Quick Takes

Aretha Franklin gets vocal

"Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin sang two songs on "The View" Thursday in her first national TV performance since a mysterious ailment sidelined her last year.

Franklin, 69, who says she has lost 85 pounds since last year, performed a new single, "How Long I've Been Waiting," and, with the studio audience standing and clapping, she also sang her classic hit "Respect."

Last November, the soul singer canceled all her concert appearances for six months on doctors' orders and later underwent major surgery. She has never made public the nature of surgery, or the reason for it.

"I'm feeling wonderful, fabulous," she said Thursday.


'Iris' to begin Kodak rehearsals

Cirque du Soleil is taking another step forward on its long road to a permanent home in Hollywood. Its new multimillion-dollar production, "Iris," will begin rehearsals at the Kodak Theatre on Monday in preparation for the start of preview performances on July 21.

Artists and creative team members are set to arrive in L.A. starting Monday and will begin working at the Kodak right away. The team, which includes 72 performers, has been rehearsing "Iris" in Montreal, where Cirque has its headquarters.

A recent tour of the Kodak showed that Cirque has extensively modified the backstage area of the theater to meet the technical and artistic demands of the show. The company has installed a giant new lift system, already in operation, that will be used to transport heavy scenery.

—David Ng

Paying tribute

to Buddy Holly

The catalog of rock 'n' roll pioneer Buddy Holly has continued to thrive long after the singer's life ended in a 1959 plane crash, and it will get a fresh look this summer when artists as varied as Cee Lo Green, Kid Rock, Fiona Apple, Modest Mouse, Lou Reed and Paul McCartney appear on the 19-track collection "Rave On Buddy Holly."

To be released June 28 by Fantasy Records/Concord Music Group, "Rave On" features recently recorded takes on Holly classics such as "That'll Be the Day," "Peggy Sue" and "Oh Boy," among others.

McCartney, long a champion of Holly's work (he produced and hosted the tribute film "The Real Buddy Holly Story"), sings "It's So Easy." Perhaps not coincidentally, McCartney's MPL Music Publishing administers the rights of Holly's catalog.

—Todd Martens

Prison sentence for graffiti artist

A graffiti artist whose work went on display this month at a Los Angeles museum has been sentenced to 45 days in prison for practicing the same craft in New York.

Angel Ortiz, 44, was arrested three times in March for spray-painting "Laroc" — his tag — on walls and buildings in downtown Manhattan.

He was sent to the Rikers Island jail on the third occasion and so missed his chance to attend the opening this month of "Art in the Streets," an exhibition of graffiti and street art at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, which includes works by Ortiz.

Ortiz pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the top charge against him — criminal mischief in the fourth degree — and was sentenced to 45 days in prison, including the month already served.


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