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PEOPLE: Bush to speak with Lauer, Leno, Oprah

Bush to speak with Lauer, Leno, Oprah

NEW YORK -- The world will soon be hearing a lot from former President George W. Bush.

After relative silence since leaving office in 2009, Bush will be on the air throughout next week and beyond in promotion of his memoir, ''Decision Points,'' which comes out Tuesday. Along with previously announced TV appearances with Matt Lauer and with Oprah Winfrey, Bush will speak with Jay Leno on the ''Tonight'' show, have radio interviews on the programs of conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and make several TV appearances on the Fox News Channel, the hosts including Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Greta Van Susteran.

The schedule was announced Saturday by spokesman David Drake of Crown Publishers, an imprint of Random House, Inc.

Bush will also meet with Candy Crowley on CNN and appear on ''CBS Sunday Morning'' with Jim Axelrod. Besides his taped interview with Lauer airing on NBC on Monday night, Bush will speak live with Lauer on the ''Today'' show on Wednesday morning. Among his print interviews: a cover story for the magazine of AARP, which represents millions of people 50 and older.

Opera singer Verrett dies

NEW YORK -- Shirley Verrett, an acclaimed American mezzo-soprano and soprano praised for her blazing intensity during a career that spanned four decades, died Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich. She was 79.

Verrett, one of the top opera singers of the 1970s and 1980s, had been suffering from heart trouble, said Jack Mastroianni of IMG Artists, who was notified of her death by the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

Born in New Orleans, she was renowned for a blazing intensity in her performances as a mezzo for much of her career and a soprano in her later years. She battled racial prejudice in a predominantly white European-centered art form during a 40-year biracial marriage, according to her autobiography.

Verrett studied at the Juilliard School in New York and was a 1961 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.