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Louisiana accordionist Buckwheat Zydeco has died

Musician Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural Jr., who rose from a cotton-picking family in southwest Louisiana to introduce zydeco music to the world through his namesake band Buckwheat Zydeco, has died. He was 68.

His longtime manager Ted Fox told The Associated Press that Dural died Saturday. He had suffered from lung cancer.

Fox said the musician and accordionist died at 1:32 a.m. Louisiana time at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. He gained fame by introducing zydeco music of southwest Louisiana to the world.

"This is one of the world's true genius musicians. A completely natural musician who could just fit in in any scenario," Fox said.

As news of his death spread, friends from around the world paid their respects.

"Buckwheat Zydeco embodied a genre and represented a community with his signature playing style that brought distinctly creole zydeco music to fans across the globe," said Neil Portnow, who heads The Recording Academy. "The world lost a music heavyweight today."

Zydeco music was well known across southwest Louisiana where people would often drive for miles to small dancehalls where zydeco bands featuring an accordion and a washboard would rock the crowds for hours.

But Dural took zydeco music mainstream, launching a major-label album — the Grammy-nominated "On a Night Like This," — with Island Records in 1987. He went on to jam with musical greats like Eric Clapton, play at former President Bill Clinton's inauguration and perform at the 1996 Olympics closing ceremony in Atlanta.

He jammed with Jimmy Fallon on the final episode of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Fallon played the guitar backed up by the Roots while Buckwheat Zydeco rocked the accordion.

"He brought zydeco to unprecedented new audiences," said Ben Sandmel, a music historian who wrote a book titled "Zydeco!" about the music.

Dural earned his nickname because he had braided hair when he was younger that resembled Buckwheat from The Little Rascals television show. Born Nov. 14, 1947 in Lafayette, Louisiana, Dural was one of 13 children. His father played the accordion but the younger Dural preferred listening to and playing rhythm & blues and learned to play the organ, his obituary said.

Sandmel said while Dural was internationally famous for his zydeco music he was also an accomplished R&B artist and a diverse musician.

By the late 1950s he was backing up musicians and eventually formed his own band. In 1976 he joined legendary zydeco artist Clifton Chenier's Red Hot Louisiana Band as an organist, launching an important musical turn in his career.

"I had so much fun playing that first night with Clifton. We played for four hours and I wasn't ready to quit," he said in comments quoted in his obituary.

In 1978 he took up the accordion so closely associated with zydeco music and later formed his own band called Buckwheat Zydeco, his obituary said.

It was the 1987 Island Records five-record deal that eventually brought Dural to a wider audience, and he went on to tour with Clapton, record with artists such as Ry Cooper, Paul Simon, Dwight Yoakam and Willie Nelson.

Fox called him an "old-fashioned showbiz professional" who was always focused on giving the audience — regardless of either they were eight or 80,000-strong — a good time.

Fox described one evening in 1987 where Dural took the stage during a concert where legends Clapton, Ringo Starr and Phil Collins were already jamming. Playing a Hammond B3 — a multi-tiered organ — Dural got into a back-and-forth jam with Clapton, who eventually turned around, stuck out his hand to Dural and said: "Hi! I'm Eric Clapton. Who are you?"

The two went on to tour together, including a 12-night gig at London's Royal Albert Hall.

"He had this incredible charisma both onstage and personally," Fox said. "To the end of his days with all the stuff that he'd done, all the awards, he was still the same Stanley Dural Jr. who was picking cotton when he was 5-years-old."

Some people described Dural and his music as Cajun. The term generally refers to the French-speaking Catholics expelled from Nova Scotia by the British during the 1700's who eventually settled southwest Louisiana, although it's often used to refer more generically to French-speaking people in the area regardless of where they're from.

But Fox said while Dural loved Cajun music and often performed with Cajun musicians, he was very clear that he and his music were Creole, to the point where Fox said he even included in contracts language explaining that he was not Cajun.

Fox says his daughter Tomorrow Dural has created a fundraising campaign to help with medical and other expenses.

Dural is survived by his wife, Bernite Dural, and his five children.

__

Follow Santana on Twitter @ruskygal.

Louisiana accordionist Buckwheat Zydeco has died

Musician Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural Jr., who rose from a cotton-picking family in southwest Louisiana to introduce zydeco music to the world through his namesake band Buckwheat Zydeco, has died. He was 68.

His longtime manager Ted Fox told The Associated Press that Dural died Saturday. He had suffered from lung cancer.

