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For Robert Indiana, 'LOVE' was a complicated relationship

Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, died at his secluded island home off the Maine coast having never found the type of lasting love that was celebrated by thousands through his iconic work.

The artist's endearing image of LOVE is instantly recognizable around the world. Couples have their photo taken at the LOVE sculpture in Philadelphia, and the iconic image was used on postage stamps.

But the man behind the art grew up in a household where the word "love" was never spoken, and he never found a lasting relationship, said Barbara Haskell, curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

"The word was never used in his family growing up. He had a complicated relationship with the word," Haskell said.

Indiana died Saturday from respiratory failure at his home in a converted Odd Fellows Hall, a fraternal order lodge, on Vinalhaven Island, 15 miles off the mainland, said James Brannan, his attorney. He was 89.

Friends had expressed concern for his well-being because the reclusive artist had not been heard from for some time.

A lawsuit filed in New York City the day before his death suggested he was purposefully isolated by his caretakers.

Brannan declined to comment on the situation.

Indiana created a lifetime of art but he's best known for LOVE, spelled with two letters to a line and with a tilted "O." It's been transformed into sculptures around the world, sometimes in different languages, from Spain to Israel to Japan.

"In some ways he was perhaps seen as the proverbial one-hit wonder because 'LOVE' was so immensely iconic and immensely huge in pop culture," said Dan Mills, the director at Bates College Museum of Art. "For better or for worse, it overshadowed some of his other contributions."

Haskell compared the image to "American Gothic," the painting by Grant Wood of a man with a pitchfork and a woman in front of a farmhouse . The public knows those images even if they don't know the creators, she noted.

Indiana, who was born Robert Clark in the state of Indiana, left behind the art scene in New York and retreated in 1978 to Maine, living on Vinalhaven.

He told The Associated Press in 2009 that he moved to his house — which a benefactor bought for him — when he needed a place to go after his lease ran out on his five-story studio and gallery in the Bowery section of New York City.

His desire for solitude was legendary.

In 2014, he disappointed dozens of fans by failing to make an appearance outside his home for an event dubbed International HOPE Day, which was inspired by his creativity.

Some of his long-time friends became worried about him in recent months.

Kathleen Rogers, a friend and former publicist, said she was so concerned that six to eight weeks ago she contacted the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to investigate.

She said she wants him to be remembered as an eccentric and inspiring artist, not as a man who shut out friends and closed off his studio.

"He was reclusive, cantankerous and sometimes difficult. But he was a very loyal, loving man. He was the architect of love," she said.

A DHHS spokeswoman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Although his iconic "LOVE" tended to overshadow everything else, he never stopped producing art. That included fashioning a "HOPE" design, similar to "LOVE," in honor of former President Barack Obama.

The Whitney Museum of American Art staged a 2013 exhibit, "Robert Indiana: Beyond Love." In Maine, Mills was inspired by the Whitney's exhibition to produce a 2016 exhibition, "Robert Indiana: Now and Then."

In the end, Indiana found love through his art and adoration from the public. But real love, Indiana recognized, was a "dangerous commodity" that can die out and lead to disappointment, Haskell said.

"On one hand he accepted that love became a symbol that brought him international renown," she said. "But for him love also has this element of fragility and precariousness."

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

A woman has filed a lawsuit against R. Kelly, accusing the singer of sexual battery, knowingly infecting her with herpes and locking her in rooms for punishment.

Faith Rodgers says in the suit filed Monday in New York that she met Kelly about a year ago after a concert in San Antonio, Texas. The 20-year-old says that during their relationship Kelly "mentally, sexually and verbally" abused her.

Representatives for Kelly did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

R. Kelly is one of pop music's best-selling artists, with hits including "Ignition," ''I Believe I Can Fly," and "Bump N' Grind."

Rodgers, who appeared Tuesday on "CBS This Morning," said Kelly instructed her to call him "daddy" and told her his goal was to teach her how to have sex like a "mature woman."

She said Kelly visited her hotel room after he flew her to New York to attend a show and she "submitted" to sex.

"I didn't really say anything. I kinda just froze up," she said. "I definitely was uncomfortable. But he has this type of, like, intimidation right off the bat. You know? So I was just waiting for it to be over."

Rodgers said situations like that occurred "multiple times."

The lawsuit says Kelly "disregarded specific statements made by plaintiff that she was 'not ready to have sex'" with him.

"After initiating non-permissive, painful and abusive sex with plaintiff, defendant, R. Kelly, immediately insulted and criticized" Rodgers "concerning her 'lack of participation' and physical inadequacies."

Earlier this month, Spotify, citing its new policy on hate content and hateful conduct, removed the R&B singer's music from its promoted playlists and algorithms following a campaign from #MuteRKelly and others to sanction him.

The Time's Up campaign took aim at R. Kelly late last month over allegations that he has sexually abused women. The organization urged further investigation into the singer's behavior, which has come under closer scrutiny over the last year in wake of the #MeToo movement, as women have come forward to accuse him of everything from sexual coercion to physical abuse.

