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Fellow teen idol Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees remembers David Cassidy

Few people knew the late David Cassidy like Monkees band member and former teen idol Mickey Dolenz.

>> Read more trending news

Dolenz told Billboard that he met Cassidy early on in their careers and kept in touch with him through the years. They even toured together with Peter Noone in 2013 in “The World’s Greatest Teen Idols” tour.

He told the publication after Cassidy’s death:

We just sort of immediately hit it off in the same way that Davy Jones and I hit it off early, and I think for the same reason. I’d been a child star. I remember Davy Jones from the very early days of the auditions before we were even cast. David Cassidy [had] been born and raised in the business, as had I. So yeah, there was a camaraderie. That happens a lot in any business, but in our business especially. You meet people that have run the gauntlet [and] been through the fire. So you do tend to identify and commiserate with people that have been through the same thing that you have.

Dolenz said that Cassidy always struggled with fame and the business he was raised in, wanting to branch out artistically.

“Like many others, I know he got frustrated in that he wanted to move on. He wanted to play rock 'n' roll. He wanted to play blues. And let’s face it: The hardcore fans and the people that came to see him, they obviously wanted to hear those hits,” Dolenz said.

He continued, “I knew, of course, that David had his demons. Everybody has had their demons in their lives, especially as you start getting older. I kind of wish, and I tweeted this recently, I kind of wish I’d been more help. But I don’t know what I could have done.”

Cassidy died in a Florida hospital surrounded by his family on Tuesday after being admitted days earlier with organ failure. He was 67 years old.

Following his death, many of his famous fans shared tributes to him on social media, and his nephew, Jack Cassidy, thanked fans for their support.

“Thank you all for the love and support your giving my uncle, my family, and me … The responses have been sincerely beautiful!” he tweeted.

Jimmy Fallon shares hilarious and gross Thanksgiving fails

Leave it to Jimmy Fallon to help his fans get over their Thanksgiving dinner fails.

>> Read more trending news

On Wednesday night, the comedian and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” host shared some of his fan-submitted Thanksgiving fails that will make you thankful that your dinner came out much better!

Not even old grandpa got a pass when it came to some of these disgusting, yet hilarious, fails!

“My grandpa was making mashed potatoes when his dentures fell into them. He stared right at me and after he put them back in, said, ‘Don’t you tell a soul,'” one fan wrote.

Uncles also weren’t immune from embarrassment when a fan wrote, “My uncle got so drunk that he tried cutting the turkey with the handle.”

One fan shared one hilarious fail that came at their mother-in-law’s expense during Thanksgiving meal prep.

“One year, my mother-in-law was making gravy. She poured the gravy in the strainer and forgot to put a pan underneath, and it all went down the sink!” the writer tweeted. Well, hopefully the turkey wasn’t too dry after that!

Another shared an absolutely grotesque story of an undercooked turkey making its way to the dinner table.

“One year the turkey still had pink juice coming from it after cooking, but my dad said it was just ‘leg juice,’” one fan wrote in. “Everybody but me ended up with food poisoning.”

OMG, people! Use a meat thermometer!

Hopefully your Thanksgiving meal goes off without any fails (or family drama).

George Avakian, jazz producer and scholar, dies at 98

George Avakian, a Russian-born jazz scholar and architect of the American music industry who produced essential recordings by Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and other stars has died at age 98.

Avakian's daughter, Anahid Avakian Gregg, confirmed that her father died Wednesday morning at his home in Manhattan. No further details were immediate available.

Avakian, an executive at Columbia Records and Warner Bros. among other labels, helped popularize such consumer standards as liner notes, the long-playing album and the live album.

Few could claim as many milestones as Avakian, who started out as an Ivy League prodigy rediscovering old jazz recordings and became a monumental industry figure and founder of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, presenters of the Grammys. Through the artists he promoted and the breakthroughs he championed, Avakian helped shape the music we listen to and the way we listen to it.

"The innovations Avakian brought or helped bring to the recording industry are so fundamental and taken for granted today that most people under the age of 70 would find it hard to imagine there was ever a time when they didn't exist," DownBeat magazine declared in presenting Avakian a lifetime achievement award in 2000.

His contributions date back to the late 1930s, when he was an undergraduate at Yale and a jazz fan frustrated by the limited availability of his favorite music. He wrote to numerous companies and finally convinced Decca to let him compile "Chicago Jazz," widely regarded as the first jazz album and among the first jazz records to include liner notes, written by Avakian.

"Decca said in essence, 'We don't know quite what jazz in those cities is about but you seem to know so why don't you go ahead and produce them,'" Avakian told JazzWax in 2010.

Avakian was soon working on new and old music, documenting and making history, and jazz's stature was changing from popular entertainment to art. He prepared a series of reissues at Columbia that featured recordings by Armstrong, Ellington and Bessie Smith and helped launch the inclusion of alternate takes of individual songs. He produced the classic "Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy" and one of Dave Brubeck's most popular albums, "Dave Digs Disney." He also signed up Davis for Columbia and co-produced "Miles Ahead," the 1957 album that began Davis' collaborations with arranger Gil Evans and established him as among the first jazz superstars of the post-World War II era.

"I saw him as the best trumpet ballad player since Louis Armstrong," Avakian told The Wall Street Journal in 2005.

The music business was rapidly changing in the 1940s and '50s, thanks in part to Avakian. Columbia was the industry leader in issuing classical recordings as albums and Avakian, as head of Columbia's pop division, oversaw the landmark 1948 release of 100 long-playing records for pop and jazz. Featuring Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore and other artists, they were pressed on vinyl that was thinner than the traditional 78 rpm "shellac" records and played at what became the standard speed, 33 1-3 rpm.

In the 1950s, Avakian supervised two historic live recordings: "Benny Goodman Live at Carnegie Hall 1938" and "Ellington at Newport." The Goodman concert, released in 1950, was among jazz's first double albums, first live albums and first to sell a million copies. "Ellington at Newport," featuring a sensational 27-chorus solo by tenor saxophone player Paul Gonsalves on "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue," captured the 1956 performances that revived the middle-aged Ellington's career.

