Andrew Limbong

Updated July 14, 2021 at 8:02 PM ET

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has cleared Britney Spears to hire her own lawyer in the long drawn-out battle over her conservatorship. And the pop star has chosen Mathew S. Rosengart, a prominent Hollywood lawyer and former federal prosecutor, to take up her case.

Wednesday is set to be an important day in court for Britney Spears. Since her searing open testimony describing life under her conservatorship, there've been some big changes to her legal situation. A wealth management company, Bessemer Trust, which had been set to take over as co-conservator for Spears' estate, requested to resign.

Delia Fiallo, the author and screenwriter whose peers and fans often called her the "mother of the telenovela," has died. She was 96 years old. Her daughter, Delia Betancourt, confirmed to NPR that Fiallo died Tuesday, in her home in Miami, Fla., just days before her July 4 birthday.

Fiallo scripted hugely popular dramas such as Cristal, Lenoela, and Rafaela during the 1970s and 1980s, which were broadcast throughout Latin America.

A federal judge has sentenced Allison Mack to 3 years in prison, along with a $20,000 fine, for her involvement in the NXIVM case.

Mack was one of the lead deputies and recruiters for NXIVM — the cult group that masqueraded itself as a self-help organization. The group's leader, Keith Raniere, was sentenced to 120 years in prison in October for racketeering and sex trafficking charges.

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Updated June 23, 2021 at 9:22 PM ET

Addressing a Los Angeles Superior Court judge via a remote connection, Britney Spears on Wednesday afternoon made her most public statement to date about her long-running conservatorship. For over a decade, the pop star's life has been ruled by an atypical court-dictated legal arrangement that removes practically all autonomy from her life. Until now, she has remained mostly quiet on the subject.

Tyrus Joseforsky had resigned himself to never seeing any federal aid set aside to help his business. "I just made peace with the fact that it wasn't coming," he said.

The big re-opening of live music is truly upon us. Summer music festival season is nearly here. Artists are announcing tour dates. And fans are buying tickets! Or, in some cases, they're finally getting the chance to use tickets they bought a couple years ago. But it might be a while before your favorite arena-level act can set out on tour.

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Live music is set to come back to Chicago in a big way this summer. Today, Lollapalooza announced its full line up, with Foo Fighters, Post Malone, Tyler, the Creator and Miley Cyrus headlining. And the fest will be at full capacity, too.

Tina Turner doesn't need anybody's validation to hold her place in rock and roll history, but she's now been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She joins 12 others in what the organization calls the most diverse list of inductees in the its 36-year history.

Joining Turner among the performers in the main class of 2021 inductees are Todd Rundgren, Carole King, Jay-Z, The Go-Go's and Foo Fighters. The full list of inductees, which includes those named in categories like "Early Influence" and "Musical Excellence," is below.

Ed Ward, an incisive former critic and editor for Rolling Stone and longtime contributor to WHYY's Fresh Air, died this week in his home in Austin, Texas. He was 72 years old.

Owners of live-music venues, theaters, museums and other businesses covered under the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, or SVOG, can expect to see money by the end of May. This is according to an update from the Small Business Administration, which has been handling the SVOG program's bumpy rollout.

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Liz Tallent was by her computer, ready. She's the marketing and special events director at The Orange Peel in Asheville, N.C., a 1,050-cap venue that has hosted everyone from songwriter Nick Lowe, to Sublime cover band Badfish, to rapper Danny Brown. Like every other music venue, The Orange Peel was hit hard by the pandemic shut downs. Distanced indoor events would barely break even, and because of how the space is set up, there hasn't been a real way to do outdoor events, either.

The Small Business Administration yesterday launched with great fanfare a long awaited portal that would allow arts venues closed down by pandemic to apply for grant money to cover rent, utilities, insurance and other accumulated expenses. The site went live at noon, but was wracked with so many technical issues that the SBA decided to shut the portal down indefinitely.

Updated April 9, 2021 at 1:47 PM ET

Earl Simmons, better known as the rapper DMX, died Friday at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, N.Y., according to a statement from his family. He had been on life support for the past few days following a heart attack. He was 50.

The long-awaited lifeline for live venues impacted by the coronavirus shut downs is finally here. Owners of small music venues, independent movie theaters and some museums can now apply for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant — a $16 billion grant program set up and run by the Small Business Administration.

Music festival season seems ready to go on in 2021. The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival has posted its lineup, scheduled to run September 2-5. This year's event marks the 20th year of the Manchester, Tenn. festival, which, like everyone else, cancelled last year because of the pandemic.

Jessica Walter, who played the hilariously incisive matriarch Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development, died in her sleep Wednesday in New York City. She was 80 years old.

Her daughter, Brooke Bowman, a senior vice president at Fox Entertainment, said in a statement, "It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica. A working actor for over six decades, her greatest pleasure was bringing joy to others through her storytelling both on screen and off."

Most people in the live music industry were ecstatic when Congress passed the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act in December. It created a $15 billion grant program, run by the Small Business Administration, that would help rescue an industry badly wrecked by the coronavirus pandemic.

But then there were skeptics like Matt Garrison, co-founder of Shapeshifter Lab, a small music and arts club in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

Rising country star Morgan Wallen has been suspended by his record label, Big Loud. The label posted the news on its social media platforms Wednesday afternoon, saying, "In the wake of recent events, Big Loud Records has made the decision to suspend Morgan Wallen's recording contract indefinitely."

This decision comes after TMZ posted a video Tuesday night of Wallen using the N-word with a group of his friends.

Dustin Diamond, the actor known for his role as Screech in the hit sitcom Saved by the Bell, died Monday from cancer. According to a statement from his manager, Roger Paul, "he was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago. In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution." Diamond was 44 years old.

Actress Evan Rachel Wood has identified Brian Warner, better known as the industrial-rock musician Marilyn Manson, as the abuser she had refrained from naming in previous testimony. In a statement posted to Instagram, the Westworld actor alleged that Warner, with whom she was in a relationship between 2007 and 2010, "started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail."

French designer Pierre Cardin, who extended his brand far beyond the fashion world, has died at age 98. The son of Italian immigrants worked with luminaries such as filmmaker Jean Cocteau and designer Christian Dior before launching his own fashion house, drawing on his love for futuristic design.

Cardin's family announced his death to Agence France-Presse on Tuesday. The French Académie des Beaux-Arts also issued several statements mourning his passing.

Publishing company Simon & Schuster has been sold to its competitor Penguin Random House. The news was announced Wednesday by Simon & Schuster's parent company, ViacomCBS.

The $2.175 billion sale is expected to close in 2021, pending regulatory approvals.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Every second spent in prison is a "measurement of punishment," says Nicole R. Fleetwood. "You wake up, you're being punished, you're being punished, you make art, you're being punished."

Fleetwood is curator of "Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration," a new exhibition at New York City's MoMa PS1.

One night in the 1950s Diane di Prima was at a party at Allen Ginsberg's place in New York City. It was usual poet stuff — talking, reading, smoking, drinking — until 11:30 p.m. came around and di Prima said she was going home to relieve her babysitter. Jack Kerouac, also a guest, shouted, "Di Prima, unless you forget about your babysitter, you're never going to be a writer."

James Randi hated tricking people. Sure, as The Amazing Randi, he pulled off amazing escape acts and sleight of hand maneuvers faster than you could see — but it was all in service of proving that he wasn't magical in any sense of the word. He hated tricking people so much he made a career out of debunking so-called psychics, faith healers, and fortune tellers of all sorts.

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