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Michael serenades caregivers


George Michael is playing tribute to the Austrian doctors and nurses who helped him fight life-threatening pneumonia as he prepares to resume a concert tour cut short by his illness last year.

The 49-year-old former Wham! front man tweeted Tuesday “Hey everyone, it’s that time again! And I get to open the tour singing to the men and women who saved my life.”

Austrian media says 300 medical personnel from the hospital where Michael was treated were attending the concert Tuesday.

Return to form

R. Kelly has been all about romance on his last two albums, but he says he isn’t going to abandon the explicit music that helped make him famous.

“Absolutely not, and I tell people all the time man,” Kelly said last week.

He said his upcoming album will be on more familiar ground.

“The name of my next album is ‘Black Panties’ – that’s my next ‘12 Play,’ ” he said, referring to his classic album filled with sexual material. “I’m going to have some fun on it.”

Crowe gets ride

Actor Russell Crowe lost his way kayaking in the waters off New York’s Long Island and was picked up by a U.S. Coast Guard boat and ferried to a harbor, officials said Sunday.

The 48-year-old actor was kayaking with a friend and launched from Cold Spring Harbor on Saturday afternoon on the Long Island Sound, according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Swieciki. As it got dark, the two got lost and headed for shore, beaching their kayaks nearly 10 miles east from where they had set out.

The U.S. Coast Guard was patrolling the area and heard Crowe call out to them from the shore.

Possessing the lead

The top five movies from the Labor Day weekend box office:

1. “The Possession,” $21.1 million

2. “Lawless,” $12.9 million

3. “The Expendables 2,” $11.5 million

4. “The Bourne Legacy,” $9.3 million

5. “ParaNorman,” $9 million

Happy birthday

Among celebrity birthdays today: Actor Bob Newhart is 83. Actor George Lazenby is 73. Actress Raquel Welch is 72. Singer Al Stewart is 67. Actor Michael Keaton is 61. TV personality-musician Dweezil Zappa is 43. Actress Rose McGowan is 39. Actress Kat Graham is 26.