"Unfortunately, the facts and background of this case are not unique," said Rodgers' lawsuit. "This is a run-of-the-mill R. Kelly sexual abuse case. For over 20 years, women across America have been victimized by defendant, R. Kelly, and have filed eerily similar claims."

Kelly has denied wrongdoing.

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter-producer was acquitted in 2008 of child pornography after a video circulated appearing to show him having sex with a teenage girl. Despite that, he continued to score hits and sell out arenas.

It's been five years since any of his songs have charted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they decide to make their names public, whichRodgers has done.

Norman Rockwell 'Four Freedoms' exhibit opens this weekend

An exhibit featuring Norman Rockwell's iconic "Four Freedoms" paintings is opening this weekend.

The New-York Historical Society announced Tuesday that "Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms" will run from May 25 to Sept. 2. It will then tour everywhere from Houston to Normandy, France, by the fall of 2020.

Rockwell's 1943 illustrations, which are among the most famous in American history, were a response to President Franklin Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" speech from two years earlier. The illustrations are called "Freedom of Speech," ''Freedom of Worship," ''Freedom from Fear" and "Freedom from Want."

Reese Witherspoon launching audiobook project

Reese Witherspoon is launching another literary project.

The Oscar-winning actress is collaborating with the audio producer-distributor Audible on audio editions of works highlighted in her Hello Sunshine book club. Witherspoon has recommended Curtis Sittenfeld's story collection "You Think It, I'll Say It" and other works by women. The project with Audible, owned by Amazon.com, will also include original audio productions.

In a statement Tuesday, Witherspoon said she wanted to "expand our book club experience" and also looked forward to working with women narrators. The actress narrated the audio book for one of the most talked-about novels in recent years, Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman."

Iowa native Maddie Poppe wins 'American Idol'

Iowa native Maddie Poppe has won "American Idol."

The singer-songwriter bested Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Gabby Barrett in Monday night's two-hour finale on ABC.

Poppe and Hutchinson announced on the program that they're dating, surprising judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. They then performed "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

Poppe called the experience incredible.

Hutchinson took to Twitter to congratulate Poppe.

The three judges performed during the finale along with Patti LaBelle, Nick Jonas and Mustard, Bebe Rexha, Darius Rucker, Gary Clark Jr., Yolanda Adams and Kermit the Frog.

Ariana Grande sends love to fans on Manchester anniversary

Ariana Grande shared a message of hope with fans Tuesday as dignitaries, survivors and first responders gathered to mark the anniversary of the bombing at Manchester Arena that killed 22 people.

The pop star told survivors and the families of victims that she was "thinking of you all today and every day."

"I love you with all of me and am sending you all of the light and warmth I have to offer on this challenging day," she wrote in a tweet that included a bee, the civic symbol of Manchester.

Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old Briton of Libyan descent, blew himself up as fans were leaving Grande's concert in the northwest England city on May 22, 2017. Twenty-two concertgoers were killed, and police say more than 800 people were left "with physical and deep psychological injuries."

On the anniversary, Manchester residents laid bouquets of flowers in the city's St. Ann's Square, or left hand-written notes on Japanese maples that have been planted to form a "Trees of Hope" trail through the city. One note cited U.S. Episcopal bishop Michael Curry's sermon at Saturday's royal wedding: "As a clever bishop said 'there is power in love.'"

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said it was a day to "come together."

Thousands of people paused outside Manchester Cathedral at 2:30 p.m. for a minute of silence that was observed across the country — including in Parliament, where lawmakers paused their debates and fell still.

Prince William and Prime Minister Theresa May joined survivors and emergency workers who responded to the attack for a remembrance service at the cathedral.

A choir sang "Amazing Grace" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and humanist leaders all addressed the congregation.

William read a passage from the Bible's book of Corinthians, ending: "Faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

Later, thousands of people — including a choir of survivors — are due to gather for a sing-song in the city's St. Ann's Square. The event will include renditions of Grande's "One Last Time" and "Look Back In Anger" by Oasis, which became an unofficial anthem of Manchester after the attack.

Bells on the city hall and churches will ring out at 10:31 p.m., a year since the bomb exploded.

Police say 100 investigators are still working on the case. The U.K. has issued an arrest warrant for Abedi's younger brother, Hashem Abedi, and is seeking his extradition from Libya — a far-from-straightforward process given that country's political chaos.

Who won 'American Idol' 2018? Winner revealed in season finale

Maddie Poppe took home the “American Idol” crown Monday night, beating out Caleb Lee Hutchinson, a Georgia country singer.

>> ‘American Idol’ reboot returning next season

Poppe, a 19-year-old Iowa singer-songwriter, was so overtaken by emotion that she couldn’t finish her original song, “Going Going Gone.” The rest of the top 10 plus Katy Perry joined her on stage. Hutchinson even sang a few lines himself. 

>> On AJC.com: What’s up with the first 15 ‘American Idol’ winners?

And the cliche is right in a sense: Poppe and Hutchinson are both winners because they are dating. The revelation shocked the audience and the judges just minutes before Ryan Seacrest named the winner.

