Deep Purple confirm UAE tribute

Plus: Larry King to host new show; Carey and Minaj leaving American Idol; Lou Reed recovering after liver transplant; Enrique Iglesias denies wedding rumours.

Deep Purple band members, (L) Don Airey & Roger Glover. Crown Plaza, Dubai festival city. Duncan Chard for the National
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Deep Purple's keyboardist Don Airey confirmed he did play a fragment of the UAE's national anthem during their Dubai Jazz Festival performance in March. Speaking from Morocco's Mawazine Festival, Airey said it was a way to thank the UAE for their hospitality. "Everywhere I go I try to play something important to the country," he said. "In Dubai I asked someone to give me a recording of the anthem earlier in the day and once I had it, I was set." Airey said Indonesia was the toughest anthem to perform. "You really have to get your hands around that." - The National staff

Larry King to host new show

Larry King is returning to TV with a political talk show beginning next month. The new programme, Politics With Larry King, will air in the US on RT America, a global, English-language channel based in Russia. "I have always been passionate about government and issues that impact the public," said King, adding, "I appreciate the importance of providing a platform with real alternative visions for our country's future." King, who turns 80 this year, hosted a weeknight talk show on CNN for 25 years before it ended in December 2010. - AP

Carey and Minaj leaving American Idol

Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj will leave American Idol after just one season as judges, following on the heels of longtime judge Randy Jackson who left amid a TV ratings slump. "Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn't trade it for the world! Time to focus on the music!!!" Minaj tweeted on Wednesday. Carey's departure was also announced on Twitter by her public relations firm PMK BNC, which said the singer is preparing to embark on a world tour. It is unclear whether Keith Urban would return to the show next season. - Reuters

Lou Reed recovering after liver transplant

Lou Reed is recovering from a life-saving liver transplant, his wife, the performance artist Laurie Anderson, revealed to Britain's The Times newspaper on Saturday. The 71-year-old singer, who was the driving force behind The Velvet Underground, was close to death before the operation in Cleveland, Ohio last month. "It's as serious as it gets. He was dying," said Anderson. She described the operation as "a big surgery which went very well". Asked how long it would take her husband to recover, the 65-year-old added: "I don't think he'll ever totally recover from this, but he'll certainly be back to doing [things] in a few months. He's already working and doing t'ai chi." - AFP

Enrique Iglesias denies wedding rumours

Enrique Iglesias denied he is about to wed his longtime girlfriend, the Russian tennis ace Anna Kournikova. "It's not true. I am not getting married," the Latin heartthrob said at the Mawazine Festival. "I also heard I didn't invite my father to my own wedding. How could that be true if there is no wedding?" Iglesias also said work has begun on his new album. "I am in a good space right now and I have been writing a lot of songs," he said. "I am just enjoying the whole process and looking forward to see what comes out." - The National staff