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Degeneres Leaves 'American Idol'; Black Eyed Peas Set New Digital Download Record

  • Mary Morningstar

Following the news that Simon Cowell won't be returning as a judge on the upcoming 10th season of American Idol, another judge is making an exit. Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is leaving the show halfway through her two-year contract. She released a statement that says, "It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for. I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings." TMZ is reporting that songwriter Kara DioGuardi has been fired from her seat on the judge's panel. There are also unconfirmed reports that Aerosmith's lead singer Steven Tyler and Latin pop singer Jennifer Lopez will join the only remaining original judge, Randy Jackson.

7 Doctors, Nurse Cleared of Wrongdoing in Jackson Death

Seven doctors and one nurse investigated in the death of Michael Jackson will not be charged for criminal wrongdoing. One other doctor who prescribed medication to Jackson is still under investigation. "After reviewing hundreds of pages of records and documents obtained from the medical practitioners, the attorney general's office has referred one doctor, who wrote prescriptions to an alias known to have been used by Jackson, to the California medical board for further review," said California Attorney General Jerry Brown's spokeswoman, Christine Gasparac. Earlier this year, Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was charged with involuntary manslaughter. He's scheduled to be in court to face the charges on August 23.

Black Eyed Peas Set New Digital Download Record

The Black Eyed Peas "The End" CD

The Black Eyed Peas "The End" CD

The Black Eyed Peas have set a new record for most digital downloads. Their 2009 hit "I Gotta Feeling," which spent 14 weeks at Number One, has sold six million digital copies. In a recent phone interview with the Associated Press, the Black Eyed Peas' said, "We came out in (19)98 and our career, if you would look at it on chart, there's no dips in it. For our career to still be healthy and vibrant and doing things like six million downloads, it's pretty significant." When asked about the song's popularity, he added, "It's a positive, feel-good song at the time where there's question marks and uncertainty. People want to be reminded that it's going to be all right."

Rihanna to Make Film Debut

Rihanna's "Music Of The Sun" CD

Rihanna's "Music Of The Sun" CD

22-year-old singer Rihanna will make her film debut in the upcoming movie "Battleship." She's been cast as the female lead alongside Taylor Kitsch and Alexander Skarsgard. The film, which is based on the naval combat game, is scheduled to be out in May 2012.

Rapper Common Lands Role in Western TV Drama

Rapper and actor Common has been cast in the pilot of the new AMC cable television Western drama "Hell On Wheels." In his first leading television role, he'll play Elam, a freed slave who tries to find work on the railroad. Production is scheduled to begin this month in Alberta, Canada.

New Album Releases August 3:

"All Night Long" by Buckcherry
"The Suburbs" by Arcade Fire
"The Remix" and "The Cherrytree Sessions" (EP) by Lady Gaga
"Tin Can Trust" by Los Lobos
Croweology" by Black Crowes
"Mulennium" by Gov't Mule
"Tribal" by Dr. John The Lower 911 and Derek Trucks

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

Lady GaGa's "The Remix" CD

Lady GaGa's "The Remix" CD

The 2010 Lollapalooza Festival will take place August 6-8 at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois. Headliners include Lady Gaga, Soundgarden, Green Day, the Strokes and Arcade Fire. More than 100 acts are scheduled to perform on eight stages during the three-day event. According to Billboard Boxscore, last year's Lollapalooza Festival was attended by 225,000 music fans. It brought in over $14 million to become the third highest-grossing music festival of the year.

Music Awards

Nominations for the 2010 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards were recently announced. Leading the contenders is Gord Bamford with six nominations, including Album of the Year for "Day Job," Male Artist of the Year and the Fans' Choice Award. Following close behind with five nods are Dean Brody, Doc Walker, Corb Lund and Johnny Reid. Other multiple nominees include Victoria Banks, George Canyon, Terri Clark, Jessie Farrell, The Higgins and One More Girl. The 2010 CCMA Awards will be handed out on September 12 in Edmonton, Alberta. (Complete list of nominations at

Look Who's Going On Tour!

Rihanna's "Music Of The Sun" CD

Rihanna's "Music Of The Sun" CD

On August 5, British singer VV Brown will begin a four-week North American tour in Clarkston, Michigan. She'll be opening shows for California rock band Maroon 5. Brown's debut album, "Travelling Like the Light," was released this past February. Its track "Shark In the Water" was a hit in Europe and the U.S.

The Jonas Brothers will kick off a tour of North and South America on August 7 in Tinley Park, Illinois. They'll be supporting their latest album, "Lines, Vines and Trying Times" and the "Camp Rock" movie soundtracks. The 44-date trek wraps up on November 9 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Joe Jonas's former girlfriend, pop singer Demi Lovato, will open shows on the tour.