Tower Records founder Russ Solomon dies drinking whiskey, complaining about Oscars

Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2018 @ 9:59 AM

Tower Records founder Russ Solomon pictured in 2008. Solomon died March 4, 2018, of a heart attack.
David Livingston/Getty Images
Tower Records founder Russ Solomon pictured in 2008. Solomon died March 4, 2018, of a heart attack.(David Livingston/Getty Images)

Russ Solomon, the founder of Tower Records, died Sunday at age 92. 

According to his son, Michael Solomon, the music store entrepreneur died while watching the Oscars and drinking whiskey.

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The Sacramento Bee reported that Russ Solomon died of a heart attack.

“Ironically, he was giving his opinion of what someone was wearing that he thought was ugly, then asked (his wife) Patti to refill his whiskey,” Michael Solomon, former chief executive of Tower, said.

He died by the time his wife came back with his drink.

CNN reported that Russ Solomon began his empire by selling records at his father’s pharmacy in the 1950s. He opened the first Tower Records in 1960 in Sacramento, California. During the height of the demand for physical music, the business thrived across the world.

But by the late 1990s, music sharing sites like Napster drove business away from stores like Tower. By 2004, the company filed for bankruptcy and in 2006, it was liquidated.

The music community mourned Solomon’s loss on Twitter.

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7 things to know about 'Sex in the City' star Cynthia Nixon, candidate for NY gov.

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 10:02 PM

Getting To Know Cynthia Nixon

Former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon announced her run for New York Governor Monday after flirting with the idea for several months.

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"I love New York, and today I'm announcing my candidacy for governor," she revealed on Twitter.

According to her campaign press release, Nixon will be spending the coming weeks traveling across the state to hear from voters.

She will challenge 60-year-old Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a two-term incumbent, in New York’s Democratic primary in September.

She was born and bred in New York.

Nixon, 51, was born on April 9, 1966 and raised in the Upper West Side with her mother. In her campaign video, Nixon said she grew up “in a one-bedroom fifth floor walk-up.”

She later attended Hunter College High School and Barnard College before breaking out into her Broadway career primarily to save money to support herself through college, she told the New York Times in 2012.

Nixon, who identified herself as bisexual in 2012, was in a relationship with David Mozes from 1988 to 2003. The couple have two children together.

In 2004, Nixon began dating activist Christine Marinoni and they eventually married in 2012. They have one child together.

>> Related: Illinois primary could set up most expensive governor's race

Nixon is a Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winner.

For her role as lawyer Miranda Hobbes on “Sex and the City,” Nixon was awarded an Emmy Award in 2004 for outstanding supporting actress, and a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2002 and 2004 for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.

Nixon made her Broadway debut in 1980 in the revival of “The Philadelphia Story” and later earned Tony Awards for her foles in “Rabbit Hole” (2006) and “The Little Foxes” (2017).

She was awarded a Grammy in 2009 for her “An Inconvenient Truth” spoken word album.

Explore her full list of awards at

She’s a survivor of breast cancer.

In 2006, Nixon was diagnosed with breast cancer and admitted to  Good Morning America in 2008 that she initially wanted to keep the news to herself but later became the official spokeswoman for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

"I want them [women] most to hear me saying that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. So the only thing to really be afraid of is if you don't go get your mammograms, because there's some part of you that doesn't want to know, and that's the thing that's going to trip you up. That's the thing that could have a really bad endgame," she said.

Nixon’s cancer was caught at an early stage and required a lumpectomy and radiation, but no chemotherapy.

She’s a longtime activist. 

Nixon first made political headlines during the 2011 campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in New York. During that campaign, she lobbied state lawmakers in Albany and was later honored by GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign with its Visibility Award for her work advocating for marriage equality.

In January, Nixon was also among a group of celebrity activists that came together for "the People's State of the Union,” an alternative event to President Donald Trump's first State of the Union speech.

