TMZ

TMZ SPORTS

  • FS1
    M-T-Th-F:
    9:00 PM PST

    W:
    9:30 PM PST

Rasual Butler: Surveillance Cam Captures Deadly Crash Audio

2/7/2018 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The car crash that killed beloved ex-NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle, was so loud, the audio was picked up on a home surveillance camera about a block and a half away from the incident. 

You can hear the tires screeching for roughly 2 seconds -- followed by a series of loud bangs. 

Cops say Butler's Range Rover was traveling at very high speed around 2:30 AM on Jan. 31 when he lost control and struck several parking meters, slammed into a wall and flipped two times before coming to a stop. 

Judging from the audio, it sounds like Butler slammed on the brakes and tried to avoid the collision -- but he was going too fast to regain control of the vehicle. 

Butler was one of the most well-liked guys in the NBA -- and tons of huge stars like Ray Allen and Kobe Bryant paid tribute to him after the incident. 

Butler was 38. Leah was 31. 

Rasual Butler NBA on TNT Planning Tribute ... Says Kenny Smith

2/1/2018 7:55 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Kenny Smith says he's still reeling from the "horrific situation" that claimed Rasual Butler's life ... and he's expecting the NBA to honor Rasual in a big way. 

"Overall, the NBA community will step up. We'll do something on TNT," Kenny said.

Condolences poured in Wednesday from ex-teammates and legends like Shaq, Kobe and Allen Iverson ... and the Miami Heat were the first team to put together a video tribute.

The Jet says fans should expect a lot more of that -- because "everybody loved him."

TMZ Sports broke the story ... Butler, 38, lost control of his Range Rover in Studio City early Wednesday morning and slammed into a wall -- killing him and his wife, who was a passenger in the car. 

Ex-NBA Player Rasual Butler Killed in Car Crash

1/31/2018 9:55 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ex-NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife -- a singer who appeared on "American Idol" -- were both killed in a single car crash in Studio City, CA early Wednesday morning, TMZ Sports has learned. 

38-year-old Butler -- who was drafted by the Miami Heat in 2002 -- lost control of his Range Rover around 2 AM, struck a parking meter and slammed into a wall. The car flipped. 

Officers believe the car was speeding before it lost control. 

Butler had a long NBA career after an impressive run at La Salle -- where he was a 2-time First Team All-Atlantic 10 Player. He's a member of the La Salle Hall of Athletics. 

He went on to play in the NBA until 2016 -- with stints on the Hornets, Clippers, Bulls, Raptors, Pacers, Wizards and Spurs. 

Rasual most recently played in Ice Cube's BIG3 league. 

Butler's wife Leah LaBelle, 31, was an R&B singer who was signed to Epic Records. She placed 12th on the 3rd Season of "American Idol" back in 2004. 

Rasual is survived by a daughter from a previous relationship, Raven Butler.

R.I.P.

Rasual Butler NBA Stars Pay Tribute

1/31/2018 10:57 AM PST
Breaking News

Rasual Butler's death is hitting the NBA hard -- with his friends and former teammates sending their condolences to Butler's family. 

John Wall -- "I will always remember the time we shared together as teammates, you were the big brother. I appreciate the advice you shared, not just about basketball but life. Sending my deepest condolences to the families of Rasual and Leah. May you both rest in peace."

Blake Griffin -- "You were a great teammate and an even better person. Rest in peace my friend."

LaMarcus Aldridge -- "Devastated to hear the news about the passing of my former teammate, Rasual, & his wife. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families during this difficult time. Rasual was an amazing teammate and an even better person. He will truly be missed!"

Kyle Lowry -- "I remember I called you when you got drafted on draft night and I was at a camp and I wanted to show off because I knew you and you answered the phone for a 16 year old who was one of your biggest fans.. this is truly a sad day for me !! RIP Sual bop my oldhead!!"

Austin Rivers -- "It was a pleasure meeting you man. Getting to work with you last year was amazing. For you were not only a knowledgeable player....but more so a great man! Smh Crazy this just happened. May you and your wife RIP in heaven."

Kevin Love -- "Incredibly sad news to hear about Rasual Butler and his wife Leah. Prayers to both of their families through this tough time."