Avakian's other achievements ranged from producing Bob Newhart's Grammy-winning debut "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart" and Sonny Rollins' comeback album "The Bridge" to managing Keith Jarrett and teaching, at Columbia University, one of the first courses on jazz. In 1958, he was among the founders of the recording academy, which in 2009 presented him a Trustees Award for lifetime achievement. His other honors included an advocacy award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Commandeur des Arts et Lettres from France and the Soviet Union's highest honor, the Order of Lenin.

Avakian, essentially retired from the music industry since the 1970s, was a breeder of race horses in recent years, notably the champion pacer President Ball. Avakian was married to the violinist Anahid Ajemian, with whom he had three children. She died on June 13, 2016, at age 92.

He was born in 1919 in the Russian city of Armavir, the child of wealthy Armenians who fled from the civil war that followed the 1917 revolution. Once settled with his family in New York, Avakian fell in love with jazz listening to the radio, on low volume, so his parents wouldn't know he was still awake. When he entered Yale, jazz was still a relatively new and popular genre and few sensed it had lasting value.

Avakian was barely out of his teens when he met Armstrong. While at Yale, he helped unearth tracks from Armstrong's foundational Hot Five and Hot Seven sessions from the 1920s. After serving in the infantry during World War II, when Avakian was based in the Philippines, he was hired by Columbia and was soon back in touch with Armstrong.

"Louis remains the artist I most admired and most enjoyed recording, by a distinct though relatively narrow margin," Avakian told JazzTimes in 2000, "narrow because it was also an enormous pleasure working with Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Mahalia Jackson, Erroll Garner, Sonny Rollins, Dave Brubeck and a host of others who were not just great artists, but among the best friends I have ever had."

Macy's Thanksgiving parade revels on amid tight security

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade featured balloons, bands, stars and heavy security in a year marked by attacks on outdoor gathering spots.

With new faces and old favorites in the lineup, the Americana extravaganza made its way through 2 ½ miles (3.22 kilometers) of Manhattan on a cold morning.

"The crowds are still the same, but there's a lot more police here. That's the age we live in," Paul Seyforth said as he attended the parade he'd watched since the 1950s.

"Not a lot's changed — the balloons, the bands, the floats — and that's the good thing," said Seyforth, 76, who'd flown in from Denver to spend his 50th wedding anniversary in New York and see this year's parade.

The televised parade was proceeding smoothly, though about midway through, a gust of wind on a largely calm day blew a candy-cane balloon into a tree branch, and it popped near the start of the route on Manhattan's Upper West Side. No one was injured.

In 2005, one of the parade's signature giant balloons caught a gust, hit a Times Square lamppost and injured two people. The candy cane was smaller than the giant balloons.

Timothy McMillian and his wife, their 9-year-old daughter and his in-laws started staking out a spot along the route at 6:30 a.m. They'd come from Greensboro, North Carolina, to see in person the spectacle they'd watched on TV for years.

McMillian, a 45-year-old schoolteacher, booked a hotel months ago, but he started to have some concerns about security when a truck attack on a bike path near the World Trade Center killed eight people on Halloween.

"With the event being out in the open like this, we were concerned," he said. "But we knew security would be ramped up today, and we have full confidence in the NYPD."

Authorities say there is no confirmation of a credible threat to the parade, but they were taking no chances after both the truck attack and the October shooting that killed 58 people at a Las Vegas country music festival.

Four activists jumped over barriers and briefly sat down in the street at about 9:10 a.m. to protest the end of a program that extended protections to immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children, according to a spokesman for activist group Cosecha. Police quickly escorted them back. No one was arrested and the parade was not delayed.

New York Police Department officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors were circulating among the crowds, sharpshooters were on rooftops and sand-filled city sanitation trucks were poised as imposing barriers to traffic at every cross street. Officers also were escorting each of the giant balloons.

The mayor and police brass have repeatedly stressed that visitors shouldn't be deterred. And Bekki Grinnell certainly wasn't.

"When your kid from Alaska is marching in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, you come," said Grinnell, whose daughter was marching with the band from Colony High School in Palmer, Alaska. Grinnell said she wasn't worried about security because of the police presence: "I think we're in a safe spot."

Other paradegoers also showed their appreciation for police: The NYPD marching band and a group of mounted officers got some of the biggest cheers from spectators lined up as many as 15 deep along barricades. Among other crowd favorites: as did the SpongeBob SquarePants balloon.

The 91st annual parade featured new balloons including Olaf from the Disney movie "Frozen" and Chase from the TV cartoon "Paw Patrol" will be among the new balloons Thursday, along with a new version of the Grinch of Dr. Seuss fame.

Smokey Robinson, The Roots, Flo Rida and Wyclef Jean were among the stars celebrating, along with performances from the casts of Broadway's "Anastasia," ''Dear Evan Hansen" and "SpongeBob SquarePants." The lineup included a dozen marching bands, as well as the high-kicking Radio City Music Hall Rockettes — and, of course, Santa Claus.

"This is my favorite thing ever," musician Questlove told The Associated Press as he got ready to ride the Gibson Guitars float with his bandmates in The Roots and late-night host Jimmy Fallon of "The Tonight Show," where The Roots are the house band. Questlove said being in the parade is "probably my favorite perk" of the job.

"To go from being a spectator to being up here, it's kinda cool," he said.

Added singer-songwriter Andy Grammer as he got on the Homewood Suites float: "It's kind of like being at the center of Thanksgiving."

___

Associated Press radio correspondent Julie Walker and Associated Press writer Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.

David Cassidy’s younger brother Shaun offers touching tribute on Twitter

Teenage heartthrobs run in the Cassidy family. David Cassidy’s younger brother, Shaun Cassidy, who was also a teen idol and singer in the 1970s, remembered his late brother with a touching tribute on Twitter after the pop culture icon’s death Tuesday from organ failure.

>> Read more trending news

“When I was a little boy and my big brother would come to visit, the first call of business would be a punishing pillow fight. During the battle, he would regale me with hysterical stories of our father, often culminating in his taking a giant leap off my top bunk,” Cassidy posted on Twitter, along with a black and white photo of the boys as children.

