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Ex-'American Idol' Contestant Busted for Heroin

10/13/2018 10:46 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Antonella Barba -- known for her appearance on the 6th season of "American Idol" -- has been arrested for allegedly trying to distribute heroin ... TMZ has learned.

The singer was busted Thursday in Virginia around 11:30 AM and is facing a felony charge of heroin distribution of 100g or more ... according to the Norfolk Sheriff's Office. Details are scarce, but Barba is still being held in jail without bond and has a court date set for next week.

Antonella was eliminated right before the top 12 were chosen on Season 6 of 'Idol' in 2007, amid some notoriety for posing in a wet t-shirt in the fountain of the World War II Memorial in D.C.

She was also busted for shoplifting in NYC in 2011, but that didn't stop her from appearing on an episode of "Fear Factor" in 2012.

Her latest TV gig was in a funny 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' video that brought a bunch of past 'Idol' stars together for a musical "Where Are They Now?" segment.

We reached out to Barba's rep ... so far no word back. 

Taylor Hicks No Bad Blood ... McPhee's 'Runner-Up' Tweet Was Brilliant

8/29/2018 1:07 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Taylor Hicks says even though Katharine McPhee's recent tweet about voting seemed to shade him pretty hard ... it's really all in good fun, and for a good cause.

We talked to the "American Idol" season 5 winner Wednesday about McPhee tweeting out "voting matters" -- along with a pic of the moment she lost to Hicks.

Taylor praised Kat's post as a brilliant way to encourage people to register to vote in the 2018 midterms. He says he and Kat remain supportive of each other -- but he still threw some playful shade back her way.

Aside from national elections, Mr. Soul Patrol would love for you to cast a vote for the third season of his food/travel show, "State Plate." It premieres Sept. 24 on INSP.

Simon Cowell Sticks to What Made Him Famous Celebrating Star, 'AGT' Deal

8/23/2018 6:33 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Simon Cowell had lots to celebrate this week -- a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a new deal with 'AGT' -- and he did it in true Simon fashion, which is why we love the guy.

Simon was having himself a little soiree Wednesday night at his favorite restaurant -- Ago in WeHo -- to ring in his two newest achievements in Tinseltown -- a permanent place on Hollywood Blvd. and a contract extension with NBC that'll keep him judging folks for years to come.

When we asked him about what was next, he replied in the purest SC way -- cold, brief, British and snarky ... just like he's been on TV for more than a decade. Classic! His t-shirt was a bit snug on him too, so he hasn't changed much in that department either. 

BTW ... a lot of Simon's friends (new and old) showed up to the shindig, including Paula Abdul, Howie Mandel and others. They had a bit to say about the lovable grump as well.

Taylor Hicks Of Course 'American Idol' Results Were No Secret Everybody Talked!!

7/17/2018 6:47 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Taylor Hicks doubled down saying "American Idol" contestants knew who was getting eliminated because, as he put it, everybody talked ... never mind what Nigel Lythgoe says.

We got Taylor at LAX on Monday night and told him what Nigel, the 'AI' executive producer, said ... denying he gave Taylor -- or any contestant -- the heads-up on results at any time.

Taylor just ain't buying it ... saying everybody kept tabs on each other -- at least during his 2006 run -- because they were all in a bubble.

Eddie Money Blown Away by LAX Employee's Singing

7/16/2018 9:31 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Eddie Money's no "American Idol" judge, but he damn sure knows a good voice when he hears one ... even at the airport.

We got the "Two Tickets to Paradise" singer at LAX on Sunday when we introduced Eddie to LAX employee Tahjanae Johnson. We tell Eddie she's got a beautiful singing voice ... and Tahjanae wastes no time showcasing her chops.

Ya gotta see Eddie -- who knows a thing or 2 about top 40 hits -- react to the impromptu audition. Someone get Tahjanae an agent!!!

Katharine McPhee & David Foster Let's Talk Diamonds!!! Back from Engaging Vacay

7/5/2018 12:44 PM PDT

Katharine McPhee and David Foster are back in the U.S. after their European vacation and made an interesting first stop after their trip.

The couple -- dressed pretty casually -- was spotted in Tribeca, but reportedly made their way to a jeweler in Midtown Thursday, a few days after getting engaged.

Foster popped the question in Anacapri, Italy and Katharine confirmed the engagement by posting a text exchange where someone described her ring as "beautiful and classic." We also have a photo of her showing it off at dinner earlier this week.She was wearing a ring on her ring finger Thursday afternoon, so it's possible she was getting it resized ... or maybe they were shopping for Foster.

The two began dating last year. It'll be Foster's fifth, and Katharine's second marriage.

David Foster Pops the Question ... Katharine McPhee Says, 'Yes!'

7/3/2018 9:12 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

David Foster and Katharine McPhee are engaged after he popped the question during their European vacation ... TMZ has learned.

Katharine and David were on the Italian island of Capri Sunday as she showed off her engagement ring to family and friends over FaceTime. It's unclear exactly which day he proposed, but we imagine it was shortly before this pic was taken.

Katharine's rep, Leslie Sloan, confirmed the engagement. 

The couple's been dating since last year, and haven't been shy about PDA -- including the time Kat grabbed a handful of David's butt, and their full-blown makeout sesh.

This will be the actress/singer's second marriage. Her music mogul fiance's got her beat by a mile ... it's his fifth. If you're checking his first dance card -- B.J. Cook, Rebecca Dyer, Linda Thompson, and Yolanda Hadid were the previous brides.

Mazel tov!

