2011, so far, has been rife with unexpected announcements in the music entertainment world. Could we have predicted any of it? Sure. But then we often get the news before it happens. Now that's power.
Here are just a handful of the ones that we didn't see coming!
10) Justin Bieber Announces Retirement Plans: Justin Bieber, the 17-year old Canadian teen-throb, told the media on his birthday this past March that "thanks to an aggressive retirement strategy," he would be shuttling off to Florida for shuffleboard on his 19th birthday to spend more time with his family. The intense workday grind Bieber has been subjected to since 2008 when he was discovered by Scooter Braun and Usher has Bieber thinking retirement may be the answer. "I don't want to be trotting around the world singing 'Baby' when I'm twenty. I want to have time to see my family before I'm too old to enjoy it," said Bieber, as he knocked back several megavitamins and retired for his nap.
9) Conan O'Brien to Host Afternoon Blues Show on MTV: Looking to bring the music back to MTV, Conan O'Brien and TBS announced the famous talk show host would dip his toe in the waters of his first love: the blues. O'Brien, who began his career as a struggling red-headed blues singer on the hardscrabble streets near Harvard University, intends to base the show on "whatever videos Robert Johnson, Skip James and Blind Willie Johnson made for the network." He said the refusal of MTV, a former music video channel, to not play any videos by legendary blues artists was "short-sighted" and that it was "a shame" that these videos hadn't been seen until now.When actual videos cannot be found, O'Brien noted, Robert Smigel animated bits will be substituted.
8) Snoop Dogg Announces Presidential Bid: Will the White House be going gangsta? If Snoop Dogg has his way, it sure will be. In response to increasingly hostile rhetoric from potential Republican nominee Donald Trump, legendary southern California rapper Snoop Dogg announced that he would be willing to step in and "share" Obama's potential second term as President. Dogg, it was revealed, would run on the "Green Ticket," which calls for the legalization of all green living organisms, and would then agree to co-chair the Presidency with the Democratic incumbent.
7) Lady Gaga Admits Fondness For Men Without Pants: We've all heard about the band Men Without Hats, but soon the new craze will be Men Without Pants, if Lady Gaga has her say. Tastemaker Lady Gaga insists the ultimate turn-on for her is a man without pants. "Pants are, well, they're silly," said Gaga at a recent benefit concert for "Unfairly-Maligned TV Game-Show Hosts Including The Late Ray Combs," "I want to see men without pants. They will be free. They will feel unencumbered. I am all about being unencumbered."
6) Bruce Springsteen Stunt Double Arrested In Jersey Bar: Keeping it real comes with a price. No one knows that more than Wayne Remington, 56, of Forked River, NJ. Remington was arrested at an Asbury Park nightclub after demanding free drinks for him and his entourage, causing a violent scuffle with several bar staff. Remington, who has for the past decade worked as Bruce Springsteen's stunt double attending as many as 15 benefits a year as "The Boss," misunderstood his assignment says Springsteen's management. According to Springsteen's manager Jon Landau, Remington was supposed to pay for his drinks and everyone at the entire bar to help boost New Jersey residents' confidence during the Big Recession. "We would never allow Bruce or any of those in charge of promoting the franchise to accept or demand free drinks," said Landau. "Mr. Remington has been reassigned. We're still looking into why he felt he deserved free beverages. Everyone knows the Bruce Springsteen franchise always pays for drinks at local business establishments." He added, "It's the right thing to do."
5) The Real Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi To Join Cast of Jersey Shore: When the kids from the MTV supershow Jersey Shore return from Italy, they'll be facing two new formidable roommates. Fed up with the constant soiling of the formerly overwhelmingly positive reputation of New Jersey by this group of drunken clubhoppers, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi will join the cast for its fifth season. Both have agreed to take the cast members to other places in Jersey where their hi-jinks may not be so welcomed. In further efforts, Southside Johnny and the guy from the Smithereens will join the cast of the Style network's knock-off, Jerseylicious.
4) Nicki Minaj To Wed Jason Alexander: It's a marriage that would only make sense on Seinfeld, but, yes, the man who played George Constanza, the improbable loser who scored all those hot women, will be marrying the Trinidadian beauty as soon as he can find his birth certificate and get up the courage to tell his wife. Alexander, who met Minaj while leaving the restroom during a poker match, says the couple will honeymoon at a Motel 6 in Indiana to keep expenses down and because it's the one place where he can still reliably catch his portrayal of Art Witz in the 1998 film, Denial, which plays for $6 on pay-per-view.
3) Britney Spears To Star As Justin Bieber's Mom In Bio-Pic: Everyone has a mother and now Britney Spears is going to play one on the big screen. The 2010 death of Rue McClanahan left an opening for the role of Canadian teen-throb Justin Bieber's mom. Other actresses considered for the part were Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep and R&B star Brandy "Moesha" Norwood. "We tried just about everyone," said a top executive at Filmcrud Studios. "But everyone we tried didn't have the chops. But Britney came in and nailed it and offered to work for scale and we have ourselves a wonderful film going straight to DVD on April 24. Pre-orders are now being accepted."
2) Usher To Take Usher Job In Movie-House: He's had the name long enough, but now Usher Terence Raymond IV is going to see exactly what the duties of a movie theater usher actually are. This summer the R&B superstar, whose latest album Raymond v. Raymond has suggested he is hungry for a new direction in his music, will be working the aisles of an undisclosed greater Atlanta-area movie house. There he will rip tickets and ensure that the rabble-rousing is kept to a minimum.
1) Jay-Z and Beyonce To Record Album of Folk Music: Picking up an old Richard & Mimi Farina album at a Brooklyn flea market, Jay-Z brought the album home to wife Beyonce and the two of them agreed their careers needed more autoharp. "Beyonce and I were just astounded, just astounded, at the simplicity of the Farinas," said Jay-Z. "And now we're desperately trying to find a mint condition vinyl copy of Take Heart, the debut album by Tom Jans that also featured Mimi. Folk music, it's where our heart lies."
Jay-Z/Beyonce Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic