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Phil Spector, the eccentric and revolutionary music producer who transformed rock music with his “Wall of Sound” method and who later was convicted of murder, has died. He was 81. California state prison officials said he died Saturday of natural causes at a hospital. Spector was convicted of killing actress Lana Clarkson in 2003 at his castle-like mansion on the edge of Los Angeles. After a trial in 2009, he was sentenced to 19 years to life. 

Country stars Tyler Hubbard and Tim McGraw are asking people to walk a mile in someone else's shoes in a call for unity on their new duet “Undivided." Hubbard, one-half of the duo Florida Georgia Line, wrote the song while isolating on his tour bus after testing positive for COVID-19 last year. Hubbard said the division in America in 2020 weighed heavily on his heart as he wrote the track. McGraw said the song isn't political, but makes a case for empathy instead of disagreement. Hubbard said the timing and the message of the song is even more important after a violent mob rioted at the U.S. Capitol last week. “Undivided" was released Wednesday.

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This combination photo shows Tim McGraw at the iHeartCountry Festival in Austin, Texas on May 4, 2019, left, and Tyler Hubbard of the duo Florida Georgia Line at the 61st annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 10, 2019. Hubbard and McGraw are asking people to walk a mile in someone else's shoes in a call for unity on their new duet “Undivided." Hubbard wrote the song while isolating on his tour bus after testing positive for COVID-19 last year. He said the division in America in 2020 weighed heavily on his heart as he wrote the song. McGraw said the song isn't political, but makes a case for empathy instead of disagreement. (AP Photo)

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A statue of country music icon Dolly Parton could be added to the Capitol grounds in Nashville if one state lawmaker gets his way. Rep. John Mark Windle's bill would honor Parton for all she's contributed to Tennessee. The state capitol commission would develop a plan for a statue to be paid for with private donations, and Windle said it should face toward the Ryman Auditorium, where she sometimes performs. He says Dolly “loves everyone, and everyone loves her.” Parton has used her fame and money recently to advocate for racial justice, help fund a coronavirus vaccine and improve child literacy.  

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FILE - In this March 4, 2020, file photo, Garth Brooks performs on stage during the 2020 Gershwin Prize Honoree's Tribute Concert at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)

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FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. Parton turns 75 on Jan. 19. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

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Acclaimed British director Michael Apted has died. He was 79. A representative for the Directors Guild of America said his family informed the organization that he died Thursday night. No cause was given. Apted’s most important works are the nine “Up” documentary films, which followed the lives of 14 economically diverse British children from age 7 to 63. An incredibly prolific director, his other works include films as diverse as the Loretta Lynn biopic “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and the James Bond flick “The World is Not Enough."

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This cover image released by New West Records shows “J.T.” by Steve Earle & The Dukes, covering 10 songs from the catalog of Earle's son Justin Townes Earle, who died in August. The album, released Monday, is a tribute to his son. (New West Records via AP)

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In a year defined by a devastating pandemic, the world lost iconic defenders of civil rights, great athletes and entertainers who helped define their genres. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of the many beloved figures who died in 2020. The world also said goodbye to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a lion of the civil rights movement. Basketball great Kobe Bryant died in a January helicopter crash at age 41, actor Chadwick Boseman died of cancer in August at age 43, and soccer great Diego Maradona died in November at age 60. The year also claimed guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen and actor Sean Connery.

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Tis the season to be jolly: A record 39 holiday songs have dominated this week’s Billboard Hot 100 chart, including nine holiday tunes in the Top 10. Mariah Carey’s ubiquitous hit, “All I Want for Christmas,” leads the pack at No. 1 — marking the tune’s fifth time at the top spot. Each holiday season Carey’s song and other holiday tunes begin to climb the Billboard charts as their popularity resurfaces through streaming, radio play and even digital sales.  The only non-holiday song in this week’s Top 10 is 24kGoldn and Iann Dior’s “Mood."