'Idol's' Randy Jackson To LeBron James: Just Take My Money!

7/2/2018 5:59 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

LeBron James just boosted the price of L.A. Lakers tickets in a HUGE way -- with rich stars like Randy Jackson admitting they would pay a bloody fortune to see Bron play at Staples Center.

"[I would pay] anything to see LeBron, dude ... one of the greatest players ever," the former "American Idol" judge just told us outside of Craig's in L.A. ... "I love him. I can't wait to see him."

By the way, season ticket prices on sites like StubHub have reportedly doubled since the announcement about LeBron ... with one buyer paying close to $200,000 for the upcoming season.

Also, Jackson said he'd love to work with LeBron if The King wants to get into music while he's in L.A. -- so, dude's got options.

... dawg.

Taylor Hicks 'Idol' Eliminations Were No Secret!!! I Got Heads-Up Every Week

6/29/2018 11:09 AM PDT
Breaking News

3:30 PM PT -- Lythgoe tells us he strongly denies giving Taylor, or any contestant, the heads-up on results at any time.Former "American Idol" champ Taylor Hicks says he had inside information about who was getting eliminated each week when he was on the show -- and says he wasn't the only one.

Taylor was on WJOX radio Friday in Birmingham, AL when he dropped the bombshell. As he put it, "I had an 'in' in the whole production of the show" who told him the results before they were revealed during season 5.

Mr. Soul Patrol says the only night he didn't get the info was the finale in 2006 -- where he was up against Katharine McPhee. He did say executive producer Nigel Lythgoe gave him a "wink and a nod" before the results were announced.

To be clear, Taylor's not suggesting the voting was rigged. However, if what he's saying is true ... you'd have to question the shocked looks on contestants' faces when Ryan Seacrest revealed the elimination. 

Also ... for how many other seasons was Taylor's source tipping off contestants?

We've got calls in to Nigel and FremantleMedia, which produces 'Idol.'

'American Idol' Finalist Jax July 4 White House Gig is an Honor ... It's Not About Politics!!!

6/29/2018 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Jax has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform at the White House on Independence Day, and nothing's going to stop her ... despite the inevitable backlash for hangin' with Donald Trump.

The Season 14 "American Idol" finalist tells TMZ she finds it sad people can't separate politics from patriotism because she has a lot of the latter ... and for good reasons.

For Jax, her upcoming performance is all about honoring her country and her family -- her younger bro is a Marine and her dad was a 9/11 first responder -- she says it's not at all about POTUS.

Jax will join fellow 'AI' alum Jonny Brenns and country music singer Sara Evans for a July 4 evening concert on the south lawn of the White House, with the Prez and First Lady Melania Trump in the crowd. 

Rasual Butler Fatal Crash Autopsy Alcohol, Weed & Pills

5/31/2018 11:02 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Ex-NBA player Rasual Butler had multiple substances in his system at the time of his fatal crash back in January ... including alcohol, marijuana and painkillers ... according to the autopsy obtained by TMZ Sports

As we previously reported, Butler was behind the wheel of a Range Rover -- with a female passenger, Leah LaBelle -- when he lost control around 2:30 AM and crashed into parking meters and a concrete wall. Both died immediately from injuries suffered in the crash

Toxicology results show Butler's blood alcohol level was tested from blood collected from his heart and leg. The heart sample showed a BAC of .118, above the legal limit.

The leg sample showed a .062, which is under the legal limit. One law enforcement source told us the results are consistent with a person who was legally drunk. 

Tests also show Butler tested positive for cannabinoids (marijuana), methamphetamine and oxycodone. 

The report shows an empty box of Don Julio tequila was recovered at the crash scene. 

As for Butler's passenger, Leah LaBelle -- a former "American Idol" contestant, who Butler referred to as his wife -- she had a .144 blood alcohol level. 

The information could be relevant to Leah's family if they decided to go after Butler's estate for wrongful death. 

UPDATE: We spoke with Leah's mother who is adamant the two were NOT married. 

Ryan Seacrest Have Hot Chick, Will Travel ... Pay Doesn't Suck Either

5/7/2018 7:00 AM PDT

Ryan Seacrest's grueling "American Idol" commute ain't looking all that rough -- considering he gets to make out with his hottie gf, before AND after going wheels up.

Ryan and Shayna Taylor were out shopping and grubbing over in Venice, CA ... the day after they jetted from NYC to LA for his little $10 million weekend gig. They did lunch inside Gjelina, and did PDA outside the hot spot.

Now that all the 'Idol' episodes are live, Ryan has to make this cross-country trek every weekend. Soon as 'Idol' ends Sunday nights ... the couple hops back on a jet plane -- private, of course -- to be back in NYC for 'Live' and his radio show.

Looks like they've got a great cure for jet lag.

'American Idol' Contestant Singing Last Screwed Me Over!

5/1/2018 5:20 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Three "American Idol" contestants got the boot this week, and Dennis Lorenzo thinks it's complete BS he was one of 'em, just because he was last on the mic.

The former 'Idol' hopeful told us his placement Sunday night in the Top 10 performances might have sunk him even before the voting started. Much like real estate, Dennis believes location is key on 'Idol,' and going last in the lineup meant he had a smaller window to rake in votes.

Dennis says he went along with producers' guarantees that the process was fair regardless of who went first or last -- but after the show, he says folks told him they'd been shut out of the voting process early. 

Even though he has a new EP out on iTunes -- "Dennis Lorenzo Unplugged" -- he's still upset about getting the shaft due to what he calls a costly technical error.

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