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CASH HOSPITALIZED

Pneumonia has once again put singer Johnny Cash in the hospital.

Cash, 68, was in serious but stable condition Monday morning at Baptist Hospital. Spokeswoman Donna Mason said he was admitted Sunday morning.

Cash was treated for pneumonia during a two-week hospital stay in October 1999. In 1998, he was hospitalized twice for it and said later he nearly died that fall. He was diagnosed in 1997 as suffering from a nervous system disease called Shy-Drager's syndrome, but later was told by doctors that was a misdiagnosis.

He said as recently as two months ago that his health was much improved.

Cash, known as "The Man in Black," has had a string of hits such as "A Boy Named Sue," "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line" and "Sunday Morning Coming Down."

An eight-time Grammy winner and a six-time winner of Country Music Association awards, Cash was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. He was nominated this year for two more Grammys.

BOYZ IN DA HOOD

Steve Forbes, meet your new neighbor: Tony Soprano.

Actor James Gandolfini, who plays the beleaguered mobster on the HBO drama The Sopranos, purchased a $1.14 million house last month in Bedminster, N.J., the same affluent community the multimillionaire publisher and two-time presidential candidate calls home.

"I just like the house," Gandolfini told The Star-Ledger of Newark. "My 2-year-old needs to run on grass a little bit."

He'll have plenty of room. The house sits on 34 acres.

Gandolfini said he will keep his apartment in New York City's Greenwich Village, where he lives with his wife, Marcy, and son Michael.

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HANGING 'EM HIGH

Molly Ivins, the acerbic syndicated columnist, turned to a favorite topic -- fellow Texan President Bush -- as she received the annual William Allen White Citation.

"We have a saying that he's so lucky, if you tried to hang him, the rope would break," she said recently. "Let me say to you, the rope broke in Florida."

Ivins is the author of "Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush" and writes a nationally syndicated column carried in more than 200 newspapers, including The Buffalo News. She contributes to the Progressive, Time, the Nation and Mother Jones and is a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Past recipients of the William Allen White Citation, named for the pioneering Kansas journalist, include Bob Woodward, Walter Cronkite, Bernard Shaw and George Will.

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HILL USING HER HEAD

Singer Lauryn Hill got an education in sharing credit.

The hip-hop diva settled a lawsuit over production credit on her smash album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" for an undisclosed amount, a spokesman for Sony Music Entertainment said.

Four musicians, Vada Nobles, Rasheem Pugh, Tejumold and Johari Newton, said Hill promised to credit them for their work, but reneged and listed herself as the sole producer.

Hill's representatives portrayed the lawsuit as an attempt to cash in on her success.

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