Vatican: Beatles music trumps the past

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has finally made peace with the Beatles, saying their drug use, “dissolute” lives and even the claim that the band was bigger than Jesus are all in the past — while their music lives on.

Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano paid tribute to the Fab Four in its weekend editions, with two articles and a front-page cartoon reproducing the crosswalk immortalized on the cover of the band’s album “Abbey Road.”

The tribute marked the 40th anniversary of the band’s breakup.

“It’s true, they took drugs; swept up by their success, they lived dissolute and uninhibited lives,” said the paper.

“They even said they were more famous than Jesus,” it said, recalling John Lennon’s 1966 comment that outraged many Catholics and others.

“But, listening to their songs, all of this seems distant and meaningless,” L’Osservatore said.

“Their beautiful melodies, which changed forever pop music and still give us emotions, live on like precious jewels.”

It is not the first time the Vatican has praised the legendary band from Liverpool.

Two years ago, Vatican media hailed the Beatles’ musical legacy on the 40th anniversary of the “White Album.”

Now, L’Osservatore says that the Beatles’ songs have stood the test of time, and that the band remains “the longest-lasting, most consistent and representative phenomenon in the history of pop music.”

Tesh confirms he and Oprah dated and lived together in the 1970s

NEW YORK — John Tesh confirms one of the reports in a revealing unauthorized biography of Oprah Winfrey.

The former “Entertainment Tonight” anchor-turned-new age musician says he and Winfrey used to date.

The 57-year-old Tesh says he and the 56-year-old Winfrey dated while working in local news in Nashville, Tenn.

The book “Oprah: A Biography” claims Tesh and Winfrey didn’t just date, but lived together for a short period in the 1970s.

It goes on to say Tesh abruptly ended the relationship one night when he noticed their contrasting skin colors and couldn’t handle being in an interracial relationship.

Tesh has not commented on the book’s explanation for their split, but did tell “Entertainment Tonight” he and Winfrey remain good friends.

Winfrey’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Oprah: A Biography,” written by Kitty Kelley, hits stores Tuesday. Kelley has written unauthorized celebrity biographies.

Patti LaBelle to get honorary doctorate

PHILADELPHIA — Veteran R&B diva Patti LaBelle is getting an honorary degree from Temple University in her hometown of Philadelphia.

The university will present LaBelle with the doctorate in humane letters at its May 13 commencement ceremony.

LaBelle’s singing career has spanned more than four decades and includes several hit records and two Grammy Awards.

She has also written four books, two of which are cookbooks.

LaBelle served as a spokeswoman for the American Diabetes Association after being diagnosed with the condition.