NEW ORLEANS – Singer-songwriter Jewel has penned numerous lyrics empowering women after heartbreak and loss, and now she hopes to do the same for breast cancer survivors.

Jewel’s latest song, “Flower,” was written to raise awareness about the importance of breast reconstruction options for breast cancer survivors. The singer is heading to New Orleans next month to perform “Flower” and other hits at a benefit concert for the cause.

“Reconstruction is a huge part of the healing process,” she said. “It’s not just vanity. It’s a part of what makes us women. It’s a part of our identity as women. Patients should at least be informed about their options.”

Jewel said she originally wrote “Flower” years ago as a relationship-based song, but it was never released.

“The chorus in that song kept coming back to me, and I thought it was so fitting for this cause, so I rewrote the lyrics for these women,” she said.

The chorus compares a woman battling cancer to “a flower pushing up through concrete to thrive.”

Jewel shot to fame in 1996 with her self-written breakout hit, “Who Will Save Your Soul,” and has had success in pop and country genres with hits such as “Stronger Woman,” “Foolish Games,” “You Were Meant For Me,” “Hands,” “Stand” and “Intuition.”

Jewel is the national spokeswoman for the Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) campaign and has partnered with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgery Foundation to raise awareness and money for breast reconstruction-related research and to the charitable care of breast reconstruction patients.

Proceeds generated by downloads of “Flower” on iTunes or Amazon.com will benefit the effort, as will proceeds from the Oct. 29 concert at the New Orleans Theater in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Tickets for the concert go on sale Friday.

Jewel says she’s always considered herself an advocate for women but since becoming a mother last summer to her now 1-year-old son, Kase, “I’m an even bigger fan of women.”

Actor Michael Madsen released from hospital

Actor Michael Madsen was released from a hospital after being arrested for investigation of drunken driving on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, his attorney said Thursday.

Madsen, 54, best known for the Quentin Tarantino movies “Reservoir Dogs” and “Kill Bill,” had complained of an undisclosed medical problem after his arrest Wednesday and has since been released, said lawyer Perry Wander.

Madsen was arrested after driving erratically in a red Pontiac GTO. In a preliminary test, he had a blood alcohol level of 0.21, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Wander said Madsen had been taking prescription drugs that could have resulted in a faulty sobriety test.

‘Jersey Shore’ actress banned from cantina

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. – “Jersey Shore” is over and done in Seaside Heights, but the MTV reality show is still causing aggravation for some folks here.

New Jersey liquor regulators said Thursday that they have fined a Seaside Heights cantina $15,000 for serving a “visibly intoxicated” Deena Cortese just before she wandered out into traffic in June.

As a condition of an agreement negotiated with Spicy Cantina & Mexican Grill, Cortese is banned from the premises for two years.

According to New Jersey’s Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Cortese and an entourage that included an MTV film crew were at the restaurant for 90 minutes on June 10.

MTV recently announced that “Jersey Shore” will conclude after its upcoming sixth season, which begins Oct. 4. The series features a cast of over-tanned, over-loud and always pumped-up characters who tried the patience of local residents.

– From news service reports