She has in the past been very vocal about women’s health care and on education issues, serving on de Blasio's advisory board for the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.

>> Related: Georgia Senate advances adoption bill called anti-LGBT

As a spokesperson for the Alliance for Quality Education, Nixon recently spoke out against Gov. Cuomo’s proposed education budget.

Actor and activist Cynthia Nixon speaks onstage during IFP's 27th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards on November 27, 2017 in New York City.  (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for IFP)

“Governor Cuomo had a chance today to put the next generation of New Yorkers first,” she said in a January 2018 AQE statement. “Instead, he proposed yet another budget that will keep New York at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to educational equity and justice. Governor Cuomo claims he has provided record increases in education funding, but in reality, he has created a record spending gap between the wealthiest and poorest school districts.”

If elected, she would make history.

Nixon would become the first female governor and first openly gay governor in New York history.

About her platform

“We are now the most unequal state in the entire country, with both incredible wealth and extreme poverty,” Nixon said in a video posted on Twitter announcing her candidacy.

According to her campaign website, Nixon’s state platform focuses on income inequality, renewable energy, access to health care, concerns about mass incarceration, passing the DREAM Act and “fixing our broken subway.”

She also emphasizes strengthening and renewing expiring rent laws to avoid “raising rents, and forcing people out of their homes.”

“Andrew Cuomo has given massive tax breaks to corporations and the super rich while starving the state and its cities of the most basic services and decimating our infrastructure,” Nixon wrote on her campaign site. “His inhumane budgets have been passed on the backs of our children, our working and middle class, and our elderly.”

“Together,” she added, “we could show the entire country and the world that in the era of Donald Trump, New Yorkers will come together and lead our nation forward.”


Chances against Cuomo

“Her campaign may test the appetite of New Yorkers for a celebrity leader in the age of President Trump, a deeply unpopular figure here among Democrats,” the New York Times reported.

But Nixon has her work cut out for her. A Siena College poll released Monday showed Cuomo leading her 66 percent to 19 percent among registered Democrats, and by a similar margin among self-identified liberals, AP reported. The poll of 772 registered voters was conducted March 11-16. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Cuomo, whose approval ratings have dropped below 50 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released in February, recently mocked the celebrity status the Grammy, Emmy and Tony winner could bring to the race.

"Normally name recognition is relevant when it has some connection to the endeavor," Cuomo said earlier this month. "If it was just about name recognition, then I'm hoping that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Billy Joel don't get into the race."

Jefrey Pollock, pollster and political adviser to Cuomo and other prominent Democrats, told AP that celebrity isn't likely to trump governing experience in the voting booth.

"Over and over in our research, Democratic primary voters say they're not looking for an outsider because they look to Washington, D.C., and see what the outsider has meant to this country," Pollock said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Caitlyn Jenner has ‘sun damage’ removed from nose, warns fans to practice sun safety

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 9:10 AM

What You Need to Know About Skin Cancer

Years of being in the sun has taken a toll on Caitlyn Jenner’s skin.

She recently posted on Instagram that she had what she called “sun damage” removed from her nose, US Magazine reported.

Jenner also reminded her followers to wear sunblock. The warning accompanied a photo of Jenner with a red nose where skin had been removed.

People Magazine reported that it was a cancerous basal cell carcinoma which was removed.

Jenner’s stepdaughter, Khloé Kardashian, also had a skin cancer scare in 2016. “There was one mole I had on my back that was skin cancer. I had 8 inches of skin removed,” US reported that Kardashian wrote on her website. “It was definitely painful because it was a lot of skin, but most of the time the removals hadn’t been that bad.”

Doctors remind everyone that they should use sunscreen when outside, People Magazine reported.

Warning signs of basal cell carcinoma

According to, there are five warning signs for basal cell carcinoma. 

