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Celebrities

Friday, March 01, 2013 - Updated: 4:51 PM

Rapper Ja Rule in NYC jail with July release date

ALBANY (AP) -- Federal authorities say platinum-selling rapper Ja Rule is in a New York City jail with a July release date.

The 36-year-old rapper left a state prison in central New York last week after serving most of his two-year sentence for illegal gun possession and went straight into federal custody in a tax evasion case.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons says he has since moved from an upstate jail to Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center, which houses prisoners awaiting court dates or having short terms left on their sentences.

The bureau said Thursday his expected release date is July 28.

Ja Rule admits he failed to pay taxes on more than $3 million earned between 2004 and 2006 while he lived in New Jersey.

The Black Keys lead Beale Street music fest lineup

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Black Keys, Sheryl Crow and Public Enemy are among the musical acts scheduled to perform at the Beale Street Music Festival in May.

The eclectic list of performers was announced Tuesday on the website for Memphis in May, the month-long tourism event that includes the three-day music festival.

Other scheduled performers include Jerry Lee Lewis, Alice in Chains, Bassnectar, The Smashing Pumpkins, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Flaming Lips, Dwight Yoakam, The Roots, The Black Crowes, Patti Smith and ZZ Top.

The music festival takes place at Tom Lee Park, which sits alongside the Mississippi River. It runs from May 3 through May 5.

Memphis in May also features the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and the Sunset Symphony.

Simon Cowell launches online talent contest

LONDON (AP) -- Simon Cowell has taken over television screens and radio airwaves around the world. Now he's taking aim at the Internet.

Cowell's Syco Entertainment empire and YouTube announced Thursday that they are launching "You Generation," a global online talent contest that is seeking entries from people with "unconventional and original talents" -- from musicians and photographers to makeup artists, magicians and chefs.

Syco says the contest, which starts next month and is due to run for a year, will seek auditions in a different category of talent every two weeks.

Entrants can upload their pieces on a dedicated YouTube channel, to be viewed by the public and judged by professionals associated with Syco.

There will be prizes -- exactly what they are has yet be announced -- every fortnight and a grand prize at the end of the year.

Syco calls the initiative an experiment aimed at discovering new talent. It's the company's bid to tap the power of social media, which has launched millions of wannabe celebrities -- and some genuine stars, including Justin Bieber.

     

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