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Day in Pop Report for 05/03/2012


NFL Star Junior Seau Dead From Suspected Suicide
(TMZ) Junior Seau's family does NOT believe the NFL legend shot himself in the chest to spare his brain ... TMZ has learned.

Seau family sources tell us ... Junior never complained about concussion-related medical problems and didn't appear to be suffering from depression.

We're told Seau never really spoke about the ongoing legal battle between the NFL and retired players who claim the league concealed critical information about the long-term effects of concussions.

One family source was adamant ... if Junior was passionate about preserving his brain, he would've mentioned something to his family. The family is still unsure why Junior would want to end his own life.

Seau's death instantly drew comparisons to the death of former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson -- who left a suicide note explaining he shot himself in the chest because he wanted his brain to be sent to the "NFL brain bank" for study. more on this story

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Demi Lovato X Factor Judge?
(TMZ) Demi Lovato is the front-runner for the 4th seat on the "X Factor" judge's panel, but she hasn't gotten an offer yet ... sources connected with Fox Network tell TMZ.

We broke the story, producers are close to sealing a deal with Britney Spears to fill one of the 2 vacant chairs, but that deal is still in negotiations -- it is NOT closed. We're told both sides expect to reach an agreement and if they do Britney will end up with $15 mil for the season.

Lovato certainly has a fiery personality -- as we reported, she once socked a female back-up dancer in the face during the Jonas Brothers tour.

The other people in contention for the 4th seat are Miley Cyrus,Avril Lavigne, LeAnn Rimes and Fergie. But there have been NO offers made to fill that seat. more on this story

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Shaft Guitarist Charles 'Skip' Pitts Dies
(Gibson) Guitarist Charles "Skip" Pitts, who is best known for his work on Isaac Hayes' "Theme from Shaft" has died. Pitts passed away from lung cancer in Memphis on Tuesday, May 1, according to Spinner. He was 65.

Pitts was born in Washington, D.C. and was mentored by his neighbor Bo Diddley. In the '60s, he played guitar with Wilson Pickett, the Isley Brothers and Sam & Dave. He joined up with Hayes in 1970 and continued to be a member of his band until Hayes's death in 2008.

In an interview with Guitar Player, Pitts explained his wah-wah sound on "Shaft": "The 'Shaft' part was created because Isaac needed something driving for the beginning of the movie, when [actor] Richard Roundtree is coming out of the subway and walking through Times Square. I was checking my pedals. I tested my overdrive, my reverb, the Maestro box, and then I started in with the wah. Isaac stopped everything and said, 'Skip, what is that you are playing?' I said, 'I am just tuning up.' He said, 'Keep playing that G octave.'" more on this story

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Police Referring Lindsay Lohan Case To The D.A.
(TMZ) Lindsay Lohan is about to go back to familiar territory -- the L.A. County D.A. -- because we've learned cops are sending the case involving an alleged hit-and-run by the actress to prosecutors.

The manager of the Hookah Lounge on Hollywood Boulevard claims Lindsay was leaving a nearby club March 14 when her car struck him ... and he claims she took off without leaving any info. Lindsay says the guy is making it all up and her car never came near the guy.

The manager's story is hinky to say the least ... lots of holes. Nevertheless, we're told the LAPD has completed its investigation and will send the file to the D.A. for review.

Sources close to the investigation tell us, after looking at videos and conducting interviews, there isn't enough evidence to prove a crime, but the D.A. will have the final say.

Based on what we know ... no way will Lindsay be prosecuted ... for this one at least. more on this story

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The Voice's Final Four To Perform Live Show Today
The final four from The Voice will be performing live at Universal CityWalk's 5 Towers at 10:30am today, Thursday, May 3, 2012. CityWalk sent out these details:

The special one-time concert in Los Angeles invites fans to Universal CityWalk to cheer on their favorite performer. "The Voice" winner will be announced next Tuesday, May 8.

