LOS ANGELES – Helen Reddy failed to take her own advice for the last few years – she did not “Keep on Singing,” to quote the title of her 1974 hit.

Ten years ago, the “I Am Woman” singer-songwriter gave up on show business and started a whole new life in her homeland of Australia. She got her degree in clinical hypnotherapy, and for the last decade has lived modestly in Sydney.

“I have very wide-ranging interests,” she said in a recent interview. “So, singing ‘Leave Me Alone’ 43 times per song lost its charm a long time ago.”

But she couldn’t stay silent forever. Reddy is making her return to the musical stage this week, at a club in San Diego and for a high school benefit in the Panorama City section of Los Angeles. She decided to return to performing after being buoyed by the warm reception she recently got when she sang at her sister’s birthday party.

But don’t expect to hear all of the old chart makers during her performances.

“One of the reasons that I’m coming back to singing is because I’m not doing the greatest hits,” Reddy explained. “I’m doing the songs that I always loved. So many are album cuts that never got any airplay, and they’re gorgeous songs.”

Reddy, 70, has been singing since she was a young girl, as part of a well-known show-business family in Melbourne. But she didn’t score hugely until her 1971 hit cover of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” the big ballad from the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Over the next decade, she produced 15 top 40 hits, with three reaching No. 1.

Her biggest song was the feminist anthem “I Am Woman” – which ultimately inspired her to retire.

“That was one of the reasons that I stopped singing, was when I was shown a modern American history high-school textbook, and a whole chapter on feminism – and my name and my lyrics (were) in the book,” she recalled. “And I thought, ‘Well, I’m part of history now. And how do I top that? I can’t top that.’ So, it was an easy withdrawal.”

Still, that is one of the classics from her catalog that she will sing on stage – or, to be more accurate, recite.

“Sometimes the words get lost in a song,” Reddy said. “And I think the words are very important. So I am reciting ‘I Am Woman.’ And I hadn’t realized, but it’s wonderful acting piece, as well. So, that will probably be the end of the set for me.”

Lopez joins Tyler in exiting ‘Idol’

LOS ANGELES – Jennifer Lopez followed Steven Tyler’s lead off “American Idol” on Friday, a one-two punch for a show on the brink of an adolescent identity crisis.

Lopez will not be back for a third year on television’s top-rated but struggling show, her representative, Mark Young, said Friday. Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler announced Thursday he was exiting.

That means the “Idol” panel is down to one, original judge Randy Jackson, and there are reports that he may take a different role when the Fox show returns next January.

Wynonna sues ex-step dad over mortgage

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Country singer Wynonna Judd has sued her former stepfather over an unpaid mortgage dating to 1994, but his lawyer says the money was a gift, not a loan.

The Courier-Journal reports that Judd filed suit this week in Jefferson County Circuit Court in Louisville against Michael Ciminella. He’s the ex-husband of Judd’s mother, Naomi Judd, and father of actress Ashley Judd.

Wynonna Judd’s lawsuit contends that Ciminella defaulted on a mortgage in the Old Louisville neighborhood where he lives. Records show that Judd’s representatives wrote to Ciminella in September demanding principal and interest of $242,051.

Ciminella’s lawyer, Jeffrey Thompson, said the money was not a loan but a gift and that Judd had never asked that it be repaid until now. He declined to discuss details.

– From news service reports