“I tried to catch him of course. I always tried to catch him. But I never could. Now, I will carry him, along with all of the funny/sad/extraordinary days we shared, none more filled with love than these last few at his side.”

>> Related: ‘Partridge Family’ star, ‘70s teen idol David Cassidy dead at 67

Eight years younger than David, Shaun was the oldest son of Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones, while David was Jack’s only child with his first wife, Evelyn Ward. In addition to being his step-mother, Shirley Jones played David Cassidy’s on-screen mother in the ‘70s musical sit-com “The Partridge Family.”

The relationship between Cassidy and his family was strained over the past years over his battle with alcoholism. Several months before his death, a video of Cassidy struggling to perform at a live show raised concerns about his well-being. Family and fans thought he had relapsed, instead he revealed he was suffering from dementia.

Regardless of past estrangements, his family rushed to his side after hearing of his hospitalization. A source told People magazine, Cassidy “was delighted to see them … There’s been total resolution within the family. They will always be there for him.”

David Cassidy passed away in a Florida hospital on Nov. 21. at the age of 67.

An outpouring of tributes came from celebrities, including Danny Bonaduce — who played David’s television brother — John Stamos, Marie Osmond and Carnie Wilson.

>> Related: Music legend and 'Touched by an Angel' star Della Reese dead at 86

Cassidy is survived by half-brothers Shaun, Patrick and Ryan; daughter Katie Cassidy and son, actor Beau Cassidy.

Jimmy Fallon, Maroon 5 pull street performing prank in NYC subway station

An oddly familiar-looking band of street musicians treated New York subway commuters to a jam session, and it turns out it was made up of Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and James Valentine and “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon in disguise. Disguised as buskers -- people who perform in public for donations -- the trio performed a rousing rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” and the Maroon 5 hit. “Sugar” at the 50th Street subway station

>> Read more trending news

The commuters weren’t in on the joke, and their reactions when the subway musicians’ revealed their true identities were priceless.

This isn’t the first time Fallon has pulled this busking prank. Previously, he went undercover with his good friend, Miley Cyrus, to surprise a bunch of rowdy tourists. 

After devising new identities — with Cyrus becoming “Charlene” and Fallon playing “Bart” — the pair donned their disguises and headed to the Rockefeller Center subway station. “No one knows that this is going to happen,” Fallon told viewers before he began busking with Cyrus. “No one knows that it’s Miley Cyrus. Let’s do this.”

Michael Jordan replaces family’s signed jersey stolen from home after fire

A family received a surprise from NBA legend Michael Jordan after one of his signed jerseys was stolen from their home when it burned down in October.

Officials with the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office said the family was forced out of its Rock Creek, Wisconsin, home on Oct. 11 when it caught fire. 

>> Read more trending news

Authorities said a family member went to the house on Nov. 2, after the fire, and noticed two men behind it with a vehicle. The family member told officials that the men said they were looting the house and then left with a garbage can full of items. 

Authorities said they later arrested one of the men. 

According to officials, a signed No. 45 Michael Jordan jersey was among the items taken by the men and is believed to have been sold. 

The Star Tribune reported Monday that the family’s daughter, Kelsey Schiel, got the item signed by Jordan at his Chicago restaurant in 1995. The meetup was coordinated by Starlight Children's Foundation, an organization that supports hospitalized children and their families. At the time, Schiel was battling a life-threatening illness. Now 28, she has beaten the disease that she now likes to keep private.

“It’s devastating to know that someone stole such an important item,” Schiel said. “I really hope that whoever has it realizes its importance and turns it in. We won’t ask questions; it’s just really special to me.”

According to the Star Tribune, Jordan heard about the robbery and is having the jersey replaced.

“Michael was very sorry to hear about what happened to the Schiel family and was happy to send Kelsey a new signed jersey,” a representative for Jordan said.

Weinstein's Impact: List of men accused of sexual misconduct

Since The New York Times published allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein in October, multiple men in entertainment, media and politics in the U.S. and beyond have faced allegations ranging from inappropriate behavior to forced sexual misconduct to rape.

To be sure, prominent men have faced sexual misconduct claims before. But the accusations against Weinstein have opened a floodgate, sparked an international conversation and put new pressure on companies, industries, and political leaders to respond. President Donald Trump has condemned some of the accused, been more muted about others, and found himself again being asked about sexual harassment and misconduct allegations leveled against him during last year's presidential campaign. The Republican says they're fake.

The #Metoo moment is also prompting re-examination of past sexual misconduct claims against powerful men, including Democratic former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. He was impeached and then acquitted of perjury and obstruction of lawmakers' investigation into his sexual encounters with a White House intern, and he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit stemming from his time as Arkansas governor.

A look at some of the men accused since the Weinstein accusations emerged:

Entertainment:

— Celebrity chef John Besh — Accused by 25 women of sexual harassment. He has stepped down from the company he founded.

— Singer Nick Carter — Accused by pop singer Melissa Schuman of raping her approximately 15 years ago. Carter has denied her allegations.

— Comedian Louis C.K. — Accused by five women of sexual misconduct. Planned release of film "I Love You, Daddy" halted. Netflix special canceled. He says the allegations are true and has apologized.

— Cinefamily executives Hadrian Belove and Shadie Elnashai — Accused of sexual misconduct. Movie theater shut down in the wake of allegations due to crippling debt.

— Actor Richard Dreyfuss — One woman alleges sexual harassment. He denies the allegation.

— Film producer Adam Fields — Accused of offering a promotion to a woman at his former employer, Relativity Media, in exchange for sex. He has denied the allegations.

— Director-producer Gary Goddard — Accused by one man of sexually molesting him when the man was 12. He denies the allegation.

—Casting employee Andy Henry — Admitted to urging women to take off their clothes during coaching sessions in 2008 while working on the "CSI" series. He was fired by his current employer.

— Actor Dustin Hoffman — Accused by woman of sexual harassing when she was 17. He has apologized for his behavior.

— Actor Robert Knepper — Accused by one woman of sexual assault. He denies the allegations.

