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James Prince Urged Biggie to Get Outta Dodge Weeks Before the Murder

5/15/2018 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Notorious B.I.G. and Diddy got a surprise visit in L.A. from Rap-A-Lot Records CEO James Prince -- just a few weeks before Biggie's murder -- and the conversation could have saved his life ... TMZ has learned.

The meeting went down in February 1997, when sources connected to James tell us he'd heard B.I.G. and Puff Daddy (as he was then known) were shooting the "Hypnotize" music video. We're told James had immediate concerns about their safety ... and rushed to the set. Here's why.

James had just been in L.A. with Scarface, one of his artists, and heard a lot of talk on the streets about a possible revenge hit. Remember, Tupac had been murdered about 6 months earlier, and there were widespread, but unsubstantiated, rumors that Puff and Biggie were involved -- fueled by the west coast-east-coast feud.

We're told James urged them to take the threats seriously and consider leaving town -- especially when he saw how relaxed security was on the set -- but they seemed unfazed, and more focused on completing the video. 

A few weeks later, Biggie was shot and killed outside L.A.'s Petersen Automotive Museum.

Our sources say James did not have specific knowledge of a hit, but had heard enough buzz he wanted to put it on Puff and B.I.G.'s radar.

We're told the meeting is one of several stories from behind the scenes of hip-hop that J. Prince will reveal in his book, "The Art and Science of Respect" ... which will be released next month.

Margot Kidder Fighting Flu Days Before Death

5/14/2018 11:15 AM PDT
Breaking News

"Superman" star Margot Kidder was battling the flu just 4 days before she died, and talked about her struggle during what appears to be her final interview. 

Kidder phoned in to “The Drew and Mike Show” in Detroit on May 9 to promote an upcoming appearance at Motor City Comic Con. She told the hosts she was "in bed with flu" because she's "puking every hour and a half." Kidder sounded rough, very raspy -- and, even though she was in good spirits, she said the flu battle was "not fun."

As we previously reported ... Margot was found dead Sunday at her home in Livingston, Montana. Cops responded to a call that Margot was unconscious and not breathing. Her death is under investigation, but police have said they don't suspect foul play.

Kidder was 69.

David Ogden Stiers 'M*A*S*H' Star's Will Leaves Over $300k to Charity!!!

5/10/2018 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The man best known for playing surgeon Major Charles Winchester on "M*A*S*H" wanted to help people in the real world too ... or so it seems, based on his will.

David Ogden Stiers -- who died in March after a battle with bladder cancer -- left hundreds of thousands of his fortune behind to various charities ... and also donated valuable collections to his local library and symphony orchestra in Newport, Oregon.

According to the docs ... Stiers earmarked $50k each to 5 different charity organizations, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, My Sister's Place and Newport's Children's Advocacy Center.

He also left all his CDs and DVDs behind to the Newport Library, donating his vinyls, artwork and wine collection to the Newport Symphony Orchestra ... and gave another $50k to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to establish a scholarship program for someone planning a political career.

As for some of Stiers' more flashy gifts ... the Newport Symphony music director gets his Tesla Model X, and his Oregon home is left to the man he named his conservator -- Jeremy Robinson.

David was 75.

RIP

Avicii Suicide by Broken Glass ...

5/1/2018 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Avicii committed suicide with broken glass he used to cut himself ... TMZ has learned.

Multiple sources familiar with the circumstances surrounding the famous DJ's death tell us, he did indeed take his own life ... something his parents alluded to last week.

Our sources say the method of death was a shard of glass that caused massive bleeding. Two sources tell us Avicii broke a bottle and used the glass to inflict the fatal wound. One of the sources says it was a wine bottle. 

Two sources tell us the point of injury was Avicii's neck but another strongly denies that, saying it was his wrist. We cannot confirm this, but the sources were privy to specific information about Avicii's death. 

As TMZ reported ... the 28-year-old was found dead April 20 in the Middle Eastern country of Oman. He battled alcohol problems for years, and his friends worried those issues would eventually kill him.

