ARIANA GRANDE IS ENGAGED
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ariana Grande is engaged. The singer has posted a series of photos of her and her beau — along with her engagement ring. Grande’s Instagram posts show her cuddling with Dalton Gomez, a luxury real estate agent. The photos were captioned, “forever n then some.” Grande was engaged to “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson. But they ended their engagement the same year it began, in 2018.
PROSECUTORS DROP RAPE CHARGES AGAINST MYSTIKAL
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Rape and kidnapping charges were dropped against Mystikal after new evidence was discovered. He had been indicted in 2017 in connection with a sexual assault at a casino in Shreveport, Louisiana, in October, 2016. Authorities say a second grand jury cleared Mystikal on Thursday. He had been jailed for a year and a half before his release in February 2019 on a $3 million bond. Mystikal previously had served six years in prison after he pleaded guilty in 2003 to forcing his hairstylist to perform sexual acts on him and two bodyguards.
DENNIS ZAGER OF ZAGER AND EVANS DONATES INSTRUMENTS
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The public school district in Lincoln, Nebraska, has gotten a donation of nearly 700 guitars, thanks to Dennis Zager of Zager and Evans, famous for the 1969 hit “In the Year 2525.” Zager and his son, Dennis Zager Jr., run Zager Guitars. They decided the pandemic was a good time to pay it forward. The guitars will be distributed to nearly every school in the district. The younger Zager tells the Lincoln Journal Star his father had a hard time with school because of dyslexia, and the guitar changed his life. The son says they started guitar donations with their hometown, but they’d like to make more across the U.S.
PAUL McCARTNEY IS IN FAVOR OF GETTING COVID VACCINE
LONDON (AP) - Paul McCartney says if he’s allowed to get the coronavirus vaccine, he will. McCartney tells the BBC he encourages others to get the vaccine as well. McCartney was supposed to headline 2020’s Glastonbury Festival in the U.K., but he’s skeptical that it will happen in 2021. He says that would mean 100,000 people close together, and “talk about a super spreader.” McCartney’s new album, “McCartney 3,” is out now.
SHAWN MENDES PUTS HIS HEART INTO HIS SONGS
MIAMI (AP) - Shawn Mendes has found that the more he shows his weaknesses, the more people feel connected to him. Mendes has opened up about his struggles with anxiety, most recently with the song “Monster.” He acknowledges that being that open sometimes leaves him vulnerable to criticism, but he feels that the connection is worth it. Mendes says he’ll talk with his collaborator, Scott Harris, in vague terms about what’s going on his life, but Harris always pushes for the real stuff. Mendes says that ends up making a better song.
TAYLOR SWIFT IS NUMBER ONE -- AND NUMBER THREE
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Taylor Swift has earned her eighth number-one album, with “Evermore.” It moved 329,000 units in the past week, putting it at the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart. Swift also claims the number-three spot, with “Folklore.” Kid Cudi is in second place with “Man on the Moon 3: The Chosen.” At number four is “Christmas” by Michael Buble’ (boo-BLAY’). Jack Harlow’s “That’s What They All Say” is number five.