live are talking trash about their famous neighbors.

Requesting anonymity, two tenants of the East 13th Street tenement told the New York Post that Miss Dawson and her mom have not been paying $100-a-month “dues” in the squat, which is in the process of becoming a low-income co-op.

The duo resent the fact that the movie star — who will next be seen in the film version of the Broadway musical “Rent” — is keeping an apartment in the tenement building, where her mother also has a pad.

“She’s a multimillionaire,” complained one tenant. “Our building is for low-income people.” The tenant was particularly irked when Miss Dawson enlisted Ty Pennington, host of ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover” to redecorate her studio on his show.

Isabel Dawson sees things differently.

“I’ve lived here 19 years — you’re bound to have altercations with some people,” she said. “My daughter is doing extremely well and I’m proud of her. Wherever Rosario decides to live — especially the building she grew up in as a little girl — she has that right. Whoever called you is a sad person and they need to get a life. I’m sad about it. And I’m sad my daughter gets dragged into it because of who she is.”

No longer welcome

Associated Press

Fans of rock ‘n’ roll icon Jerry Lee Lewis will no longer be allowed to tour his Mississippi home.

The “Killer’s” Nesbit residence has been closed to the public for more than a year during his lengthy divorce proceedings with his sixth wife, Kerrie McCarver Lewis.

The couple, married in 1984, were legally divorced in June. Under terms of the agreement, which was sealed, Mr. Lewis was to reportedly keep the house.

“This is a private residence now,” Mr. Lewis’ daughter, Phoebe, told the DeSoto Times Today. “We don’t plan to open it back up.”

Mr. Lewis bought the 15-room house on 30 acres in April 1973. It has been a popular tourist attraction for the past decade.

Kim Terrell, DeSoto County Tourism Association director, said the Lewis ranch will still be listed as a tourist destination.

Mr. Lewis, 69, began his career in the 1950s with such hits as “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On.” He toured this summer and is planning another major tour.

Green on screen

Los Angeles Daily News

Mekhi Phifer has found a potential tour de force role in “The Al Green Story.”

The “ER” star reports that he’s collaborating with his series’ creator, John Wells, to bring the sinner-to-saint story of the R&B; legend to the big screen.

Mr. Green, the soul crooner-turned-reverend and gospel singer, has been very candid about his religion saving him from the heathen path.

“Every night was a party,” Mr. Green has said in the past. “There was coke, there was smoke, there was wine and rum, naked women, every vice you can think of. If I hadn’t stopped all that, I’d be with Marvin (Gaye), Sam (Cooke) and Otis (Redding).”

He certainly came close to death in 1974, when a former girlfriend broke into his home and poured boiling grits on him — inflicting second-degree burns on his back, stomach and arm — before fatally shooting herself. Still, Mr. Green reigned as an international superstar throughout much of the ‘70s, with such hits as “Let’s Stay Together” and “I’m Still in Love With You.”

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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