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Day in Pop Report for 03/13/2012


Taylor Swift Bigger Than U2 and Lady Gaga
(Gibson) Country singer Taylor Swift earned more than any other pop act last year. According to Billboard, Swift made a cool $35,719,902 last year if you include music sales, royalties and touring income.

Rock legends U2 came second with $32 million while another country singer Kenny Chesney was third with $29.8 million.

Lady Gaga could only manage fourth place with Lil Wayne, Sade, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Jason Aldean and Adele making the Top 10. more on this story

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American Idol Contestant Fabricated Sob Story?
(TMZ) Jermaine Jones -- the 6'8" gentle giant on "American Idol" -- has big problems with the truth, because he fabricated a sob story to "A.I." producers to win the hearts and minds of the American people.

"A.I." sources told TMZ ... last week, after appearing on the show ... Jermaine came to them and said his dad called him from out of the blue, claiming pops abandoned him and his mom 10 years ago. Jermaine told producers he was extremely upset that his dad suddenly reappeared in his life now that he was famous and potentially rich. Jermaine said his dad was "a lousy father" and wanted nothing to do with him.

Well TMZ spoke with Jermaine's dad, Kevin Jones, who says the sob story is absurd -- that he has had an ongoing relationship with the young man through the years and even had dinner with him on both Wednesday and Thursday night of last week.

Kevin also says his son was not telling the truth about getting a phone call from out of the blue -- Kevin says he was actually in the audience last week supporting his child.

We spoke with production people on "Idol" who tell us they are "shocked" Jermaine concocted the story and it seems like it was all a ploy to get some traction on the show. more on this story

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Whitney Houston's Daughter Wants To Drop Her Father's Name
(TMZ) Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown can't stand her name ... because of its association with her father Bobby Brown -- and now, TMZ has learned, she wants to change it all together.

Bobbi Kristina is telling friends ... she's wanted to change her name for years -- ever since her parents split -- but Whitney wouldn't let her.

Now that Whitney's gone, we're told the 19-year-old feels untethered -- and wants to finally change her name completely ... making it simply "Kristina Houston."

We're told Bobbi has made the decision with a sober mind and is in a "better place" than she's been in a while.

It's unclear when she plans to make the change official. more on this story

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Katy Perry To Play Kids' Choice Awards
(Nickelodeon) Katy Perry will make her first live performance at Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday, March 31, at 8 p.m. (ET/tape delayed for West Coast).

Perry, topping the number of Kids' Choice Award nominations by an individual this year, will join host Will Smith and a roster of celebrity presenters, including Chris Rock (What to Expect When You're Expecting), Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man), Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man), Zac Efron (The Lucky One), Heidi Klum (Project Runway), Victoria Justice (Victorious), Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly), Big Time Rush, Chris Colfer (Glee) and Cee Lo Green (The Voice) as well as recently announced performers, One Direction.

"Katy Perry has doubly earned her position as kid favorite -- through her music of course -- but also for reveling in an outrageous sliming on the show two years ago," said Marjorie Cohn, President, Original Programming and Development, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group and Executive Producer of the show. "She works hard and plays hard and that's what makes her performance on the KCA's one to look forward to." more on this story

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Kelly Clarkson Goes No 1
Kelly Clarkson's latest single "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" has topped both the Top 40 and Hot AC Radio charts this week. RCA sent over these details:

"Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" was #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart for two consecutives weeks (3 weeks total) marking her 3rd #1 on the Hot 100 chart after 2002's "A Moment Like This" and 2009's "My Life Would Suck Without You."

Kelly is currently touring the US, mentoring for Team Blake on NBC's The Voice and will star in ABC's new reality competition, Duets, this summer. more on this story

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Paparazzo Files Police Report Against Russell Brand
(TMZ) Russell Brand has been named in a police report in New Orleans last night ... by a paparazzo who claims the actor snatched his cell phone out of his hand and fired it through the window of an abandoned building ... TMZ has learned.

Sources tell TMZ .. a photog named Timothy Jackson filed the report, citing "criminal damages" over an incident.

