Chesney leads nominations for CMAs

NASHVILLE - Kenny Chesney, the Country Music Association's reigning entertainer of the year, dominated the CMA Award nominations on Wednesday with seven, including album of the year.

Chesney was also nominated for entertainer of the year again, a category he has won for the past two years. Other nominees for the award included Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, George Strait and Sugarland.

Strait and Sugarland each received five nominations, including single of the year - Strait for 'I Saw God Today,' and Sugarland for 'Stay.'

Koons' zany sculptures go on display at Versailles

VERSAILLES, France - At the palace of Versailles, a marble statue of Louis XIV now shares space with some unlikely interlopers: Michael Jackson and his pet chimp Bubbles, sculpted in porcelain.

Versailles, the most gilded and over-the-top of French royal palaces, has let contemporary American artist Jeff Koons redecorate, and his eye-popping giant balloon animals and other zany sculptures are now on display alongside masterpieces by Veronese and Bernini.

The show, which opened Wednesday and runs through Dec. 14, is yet another sign that France's bastions of traditional culture are loosening up. The Louvre has hosted contemporary artists and even welcomed slam poets to perform in its echoing galleries.

Two authors to get honorary book awards

NEW YORK - Barney Rosset, the publisher and First Amendment defender whose battles on behalf of Henry Miller's 'Tropic of Cancer' and other explicit works helped overturn U.S. censorship laws, has won an honorary National Book Award for 'Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.'

Maxine Hong Kingston, the Chinese-American author best known for 'The Woman Warrior,' a fictionalized memoir that became a model for other immigrant writers and is taught on campuses nationwide, was awarded a medal for 'Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.'