- - Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rihanna, Chris Brown back together — in songs

Chris Brown and Rihanna are back together, musically speaking.

Two songs featuring the singers hit the Internet on Monday, the Associated Press reports. Mr. Brown sings on the remix of Rihanna’s sexually charged song “Birthday Cake,” and she’s on the remix of his upbeat tune “Turn Up the Music.”

Mr. Brown tweeted a link to the new version of “Turn Up the Music” on Monday, and Rihanna later retweeted it. She also tweeted about the remix for “Birthday Cake.”

Mr. Brown attacked his then-girlfriend Rihanna at a pre-Grammy Awards party in 2009. He pleaded guilty to a felony charge and is serving five years of probation. Last year, a judge eased a restraining order after an attorney for Rihanna said she didn’t object to removing the stay-away provisions.

After a three-year absence from the Grammys, Mr. Brown made his return this year, performing twice at the show and winning best R&B album. Rihanna also performed and picked up a trophy.

Band Perry christens new stage at Ryman

The young voices of the Band Perry soared in the space where pioneers of country music had been heard, but their boots were the first to tap time on the new stage.

The hot country music act was the first to perform on the new stage at Ryman Auditorium, which is often billed as the Mother Church of Country Music. According to the Associated Press, the trio’s concert Monday night was the first public performance since a 61-year-old oak floor was removed and replaced with teak laid over a reinforced structure.

Ryman officials said the new stage could last for a century or more.

The trio unveiled new songs at the show, which was the act’s first headliner concert in Nashville.

New Justin Bieber book in the works for September

He’s only 17, but pop sensation Justin Bieber is back with his second book.

HarperCollins announced Tuesday that it will publish “Justin Bieber: Just Getting Started.” The book is described as “the second official photographic book” from the multiplatinum-selling superstar.

The company says it will be released worldwide in September, according to the Associated Press.

The new book promises a look inside Justin’s world: touring the globe, making a movie and recording his new album.

His first book, titled “First Step 2 Forever: My Story,” was published in October 2010. It has sold more than a million copies in 25 languages.

Sugarland puts some blame on fans injured in collapse

Fans who were killed and injured when stage rigging and sound equipment collapsed onto them as they awaited a Sugarland concert at the Indiana State Fair failed to take steps to ensure their own safety and are at least in part to blame for their injuries, the country duo’s attorneys said.

The statement, part of a Feb. 16 response to a civil suit filed by survivors and families of some of those killed, comes in sharp contrast to earlier statements by lead singer Jennifer Nettles and appears to be an attempt to cast blame elsewhere.

Calling the powerful winds that toppled the stage Aug. 13 an “act of God,” Sugarland’s attorneys said fair officials and Mid-America Sound Corp. were responsible for the stage setup, and that the fans voluntarily assumed risk by attending the show, the Associated Press reports.

“Some or all of the plaintiffs’ claimed injuries resulted from their own fault,” according to the band’s response. Sugarland attorney James H. Milstone did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment Tuesday.

Seven people died and 58 were injured in the crush beneath the metal rigging and concert sound equipment.

Attorneys representing at least 20 law firms across Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky filed the complaint Nov. 22 in Marion Superior Court in Indianapolis alleging breach of reasonable care to the victims. The suit names as plaintiffs dozens of people injured and the families of some of those killed, and it seeks unspecified damages from Sugarland, producers, stage riggers and others associated with the show.

Lawyers for the band are seeking a jury trial.

In a Jan. 16 deposition on a lawsuit against the company that built the stage rigging, Indiana State Fair Commission Executive Director Cindy Hoye testified that Sugarland resisted delaying the start of the concert despite threatening weather.

Ms. Hoye said a representative for a concert promotion company working with the fair twice approached Sugarland about the fair’s desire to delay the show. But Ms. Hoye said the band expressed concerns about how a delay would affect the time Nettles needed to warm up and complicate the band’s travel to its next show.

Sugarland tour manager Hellen Rollens told investigators with the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration there was no discussion of delaying the show.

Earlier this month, Indiana regulators released a report saying Ms. Hoye and other fair officials were too slow to order an evacuation.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.