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By United Press International   |   June 8, 2012 at 4:01 AM
The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

BOB WELCH: Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch died of an apparent suicide Thursday afternoon at his Tennessee home, police told Billboard.com. He was 66.

WKRN-TV, Nashville, and The Tennessean newspaper said Welch's wife discovered the Los Angeles-born musician with a gunshot wound to his chest at their home in Antioch.

Police spokesman Don Aaron told Billboard.com Welch had a history of health issues and left a suicide note.

Welch joined Fleetwood Mac in 1971, playing guitar and singing on five albums.

After leaving the band, he enjoyed success as a solo artist. His platinum-selling 1977 album "French Kiss" featured the hits "Sentimental Lady," "Ebony Eyes" and "Hot Love, Cold World."


NATASHA THRETHEWEY: The U.S. Library of Congress said Thursday Natasha Trethewey has been appointed poet laureate for 2012-13.

Trethewey, the 19th poet laureate, will take up her duties in the fall, opening the library's annual literary season with a reading of her work Sept. 13 in the Coolidge Auditorium in Washington.

"Natasha Trethewey is an outstanding poet/historian in the mold of Robert Penn Warren, our first poet laureate consultant in poetry," Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a statement. "Her poems dig beneath the surface of history -- personal or communal, from childhood or from a century ago -- to explore the human struggles that we all face."

Trethewey succeeds Philip Levine as poet laureate and joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position including W. S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Gluck, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass and Rita Dove.

She is the author of three poetry collections, including "Native Guard," "Bellocq's Ophelia" and "Domestic Work." An English and creative writing professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Trethewey will reside in the Washington area from January through May and work in the Poets Room of the Poetry and Literature Center.


PHILLIP PHILLIPS: Phillip Phillips' publicist says the "American Idol" winner has undergone successful surgery to remove kidney stones too large to pass.

The 21-year-old Georgia native had the 6 1/2-hour operation Wednesday, TMZ reported.

"Surgery went well," his representative told People.com. "He's resting."

Phillips is set to perform with his fellow former contestants on the Idols Live Tour, which begins July 6 in Detroit.


'TRUE BLOOD:' "True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season" is the top-selling DVD and Blu-ray in the United States, Rentrak said Thursday.

Coming in at No. 2 on the sales chart for the week ending June 3 is "Red Tails," followed by "This Means War" at No. 3, "Man on a Ledge" at No. 4 and "The Grey" at No. 5.

Rounding out the top tier are "The Woman in Black" at No. 6, "The Secret World of Arrietty" at No. 7, "Underworld: Awakening" at No. 8, "Chronicle" at No. 9 and "The Vow" at No. 10.

The No. 1 DVD and Blu-ray rental for the week ended June 2 is "Man on a Ledge."

"This Means War" is No. 2, "The Grey" is No. 3, "Chronicle" is No. 4, "Red Tails" is No. 5, "The Woman in Black" is No. 6, "Gone" is No. 7, "Contraband" is No. 8, "One for the Money" is No. 9 and "The Vow" is No. 10.

© 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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