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story.lead_photo.caption Russian President Vladimir Putin bathes in ice-cold water on Epiphany neat St. Nilus Stolobensky Monastery on Lake Seliger in Svetlitsa village, Russia, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Thousands of Russian Orthodox Church followers will plunge into icy rivers and ponds across the country to mark Epiphany, cleansing themselves with water deemed holy for the day.

• Russian President Vladimir Putin took a dip in icy lake waters to celebrate Epiphany, a major holiday in Orthodox Christianity marking the baptism of Jesus. Russian television stations showed the 65-year-old Putin approaching a hole cut in the ice on Lake Seliger in northwestern Russia, submerging himself and then making the sign of the cross. The devotional moment represented another bare-chested media day for Putin, who has garnered wide attention for photos and video footage of him shirtless on horseback, shirtless fishing, shirtless hunting and now, shirtless worshiping. Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the president had dipped in icy waters for the Epiphany before, but Friday marked the first time he did so in public. In Orthodox tradition, water blessed by a priest during Epiphany week is considered holy and pure, and believers attribute healing powers to it. Authorities set up bathing sites for believers all over Russia, including some areas in Siberia where surface temperatures dipped below minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Twenty years ago, Paula Cole heard her name called, went up to the stage and took home the Grammy Award for best new artist. It was an amazing achievement on a night that turned out to be quite complicated. The then-30-year-old met her idol, Aretha Franklin, and sang "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" in front of millions. But Cole also felt misunderstood and uncomfortable in the spotlight. She shocked some people by raising her middle finger and beatboxing during her performance, and triggered jokes for daring to bare armpit hair. All these years later, that Grammy isn't her favorite accomplishment. That would be her daughter, Sky, now 16. And Cole's fans, who have stayed loyal, funded her last two albums via Kickstarter. Cole's story is a cautionary one for anyone thinking that winning one of music's most coveted awards solves everything. After taking eight years off to raise her daughter and become a voice teacher, the Berklee College of Music-trained Cole is now touring to promote her album Ballads, a collection of 20 jazz covers primarily from the 1930s-1960s. It honors her father, a bass player in a polka band, and it also allowed her to go back to her roots. "That night was laden and confused and amazing," said Cole, who turns 50 in April, about her 1998 Grammy award appearance. "My career on the other side of that has been definitely different -- smaller, humbler, a more authentic career. A more authentic second adulthood, if you will."

Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP, File
In this Jan. 3, 2018 photo, Paula Cole poses for a portrait in New York to promote her album “Ballads,” a collection of 20 jazz covers.

A Section on 01/20/2018

Print Headline: Names and faces

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