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Let's Get This Party Started: Top Stories for 07/06/06

7/6/2006 9:32 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Katharine McPhee is working so hard on her debut album that she' s hurting her voice, and sources tell TMZ that FOX is none too happy about it.

In fact, the "American Idol" runner-up has such severe brochitis and laryngitis that she missed the opening night of the Idols summer tour.

Kat has been ordered by her doctor to give her pipes "total voice rest," and has had to give a vow of complete silence until she's better.  FOX sources tell TMZ that McPhee has also been complaining about touring, and wants to focus more on laying tracks down in the studio.

Last night, McPhee was a no-show at the kick-off of the "American Idols Live!" tour in Manchester, NH, a huge disappointment to her legion of fans. McPhee said in a (written) statement that she was disappointed she couldn't perform, but "I need to follow my doctor's orders to recuperate and reunite with the rest of the Idols."  There was no word on when McPhee might return.

One concertgoer, Gail Johnson, told the AP, "It bummed me out."

Madonna: Crazy for Kabbalah

As if there were any doubt, Madonna's holiday weekend in New York made it clear that the onetime Material Girl is crazy for Kabbalah.

The pop queen, in town on her Confessions tour, took in services both Friday and Saturday at the New York Kabbalah Centre, raising a glass of Arak liqueur on Friday night to toast the ceremony, according to Rush & Molloy.  Then, the next day, her Madgesty came back, and husband Guy Ritchie told the assembly about a documentary he's making on about Kabbalah, and pointed out the links between the symbols of Kabbalah and Freemasonry.

Meanwhile, a charity that Madonna is promoting during her tour has significant ties to the controversial Kabbalah Centre. As MSNBC's Jeannette Walls points out, Raising Malawi, which helps orphaned children in the AIDS-ravaged nation, was founded by one of the co-founders of the Kabbalah Centre, the New-Agey offshoot of the Judaic theodicy.

Whatever Kabbalah is teaching Madonna and her family, it's certainly not helping her kids Lourdes and Rocco enjoy the pleasures of childhood. In addition to depriving them of television, Madonna removed a bowl of candy from their table at the Macy's fireworks extravaganza Tuesday night, according to a witness.

J.Lo Casting Spells on Her Men

In other strange-religion news, J. Lo's former husband says that the singer-actress allegedly cast "voodoo" spells on him and other former (and present) beaus like Cris Judd, P. Diddy, and Marc Anthony.

Noa's claims were made in a deposition that he gave in connection with the couple's agreement that barred him from discussing their marriage, says Rush & Molloy. Lopez paid Noa $150,000 to stay quiet, but Noa asked for even more money to keep his mouth shut; the saga ended last week when Noa agreed to a gag order. And reps for Lopez didn't comment.

Lopez has reportedly sought the help of Santeria, or Way of the Saints, which incorporates an African tradition of chanting, trance states, and other practices, in her decision-making. In 2003, Lopez reportedly squashed her marriage with Ben Affleck after being advised by her spiritual adviser to end it.

Heather Erases Richie – Literally

Heather Locklear went to a tattoo parlor recently to make soon-to-be ex-husband Richie Sambora's name disappear from her left hip – and Star magazine (through MSNBC) says she's having the tattoo covered by a rose.  What's more, Star says that the "Melrose Place" vixen has added the name of her new guy, David Spade, to a tat on her ankle, using the name of his "Just Shoot Me" character, Finch. Still, the stars have denied any permanent relationship.

Jay-Z and Beyonce Marrying in Chappy?

Super-preppy Martha's Vineyard was abuzz over the weekend with speculation that hip-hop and R&B royals Jay-Z and Beyonce were going to be married quietly in Chappaquiddick, better known to most as the site of Sen. Ted Kennedy's infamous automobile accident. A source tells Lloyd Grove, "Word is that they were trying to rent out a huge house on Chappy for the festivities. Everyone was talking about it."

However, a Def Jam record rep says that they were indeed on the Vineyard, but didn't get married. But the same rep refused to comment on whether a wedding was in the works.

Pete Doherty Says He Loves Kate Moss' Bones

In an interview to be broadcast Friday on BBC One television, troubled rocker Pete Doherty says he still loves his ex-girlfriend Kate Moss, and that he is being tested bi-weekly for drugs in an effort to get clean. 

Doherty says that he thinks Moss has "had enough," but tells interviewer Jonathan Ross, "I love her bones, I always will."  And though Moss may have quit him, he says he will not quit on his recovery from drug addiction this time: "For the first time in my life I'm upping the stakes in my battle against it."

Joan Rivers Agrees With Star

At least someone has Star Jones' back: Joan Rivers told The Strip podcast that she would've done the same thing Star Jones did when she announced her firing on "The View." "I'm not one of the girls, so I don't give a ----, as long as they keep using me on "The View." But if someone was firing me, I'd come out and say I was fired...Star did exactly the right thing."

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