Fox said the musician and accordionist died at 1:32 a.m. Louisiana time at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. He gained fame by introducing zydeco music of southwest Louisiana to the world.

"This is one of the world's true genius musicians. A completely natural musician who could just fit in in any scenario," Fox said.

As news of his death spread, friends from around the world paid their respects.

"Buckwheat Zydeco embodied a genre and represented a community with his signature playing style that brought distinctly creole zydeco music to fans across the globe," said Neil Portnow, who heads The Recording Academy. "The world lost a music heavyweight today."

Zydeco music was well known across southwest Louisiana where people would often drive for miles to small dancehalls where zydeco bands featuring an accordion and a washboard would rock the crowds for hours.

But Dural took zydeco music mainstream, launching a major-label album — the Grammy-nominated "On a Night Like This," — with Island Records in 1987. He went on to jam with musical greats like Eric Clapton, play at former President Bill Clinton's inauguration and perform at the 1996 Olympics closing ceremony in Atlanta.

He jammed with Jimmy Fallon on the final episode of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Fallon played the guitar backed up by the Roots while Buckwheat Zydeco rocked the accordion.

"He brought zydeco to unprecedented new audiences," said Ben Sandmel, a music historian who wrote a book titled "Zydeco!" about the music.

Dural earned his nickname because he had braided hair when he was younger that resembled Buckwheat from The Little Rascals television show. Born Nov. 14, 1947 in Lafayette, Louisiana, Dural was one of 13 children. His father played the accordion but the younger Dural preferred listening to and playing rhythm & blues and learned to play the organ, his obituary said.

Sandmel said while Dural was internationally famous for his zydeco music he was also an accomplished R&B artist and a diverse musician.

By the late 1950s he was backing up musicians and eventually formed his own band. In 1976 he joined legendary zydeco artist Clifton Chenier's Red Hot Louisiana Band as an organist, launching an important musical turn in his career.

"I had so much fun playing that first night with Clifton. We played for four hours and I wasn't ready to quit," he said in comments quoted in his obituary.

In 1978 he took up the accordion so closely associated with zydeco music and later formed his own band called Buckwheat Zydeco, his obituary said.

It was the 1987 Island Records five-record deal that eventually brought Dural to a wider audience, and he went on to tour with Clapton, record with artists such as Ry Cooper, Paul Simon, Dwight Yoakam and Willie Nelson.

Fox called him an "old-fashioned showbiz professional" who was always focused on giving the audience — regardless of either they were eight or 80,000-strong — a good time.

Fox described one evening in 1987 where Dural took the stage during a concert where legends Clapton, Ringo Starr and Phil Collins were already jamming. Playing a Hammond B3 — a multi-tiered organ — Dural got into a back-and-forth jam with Clapton, who eventually turned around, stuck out his hand to Dural and said: "Hi! I'm Eric Clapton. Who are you?"

The two went on to tour together, including a 12-night gig at London's Royal Albert Hall.

"He had this incredible charisma both onstage and personally," Fox said. "To the end of his days with all the stuff that he'd done, all the awards, he was still the same Stanley Dural Jr. who was picking cotton when he was 5-years-old."

Some people described Dural and his music as Cajun. The term generally refers to the French-speaking Catholics expelled from Nova Scotia by the British during the 1700's who eventually settled southwest Louisiana, although it's often used to refer more generically to French-speaking people in the area regardless of where they're from.

But Fox said while Dural loved Cajun music and often performed with Cajun musicians, he was very clear that he and his music were Creole, to the point where Fox said he even included in contracts language explaining that he was not Cajun.

Fox says his daughter Tomorrow Dural has created a fundraising campaign to help with medical and other expenses.

Dural is survived by his wife, Bernite Dural, and his five children.

__

Follow Santana on Twitter @ruskygal.

Ashes to auction: Capote remains sell for $45,000

Some people will pay good money for anything involving the late Truman Capote.

Including his ashes.

Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles announced Saturday that Capote's ashes, contained in a Japanese wooden box have sold for $45,000.

That's well above the original estimate, which the auction house reported as $4,000.

The ashes are dated Aug. 28, 1984, days after the author of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "In Cold Blood" died at 59.

The ashes were long kept by Capote's close friend and ex-wife of Johnny Carson, Joanne Carson, who died last year.

Bill Nunn, actor in "Do the Right Thing," dead at 63

Bill Nunn, a veteran character actor whose credits ranged from the "Spider-Man" movie franchise to such Spike Lee films as "Do the Right Thing" and "He Got Game," has died.

