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By United Press International   |   June 6, 2012 at 4:00 AM

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HERB REED: Herb Reed, the last surviving member of the vocal quintet The Platters, has died in Massachusetts after a period of declining health, his representatives said.

He was 83 when he died Monday.

No specific cause of death was given.

The Missouri native and his group performed sold-out shows in more than 100 countries; made nearly 400 recordings and sold millions of albums, earning them membership in the Rock and Roll, Vocal Group and Grammy halls of fame.

Reed sang bass for The Platters on such 1950s hits as "The Great Pretender," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "Only You" and "Twilight Time."

He toured up until last year with younger singers as Herb Reed and the Platters or Herb Reed's Platters.

In 2011, a federal court judge in Nevada ruled Reed possessed superior rights to the name The Platters, a decision that returned to Reed rights to the name of the group he founded with three other men in 1953, making him the sole heir to the group's tremendous legacy.

"You know, a lot of people tell me to just hang it up," Reed told his biographer in early 2012. "But I just cannot do that. It's not right to have someone steal your name. It's just not right. We were cheated back then, but that's how things were done then. It's doubly wrong to face it again today. It's theft, and I have to fight so that no other artist faces this."

When Reed learned of the court's decision, he was elated, said Frederick J. Balboni Jr., Reed's and his company's manager.

"He teared up and told me this was the most important thing he had done. He joked that he was going to have the judge's decision framed and hung up along the gold and platinum records that line the walls of his home," Balboni said.

Reed lived in Arlington, Mass., for the last several years and maintained a home in Miami, Fla.

He is survived by a son, Herbert, Jr., and three grandsons.

Complete funeral arrangements will be announced soon, his manager said.


SHERYL CROW: American singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow says she has been diagnosed with a benign brain tumor after forgetting the lyrics to some of her hits while performing.

"I worried about my memory so much that I went and got an MRI. And I found out I have a brain tumor," Crow, 50, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"And I was, like: 'See? I knew there was something wrong,'" she said. "I haven't really talked about it. In November, I found out I have a brain tumor. But it's benign, so I don't have to worry about it. But it gives me a fit."

The newspaper said Crow's condition doesn't seem to be slowing her down. She is working on a new album, as well as writing a stage musical version of "Diner" with Barry Levinson, the writer-director of the 1982 film.


CRITICS' CHOICE AWARD NODS: The junior college-set sitcom "Community" earned a leading six Critics' Choice Award nominations in Los Angeles Tuesday.

The show will compete with "The Big Bang Theory," "Girls," "Modern Family," "New Girl" and "Parks and Recreation" for the Best Comedy Series title.

Shortlisted for Best Actor in a Comedy Series are Don Cheadle for "House of Lies," Louis C.K. for "Louie," Larry David for "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Garret Dillahunt for "Raising Hope," Joel McHale for "Community" and Jim Parsons for "The Big Bang Theory."

The nominees for Best Actress in a Comedy Series are Zooey Deschanel for "New Girl," Lena Dunham for "Girls," Julia Louis Dreyfus for "Veep," Martha Plimpton for "Raising Hope," Amy Poehler for "Parks and Recreation" and Ashley Rickards for "Awkward."

Mentioned in the category of Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series are Ty Burrell for "Modern Family," Max Greenfield for "New Girl," Nick Offerman for "Parks and Recreation," Danny Pudi and Jim Rash for "Community" and Damon Wayans Jr. for "Happy Endings."

Up for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy are Julie Bowen for "Modern Family," Alison Brie for "Community," Cheryl Hines for "Suburgatory," Gillian Jacobs for "Community," Eden Sher for "The Middle" and Casey Wilson for "Happy Endings."

In the running for Best Drama Series are "Breaking Bad," "Downton Abbey," "Game of Thrones," "The Good Wife," "Homeland" and "Mad Men."

The nominees for Best Actor in a Drama Series are Bryan Cranston for "Breaking Bad," Kelsey Grammer for "Boss," Jon Hamm for "Mad Men," Charlie Hunnam for "Sons of Anarchy," Damian Lewis for "Homeland" and Timothy Olyphant for "Justified."

The prizes are to be handed out by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association June 18 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.


AMANDA BYNES: The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office says actress Amanda Bynes has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The "Hairspray" and "What a Girl Wants" star was arrested April 6 after she allegedly hit a police cruiser she was trying to pass.

E! News said the complaint against Bynes said the actress refused a peace officer's request to submit to and/or complete a chemical test to determine how much -- if any -- substance was in her system.

Bynes repeatedly has denied drinking or using drugs before getting behind the wheel the night in question.

The actress is to be arraigned Wednesday on the misdemeanor charge.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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