Taking Names: Monty Python sued over royalties from ‘Spamalot’

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Producer-rapper Swizz Beatz said he wants to release a series of singles — or “memorable moments” — instead of a follow-up album to 2007’s “One Man Band Man.” With the growing trend of top pop acts selling millions of singles, but falling flat in album sales, he said releasing songs is the best route for him as a known artist.

“I think that it’s a better lane for me,” said the rapper who also produced hits for Jay-Z, T.I., Beyonce and Drake. “I’m able to give the fans something to focus on that’s consistent instead of promoting this, promoting that.”

His current single, the high-energy party anthem “Everyday Birthday,” features Chris Brown and Ludacris. They performed it at the American Music Awards in November and so far the song has peaked at No. 44 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart.

Though Mr. Beatz is focusing on singles, fans shouldn’t worry; he said he has an entire album finished.

“I just don’t feel that the people want an album from me that bad, yet. But when they do, I can definitely put something together,” he said.

Mr. Beatz is still in the studio creating music for others. He said he’s working with Beyonce, Drake and Rick Ross, and soon will reunite with Nas and Jay-Z. He’s also a producer on wife Alicia Keys’ new album, “Girl on Fire,” out last week.

Miss Keys, who mostly has been mum about their marriage, recently gushed to the press that her husband and their 2-year-old son, Egypt, bring balance to her life.

“It’s a surprise because she’s so private about everything,” he said. “It’s great to see her open up a little bit and share some of that.”

Adkins: Confederate flag earpiece not meant to offend

Trace Adkins wore an earpiece decorated like the Confederate flag when he performed for the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, but has said he meant no offense by it.

Mr. Adkins appeared with the earpiece on a nationally televised special for the lighting on Wednesday. Some regard the flag as a racist symbol and criticized Mr. Adkins in Twitter postings.

But in a statement released Thursday, the Louisiana native called himself a proud American who objects to any oppression and said the flag represents his Southern heritage.

He noted that he’s a descendant of Confederate soldiers and said he did not intend offense by wearing it.

Mr. Adkins — on a USO tour in Japan — also called for the preservation of America’s battlefields and an “honest conversation about the country’s history.”

Lucas plans to help build second statue of Yoda

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