Quick Takes: Rutgers pays Snooki $32,000 to dish, more than it paid Nobel winner

The pouf is mightier than the pen when it comes to speaking fees at New Jersey's largest university.

The Rutgers University Programming Assn. paid Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of the reality TV show "Jersey Shore" $32,000 Thursday to dish on her hairstyle, fist pumps and the GTL — gym, tanning, laundry — lifestyle.

That's $2,000 more than the $30,000 the university is paying Nobel-winning novelist Toni Morrison to deliver Rutgers' commencement address in May.

Money for Polizzi's appearance came from the mandatory student activity fee.

Snooki's advice to students: "Study hard, but party harder."

—Associated Press

Stars join forces for Japan benefit

Jackie Chan, Andy Lau and a host of Asian performing artists staged a three-hour charity concert in Hong Kong on Friday to raise funds for victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

"Rush Hour" star Chan opened the program by leading dozens of singers and the audience in a moment of silence for the casualties in Japan. The singers then linked arms as they performed the event's theme song, "Succumb Not to Sorrow," based on a poem by children's writer Kenji Miyazawa.

"The more ruthless natural disasters are, the more love there should be in the world. This event tonight gathers performing artists from different places, hoping to deliver the message 'don't be defeated by natural forces' to all those in the disaster areas," Lau told the audience at Hong Kong's Victoria Park.

—Associated Press

Leonard Cohen wins Gould Prize

Leonard Cohen — the eclectic artist-musician whose output spans rock, classical and new music — has won the ninth Glenn Gould Prize. The prestigious award, handed out once every few years, honors individuals for lifetime contribution in the arts.

The prize, named after the late Canadian piano virtuoso, comes with a cash award of 50,000 Canadian dollars ($51,845 American) as well as the opportunity to name a young artist as a "prize protege," who will receive an award of 15,000 Canadian dollars. Past winners include conductors Andre Previn and Pierre Boulez, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and jazz artist Oscar Peterson.

—David Ng

The end is near for Winans duo

It's not like they can ever split up, exactly.

But as siblings BeBe Winans and CeCe Winans embark on a week of shows that will wind up at New York's Madison Square Garden on April 9, the entity we know as "BeBe & CeCe" is nearing its end.

That's no big surprise: The Detroit duo — whose polished R&B sound helped transform the gospel genre in the '80s and '90s — has already spent the last decade on and off the scene, reconvening in 2009 for the Grammy-winning album "Still."

But this time really is it.

"We're getting older, and there are other things we want to do beyond music," says 46-year-old CeCe, who aims to launch a clothing line in 2012. "Will BeBe and CeCe do other stuff together? I'm sure we will. But is it something we're going to drive and try to work? Not anymore."

—Detroit Free Press

9/11 documentary gets dual release

"Rebirth," a documentary about a diverse group of people affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is coming to TV screens and movie theaters.

Jim Whitaker's buzzed-about tearjerker has been acquired by independent distributor Oscilloscope for theatrical release and by Showtime for a television airing. The movie will open in theaters in August and play on the cable network in September, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

The documentary, which played to highly enthusiastic audiences at this year's Sundance Film Festival, follows the group of victims — they include a woman who lost her fiancé, a teenager who lost his mother and a firefighter who lost his best friend — as they seek to recover over seven years.

The film, which comes from a Hollywood producer making his directorial debut, also includes ambitious time-lapse images of the site itself in the decade since the World Trade Center was destroyed.

—Steven Zeitchik

Dior ponders Galliano subs

French fashion house Christian Dior is in no hurry to replace disgraced designer John Galliano, who was sacked last month following publicity over a video of him shouting abuse in a Paris bar and saying he loved Hitler.

Dior Chairman and Chief Executive Sidney Toledano said that the company was studying possible replacements and that the brand's creative development had not been interrupted.


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