- - Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What a horror! Stephen King, whose books have been sending chills up millions of people’s spines for decades, will make a rare public appearance at a Massachusetts university later this year.

The author of “The Shining” and “Carrie,” famous for its gruesome finale at a high school dance, will address students at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell on Dec. 7.

Stephen King’s words on page and screen have thrilled and chilled fans for three decades, but opportunities to hear those words spoken by the author himself are rare,” the university said.

“For one night only, King will take to the stage … offering fans the chance to hear King read his work, ask him questions and listen to him discuss his passion for writing and his advice for aspiring authors.”

Mr. King and his wife, Tabitha, will endow a new scholarship fund in their names.

Bret Michaels settles suit over injury at Tony Awards

Bret Michaels and organizers of the Tony Awards have settled a lawsuit filed by the rocker after a 2009 incident in which he was hit in the head with a set piece and suffered injuries that he claimed contributed to a brain hemorrhage that nearly killed him.

The confidential settlement also covers Mr. Michaels‘ claims against CBS Broadcasting, which aired the show and the mishap. The Poison frontman blamed the network for airing the moment, which became a viral video watched by tens of millions of people online, and claimed Tony Awards producers never warned him there would be a set change after he and his band performed “Nothin’ But a Good Time.”

The whack initially left Mr. Michaels with a busted lip and broken nose but also caused brain bleeding, the lawsuit claimed. He was hospitalized in April 2010, and doctors found he had a brain hemorrhage and he later suffered a warning stroke, which the musician said nearly killed him.

Mr. Michaels‘ attorney Alex Weingarten said details of the settlement would not be released. “Mr. Michaels would like to thank his fans for their continued support,” he wrote in a statement.

Mr. Michaels sued in March 2011 in Los Angeles, but a judge later moved the case to New York City. The agreement came after a mediation session was held on Friday.

Representatives for CBS and the Tonys released a joint statement saying that “an amicable resolution” had been reached, but no further details would be released.

The musician and reality television star did not state how much compensation he was seeking when he sued but said the injury hurt his ability to perform at later shows.

Sedaka combines old hits with new children’s books

Where has Neil Sedaka been all these years? Wiggling his way into the hearts of a new generation, for one, through picture books accompanied by mini-albums offering playful takes on some of his hits.

At 73, the singer-songwriter enlisted the aid of his twin granddaughters as kiddie backup singers on the three-song CD tucked into “Dinosaur Pet,” which was released this month by Imagine Publishing and inspired by his 1960 song “Calendar Girl.”

It’s Mr. Sedaka’s second picture book using child-tailored lyrics, a popular marketing hook for other performers looking to bring their oldies music to children. Two years ago it was an alligator character for “Waking Up Is Hard to Do,” based on Mr. Sedaka’s “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.”

“My grandchildren love Papa Neil’s old rock ‘n’ roll songs. I used to sing them at their piano,” he said in a recent Associated Press interview.

He also still works plenty hard entertaining grown-ups at gigs around the world. The classically trained pianist, who said he loves Maroon 5 and Adele, recently finished his first symphony and a piano concerto, “Manhattan Intermezzo,” that he’ll debut at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Oct. 17.

“Being a Manhattan person, I wanted to give my musical feelings about being a New Yorker,” Mr. Sedaka said.

There’s also a planned musical based on his early life, “Laughter in the Rain,” covering his heady days atop the charts in the ‘50s and early ‘60s and as a Brill Building songwriter at age 19, before the Beatles and other British invaders edged out the early rockers.

There were later successes as well with the help of Elton John’s Rocket Records and the Sedaka-penned Captain & Tennille hit “Love Will Keep Us Together.”

Retirement isn’t in Mr. Sedaka’s future.

“It’s nice to be a legend, but it’s better to be a working legend,” he said. “I’m very fortunate that my voice has held.”

• Compiled from Web and wire reports

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