Dwight Yoakam's plane was on fire ... IN THE AIR! That mayday call from the pilot triggered an emergency at Van Nuys Airport, where the runway was cleared and the fire department nervously waited.
Yoakam and 9 others were on board the twin-engine Hawker 800 jet over the weekend ... when the pilot called the tower to report an engine fire.
The plane landed safely ... turns out there was a lot of smoke but no fire.
Yoakam was on his way home after playing a small, private gig in a tiny village in Canada's Northwest Territories -- about 1,300 miles due North of Great Falls, MT.
The event was a 50th birthday party ... thrown by a woman who had more than enough to pay the country singer ... because she just won a $7.6 million dollar lottery jackpot.
In the end Dwight was lucky too ... his plane landed.
12/17/2013 4:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Justin Bieber is done with show biz ... so he says -- thing is, we don't believe him.
Justin was at Power 106 in L.A. today, and said after his next album drops he's retiring. The album comes out next week.
We talked to people in Bieber's camp and they said he was joking. As one source put it, "The kid's got ambition."
Since Justin appeared at The Laugh Factory last Friday, apparently he thinks he's on a comedy roll.
He already needs new material.
Check Out My Hotboxed Ride
12/17/2013 12:23 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Either Justin Bieber's van had some serious mechanical problems in L.A. today ... or his crew was blazing a METRIC TON of Mary Jane inside -- because when the singer slid the door open and stepped out, he was followed by a Hiroshima-level cloud of smoke.
You gotta see it. It's like something out of a stoner movie.
Bieber -- a noted weed enthusiast -- was arriving for a radio interview at Power 106. Here's hoping he can still form complete sentences.
Justin Bieber Lawsuit
Lil Za and Lil Twist Named In Photog Attack
12/17/2013 12:15 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Justin Bieber's pals Lil Za and Lil Twist acted like Lil Thugs by attacking a paparazzo in Miami last June -- so claims the photog who's suing Bieber and a bodyguard.
Photog Jeffrey Binion says in his depo -- obtained by TMZ -- he was confronted by Za, Twist and 2 of Justin's bodyguards after taking pics of Justin outside of a recording studio.
Binion says Za demanded the photog's camera ... threatened to break it ... then tried to wrench it from his hand. Binion claims the struggle lasted 3 to 5 minutes. As for Twist ... Binion says he was egging Za on.
Binion also claims one of the bodyguards threatened him with a gun.
Binion says he was strong armed into deleting the photos ... because a bodyguard had him in a choke hold.
He's now suing Bieber and that bodyguard ... claiming he's injured and mentally screwed up.
Bieber is scheduled to give his version in a deposition next month ... and he's already asked a judge to keep his testimony under wraps -- away from the public.
Suge is Right About N-Word
'I Feel Like It's Love'
12/17/2013 10:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Rapper YG is backing Suge Knight's controversial stand on the n-word ... telling TMZ he thinks it's a sign of respect, love, and can even be uplifting despite its ugly track record.
YG -- whose biggest hit is "My Ni**a" -- was outside AV Nightclub last night when he said he understands the n-word "got history to it" ... and that people have suffered for it ... but he says times have changed ...and now it's a sign of friendship.
We broke the story ... Suge told us he actually prefers the word "ni**a" to African-American ... because he's not from Africa.
Check out the clip -- YG goes even further on the word, saying ... "I feel like it's love."
Discuss below in the comment section.
I'm Gonna Sing Again!
12/17/2013 10:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Lindsay Lohan -- forever in search of a career resurrection -- is now setting her sights on reigniting her singing career ... TMZ has learned.
Lindsay was in a New York City recording studio over the weekend, experimenting with various tracks. Lindsay has one hit under her belt -- "Confessions of a Broken Heart" -- which is in the pop genre, but we're told she's now more interested in EDM.
Our sources say Lindsay has not signed with a label yet but that's what she's gunning for.
We're told Lindsay has gotten advice and support from friends, including Lady Gaga and Max from The Wanted.
I Want to Keep My Deposition TOP SECRET
12/17/2013 7:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
For a change ... Justin Bieber's a little camera shy, at least when it comes to sitting for a videotaped deposition in his legal battle with a Miami paparazzo ... TMZ has learned.
