The Grammy-winning Seattle grunge rock group Soundgarden announced on April 9 that it is splitting up after 13 years to “pursue other interests.” The band, whose members include singer Chris Cornell, 32, guitarist Kim Thayil, 36, bassist Ben Shepherd, 28, and drummer Matt Cameron, 34, has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide. The group’s final release was last year’s Down on the Upside.
Country star Travis Tritt, 34, married model Theresa Nelson (age unavailable) on April 12 at his home outside Atlanta. This is his third marriage and the first for Nelson.
Songwriter Mae Boren Axton, 82, coauthor of “Heartbreak Hotel,” Elvis Presley’s first No. 1 hit, and the mother of singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton, died of undisclosed causes on April 9 at her home in Hendersonville, Tenn….
Writer Helene Hanff, 80, who turned her 20 years of correspondence with the staff of a secondhand bookstore in London into the 1971 bestseller 84, Charing Cross Road, died of undisclosed causes on April 9 in New York City….
Gary Dockery, 43, the braindamaged policeman who emerged from a 7½-year coma-like state for several hours in February 1996 before slipping back into silence (PEOPLE, March 4, 1996), died on April 15 in Chattanooga. Dockery had been hospitalized since he was shot in the head while on duty in 1988.
Former British Open and PGA golf champion John Daly, 31, has been sued for divorce by his third wife, Paulette, 25, who has accused him of “inappropriate marital conduct.” Last month, Daly entered alcohol rehab for the second time in four years….
Director John Singleton, 29, filed for divorce from his wife, Akosua Busia, 30, on April 15, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple, wed last October, have a daughter, Hadar, who was born April 3.
Radio host G. Gordon Liddy, 66, is being sued by Ida Maxwell Wells, a Louisiana woman who claims he has been telling listeners that she procured prostitutes for Democratic National Committee visitors while she was a DNC aide in 1972. The suit, filed April 1 in U.S. district court in Greenbelt, Md., asks for $5 million in damages. “Maxi Wells must have a short memory,” says Liddy. “I guarantee you she will rue the day she sued.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger had elective heart surgery to replace a valve on April 16 at an L.A. hospital. The 49-year-old actor, who suffered from a hereditary condition, expects to make a complete recovery.
Country singer James Bonamy, 25, and wife Amy Jane, 25, had their first baby, a 6-lb. 6-oz. boy, James Daniel, on April 15 in Nashville….
On April 11, Tony Randall, 77, and his wife, actress Heather Harlan, 26, welcomed their first child, a 7-lb. 8-oz. girl, Julia Laurette, in New York City.