Ray Allen -- "I cannot believe this!!!!!!!!!My heart is heavy!!! We lost a good one today! RIP Rasual you were such a great talent on the court but an even better man off it! My thoughts are with the entire Butler family as they mourn the tragic loss of their son/brother and his beautiful wife, Leah. Gone too soon. Rest in power."

Reggie Miller -- "Saddened by the news and the loss of Rasual Butler and his wife Leah. Talk about a great dude and family man. I know he had many stops during his 13 year NBA journey, but he was beloved becasue of his work ethic in Indiana. New guardian Angels."

Paul Pierce -- "So sad this morning to here about my friend and teammate 😢 RIP Rasual Butler appreciate the people around u because u never know."

Chauncey Billups -- "I’m shocked, saddened and in disbelief about the news on my friend Rasual Butler and his wife Leah. May God be with their families. We will miss you 'Sul.'"

Allen Iverson -- "Rest easy my brother. See you when I get there!!!"

Shaq -- "Still can’t believe the news about my main man SOOL BOP. #riprasualbutler🏀#THELILHOMIEFROMPHILLY."

Kobe Bryant -- "Rest In Peace my brother #RasualButler."

Miami Heat -- "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle. Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the family and many friends of Rasual and Leah. They will be missed."

L.A. Clippers -- "The L.A. Clippers are deeply saddened by the loss of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle. Rasual will long be remembered not only for his accomplishments on the court, but for his vibrant personality, positive outlook and the compassion he had for everyone around him."

Indiana Pacers -- "Our entire organization is deeply saddened after learning of the death of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle. In his one season with us, Rasual was the consummate team player and a great role model for our younger players on how a professional should prepare and act, while being a positive influence on everyone who associated with him. We offer our sincerest condolences to he and his wife's family."

Katy Perry Habitually Tardy for the 'Idol' Party

1/18/2018 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Katy Perry is having some serious issues making it to the "American Idol" judge's table on time. 

Production sources tell us Katy's almost always late to the audition rounds, showing up 10-25 minutes after call time. While it's been frustrating for show producers, we're told the other judges -- Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie -- haven't been all that upset.

There's a bigger issue that looms. We're told the judges are all solid and their chemistry is good. Problem is ... there's no comedic tension a la Paula/Simon or Blake/Adam on "The Voice." Katy is really fun, Lionel has a strong point of view and Luke's pure country. But they're not at each other's throats, either in a serious or funny way, and some honchos are worried that's the kind of heat that makes a show a hit.

As one source said, the editing of the auditions is everything. It could make or break the reboot.

William Hung 'Idol' Without the Bad Auditions Isn't REAL 'Idol'!!!

1/10/2018 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

"American Idol" producers are making a HUGE mistake by cutting bad auditions from the new version of the show ... so says the king of bad auditions, William Hung!

We spoke to Hung shortly after news dropped of the new format ... to go with the all-new judges panel of Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. While producers feel those ear-splitting, glass-cutting attempts at singing make the show seem fake ... William says it's AI's calling card.

In fact, he says 'Idol' lost one of the few things that makes it stand out from all the other singing talent shows -- and the proof will be in the ratings.

Hung. Still banging ... on TV producers.

Simon Cowell I'm Now a Malibu Dude ... It Only Cost Me $25 Mil!!!

11/27/2017 5:10 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Simon Cowell is continuing his baronial ways ... this time dropping $25 million on an amazing Malibu pad.

Our real estate sources tell us Simon is in escrow on a 10,000 square foot, 7 bedroom home right on Pacific Coast Highway. The house has amazing ocean views, a ridiculous pool and a super modern interior.  

It's got pretty much everything you might want, including a tennis court. It looks more like a resort than a home.

When Simon's in L.A., his main home is in Beverly Hills -- done up in his signature black and white. He dropped $15.5 mil on the estate. He also has a home in London.

Ruben Studdard Gives American Idol Advice ... To NFL's Marvin Jones

11/19/2017 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Detroit Lions star Marvin Jones listen up ... sure you might've killed your "American Idol" audition like O.J. in his prime, but that doesn't mean you're gonna win the show ...

UNLESS YOU LISTEN TO RUBEN STUDDARD RIGHT NOW.

We got Studdard, America's "Velvet Teddy Bear" and 'Idol' Season 2 champion, at LAX and asked him to rate Marvin's audition, and give him a little advice for the journey to the top.