— Showrunner Andrew Kreisberg — Accused by 19 women of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching. The "Supergirl" and "Arrow" showrunner has been suspended by Warner Bros. Television Group. He told Variety he has made comments on women's appearances and clothes "but they were not sexualized."

— Pixar and Disney Animation chief John Lasseter — Accused by several women of unwanted touching and has announced he is taking a six-month leave of absence. He has acknowledged some "missteps" with employees and apologized for any behavior that made workers uncomfortable.

— Actor Jeremy Piven — Accused by three women of sexual misconduct. He denies all allegations.

— Filmmaker Brett Ratner — Accused by at least six women of sexual harassment. Playboy shelved projects with Ratner and Ratner stepped away from Warner Bros. related activities. He denies the allegations.

— Comedy festival organizer Gilbert Rozon — Accused by at least nine women of sexually harassing or sexually assaulting them. Rozon stepped down as president of Montreal's renowned "Just for Laughs" festival and apologized "to all those I have offended during my life."

— Producer Chris Savino — Accused of harassing up to 12 women. Fired from Nickelodeon. He has apologized for his behavior.

— Actor Steven Seagal — Accused by two women of rape. He denies the allegations.

— Def Jam Records mogul Russell Simmons — Accused by model Keri Claussen Khalighi of coercing her to perform a sex act and later penetrating her without her consent in his New York apartment in 1991. Simmons has disputed her account, saying the relationship was consensual.

— Actor Tom Sizemore — Accused of groping an 11-year-old actress in 2003. Utah prosecutors declined to file charges, citing witness and evidence problems. He denies the allegation.

— Actor Kevin Spacey — Accused by at least 24 men of sexual misconduct or assault. London police reportedly investigating two sexual assaults. Fired from "House of Cards" and replaced in Ridley Scott's completed film "All the Money in the World." Massachusetts prosecutors are investigating one allegation. His former publicist has said he is seeking unspecified treatment.

— Actor Jeffrey Tambor — Two women — an actress on his show "Transparent" and his assistant — allege sexual misconduct. He denies the allegation, saying in a statement that he has "never been a predator — ever." Tambor said this week he doesn't see how he can return to the Amazon series.

— Actor George Takei — One man alleges sexual assault. He denies the allegation.

— Writer-director James Toback — Accused by hundreds of women of sexual harassment. Beverly Hills police investigating complaints. He has denied the allegations to the Los Angeles Times.

— "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner — Accused by one woman of sexual harassment. He denies the allegation.

— Producer Harvey Weinstein — Accused by dozens of women of sexual harassment or sexual assaults, including rape. Fired by The Weinstein Co. and expelled from various professional guilds. Under investigation by police departments in New York, London, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex, but he has apologized for causing "a lot of pain" with "the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past."

— Actor Ed Westwick — Accused by two women of sexual assault. The BBC pulled an Agatha Christie adaptation from its television schedule and halted production on a second sitcom starring the former "Gossip Girl' actor. Los Angeles police are investigating. He denies the allegations.

___

Media, publishing and business:

— Billboard magazine executive Stephen Blackwell — Accused of sexual harassment by one woman. He has resigned from the magazine.

— Penguin Random House art director Giuseppe Castellano — Accused by one woman of sexual harassment. Penguin Random House is investigating. Castellano has not commented.

— New Republic publisher Hamilton Fish— Multiple sexual harassment allegations. He has resigned from the magazine.

— Journalist Mark Halperin — Accused of harassing about 12 women while at ABC News. Book contract terminated. Fired from job at NBC News. He has denied some of the allegations.

— Artforum publisher Knight Landesman — Accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and sued by one woman. He has resigned from the magazine.

— NPR news chief Michael Oreskes — Accused of inappropriate behavior or sexual harassment by at least four women while at The New York Times, NPR and The Associated Press. He has been ousted from NPR.

— Amazon executive Roy Price — Accused by one woman of sexual harassment. He resigned from Amazon.

— PBS and CBS host Charlie Rose — Accused by several women of unwanted sexual advances, groping and grabbing women, walking naked in front of them or making lewd phone calls. He has apologized for his behavior, but has questioned the accuracy of some of the accounts.

— New York Times White House reporter Glenn Thrush — Accused of making drunken, unwanted advances on women. He disputes some of the accusations but has said he had had a drinking problem and apologized for "any situation where I behaved inappropriately."

— Webster Public Relations CEO Kirt Webster — Accused of sexual assault by one woman. Firm renamed and Webster is "taking time away."

— Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner — Accused by one man of sexual harassment. He says he did not intend to make the accuser uncomfortable.

— New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier — Accused of sexually harassing numerous women. Removed from the masthead of The Atlantic magazine. He has apologized for his behavior.

— NBC News booker Matt Zimmerman — Accused of inappropriate conduct by multiple women at the network. He was fired from NBC.

___

Politics:

— Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel — Accused of sexually inappropriate comments and behavior toward a number of women, Bittel resigned. Meanwhile, Democratic state Sen. Jeff Clemens resigned after a report that he had an extramarital affair with a lobbyist, and Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala is being investigated by the Senate over allegations of harassment and groping. Latvala has denied the allegations.

— Former President George H.W. Bush — Accused of patting seven women below the waist while posing for photos with them in recent years, well after he left office. The 93-year-old Republican has issued repeated apologies through a spokesman "to anyone he has offended," with the spokesman noting that the former president uses a wheelchair and that his arm sinks below people's waists when they take photos with him.

— U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) — Accused of sexual harassment toward staffers in his office, and has settled one claim of harassment. He has denied the allegations, even the one he settled.

— Two Minnesota state lawmakers — Democratic Sen. Dan Schoen and Republican Rep. Tony Cornish — said they would resign after they were accused of misdeeds that ranged from groping colleagues to persistent unwanted sexual advances and sexting.

— British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon — Accused of inappropriate advances on two women, the Conservative resigned. Sexual harassment and assault allegations have also emerged against a number of other U.K. political figures. Labour Party legislator Carl Sargeant is believed to have taken his own life after harassment allegations cost him his post as the Welsh government's Cabinet secretary for communities and children. He had asked for an independent inquiry to clear his name.

