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'American Idol' Contestant

Michael Johns Dead at 35

8/2/2014 12:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details
5:00 PM PST -- Sources close to Michael Johns tell us he went to a doctor on Thursday to check out the pain he had been feeling in his ankle ... the swelling and bruising had made their way up to his leg.

Doctors didn't find any problems however -- so they cleared him to go home.

We're told the next afternoon at his friends apartment ... Johns' body was found on the couch unresponsive. When paramedics arrived, he was already dead.
"American Idol" finalist Michael Johns died Friday at the age of 35.

The singer's death was caused by a blood clot in his ankle ... sources tell us he had twisted his ankle earlier and was in a great amount of pain.

People close to Johns tell us ... it appears the ankle injury triggered the clot. We're told he died in his sleep.

The singer placed 8th in Season 7 (2008) and following his exit from the show he continued to record music.  He recorded an album -- "Hold Back My Heart" in 2009.

He'd also done a tremendous amount of charity work with former executive producer Nigel Lythgoe.

Lythgoe tells TMZ, "He was a great talent and dear friend. My boys and I are devastated."

Johns was married to Stacey Vuduris.  They married in 2007.

The singer's family says, "Our family is devastated by the passing of our beloved Michael, a wonderful husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from all corners of the globe."

080214_michael_john_launch_v2The last time we shot Michael he was in great spirits.


Katharine McPhee

Her Bikini Body Is


6/2/2014 2:48 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
0602-kat-mcphee-bikini-fameflynet-01Soon-to-be divorcée Katharine McPhee did a little advertising on the beach in Cabo this weekend ... showing off her tan-lined body less than two weeks after pulling the plug on her marriage. 

As TMZ first reported, McPhee said in her divorce docs she and hubby Nicholas Cokas were separated for seven months before she was spotted locking lips with "Smash" director Michael Morris.

Based on these photos ... McPhee's shouldn't be off the market for too long.

Katharine McPhee

I Didn't Cheat


5/27/2014 1:31 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Katharine McPhee Cheating Photos
Katharine McPhee
insists she's no cheating skank -- claiming she was SEPARATED from her husband last year when she publicly made out with another man.

TMZ has obtained McPhee's divorce docs -- she lists her date of separation from husband Nicholas Cokas as March 15, 2013 ... more than 7 months before she openly locked lips with married "Smash" director Michael Morris.

As we reported, McPhee filed for divorce from Cokas last week. She cites irreconcilable differences in the docs.

Also interesting ... according to the docs, McPhee wants to keep all the money she made post-separation ... which might explain why she picked such an early separation date.

McPhee and Cokas briefly attempted a reconciliation in March ... but that just didn't work out.

Ryan Seacrest

Finally! The One Job He CAN'T Do

5/22/2014 5:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Ryan Seacrest finally got a chance to show off his singing chops on "American Idol," but sadly the world discovered ... he doesn't have any. 

Even sadder -- the fact poor Richard Marx was 'Right There Waiting' ... for Ryan to stop butchering his song. 


Katharine McPhee

Files for Divorce

From Husband She Cheated On

5/22/2014 3:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
Katharine McPhee Divorce
Katharine McPhee
has finally pulled the plug on her marriage from the man she publicly cheated on.

Katherine's rep released a statement confirming the divorce, saying, "After six years of marriage, and having been separated for the past year, [Katharine] has filed for a dissolution of marriage from Nick Cokas."

The rep added, "The two have an amicable relationship and will remain friends."

"Amicable" is surprising ... considering 30-year-old McPhee humiliated 49-year-old Cokas last year by publicly making out with "Smash" director Michael Morris ... who also happens to be married.

As we reported, McPhee and Cokas tried reconciling earlier this Spring, but it just wasn't in the cards. We're told McPhee ultimately decided she just didn't want to be married anymore.


Ryan Seacrest

You Are NOT

the Next 'American Idol'

5/22/2014 5:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ryan Seacrest SingingRyan Seacrest finally showed off his singing chops for the world to see ... and the world wishes he hadn't done that.

Seacrest, always on top of the latest musical trends, belted out the classic 1989 Richard Marx song "Right Here Waiting" ... and "American Idol" even unearthed Marx to sing it with him!

Say what you will about Ryan's singing -- and it was awful -- he didn't hide behind any audio gimmicks ... he straight up sang his heart out.

As the old saying goes -- those who can't ... host.

Nikki Reed

Files for Divorce

from Paul McDonald

5/21/2014 2:21 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Nikki Reed Divorce Paul McDonald"Twilight" star Nikki Reed has filed for divorce from former "American Idol" contestant Paul McDonald ... TMZ has learned.

In the divorce docs, obtained by TMZ, Reed cites irreconcilable differences. She's also asking the court to deny McDonald spousal support. It was the first marriage for both. The couple had no kids together.

