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April 15, 2021 GMT

J-ROD ARE DONE: JENNIFER LOPEZ AND ALEX RODRIGUEZ HAVE SPLIT

LOS ANGELES (AP) - J-Lo and A-Rod are no longer J-Rod — officially. Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez told the “Today” show Thursday in a joint statement that they are calling off their two-year engagement. “We are better as friends,” the statement says. The couple started dating in early 2017. They issued a statement in March that disputed reports they were breaking up. The couple was given the nickname “J-Rod” three years ago after they landed on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine.

R. KELLY WILL BE MOVED TO NEW YORK FOR SEX TRAFFICKING TRIAL

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NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge has given the green light to move jailed R&B singer R. Kelly to New York City to go on trial this summer after several delays. Kelly has been held in Chicago, where he’s facing a potential second trial in the fall in a separate federal case related to a sprawling sex crimes investigation. The trial in Brooklyn federal court been delayed several times because of the pandemic. But the judge said on Thursday that it would finally go forward on Aug. 9. Kelly has denied charges he sexually exploited women and girls.

MYSTIKAL SEEKS TO REKINDLE CAREER AFTER SCANDAL

NEW YORK (AP) — Mystikal says he’s put his past behind him. But he says he realizes a lot of people might have trouble believing or accepting that. After forging a rap career based on sexually-charged tunes, he saw his personal life derailed by his conviction on sexual battery charges. And back in December, he saw rape and kidnapping charges against him dismissed. Now that his legal issues are behind him, Mystikal says he’s being booked for gigs again. And he says he happy that one of his songs was used in trailers for Eddie Murphy’s “Coming 2 America.”

BROADWAY STAR BALKS AT RETURN OVER ALLEGATIONS AGAINST PRODUCER

NEW YORK (AP) — Broadway star Karen Olivo says she won’t return to “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” once it reopens. And it has nothing to do with COVID-19 worries. She says she’s frustrated by the way the Broadway industry has handled claims about producer Scott Rudin. Olivio says little was done after a cover story in The Hollywood Reporter on Rudin. It featured accounts of his throwing glass bowls, staples and baked potatoes at former employees. Olivio says she’d rather go without work than to ignore the ongoing battle for social justice.

GAY PEFORMERS EXPRESS SUPPORT OF “BACHELOR” CONTESTANT

UNDATED (AP) — A pair of openly gay celebrities are expressing support for Colton Underwood, the former “The Bachelor” contestant who is now out as gay. Billy Eichner said he was happy for Underwood, adding, “if you’re gay, be gay!” And Andy Cohen, addressing Underwood on Twitter writes, “You’re free now.” Underwood told “Good Morning America” yesterday he came to terms with his sexuality earlier this year — and the next step was to let people know.

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N.Y. PHILHARMONIC RESUMES PRODUCTIONS AFTER MORE THAN A YEAR

NEW YORK (AP) — “On behalf of all of us on stage, welcome back.” With those words, conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen addressed the first audience to catch an live, in-person performance by the New York Philharmonic. Until last night’s show, the Philharmonic hadn’t performed for exactly 400 days. The show was at a venue about 2 miles from Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which is under renovation.

ATLANTA HIGH SCHOOL TO BE RENAMED AFTER HANK AARON

ATLANTA (AP) — It’s quite a post-death honor for baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron. Atlanta’s Board of Education has voted unanimously to name a high school after the late big-league slugger. Making the re-naming even more significant is that the school had been named for a Ku Klux Klan member. The new name is expected to be in place by time students return to the Atlanta alternative school in August. Aaron, who played most of his career with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves, died in January at age 86. His chase to break Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974 was tainted by the racist hate mail and death threats he received.