— U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) — Accused of forcibly kissing a woman while rehearsing for a 2006 USO tour; Franken also was photographed with his hands over her breasts as she slept. Franken has apologized, while maintaining that he remembered the rehearsal differently. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called for an ethics investigation of Franken.

— Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover — Stepped down as speaker this month after news surfaced that the Republican had settled a sexual harassment claim from a GOP caucus staffer. Hoover denied the harassment allegation but said he sent consensual yet inappropriate text messages. He remains in the Legislature.

— U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore (R.-Ala.) —Accused of sexually assaulting two women decades ago when they were teenagers; about a half-dozen other women have accused Moore of inappropriate conduct. The former state Supreme Court chief justice denies the allegations. He has rebuffed pressure from national Republican leaders to step aside; the state GOP is standing by him.

___

Sports:

— International Olympic Committee member Alex Gilady — Accused by two women of rape and by two others of inappropriate conduct. Gilady denied the rape accusations, said he didn't recall one of the other allegations, but acknowledged a claim he'd propositioned a woman during a job interview 25 years ago was "mainly correct." He stepped down as president of an Israeli broadcasting company he founded. The IOC has said it is looking into the allegations.

— Former South African soccer association president Danny Jordaan — Accused by former member of parliament Jennifer Ferguson of raping her in 1993. Jordaan denies the accusation.

Wendy Williams said she was groped on live TV, fans named names

Wendy Williams has her own story about workplace sexual harassment, but the talk show host is trying to keep mum about who it involves.

While discussing the recent slew of sexual assault allegations against veteran journalist, Charlie Rose, Williams, 53, revealed that her least favorite guest on her show was one who had groped her on live television, Inside Edition reported.

>> Read more trending news 

“My worst guest, I’m not gonna name, but I can tell you this -- it had to do with some groping and you all saw it, but didn’t say a word,” Williams  told viewers on her live show Tuesday. “And I felt it and I didn’t say a word. My staff saw it, and, you know, that guest will never be here anymore. He’s not relevant anymore anyway.” 

The television host said that when the individual went further than a quick embrace, she didn’t know how to react.

“He hugs me, but lays in my breast inappropriately and I didn’t know what to do because I’m brand new on TV, whereas now, I would definitely push somebody through a glass coffee table. I didn’t know what to do,” she said.

She continued, saying that guest looked up at her, saying, “Oh! You’re not Oprah!” 

“I’m two seconds away from saying his name but it’s not worth it. However, if I see you in the mall, I’ll tell you,” she told viewers.

Williams maintained that she wouldn’t be revealing who she was referring to, but viewers pulled out their own receipts. Photos of comedian Gilbert Gottfried resting his face on Williams’s chest during a 2011 appearance quickly spread. Wendy can be seen grimacing in the photo while Gottfried grabs her tightly around the waist.

Gottfried, 62, denied having any recollection of the incident when contacted by Inside Edition. When asked about being banned from her show, he said wasn’t aware if he had. 

As of now, Williams has neither confirmed nor denied that Gottfried was whom she referred to.

Meghan McCain secretly marries conservative analyst Ben Domenech

Meghan McCain has tied the knot.

The co-host of ABC’s “The View” exchanged nuptials on Tuesday with conservative analyst Ben Domenech, 35, in a secret Sedona, Arizona, ceremony on her family’s ranch Tuesday. 

“Meghan McCain and Ben Domenech were married at the McCain family lodge in Sedona, Arizona,” a representative  for McCain told People in a statement Wednesday. “The bride’s father, Senator John McCain, gave her away, and they were married by John Dickerson. Following the ceremony, McCain and Domenech celebrated with dinner and dancing surrounded by their family and close friends.” 

>> Read more trending news

Until recently, few people knew exactly who had won the heart of the Arizona Senator’s daughter. She had referenced her “boyfriend” multiple times on social media, but did not disclose his name until early November, when news of her engagement broke. McCain, 33, told her co-hosts, “We’ve been together for years, and we have been engaged for a while, and it was a secret. I was hoping to get married and people wouldn’t find out, but people talk sometimes.” 

She revealed that the couple became engaged in July at Mayo Clinic, where her father was battling brain cancer. 

Related: Meghan McCain confirms engagement

Domenech — a conservative blogger and publisher of conservative online magazine “The Federalist” — has definitely earned John McCain’s seal of approval. On an October appearance on “The View,” he shared, “Actually, he’s a very fine man. I’m very proud and very happy that they’re so happy together.” 

“Yesterday I was deeply blessed to give away my little girl at a ceremony with family & friends in #Arizona. Congratulations @MeghanMcCain & @bdomenech – we are so happy for you!” John McCain tweeted Wednesday.

Although no pictures have been published so far, McCain shared a picture on her Instagram referencing her impending Tuesday nuptials, where she would later be surrounded by approximately 100 guests.

“#AlmostTime,” she captioned a photo of slippers that read, “I do!”

“Wait for people who love strong women,” McCain advised earlier in November when talking about relationships on her daytime show. “The men who love strong, independent women, they’re out there. Don’t settle for less.” 

New York tabs share 'I'm With Perv' headlines on Trump

President Donald Trump's hometown tabloids have nearly identical front cover headlines to report his endorsement of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. They say, "I'm With Perv" and I'm With the Perv!"

The New York Daily News and New York Post often tackle the same topics on their front page, but only when the stars align do their colorful headline writers get the same idea. Both were reporting on Trump's backing of Moore, who is accused of sexually assaulting or molesting two girls decades ago. Moore denies the charge.

The News' cover headline is "I'm With Perv" is bracketed by pictures of the two men. Trump is pointing an index finger in Moore's direction. The Post's headline — "I'm With the Perv!" adds an exclamation point.

Texas trooper who took photo with Snoop Dogg sues officials a second time

A Texas state trooper is suing 18 different Department of Public Safety officials a second time, alleging that they retaliated against him after he sued them the first time and that documents about him were tampered with.

>> Read more trending news

Trooper Billy Spears was reprimanded in the spring of 2015 for taking a photo with rapper Snoop Dogg. Spears was reprimanded because the rapper has several drug-possession convictions and DPS policies prohibit troopers from associating with known criminals.

