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Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, more to honor Merle Haggard

The late country star Merle Haggard will be honored a year after his death with an all-star concert featuring his longtime friend and duet partner Willie Nelson as well as Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, John Mellencamp and more.

"Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard" will be held in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on April 6, which would have been the songwriter's 80th birthday.

Additional performers include Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams Jr., The Avett Brothers, Alison Krauss, Dierks Bentley, Ronnie Dunn, Warren Haynes, Jamey Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lucinda Williams, Ben Haggard, John Anderson, Connie Smith and Bobby Bare. Tickets go on sale March 3.

Keith Wortman, CEO of Blackbird Presents, which has produced tributes to John Lennon, Kris Kristofferson and Gregg Allman, said Nelson originally came up with the idea for a tribute concert and Haggard's wife, Theresa, and his son, Ben, helped select the artists to be included. Haggard and Nelson recorded several albums together, including "Pancho & Lefty," and Haggard's last released album, "Django and Jimmie," in 2015.

Haggard died April 6 on his 79th birthday after a career spanning five decades and dozens of iconic hits, including "Okie from Muskogee," ''Mama Tried," ''Hungry Eyes," ''Today I Started Loving You Again" and such blue collar chronicles as "If We Make It Through December" and "Workin' Man Blues."

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Online: http://musicofmerle.com

Music concert to benefit Sandy Hook victim's foundation

The principal cellist with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra is organizing a concert to benefit a foundation set up by the family of a victim of the Connecticut school shooting.

Carter Brey and other orchestra members will perform at the "Chasing the Music" event June 4 at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut.

The concert will benefit CMAK Foundation, which runs the Race4Chase kids triathlon program.

The foundation was set up by the family of 7-year-old Chase Kowalski, who was killed along with 19 other first-graders and six school staff members inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

The triathlon program serves 650 children in three states. Its summer camp program trains children to run, ride bicycles and swim, and culminates in a triathlon.

Jamie Lynn Spears shares happy update about daughter Maddie's recovery

Good news for the Spears family: Maddie has made a full recovery.

>> Jamie Lynn Spears' daughter leaves hospital after ATV accident

Earlier this month, the 8-year-old daughter of Jamie Lynn Spears was injured in an ATV accident that left her in critical condition for days. But she was eventually released from the hospital and has even returned to school.

Spears, the sister of pop star Britney Spears, took to Twitter on Saturday to share the update, saying, “Blessed to say my daughter has fully recovered & returned to her normal activities. It’s my first day back to work. Love y’all.”

>> See the tweet here

Blessed to say my daughter has fully recovered & returned to her normal activities It's my first day back to work love y'all#Godisgood pic.twitter.com/FGprExJKnl— Jamie Lynn Spears (@jamielynnspears) February 25, 2017

>> Read more trending news

After the accident, Maddie was airlifted to the hospital, where she remained unconscious for two days. Not only did she return to school to pass out valentines to her class, but she has also attended her first basketball practice since the incident. Jamie Lynn, husband Jamie Watson and Britney Spears asked fans for their prayers during the difficult time.

Jack White launches vinyl record plant in Detroit

Detroit-raised rocker Jack White is building on a vision to blend music and manufacturing in a part of his hometown that long inspired him.

The Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, guitarist, drummer and producer is overseeing the launch of a vinyl record pressing plant in the back of his Third Man Records shop north of downtown Detroit. Third Man Pressing holds its grand opening on Saturday.

The eight presses represent some of the first newly built machines installed in the U.S. in more than three decades — corresponding with a vinyl revival. White told The Associated Press on Friday that "there's so much demand for the records and so little supply."

"Two years ago we could not buy new presses," said White, decked out in yellow shoes and custom-made Third Man shirt. "We're the first place to really be the guinea pig of this."

White marvels at the bright yellow, German-made machines, which earlier this week churned out records by some legendary Detroit bands that inspired him, including The Stooges and MC5. He said the presses will kick out the jams, as it were, by pressing eye-popping, genre-spanning platters by Detroit bands of renown and then spread to other Third Man artists and those of other small labels.

