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Britney Appears on CBS TV Sitcom; Diddy Denies He Knew in Advance of Assault on Rapper Tupac Shakur

The finalists in the 2008 American Idol TV talent show competition were narrowed to 10 March 19 as Amanda Overmyer was voted off the program. Her choice of songs apparently failed to connect with viewers. Amanda was unwilling to take the judge's advice and sing a ballad, instead of her loud style of bluegrass rock. Amanda called ballads "boring."

A recent Los Angeles Times newspaper article alleged that Sean "Diddy" Combs and Notorious B.I.G. were among those who knew in advance of an assault on rapper Tupac Shakur in New York City in 1994. Tupac was lured to a New York recording studio when he was beaten, robbed and shot five times. Diddy quickly responded that "the story is a lie." In 1996, Shakur was shot to death in Las Vegas. That murder remains unsolved.

A family court judge in London awarded Heather Mills, now the ex-wife of Beatle Paul McCartney the equivalent of $48.6 million to settle the couple's divorce March 17. The court also ordered McCartney to pay their daughter, Beatrice, $70,000 a year plus cover the child's nanny and schooling costs. Mills, who originally had sought as much as $250 million, and wound up representing herself in court, said "I'm so glad it's all over." Sir Paul left the courthouse without making a statement.

Carrie Underwood has been invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. Carrie recently told Billboard magazine that if she hadn't won American Idol in 2005, "I probably wouldn't have pursued music much further at all." Interestingly enough, Carrie made her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry just two weeks after she won American Idol. Carrie will be formally inducted as an Opry member on May 10.

On March 23, Bryan Adams' new album "11" was released. His last studio project, Room Service, came out in 2004. Bryan wrapped up a European concert tour in Copenhagen on March 17. According to his web site, North American shows will take place in July and August.

Britney Spears made a guest appearance on the March 24 episode of How I Met Your Mother. The CBS sitcom stars Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor, Jason Segal and Alyson Hannigan. E! Online reports that Alicia Silverstone was scheduled to appear in the same episode as Britney, but cancelled after learning about Spears' guest spot. Josh Radnor told People magazine, "It pains me to report that on the first day of the shoot, Britney knew her lines better than I knew mine. She's been great to work with." People also reports that Britney played the role of a dermatologist's receptionist, who falls for Radnor's character, Ted.

American Idol judge Paula Abdul is working on her first new album since 1995. Billboard reports the collection will include remixed versions of some of Abdul's biggest hits, plus many new songs. Abdul sings "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow," which is the first single from fellow American Idol judge Randy Jackson's new album, Randy Jackson's Music Club, Vol. 1. A remix of the song, featuring DJ/producer Paul Oakenfold and hip-hop star Akon, will be included on Paula's upcoming release. Abdul hopes to have the album finished in time for Christmas.

Irish rock group U2 is working on a new album in Dublin with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. Lanois told Billboard, "We're going to try and break new sonic ground and deliver a masterpiece. The sleeves are rolled up. Bono is all charged up with a lyrical angle." U2's last album was 2004's How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.

Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie will reissue her multi-million-selling album, The Dutchess, later this year. The new version will include additional tracks and remixes. Five songs from the original album reached the Top 5 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. The last artist to achieve that feat was Janet Jackson with her 1989 album, Rhythm Nation 1814.

On March 28, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville will open the new exhibit, "Family Tradition: The Williams Family Legacy." The next day, Hank Williams, Jr. will visit the Hall of Fame to take part in an interview and concert. The "Family Tradition" exhibit will feature memorabilia that belonged to Hank Jr. and his parents, legendary singer Hank Sr. and Audrey Williams. It's scheduled to run through the end of 2009.


New albums scheduled for release on March 25 include: "Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings" by Counting Crows, "The Odd Couple" by Gnarls Barkley, "Pretty Odd" by Panic! At The Disco, "95/08 Exitos" (Spanish language greatest hits album) by Enrique Iglesias, "Funplex" by The B-52's, "Greatest Hits" by Morrissey and "Afro Bop Alliance" by the Caribbean Jazz Project.


Brad Paisley and Sugarland lead the nominees for the 2008 CMT Music Awards, Country music's only fan-voted awards show. Each received four nominations. Following close behind with three mentions apiece are Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, LeAnn Rimes, Rascal Flatts, Kellie Pickler, Taylor Swift and Trace Adkins. Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley will co-host the ceremony, which is set to air live from Nashville on April 14. Performers will include Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus, and many others.