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Thursday
Jun162011

Rihanna Joins Effort to Bring Tourists to Barbados

Island Def Jam(BRIDGETOWN, Barbados) -- Not only is Rihanna repping her home country of Barbados, she's joining with officials there to promote it as a tourist destination.  "I want each and every visitor to this beautiful island to experience what makes this destination different from all others and that is the spirit and warmth of my fellow Barbadians," Rihanna said in a statement.

The three-year partnership kicks off with a Loud tour performance in Bridgetown, Barbados August 5. As part of the deal with tourism officials, Rihanna is expected to big-up her love for Barbados to concertgoers in Brazil when the tour stops there in September. The newly-minted ambassador for the island will also promote her home country through other appearance and via social media and advertising campaigns.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun162011

Adele Returns to #1, 'Book of Mormon' Soundtrack Sets Record

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After two weeks at #1, Lady Gaga's Born This Way has now ceded that spot to Adele's album 21, making this 21's tenth non-consecutive week at the top.  Born This Way has now fallen to #2.  The big news is that the soundtrack of the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon has re-entered the chart at #3, following its nine wins at the Tony Awards on Sunday.  That makes it the highest-charting Broadway cast album since 1969, when the cast album for Hair spent 13 weeks at #1.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun162011

Inmate Confesses to 1994 Robbery of Tupac Shakur

Ron Galella/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- A convicted murderer serving a life sentence in a Brooklyn, N.Y., prison claims he robbed Tupac Shakur in a 1994 incident where the late rapper was shot five times, insisting that a hip hop mogul hired him for the job.

Dexter Isaac is listed as the author of a confessional letter to Allhiphop.com in which he claims that he was hired by entertainment mogul James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond to carry out the November 1994 robbery in front of New York's Quad Studio. Isaac is currently serving a life sentence for an unrelated crime.

During the robbery, Tupac was shot, but Isaac didn't indicate who actually pulled the trigger.

"He gave me $2,500, plus all the jewelry I took, except for one ring, which he wanted for himself. It was the biggest of the two diamond rings that we took. He said he wanted to put the stone in a new setting for his girlfriend at the time, Cynthia Ried. I still have as proof the chain that we took that night in the robbery," Isaac wrote in the statement.

Isaac's allegations against Rosemond -- who manages the careers of Mike Tyson and Sean Kingston through his Czar Entertainment -- come after Rosemond accused him of being a government informant.

Claiming that he has kept Rosemond's secret for years, Isaac accuses Rosemond of being the actual informant, stating that he has documents proving that Rosemond aided the government to arrest his friends in order to keep himself out of prison.

In the letter, Isaac also insinuates that he has further information regarding Shakur's unsolved 1996 murder and the death or rapper Christopher Wallace, better known as The Notorious B.I.G., in 1997. He also implies that Sean "P Diddy" Combs is in cahoots with Rosemond in some capacity.

"Now I'm not going to talk about my friend Biggie's death or 2Pac's death, but I would like to give their mothers some closure," it reads. "It's about time that some one did, and I will do so at a different time," Isaac says in the letter. "Jimmy, you and Puffy like to come off all innocent-like, but as the saying goes: You can't fool some of the people of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."

The 1994 robbery and shooting – in which Shakur was shot five times, twice in the head -- is widely cited as an instigating event in the long-running rivalry between Shakur and Wallace throughout the mid- 1990s. Shakur recovered from the 1994 shooting.

In an interview with Vibe magazine in April of 1995, Shakur stated that he believed that Uptown Records' founder Andre Harrell, Sean Combs, and Wallace -- who were all inside the Quad Studio building at the time -- had prior knowledge of the robbery.

Rosemond's lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, said Isaac's confession is merely a ploy to get out of a life sentence for a crime unrelated to the Tupac incident.

"All of a sudden, 17 years later, he's not looking to clear his conscience," Lichtman told ABC News. "He's looking to get out of a life sentence for a murder he committed that has nothing to do with this."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun162011

Metallica Records Brand-New Album with...Lou Reed?

Theo Wargo/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- It seems that Metallica and former Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed have recorded an album together. 

Metallica released a statement on its website explaining that the band has been working with Reed at its San Francisco studios over the past few months, adding, "In what would be lightning speed for a Metallica-related project, we recorded ten songs during this time and while at this moment we're not exactly sure when you'll hear it, we're beyond excited to share with you that the recording sessions wrapped up last week."

The collaboration took root when Metallica and Reed played on stage together in 2009 at the 25th anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concerts in New York City. "We knew from then that we were made for each other," Reed tells Rolling Stone

Reed and the band had originally planned an album of lesser-known songs from Reed's catalog. But when it came time for sessions to begin, Reed instead proposed an album of songs he'd written for the theatrical production of Lulu, a collaboration between Reed and avant-garde director Robert Wilson staged this spring in Berlin.  Metallica listened to sparse demos Reed provided and began writing parts for the songs.

The end result is a full-length album with songs whose titles include "Pumping Blood" and "Mistress Dread."  Drummer Lars Ulrich tells Rolling Stone that the album is "90 percent" done but there's no set plan as to how it will be released, since Metallica and Reed don't currently have record contracts.  Ulrich says, "We are free to go wherever.  I'm obviously psyched for people to hear this, in whatever way we feel is right."    

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun162011

Two Men in Joss Stone Robbery Plot Appear in Court

ROBERT VOS/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The two men accused of plotting to rob and harm British singer Joss Stone appeared in court Thursday and were ordered to be held in jail until their next hearing on July 1.

On Monday, 30-year-old Junior Bradshaw and 33-year-old Kevin Liverpool were found in a red car near the home of Joss Stone with a samurai sword, a body bag, and detailed notes about the layout of Stone's home.

