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Eminem Enters Rehab; Abdul Returns as <i>American Idol</i> Judge

Just days after Eminem announced the cancellation of his upcoming European concert tour, the 32-year-old rapper entered a drug rehabilitation program. Eminem's publicist, Dennis Dennehy, said, "He is being treated for dependency on sleep medication." The Michigan native and 50 Cent completed the U.S. leg of their "Anger Management Tour 3" in Detroit on August 12. They had planned to begin European shows on September 1 in Hamburg, Germany. Dennehy said the concerts are not expected to be rescheduled.

Singer Mario Vazquez, who dropped out of this year's American Idol competition after being voted a Top 10 finalist, has signed a recording deal with J Records. In a record company press release, Vazquez said, "All I've ever wanted to do is sing and I've always dreamed about having a career in music. There's no better label to achieve that goal with than J Records." Clive Davis, Chairman of BMG U.S., added, "Mario Vazquez is a multi-talented, young American-born Hispanic singer with the voice and charisma that we've been trying to find for a long time. His live audition for us was truly special." Mario's debut album is expected to be out in early 2006.

Paula Abdul will return to judge the fifth season of American Idol . The singer and choreographer was cleared of charges brought against her by American Idol contestant Corey Clark, who claimed he had an affair with Abdul and she gave him special assistance regarding his performance during the show's second season competition. FOX-TV and American Idol producers said their investigation found no "corroborating evidence or witnesses" to substantiate those claims. Abdul said in a statement, "I'm grateful this ordeal is over and I'm so looking forward to getting back to the job I love." In other news, Abdul has backed out of being a guest choreographer on FOX-TV's talent contest "So You Think You Can Dance." Her publicist says she'll be too busy promoting an American Idol DVD.


R&B newcomer Ciara leads the nominees for the 10th annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards. She received five nominations, including Best New Artist, Best Solo Album for "Goodies," and Best Dance Cut and Best Video for "1, 2 Step." Ciara will co-host the September 7 ceremony from Pasadena, California with veteran rhythm-and-blues singers Toni Braxton and Brian McKnight. Other multiple nominees include third season "American Idol" winner Fantasia, Amerie and Destiny's Child, with four nods each. During the show, Stevie Wonder will present legendary singer Aretha Franklin with the 2005 Lena Horne Award for Outstanding Career Achievements. And, Aretha will hand Amerie this year's Aretha Franklin Award for Entertainer of the Year. It will mark the first time since its inception in 1995 that Aretha has presented the annual honor.


On August 21, the Rolling Stones kicked off their "Bigger Bang" tour in Boston's Fenway Park. The group will take the tour to 36 North American cities through December 1st to promote its upcoming album A Bigger Bang. Due out on September 6, the collection marks the first new studio album by the Stones in eight years. Future concerts are also being scheduled in South America, the Far East, New Zealand, Australia and Europe.