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The Beatles' iconic 'Hey Jude' is 50 years old today

It was 50 years ago today that The Beatles released their biggest hit: “Hey Jude,” whose “na na na na na na na” chant was the irresistible hook that helped rocket the song to the top of the charts during the summer of 1968. 

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“Hey Jude” was released on Aug. 26, 1968 and was No. 1 on the Billboard charts in the United States for nine consecutive weeks. That was the longest any Beatles song had sat atop the charts, and also was the longest song by the band -- more than seven minutes -- to reach No. 1.

The song’s genesis sprouted as Paul McCartney drove to visit Julian Lennon, the son of bandmate John Lennon. John Lennon had broken up with his wife, Cynthia, and as author Bob Spitz wrote in 2005, McCartney “felt particularly sorry” for 5-year-old Julian.

During the hour-long drive, McCartney began improvising a lyric to “serve as a hopeful message” for the child, Spitz wrote: “Hey Jools, don’t make it bad …”

McCartney later changed the name to Jude.

“He was just trying to console me and Mum,” Julian Lennon told Rolling Stone.

The song premiered in Great Britain on “The David Frost Show,” with the crowd memorably gathering around the band to join in the song’s coda, which takes up the final three minutes of the song.

Although the show was pre-recorded, it was the Beatles’ first public singing appearance since August 1966.

The song remains a staple at McCartney’s concerts. Fifty years have not dimmed the song’s luster.

Paul Simon makes surprise appearance at Long Island fundraiser

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon made a surprise appearance at a Long Island fundraiser Saturday night, singing four songs from his storied career, Newsday reported.

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Simon, 76, lives in Montauk, New York, several miles west of a fundraiser for the Montauk Point Lighthouse. The 12-time Grammy Award winner joined a local band, The Montauk Project, opening his set with “Late in the Evening.” He followed up with “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” and “You Can Call Me Al,” Newsday reported.

Simon’s appearance was not announced before the event, but rumors that Simon might appear spiked ticket sales, the newspaper reported. Five hundred tickets were sold 24 hours before the event, lighthouse keeper and Montauk Historical Society board member Joe Gaviola told Newsday. Fundraising organizers said they admitted 3,000 people to the show, and many purchased their tickets at the gate.

“He drew all of that in a day,” Gaviola told Newsday. He added that that the historical society, which owns the lighthouse, purposely did not make the announcement sooner. “Paul wanted this to be a low-key event and to keep it local.”

The Montauk Point Lighthouse, located on the eastern tip of Long Island, was built in 1796 and is a National Historic Landmark. It relies on visitor admission sales and fundraisers to maintain the site.

Simon has appeared in fundraisers near his home before, most notably at the Back at the Ranch fundraiser series in the 1990s

Kyle Pavone, We Came As Romans vocalist, dead at 28

Kyle Pavone, vocalist of the band We Came As Romans, has died at age 28, the band confirmed Saturday on social media.

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“Kyle’s tragic loss came too early in his life and those of his bandmates. All are devastated by his passing. We will miss his smiles, his sincerity, his concern for others, and his impressive musical talent,” the band’s statement read. “In lieu of flowers, we will be providing information regarding charity donations this coming week. The family and the band wish to thank their fans and the music community for all of their love and support as they navigate their grief.”

Pavone’s cause of death has not been released.

Investigators will conduct a toxicology test, TMZ reported.

Joshua Moore, Pavone’s bandmate, also shared the news on his Instagram page, sharing a photo of the two together.

“I love this picture so much because it shows you how I’ll always remember you,” Moore said. “The craziest, goofiest, most funny and lovable kid. I miss you so much.”

We Came as Romans is best known for their songs “Hope,” “The World I Used to Know” and “I Knew You Were Trouble.”

Their album “Tracing Back Roots” reached the eighth spot on the Billboard charts in 2013.

In August, Pavone tweeted the lyrics, “Will i be remembered or will i be lost in loving eyes,” from the band's song “Promise Me” off their latest album.

The band also shared those lyrics with the statement Saturday.

Prince's family suing doctor who prescribed pills for singer

The doctor who prescribed pills for Prince has been sued by the singer’s relatives, who charge in court documents that the physician failed to properly diagnose and treat an opioid addiction, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported.