  • Open sore that bleeds or crusts for a few weeks, then heals, then repeats.
  • Red patch on face, chest, shoulder, arms or legs that can itch or hurt at times.
  • Shiny bump or nodule that is pearly or clear. It can also be tan, black or brown and could be confused with a mole.
  • Pink growth with a slightly elevated rolled border. It could also have a crusted dent in the center.
  • Scar-like white, yellow or waxy area. It could be a warning of an invasive basal cell carcinoma that’s larger than than the surface area.


According to, there are multiple types of treatments for basal cell carcinoma:

  • Curettage, Electrodesiccation: The growth is scraped off with a curette and the tumor is burned with an electrified needle.
  • Mohs micrographic surgery: Doctors remove a thin layer of tissue that contains the tumor and it is repeated until the spot is cancer-free.
  • Excisional surgery: Doctors remove the entire growth and the surrounding tissue.
  • Radiation: X-rays are sent through the tumor.
  • Cryosurgery: The tumor is frozen with liquid nitrogen and the area blisters or crusts then falls off. 
  • Photodynamic Therapy: Doctors use blue light and a topical lotion on the lesion.
  • Laser Surgery: Lasers destroy the lesions either by removing the skin’s top layer or by targeting under the skin. 
  • Topical medications: Medications like Imiquimod or 5-Fluorouracil are able to treat specific basal cell carcinoma.
  • Oral medications: Vismodegib and sonidegib are given to patients with advanced basal cell carcinomas.

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NSYNC reuniting at Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in April

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:44 PM

NSYNC is being honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 30. (Photo from Hollywood Chamber of Commerce news release)
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
NSYNC is being honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 30. (Photo from Hollywood Chamber of Commerce news release)(Hollywood Chamber of Commerce)

A date has been set for the long-awaited NSYNC reunion.

Although the ‘90s and early 2000s boy band won’t be performing, the group is expected to come together for its Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony April 30.

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Variety reported that the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced the ceremony date Tuesday in a news release. Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick are all attending, according to the band’s official Twitter page.

Related: Lance Bass says NSYNC is reuniting soon for Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony

Despite the group making a public appearance as a whole for the first time in years, fans should not expect new music. Although Bass has teased the Walk of Fame reunion, he said it doesn’t mean a tour.

“If people want to call the Walk Of Fame Star a ‘reunion’ then fine, but we have no plans on making any new music or tour,” Bass said on Twitter in February.

Variety reported that the group went on hiatus in 2002. Since then, they’ve only reunited to perform as a band in 2013, when Timberlake was honored with the MTV VMA Video Vanguard award.

The April 30 ceremony will be at 11:30 a.m. local time in Los Angeles. The Hollywood Chamber will air the ceremony live on its website.

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French Montana celebrates opening of Uganda hospital 

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 3:33 PM

French Montana has celebrated the opening of Suubi Health Centre in Iganga, Uganda. The hospital has served more than 300,000 people, reports say. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
French Montana has celebrated the opening of Suubi Health Centre in Iganga, Uganda. The hospital has served more than 300,000 people, reports say. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)(Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

French Montana is giving back to the country he visited a year ago.

Billboard reported that the 33-year-old rapper celebrated the one-year anniversary of his one-year trip to Uganda with a March 13 Instagram post. He also celebrated the opening of hospital in the east African country.

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“Happy one year anniversary to my family in Uganda,” French captioned his post. “Can’t believe we got so much done in one year !! Thank u for the opportunity.”

The Source reported that the rapper was inspired to help after seeing the lack of health care in the county. He donated $100,000 to the Suubi Health Center, a nonprofit hospital that offers medical services to poor villages around Iganga, Uganda.

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French’s donation spurred action from others and was matched by Diddy, The Weeknd and others.

The hospital can now serve 300,000 people.

XXL reported that French has since partnered with Mama Hope, which works to equip local people in community led projects, and Global Citizen, an organization that aims to end poverty. In January, he was named a Global Citizen ambassador for his work, becoming the first inn hip-hop to do so. 

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