Grapevine: Banks accuses Russell Crowe of assault

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Azealia Banks accuses Russell Crowe of assault

Something went very wrong at a dinner party at RussellCrowe’s suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel this week. Rapper Azealia Banks was at the gathering as a guest of RZA of Wu-Tang Clan, who she is collaborating with. The two sides aren’t agreeing on what happened. Crowe and other guests at his party allege that Banks started the rift by calling them “boring white men” and threatened a guest with a glass. Witnesses say Crowe put Banks in a “bear hug” and walked her out of the suite. Banks’ story goes that Crowe called her a racial slur, choked her and spit on her. According to TMZ, their mutual friend, RZA, stated that Banks had uttered the racial slurs, not Crowe. Beverly Hills police are investigating and Banks filed a battery report.

MC5 nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Detroit’s MC5 has an opportunity to “Kick Out the Jams” in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Motor City rockers are among the 19 acts nominated for the Rock Hall’s Class of 2017, announced early Tuesday. Also vying for induction are Pearl Jam, Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Yes, Journey, Depeche Mode, Electric Light Orchestra, Bad Brains, Chic, J. Geils Band, Joan Baez, Kraftwerk, Jane’s Addiction, the Cars, the Zombies, Chaka Khan, Joe Tex and Steppenwolf. Ballots will be sent to the more than 800 members of the Rock Hall’s voting body, and top vote-getters will be announced in December. The induction ceremony will take place in Brooklyn in April. Fans get a voice, too. Public votes can be cast on RollingStone.com, and the top five acts will comprise a “fan’s ballot” that will count toward the official tally. MC5 was nominated for the Rock Hall once before, in 2003. The group formed in Lincoln Park in the mid-1960s and released three albums, 1969’s “Kick Out the Jams,” 1970’s “Back in the USA” and “High Time” in 1971, before disbanding in the early 1970s. But those several years they were together were a monster, and the group’s counterculture politics forever cemented them as rock ‘n’ roll revolutionaries. Of the group’s original powder keg lineup — singer Rob Tyner, guitarists Wayne Kramer and Fred “Sonic” Smith, bassist Michael Davis and drummer Dennis Thompson — only Kramer and Thompson are still alive. Artists become eligible for the Rock Hall 25 years after the release of their first recording.

Chuck Berry celebrates 90th with new album

Rock and roll trailblazer Chuck Berry announced on his 90th birthday Tuesday that he will release a new album in 2017. “Chuck” will be his first release since 1979’s “Rock It,” according to Rolling Stone. He dedicates the album to his wife of 68 years, Themetta Berry. “My darlin, I’m growing old!” he said in a statement. “I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”

Also ...

■Singer Ciara has been named a spokeswoman for Revlon cosmetics. She says her mother named her Ciara after the Revlon fragrance.

Compiled by Melody Baetens

Adam Graham contributed

Wednesday’s birthdays

John Lithgow, 71

Evander Holyfield, 54

Jon Favreau, 50

Trey Parker, 47

Gillian Jacobs, 34