Spears filed suit against his bosses soon after he was reprimanded.

Shortly after, Spears went on medical leave for a knee injury. While still on leave, high-ranking DPS personnel accused him of not being in compliance with DPS’s physical fitness policies, which Spears’s lawsuit alleges was a retaliatory attempt to get him fired.

DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said the allegations in the lawsuit are incorrect.

>> Related: Texas Trooper to receive counseling for posing in picture with Snoop Dogg

“The department looks forward to refuting these spurious claims through the proper legal proceedings,” said Vinger, who declined to comment further.

Spears was on medical leave from May 26, 2016, to Dec. 17, 2016, his lawsuit says. On Sept. 1, 2016, he was warned he was on the verge of being terminated because he had failed to take and pass physical fitness tests during that time.

Spears’s lawsuit says he requested a medical waiver for the test and hadn’t been aware it had been denied. 

>> Related: Punishment to trooper who posed with Snoop Dogg is 'one-time coaching' opportunity agency says

Spears requested his waiver form, and the lawsuit alleges that the memo Spears wrote in May 2016 “had been altered and post-dated to June 2, 2016. The date alteration was significant because it created the false appearance that (Spears) had not submitted his memo before the May 31, 2016 deadline.”

Spears is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial.

Report: UK police investigating 2nd Spacey sex-assault claim

Police in London are investigating a second allegation of sexual assault against actor Kevin Spacey, British media reported Wednesday.

The Metropolitan Police force said it had received a complaint "of sexual assaults against a man" in 2005 in the London borough of Lambeth.

The force didn't identify Spacey as the alleged perpetrator. British police don't name suspects until they are charged.

But it said the same man was accused Nov. 1 of another assault in 2008, also in Lambeth. The suspect in that case has been widely named in British media as Spacey.

"Officers from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offenses Command are investigating," the force said in a statement.

A two-time Academy Award winner, Spacey was artistic director of London's Old Vic Theatre between 2004 and 2015.

The new allegation was made to police a day after the Old Vic said it had received 20 claims of inappropriate behavior by Spacey and it had encouraged 14 of the complainants to go to the police.

The theater launched an investigation into its former leader last month after American actor Anthony Rapp alleged that Spacey had climbed on top of him on a bed when Rapp was 14 and Spacey 26.

The Old Vic said it received the claims of inappropriate behavior in recent weeks, although the alleged incidents were said to have taken place from 1995 to 2013. It said many of the alleged incidents took place at the theater — located in the borough of Lambeth — and involved members of staff.

Only one of the alleged victims reported the incidents at the time. The Old Vic said a "cult of personality" around Spacey had discouraged people from speaking out.

In the past few weeks Spacey has been fired from the Netflix TV series "House of Cards," was dropped by his talent agency and publicist and is being cut out of Ridley Scott's finished film "All the Money in the World."

Spacey apologized to Rapp Oct. 30 for "deeply inappropriate drunken behavior" and later released a statement saying he was seeking unspecified treatment. He has not commented on the London allegations, and the Old Vic says he did not respond to a request to participate in its investigation.

The Latest: Russell Simmons writes response to allegations

The Latest on sexual harassment allegations against celebrities and media (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

Def Jam Records mogul Russell Simmons has penned an essay in response to an allegation from a model that he sexually assaulted her in 1991, reiterating that the relationship was consensual and not violent.

Model Keri Claussen Khalighi alleges Simmons coerced her to perform a sex act and later penetrated her without her consent in his New York apartment. Simmons has disputed her account.

Simmons expanded on his position in The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, saying his "loathing of any form of violence and abuse has been woven into all of my personal interactions." He suggested that Khalighi's accusation came from feeling shame.

Simmons writes that he "never committed any acts of aggression or violence in my life" or would "never knowingly cause fear or harm to anyone."

He added: "For any women from my past who I may have offended, I sincerely apologize. I am still evolving."

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3:05 p.m.

Arizona State University is considering revoking an award given to Charlie Rose after several women who worked with him at CBS News and PBS alleged a pattern of sexual misconduct, including groping and walking naked in front of them.

The university's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication issued a statement on Monday describing the reports as "deeply troubling." Rose was given the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2015.

School dean Christopher Callahan told The Arizona Republic in a story published Tuesday that a decision could be made by Friday when the endowment board of trustees plans to meet. The award has never been revoked.

CBS News and PBS both cut ties to Rose on Tuesday. Rose apologized for his actions in a statement late Monday.

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11:40 a.m.

British media say police are investigating a second allegation of sexual assault against actor Kevin Spacey.

London's Metropolitan Police force says it has received a complaint "of sexual assaults against a man" in 2005.

The force didn't identify Spacey as the alleged perpetrator. British police don't name suspects until they are charged.

But it said the same man was accused Nov. 1 of another assault in 2008. The suspect in that case has been widely named in British media as Spacey.

The Oscar-winning actor led London's Old Vic Theatre between 2004 and 2015.

The new allegation was made to police a day after the Old Vic said it had received 20 claims of inappropriate behavior by Spacey and had encouraged many complainants to go to the police.

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11:15 a.m.

Nick Carter says he's "shocked and saddened" by accusations made by a singer who said he raped her about 15 years ago.

Melissa Schuman of the girl group Dream wrote in a blog post that she was "forced to engage in an act against my will." She said the Backstreet Boy took her virginity.

But Carter says in a statement Wednesday that "Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual."

He adds that he "was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally."

Dream was signed to Sean "Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Records and produced the hit "He Loves U Not."

Schuman and Carter recorded music together after she said he attacked her.

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10 a.m.

The morning show where Charlie Rose worked until being fired Tuesday is reporting that two women at CBS News claim that Rose grabbed them inappropriately, with one saying he also whispered a sexual innuendo.

The accusations came to light after CBS News President David Rhodes fired Rose on Tuesday for what he called "extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior" by the host toward women at his PBS talk show. PBS has also cut ties to Rose.

"CBS This Morning" said three women at CBS have reported misconduct by Rose. The network said one didn't want details of her accusations made public, and all three requested anonymity. Rose has apologized for his actions.

Rose's former co-host Gayle King said Wednesday that it's important to keep reporting on the story.

