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O'Connor says she will skip Grammys

Sinead O'Connor, the Irish singer who has generated as much controversy as record sales, says she won't attend the Grammy Awards because she doesn't like the music industry's values. "I signed my record deal when I was 17 and it has taken me this time to gather enough information and mull it over and reach a conclusion," O'Connor said in a letter sent Friday to the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

The 24-year-old singer, known for her distinctive close-cropped hairstyle, was nominated in four Grammy categories for her album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. She was scheduled to perform her hit song Nothing Compares 2 U at the Feb. 20 ceremony.

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"We are allowing ourselves to be portrayed as being in some way more important, more special than the very people we are supposed to be helping _ by the way we dress, by the cars we travel in, by the "otherworldliness' of our shows and by a lot of what we say in our music," O'Connor wrote.

Academy President Michael Greene questioned O'Connor's decision Friday.

"We applaud that Sinead feels so strongly about these issues and believe that her convictions only add to the seriousness of her work," Greene said. "But she may be misguided."

Military mere coincidence

Entertainer Louise Mandrell says it's a coincidence that she has a military tribute in her upcoming musical production at Opryland USA.

The show, Love My Country, was written before war broke out in the Middle East, the singer dancer instrumentalist said.

"It's going to look as if I put it in because of this _ and that's okay because the men deserve it _ but the truth is it was already planned because I am really pro-military," she said.

The production includes a military tribute with twirling rifles and uniformed performers representing each branch of the armed forces. It will be presented March 30 through the summer.

Et cetera

Actress Stefanie Powers says the extinction of wildlife is a sign of the wastefulness of modern life.

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"The destruction of an animal species is the symptom of a disease that is killing us all," she said Friday during an appearance at a Nashville, Tenn., department store to benefit the William Holden Wildlife Foundation in Kenya.

"There is a malignancy of neglect that is destroying the infrastructure of our lives," she said. "In this country, we are the greatest consumers and the largest producers of garbage in the world, and we are more wasteful than any society that ever existed in the history of the world."

Paul A. Volcker and James Earl Jones are among six winners of Common Wealth Awards. Each winner receives $120,000. The awards, which were announced Thursday, were created by the late Ralph Hayes, a Coca-Cola executive.

Sinead O'Connor, the Irish singer who has generated as much controversy as record sales, says she won't attend the Grammy Awards because she doesn't like the music industry's values. "I signed my record deal when I was 17 and it has taken me this time to gather enough information and mull it over and reach a conclusion," O'Connor said in a letter sent Friday to the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

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