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      Today's music minute

      D.J. AM, seen here with ex-fiance Nicole Richie, is having a party thrown by friends in his homecoming after getting out of the hospital. / Jeff Connell/AP

      TRAVIS BARKER SPEAKS ABOUT PLANE CRASH

      NEW YORK (AP) -- Travis Barker says he always did have a fear of flying. Barker tells Us Weekly magazine he hates planes and his biggest fear ever was to be in a plane crash. Barker and DJ AM were the only survivors of a plane crash September 19th in Columbia, South Carolina. Barker says he's just "thankful to be alive." He was released from a hospital in Georgia and is being treated at a burn center in Los Angeles. And he took a bus there. His father and his ex-wife, Shanna Moakler, traveled with him. He says he's had "surgery after surgery" and he has third-degree burns from his feet to his waist and on both hands. He hopes to leave the burn center in two weeks.

      FRIENDS OF DJ AM PLAN PARTY IN HIS HONOR

      NEW YORK (AP) -- Friends of DJ AM are throwing a party for him to welcome him home after surviving a plane crash. Mark Ronson and Steve Aoki are among those scheduled to perform Tuesday in Los Angeles. DJ AM and former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker suffered severe burns in the September 19th crash in Columbia, South Carolina. Four people died in the crash. Proceeds from the party will go to memorial funds for the crash victims. DJ AM's publicist says she didn't know if he'll be there.

      BARACK OBAMA: BACKED BY EBONY AS MAGAZINE ISSUES FIRST ENDORSMENT

      CHICAGO (AP) -- It's a first for Ebony -- even as it's a first for the nation. For the first time ever, Ebony magazine is formally endorsing a candidate for president. And, it should come as no surprise, that the pick is Barack Obama, the first African-American to get a major party nomination for president. In the magazine's endorsement, Ebony president and CEO Linda Johnson Rice calls the November vote "the most crucial presidential election in our lifetime." And, after outlining a series of reasons why the magazine feels Obama is the best candidate based on political issues, she says electing Obama as the nation's first black president "will prove that possibilities are unlimited for those who dare to dream." Rice says Obama's election will allow black people to "without hesitation or apology, tell our children that anything is possible. Even becoming president."

      Esquire magazine also backs the Illinois senator.

      In the 75 years that Esquire magazine has been published, it has never endorsed a presidential candidate. Until now. The magazine is backing Democrat Barack Obama for president, calling the Illinois senator "the only possible choice to lead the country." In issuing support for Obama, the magazine accuses his Republican opponent John McCain of running what the magazine calls a "cheap and dishonorable campaign" and of choosing a running mate, Sarah Palin, who Esquire describes as "stunningly unqualified."

      FOO FIGHTERS OBJECT TO McCAIN USING "MY HERO"

      NEW YORK (AP) -- The Foo Fighters had an idea of who they were celebrating in the song "My Hero," and it wasn't John McCain. The band has asked the McCain campaign to stop using that song. The band say in a statement, "The saddest thing about this is that 'My Hero' was written as a celebration of the common man and his extraordinary potential." They say having it "used in a manner that perverts the original sentiment of the lyric just tarnishes the song." A campaign spokesman says the McCain-Palin campaign "has obtained and paid for licenses from performing rights organizations," giving them "permission" to play millions many different songs, including "My Hero." John Mellencamp, Heart and Jackson Browne have objected to the McCain campaign using their songs. Sam Moore of Sam and Dave objected to Barack Obama's campaign using "Soul Man."

      KELLIE PICKLER BATTLED YEAR-LONG DEPRESSION

      UNDATED (AP) -- Kellie Pickler says she battled depression and suffered severe reactions to anti-depressant pills last year. She tells People.com that she was "an emotional wreck" after her break-up from hockey player Jordin Tootoo at the same time she was struggling with family problems. She says everything in her professional life "seemed great" but in her personal life, she "was just crumbling." Pickler says her friendships with Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood helped her find balance again. And so did her new love, Nashville songwriter Kyle Jacobs. She says "he makes me feel so good about being me." One of the songs on Pickler's new self-titled album features back-up vocals from Swift. The two co-wrote "Best Days of Your Life" while they were on tour with Brad Paisley.

      meanwhile her self-titled sophomore album is number 1 on the Billboard country chart this week. She's only the sixth country artist since 1990 to have her first and sophomore albums debut at the top spot.

      COUNTRY STARS GET OUT THE VOTE

      NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Country music artists are doing their part to get out the vote. Dozens of them tell Redbook in its upcoming issue why they think it's so important for people to cast their ballots this November. Reba McEntire, Martina McBride and Taylor Swift are featured on the cover. Inside, they share why they are proud to be Americans. The singers are joined by fellow artists, including Trisha Yearwood, Clint Black, Little Big Town, Craig Morgan, Lady Antebellum and Rodney Atkins. Wynonna brought her own bedazzled U.S. flag to the photo shoot, calling it her "special flag." She says she carries it everywhere she goes. The November issue hits stands on Tuesday.

      JENNIFER HUDSON: TALKS ABOUT LIFE AND ALBUM IN JET MAGAZINE

      CHICAGO (AP) -- Jennifer Hudson has heard all the stuff people have been saying about her and her fiance. And she says it doesn't let it get next to her. She tells Jet magazine she's aware of the rumors that her upcoming marriage to David Otunga is just a publicity stunt or that she has been engaged before. About those rumors, Hudson says she "knew that's exactly what people were going to say and think." She says people who engage in such talk "don't know nothing, but think they know everything." She says she "can't take it personally" because the people who say such things "don't know me personally."

      BRITNEY SPEARS' LAWYER REJECTS PLEA DEAL IN DRIVER'S LICENSE CASE

      LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A lawyer for Britney Spears says Spears shouldn't pay a $150 fine when a $10 one will suffice. Attorney J. Michael Flanagan has rejected a plea offer in Spears' expired driver's license case. The offer would put Spears on a year's probation and force her to pay $150. Flanagan says Spears is being treated differently because she is a celebrity and she doesn't deserve to have a mark on her criminal record. He says Spears will consider an offer that reduces the misdemeanor charge to an infraction and requires her to pay a $10 fine.

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