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This item has been corrected in the second paragraph to show that Rose was fired.

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8 a.m.

Veteran news host Charlie Rose's firing at CBS makes him the latest in a string of prominent journalists felled abruptly by accusations of sexual misconduct.

News organizations aren't the only companies taking prompt measures against the accused. But they face particular pressure to act because of the risk of losing the audience's trust as they cover the sex scandals coursing through politics, Hollywood and the media itself.

CBS News president David Rhodes said Tuesday that the network's credibility in its reporting requires credibility in the way it deals with misbehavior inside the network.

’Property Brothers'’ Drew Scott, Linda Phan finally set  date for Italian wedding

Drew Scott and Linda Phan will be taking their love to Italy when they celebrate their upcoming nuptials in May!

The couple opened up about their upcoming wedding plans in a new interview with PEOPLE after they finally set the date.

“We’re looking at somewhere where we can chow down on pizza, pasta and gelato. Those are the requirements,” the bride-to-be told the publication of their decision to get married in Italy.

>> Read more trending news

The groom is also pretty excited to do things the way they want to.

“This is our big day. We can do whatever we want!” he said. “One of the things that I love about Linda is that she’s with me in that sense. If I want to wear a gold leotard, I’ll do it. We’re not ones to have a basic white wedding.”

RELATED: “Touched By An Angel” fans mourn the loss of one of the show’s brightest stars

RELATED: “Property Brothers” Drew Scott talks about his plans to have kids with fiancée Linda Phan

The couple is looking forward to noshing on Italian dishes for the reception meal, followed by late-night bites including burgers and fries as they dance the night away with their guests.

Scott and Phan have also been busy focusing on the remodel of their home of their upcoming series “Property Brothers at Home: Drew’s Honeymoon House,” and they are already making plans for the pitter-patter of little feet running around.

“I wanted to make sure this house can function for kids, too,” Scott said.

Phan added, “We plan on being in it for a long time. I’m willing to give up my craft room for a nursery.”

They are also hoping that their children take after their father and his brother, Jonathan Scott.

“We do plan in the very near future on having children,” Scott said. “We would love to have twins.”

“Property Brothers: Drew’s Honeymoon House” premieres Nov. 22 at 9 p.m. ET on HGTV.

Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter responds to rape allegations made by singer Melissa Schuman

Former Dream singer Melissa Schuman accused Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys of raping her in 2002 and alleged that his legal team silenced her in a Sunday blog post, according to a report from Rolling Stone

In the graphic and lengthy post, Schuman explained that her management team set her up with Carter after he took interest in her. However, she had a boyfriend at the time, so they did meet again for a few years when she was 18, he was 22 and they were cast in the same made-for-TV movie. Carter invited her and a friend over to his Santa Monica apartment to hang out with him and his friend, according to Schuman

>> Read more trending news

After drinking alcohol, he and Schuman kissed in his office. He then brought her into a bathroom where he allegedly forcibly performed oral sex on her and forced her to reciprocate after ignoring her many pleas for him to stop. Afterward, Schuman said Carter took her to a bedroom and raped her even after she told him she wanted to wait until marriage.  

“It was done. The one thing I had held as a virtue had been ruined,” she wrote. “I went limp, turned my head to my left and decided I would just go to sleep now. I wanted to believe it was some sort of nightmare I was dreaming up.” 

The former girl group member said she immediately told her manager and attempted to press charges, but was informed that Carter hired a powerful litigator.

“I was told I would likely be buried in humiliation, accused of being fame hungry, and it would ultimately hurt me professionally as well as publicly.” she wrote.

Eventually, she lost interest in pursuing a career in music.  

“I was broken. I was tired. I was traumatized,” she wrote. 

Schuman, who didn’t mention who she accused of sexual assault by name until much later in the post, said an Oct. 30 article on RadarOnline prompted her to speak out.

On Tuesday, she tweeted her gratitude to fans for supporting her decision to speak out about the alleged incident, writing, “I just want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support. Thank you for bearing witness to my story. Thank you for providing me a safe place to be open and vulnerable. I love you all. Thank you for aiding me in the healing that I so desperately needed. I am free now.”

Carter, 37, responded to the allegations in a statement to People Wednesday.

“I am shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman’s accusations. Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual. We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally.”

“This is the first that I am hearing about these accusations, nearly two decades later. It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm.”

Nick Carter 'shocked,' 'saddened' by singer's assault claim

Nick Carter says he's "shocked and saddened" by accusations made by a singer who said he raped her about 15 years ago.

Melissa Schuman of the girl group Dream wrote in a blog post earlier this month that she was "forced to engage in an act against my will." She said the Backstreet Boy took her virginity when she was 18 and he was 22.

"I am shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman's accusations. Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual," Carter said in a statement released Wednesday. "We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally."

Dream was signed to Sean "Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Records in the earlier 2000s and produced the hit "He Loves U Not." Schuman wrote that Carter invited her to his apartment and assaulted her against her will. She said she "felt scared and trapped. He was visually and clearly growing very angry and impatient with me. I couldn't leave."

She said she tried to speak up after the incident, but that she didn't "have the money, the clout or access to an attorney who was powerful enough to stand up against my abuser's legal counsel."

"I feel I have an obligation now to come forward with the hope and intention to inspire and encourage other victims to tell their story. We are stronger in numbers," she wrote.

Carter said Wednesday "this is the first that I am hearing about these accusations, nearly two decades later."

"It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm," he said.

The Backstreet Boys launched a residency in Las Vegas this year and have concert planned for next year.

____

Online:

Melissa Schuman's blog post: https://melissaexplainsitall.wordpress.com

New allegations against Rose emerge from women at CBS News

The morning show where Charlie Rose worked until being fired Tuesday is reporting that two women at CBS News claim that Rose grabbed them inappropriately, with one saying he also whispered a sexual innuendo.

The accusations came to light after CBS News President David Rhodes fired the host on Tuesday for what he called "extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior" by Rose toward women at his PBS talk show. PBS has also cut ties to Rose.

