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August 05, 2013

Will.i.am Joins American Idol as Judge; Simon Cowell Questioned About Fatherhood Rumors

by Mary Morningstar

An exclusive report from omg! Insider says the judges have been chosen for the upcoming 13th season of American Idol.  Country star Keith Urban returns for his second year on the reality show.  He’ll reportedly be joined by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Lopez, who was an American Idol judge in 2010 and 2011. Season 13 auditions kicked off in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 11.  Other audition cities include San Francisco, California; Detroit, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; Foxboro, Massachusetts; Austin, Texas; and Omaha, Nebraska.  FOX-TV will begin airing the audition round on January 15, 2014.

Simon Cowell Questioned About Fatherhood Rumors 

​​Simon Cowell was asked about unconfirmed reports of his impending fatherhood at a Television Critics Association panel on August 1. Cowell deflected the question, citing privacy concerns, but said he would eventually clear up the matter when the timing is right. The X Factor and American Idol creator is embroiled in his friends' divorce proceedings with court documents citing Cowell as a co-respondent in a divorce complaint stating the reasons for the dissolution of marriage are the commission of acts of adultery.

Selena Gomez Tops Billboard 200
 
​​This week, Selena Gomez scores her first Number One debut on the Billboard 200 chart with “Stars Dance.”  The set went to Number One on iTunes charts in 28 countries.  The 21-year-old pop singer will launch a world tour on August 14 in Vancouver, British Columbia.  She’ll also be seen in the upcoming film “The Getaway,” which opens in theaters on August 30.


Rihanna Wins Topshop Lawsuit

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​​R&B singer Rihanna won a legal case July 31 against British fashion chain Topshop over the use of her image on a T-shirt it sold without her approval. High Court Judge Birss ruled in Rihanna's favor following a four-day hearing earlier this month.
 






Randy Travis Recuperating After Heart Ailment
 
​​Country legend Randy Travis has been transferred from Baylor Heart Hospital in Texas to a physical therapy facility where he’ll continue to recover from congestive heart failure and a stroke.  The 54-year-old was admitted to the hospital on July 7 and diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy.  Three days later, Travis suffered a stroke that required surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.

 
Billboard Ranks Top 100 Hits of All Time 
 
​​Billboard is celebrating the 55th anniversary of its Hot 100 chart by ranking the 100 biggest hits on that list.  The Top 10 in ascending order are “Hey Jude” by The Beatles, “You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone, “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John, “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” by Los Del Rio, “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas, “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock, “How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes, “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin, “Smooth” by Santana featuring Rob Thomas, and ”The Twist” by Chubby Checker.  (The entire “Hot 100 55th Anniversary: All-Time Top 100 Songs” list can be viewed at www.billboard.com.)  

Florida Georgia Line Heating Up Billboard Country Songs Chart 
 
​​Country duo Florida Georgia Line has tied the record for most weeks at Number One on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.  Its smash hit “Cruise” spends its 21st week at the summit.  Only three other songs have held the top position for as many weeks in the history of the chart.  They include Eddy Arnold’s “I’ll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms),” Hank Snow’s “I’m Moving On” and Webb Pierce’s “In the Jailhouse Now.”  To date, Georgia Florida Line’s “Cruise” has sold 5.1-million digital downloads, making it the third best-selling Country digital track ever.  Ahead of “Cruise” are Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” with 6.2million downloads and Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” with 5.6 million.
 
New Album Releases / August 6: 
 
 “Now That’s What I Call Music! Volume 47” by various artists
“Simplify” by Brendan James
“Joke in the Hole” by Eric Copeland
“Didn’t It Rain” by Hugh Laurie
“Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon” by KT Tunstall
“Elvis At Stax” by Elvis Presley
“Everywhere At Once” by Paul Allen and the Underthinkers
“The Civil Wars” by The Civil Wars
“Walking Papers” by Walking Papers
 
Musical Events / Festivals / Benefits 
 
​​The Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival will be held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park August 9-11.  This year’s lineup includes Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson & Family, Hall & Oates, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nine Inch Nails, Kaskade, and many others.  In addition to concerts, the three-day festival features a variety of local vendors offering food, wine, art and 15 craft breweries.
 
Star Birthdays 
 
August 4 - 2010 “American Idol” runner-up Crystal Bowersox turned 28.  Her debut album, “Farmer’s Daughter,” was released on Jive Records.  The company closed its doors the following year.  Last year, Bowersox signed with independent label Shanachie Records, which released her new album, “All That For This,” earlier this year.  In late 2013, Bowersox will play Patsy Cline in the Broadway production of “Always, Patsy Cline.”
 
August 5 - Canadian Country singer Terri Clark celebrates her 45th birthday.  Since arriving on the Country scene in 1995, Clark has recorded nine albums that have produced a string of hits.  Two reached Number One on the U.S. Country chart, “You’re Easy On The Eyes” and “Girls Lie Too.”  Clark’s 2012 album, “Classic,” features her versions on Country standards.
 
August 7 - Singer BJ Thomas turns 71.  The five-time Grammy Award winner is best known for such hits as “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” “Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love” and “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.”  Thomas’ new acoustic album, “The Living Room Sessions,” contains his hits re-recorded as duets with other artists, including Vince Gill, Keb Mo and Steve Tyrell.
 
August 8 - JC Chasez of the former boy band ‘N Sync will celebrate his 37th birthday.  He began performing as a Mouseketeer in Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club.  ‘N Sync formed in 1995 and released its first album in 1998.  The group’s three studio albums collectively sold more than 26 million copies in the United States.  Chasez also released the solo album “Schizophrenic” in 2004.  From 2008 to 2012, he was a judge on the MTV reality show, “America’s Best Dance Crew.”
 
​​August 9 - Birth date of the late pop icon Whitney Houston (born 1963).  Houston sold more than 200 million albums worldwide.  She was the only female artist to have seven consecutive Number One songs on the Hot 100 chart.  In addition to her career in music, Houston starred in many films, including “The Bodyguard,” “The Preacher’s Wife,” “Waiting To Exhale” and “Sparkle.”  Houston admitted to problems with drug use and went to rehab centers twice before telling Oprah Winfrey in a 2010 interview that she was drug-free.  On February 11, 2012, the 48-year-old singer was found dead in her Los Angeles hotel room.  An autopsy revealed her death was caused by “drowning due to effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.”
 
August 10 - Singer Ronnie Spector turns 70.  During the 1960s, Spector performed with The Ronettes, a trio best known for the Number 2 single “Be My Baby.”  She sang the lead line of “Be My Baby” in rock singer Eddie Money’s 1986 hit “Take Me Home Tonight.”  In 2007, the Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Last year, Spector performed her one-woman show, “Beyond the Beehive,” throughout the United States. 
 
Look Who's Going On Tour!
 
​​On August 9, Grammy-winning R&B singer Toni Braxton begins a North American tour in Las Vegas.  Since the release of her 1992 debut album, Braxton has sold more than 60 million records worldwide.  Her hits include “Another Sad Love Song,” “Breathe Again,” “You’re Makin’ Me High” and “Un-break My Heart.”  Braxton is currently working on a duets album with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, which will be released later this year.
 
Pop singer Ke$ha recently wrapped up a North American co-headlining tour with international superstar Pitbull.  On August 10, she’ll kick off an 18-city solo U.S. headlining tour in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to support her latest album, “Warrior.”  Mike Posner will be Ke$ha’s special guest on the tour and New York rock band Semi-Precious Weapons will open the shows.