October 08, 2003 12:18 PM

LIBERATED: R&B star R. Kelly has received permission from a judge to leave Illinois for a short concert tour, MTV reports. The singer, who is due back in court on Dec. 1 to face child pornography charges, will head to the South and the East Coast for a few tour dates in late October; he must return to Chicago by Nov. 4, the judge ruled.

ANNOUNCED: Dave Matthews is taking a break from his namesake band to tour as a solo act, Rolling Stone reports. The Dave Matthews Band packed New York’s Central Park for a free concert last month, but the frontman’s winter will be spent in the company of Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio, who will play with Matthews, and country legend Emmylou Harris, whose band will join the tour as well.

BORN: Joining the ranks of first-time parents this week are actor Jason Lee, 33, and his fiancée, photographer Beth Riesgraf, 25, as well as Olympic skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi, 32, and her husband, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Bret Hedican, 33, PEOPLE reports in its new issue. Riesgraf gave birth to son Pilot Inspecktor on Sept. 28 in Los Angeles, while Yamaguchi’s daughter, Keara, arrived Oct. 1 in Raleigh, N.C.

RETIRED: Noted tenor Luciano Pavarotti, 67, who has made his official exit from New York’s Metropolitan Opera stage, tells the BBC that he wants his next act to be an encore of his former gig — as a teacher. “Teaching, I think, is the most difficult thing,” said the opera star, who plans to give free lessons in Italy and New York. “Because you have to transfer a thought from your brain to the brain of the other person and the throat of the other person.”

RECOGNIZED: Director Oliver Stone, 57, has been given a lifetime achievement award at a film festival in Marrakech, Morocco, reports the Associated Press. The creator of such films as “JFK” and “Natural Born Killers” is in Morocco filming “Alexander,” an epic about the life of Alexander the Great that stars Colin Farrell (in the title role) along with Val Kilmer, Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie.

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