The plant also is part of a revival for a part of the city where White and his former band, The White Stripes, got its start 20 years ago. White also attended high school at nearby Cass Tech, ran an upholstery shop and took "a couple classes" at Wayne State University.

"Out of the darkness comes the light: What was traditionally known as the roughest neighborhood in Detroit, the Cass Corridor, is now showing the most incredible fruits and beauty and progress," said White, who has recently collaborated with Beyoncé and A Tribe Called Quest.

White, who employed vinyl for his earliest releases, founded Third Man in Detroit in 2001 and both he and the business relocated to Nashville, Tennessee. Detroit's retail store opened in 2015. White and Shinola, a Detroit-based maker of watches, bikes and other goods, jointly bought the building.

"Down the street, Shinola is selling $2,500 turntables that they're making right there in front of people's eyes behind glass. We're going to be making records two doors down in front of glass. Can you believe this?" he mused. "This is in the Cass Corridor. You would have never have guessed any of this was going to happen. It's worth every cent, every second of energy people have put into it."

His goal is to keep expanding in Nashville and Detroit so that "there's nothing involved in the record that is not part of the Third Man system," including making record sleeves and metal plates for the presses. He likens the goal to that of another famous Detroit manufacturer, automotive pioneer Henry Ford.

"They had an idea about pouring raw materials into one end and out the other end came Model T cars," he said. "We're going to get there."

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Follow Jeff Karoub on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffkaroub . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/author/jeff-karoub.

Wisconsin man sent to prison for cutting off woman's finger

A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison after pleading no contest last year to cutting off a woman's finger as part of a ritual to honor a fellow rap music fan.

Twenty-four-year-old Jonathan Schrap was sentenced Friday on one count of second-degree reckless injury.

A complaint says Schrap and his friends were staging a "ritualistic memorial" at his house in August to commemorate a deceased member of the Juggalos, the name given to fans of the Detroit rap duo Insane Clown Posse.

WBAY-TV reports (http://bit.ly/2muwxy0 ) the woman allowed Schrap to cut her arm with a machete. She also let Schrap cut off her right pinky finger.

The mother of the woman's boyfriend convinced her to go to the hospital where staff called police.

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Information from: WBAY-TV, http://www.wbay.com

Richie recovering from procedure, postpones tour with Carey

Lionel Richie says he won't recover from a knee procedure in time to launch his tour with Mariah Carey next month.

The 67-year-old singer said in a statement Friday that their All The Hits Tour will be postponed until the summer. The 35-date trek was supposed to launch March 15 and wrap on May 27.

Richie said "unfortunately my recovery from a knee procedure will not have me 100 percent ready to start the tour." He said he doesn't want to disappoint his fans and he's looking "forward to being back onstage so we can all be 'Dancing on the Ceiling' together again."

Purchased tickets will be honored at the new dates, to be announced soon.

The top 10 songs and albums on the iTunes Store

Top Songs

1. Shape of You, Ed Sheeran

2. That's What I Like, Bruno Mars

3. It Ain't Me, Kygo & Selena Gomez

4. Body Like a Back Road, Sam Hunt

5. I Don't Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker), ZAYN & Taylor Swift

6. Million Reasons, Lady Gaga

7. How Would You Feel (Paean)Ed Sheeran

8. Chained to the Rhythm (feat. Skip Marley), Katy Perry

9. Love, Lana Del Rey

10. Cold (feat. Future), Maroon 5

Top Albums

1. FUTURE, Future

2. 24K Magic, Bruno Mars

3. Fifty Shades Darker (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Various Artists

4. Trolls (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Various Artists

5. Prisoner, Ryan Adams

6. Lemonade, Beyoncé

7. Windy City, Alison Krauss

8. Gold - EP, Jessie James Decker

9. La La Land (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Various Artists

10. Worthy of Your Name (Live), Passion

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(copyright) 2017 Apple Inc.

