People: Jay-Z, Kid Rock, Clay Aiken, Peter Robbins, Bruno Mars

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From wire and Web reports

Jay-Z is defending his recent trip to Cuba in a new song, The Associated Press reports.

The rapper released "Open Letter" Thursday after two Florida Republican lawmakers critical of the trip questioned whether the rapper's visit to Havana with wife Beyonce, which coincided with their fifth wedding anniversary, was officially licensed.

On the song, Jay-Z talks about his distaste for politicians and repeats the refrain, "Y'all gon' learn today."

Jay-Z raps: "Want to give me jail time and a fine? Fine, let me commit a real crime."

U.S. Treasury officials said Tuesday the couple's trip was licensed as an educational exchange after Cuban-American U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart expressed concerns about the trip and wanted to know if it was licensed.

So was it really President Barack Obama who gave Jay-Z and Beyonce clearance for their trip to Cuba?

According to E! News, Hov raps: "boy from the hood but got White House clearance" and suggested that the president might've been concerned with his trip to Havana, also saying, "Obama said chill, you gonna get me impeached/You don't need this [expletive] anyway, chill with me on the beach."

White House press secretary Jay Carney laid any questions concerning that situation to rest during a press conference Thursday.

"I guess nothing rhymes with 'Treasury,' " he joked. "Because Treasury offers and gives licenses for travel, as you know, and the White House has nothing to do with it."

And when a reporter wanted to clarify that Jay absolutely did not have conversations with Obama about clearing his trip to Havana, Carney said, "I am absolutely saying that the White House, from the president on down, had nothing to do with anybody's travel to Cuba. That is something the Treasury handles. OFAC, Treasury, these are tough words to rhyme.

"It's a song," he added, "the president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip."


Kid Rock wasn't afraid to show his Republican pride during the presidential election, but apparently that doesn't mean all of the GOP's policies sit well with the rocker, E! News reports.

The musician has been planning to try and hook fans up by selling concert tickets for his tour this summer with ZZ Top, Uncle Kracker and Kool & the Gang for just $20 (and beer for just $4), but he's running into some trouble due to ticketing fees and the fact that some states have outlawed paperless ticketing.

And guess who was behind that idea?

"That's one of the times I'm [expletive] embarrassed to be a Republican," he tells Rolling Stone. "It's [expletive] Republican lawmakers passing those laws, you dumbasses. They already did it in New York, and they're trying to do it in Michigan. I've even called some of those guys to try and stop it."

The rocker also shared his anger with Ticketmaster. "They're taking a [expletive] $5 service charge," he says. "It's 25 percent of the [expletive] ticket! That's [expletive] up, but I've beaten them up as much as I can. Then Walmart stepped in and agreed to charge just $20, and it includes parking."

Walmart for the win.

Tickets for Kid Rock's show go on sale today through Live Nation.


A woman from Washington state has been charged with stalking singer Clay Aiken at his home in North Carolina, the AP reports.

Barbara Jean Saylor, 57, of Kirkland, Wash., was charged with trespassing and misdemeanor stalking, the Chatham County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Thursday.

Deputies responded to a call from Aiken's home on April 3. They were told a woman had scaled a security fence and entered Aiken's property.

Authorities say she was ordered to leave when she was seen looking through the windows of the home. They say the woman left after being told that law enforcement was notified.

Saylor was released on $5,000 unsecured bond and is scheduled to appear April 24 in Chatham County District Court in Pittsboro. It wasn't clear if she had an attorney.

A spokeswoman for Aiken said the singer had no comment.

The 34-year-old Aiken came to fame in 2003 when he was the runner-up on the Fox TV show "American Idol." He's released several albums, including 2010's "Tried and True." He also played Sir Robin in the Broadway production of Monty Python's "Spamalot" in 2008.


Oh, brother.

Peter Robbins, who was the voice of Charlie Brown in many of the early animated Peanuts specials, including "A Charlie Brown Christmas," pleaded guilty Wednesday in San Diego to making criminal threats and stalking following incidents involving his ex-girlfriend and her doctor.

He faces up to three years in prison at his sentencing next month, according to California's City News Service.

Robbins, 56, reportedly paid for breast-augmentation surgery for his then-girlfriend, Shawna Kern. But after their relationship ended following an alleged domestic-violence episode, he threatened Kern and the doctor in an attempt to get his money back, prosecutors said.

He was arrested in January and had originally pleaded not guilty.

Robbins was 9 years old when he became the voice of Charlie Brown. His other TV specials included "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" and "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."


Bruno Mars isn't the only singer in the family.

The 27-year-old Grammy winner's four sisters will appear in a WEtv reality series documenting the recording process of their debut album, the cable network announced Wednesday, the AP reports.

The show will air this fall. It will include eight hourlong episodes.

Tiara, Tahiti and Presley Hernandez are moving from Hawaii to Los Angeles to join their older sister, Jamie. The sisters perform as The Lylas.

Mars, who was born Peter Hernandez, moved from Hawaii to live with Jamie in Los Angeles in 2002 after he graduated from high school. He released his platinum-selling debut, "Doo-Wops & Hooligans," in 2010 and last year released his sophomore album, "Unorthodox Jukebox." His No. 1 hits include "Locked Out of Heaven," "Just the Way You Are" and "Grenade."


Jay-Z's right-hand woman will perform at the festival the rapper has curated in Philadelphia, the AP reports.

The festival announced Wednesday on Spotify that Beyonce will perform at the "Budweiser Made in America" music festival on Labor Day weekend.

Nine Inch Nails will also headline.

A wide range of acts will hit the stage on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, including Queens of the Stone Age, Kendrick Lamar, Phoenix, Imagine Dragons, A$AP Rocky, Public Enemy and Miguel.

Tickets go on sale April 17.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Wiz Khalifa, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris, 2 Chainz, Emeli Sande and Solange will also perform.

About 40,000 people attended each of the two days of the 2012 festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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