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New York Governor Grants Pardon to Embattled Rapper Slick Rick

May 23, 2008 3:40 PM ET

New York Governor David Paterson issued a full pardon to embattled rapper Slick Rick today. The decision will go a long way to prevent the 43-year-old rapper (born Ricky Walters) from being deported to the United Kingdom. Rick, who is a legal resident alien, faced deportation due to a 1991 conviction on two counts of attempted murder and weapons possession. He still needs to win a battle in Federal Immigration Court, but the pardon from Paterson should give Rick some leverage. "Mr. Walters has fully served the sentence imposed upon him for his convictions, had an exemplary disciplinary record while in prison and on parole, and has been living without incident in the community for more than 10 years," said Governor Paterson. "I urge federal immigration officials to once again grant Mr. Walters relief from deportation."

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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