- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Purple reign

Prince has hidden seven purple prize-winning tickets inside random copies of his new album after being inspired by the 2005 film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

The pop star is offering the lucky winners a private performance and an exclusive tour of his mysterious home, Paisley Park in Minnesota, reports Contactmusic.com. The contest coincides with the release of his latest album, “3121,” which arrived in stores yesterday.

On Monday, Prince surprised 500 fans with an impromptu performance — featuring Sheila E. on percussion and new singing sensation Tamar — of music from the new disc at Tower Records on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles

The color purple, meanwhile, also factors in a lawsuit filed against the rocker by Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer, who claims Prince painted purple stripes and symbols promoting his new album on a 10-bedroom home he was renting from the pro-basketball standout.

According to excerpts from the lawsuit posted on Smokinggun.com, Prince/MPG Music violated its eight-month lease by “painting the exterior of the [house] with purple striping, ‘prince’ symbol, and numbers 3121. Inside the home, among other renovations, a purple monogrammed carpet was installed in the master bedroom,” the lawsuit claims.

Coming full circle

Angelina Jolie may stay in France to give birth as a tribute to her dying mother, says DenverPost.com, citing a report in London’s Sun newspaper.

Miss Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who has terminal cancer, was born in France and suggested that her daughter have the baby in France to continue a “circle of life,” the Sun reported.

Miss Jolie — who is expecting a child with actor Brad Pitt — is one of two children born to Miss Bertrand and her former husband, actor Jon Voight.

Shot in the ‘Dark’

Elvis Presley had a reputation as a night owl, and a new exhibit that opened Monday at his Graceland estate in Memphis, Tenn., gives a peek into his nocturnal activities.

There are film clips that show family and friends discussing late-night excursions to an amusement park or his favorite movie theater, which he would rent for the night.

Then there’s the television with a bullet hole in the screen.

“This is the only surviving television or appliance that Elvis shot out that was kept,” says Kevin Kern, a spokesman for Graceland.

The King, it seems, had a habit of occasionally breaking out a firearm from his gun collection and opening fire at TVs and other items. As the story goes, entertainer Robert Goulet was performing on TV when Mr. Presley blasted the 25-inch RCA that’s part of the exhibit, called “Elvis After Dark.”

“There was nothing Elvis had against Robert Goulet. They were friends,” Mr. Kern says, “but Elvis just shot out things on a random basis.”

Mr. Presley died of heart disease and drug abuse at Graceland in 1977. The “After Dark” exhibit makes no mention of how his use of prescription drugs may have affected his leisure activities.

Pryor intentions

A ceramic bowl painted by Richard Pryor raised $7,099 in an online auction benefiting an Ohio animal rights group, AP reports.

The bowl, in which Mr. Pryor painted a self-portrait before his death, was sold to GoldenPalace.com, an Internet-based casino company known for buying items online for charity and publicity.

Mr. Pryor sent the bowl to the Geauga Humane Society weeks before he died on Dec. 10. The actor-comedian, who was 65, died of a heart attack. He had been ill for years with multiple sclerosis.

The portrait was surrounded by the painted words, “Little Black Man in Big White World.” The side of the bowl has Mr. Pryor’s signature and drawings of a martini glass, lips and a cigarette.

“Richard and I were both there in spirit, and I know he did everything he could to help the auction along,” said Mr. Pryor’s widow, Jennifer.

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

On the mend

Jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain appears to be recovering well after quadruple bypass surgery Monday night.

Mr. Fountain, 75, was already up and walking yesterday, said his agent, Benny Harrell.

The musician, a New Orleans native, lost his $1.5 million house as well as his gold records and 10 musical instruments to Hurricane Katrina.

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