It was the best of weeks and it was the worst of weeks for hip-hop star Lil' Wayne this week, who scored a #2 album, I Am Not A Human Being, but had to celebrate under very inhumane conditions: in solitary confinement during the last days of his weapons-charges prison sentence.
The week got off to rough start for the troubled 28-year-old rapper, when on Monday he was moved to "punitive segregation" for stashing a non-prison-issue iPod charger and headphones in his prison cell. (He had apparently hidden the musical contraband in an empty potato chip bag in a trash bin.) As punishment for this offense, Weezy will now remain in solitary confinement 23 hours a day--without being allowed to socialize with other inmates, watch TV, or, of course, listen to music--until his November 4 release. Talk about facing the music...
However, the day after Wayne was put into solitary, he did receive some good news, when he learned that his latest album had sold 110,000 copies in its first week of digital-only release and had charted at #2 on the Billboard 200 (making it the second digital-only album to reach the top two, after the benefit album Hope For Haiti Now). Additionally, 11 Wayne songs held steady on the Hot Digital Songs chart, putting him second only to the "Glee" cast's 12 digital hits. So that was something to be gleeful about, at least--and Weezy is sure to rack up even more sales when I Am Not A Human Being is physically issued next week.
[Photos: More moments with Lil' Wayne]
Lil' Wayne was also in the news this week for his new collabo video with Eminem, "No Love," which tackled a hot topic in the news today: school bullying. The video, which Wayne shot before he began his prison sentence, features a plot about a boy being harassed by his classmates and then finally standing up for himself. Its release came at just the right moment, in light of a recent rash of suicides (including Asher Brown,13, Seth Walsh, 13, Billy Lucas, 15, Tyler Clementi, 18, and Raymond Chase, 19) by allegedly bullied teens.
Shady and Weezy weren't the only musical celebrities speaking out about bullying--particularly the bullying of gay teens, like the ones mentioned in the above paragraph. Openly gay country singer Chely Wright told Larry King she was bullied in school, for instance, while openly gay pop star Lance Bass admitted to King on the same CNN episode that when he was growing up a closeted teen in the South, he actually used to bully other homosexual students in order to fit in. This followed other recent mentions of bullying in the media--like Adam Lambert tweeting that an E! reporter's homophobic remark "echoed the fearful ignorance of high school bullies," or "America's Got Talent" finalist Prince Poppycock standing up for bullied outsiders during his finale exit speech, or dozens of music stars (including Ke$ha, Ciara, "Glee" star Chris Colfer, Good Charlotte's Joel Madden, and Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears) recording reassuring PSAs for gay activist Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" awareness campaign. A "Glee" episode honoring bullying victims, centering on Chris Colfer's homosexual character Kurt, is also in the works, it was reported this week.
And finally, in happier (if quite surprising) "Glee" news, the "Glee" cast broke the almighty Beatles' Hot 100 record this week, when they racked up 75 total entries in the Billboard Hot 100, surpassing the Fab Four's previous total of 71. Perhaps this news wasn't so well-timed, considering that this week marks what would have been late Beatle John Lennon's 70th birthday and Lennon celebrations are taking place all over the world...but we send our congrats to the cast regardless.
And we wish John Lennon a happy birthday, up there in the sky with diamonds, of course.
THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 NEWS STORIES:
1) Happy Birthday, John Lennon! - Yoko Ono relights the Imagine Peace Tower on her late husband's 70th birthday.
2) Solitary Man - Lil' Wayne will spend the rest of his sentence in "punitive segregation."
3) Taylor Swift's Ex-Manager Sues For Millions - Taylor's former manager tells her, "You belong with me."
4) All You Need Is "Glee" - The TV show's cast beats Beatles' chart record.
5) Max Weinberg Opens Up, Literally - The drummer reveals open-heart surgery is the reason he's not returning to Conan.
6) Kanye's Tweet Goes On - West takes to his Twitter account to reveal his new album title, street date, and details of his 40-minute film.
7) Back To The Farm - Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young celebrate the 25th Farm Aid.
8) Seal With A Kiss - The Luckiest Man In The World gloats in a sexy music video with his near-naked supermodel wife, Heidi Klum.
9) Unbreak Her Bank - Toni Braxton files for her second bankruptcy, and is $50 million in debt.
10) Say It Ain't So - An online campaigner offers Weezer $10 million to break up; Weezer counter-offer and say they'll do it for $20 million!