CityWalk's new interactive outdoor concert venue will serve as the energetic backdrop to showcase the leading vocal artists from celebrity musician coaches Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green and Blake Shelton. The artist lineup set to command the stage at "5 Towers" include Kansas native Chris Mann for Team Christina, Florida native Juliet Simms for Team CeeLo, Connecticut native Tony Lucca for Team Adam, and New York native Jermaine Paul for Team Blake. Competing to be named "The Voice" in Season 2 of the hit show, each of the final four artists will perform one song on the "5 Towers" stage and the performances will be streamed live to Facebook, NBC.com and at the NBC Experience Store in New York. more on this story

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Shark Tank Star in High Speed Crash
Robert Herjavec -- one of the deep-pocketed investors on "Shark Tank" -- slammed his ultra-fast $350K Ferrari into a wall at 130 MPH ... and TMZ has the glass-shattering dash cam footage.

It all went down this weekend during the Ferrari Challenge at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA ... where Robert was racing his 2012 Ferrari 458 against other rich guys in really expensive cars. Herjavec tells TMZ, "I crashed in qualifying -- bad and hard hit."

"I was having an amazing lap very fast, just off the course record, and then just thought I could go a little faster (what race car driver doesn't?)."

Herjavec -- who's reportedly worth more than $100 MILLION -- lost control and crashed into a wall ... crushing the front of his car like a soda can.

But Herjavec -- who miraculously didn't suffer any serious injuries -- didn't pull out of the race. Instead, he got ANOTHER Ferrari and pressed on.

"After the crash I went out and borrowed a friend's car (good to have friends that lend you a $ 350K car) and 2 hours later I started in 29th and finished 5th. The next day, in the borrowed car, I got on the podium and finished 3rd ! Still leading in the points for the season." See footage here.

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Woody Guthrie To Receive Pioneer Award
(Gibson) Legendary folk singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie will receive the first-ever Pioneer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman Jimmy Webb said: "This year, we join musicians and songwriters from around the world in celebrating Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday. One of the great songwriters of all time, we look forward to acknowledging his brilliance with the first-ever Songwriters Hall of Fame Pioneer Award."

Guthrie, a huge influence on Bob Dylan and the folk movement of the 1960s, penned over 3,000 sings in a long career, the best known of which have become American classics, notably "This Land is Your Land" and "This Train is Bound for Glory. more on this story

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Lakers Jordan Hill Turns Himself In For Alleged Choking
(TMZ) L.A. Lakers star Jordan Hill turned himself in to authorities yesterday after allegedly choking out his girlfriend during a nuclear argument in Texas back in February.

Hill showed up to court yesterday in Houston to face the felony domestic violence charge -- and the judge set bond at $5,000. Hill was briefly taken into custody before immediately bonding out.

The judge set no travel restrictions on his bond -- so the case shouldn't affect his playoff run.

But the judge did impose a protective order -- barring Hill from contacting or going anywhere near his ex.

And there's this -- Hill played against Denver last night in L.A. (scoring six points) which means he must have booked it on an airplane soon after the game.

Hill is due back in court on June 8th. more on this story

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Preview Posted Online
Activision are giving fans a little taste of the forthcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 with the release of the new trailer for the game, which will be released on November 13, 2012. They sent out these details:

Set in the year 2025,Call of Duty: Black Ops II propels players into global conflict featuring advanced weaponry, robotics, and drone warfare in a new Cold War scenario whose seeds are being sown in today's headlines. New graphics technology drives the stunning cinematic action of the single-player campaign's branching storylines and non-linear missions.

"Hands down, this is the most ambitious Call of Duty ever," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. "We are bringing disruptive innovation to the franchise and we are doing it on several fronts. We're pushing the boundaries technologically, graphically, and from a narrative and gameplay perspective. At the same time, we need to stay true to the epic realism, authenticity, heart pumping adrenaline, and cinematic action that so many people love and expect from a Call of Duty game. Treyarch's vision for Call of Duty: Black Ops II will redefine the Call of Duty franchise for the future--both literally and figuratively."

"With Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the team is crafting an experience that Call of Duty fans have never seen before," said Mark Lamia, Studio Head for Treyarch. "We are challenging assumptions on every front, with the single player campaign, Zombies and multiplayer. In the campaign, we are creating a thought-provoking story that introduces branching storylines and meaningful choices that impact the narrative. Running in the multiplayer engine for the first time, Zombies gives players a bigger and more diverse set of gameplay experiences, as well as entirely new ways to wage war with the undead. And in multiplayer, we're embracing all skill levels and play styles to give players more ways to engage. With Call of Duty: Black Ops II, we're all in and we won't rest until we've launched nothing less than the best Call of Duty we've ever made."
Watch the preview here.

