Stop The Presses!

August 4-11: Beyond The Pale

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

Well, Usher is once again a mama's boy. Last year the R&B superstar controversially fired his momager amid rumors that she didn't get along with his new wife, and then he enlisted the services of Hollywood power broker (and Mariah Carey manager) Benny Medina. But now Usher has rehired his mom, Jonnetta Patton, amid rumors that Benny was disappointed with the relatively low sales of Usher's latest album, Here I Stand.

So it seems the old saying--that blood is thicker than management-contract ink, or something to that effect--is true. Because apparently Benny couldn't forgive Usher for selling "only" 2 million copies of his new album (as opposed to Confessions' whopping 19 mill), but Usher's mother is willing to forgive a very public termination and her son's confessions to the press like "This is great for me because it means I now get to have my mother strictly as my mother with no added pressure" and "I hurt more than anything over these last two years, when I felt my mother didn't really embrace my situation."

We guess Usher's change of heart is proof that sometimes, you can go home again.

In much tweenier but equally family-oriented news, sibling pop stars the Jonas Brothers have officially confirmed that they're going to star in their own regular Disney Channel series--modeled, oddly, after one of their favorite shows, the quirky HBO musical comedy Flight Of The Conchords. (Set your TiVos now, girls!) And 17-year-old American Idol runner-up David Archuleta--who from the moment he started competing on Idol was constantly compared to the underage stars of shows like High School Musical and Hannah Montana--has recruited Miley Cyrus/Aly & AJ/Vanessa Hudgens producers Antonina Armato and Tim James for his tween-demographic-courting debut album. We're sure that Archie's controversial dadager, papa Jeff Archuleta, is quite pleased.

Meanwhile, Beyonce--who, incidentally, has long been managed by her own parent, daddy Mathew, and styled by her mother Tina--found herself in the center of controversy this week. Only weeks after her Dreamgirls co-star Jennifer Hudson was accused of being over-Photoshopped in her album-cover photo, allegations surfaced that Beyonce's likeness was also digitally altered--this time for a new L'Oreal print ad. It seemed the B'Day girl looked a little paler than usual in the magazine advertisement, thus creating a public outcry. Beyonce's camp has remained quiet on this matter so far, but L'Oreal reps adamantly deny that their famous spokesmodel's complexion was lightened in the somewhat suspicious photo. "We highly value our relationship with Ms. Knowles. It is categorically untrue that L'Oreal Paris altered Ms. Knowles' features or skin tone in the campaign for Feria hair color," the company insisted in a statement.

But of course, this story new pales in comparison (um, no pun intended) to the much darker (again, no pun intended) scandal surrounding Beyonce's fellow diva Lil' Kim this week. Lil' Kim was just trying to celebrate her own b'day at New York's Spotlight Live nightclub last Sunday--with famous and fabulous party guests like Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, and Wyclef Jean--but the celebration turned ugly when one of the lesser-known attending revelers, Ingrid Rivera, was later found tragically beaten to death--apparently by Spotlight Live bartender Rahman Syed, who has just confessed to the crime. Rahman admitted to attacking 24-year-old Ingrid (who did not personally know Lil' Kim, as the party was an open-invitation, advertised event) with a metal pipe after she rejected his advances; her body was discovered three days later on the roof of Rahman's apartment building. Our sincere condolences go out to Ingrid's family and friends at this time.

And thus, on an unfortunate downer note, concludes another week in news. Come back next week for more headlines, and until then...goodnight, and good music.

THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 STORIES:

1) Usher's Family Reunion - He rehires his mom to be his momager.

2) Beyond The Pale - L'Oreal is accused of lightening spokesmodel Beyonce's skin in a print ad.

3) Lil' Kim's Notorious Birthday - A guest at her party is later found murdered; the party's bartender confesses to the crime.

4) Clay Aiken, Daddy Dearest - Clay and his BFF become proud, if puzzling, parents.

5) No Fun! - Iggy Pop & The Stooges' gear is stolen after a gig in Montreal.

6) He Was Meant for Her - Jewel ties the knot with longtime rodeo-cowboyfriend Ty Murray.

7) Beatles For Sale - A newly discovered Fab 4 tape fetches $23,000 at auction.

8) A Hunka Hunka Burnin' Cash - Elvis Presley's famous "peacock" jumpsuit sells for a cool $300,000.

9) Archuleta Wants The "Miley Touch" - Idol runner-up David A. has enlisted Miley Cyrus's producers for his debut album.

10) Jonas Brothers To Burn Up The Small Screen - The JBs are getting their own Disney Channel show.

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