Billy Joel, an American treasure
According to no less an authority than the Library of Congress, pop chanteur Billy Joel, 65, has made a primo contribution to American culture. The six-time Grammy-winning singer of "Allentown" and "Goodnight Saigon" is this year's winner of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, says Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "Billy Joel is a storyteller of the highest order," Billington says. "His piano-fueled narratives take listeners into the relatable and deeply personal moments of life."
Joel will be honored at a reception in November in Washington.
Prince George parties hard
We all know Brit royals can be wild. But there were no beer bongs or conga lines at Prince George's first b-day Tuesday at Kensington Palace. The prince partied with parents William and Kate, uncle Prince Harry, his grandparents, and his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Shepherd's custody battle
A petition by Sherri Shepherd's ex, Jeffrey Tarpley, for custody of their 9-year-old son, Jeffrey, has been denied. The judge did not accept Tarpley's claims that Sherri had neglected the boy. Meantime, The View cohost and estranged hub Lamar Sally are entering another custody battle, over their unborn baby, being carried by a surrogate.
Gossip petits fours
The Rock in tights? It might happen! Dwayne Johnson, who is No. 2 on Forbes' highest-paid-actor list, tells Total Film he's due to play a comic-book superhero. Said hero "has the power of Superman," he says. "He can throw down." . . . A tree planted in Los Angeles' Griffith Park in honor of Beatle George Harrison upon his death in 2001 has been murdered by bark beetles, officials said Tuesday. . . . E!News says Kim Kardashian's iPhone game is expected to make $200 mil this year. . . . Are Zoe Saldana, 36, and Marco Perego expecting? USA Today has posted a photo of her, snapped Monday, which shows a cute lil' baby bump. . . . The cable TV network of vilified chef Paula Deen, brilliantly titled the Paula Deen Network, will start beaming programs in September.