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Country News

Last Update on September 29, 2014 07:08 GMT

JASON DERULO AND JORDIN SPARKS SPLIT

UNDATED (AP) -- Jason Derulo denies there was anything scandalous that led to his breakup with Jordin Sparks. He tells ABC News he spent "three great years" with Sparks and she's "one of the most amazing people" he's ever met. He adds, "Infidelity, cheating or deceit played no part in our relationship or our break-up." He calls it an amicable split.

ERIC CHURCH'S WIFE IS EXPECTING

NASHVILLE (AP) -- Eric Church is going to be a dad again. His representatives tell CMT.com Church's wife, Katherine, is expecting their second child. They have one son, Boone McCoy, born in 2011.

RANDY JACKSON'S WIFE SEEKS DIVORCE

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Former "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson's marriage is falling apart. His wife, Erika, filed for divorce Friday in Los Angeles, citing irreconcilable differences. The Jacksons have been married for nearly 19 years and have two children. Erika Jackson is asking for physical custody of their younger child, who is 17. She's also seeking spousal support and wants to restore her name to Erika Riker.

JOHN MELLENCAMP IS COY ABOUT RELATIONSHIP WITH MEG RYAN

NEW YORK (AP) -- John Mellencamp is not saying whether he's split with Meg Ryan or not, only that he's really enjoyed their time together. Mellencamp and Ryan dated for three years, and some reports say they've broken up. Mellencamp will say he's very happy with the time he's spent with her. He says Ryan is "a beautiful girl and I know that I will never, ever, ever be with a funnier girl than her." When asked if it was over, Mellencamp said, "Nothing's over. I never say die for anything. Do you ever quit on anything?" A photo Ryan took appears on Mellencamp's new album, "Plain Spoken," out now.

SOUND:

<<CUT ..016 (09/29/14)>> 00:13 "we've been together"

John Mellencamp, musician

John Mellencamp says he's happy with the time he's spent with Meg Ryan.

THOM YORKE RELEASES ALBUM VIA BITTORRENT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke is putting out a solo record through BitTorrent. Yorke and his producer, Nigel Goodrich, say they are bypassing "the self elected gate-keepers" of the music world. The album is called "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes" and will sell for $6 as a download of eight songs and a video. Yorke and Goodrich say if this works, it will create a model for artists to control their own music. BitTorrent is a file-sharing site that allows the transfer of large amounts of data.

JENNIFER LOPEZ REAR-ENDED

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) -- Authorities say Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini were involved in a minor traffic accident. Los Angeles county Sheriff's Sgt. Philip Brooks says Remini was driving Lopez's SUV Saturday night on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. The vehicle was rear-ended by a pickup truck. Lopez's two children were passengers but no one was injured. The drivers got out to assess the damage, which was minor, then the pickup driver drove off. Deputies stopped him a short distance away and arrested him on suspicion of drunken driving and hit and run. The man's name was not given.

LEE ANN WOMACK GOES BACK TO ROOTS WITH NEW ALBUM

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) -- Lee Ann Womack is finally making the music she wants to make. Womack's new album is a collection of country covers called "The Way I'm Livin'." Womack says for years, she was pressured to produce hits, but once she fulfilled her contract with MCA Nashville, she let out a sigh of relief. She says she had all kinds of music she wanted to make, including with collaborators like roots musician Buddy Miller, but didn't feel she could do that until now. Womack says she wanted to create the kind of music she heard on country radio growing up. She put a lot of what she calls "hardcore country music" into the record.

SOUND:

<<CUT ..017 (09/29/14)>> 00:12 "been like that"

Lee Ann Womack, country musician

Lee Ann Womack says she's content to take her time between music projects.

<<CUT ..018 (09/29/14)>> 00:16 "very structured household"

Lee Ann Womack, country musician

Lee Ann Womack says she enjoys being a regular person instead of a celebrity.

<<CUT ..019 (09/29/14)>> 00:15 "want to make"

Lee Ann Womack, country musician

Lee Ann Womack says she wants to be an artist, not a money machine.

<<CUT ..020 (09/29/14)>> 00:15 "is that day"

Lee Ann Womack, country musician

Lee Ann Womack says she was relieved when she fulfilled her major-label contract and could do whatever she wanted. ((refers to Americana and roots musician Buddy Miller))

BEYONCE' IS SUBJECT OF HARVARD BUSINESS STUDY

BOSTON (AP) -- Harvard is studying the business of Beyonce'. This week, Harvard Business School will publish a case study of Beyonce's surprise release of her self-titled album in December. Among the issues it explores is how Beyonce' kept the secret so long, what it took to pull off the campaign and structural and technical obstacles. Business professor Anita Elberse, who co-wrote the study, will teach the case in a course called "Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries" early next month.

CHARGES DISMISSED AGAINST MAN ACCUSED OF RAPE AT KEITH URBAN CONCERT

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (AP) -- Prosecutors have dropped their case against an 18-year-old man accused of raping a 17-year-old girl at a Keith Urban concert outside Boston in July. The Sun-Chronicle reports the case against Sean Murphy was ended after "extensive" conversations with the girl, who agreed to the decision. Murphy's lawyers have said the encounter in the lawn area of the venue was consensual. Police say both Murphy and the girl were drinking. Authorities dealt with almost 50 alcohol-related illnesses involving underaged drinkers at the concert.

TINA TURNER'S SCHOOL BECOMES A MUSEUM

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tina Turner is giving her support to the restoration of a one-room schoolhouse where she once was a student. More than 100 people showed up for an opening ceremony of the Tina Turner Museum at Flagg Grove School in Brownsville, Tennessee, on Friday. Turner lives in Switzerland and did not attend, but she did record a video. She said she has problems with flying long distances but she thanked those involved with the project and added, "My spirit is with you." Melissa Etheridge, Ann Wilson of Heart, Mike Love of The Beach Boys and The Oak Ridge Boys also sent video messages.

SWIFT, METALLICA, LEGEND TO PLAY ROCK IN RIO USA

NEW YORK (AP) -- Generally Taylor Swift and Metallica are not on the same bill together, but then again, generally shows about Rio are not held in Las Vegas. Swift and Metallica, along with No Doubt, Linkin Park, The Deftones and John Legend, will perform at the first Rock in Rio USA concert in Las Vegas in May. The Rock in Rio festival has been held in Rio de Janeiro since 1985. MGM Resorts will build a 33-acre music venue on the Las Vegas Strip for the festival.

BEYONCE', STING ARE SURPRISE SINGERS AT GLOBAL CITIZEN FESTIVAL

NEW YORK (AP) -- Maybe it was no surprise that Beyonce' showed up as a special guest for Jay Z's performance at the Global Citizen Festival in New York Saturday. She is his wife, after all, and New York is where they live. Sting was a surprise guest for No Doubt's set. They performed "Message In A Bottle" together. Other performers included Carrie Underwood, The Roots, Alicia Keys, Tiesto and fun. The concert drew an audience of 60,000, most of whom earned free tickets by volunteering.

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