TMZ broke the story ... Bieber is being sued by Jeffrey Binion, the pap who claims one of Bieber's thugs choked him and stole his camera equipment back in June.
Binion's attorney is set to grill Justin in a videotaped deposition next month -- and Bieber's responded with a legal request for the depo to be kept under lock and key.
According to the docs, Bieber's lawyers feel "it is highly likely that the entire deposition will be published to the public." Their concern is the questioning will include lots of topics unrelated to the case.
Translation: they don't want a video of Justin talking about all his juvenile antics getting out to the world.
Team Bieber is requesting that no copies be made of the original recording. They also want to handpick the videographer.
We know some guys ... if they need a recommendation.
There's No Crying in Grammys
12/17/2013 7:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Davey Havok -- lead singer of the band AFI -- says he's BLOWN AWAY Kanye West would actually bitch about his Grammy nominations ... 'cause music isn't a competition for petty awards.
The rocker was leaving Chateau Marmont last night ... and we asked about Ye's latest outrage over his measly TWO Grammy noms this year.
By the way, Davey's never been nominated -- but somehow has a way better grip on how to handle Grammy glory, or in Kanye's case ... disappointment.
Davey's got some advice for Yeezy -- but, more importantly, he also has a pretty priceless reaction to a grown man whining over awards.
Don't Laugh at Me ...
I Bang Bitches
12/17/2013 6:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Justin Bieber bragged that he f**ks "bitches" in a desperate attempt to save face after he got ripped to shreds during a comedy show in L.A. -- and TMZ obtained footage of the entire awesome display.
Biebs made a surprise appearance at the Laugh Factory on Friday -- during comedian Chris D'Elia's set -- and the ex-"Whitney" star ROASTED Justin for his ridiculous fashion choices. Douchey genie pants and leather tank top, por exemplo.
Justin sat quietly through the ribbing until D'Elia made a joke about Justin only "f***ing" himself -- that's when JB just had to respond with a quip that was disgustingly misogynistic ... or totally female-friendly.
Depends if you're a Belieber or Gloria Steinem (Google her).
Slums It With Cell Phone Music Video
12/17/2013 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
R. Kelly hijacked a random dude's cell phone this weekend in New York -- then recorded a XMAS music video for the guy ... and we got the footage.
It all went down Friday night at Papa Juan Cigar Room in Harlem ... when Kelly showed up with his entourage -- and a bunch of the bar patrons approached him.
One of the guys began recording R.K. with his camera phone -- and that's when Kelly jacked the guy's cell ... and recorded his rendition of "Chestnuts Roasting."
The reaction from the bar crowd is pretty awesome -- check it out.
Cash Money's Chip Off the Ol' Biebs
12/17/2013 12:02 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Judge REVOKES Probation
12/16/2013 2:34 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Chris Brown is in trouble ... again. The judge in the Rihanna beating case has just REVOKED his probation because of the fresh assault charges filed in Washington D.C.
Brown was in court for a progress hearing. The judge felt the criminal complaint in D.C. is enough proof that Chris did NOT obey all laws ... which he's required to do while on probation
The judge did not remand Chris into custody, because hizzoner was impressed by Chris' progress in his anger management rehab. The judge will hold a hearing on the matter in February, and it's possible he could sentence Chris to time in the pokey.
The judge also ordered Chris NOT to use medical marijuana for the time being.
TMZ broke the story ... Brown was popped in Oct. for felony assault -- later reduced to a misdemeanor -- and the L.A. County Probation Dept. launched an investigation.
We just got hold of the progress report (above) -- filed with the court -- from Chris' anger management program. According to the document, Brown participates in a weekly boot camp and successfully completed a 12-hour ropes course "to enhance team-building skills and trust."
The clinical team says Chris has been making progress and has new psychotropic drugs that seem to be working. He's been taken off medical marijuana. The team says his ability to "emotionally regulate himself" has markedly improved.
Call Me a Ni**a
Not An African American
12/16/2013 10:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Suge Knight is offended when people call him African American, because he's NOT African. On the other hand, he doesn't have a problem with the word, "Ni**a."
Suge says it's offensive to label all Black people African American. And he goes further ... he thinks it's ridiculous that only rappers can use the word, "Ni**a." He thinks if it can be used by some, it should be used by all.
So we gotta ask...