We're told ... Jackson claimed he was with a group of photogs ... when he began to shoot Brand with his iPhone. Jackson claims Brand flipped out, wrestled the phone out of his hand ... and then Nolan Ryan'd it at a nearby building, shattering a glass window.

We're told the pap immediately filed a police report. No word if he got his phone back.

Law enforcement tells TMZ ... cops are investigating the incident and would like to speak with Brand as soon as possible. more on this story

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Gossip Release New Song and Announce YouTube Event
Gossip will release their fifth studio album, A Joyful Noise, on May 22 via Columbia Records.

A Joyful Noise was produced by Brian Higgins (Kylie Minogue, Pet Shop Boys, Girls Aloud).

The album's first single, Perfect World, will be released as a digital single today, March 13th. more on this story

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Oprah's Interview with Whitney Houston's Family Posted Online
(popmusiclife) This past weekend, Oprah aired her interview with Whitney Houston's family on her "Oprah's Next Chapter" series.

Whitney's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, her sister-in-law Patricia Houston, and her brother Gary Houston joined Oprah for their first interview since the pop singer's passing.

Patricia described the scene at the Beverly Hilton when she arrived at Whitney's room. "When I got into the room, I saw my brother [Ray, a security guard] trying to revive her, to the point of exhaustion." By then, the paramedics had arrived. Watch the interview here.

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Chad Ochocinco and Evelyn Lozada Land New Reality Show
Yesterday we told you that Chad Ochocinco and Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada have inked a deal for a new spinoff show on VH1 and today we have the details for you.

Vh1 sent over these details: Lozada and her fiance Chad Ochocinco will star in a new series showcasing their upcoming wedding, including all the scheduling, details and drama that lead to their special day.

The eight-part series "Ev and Ocho" will premiere September 2012 and consist of eight half-hour episodes concluding with a two-part wedding finale. more on this story

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2012 MTV EMA Set For Frankfurt
MTV have selected Frankfurt, Germany as the host city of the "2012 MTV EMA," the European version of their annual awards show.

The "2012 MTV EMA" will broadcast live from Frankfurt's historic Festhalle on Sunday, November 11, across MTV's multiple platforms.

The Lord Mayor of Frankfurt, Dr. Petra Roth said: "We're proud that MTV has chosen Frankfurt as the host city for the 2012 MTV EMA, an event that truly reflects what only MTV is capable of: hosting world class, global music events that draw fans from all over. We're excited to have Frankfurt in the spotlight again!" more on this story

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Dierks Bentley Goes Home To No 1
Dierks Bentley has earned his ninth career No. 1 with his song "Home" taking the top spot on both the Billboard and Mediabase charts.

The title track off Bentley's No. one album is also currently nominated for Song of the Year at the 47th Annual ACM Awards set to air April 1 on CBS at 8:00P ET.

"It's been so cool to see fans reacting to this song on the road…the idea of 'Home' and what that means to different people has been really inspiring," said Bentley from tour in Australia. "I'm really proud to have written this song with my friends Brett Beavers and Dan Wilson, and it's extra special for me personally to be partof Dan's first No. one hit on the country charts!"


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Madonna Teases Girl Gone Wild Video
(popmusiclife) Madonna is sharing a preview of the video for her forthcoming single, "Girl Gone Wild."

The saucy 30-second teaser shows Madonna in the black and white video, along with some of her male dancers.

The video, shot late last month, is directed by Mert and Marcus, the same team who did the cover for the new album. Watch the tease here.

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NBA Star Files for Divorce From Basketball Wives Star
(TMZ) "Basketball Wives" star Kenya Bell is finding out ... a marriage just can't hold up when you attack your husband with a box cutter -- because the guy just filed for divorce.

Former NBA'er Charlie Bell filed the papers in Michigan Court -- claiming there was a breakdown in the marriage (no duh).

Kenya -- presumably separated from Charlie at the time -- was famously arrested in May 2011, after allegedly breaking into the couple's home and attacking Charlie with a box cutter in front of their children.

Kenya was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and domestic violence -- but struck a plea deal in which she avoided jail time ... pleading guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence. more on this story

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Justin Jones Sets New Album Release
(FCM) Justin Jones will release his fourth full-length studio album, Fading Light, on May 8th via 9:30 Records.

