Stop The Presses!

March 31-April 7: Hospital Blues

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

This was a week full of weird hospital scares, starting with the scariest of all: the ultimately fatal hospitalization of Sean Levert. The 39-year-old crooner, member of R&B trio LeVert, and son of O'Jays singer Eddie Levert died Sunday night at the Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland, after he was taken from Cuyahoga County Jail.

According to warden Kevin McDonough, Sean--who was just one week into serving a 22-month sentence for failure to pay child support--was strapped down in a restraint chair by prison guards after he had an uncharacteristic outburst, pounding on his cell door and breathing shallowly. He was subsequently taken to the hospital, where he passed away less than an hour later.

Sean reportedly suffered from high blood pressure and had been having hallucinations in jail, according to Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office spokesman Powell Caesar; Sean's autopsy results found no signs of trauma and ruled out foul play, but were otherwise been inconclusive. This means a final report on his cause of death won't be available for at least four weeks. However, his relatives have already demanded that the FBI to look into his surprise demise. FBI spokesman Scott Wilson confirmed that agents would arrange to meet with the Levert family.

This is sadly not the first death in the LeVert band: Sean's older brother and bandmate, Gerald, died two years ago from an accidental mix of prescription and OTC drugs.

In less depressing medical news, both Jessica Simpson and American Idol rocker David Cook were hospitalized this week, but unlike Sean Levert, they're both now recovering nicely.

Jessica was admitted briefly to L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai for a minor kidney infection, while David was rushed to the hospital Tuesday after his Idol taping, suffering from what appeared to be stress-related heart palpitations. Show producers wanted David to head to the ER before Tuesday's Idol show, but he insisted on going on with his planned performance of Dolly Parton's "Little Sparrow" before being checked out for high blood pressure and high anxiety. And given how rockin' David's rendition was, viewers/voters were none the wiser. (He once again avoided landing in Idol's dreaded bottom three this week.)

Anonymous Idol sources suggested that David's accelerated heart rate might have been caused by competitive stress, compounded by recent bad news regarding his brother's cancer battle. However, reps for Fox told inquiring reporters that the network "does not comment on the personal lives of the show contestants."

We here at That's Really Week send our get-well wishes to Jessica and David, and our sincere condolences to the Levert clan.

And finally, Britney Spears--no stranger to the hospitalization experience herself, and a woman who's spent a good chunk of time restrained at Cedars-Sinai--was also back in the news this week, announcing that she'd reunited with her on/off/on manager, Larry Rudolph. Larry's the man largely credited with Britney's 1990s success, and he was uncoincidentally fired right around the time that his star client shacked up with Kevin Federline.

Post-Larry, Britney's career has basically been one long, continuous, hot-messy, humiliating swan dive into the abyss of unsupervised television interviews, pantyless nights on the town, custody battles, rehab stints, umbrella attacks, headshaving benders, dead-eyed VMA performances, and restraining orders against replacement manager Sam Lufti.

So we're hoping the reinstatement of Rudolph means her extremely derailed trainwreck of a career is finally, finally back on track. This heartening turn of events, coupled with Brit's recent critically praised acting role on How I Met Your Mother, actually gives us a teensy-tiny smidge of hope for the Blackout queen. Just a SMIDGE, though. Britney has disappointed us way too many times for us to get that excited just yet.

One thing we are excited about, believe it or not, is this week's reunion announcement from New Kids On The Block! Yes, before Britney's ex-beau Justin Timberlake reared his then-curly head in *NSYNC, it was NKOTB who paved the way for cheesetastic boy bands. None of the "Kids" have forged post-boy-band careers to match Justin's, of course...but we're still hoping they have the right stuff after all these years.

And on those guardedly hopeful notes, thus concludes another wild, weird, and sometimes woeful week. Do come back next Friday, and until then...goodnight, and good music.

THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 STORIES:

1) Another Levert Brother Dies - Sean Levert was only 39.

2) These Boots Are Made For Droppin' - Jessica Simpson is forced to enter the hospital.

3) David Cook Says "Hello" To The ER - The Idol finalist experiences heart palpitations.

4) Britney Breaks The Ice With Former Manager - Her career is back in the capable hands of Larry Rudolph.

5) Old Kids On The Block - NKOTB confirm their reunion plans.

6) A Beautiful Day For Live Nation - The company signs a massive deal with U2.

7) Weiland Walks - Scott Weiland parts ways with Velvet Revolver.

8) A Leg Up On The Competition - Paul McCartney's ex, Heather Mills, will host the Miss USA pageant.

9) Chris Brown Doesn't Kiss Kiss And Tell - He denies that he is dating Rihanna.

10) Kids, Incorporated - Miley Cyrus and Drake Bell win big at the Kids' Choice Awards.

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