AP Top Entertainment News at 12:00 p.m. EST

Even before controversy, blacks cool to Oscars telecast
NEW YORK (AP) -- The largest black audience for the Academy Awards over the last dozen years came in 2005, when Chris Rock was host and Jamie Foxx and Morgan Freeman won the top male acting awards....

AP NewsBreak: Slavery book author says she had concerns
NEW YORK (AP) -- The author of a children's book pulled last month because of its smiling depiction of slaves says she herself objected to the illustrations and had expressed early concerns with the publisher, Scholastic....

Taylor Swift to kick off the Grammy Awards with performance
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Taylor Swift will open the 58th annual Grammy Awards with a performance from her nominated album, "1989," while Alabama Shakes, Miguel and 12-year-old jazz pianist Joey Alexander will also perform....

Actress Sarah Steele juggles 'The Good Wife' and Broadway
NEW YORK (AP) -- Sarah Steele's return to Broadway is good news. Well, maybe not for everyone....

Discussions underway on Woodstock 50th anniversary concert
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) -- One of the organizers of the original 1969 Woodstock music festival says talks are underway to stage a 50th anniversary concert....

Arkansas chief justice cites Johnny Cash in bail dissent
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Objecting to the Arkansas Supreme Court ruling that lower-court judges can require that defendants pay their bail only in cash, the high court's chief justice cited a musician seldom thought of as a legal scholar: Johnny Cash....

Armstrong, Domingo, McDonald picked for Lincoln Center hall
NEW YORK (AP) -- Louis Armstrong, Placido Domingo, Yo-Yo Ma, Audra McDonald, Leontyne Price and Harold Prince are this year's selections for the Performing Arts Hall of Fame at Lincoln Center....

Country music returns to Grammys after years away
NEW YORK (AP) -- Country music has not had an album or song nominated in the top three categories at the Grammys since 2011 when Lady Antebellum won big, but the genre is back strong, thanks to Chris Stapleton's overall success and Little Big Town's megahit, "Girl Crush."...

'Star Wars' producers charged over Harrison Ford accident
LONDON (AP) -- British health authorities announced Thursday they have issued criminal charges against the producers of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" over an on-set accident in which Harrison Ford broke his leg....

Born to write: Springsteen memoir coming in September
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Boss has a book deal....

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