Miley Cyrus usually makes headlines for fairly fluffy reasons--quitting Twitter, pole-dancing at awards shows, dating underwear models, posing for eyebrow-raising Vanity Fair photo spreads, etc. But this week she was, sadly, in the news over a far more serious matter, when her tour bus overturned on the Interstate 85 highway in Virginia. Thankfully, Miley was not on board at the time and therefore was not hurt, but the driver of the bus, 53-year-old William G. Douglas, was tragically killed when the bus struck an embankment and flipped over Friday morning.
A member of Miley's production crew, 48-year-old Marty Zilio, was injured in the crash and treated at a local hospital. The rest of the passengers escaped the bus for the most part unscathed through a busted window.
On Friday, an emergency dispatch call recording was released that suggested the driver may have had a heart attack: "RV flipped over. The man just went into cardiac arrest," the tape said. "We are going to need some help soon...He's moving... He's turning purple." But as of this writing, the actual cause of the crash is still under investigation.
The entire Cyrus clan posted on Miley's website Friday that they were "deeply saddened by the loss of Bill 'Uncle Bill' Douglas" and that "members of our tour are like members of our family." As of this writing, the cause of the accident is currently still being investigated. We here at Yahoo! extend our condolences to the Douglas, Zilio, and Cyrus families, as well as to anyone else affected by this tragedy.
Sorry for continuing on a somber note, but other tragedies dominated the headlines this week, specifically tragedies related to Michael Jackson. First Evan Chandler--father of Jordan Chandler, the boy who first accused Michael of molestation--committed suicide by handgun, sparking speculation that he'd perhaps done so out of guilt over the whole child molestation scandal that arguably started the downward spiral of the fallen King Of Pop's bizarre life. We shall never really know, and there was no suicide note at the scene.
Then in an interview with ABC News correspondent Robin Roberts this week, Michael's sister Janet Jackson revealed that she and her relatives unsuccessfully attempted to stage an intervention when they suspected Michael was addicted to prescription pills ("You can't make 'em drink the water..." she said). She also said she ultimately blames Dr. Conrad Murray for her brother's death. "[Dr. Murray] was the one that was administering [Propofol to Michael]...I think he is responsible," Janet boldly stated. She additionally declared that Dr. Murray should not be allowed to practice medicine.
In other narcotics-related news, after a week of sending mixed messages regarding whether or not they've actually split up, Aerosmith members were back in the news expressing concern that estranged but supposedly rehabbed frontman Steven Tyler is back on drugs. The allegations came from rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford and drummer Joey Kramer, the former of whom told Reuters: "I suspect there's a lot more going on than we know about. He has a well-documented history of drug abuse, and I find myself very suspicious. I haven't seen him do this or...have any personal knowledge, but the isolation is very typical of addictive behavior, and his--what I call--irrational behavior." In a separate interview, Joey said: "Steven has made some poor choices as of late, and he's got some bad influences around him, and I think that for the most part he's his own worst enemy...I just really hope that Steven puts the focus on Steven and gets healthy."
Steven did not comment, because, according to his PR rep, he is too busy writing his memoirs at the moment. That's going to be one interesting book, and it looks like some of the most interesting chapters are still unfolding right now, as this band battles rages on.
But happily, not all classic rockers were feuding this week. Surviving Beatles Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney announced that they are teaming up for Ringo's new solo album Y Not, out in January next year. Other contributors to the allstar album will include Joss Stone, Ben Harper, Richard Marx, Joe Walsh of the Eagles, the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, Glen Tilbrook of Squeeze, and Van Dyke Parks. But it's Macca's appearance on the Ringo-produced disc (Paul will play bass on "Peace Dream" and sing lead on "Walk With You") that will be the main event, since it's the closest thing to a Beatles reunion that Fab Four fans will ever witness now.
In other big collabo news, this week Beyonce and Lady Gaga released not one but two, similarly titled, duets: a "Videophone" remix by Beyonce featuring guest Gaga, and new song "Telephone," by Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce. Confusing much? Beyonce's "Videophone" video, directed by Hype Williams, hit the airwaves this week, and the pair certainly weren't phoning it in, looking fierce and fabulous throughout. Now we just have to wait, presumably, for Gaga's "Telephone" response video, and then a whole new battle can begin as fans engage in a sort of "Who Sang It Best?"-style debate.
And finally, in other battle news, this week celebrity blogger/professional trash-talker Perez Hilton dropped assault charges against Black Eyed Peas' road manager Liborio "Polo" Molina. The charges stemmed from a June altercation outside the King West nightclub in Toronto, after the MuchMusic Awards--when Perez and BEP main man will.i.am got into an argument over a nasty blog Perez had written about the BEP's Fergie, and Polo physically came to will.i.am's defense. Polo is still not allowed to carry any weapons in Canada, cannot come within 100 meters of the King West club, and is forbidden from corresponding with Perez "directly or indirectly." But we have a feeling Polo is perfectly OK with that last rule. We don't think he was exactly planning to send Perez any Twitter DM's or mash notes any time soon.
And with that, this weekly note comes to an end. Have a good weekend, and come back next Friday for more news--the sad, the bad, and the just plain mad.
THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 STORIES:
1) Driver Killed In Miley Cyrus Tour Bus Tragedy - The teen star was not hurt, but others were not so lucky.
2) Steven Tyler Livin' On The Edge? - His estranged Aerosmith bandmates fear he's suffered a drug relapse.
3) Janet Jackson's Nasty Accusation - She publicly blames Dr. Conrad Murray for Michael Jackson's death.
4) A Tragic Saga's Final Chapter - The father of Michael Jackson molestation accuser Jordan Chandler commits suicide.
5) Beyonce & Gaga Ring Viewers' Bells - They star in a hot new "Videophone" duet.
6) Ringo's Special Guest Star - Paul McCartney will appear on his former Beatle bandmate's new solo album.
7) Chris Brown Transformed? - He receives an "extremely favorable" report from probation officials.
8) SuBo Blows Up - Susan Boyle's debut album breaks records for the biggest pre-order sales in Amazon history.
9) Black Eyed Peace - Perez Hilton drops assault charges against will.i.am's road manager.
10) Out Not Proud - Out magazine editor Aaron Hicklin controversially blasts Adam Lambert's PR reps.