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A wrongful-death lawsuit accuses Michael Schulenberg and his employer, North Memorial Health Care, of administering painkillers that were not needed in the days preceding Prince’s death, according to court documents.

“He failed to appropriately evaluate, diagnose, treat and counsel Prince for his recognizable opioid addiction, and further failed to take appropriate and reasonable steps to prevent the foreseeably fatal result of that addiction,” the lawsuit says of Schulenberg, a family physician. “These departures from the standard of acceptable medical practice had a substantial part in bringing about Prince’s death.”

Paul C. Peterson, a Minneapolis attorney representing Schulenberg, said he believes the case lacks merit.

“We understand this situation has been difficult on everyone close to Mr. [Prince Rogers] Nelson and his fans across the globe,” he said in a written statement to the Star Tribune. “Be that as it may, Dr. Schulenberg stands behind the care that Mr. Nelson received. We intend to defend this case.”

Prince, 57, died April 21, 2016, of an accidental fentanyl overdose, the Star Tribune reported. 

Federal search warrants issued after Prince’s death revealed that Schulenberg admitted to writing prescriptions for Prince’s longtime bodyguard and associate, Kirk Johnson, knowing they were actually for the singer, the newspaper reported.

In 2016, Prince’s heirs sued the Moline, Illinois, hospital that treated him for an opiate overdose less than a week before his death.

Steven Tyler calls in attorney to tell President Donald Trump to stop using Aerosmith songs

Rocker Steven Tyler has had to call in his attorney, telling the president to stop using Aerosmith music at rallies.

Tyler’s attorney sent President Donald Trump a cease-and-desist letter Wednesday, the day after Trump rally organizers in West Virginia played “Livin’ on the Edge,” The Associated Press reported.

This isn’t the first time the Aerosmith frontman has asked the president to stop using the band’s music. The Trump campaign received two similar letters in 2015 for using Aerosmith songs at events, CNN reported.

This week’s letter says, according to AP, that by using the song, the president “is falsely implying that our client, once again, endorses his campaign and/or his presidency.”

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Tyler also went to Trump’s favorite platform to reach out to fans and followers, Twitter, to explain that it isn’t politics. Rather Tyler doesn’t let anyone use the music without his OK. 

There has been no comment from Trump’s campaign. 

But the letter outlines that Trump has to respond with a confirmation of compliance in letter form within 24 hours of receiving the cease-and-desist request, CNN reported.

Long-lost Mick Jagger, Carly Simon duet unearthed after 45 years

A long-lost duet between two music icons has been discovered 45 years after it was recorded.

On a tape owned by Rolling Stones collector Matt Lee, Carly Simon and Mick Jagger can be heard singing a song believed to be called “Fragile,” according to Rolling Stones fan web sites, The Associated Press reported.

Fans may have heard of the recording before, but haven’t heard the actual tune, which is described as a slow love ballad. Simon discussed the duet in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine two years ago, saying that the tape had been lost.

The song could also be known as “Fool to Cry.” Rolling Stone asked her, “Maybe ‘Fool to Cry’?” during the interview, and she responded, “Maybe, maybe,” before she started talking about what happened that day in the studio.

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“We had this little back and forth at the piano for about an hour,” she said during the interview published on Nov. 29, 2016.

But they weren’t the only big names in the studio that day. 

“And then Paul and Linda [McCartney] came in, because they wanted to meet Mick. They’d never met before,” Simon said during the 2016 interview.

Simon sang a bit of the song while reminiscing about the recording during the interview. “Funny, funny, funny, funny, funny, how love can make you cry,” Simon vocalized during the interview

And it matches what is on Lee’s tape, except Jagger and Simon changed the word to change instead of cry, the AP reported.

Jagger sings most of the vocals, with Simon adding harmonies.

The duet apparently wasn’t the first collaboration between the music legends. It is said that Jagger sang backup on Simon’s hit “You’re So Vain,” and many believed he was the subject of the Grammy-nominated song.

She has denied it. 

Lee sent a copy of the song to Rolling Store to pass it Simon, the AP reported

Dustin Lynch to become newest member of Grand Ole Opry

Country singer Dustin Lynch was offered the invitation of a lifetime -- to join the Grand Ole Opry.

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Singer Trace Adkins surprised the Tullahoma, Tennessee native while he was performing on the Opry’s Tuesday night show.

Lynch removed his hat and was clearly overwhelmed, recalling his first-ever Opry performance in 2012, when he performed “Cowboys and Angels.”

“I can’t even talk or I’ll start crying,” Lynch said. 

The “Small Town Boy” singer will be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on Sept. 18, according to Rolling Stone.

Lynch has played on Brad Paisley’s Weekend Warrior Tour, and is getting ready for the Reason to Drink tour with Cole Swindell, which launches Oct. 4 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 

Max Lomas, who found Bobbi Kristina Brown in tub, dies from possible overdose, reports say

The man who found Bobbi Kristina Brown unconscious in a bathtub three years ago has died of a possible drug overdose, reports say.

>> PHOTOS: Bobbi Kristina Brown’s life in the public eye

TMZ first reported that Max Lomas, 29, was found dead in Mississippi on Wednesday. People magazine later confirmed the news, citing medical examiner's documents that said a friend found Lomas in a bathroom "with a syringe nearby." Results from a toxicology test should be available in six weeks, People reported.

Lomas reportedly was with Whitney Houston’s daughter and her boyfriend Nick Gordon in her final days conscious in early 2015 in their Roswell, Georgia, home. She never regained consciousness and officially died a few months later. 

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Lomas told People in 2016 that he had lived with them on and off for weeks and noted a lot of drugs, partying and fights. 

We were all pretty bad into drugs,” Lomas said.

Gordon lost a civil suit and was accused of being “legally responsible” for Bobbi Kristina’s death, something he has denied. The court has entered a judgment of $36 million against Gordon. 

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Eric Clapton announces first full-length Christmas album

Eric Clapton on Friday announced the release of his first full-length Christmas album, Billboard reported. 

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Set for an Oct. 12 release, “Happy Xmas” will have a blues edge to it and will contain 14 tracks and is the 24th studio album of Clapton’s career and his first since 2016 when he released “I Still Do,” Billboard reported.

The album will contain Christmas favorites such as “White Christmas,” “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger,” Rolling Stone reported. Clapton’s version of “Jingle Bells” is sung “In Memory of Avicii,” a dedication to the late disc jockey.

"I had in my head that these holiday songs could be done with a slight blues tinge, and I started to figure out how to play the blues lines in between the vocals,” Clapton told Billboard. “I got it down and one of the most identifiable songs on the album, the one that became the foundational style, is ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.’”

“Happy Xmas” is available for preorder, Billboard reported.

Former Jefferson Airplane singer Marty Balin sues hospital over botched surgery

A founder of the Jefferson Airplane lost part of his tongue and his left thumb during a botched surgery in New York, according to a lawsuit filed late Thursday.

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Marty Balin filed a suit in the Manhattan Federal Court, claiming his vocal cords were paralyzed and he lost half his tongue in a tracheotomy after open heart surgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital on March 11, 2016, The New York Daily News reported.

Balin, 76, also charged in his lawsuit that the surgery took away his ability to play guitar or sing, the newspaper reported.The lawsuit also names six doctors, Newsday reported. Balin, who wrote hits and sang lead on songs like “Miracles,” “Caroline” and “With Your Love,” needed emergency open heart surgery while he was performing. He claims he received inadequate care after his triple bypass and valve replacement, Newsday reported.

“The personnel in charge knew that the hospital was inadequately staffed, particularly in the recovery unit where Mr. Balin was sent after undergoing open heart surgery,” the lawsuit charges.

After the operation, Balin needed a tracheotomy that resulted in his tongue and vocal cords being damaged, the suit says. Tissue on his left thumb died, requiring it be amputated, the Daily News reported.

“Mr. Balin walked into the hospital able to speak and with fully functional left hand,” the suit says. “By the time Mr. Balin was finally released from the hospital, he had lost half his tongue so that he cannot speak or eat properly; he also has a paralyzed vocal cord; he has a necrotic left hand and has lost his left thumb; he had become totally disabled and has never recovered properly.”

The suit seeks unspecified damages, the Daily News reported.

“As a matter of policy, we cannot comment on the specifics of this case because it is a pending legal matter but we can share our highest priority is delivering the highest level of compassionate care to our patients,” a Mount Sinai spokeswoman told the Daily News.

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