>> Watch the moment here

Keith Stell, Hutchinson's pastor, said in an interview Monday night that he had kept the secret for weeks and was surprised that they chose to reveal it on air. “They just made this connection during Hollywood week,” Stell said. “Their characters melded together. They share a lot in common.”

Indeed, they are both from small towns and are the same age.

Poppe is the first female to win since season 12 and only the second in the past 10 seasons. She is also the first quirky singer-songwriter type to take home the prize.

>> Read more trending news 

At 10:16 p.m., the show eliminated Gabby Barrett. The versatile singer came in third. 

Poppe will appear on ABC's “Good Morning America” Tuesday morning, followed by “Live With Kelly and Ryan."

>> On AJC.com: Read the full recap of Monday's season finale

US bishop at royal wedding thought invitation was a prank

The American bishop whose sermon caused a stir at the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle thought the invitation was a prank.

Rev. Michael Curry told ITV that he thought "somebody was doing an April Fools' joke on me."

Curry's sermon, entitled "The Power of Love," was one of the most discussed moments during Saturday's wedding.

But Curry says Tuesday he "had no idea" his speech had caused such a stir and that he sat down and thought — "I hope that was OK."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as the couple are now known, will attend their first royal engagement as a married couple Tuesday at a Buckingham Palace party marking Prince Charles' 70th birthday.

Miss USA 2018: Who is Miss Nebraska Sarah Rose Summers, this year's winner?

Miss Nebraska Sarah Rose Summers was crowned the winner of this year's Miss USA competition Monday night in Shreveport, Louisiana. 

Here's what we know about Summers, who will compete for the Miss Universe title later this year:

>> PHOTOS: Miss Nebraska Sarah Rose Summers crowned Miss USA 2018

1. The 23-year-old from Omaha is a certified child life specialist. According to the Miss Universe website, her brief hospitalization at age 4 for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, an immune disorder that can cause bruising and bleeding, and its effect on her family eventually led her to the field. Summers now works "as the liaison and advocate between children and families and the medical team in children's hospital settings," explaining diagnoses and procedures to patients and their loved ones, the website says

2. The 2017 Texas Christian University grad earned bachelor's degrees in strategic communication and child development. Summers, who graduated with honors, also minored in business, the pageant's website says.

3. She studied abroad in college. Summers went to Peru, where "she knew no one, hiked Machu Picchu, visited remote villages, and slept under a mosquito net in the Amazon Basin," according to the Miss Universe site.

4. The pilates enthusiast is interested in health, fitness and helping people overcome eating disorders. "From her personal experience finding a balance, watching her mother lose 75 pounds, supporting multiple friends as they struggled with anorexia and orthorexia, and learning about the eating disorder inpatient unit during her clinical rotations, she is passionate about working closely with (National Eating Disorders Association) this year and plans to continue doing so," her Miss USA bio says.

>> Read more trending news 

5. Her answer in the competition's interview round encouraged self-expression and unity. The question: "You're on your way to a march and someone hands you a blank sign and a marker. What do you put on your sign and why?"

Her response: "I say, 'Speak your voice.' I don't know what march we're on our way to in this hypothetical situation, but no matter where you're going whatever type of march it is, you're obviously on your way to that march because you care about that cause. So go speak to people when they have questions. Communicate with them. Listen to their views, also. That is one thing in the United States that we really need to focus on: listening to each other."

Miss Nebraska winner of Miss USA competition

Sarah Rose Summers from Nebraska has beaten 50 other women to win the crown at this year's Miss USA competition.

Summers, a 23-year-old contestant from Omaha, graduated from Texas Christian University with two degrees and is working on becoming a certified child life specialist. With Monday evening's victory, she takes over from Kara McCullough, who won the competition last year when it was held in Las Vegas.

At the start of a two-hour broadcast, the field was immediately narrowed down to 15 contestants according to how they performed during preliminary rounds held in the days before Monday's broadcast.

Then the field was narrowed down during the evening gown, swimsuit and interview portions of the competition.

The final three contestants — Summers, Caelynn Miller-Keyes of North Carolina and Carolina Urrea of Nevada — were asked what they would write on a blank sign on the way to a hypothetical march. Miller-Keyes was 1st runner-up and Urrea the 2nd runner-up.

Summers said she would encourage people to "speak your voice" with her sign. Urrea vowed to work to eliminate homelessness. Miller-Keyes spoke about sexual assault prevention, saying she would march for "your body, your rights."

During her answer, Summers also drew one of the biggest cheers of the evening when she called on people to "listen to each other," saying that was something people in the U.S. needed to do.

The evening also touched on one of the year's biggest themes — the #MeToo movement that has focused attention on sexual harassment and sexual assault. In a video montage, the contestants talked about particular #MeToo moments they had experienced and women's empowerment.

Winners were chosen by a combination of a selection committee that contest organizers said included female entrepreneurs and executives and input from viewers who were able to vote online. The show was hosted by Vanessa and Nick Lachey.

Other contestants included a sergeant in the Army, an ICU nurse and an aspiring police officer.

Summers now goes on to represent the United States in the Miss Universe competition.

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