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Popular ‘Love Rock ‘N’ Roll’ Songwriter Dies Of Coronavirus

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The co-writer and original singer of I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll, Alan Merrill, has died after contracting coronavirus.

His daughter Laura shared the news, saying the 69-year-old had been healthy enough to play shows a few weeks ago.

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“He played down the ‘cold’ he thought he had,” she wrote, before warning other families not to be complacent.

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“You don’t think It’ll happen to you or your strong family. It has,” she wrote. “Stay home if not for you, for others. For my dad. This thing is real.”

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I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll became a global hit for Joan Jett in 1982 and has been covered by artists ranging from Britney Spears to Weird Al Yankovic.

A parody version, I Love Sausage Rolls, was last year’s Christmas number one in the UK, with proceeds going to charity.

Musicians hit by coronavirus

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Coronavirus also claimed the life of country singer Joe Diffie over the weekend, while the family of Nashville legend John Prine said he was critically ill on a ventilator and being treated for Covid-19 symptoms.

READ ALSO: German Finance Minister Commits Suicide Over Coronavirus

Prine, an influential singer-songwriter who is known for lyrical, melancholy folk songs like Hello In There and Angel From Montgomery, has previously survived cancer twice.

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As news of his condition broke, musicians including Joan Baez, Bette Midler and Kacey Musgraves sent the Grammy Award winner their love and support.

Alan Merrill, who was born Allan Preston Sachs in New York, had a long and varied career as a musician. He signed his first record deal as lead singer of the band The Lead, who had a big hit in Japan with Aoi Bara (Blue Rose).

After releasing two successful solo albums and hosting TV shows and acting in soap operas, he left Japan for the UK in 1974 to form The Arrows, who put a glam rock sheen on classic pop melodies.

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The group scored hits with A Touch Too Much and My Last Night With You, and I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll was written by Merrill and guitarist Jake Hooker as “a knee-jerk response to the Rolling Stones’ It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)” in 1975.

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Originally issued on the B-side of The Arrows’ single Broken Down Heart, it became a hit after DJs started playing the flip side instead.

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Its success led to the band getting a weekly ITV series, with musical guests including Marc Bolan, Slade and The Bay City Rollers – and that was where US singer Joan Jett first heard, and fell in love with, I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll.

In the mid-1970s, Jett tried to convince her band The Runaways to cover it but they refused. When the band broke up, Jett recorded it and spent seven weeks at the top of the Billboard chart.

After his death, she paid tribute to Merrill on Instagram, writing: “My thoughts and love go to his family, friends and music community as a whole. I can still remember watching The Arrows on TV in London and being blown away by the song that screamed hit to me.

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“With deep gratitude and sadness, wishing him a safe journey to the other side.”

Merrill later joined Meat Loaf’s band for two albums and played with Rick Derringer.

Writing on Facebook, Meat Loaf said: “Let this be a lesson to all of us, try to stay in touch with the people you really love and care about. Life is very short. Alan I am sorry that I didn’t reach out to you years ago. I love you very much.”

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(BBC)

(PHOTO: bbc.com)

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Sex Crimes: Singer R. Kelly Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison

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Embattled R&B singer, R. Kelly, was sentenced to 30 years in prison Wednesday for recruiting and trapping teenagers and women for sex.

Judge Ann Donnelly handed down the term in the Brooklyn federal court nearly a year after the 55-year-old Kelly was convicted by a New York jury.

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The verdict is in: R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years,” the US attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York said in a tweet.

The prosecutors had urged the court to put the “I Believe I Can Fly” artist behind bars for at least 25 years, saying he still “poses a serious danger to the public.”

In September, the fallen superstar was found guilty on all nine charges he faced, including the most serious of racketeering.

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“His actions were brazen, manipulative, controlling and coercive. He has shown no remorse or respect for the law,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

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Kelly’s lawyers called for a lighter sentence with a maximum of approximately 17 years.

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The sentence comes just over a month before jury selection is due to start in Kelly’s separate, long-delayed federal trial in Chicago on August 15.

In that case, Kelly and two of his former associates are alleged to have rigged the singer’s 2008 pornography trial and hid years of sexual abuse of minors.

The musician who once dominated R&B also faces prosecution in two other state jurisdictions.

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AFP.

 

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DSS To Detain Edo Comedian For 23 Days

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The comedian and vlogger, Chukwu Emeka, popularly known on social media as Broda Mike, who was arrested by the Department of State Services on June 14, in Benin City, Edo State, is to be detained till July 7, 2022.

The lawyer to the comedian identified simply as Mr. Obo, confirmed to The PUNCH in a telephone conversation, Tuesday, that the DSS had a court order to detain Chukwu till July 7. This would make it 23 days from the day he was arrested.