His wife, Donna, said Nunn died Saturday at his home in Pittsburgh. He was 63 and had been battling cancer.

A longtime Pittsburgh resident and graduate of Morehouse College, Lee's alma mater, Nunn broke through in movies in the late 1980s, first in Lee's "School Daze," then in the Oscar-nominated "Do the Right Thing," as the ill-fated Radio Raheem, who dies when choked by police during a street brawl in Brooklyn.

"Radio Raheem is now resting in power," Lee wrote on Instagram, also calling Nunn "My Dear Friend" and "My Dear Morehouse Brother."

"Radio Raheem will always be fighting da powers dat be. May God watch over Bill Nunn."

Nunn, who stood well over 6 feet tall, went on to appear in dozens of films and TV programs, including "New Jack City," Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy and "Sirens."

Nunn was the son of a prominent Pittsburgh Steelers scout, also named Bill Nunn, and befriended future Steelers president Art Rooney II while both worked as ballboys for the NFL team. They would long savor a youthful prank, stealing the car of star defensive tackle "Mean" Joe Greene.

"Joe showed up in a beautiful, green Lincoln Continental," Rooney explained last year. "Me and Bill Nunn were ballboys and somehow Bill got the keys one night and we decided to take it for a ride.

"We only told Joe that story about 10 years ago. We figured enough time had passed that we could disclose the little joyride."

Spike Lee pays tribute to Bill Nunn, best known as Radio Raheem

Spike Lee broke the news that actor Bill Nunn, best known for his role as Radio Raheem in Spike Lee's hit film, "Do the Right Thing," has died. He was 62.

A photo posted by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on Sep 24, 2016 at 10:56am PDT

The president of Morehouse College confirmed the report.

Nunn played Robbie Robertson in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" film trilogy.

Lauren Hutton revisits 'American Gigolo' for Bottega Veneta

Milan designers are keeping it clean for next season.

Many collections have a girl-next-door gleam, with an underpinning of sexy. The silhouettes are fresh and there is simplicity to the compositions.

Maybe it's because many designers are taking hints from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s in their designs. And no, that doesn't mean retro. Materials and execution keep the collections modern.

Highlights from the fourth day of womenswear previews for next spring and summer Saturday at Milan Fashion Week include Bottega Veneta, Ermanno Scervino, Jil Sander and Antonio Marras.

___

LAUREN HUTTON'S RED CLUTCH

Wearing a big smile and carrying the actual woven red clutch she used in "American Gigolo," Lauren Hutton surprised the fashion crowd when she joined models in the runway show marking Bottega Veneto's 50th anniversary.

The crowd burst into applause as the actress worked her way down the vaulted corridor of the Accademia di Brera dressed in a classic silk Bottega Veneto trench coat.

Creative director Tomas Maier said the brand has been working through its archives during the 15 years he has been at Bottega Veneta and found Hutton's bag from the 1980 film among the treasures.

"I thought it would be nice for her to carry the bag from the film one more time," Maier said after the show. "'We love Lauren Hutton for many more reasons than that."

Eva Herzigova and Gigi Hadid also walked in the show for Maier. Guests in attendance included Andie MacDowell, Marisa Tomei and Liz Goldwyn.

With so many brands changing creative directors recently, Maier said his relative longevity was a mutual choice.

"It is like a marriage. If you want to make it work, it works," he said.

___

PRIVATE LUXURY

The Bottega Veneta brand avoids flash, and its appeal is in details that are most apparent to the individual wearing a garment. Maier says that is by design.

"It's a personal experience. When you wear a coat, you discover how light it is. When you wear a sweater, you discover it has no seams," Maier said. "It has always been about the experience. Feeling the materials, getting the sensibility."

To mark the brand's 50th anniversary, Maier showed the men's and women's collections together — with the "more sturdy" menswear and "more colorful" womenswear each playing off each other. The looks were clean-cut, projecting timeless wholesomeness.

The soft female silhouette emphasized curves, with belted waistlines and low-cut V-necks, and the models themselves were more voluptuous than on many runways. Sheer knitwear added to the sex appeal.

The men's looks were loose and boxy, with high-waist trousers that gather generously above the belt paired with simple polo shirts.

Bright yellow, pink and copper nappa leather coats had a sheen that appeared nearly plastic. Evening dresses wrapped and plunged along the figure, trailing magnificently along the stone corridors.

The garments, which emphasize the brand's artisanal heritage, are made to last, Maier said.

"When you spend a lot of money, that shouldn't be disposable. It can be passed on," he said.

