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Staff Report • Mar 31, 2007 at 1:21 AM

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Sean Lennon is accustomed to people recognizing him because of his famous parents, but one incident really caught him off-guard.

"When I was 15, a cabdriver asked me if I was Paul McCartney's daughter," the 31-year-old singer told AP Radio in a recent interview. "That really blew my mind."

Lennon said he usually finds himself unfazed by all the attention he gets as the son of Yoko Ono and former Beatle John Lennon, who was killed in New York City in 1980.

"I don't have any perspective on a life without people freaking out about my parents, so I don't know what it would be like for that not to happen," he said.

"People only have glimpses of like, you know, who I might be and I don't think people have a real sense of what I'm like necessarily," he said. "I get the spoiled-rich-kid thing a lot and I get the serious-thing a lot, but I think people are misunderstanding me."

Lennon is on tour in support of his latest album, "Friendly Fire."

NEW YORK - Usher is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, stylist Tameka Foster, the R&B singer's spokeswoman said Friday.

Publicist Simone Smalls didn't provide further details.

Usher, a five-time Grammy winner, confirmed the engagement Wednesday to MTV News, ending speculation that he had popped the question.

Foster has been photographed recently with a diamond ring on her finger.

Usher, 28, said he could be walking down the aisle before the end of the year.

MEXICO CITY - Ricky Martin defended the right of pop stars to come out of the closet, saying he felt solidarity with Christian Chavez of Mexican band RBD, who recently said that he is gay.

"Life is too short to live closed up, guarding what you say," Martin - whose sexual orientation has been the subject of speculation - told The Associated Press. Christian "has to be free in many aspects. I wish him much strength."

Martin, who was named person of the year in 2006 by the Latin Recording Academy, has hits including "Livin' la Vida Loca" and "Shake Your Bon-Bon."

He said his nonprofit Ricky Martin Foundation inspires him in his songwriting. One of the foundation's programs, People for Children, works toward the elimination of human trafficking, especially trafficking of children.

"When you start to work with social problems, it gets the attention of the media and people think it's a farce," the 35-year-old singer said. "It's a spiritual search. The philanthropic work helps me write music and the music helps me in the philanthropic work." Martin said it was great that more celebrities are working with charities. "If this is a fashion, then I hope a lot more fashions like this come along."

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