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Buzz Briefs: Toby Keith, Donnie Wahlberg


Toby Keith Praises Obama

Barack Obama is getting praise from a big, patriotic country star.

Toby Keith, perhaps best known to non-country music audiences for his post-Sept. 11 song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," says he is a Democrat, and was impressed by the senator from Illinois.

Keith has said in the past that the 2002 song - which courted controversy for its call for vengeance and lines aimed at the Taliban like "we lit up your world like the Fourth of July" - was more patriotic than pro-war.

Asked while promoting his new movie "Beer For My Horses" about the role of patriotism in the current presidential election, Keith replied: "There's a big part of America that really believes that there is a war on terrorism, and that we need to finish up.

"So I thought it was beautiful the other day when Obama went to Afghanistan and got educated about Afghanistan and Iraq. He came back and said some really nice things.

"So as far as leadership and patriotism goes, I think it's really important that those things have to take place. And I think he's the best Democratic candidate we've had since Bill Clinton. And that's coming from a Democrat."

Donnie Wahlberg & Wife Call It Quits

New Kids on the Block singer/actor Donnie Wahlberg and his wife, Kim Fey, both filed for divorce on Aug. 13 in Los Angeles and Ventura County, Calif., according to People.

The court documents cited irreconcilable differences.

Fey is seeking sole physical and legal custody of their two sons, Xavier, 15 and Elijah, 7, with visitation rights for Wahlberg.


Photos: Splits
Fey, 39, is also seeking spousal support and attorney's fees from Wahlberg, also 39.

The estranged couple were married in August 1999 and separated in January.

Hefty Tab In Spears' Custody Fight

Britney Spears' recently resolved custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline wasn't just messy, it was expensive.

Court documents show legal bills submitted on behalf of two law firms who represented Spears total more than $466,000. That's on top of the $250,000 the 26-year-old pop singer has agreed to pay Federline's attorneys.

The largest bill comes from attorney Stacy D. Phillips, who says in court filings that she is owed nearly $407,000 for four months of work. Phillips claims she has written off another $125,000 in fees.

Attorney Laura Wasser, who took over the case in June and negotiated an agreement between Federline and Spears' camp that allows the singer more time with her young sons, is seeking $60,000. She worked on the case nearly two months.

Federline retains full custody of the children, but Spears has some overnight visits.

Spears and Federline were married in 2004 and completed their divorce last July. She pays him $20,000 a month under an agreement finalized in July.

Thurber Prize For American Humor Picks Finalists

A former writer and producer for "The Simpsons," a former writer for sketch comedy show "Saturday Night Live" and a former president of the Harvard Lampoon are finalists for the Thurber Prize for American Humor, and a $5,000 award.

Larry Doyle, a contributor to The New Yorker whose previous credits include "The Simpsons," was nominated for "I Love You, Beth Cooper," his debut novel.

Patricia Marx, a children's book author who has written for "Saturday Night Live" and is a contributing editor to Time magazine, was cited for the novel "Him Her Him Again The End of Him."

The third finalist announced Tuesday was Simon Rich for "Ant Farm," an essay collection. Rich, son of New York Times columnist Frank Rich, is a Harvard University graduate who served as president of the Harvard Lampoon, the school's famed humor magazine.

The Thurber Prize, named for author-illustrator James Thurber, was founded in 1996.

Original Member Of The Spinners Dies

Pervis Jackson, the man behind the deep, rolling bass voice in a string of 1970s R&B hits by The Spinners, has died. He was 70.

Jackson died Monday morning at Detroit Sinai-Grace Hospital after being diagnosed with brain and liver cancer, his wife, Claudreen Jackson, said.

The native of the New Orleans area was one of the original five members of the group which started out in the late 1950s singing doo-wop in Detroit. They worked under the Motown label in the 1960s but shot to stardom after moving on to Atlantic Records in the 1970s.

Motown legend Smokey Robinson said in a statement that he was saddened to hear of Jackson's death.

"He was a wonderful person and a good friend of mine," the statement read. "His death was a surprise to me as I was unaware of his illness. My condolences to his family. He will be missed."

Jackson last performed July 19 in California with the remaining original members of the group, Bobbie Smith and Henry Fambrough, and two new members, his wife said.

With songs like "Mighty Love," "I'll Be Around," "One Of A Kind (Love Affair)" and "Then Came You," The Spinners were a constant on the R&B and pop charts during the 1970s.

The Spinners compiled 12 gold records, according to the group's official Web site.

They were nominated for six Grammy awards, Recording Academy spokeswoman Lourdes Lopez said.

Jackson had been planning to perform with the group later this month in South Africa and in Wales in September, his wife said.

Reality TV Star Jade Goody Diagnosed With Cancer

British tabloid celebrity Jade Goody has been diagnosed with cancer and will leave India where she is filming a reality show to receive treatment in London, television officials said Tuesday.

Goody received the news Monday while she was being filmed in the confession room of "Bigg Boss," and immediately made plans to return home, said Sonia Huria of Colors, the Indian channel broadcasting the show.

The episode where Goody learned of her test results was to be aired Tuesday night, Huria said.

Goody became a tabloid star after feuding with Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and allegedly making racist comments on the British show "Celebrity Big Brother."

Shetty, who is hosting "Bigg Boss," an Indian version of "Celebrity Big Brother," sent her condolences to Goody and her family.

Goody was participating in "Bigg Boss Season 2," which was being filmed in Mumbai, "to dispel various perceptions that exist in people's mind about her," according to a statement Colors issued Tuesday.

British Glam Rocker Gary Glitter Released From Vietnam Prison

Vietnamese authorities have released British glam rocker Gary Glitter from prison, where he served nearly three years after being convicted of child molestation.

His lawyer, Le Thanh Kinh, says that Vietnamese authorities plan to deport Glitter immediately. Kinh has said that the former rock star did not want to return to the UK.

Prison director Tran Huu Thong says guards were transporting Glitter to the Ho Chi Minh City airport, some three hours away from the prison in Binh Thuan province.

Glitter, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, is 64. He was convicted in March 2006 of on charges of molesting two girls, ages 10 and 11, from the southern coastal city of Vung Tau. He served two years and nine months of a three-year sentence.

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