The Country Music Hall of Fame recognized pioneers who are responsible for the genre’s growing diversity by selecting its new class of Kenny Rogers, Bobby Bare and Jack Clement. The trio of trailblazing inductees attended a news conference Wednesday the hall’s museum in Nashville to announce the class of 2013.

With songs like “The Gambler,” “Lucille” and the Lionel Richie-produced “Lady,” Rogers was both a pop music crossover and a pop culture sensation in the 1970s and ’80s. He starred in TV movies in the role of The Gambler, and with his trademark white hair and beard remains one of music’s most recognizable figures. He was inducted in the modern era category.

Clement — a k a Cowboy Jack — made his biggest contributions as a producer, working as a producer and engineer at Sun Records during the era of Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley. He sent Jerry Lee Lewis away, his daughter said in a speech that she read for her father, because he was singing the songs of others. He instructed the future rock ’n’ roll legend to find his own sound.

Bill Anderson, a hall of famer who hosted the news conference, noted that Clement had the “foresight and fortitude” to produce a young Charley Pride.

And Bare, inducted in the veterans era category, charted his own path after being signed by Chet Atkins. Once a roommate of Willie Nelson, he emulated the free-thinking outlaw movement, but never actually joined it, by inspiring his contemporaries to move freely from country to pop and rock, and back again.

They will be formally inducted later this year.

Rehab is a ‘blessing,’ Lohan says

The legal team for actress Lindsay Lohan is not disclosing the details, but during an appearance Tuesday with David Letterman on his CBS talk show, she talked about an upcoming three-month stay in rehab. Lohan, 26, is being required to spend the time in rehab as part of her sentence for lying to California police about a traffic accident. Letterman asked, “Aren’t you supposed to be in rehab now?” Lohan replied, “Do you not watch anything that goes on? May 2.” “I’m the happiest when I’m working, and the healthiest. And I think [rehab] is an opportunity for me to, you know, focus on what I love in life. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think it’s a blessing and not a curse.”


Vladimir Putin, banned in Finland? Finnish police say the Russian president’s name was mistakenly placed on a secret criminal register that could theoretically have gotten him arrested at the border. TV station MTV3 reported Wednesday that Vladimir Putin was on the list because of his contact with Russian motorcycle gang Night Wolves, even though he wasn’t suspected of a crime in Finland. But National Police Board spokesman Robin Lardot said the listing was a mistake and that Putin’s name was removed. Finnish Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen, whose ministry oversees the police, conveyed her “sincerest apologies” to Putin over the mistaken entry.

News Services