Paula Abdul has announced she will not be a judge on the ninth season of American Idol. Abdul wrote on her Twitter page, "With sadness in my heart, I've decided not to return to 'Idol.' I'll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all I'll miss being a part of a show that I helped from day one become an international phenomenon." A statement from the FOX network read, "Paula Abdul has been an important part of the American Idol family over the last eight seasons and we are saddened that she has decided not to return to the show. While Paula will not be continuing with us, she's a tremendous talent and we wish her the best." Abdul reportedly wanted an $8 million salary increase. Judge Simon Cowell recently signed a new multi-year deal that will pay him $45 million. Host Ryan Secrest was just given $30 million for a three-year contract. Randy Jackson will return to the show, as will songwriter Kara DioGuardi, who joined the panel of judges last year.
Chris Brown was in court on August 5 to be formally sentenced for assaulting his ex-girlfriend Rihanna back in February. When he arrived, however, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg postponed the sentencing until August 27. Documents outlining his plan to complete community service in his home state of Virginia hadn't arrived in time for the court's approval. Brown pleaded guilty in June and was given five years probation and 180 days of labor oriented community service. He'll also be required to complete one year of domestic violence classes.
Administrators of Michael Jackson's estate have presented merchandising proposals to a probate judge in Los Angeles. Among the items being considered are trading cards, t-shirts, stuffed animals that play his songs and clothing lines. According to the Associated Press, the deals are between Jackson's estate, concert promoter AEG Live and Bravado International Group Merchandising Services. Also being pursued is an agreement between his estate and Columbia Pictures for a feature film based on more than 100 hours of rehearsal footage for his 50 London concerts that were to begin last month.
Christina Aguilera launched her own radio station on August 7. The 24-hour online channel is distributed via Clear Channel Radio's iheartradio network. Christina told the Associated Press, "It stands across so many different feels and genres from A Tribe Called Quest to the Beatles to Billie Holiday to Bjork to Black Sabbath, Jay-Z." The channel features Christina's favorite songs, as well as interviews and news.
On August 14, Country stars Carrie Underwood, John Rich and Jake Owen will perform at the "Salute to the Troops Concert" in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The show will kick off a week-long celebration at Fort Campbell, which also includes a concert by Country singer Rodney Atkins on August 15. Fort Campbell is an Army installation that is home to the 101st Airborne Division.
Leonard Cohen will perform a sold-out concert in Israel on September 24. Forty-seven-thousand tickets to the stadium show were sold in less than one day. Cohen's last concert in Israel took place in 1975. According to his manager, the show will be a fundraiser for Palestinian and Israeli groups working for reconciliation. MSNBC.com reports that the beneficiaries include a peace group made up of the parents of Israelis and Palestinians killed in the conflict and a children's health program run by Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv.
Leading the contenders for the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards are Beyonce and Lady Gaga, who each received nine nominations. Beyonce was recognized for her hit "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)." Lady Gaga earned her nods for "Poker Face" and "Paparazzi." Britney Spears follows close behind with seven nominations for "Womanizer." Other multiple nominees include Jay-Z, Kanye West, Coldplay, Eminem and Green Day. The MTV Video Music Awards will be presented on September 13 in New York City.