Avicii's family released a statement that included the clear message it was suicide ... "He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace."

Verne Troyer Death Certificate Remains Going Back Home

4/30/2018 8:31 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

TMZ has obtained a copy of Verne Troyer's death certificate ... and it reveals his family's plans for his remains.

As we previously reported, Troyer died April 21 at a Los Angeles-area hospital. His death certificate shows Verne was cremated, and his remains will be sent to his home state of Michigan for interment.

Verne's cause of death is listed as "deferred" pending further investigation. Toxicology testing has not been completed yet.   

He was rushed to the hospital early in April after cops got a call that he was suicidal. Sources say he was treated for alcohol poisoning because his BAC was triple the .08 limit, and he'd been on life support since then.

Verne was 49. 

Bobby Brown I'll Never Have Closure ... Over Bobbi Kristina's Death

4/28/2018 7:16 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Bobby Brown says the biopic, "The Bobby Brown Story," was therapy for him regarding the death of his daughter Bobbi Kristina, but no therapy will ever be enough.

We got Bobby Friday night at LAX, and he was pretty open with us ... the biopic helped him deal with some of his feelings that have been bottled up since 22-year-old Bobbi Kristina died back in 2015.

The biopic has been an emotional roller coaster for Bobby.  He says he's still working through the grieving process but it will never make things good.

Bobbi Kristina's death has been shrouded in mystery, and her boyfriend Nick Gordon has been living under the specter of suspicion for years. 

The biopic is set to air in September. 

Mike Posner Avicii's Death is a Wake-up Call ... Remember Him for His Music

4/27/2018 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Mike Posner's still coping with the loss of Avicii, and says the world-famous DJ's death has been a harsh reminder for him -- nothing lasts forever.

We got the singer at LAX Thursday and asked him how he feels about his hit track, "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" -- known for its mention of Avicii in the second line -- now that he's gone. He tells us it definitely has a much deeper meaning now ... and will always make him think of Tim.

Mike also says he wants his friend remembered for his music above all else, because that's the highest honor for musicians ... and what he hopes for himself. He shares some fond memories of working with Avicii, too ... even on the never-released stuff. 

Posner paid tribute to Avicii during last weekend's Coachella performance with a touching, acoustic version of "I Took A Pill In Ibiza."

Avicii Family Hints at Suicide ... 'He Could Not Go On'

4/26/2018 8:50 AM PDT
Breaking News

Avicii was struggling with major issues at the time of his death ... which his family is now strongly insinuating was a suicide.

The superstar DJ, whose real name was Tim Bergling, was found dead last week in Oman, and while there's been no cause of death released ... his family just released a statement referring to his struggles to find meaning in his life once he finished touring

Here's the full statement:

Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions.
An over-achieving perfectionist who travelled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress.
When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most – music.
He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness.
He could not go on any longer.
He wanted to find peace.
Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight.
Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed.
The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive.

Obviously, the passage ... "He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace" ... seems like a reference to Avicii taking his own life. Authorities have ruled out foul play in the 28-year-old's death.

Meanwhile, Avicii was commemorated in his native Sweden where a choir performed "Wake Me Up!"

Prince Ex-Wife Slams Sinead's Claims ... He's Not a Woman Beater!!!

4/25/2018 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Prince's ex-wife doesn't buy Sinead O'Connor's claims he was violent toward women and abused hard drugs ... because she never saw a shred of evidence to support that.

Mayte Garcia -- who was married to Prince from 1996 to 2000 -- tells TMZ he was never violent with her and she never witnessed him being violent with anyone ... man or woman. She also says he didn't do hard drugs while they were together, and she only saw him drunk once.

Garcia's very skeptical of Sinead's self-proclaimed close relationship with Prince ... telling us she seriously doubts she could have known more than she did.

Mayte has a problem with the timing of Sinead's allegations, too ... because Prince wasn't alive to defend himself.