The 24-year-old singer is worth nearly $15 million and it appears her wealth and fame made her a target. Stone's home is in the small town where she grew up, Cullompton, 175 miles southwest of London.

The kidnapping plot was foiled when neighbors became suspicious of the men and officers swooped in and arrested them. In the men's car, officers also found a rope and maps of the area.

It's unclear if Stone was at her home on Monday.

Stone rose to stardom as a teenager. Her debut album, The Soul Sessions, went multi-platinum. She's a Grammy winner and has sold 11 million albums worldwide. She is friends with Prince William and was invited to his wedding to Kate Middleton. She also sang at a concert honoring the late Princess Diana.

Police said that despite the sword, body bag and detailed notes, nothing was actually taken from Stone's home and no one was harmed. But police are taking no chances. Security remains tight around the singer's home.

The two men face charges of conspiracy to commit robbery and grievous bodily harm.

Stone embarks on a European tour next month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun162011

Lady Gaga to Debut 'The Edge of Glory' Video Thursday

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Lady Gaga has announced via Twitter that her long-awaited video for "The Edge of Glory" will debut during Thursday night's episode of So You Think You Can Dance, which airs at 8 p.m. on Fox.

It will actually be an "extended preview" of the clip, with the full video being available online at Vevo.com.

Not much is known about the clip, other than the fact that it's directed by Joseph Kahn, the man behind Gaga's clip for "LoveGame," as well as numerous videos for Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and The Backstreet Boys.

It's not known whether Clarence Clemons, who played saxophone on the track, appears in the video.  Clemons is currently recuperating from a stroke he suffered on Sunday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun162011

Britney Spears' Femme Fatale Tour Launches Thursday Night

Max Morse/Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Britney Spears is bringing Femme Fatale to her fans. Her tour, featuring Nicki Minaj as the opening act, kicks off in Sacramento, California Thursday night.

According to published reports, Spears' over-the-top show will feature nine costume changes and features an "action-hero"-type theme, with the singer changing identities and appearing to travel the world.  At one point during the show, the singer will pull some fans out of the audience to dance with her.

As for the music, Spears will cover Madonna's "Burning Up" and Rihanna's "S&M," as well as much of the Femme Fatale album and pretty much every single one of her hits, from "...Baby One More Time" to "'Til the World Ends."  Supposedly, Spears will also be singing more songs live this time, as opposed to her past tours, where she lip-synched nearly everything.

In an interview with the British morning TV show Daybreak, Spears said of the Femme Fatale tour, "There's a lot of surprises in the show...it's probably one of the most impactful, entertainment shows I've ever done."

She also said the show is "just more me" than any one she'd done previously.

The North American leg of the Femme Fatale tour is scheduled to wrap up on Aug. 14.  In September, it heads overseas.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun162011

Mel Gibson Being Sued by Investor

Valerie Macon/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- It seems Mel Gibson's legal troubles aren’t over.  The actor is now being sued by a man who claims that the Oscar winning director talked him into investing his life savings into a new company, and has lost it all.

TMZ reports that Nader Sherif met Gibson back in 2007, and allegedly was swindled into investing $200,000 into a company called Green Rubber.  The company, based out of Malaysia, developed a technology to break down rubber so used tires could be recycled.

Apparently, Sherif was reluctant to invest his life savings, but was reassured by a representative for the company that if he wanted out at any time, Green Rubber would buy back his stock.  Gibson himself even provided Sherif a second safety net, reportedly telling him that if the company fell through on their promise, the actor himself would pay him the full amount he invested.

Sherif eventually went through with the deal, but like most people, he fell on hard times and asked the company for his money back.  Nader claims that Green Rubber repeatedly refused to do so, and when he attempted to take Gibson up on his promise, the actor brushed him off.

Sherif is now suing for $200,000 plus interest.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun162011

Charlie Sheen Not 'Winning' After Judge's Lawsuit Decision

Jeff Vespa/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A Los Angeles Superior Court judge handed Warner Bros. TV and Two and a Half Men co-creator Chuck Lorre a legal victory against Charlie Sheen on Wednesday.

Sheen and his lawyer Marty Singer had filed a $100 million lawsuit against WB and Lorre, claiming they had no legal grounds to fire the actor from the hit show, despite his erratic off-screen behavior which morphed into a very public flame war against Lorre.

But TMZ reports Judge Alan Goodman said the case must be settled through arbitration, as stipulated in Sheen's contract, and not with the public trial the actor sought.

"We're very gratified by the court's ruling enforcing the parties' arbitration agreement," Warner Bros. said of the decision.

No official public reaction yet from Sheen's camp.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun162011

Academy Changes Best Picture Nomination Process

Jamie McCarthy/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- After expanding the number of nominees in the Best Picture category to 10 movies in 2009, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is shrinking that number again...or maybe not.

In a vote on Tuesday, the Academy's Board of Governors approved a new nominating system that will result in anywhere from five to 10 movies earning top picture nominations.  The new system is designed to add an element of surprise to the proceedings as well as to ensure that those movies that earn nominations are really those that voters consider most worthy, according to the Academy.

“A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit," retiring Academy executive director Bruce Davis, who spearheaded the change, said in a statement.  "If there are only eight pictures that truly earn that honor in a given year, we shouldn’t feel an obligation to round out the number.”

The change comes in response to a study commissioned by the Academy, which looked at nomination voting over the last decade.  In response to that study, the Academy's governors decided that in order to earn a nomination, a movie must receive at least five percent of the first-place votes cast during nominations.

If the new system had been in place from 2001 to 2008 -- before the expansion to a slate of 10 -- there would have been years that yielded five, six, seven, eight and nine Best Picture nominees, the Academy noted.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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