____

DELICATE BEAUTY

In his eveningwear for next season, Ermanno Scervino has created delicate confections of otherworldly beauty.

The Florentine designer masterfully pleats and smocks silk organza to give it a form all its own, keeping the dresses so light they had the appearance of floating. Shapes varied from halter dresses with full skirts and Victorian ruffles at the neck to asymmetrical Roman-style wraps.

The colors were as delicate as the looks: pastel pink, creamy yellow and sea-foam green.

Scervino's collection for next spring and summer also took turns that were more edgy. A skin-tight pink jumpsuit had a futuristic flare. A series of body-hugging skirts and dresses in ivory that featured pearl buttons along deep-cut V-necks evoked sex appeal.

A sequence of blue-and-white striped looks, from mini-dresses to high-waist trousers with tucked-in blouses, had vertical and horizontal bands providing an optical effect that injected freshness.

Scervino described the collection as "harmonious" and "sexy."

___

FASHION OUT OF PROPORTION

Rodolfo Paglialungo played with proportions for the Jil Sander label, with big shoulders emerging as the emblem of the season.

The designer said that while the 1940s silhouette was his starting point, he "absolutely did not want something retro."

What emerged were what he called "strange proportions,"— the oversized shoulders that defined the looks flowing into a slim, fitted skirt, loose shorts or trousers.

The classic Jil Sander suit came in pinstripes and was paired with an oxford shirt with an outsized tail that hung past the jacket hem.

Among the most startling looks were a series of pleated dresses, origami-like in their precision, with the rounded shoulders creating a semicircular effect over a straight skirt.

The color palette was classic cream, black and gray with accents of salmon and pumpkin.

___

BORDERLESS DESIGN

A 1950s exuberance permeated Antonio Marras' looks for next season. The designer presented clothes meant to move in. To emphasize the point, Marras put dancers doing the twist in the center of the runway for the finale.

The collection was inspired by Malick Sidibe's photographs from Mali in the 1950s and 1960s that captured men and women going out dancing dressed in Western styles.

"Music and clothes were coming from the West of the world, and what I liked, as always, is the mixture," the designer said backstage.

In keeping with the inspiration, skirts were voluminous and flared, with gathering and pleats, or kept loose and flowing, as in sarongs, tunics and kaftans.

The colors were more subdued than the usual fashion references to Africa, featuring beige, ecru and sand tones with hints of color and floral accents that the designer said were more English than African.

Many of the looks included remnants of the production process, including embroidery, beaded flowers, fringe and ribbons.

Like Bottega Veneta, Marras showed menswear alongside womenswear, using the same fabrics and colors "to show what is similar between the two," he said.

___

Paola Masera contributed to this report. Follow Colleen Barry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/colbarry

Louisiana accordionist Buckwheat Zydeco has died

Musician Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural Jr., who rose from a cotton-picking family in southwest Louisiana to introduce zydeco music to the world through his namesake band Buckwheat Zydeco, has died. He was 68.

His longtime manager Ted Fox told The Associated Press that Dural died Saturday. He had suffered from lung cancer.

Fox said the musician and accordionist died at 1:32 a.m. Louisiana time at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. He gained fame by introducing zydeco music of southwest Louisiana to the world.

"This is one of the world's true genius musicians. A completely natural musician who could just fit in in any scenario," Fox said.

As news of his death spread, friends from around the world paid their respects.

"Buckwheat Zydeco embodied a genre and represented a community with his signature playing style that brought distinctly creole zydeco music to fans across the globe," said Neil Portnow, who heads The Recording Academy. "The world lost a music heavyweight today."

Zydeco music was well known across southwest Louisiana where people would often drive for miles to small dancehalls where zydeco bands featuring an accordion and a washboard would rock the crowds for hours.

But Dural took zydeco music mainstream, launching a major-label album — the Grammy-nominated "On a Night Like This," — with Island Records in 1987. He went on to jam with musical greats like Eric Clapton, play at former President Bill Clinton's inauguration and perform at the 1996 Olympics closing ceremony in Atlanta.

He jammed with Jimmy Fallon on the final episode of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Fallon played the guitar backed up by the Roots while Buckwheat Zydeco rocked the accordion.

"He brought zydeco to unprecedented new audiences," said Ben Sandmel, a music historian who wrote a book titled "Zydeco!" about the music.

Dural earned his nickname because he had braided hair when he was younger that resembled Buckwheat from The Little Rascals television show. Born Nov. 14, 1947 in Lafayette, Louisiana, Dural was one of 13 children. His father played the accordion but the younger Dural preferred listening to and playing rhythm & blues and learned to play the organ, his obituary said.

