Swift donates $100K to Nashville Symphony

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Nashville Symphony got an early Christmas present when country superstar Taylor Swift made a $100,000 donation.

According to the Nashville Musicians Association, the gift was a surprise to symphony representatives who attended a meeting last week facilitated by musicians' union president Dave Pomeroy.

Pomeroy said in a news release that Swift is a member of the union and a generous artist who has never failed to demonstrate her devotion to the greater Nashville community and its musicians.

The donation comes at the end of a difficult year for the symphony, which narrowly avoided bankruptcy and the sale of its Schermerhorn Symphony Center this summer after a patron stepped in to help.

New author to write sequel to Larsson series

STOCKHOLM - The Swedish publisher of the best-selling "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy says it has hired an author to write a sequel to the series by Stieg Larsson, who died in 2004.

Norstedts said Tuesday it has signed a contract with "I am Zlatan" author David Lagercrantz for a new book about journalist Mikael Blomqvist and hacker Lisbeth Salander that is scheduled to be published in August 2015.

The head of publishing at Norstedts, Eva Gedin, told The Associated Press the book will be an original work that includes nothing from the fourth book in the series that Larsson began writing but hadn't finished when he died.

Larsson's trilogy has been a huge international success, with more than 75 million books sold in 50 countries.

Cowell: New judges, changes for 'X Factor'

LOS ANGELES - Simon Cowell is plotting changes for "The X Factor," including new judges and a new role for him.

Cowell is the show's producer. He told a teleconference that he expects the singing contest to return next season on Fox. He says "X Factor" may be cut back to one night instead of two, and format changes are under discussion to keep it fresh.

Cowell says the judging panel probably will be different. Besides Cowell, the judges include Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio.

Cowell says he has recruits in mind, but he declined to identify them. He says he envisions what he called a "different kind of role" for himself, but he wouldn't be more specific.

The show's ratings have dipped in season three. The winner will be announced on the finale Thursday.

Associated Press