Shania Delivers, Helms's Exit Due

BORN: Canadian-born country singer Shania Twain, 35, gave birth to a son, Eja (pronounced Asia), on Aug. 12, said her publicist. Dad is producer and songwriter John (Mutt) Lange. This is the first child for the couple, who live in Switzerland and have been married since 1993 . . . ANTICIPATED: Archconservative North Carolina Republican Sen. Jesse Helms, 79, a Washington figure for nearly 30 years, is expected to announce on Wednesday that he will not seek re-election next year, say news reports. A variety of health problems (including a battle with prostate cancer) are being cited . . . DIVORCED: After a bitter, four-year battle in which his wife accused him of years of cheating on her, “Early Show” host Bryant Gumbel and his wife of 27 years, June Gumbel, have finalized their divorce. Details of the agreement that was hammered out in a Westchester County, N.Y., courtroom on Tuesday were sealed, but her attorney, Barry Slotnick, told reporters afterward: “Mrs. Gumbel was satisfied that this part of her life is over” . . . NAMED: Former “Who’s the Boss star Tony Danza, 50, will serve as host of Sept. 22’s 81st annual Miss America Pageant, say organizers. He replaces the 1999-2000 hosts, Donny and Marie Osmond . . . CANCELLED: The rock band Foo Fighters have pulled the plug on their current European tour after drummer Taylor Hawkins, a victim of “overindulgence,” was admitted to a British hospital, according to a statement released by the group. He is reported to be in stable condition. Foo Fighters was started by frontman Dave Grohl, who was the drummer in Nirvana before singer Kurt Cobain killed himself in 1994 . . . CONFESSED: Controversial Nazi-era film maker Leni Riefenstahl, who turns 98 on Wednesday, has admitted to being on the highly-addictive painkiller morphine for treatment of a severe back pain, she told the German magazine Bunte. Nevertheless, Riefenstahl, who’s spent the past year scuba diving and continuing ambitious photographic projects, said she looks forward to her centennial year celebrations . . . DIED: “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)” singer BETTY EVERETT, 61, died in Wisconsin Sunday. “Shoop” made Billboard’s Top 10 list in 1964, and Cher’s cover version went Top 40 in 1991. “The Doctors” actor GERALD GORDON (who played the hot-tempered neurosurgeon Dr. Nick Bellini on the NBC soap), 67, died of emphysema on Friday. Among his more recent roles were on “Baywatch” and “Law & Order.” British astronomer SIR FRED HOYLE, 86, who coined the phrase “Big Bang” in cosmology, died Monday in England. BOB HEWSON, 75, the retired postal worker father of U2 lead singer Bono, has died after a battle with cancer, a spokeswoman for the Irish supergroup said Tuesday. Tuesday night in London, Bono went on with a U2 concert, during which he said, “I want to thank my father for giving me this voice.”

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