Garcia admits she found the reports of Prince's deadly pill stash shocking and heartbreaking, because she knew him for years and didn't see anything like that.

But as for O'Connor's most outrageous claim -- that Prince was into devil worship -- Garcia simply calls BS. She says he was spiritual and religious, but any claims of him doing something sinister are "ridiculously wrong" ... adding, "I strongly deny that in his honor."

'Night Court' Star Harry Anderson Died of a Stroke Influenza & Heart Disease as Contributing Causes

4/24/2018 8:43 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

"Night Court" star Harry Anderson died of a stroke he apparently suffered in the night, which might've been triggered by the flu and a specific type of heart disease. 

TMZ has obtained Anderson's death certificate, which lists the actor's primary cause of death as cardioembolic cerebrovascular accident, which is a stroke that's caused by the heart pumping unwanted materials into the brain's circulation. 

The contributing causes are listed as influenza -- the flu -- and a heart disease that affects the tissue of the organ by either enlarging it or disrupting its natural motor function.

As we reported ... Anderson was found dead on arrival last week after his wife called 911. She told the operator that his body was cold, and that CPR wouldn't help. She also mentioned he'd suffered a series of strokes earlier this year.

He was 65. 

Avicii Friends Thought Drinking Problem Would Kill Him

4/23/2018 12:06 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Avicii's friends and family members feared the superstar's drinking problem would catch up to him in the months leading up to his death.

Sources close to the DJ tell TMZ his alcoholism he battled for so many years had recently gotten out of control and those around him were concerned it could kill him. Avicii suffered from pancreatitis -- the inflammation of the organ -- made worse by heavy alcohol consumption.

TMZ broke the story ... Avicii was photographed on a yacht in Muscat, Oman just a day before his death with what appeared to be an alcoholic beverage in his hand.

Autopsies were conducted on Avicii's body both Friday and Saturday. An official cause of death has not yet been released but cops say there is no indication of foul play.

Prince Poetry & Photos Poised for Release Under Paisley Park Umbrella

4/22/2018 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Prince's vast collection of unreleased music isn't the only way his estate will reap money for years to come -- turns out his words, as in poetry and lyrics, could also be gold.

Paisley Park Enterprises -- the merchandising arm of Prince's estate -- has filed paperwork to produce printed content. According to the docs, it will include collector's books of his handwritten lyrics as well as poetry. Prince's never-before-released photos and journals could also be flipped for a profit.

It's great news for fans eager to celebrate Prince's life as Saturday marks the 2nd anniversary of his death. The only bad news ... no word on when PPE will start publishing the material.

As we reported ... cops released video Thursday that was shot inside Prince's home the day they found him dead. Their 2-year investigation determined there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges in his death.

Photos were also released inside his legendary vault containing shelves upon shelves of recordings ... many unreleased ... which we know the estate wants to release eventually.

The vault also stored tons of recording equipment, and large sums of cash.

Verne Troyer Dead at 49

4/21/2018 1:09 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Verne Troyer -- best known for playing Mini-Me in the 'Austin Powers' comedies, and for being one of the shortest men in the world -- has died.

Verne died Saturday, according to a statement from his family. We'd been told he was on some form of life support since being taken to the hospital earlier this month after cops got a report he was drunk and suicidal, and was treated for possible alcohol poisoning.

Verne's family says during the recent adversity, "he was baptized while surrounded by his family."

He also struggled with alcoholism for years and had been to rehab many times.

Troyer was born with the genetic disorder known as achondroplasia dwarfism, but said growing up on a farm in Michigan he was never treated differently by his parents than his average-sized siblings.

Verne began his Hollywood career in 1994 as a stunt double for Baby Bink in the film "Baby's Day Out." He then landed small roles in "Men in Black" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" ... before making it big as Mini-Me in 1999's "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me."

He continued to land bit roles in comedies and appeared on many popular reality shows over the years ... like "Celebrity Juice," "Celebrity Wife Swap," and "The Surreal Life."

Verne was 49.

RIP 

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