First off, Ruben was sold on Marvin's voice -- makes sense, the MAN CAN SANG -- and as far as advice, he used his gorgeous voice to drop some knowledge on the kid.

BTW -- Did you know Ruben Studdard was a former college football player? Neither did we, but now that we think about it, makes sense.

Jordin Sparks I Got That Pregnancy Glow!

11/16/2017 7:31 AM PST

Jordin Sparks might've been keeping her marriage and pregnancy under wraps but there's no denying it now because she's got that pregnancy glow. 

Jordin stepped out Wednesday in Studio City ... the first time she's been spotted since announcing she'd gotten both hitched and knocked up this summer. Lucky guy and father-to-be is fitness model Dana Isaiah. 

Although Jordin was dressed casual in Yeezys and wore no makeup, she still looked radiant. She's only about 3 months along, so can't really tell there's a pea in the pod, but the smile says it all. 

Jordin Sparks Secretly Tied the Knot in July ... She's Also Pregnant!!!

11/14/2017 11:16 AM PST

Jordin Sparks is the queen of splashes -- she's not only been married since July, she's also expecting her first kiddo!!!

The former "American Idol" winner says she and her fitness guru/aspiring model boyfriend, Dana Isaiah, secretly eloped in Hawaii back in July. She says they got married in front of a small group of friends. We did some digging and saw these photos of the new couple hitting the beach days after the wedding ... where you can see Jordin's gold wedding band.

As if that wasn't huge news already ... Jordin also told PEOPLE she got pregnant in August. Jordin said learning she was pregnant was an "initial shock" but now she's excited about sharing the news.

Congrats! And CONGRATS!!

Simon Cowell Rushed to Hospital ... After Bad Fall

10/27/2017 6:58 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

7:50 AM PT -- Simon actually fell backwards down the stairs. We're told he had already gone to the kitchen, and was on his way back upstairs when he fainted and tumbled.

Simon Cowell was rushed to a hospital early Friday morning after falling down a flight of stairs.

We're told Simon was asleep in the upstairs bedroom of his London home. He woke up in the middle of the night, felt dizzy as he tried to go downstairs to the kitchen for some milk. We're told he fainted and tumbled to the bottom of the staircase.

An ambulance came, put him in a neck brace and neighbors saw Cowell placed in the back of the ambulance on a stretcher.

We're told doctors have performed a CAT scan and more tests are being performed.

He's in stable condition and still in the hospital.

Simon's girlfriend/baby mama Lauren Silverman was in New York visiting her son and is currently on a plane flying back to London to be with Simon.

Luke Bryan It's Official ... My Hero Lionel & I Are Joining 'Idol!!!'

9/29/2017 12:20 PM PDT
Breaking News

Luke Bryan just made official what we told you about early Friday morning -- he and Lionel Richie are joining Katy Perry as judges #2 and 3 on "American Idol."

The country star made the announcement in a video he posted on Twitter just moments ago and hours after TMZ first reported the pending news.

Luke -- all the way from Hayfield, Kansas -- said he's excited to join "the beautiful Ms. Katy Perry and my hero Lionel Richie and my fellow Georgia boy, Ryan Seacrest."

As we reported ... signing all 3 judges didn't come cheap.

'American Idol' Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie Will Join Katy Perry ... Just in the Nick of Time!!!

9/29/2017 8:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

"American Idol" has completed the arduous and super expensive process of snagging 3 judges for the show's reboot ... and it didn't come a day too soon.

Sources connected with the production tell TMZ, ABC and Fremantle, which co-owns the show with Core Media Group, will announce as early as Friday night they have signed Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie as judges #2 and 3.

Luke and Lionel will join Katy Perry ... and join her fast. We're told shooting begins Tuesday.

We're told although Luke and Lionel have agreed to join, there could be a delay in announcing if the lawyers start nitpicking.

Production sources tell us, the show has gone way over the intended budget ... largely because Katy Perry held them up for $25 million. Ryan Seacrest's making somewhere between $10 and $15 mil, and that pretty much blew the budget sky high.

We're told Luke signed for around $13 million and Lionel got close to $10 million. It's going to be difficult to turn a profit unless the show is an out-of-the-park home run.

Around the Web