People talk 10/6/04

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Jimmy Buffett having more fun than ever

NEW YORK -- Jimmy Buffett is far from "wasting away in Margaritaville." At 57, he continues to tour and record, with no plans to slow down. "Well, I always said that I wouldn't use a teleprompter and if I start to sing real flat, I'll hang it up," the singer says in an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes II" to air tonight. "I'm having more fun now." Early in his career, Buffett wanted to be a country singer. He moved to Nashville, Tenn., where he wrote for Billboard magazine. He relocated to Key West, Fla., in the early 1970s and adopted his laid-back, toes-in-the-sand persona. His songs include "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise."

Entertainers raise over $300,000 for ACLU

NEW YORK -- Robin Williams, Paul Simon and a host of other entertainers took the stage at a benefit for the American Civil Liberties Union, which forfeited money from a federal fund drive because it refused to screen its employees against a suspected terrorist "watch list." Emily Whitfield, a spokeswoman for the ACLU, said the event raised over $300,000. The benefit, held at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, was produced by composer Philip Glass and featured about two dozen performers, including Richard Gere, Sarah Jones, Tony Kushner, Jake Gyllenhaal and his sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal.

London-based Zellweger plans to take time off

LONDON -- "Bridget Jones" star Renee Zellweger says that being around British people makes her feel "curt and clumsy." In an interview with London's Time Out magazine, the Oscar-winning actress -- who lived in London while filming the hit 2001 comedy "Bridget Jones's Diary" and its sequel, "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" -- also revealed that she plans to take a year off from movies to spend time with friends.

'American Idol' winner seeks celebrity status

SINGAPORE -- Fantasia Barrino, winner of the third season of the popular Fox TV "American Idol" talent competition, wants people to remember her name. "I'm not going to let people forget me. I'm going to be on cereal boxes, milk cartons and ice-cream trucks," said Barrino, who now goes by her first name. "I don't want everybody to see me as the 'American Idol' -- I want them to see me as Fantasia," she told reporters in Singapore, where she and other former "American Idol" contestants were to perform Tuesday. "I think it's just about pushing past 'American Idol' and going on with your career," said the singer from High Point, N.C.

Dollywood theme park readying for expansion

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. -- Dolly Parton's Dollywood theme park, Tennessee's biggest tourist attraction, is getting bigger. The amusement park, located in the Great Smoky Mountains, will add 10 rides in 2005 in a 3 1/2-acre expansion of the park's Country Fair area that will increase ride capacity by more than 2,000 passengers an hour. "This project will allow more people to enjoy Country Fair, one of Dollywood's most popular areas," said Dollywood general manager Barbara Joines. No value on the additions was disclosed. The new rides will mix traditional midway favorites with unique attractions, such as an airplane-style ride that allows passengers to create their own experience.

-- From wire reports

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