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“There is a court order remanding the guy. Until that time expires, there’s no way they can release him. He’s in custody based on the court order,” he said, adding that his remand till July 7 was an order from the Criminal Court two, Edo State.

The lawyer, upon his visit to him, also noted that the comedian was fine.

The PUNCH reported that the comedian, Broda Mike, had been posting videos on his social media page, most of which were recently addressing poor governance, and insecurity, among others.

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Efforts to reach the Edo State Spokesperson for the DSS proved abortive. Meanwhile the DSS Spokesperson at its headquarters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, Peter Afunanya, who had not spoken in detail on the arrest of the comedian, only shared a video of Broda Mike with our correspondent.

In the video, Broda Mike was seen reporting on a communal clash that had reportedly taken place in Benin market.

The PUNCH also gathered that on June 11, there was panic as traders clashed in Benin market. It was gathered that at the New Benin Market area of Benin City, the Edo State capital, angry youths, mainly traders, went on a rampage after an Igbo trader was allegedly attacked with a machete by another trader of northern extraction during a fracas.

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The trouble was said to have started after a brief argument between the two traders. The Igbo trader was said to have ordered the Hausa trader to leave the front of his stall. The Hausa trader, who felt slighted, allegedly drew his machete and inflicted several cuts on the Igbo trader.

READ ALSO: DSS Arrests Edo Comedian Over Alleged Incitement

While fingers point to the fact that this video report could be the basis for the DSS arresting the comedian, others on social media were of the opinion that Broda Mike was arrested for using his skits to campaign against bad governance in the country.

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Meanwhile, human rights activist and presidential aspirant of the African Action Congress has continued to call for the release of the comedian.

In a Facebook post, Sowore, reacting to the recent development, said, “the DSS has granted access to a family lawyer and #BrodaMike’s sister to see him. The good news is that he’s in high spirits.

“They’ve now claimed that a “Court Order” was obtained from an Edo State High Court to detain him till July 7, this is unacceptable.

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“If he committed any offence(s), they’ve had enough time since June 14 to complete investigations and charge him to court, and so that we can get him out on bail. This is classic DSS arbitrary detention method/strategy.”

“DSS must release #BrodaMike immediately since there are no valid charges against him,” he said.

 

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DSS Arrests Edo Comedian Over Alleged Incitement

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A comedian and vlogger, Chukwu Emeka, popularly known on social media as Broda Mike, has been reportedly arrested by the Department of State Services in Benin, the Edo State capital.

The PUNCH gathered that Chukwu, who is a skit maker, had recently been using his comedy skits to talk against poor governance, ‘corrupt’ politicians, and insecurity among others.

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Chukwu’s mother, Mrs. Magaret Chukwu, who spoke to The PUNCH via a telephone conversation, Monday, said her son was arrested by the DSS allegedly over a video he posted.

“Na because of the video wey hin post. He was arrested on June 14, 2022,” she told The PUNCH.

When contacted via the telephone, the lawyer to Chukwu, identified simply as Mr Obo, said he was yet to see Chukwu at the DSS facility in Benin when he visited.

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Speaking on what the blogger could be charged for, Obo, who said he had been on the matter since Friday, said, “I’ve not seen the charges, but from the video watched thus far, I’m sure they’re going to charge him for inciting the public, and breach of public peace.

“I’ve not heard from the DSS, I’ve not seen him and they’ve not formally charged him to court. So I can’t say what they will charge him for.”

Meanwhile, among other persons that had joined the call for Broda Mike’s release, is the human right activist and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore.

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Posting on his Facebook page on Monday, Sowore said the vlogger was illegally detained after being picked by the DSS in the GRA area of Benin City on June 14, adding that the vlogger had been denied access to his lawyer.

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“Earlier today, I spoke with the lawyer and he told me the DSS claimed that they obtained a “court order” to detain him for 14 days and lied that he’d been transferred to Oko Prison.

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“They did not allow him to see a copy of the said court order or meet with his client. His Inquiries so far didn’t show that he was transferred to Oko Prison as claimed by the DSS, he’s still languishing in DSS detention,” Sowore said.

Sowore noted that more legal resources had been offered to that of his family lawyer and “we’ve asked the DSS to release #BrodaMike without delay.”

When contacted via phone call on Monday, the DSS Spokesperson, Mr Peter Afunanya, whose line was busy, sent a text requesting that he be chatted or texted instead. However, when chatted via WhatsApp, and also sent a text message over the matter, he did not respond to our correspondent.

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The DSS had been noted to have history of arresting activists or individuals considered to be speaking against authorities and detaining them for as long as possible. An instance was the arrest Sowore himself in 2019 after he called for a nationwide protest against hardships in the country and poor governance, tagged “#RevolutionNow.” He was detained for several months by the DSS in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

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