Reed and McDonald announced they were splitting back in March ... and revealed they'd already been living apart for 6 months. 

Interestingly, even though several reports had the couple getting married in October 2011 -- in the docs their marriage date is July 14, 2011. 

Despite the split, Nikki and Paul have continued working on an album together. Not weird at all.


Jennifer Lopez

The Woman Behind the Behind ...

Please Step Forward [VIDEO]

5/14/2014 12:02 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Jennifer Lopez and her mother were cruising through Manhattan when it happened -- our camera guy got the magical shot that proves Jenny from the block ... is also a chip off the ole one.

And Mama Lopez has all the proof (and junk) we need (in her trunk).


Jennifer Lopez

Butt Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

5/13/2014 5:42 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Jennifer Lopez ButtJennifer Lopez and her mother were big hits walking the streets of Manhattan yesterday, and if you didn't know they were related ... a quick pan down of our camera revealed the family resemblance.

J. Lo and her mother, Guadalupe were shopping on Madison Ave. where they encountered a bunch of fans ... including one woman who joked she was happier to meet mom than J. Lo.

Jenny does talk to us about where she used to get her hair did -- but, honestly, it was hard to focus due to the view of mother and daughter butt ... and their shared DNA.

Oh, mama!

Scotty McCreery

Home Invasion Victim

5/5/2014 9:39 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
1:26 P.M. PDT
--  Scotty is now talking about the robbery. He just Tweeted, "Yes, it was definitely a very scary night. Luckily, my friends and I are safe and the Raleigh PD is on the case." Scotty also thanked police for their quick response and said, "I will share more when the time is right, but as of now we do not want to do or say anything that could hinder the investigation."
Country singing former "American Idol" star Scotty McCreery was a victim of a home invasion robbery Monday morning.

The Season 10 "Idol" winner was visiting friends at an apartment around 2AM near the North Carolina State University campus -- where McCreery is a student -- when the incident occurred.

According to law enforcement, 3 gunmen barged into the unit -- while McCreery and his friends were inside -- and made off with cash, wallets, and other property, including valuable electronics.

We also obtained the 911 call which includes a bunch of other details -- the caller says the intruders were black, dressed in black sweat pants and gray hoodies. The caller says he was in another room when they barged in, but he could hear them say, "Everyone on the floor. Give us everything you've got."

No one was injured.

Scotty McCreery

Super Secret

911 Call

5/5/2014 10:58 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The 911 call made after Scotty McCreery and a few friends were robbed at gun point was not made by the teacher from Charlie Brown ... it just sounds like it.

TMZ has obtained the 911 call made early Monday morning after three gunmen broke into an apartment near North Carolina State University and made off with cash, wallets, and other property, including valuable electronics.

It's hard to say whether the "American Idol" champ is the one who placed the 911 call ... because North Carolina state law calls for the voices to be distorted on the tape.

So even though you've just been robbed, at least your identity is safe in North Carolina.

Syesha Mercado

'Book of Mormon' Star

Sued for Sinning Against Manager

3/23/2014 12:57 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
03-21-14-Syesha-Mercado-tmzFormer "American Idol" star Syesha Mercado dropped her manager like a bad habit as soon she landed a big gig doing "The Book of Mormon" ... allegedly stiffing him out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mercado -- who finished third on Season 7 -- is being sued by former manager Fred Crawford, who picked her up as a client not too long after her stint on "Idol."

Crawford claims Mercado agreed to fork over 20% of whatever she made in the entertainment industry.  Crawford says he helped her land the "Book of Mormon" deal ... for which she earned $40,000 a month.

But Crawford claims right after the ink dried Mercado cut off all communication and never paid him a cent. He's suing for his "Mormon" cut  -- roughly $300,000. 

Crawford has a big problem ... the deal, he says, was never committed to writing.

Calls to Mercado's rep were not returned, but we're guessing she tells a very different story.

Jason Aldean

I'm Banging The Girl

Who Broke Up My Marriage

3/17/2014 12:26 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Jason Aldean is dating the "American Idol" alum who broke up his marriage -- and we're told they've been hooking up ever since he filed for divorce.

Brittany Kerr -- the A.I. floozie -- was photographed backstage in the wings of Aldean's concert Friday night ... and now we're told it's official ... they're a couple.

It's pretty stunning ... in September, 2012, the two of them were photographed making out at a bar on the Sunset Strip -- it was so obvious they could be seen from the street.

Aldean said at the time it was a one time deal -- a drunken mistake -- and he took a taxi home alone.

Aldean filed for divorce last May.

So now the question ... did they ever really stop seeing each other?  No one is saying, but we do know Kerr was in the crowd at his show on January 10th in Austin.

She didn't make it far on "Idol" but she's clearing home base with Aldean.


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