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Taking Names: Bono, Sting among stars donating for Havel tapestry

- - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rock stars Bono, the Edge, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Yoko Ono Lennon have covered the cost of a tapestry that will be unveiled next month to honor Vaclav Havel at Prague's international airport, which has been renamed to honor the late Czech president.

The airport said the tapestry, which has been designed by the Czech-born New York-based artist Petr Sis, will be unveiled at a ceremony on Dec. 9, according to The Associated Press.

The musicians donated a total of $76,000 to cover the project proposed by Bill Shipsey, the founder of Art for Amnesty, a project of artists supporting Amnesty International.

Havel was the dissident playwright who led the 1989 revolution that toppled four decades of communist rule before becoming the country's president.

He died in December 2011 at age 75.

R. Kelly's 'Trapped' series being prepped for Broadway

Is Broadway ready for Twan, Sylvester, Pimp Lucius and "the package"? R. Kelly thinks so — and said he's working to bring the wacky characters and plot lines in his even wackier "Trapped in the Closet" series to the Great White Way.

The superstar announced on Monday night that he's had an offer to bring the cult classic to the stage, and he may even be in some performances, The Associated Press reports.

"To transform it into a Broadway version, that's what I'm working on," he told a packed house at the Sunshine Theater, where he unveiled the latest chapters in "Trapped in the Closet," which will debut on the IFC on Friday.

Mr. Kelly gave no other details about a possible Broadway adaptation of the wildly popular video opera. It got its start from a stirring series of songs Mr. Kelly debuted in 2005, which ended with a cliffhanger. The songs captured so much attention, he made an over-the-top video series about it that just got crazier and crazier as he added more chapters.

Mr. Kelly has often referred to "Trapped" as an alien, and on Monday, he said: "I'm glad to be one of the astronauts to take this thing to the unknown."

He thanked the enthusiastic crowd for accepting the series, and admitted that he always wanted to act: "Somehow, I landed 'Trapped in the Closet' from being silly."

He also joked about the ridiculous nature of the series.

"I'm just having a lot of fun. I don't have a job so I sit in the studio all day and think of stuff to do and this is just something stupid I've done that's been successful for me," he said. "I'm having a lot of fun with it."

The latest chapters introduce a few new faces, and like the others series, ends with a cliffhanger. While it's taken Mr. Kelly five years to add these latest chapters to the series, he said he won't take as long to produce more.

"I want everybody to know I've got 85 chapters of 'Trapped in the Closet' waiting in the studio for y'all," he said. "The chapters that are coming — the show, we call it — is going to exceed every chapter that you have ever seen."

Mr. Kelly capped of the evening with a rendition of one of his biggest hits, "I Believe I Can Fly," for the audience.

50 Cent licensed as boxing promoter

Rapper and entrepreneur 50 Cent is taking a swing at promoting boxing in Nevada.

Nevada Athletic Commission executive Keith Kizer said Monday the entertainer and businessman whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III won approval last week for a promoter's license, The Associated Press reports.

The company is called SMS Promotions. It's handling a Dec. 8 bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas between Cuban-born Miami-based boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa and an opponent yet to be named.

Messages left Monday with the company in New York City weren't returned.

Mr. Kizer said 50 Cent and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. had been talking about forming a promotions company called TMT Promotions.

The rapper told the commission those plans fell through, and the fledgling business was being absorbed by SMS Promotions.

Springsteen, Bon Jovi to serve on Sandy board

Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi are among the New Jersey natives joining a special fund created in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

The musicians will serve on the advisory board of the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, according to The Associated Press. The nonprofit was created by state first lady Mary Pat Christie to aid in the long-term recovery effort following the storm.

The board has raised more than $16 million, so far.

Mr. Springsteen said he knows people will rally together to help neighbors to "come back better and stronger."

Mr. Bon Jovi says the damage and devastation is unimaginable.

The musicians will join Kelly Ripa of "Live with Kelly and Michael," nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz, and musician and actor Kevin Jonas as celebrities on the board.