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July 17, 2012 at 2:00 PM   |   0 comments

Deep Purple's Jon Lord dead at 71

LONDON, July 17 (UPI) -- Deep Purple co-founder Jon Lord has died of a pulmonary embolism at the London Clinic after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, his Web site said.

The composer and keyboardist was 71 when he died Monday, surrounded by his loved ones.

The band he co-founded in 1968 and retired from in 2002 mourned the loss of their "beloved Jon" in a posting on their Web site Monday.

"We have lost a dear friend, a brother and a wonderful musician," Deep Purple said in the posting. "His dignity and graciousness touched us all. His music was an inspiration and took us to places beyond our imagination. ... A truly great man. We humbly express our eternal love and great respect."

The BBC said The Kinks also offered their condolences online.

"RIP Jon Lord. A fantastic pianist and composer. With The Kinks, he played keyboards on 'You Really Got Me.' Legend," the message said.

Twisted Sister's Dee Snider said on Twitter: "What an amazing musician and a true gentleman. We lost a great one. RIP."

Lord co-wrote many of Deep Purple's classic songs, including the iconic "Smoke on the Water." He also played with bands such as Whitesnake, Paice, Ashton & Lord, The Artwoods and Flower Pot Men, and he composed and performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969, the BBC said.


Funeral plans set for Sage Stallone

LOS ANGELES, July 17 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles funeral is being planned for Sylvester Stallone's son, Sage, who was found dead inside his home last Friday, "Entertainment Tonight" reported.

The closed-casket service for the 36-year-old actor, director and producer is to take place Saturday at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.

Sage's mother, Sasha, has requested donations be made to the organization Autism Speaks in lieu of flowers, "ET" said Tuesday. Sage's younger brother Seargeoh is autistic.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner says the cause of Sage Stallone's death will be determined in about two months after toxicology tests are completed.

Police investigating his death have said there were no signs of foul play and an autopsy conducted Sunday proved inconclusive.

The New York Post has reported a prescription drug overdose is suspected, but said it is unclear whether it could have been accidental or a suicide.

Sage Stallone appeared alongside his action film icon father in the 1990s movies "Daylight" and "Rocky V."


Duncan still sedated after heart attack

LOS ANGELES, July 17 (UPI) -- Actor Michael Clarke Duncan has been on a ventilator and sedated since he was hospitalized after a heart attack in Los Angeles last week, TMZ reported.

The 54-year-old star of "The Green Mile" went into full cardiac arrest early Friday morning and was revived when his girlfriend, reality TV personality Omarosa Stallworth, performed CPR on him.

TMZ said doctors are optimistic about Duncan's recovery because his heartbeat is strong, but have no immediate plans to take him off the respirator.

Duncan has appeared in dozens of films, including "Armageddon," "The Whole Nine Yards" and "Sin City," which all starred Bruce Willis. He also is a popular voice actor who works in animation.


New Backstreet Boys album on the way

NEW YORK, July 17 (UPI) -- The Backstreet Boys announced Tuesday on "Good Morning America" they are working on a new album timed to their 20th anniversary.

This will be their first album with member Kevin Richardson since 2005, E! News said.

The as-yet untitled CD is set for a spring 2013 release.

Richardson and his fellow original group members Nick Carter, Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough and A.J. McLean are scheduled to perform Aug. 31 in New York's Central Park as part of the "GMA" summer concert series.

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