"CBS This Morning" said three women at CBS have reported misconduct by Rose. The network said one didn't want details of her accusations made public, and all three requested anonymity. Rose has apologized for his actions.

Rose's former co-host Gayle King said Wednesday that it's important to keep reporting on the story.

___

This story has been corrected to show that it was Rose who was fired on Tuesday.

In terror-wary NYC, security tight for Thanksgiving parade

Sand-filled sanitation trucks and police sharpshooters will mix with glittering floats and giant balloons at a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade that comes in a year of terrible mass shootings and not even a month after a deadly truck attack in lower Manhattan.

New York City's mayor and police brass have repeatedly stressed that layers of security, along with hundreds of officers, will be in place for one of the nation's biggest outdoor holiday gatherings, and that visitors should not be deterred.

"We had a couple of tough months as a nation," Police Commissioner James O'Neill said. "We won't ever accept such acts of hate and cowardice as inevitable in our society."

A posting last year in an English-language magazine of the Islamic State group, which took credit for the Oct. 31 truck attack that killed eight people, mentioned the Thanksgiving parade as "an excellent target." Authorities say there is no confirmation of a credible threat.

"I want to assure the people that we swore to protect that anytime something happens anywhere in the world, the NYPD works with our law enforcement partners and studies it and we learn from it and it informs our decision making going forward," O'Neill said.

This year's security plan includes dozens of city sanitation trucks, which weigh about 16 tons empty and up to twice that with sand, that will be lined up as imposing barriers to traffic at every cross street along the 2 ½-mile parade route stretching from Central Park to Macy's flagship store on 34th Street.

In addition, officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors will walk among the crowds, and sharpshooters on rooftops will scan building windows and balconies for anything unusual.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that security at the parade increases every year "because we understand we are dealing with a very challenging world." He told crowds gathered to watch the parade's giant balloons being inflated that "the amount of resources and personnel we put in has increased each year to make us safer."

New York officials also are asking the tens of thousands of spectators to be alert for anything suspicious.

"There will be a cop on every block," said NYPD Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan. "Go to that cop and say something."

The 91st annual parade begins at 9 a.m. and will be broadcast live on NBC. Smokey Robinson, Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, Flo Rida and Wyclef Jean will be among the stars celebrating, along with performances from the casts of Broadway's "Anastasia," ''Dear Evan Hansen" and "SpongeBob SquarePants."

New balloons added this year include Dr. Seuss' Grinch, Olaf from the smash movie "Frozen," and a puppy called Chase from Nickelodeon's "Paw Patrol."

Beyond the pageantry, police say they have been working on security for the parade since the moment last year's parade ended. It's a plan that got renewed attention after a terror attack in lower Manhattan Oct. 31, when a man in a rented truck barreled onto a crowded bike path near the World Trade Center, killing eight people.

Authorities said the 29-year-old suspect operated from a playbook put out by the Islamic State group. Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant, was charged with federal terrorism offenses that could qualify him for the death penalty. According to a criminal complaint, he made statements about his allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Police also are mindful of the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas in which a high-stakes gambler and real estate investor unleashed gunfire on country music concert-goers, killing 58 and leaving hundreds injured.

The first major New York event since the bike path attack — the New York marathon, which drew tens of thousands of spectators and 50,000 runners from around the world — went off with no problems.

"We said right away New York's response is to remain strong and resilient," de Blasio said. "We do not back down in the face of terror threats. The city is filled with resolve."

Erykah Badu offers 'soul therapy' ahead of Soul Train Awards

There's no question that Erykah Badu is the soul hostess. On Sunday, she'll host the Soul Train Awards on BET. But earlier this week, she was the soulful host who invited a small group of reporters to a West Hollywood hotel suite for an introductory lesson on chakras.

Badu transformed a room at Le Parc Suite Hotel into an intimate spiritual classroom Monday night for what she described as a "soul therapy" session. Illuminated by candlelight, Badu told her dozen guests about the Eastern concept of chakras — whirling energy centers that stretch from the base of the spine to the crown of the head — and how they respond to music, color and personal development.

Promotional events for awards shows are not usually like this. The show itself was never even mentioned.

Instead, the singer-songwriter engaged the group in a discussion about creativity, opened up about her heroes and revealed that she uses chakra-stimulating sounds in her music. "Baduizm," her groundbreaking and Grammy-winning 1997 debut, is built around the vibrations of tuning forks and singing bowls, she said. She layered theremin sounds under later recordings.

"I never share any of these kinds of things, that I use tuning forks and singing bowls," Badu said. "I didn't know how necessary that was to tell people. And it's kind of weird to tell people something like that. But we're entering this age of information where people are more open to this kind of thing... so it's a good time to share something like this."

With bells on her ankles, a pile of medallions and crystals around her neck and a stack of colored markers in her hand, Badu explained the seven chakras by diagramming them on a piece of poster board.

Each chakra corresponds with a color of the rainbow, she said, drawing a red circle for the "root chakra" and continuing with spirals in orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple (her favorite color, she noted). Each chakra is also associated with a musical note or vibration, a set of bodily organs and a basic human characteristic, such as creativity, desire or self-discipline, she said.

Badu said she travels with a set of tuning forks, which she pulled from a backpack shaped like an African mask. She clacked one of the forks against a crystal hanging from her neck and held it by each guest's ear so they could experience its vibration — in the key of F, for the heart chakra.

When the chakra lesson was done, Badu told the group she always considered herself a writer first. She composed her first song at age 7 after her grandmother bought her a piano, and started writing raps and other poetry before becoming a singer.

Asked what song she wishes she had written, Badu said Joni Mitchell's "Blue."

"Joni Mitchell is one of my heroes," she said, adding that they've yet to meet. "She's very responsible for a lot of my honesty and bravery in music."

Before saying goodnight, Badu offered a last bit of chakra knowledge, explaining how they can be used to interpret body language. Hands on hips, for example, could indicate sexual attraction, since the chakra that governs that energy is based in the lower abdomen.

Such insights help generate compassion for others, she said, and provide a great deal of amusement.

"Once you kind of know these little things and have these little tools, the world becomes a private joke between you and God," she said. "Some of it just tickles you. But it's beautiful just how everything connects."

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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