Sandmel said while Dural was internationally famous for his zydeco music he was also an accomplished R&B artist and a diverse musician.

By the late 1950s he was backing up musicians and eventually formed his own band. In 1976 he joined legendary zydeco artist Clifton Chenier's Red Hot Louisiana Band as an organist, launching an important musical turn in his career.

"I had so much fun playing that first night with Clifton. We played for four hours and I wasn't ready to quit," he said in comments quoted in his obituary.

In 1978 he took up the accordion so closely associated with zydeco music and later formed his own band called Buckwheat Zydeco, his obituary said.

It was the 1987 Island Records five-record deal that eventually brought Dural to a wider audience, and he went on to tour with Clapton, record with artists such as Ry Cooper, Paul Simon, Dwight Yoakam and Willie Nelson.

Fox called him an "old-fashioned showbiz professional" who was always focused on giving the audience — regardless of either they were eight or 80,000-strong — a good time.

Fox described one evening in 1987 where Dural took the stage during a concert where legends Clapton, Ringo Starr and Phil Collins were already jamming. Playing a Hammond B3 — a multi-tiered organ — Dural got into a back-and-forth jam with Clapton, who eventually turned around, stuck out his hand to Dural and said: "Hi! I'm Eric Clapton. Who are you?"

The two went on to tour together, including a 12-night gig at London's Royal Albert Hall.

"He had this incredible charisma both onstage and personally," Fox said. "To the end of his days with all the stuff that he'd done, all the awards, he was still the same Stanley Dural Jr. who was picking cotton when he was 5-years-old."

Some people described Dural and his music as Cajun. The term generally refers to the French-speaking Catholics expelled from Nova Scotia by the British during the 1700's who eventually settled southwest Louisiana, although it's often used to refer more generically to French-speaking people in the area regardless of where they're from.

But Fox said while Dural loved Cajun music and often performed with Cajun musicians, he was very clear that he and his music were Creole, to the point where Fox said he even included in contracts language explaining that he was not Cajun.

Fox says his daughter Tomorrow Dural has created a fundraising campaign to help with medical and other expenses.

Dural is survived by his wife, Bernite Dural, and his five children.

__

Follow Santana on Twitter @ruskygal.

Pippa Middleton's phone hacked, thousands of photos stolen

London police say they are investigating the reported hacking of the iCloud account of Pippa Middleton, younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, and the alleged theft of 3,000 photographs.

The Sun newspaper said Saturday it had been contacted by a purported hacker seeking to sell the images for a minimum of 50,000 pounds ($65,000). It said the seller communicated using the pseudonym "Crafty Cockney" on an encrypted messaging service and sent sample photos showing Middleton being fitted for a wedding dress in advance of her planned 2017 nuptials.

The Sun said the hacker also claimed to possess Middleton's informal photos of sister Kate with her children, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, and naked images of her fiancé, James Matthews.

The Metropolitan Police says no arrests have been made.

Sting appears at Utah production of his Broadway musical

Sting got to see his defunct Broadway musical "The Last Ship" set sail once more in Utah.

The Grammy-winning singer and songwriter popped up Thursday night at a Salt Lake City theater which began staging the show earlier this month.

The Deseret News reports (http://bit.ly/2cLgebl) that Sting spoke during the curtain call, thanking the director, choreographer and cast.

Running through Oct. 1, the Utah staging is the first since "The Last Ship" closed on Broadway in January 2015 after only a few months.

Sting wrote the songs for the musical, a semiautobiographical story about a prodigal son who returns to his northern England shipbuilding town and finds the workers are now unemployed.

The musician even joined the Broadway cast for the last two months of production.

___

Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com

Sting appears at Utah production of his Broadway musical

Sting got to see his defunct Broadway musical "The Last Ship" set sail once more in Utah.

The Grammy-winning singer and songwriter popped up Thursday night at a Salt Lake City theater which began staging the show earlier this month.

The Deseret News reports (http://bit.ly/2cLgebl) that Sting spoke during the curtain call, thanking the director, choreographer and cast.

Running through Oct. 1, the Utah staging is the first since "The Last Ship" closed on Broadway in January 2015 after only a few months.

Sting wrote the songs for the musical, a semiautobiographical story about a prodigal son who returns to his northern England shipbuilding town and finds the workers are now unemployed.

The musician even joined the Broadway cast for the last two months of production.

___

Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com

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