Court closes Robin Thicke restraining order trial to public

No public proceedings will be held in singer Robin Thicke's trial focusing on a restraining order his ex-wife wants amid allegations he abused her and their son, a judge ruled on Friday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Roy Paul ruled the two-week trial will start March 6 and be held behind closed doors as witnesses are questioned.

Actress Paula Patton's attorneys wrote in a court filing this week that they want to call 26 witnesses, and several child welfare service workers and sheriff's deputies appeared in court after being subpoenaed.

The judge will decide whether the temporary restraining order that Thicke's ex-wife obtained should be extended for up to five years.

Patton accused the "Blurred Lines" singer of severely spanking their son and being physically abusive during their marriage, which ended in 2015. In January she was granted a temporary restraining order that requires Thicke to stay away from her and have only supervised visits with his 6-year-old son.

Thicke has denied abusing his son, and his former attorney has said there was no basis for Patton's domestic violence allegations and called them retaliatory.

This week Patton's lawyers accused Thicke in a filing of evidence tampering and modifying a court order in an attempt to get her arrested for kidnapping.

Patton was granted sole custody of the boy on Jan. 26, and a judge ordered Thicke to stay away from her and her home.

To obtain the temporary restraining order, Patton included a sworn declaration alleging Thicke was abusive during their marriage and pushed her to the ground and kicked her during a fight in April 2013.

The custody dispute flared up weeks after Thicke's father, "Growing Pains" actor Alan Thicke, died in December.

Thicke and Patton dated for 10 years before marrying in June 2005. She filed for divorce in October 2014, and their judgment was finalized a few months later.

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This story has been corrected to show the ex-wife's surname is Patton, not Putton.

Police find stolen Bruce Springsteen art in drug raid

Police executing a drug raid in New Jersey have recovered a stolen piece of pop art depicting Bruce Springsteen.

NJ.com reports (http://bit.ly/2lMvdJy ) officers found the metal cutout of Springsteen after searching an apartment in Asbury Park on Feb. 17.

Police say they found two guns, various drugs and drug packaging equipment, and personal electronics. The tenant was arrested and charged.

Officials say the Springsteen portrait belongs to a local storeowner who specializes in repurposed home decor pieces. The green and white image cut into metal by a torch was stolen in November.

Springsteen's career began in the New Jersey shore city, where he frequently returns to perform.

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Information from: NJ.com, http://www.nj.com

'Real American' singer guilty: kept gun on plane, in airport

Rock guitarist Rick Derringer has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $1,000 fine after stepping off a Delta Air Lines flight from Mexico with a loaded handgun in Atlanta's airport.

Derringer told a federal air marshal he kept his gun with him on commercial airline flights 30 to 50 times a year, and never before had a problem carrying it through airport checkpoints, prosecutors said.

TSA spokesman Mark Howell said earlier that the agency investigates such statements when it can, but there's no way to substantiate claims dating back years.

In 2015, some U.S. Congress members said fake weapons, explosives and other contraband went unnoticed in 67 out of 70 tries — about 96 percent of the time — at TSA airport checkpoints.

Derringer's plea this week involves a single charge: Carrying a Kel-Tec pistol on an airplane and in a secure area of Atlanta's airport on Jan. 9.

"It was just a mistake, a simple human mistake," said Kenn Moutenot, his manager and the drummer in The Rick Derringer Band. Nothing like it will happen again, "not even a water pistol," he said Friday.

Air passengers are allowed to bring guns as checked baggage only. The unloaded firearms must be in locked, hard-sided containers that are declared to the airline when checked, according to the TSA. Ammunition also is prohibited in carry-on bags.

Derringer, 69, of Bradenton, Florida, sang the 1965 hit "Hang on Sloopy" and later recorded "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo."

Derringer has also been a writer and producer, helping to shape the careers of artists including Cyndi Lauper, Steely Dan and "Weird Al" Yankovic, and he's not done yet, embarking on a nationwide tour next month, Moutenot said.

Derringer is now working on a remake of his 1980s song "Real American," which has been used as theme music by pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. He's hoping the new version and its music video will transcend politics and bring the nation together, Moutenot said.

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