Stop The Presses!

August 25-Sept. 1: Crashing, Burning, And Sharkjumping

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

It's been a rough week for hip-hop moguls. And the one having the roughest time of all has to be poor Dr. Dre. This should be an exciting and productive time for the good Doctor, as he prepares to finally release Detox, the third and final installment in his solo album trilogy. But instead, Dre is grappling with a massive catastrophe in his personal life: This past weekend, his 20-year-old son Andre Young Jr. was found dead in his bedroom. The cause of Andre's death won't be certain until toxicology test results come back in about eight weeks, but news reports reveal he died after a Saturday night out with friends.

"Dr. Dre is mourning the loss of his son. Please respect his family's grief and privacy at this time," Dre's rep Lori Earl announced in a statement Monday. Given the magnitude of this tragedy, we're going to heed Lori's request, refrain from speculating about the cause of this extremely young man's suspicious death, and simply send Dre and his family our condolences at this difficult time.

Moving on...compared to what Dr. Dre is going through right now, Diddy got off easy this week, but he's nevertheless had better weeks than this latest one. Last weekend, the hip-hop honcho and his everpresent crew were cruising Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles when one of his cronies' cars was pulled over for an expired tag; then somehow matters escalated (Escaladed?) to the point where the cops pulled a gun on Puff's posse. Luckily, the situation was quickly defused--unlike that gun-related, J.Lo-associated Diddy traffic incident a few years back--and no one was detained or arrested. Still, it was scary there for a moment. We're not sure if any finalists from I Wanna Work For Diddy were riding in Puffy's fleet of luxury vehicles at the time, but if they were, they probably aren't so sure they want to work for Diddy now...

Another big powerhouse in hip-hop got in serious trouble this week. Death Row Records founder Suge Knight--who served time in prison from 1999 to 2001 on probation-violation charges, was the subject of a federal racketeering probe in 2002, and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2006--was back in the headlines this week when he was arrested on charges of assault and domestic violence. Police in Las Vegas were contacted by a bystander who allegedly witnessed Suge punching his girlfriend and threatening her with a knife in a Vegas parking lot; the cops later charged Suge with possession of Ecstasy and Hydrocodone when they searched him at the scene. Suge was booked into the Clark County Detention Center, but released 12 hours later on $19,000 bail--so apparently he's not that bankrupt, after all.

One person who's spending a lot more time in jail that just 12 hours is Hilary Duff's dad, Bob Duff. This week Hil's not-so-proud papa was ordered by a Texas judge to spend 10 whole days in jail for contempt of court. (Judge Thomas Stansbury in Houston determined Bob violated an injunction against selling assets without court approval, and that he must pay into a court repository $367,537 he earned from selling stocks last month.) Bob and Hilary's mother Susan Duff are currently entrenched in a bitter divorce battle, and the judge further ordered that Bob pay Susan $12,500 for Hilary's birthday party (which was the subject of the hearing).

Wow...a bitter divorce...a jailed father...maybe Hilary and her frenemy Lindsay Lohan have more in common than just both dating Aaron Carter...

Another music-related arrest making headlines this week involved blogger Kevin Cogill, who was taken in by FBI agents on suspicion of streaming songs from the STILL-unreleased (and possibly forever-unreleased) Guns N' Roses (aka Axl & Friends) album, Chinese Democracy, on his website. Kevin's bail was set at $10,000, which--if we compare this with the amounts mentioned in the paragraphs above--indicates that leaking GNR songs is a much less heinous offense than pulling a knife on a girlfriend in a Vegas strip mall parking lot or failing to pony up cash for a daughter's birthday bash.

Speaking of arrests, Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page was charged with cocaine possession last month. And this week BNL's bad-luck streak continued, when the band's other singer, Ed Robertson, was involved in a small plane crash near Bancroft, Ontario. Man, this just isn't BNL's year, is it? But then again, we can look at this story in a glass-half-full sort of way, and theorize that Ed has good luck, because Ed and his three fellow passengers walked away from the Cessna 206 crash shockingly unscathed. "They're all really lucky to get out of there. I think there was somebody on their side," fire chief Brian Sears told Ontario paper The Intelligencer. "They could smell the fuel, so they didn't waste any time getting out."

Man, if only Steven Page had such good luck getting out of bad situations.

However, readers, it wasn't all deaths, near-deaths, and arrests this week. But there was some arresting news for American Idol fans--news that may, some fans fear, spell death for the show. 19 Management reps announced that for season 8 of American Idol, they're going to mess with the show's tried-and-true triple-judge formula and add a fourth panelist, pro songwriter Kara DioGuardi, to the mix. Now, television history has proven time and time again that the inclusion of a new cast member almost always results in sharkjumping--note Oliver on The Brady Bunch, Bo on Welcome Back Kotter, Ted McGinley on every show he's ever done. Compound this fact with rumors that Paula Abdul--until now the lone female Idol judge--is unhappy with this casting, and this seems to be a bad idea on 19's part. But we here at That's Really Week plan to give Kara a fair chance when season 8 starts airing in January '09. She certainly knows her stuff--having penned tunes for the likes of many pop stars, including Idols Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, as well as singing briefly for her own band, Platinum Weird--and if her past mouthy interviews are any indication, she's feisty enough to give even surly Simon Cowell some stiff(lipped) competition.

Besides, it could be worse: American Idol could have added Ted McGinley to its cast...which Dancing With The Stars is actually doing for its seventh--possibly sharkjumping--season.

OK, so before That's Really Week jumps the shark, we'll wrap things up on that note. Come back next week for more headlines, and until then, goodnight and good music. And have a great Labor Day weekend.

 

THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 STORIES:

1) Doctor Shocker - Dr. Dre's 20-year-old son is found dead.

2) Diddy Stops Traffic - Cops pull over, then pull a gun on, Puffy's posse.

3) The Dark Knight - Suge Knight is arrested for allegedly abusing his girlftriend.

4) Hilary's Dad Lands His Duff In Jail - Bob Duff gets 10 days in the slammer.

5) Axl Gunning For Blogger - The web writer who allegedly leaked unreleased Guns N' Roses tracks is arrested.

6) Here Come Da Judge - American Idol adds a fourth judge to its season 8 panel.

7) Political Party - Musical acts of all genres flock to Denver for the Democratic National Convention.

8) Diamond In The Rough - Neil Diamond gives concertgoers a refund after his throat gives out.

9) Ed Robertson's Flight Fright - The Barenaked Ladies member escapes a plane crash with his life.

10) He's Available, Ladies! - Aging heartthrob Michael Bolton is back on the market after splitting again with off/on girlfriend Nicollette Sheridan.

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