The album was produced by Jamie Candiloro (Ryan Adams, R.E.M., PJ Olsson) and recorded at White Star Sound, a private state-of-the-art recording facility located on a historic farm outside of Charlottesville, VA.

Justin Jones has been performing his blend of rock, alt-country and folk in Washington, D.C.'s club scene since 2002, and has toured with Ray LaMontagne, K.D. Lang, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, Drive-By Truckers and Badly Drawn Boy. more on this story

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Kris Humphries Reportedly Profited From Kim Kardashian Wedding
(TMZ) Sources extremely close to Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries tell TMZ that Humphries has already profited handsomely from their wedding.

TMZ broke the story ... Kris claims all the money he and Kim made from the wedding and surrounding events went into a joint bank account and he hasn't taken a penny. But our sources say ... not true.

According to sources, Kris -- who raked in a million bucks from the wedding and somewhere between $250,000 and $300,000 for his appearances on the reality show -- HAS withdrawn some of his loot ... but he spent a big chunk of the withdrawal on the wedding and Kim's ring.

Sources close to the ex-couple tell us, the money Kris made on the realty show was transferred directly into one of his business accounts ... separate from Kim.

Our sources say the joint account is now frozen until a judge decides who gets what. more on this story

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Michael Vick Almost Out of Bankruptcy?
(TMZ) Michael Vick is conquering his economic demons with a VENGEANCE -- tackling creditors in his bankruptcy case left and right ... and TMZ has learned, he's just a paycheck away from total financial freedom.

You'll recall ... Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2008 after the infamous dog-fighting scandal -- when he lost his NFL salary and several lucrative endorsement deals. According to court docs, Vick owed approximately $20 MILLION to dozens of creditors.

But Vick's been working hard to pay off his debts ever since he was reinstated with the Eagles in 2009 -- in fact, according to a new filing in his bankruptcy case, he's already reduced his outstanding debt to less than $400,000.

According to the docs, the outstanding debt is owed to Bank of America (related to one of his properties), BMW financial services, and his friendly neighborhood tax collector.

Sounds like a lot of money -- but to put it in perspective ... Vick earned over $11 MILLION between July and September 2011. more on this story

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Akon Fires Back at Contractor
(TMZ) Akon has no plans to pay a $51,000 construction bill on his Georgia mansion -- insisting the man behind the 5-figure tab not only butchered his home ... he actually tried to EXTORT Akon to get the cash.

Akon just filed a countersuit against a guy named Jay Poorak -- who runs a company called Southern Electric -- insisting Poorak performed construction work on Akon's house without ever hashing out an agreement about the services or price.

According to the lawsuit, Poorak attempted all kinds of construction on Akon's home -- including electrical work, framing, and cornice work -- without any permission ... and the work was a disaster.

But that's not it -- Akon claims Poorak completely ripped him off ... charging him over $150,000 for the job ... when it was only worth $33,660.

Akon claims he already paid Poorak $44,650 -- despite the hack job -- and now wants at least $10,990 back ... the amount Akon believes he overpaid.

Akon claims Poorak threatened him over the balance in question with legal action and "the besmirching of [his] reputation" if Akon didn't pay up.

Akon's also suing for unspecified damages -- claiming Poorak slandered him. more on this story

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Ray Charles Granddaughter Gives Chiddy Bang Props For Song
(TMZ) The new song "Ray Charles" by Chiddy Bang is getting two BIG thumbs up from the famous singer's family ... even though they claim Ray wasn't a real fan of rap music.

TMZ spoke with Blair Robinson -- Ray's granddaughter and an aspiring singer -- who says tells us, "Is it grandfather's kind of music? No ... but I'm sure he's up there giving it a good chuckle."

She adds, "As one artist to another, Ray would have respected the group's craft."

For those unaware, "Ray Charles" by Chiddy Bang is becoming a breakout hit -- it's already #55 on the Billboard 200.

Blair says the group did make one mistake -- she joked, "They should have let ME sing the hook!" more on this story

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