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Cast revealed for show inspired by Tupac songs

NEW YORK (AP) — The upcoming Broadway musical inspired by Tupac Shakur songs will star Saul Williams, the poet and singer best known for the film “Slam.”

Producers said this week that the rest of the cast of “Holler If Ya Hear Me” will include Tonya Pinkins, Christopher Jackson, Saycon Sengbloh, Ben Thompson and John Earl Jelks.

The musical isn’t a biography of Shakur but uses his songs to explore the story of two friends who live in a low income neighborhood in the Midwest. It will feature “California Love,” “Keep Ya Head Up,” and “Me Against the World.”

The musical has a story by Todd Kreidler, who was a dramaturge for “Radio Golf,” and is directed by Kenny Leon. It begins performances on May 29 and open June 19 at the Palace Theatre.

Linda Ronstadt tribute part of Hall of Fame ceremony

LOS ANGELES (MCT) —

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After being overlooked by the Rock Hall for nearly 20 years, Linda Ronstadt was nominated only after announcing last year that she’s unable to sing again because of Parkinson’s disease. She will be officially inducted Thursday.

Her condition also makes travel exceptionally grueling, and that’s the primary reason she said she won’t be attending the ceremony in Brooklyn, N.Y., at which Peter Gabriel, Nirvana, KISS, Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), Hall & Oates and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band round out the 2014 class of Hall of Fame musicians.

To salute Ronstadt in absentia, Rock Hall organizers have assembled a female quintet including Ronstadt’s close friend and periodic musical collaborator Emmylou Harris, plus Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow and Carrie Underwood. Glenn Frey, who emerged from Ronstadt’s backing band with Don Henley in the early 1970s to form the Eagles, will give her induction speech.


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