Stop The Presses!

March 3-10: Death, Britney, And Idol

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

Ah, another week, another Britney Spears story. Actually, she reared her hair-extensioned head in not one but two news stories this week, so let's right get to it:

In legal Britney news, Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz ruled this week that Britney's dad Jamie Spears will retain control of her estate for another five months. (His co-conservatorship over her affairs was set to expire Monday, March 10, but has now been extended all the way to July 31.)

And in illegal Britney news--and possibly the scariest Britney development since her mental-ward lockdown--her vocals have popped up on a new sign-of-the-apocalypse duet with Heidi Montag, titled "Dramatic." Egad! Pardon the pun, but run for the hills!

Actually, reps for both vocally challenged tabloid fixtures claim that Britney and Heidi were unaware that the "Dramatic" recording even existed, until it debuted on Ryan Seacrest's L.A. morning radio show this week. An unnamed Heidi source told Access Hollywood: "Heidi has no knowledge of this recording. She did do a demo of this song for possible use on her record, but that recording had a male vocal on it, not Britney Spears."

Now, we're not saying Jamie Spears, who's currently raking in a weekly $2,500 stipend for his guardian gig, isn't doing a fine job looking after his wayward daughter...but while he's saving her sanity, can he save her career (and the world's ears) too, and keep her off any future Heidi songs? Please?

Anyway speaking of Ryan Seacrest, all the pop world was abuzz this week about the TV talent competition he hosts, American Idol (perhaps you've heard of it?), when two of the show's male semi-finalists made headlines for very different reasons. Dreadheaded contender Jason Castro caused both Leonard Cohen and the late Jeff Buckley to skyrocket up the iTunes and Amazon charts this week, after he winningly performed Cohen's "Hallelujah" and judge Simon Cowell mentioned Buckley's legendary version of the song. But unfortunately for aspiring Idol David Hernandez, his Internet searches this week were spurred not by his Idol performance but by rumors of much racier performances he allegedly used to give at a gay male strip club unsubtly called Dick's Cabaret. Speculation ran rampant that he'd be disqualified from the family-friendly Idol show (several seasons ago, semi-finalist Frenchie Davis was kicked off after her topless photos surfaced on porn sites). But, as was the case with season 1 ex-stripper Nikki McKibbin, Hernandez was allowed to stay on Idol despite this scandal. And to that, the singer's fans cried "hallelujah!" indeed. However, considering the elimination of flamboyant finalist Danny Noriega this Thursday, it remains to be seen if America's viewers will really welcome the equally controversial David H. into their living rooms week after week.

In more serious news, death dominated this week's other, doomier headlines:

First, the infant daughter of rapper Juvenile was tragically gunned down last weekend, allegedly by his babymama's 17-year-old son. Our condolences go out to Juvenile's entire family at this difficult time.

Then it was revealed that Mick Jagger might have met a similar fate, as years ago he was reportedly the target of a bizarre, ultimately unsuccessful assassination attempt by the Hell's Angels.

According to the BBC, the Hell's Angels were so angered by Mick's remarks following the Rolling Stones' disastrous 1969 Altamont Speedway concert (for which the gang's members served as rather ineffectual security guards), they hired a boat and attempted to invade Mick's Hamptons home by sea. Thankfully for Mick, Mother Nature intervened, a storm toppled the boat, and the would-be assassins couldn't get no satisfaction that fateful day.

Unfortunately, blind blues musician Jeff Healey wasn't so lucky escaping fate this week, as he sadly succumbed to a cancer at age 41. Many knew Healey best from his appearance as Cody in the movie Road House (famous line: "I thought you'd be bigger"), so this sad news was compounded when Road House star Patrick Swayze revealed this week that he has (possibly terminal) cancer himself.

Oh no, could Road House possibly be cursed? John Doe of the seminal L.A. punk band X also had a role in that film...we sure hope he's OK. And no, we're not joking. This is bad, people.

And on that bummer note, thus concludes another week in music. Hopefully next Friday's installment will bring more positive, death-free (and Britney-free) news. Until then, goodnight, and good music.


1) Time Is On Mick's Side - Jagger narrowly escapes an alleged assassination attempt.

2) Jeff Healey Not Healed - The blues legend loses his long battle with cancer.

3) Oops, The Judge Did It Again - Britney's dad gets a court-ordered extension on his conservatorship.

4) Juvenile's Daughter Murdered - And the killer allegedly was her own half-brother.

5) Idol's Past Stripped Bare - David Hernandez reportedly used to dance at a gay nudie bar.

6) Armageddon Arrives - Britney Spears and Heidi Montag record an unauthorized duet.

7) Gnarls Barkey Video Drives MTV Crazy - Their new "Run" clip is reportedly too seizure-inducing for broadcast.

8) Bye, Bye, Bye, Lou Pearlman - The former boy-band manager will probably going to jail, after pleasing guilty to multiple charges.

9) Idol Worship - Leonard Cohen/Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" is the latest song to get a boost from American Idol.

10) The B.I.G. Picture - The lead role in the upcoming Notorious B.I.G. movie has finally been cast.

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