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M83 Expands Tour and Sets EP Release
M83 have once again expanded their North American tour plans with the addition of eight new fall tour dates.

The new dates include six cities the band has not yet played while touring in support of Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, featuring the hit single "Midnight City".

In other news, M83s will release the new The Reunion EP on May 29th. Reunion is the second single off of the massive sixth M83 album Hurry Up We're Dreaming, which continues to display M83's aptitude at writing catchy cosmic-pop soundtracks filled with fantasy and imagination. The single will be released with a stunning and diverse remix package of six exclusive re-works of the track, including remixes by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Mylo, Sei A, The Naked And Famous, Polly Scattergood, and White Sea. more on this story

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Edubb Set Album Release
Edubb have set a May 4th release date for their concept-driven full length album, Legends Of The Fall, which will be available exclusively on the group's website for a limited time. They sent out these details:

This project captures a different, more eclectic side of Edubb's artistry, often foreshadowed by their love of Party Music. Legends Of The Fall features Universal Republic's Jackie Chain, T-Mo Goodie from the Legendary Goodie Mob, and features production from Jazze Pha, DJ Burn One, John Boy "On da Track"(producer of VIC "Wobble" and Edubb's party hits "Whooty" and "Rain Boots," among others.

Their first song and video released this past January, features long time music peer, Jackie Chain in "Topsdropbladeschoppnmuzik". more on this story

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Birth Control Pills Played Part in Road Trip Star's Death?
(TMZ) "Road Trip" star Mia Amber Davis -- who famously played the big girl -- was TOO OBESE to have been on birth control pills and died as a result ... this according to her widower, who's suing Mia's doctors.

Mia passed away back in May 2011 as a result of a pulmonary embolism ... one day after undergoing knee surgery.

But in his lawsuit, Mia's widower claims ... in the months before the surgery, Mia's OBGYN prescribed her birth control pills such as Balziva and Zenchent ... "drugs that greatly increase one's risk for a pulmonary embolism, especially when combined with [Mia's] other risk factors."

Mia's widower lists "obesity" as one of Mia's significant risk factors.

Mia's widower claims his wife's doctor SHOULD HAVE suggested condoms or other methods of birth control as an alternative ... because the drugs "greatly increased her risk for a pulmonary embolism and ultimately caused her death."

To make matters worse, Mia's widower claims Mia went to a family practitioner on April 18 to complain about knee pain. The doc allegedly cleared Mia for knee surgery ... despite a number of risk factors, including obesity, hyperlipidemia and the fact she was on Zenchent.

Mia's widower claims the doc "should have advised [Mia] to eliminate some of her other risk factors prior to clearing her for the surgery."

Mia underwent the surgery on May 9 ... and died the next day.

Mia's widower is suing both the OBGYN and the family practitioner for unspecified damages ... claiming, among other things, he should be compensated for the loss of love, companionship and moral support he suffered as a result of his wife's death. more on this story

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Gilbert Arenas Dropping Basketball Wives: LA Suit
(TMZ) Just months after getting engaged to his baby mama, NBA star Gilbert Arenas decided to drop his lawsuit over her reality show "Basketball Wives: LA" -- but with one catch ... he can bring it back any time he sees fit.

If you recall ... the Grizzlies star filed a suit over the VH1 series -- which featured his then ex-girlfriend Laura Govan -- claiming the show and his ex had NO right to make money using his image without his permission.

Now the b-baller is changing his tune, asking the court to dismiss the suit -- coincidentally after his ex officially became his fiancιe. But Arenas still wants to keep his right to bring it back whenever he wants, in case he feels exploited again ... or if ya know, the engagement goes south.

Shed Media -- the people behind "BB Wives" -- have fired back ... urging the court to dismiss the case permanently

A judge has yet to rule on the motions and Arenas has yet to rule on whether his fiancιe can keep that title. more on this story

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