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Ariana Grande Concert Nail Bomb Treated as Terrorism ... 19 Dead

5/22/2017 5:18 PM PDT
Breaking News

5:45 PM PT -- The suspected 2nd device turned out to be abandoned clothing. Police blew it up, anyway ... just to be safe.

5:35 PM PT -- Police found what they believed to be a second explosive device and are about to detonate it. They've warned people not to be alarmed by the explosion.The explosion after the Ariana Grande concert Monday night is now being treated as a terroristic act and at least 19 people are confirmed dead.

As we reported an explosion tore apart a portion of the rotunda outside the seating area at the Manchester Arena. There are reports the explosive device was a nail bomb in a backpack and it might have been a suicide mission.

It appears the bomber was waiting around the exit area as people were streaming out of the building.

Police say, in addition to the 19 dead, 50 people were injured. Body parts were apparently strewn throughout the blast site.

Ariana had just finished performing and had left the stage. She was not hurt.

The explosion triggered a stampede in the arena, injuring a number of people.

Motorcycle Racer Nicky Hayden Dead At 35 After Being Hit By Car

5/22/2017 9:52 AM PDT
Breaking News

Motorcycle racing champ Nicky Hayden is dead at 35 years old ... days after being struck by a car in Italy while riding a bicycle.

Hayden was cycling along the Rimini coast in Italy last Wednesday when he was hit by a vehicle ... sustaining multiple traumatic injuries, including a serious head injury.

N.H. was in the intensive care unit of an Italian hospital ... before succumbing to his injuries.

Hayden -- the 2006 MotoGP champion -- was one of the best motorcycle racers in the world. He rode for the Honda Red Bull team, and was in Italy for a race.

Nick Carter's Dad Family Wants Autopsy To Prevent More Deaths

5/21/2017 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Bob Carter's kids don't want their dad cremated just yet ... they want an autopsy, but not because they believe foul play was involved in his death.

Bob's widow, Ginger, has already signed off on cremation papers. She tells us Bob was in bad health, so she didn't feel an autopsy was necessary. Ginger says doctors already told her the cause of death was a heart attack.

Some of the Carter kids are worried that heart disease might run in their family, but they're in the dark. They're hoping an autopsy would give their own doctors a road map to determine if they also have heart disease ... and if they do they could take early measures to control or even eliminate it.

The medical examiner says a state-funded autopsy isn't in the cards because it only covers foul play. That means if the Carters one, they're on their own. We're told Aaron's agreed to front the $$$.

Ginger's agreeable, so it looks like an autopsy is in the cards.

Geraldo Rivera My Mentor Roger Ailes Made Fox News for Rednecks

5/21/2017 12:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Geraldo Rivera thinks Roger Ailes was like a modern-day Robin Hood of sorts, taking news and bringing it to the overlooked rednecks, farmers and others by the millions.

We got Geraldo in NYC Friday, on his way into work at FNC where he told us Roger has left an enduring mark on broadcasting and FNC, despite the scandal.

Geraldo and Ailes were tight ... Geraldo even calls him his mentor. He says Ailes and Rupert Murdoch had a vision to bring a different type of news to people whose only option was "progressive" news.

As for the sexual harassment accusations Ailes was facing ... Geraldo touches on that too.

Chris Cornell Hotel Death Scene Not Available For Reservations

5/20/2017 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chris Cornell's fans hoping to stay in the hotel room where the singer committed suicide are going to have to wait ...  because the room is off-limits for now.

We're told the MGM Grand Detroit has been inundated with calls about the room's availability. Kinda weird considering Chris only died there Wednesday night, after hanging himself in the bathroom.

Cops have done their thing so the room is vacant, but the hotel doesn't plan on making it available in the foreseeable future and there's a chance it'll never be available again.

A similar scenario went down with the room where Whitney Houston drowned in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton. It was eventually made available  ... but all furnishings were replaced.

Lady Gaga Longtime Friend Dies of Cancer

5/19/2017 5:48 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Lady Gaga's longtime friend, Sonja Durham, has died after a battle with stage IV cancer.

Sonja's husband, Andre Dubois, posted the sad news Friday afternoon. He said she died "peacefully and beautifully" in their home.

Gaga just posted a photo of Sonja and Andre on Thursday with the message ... "Watching one of my best friends in the world show unfathomable courage, strength, and positivity while battling cancer has really changed my life. Thank you Sonja for inspiring me and all of us everyday with your joy."

Gaga's album 'Joanne' features a bonus track titled "Grigio Girls" ... which is about how she and her girlfriends would get together, pop open a bottle and cry for Sonja.

She also dedicated an acoustic version of "Edge of Glory" to Sonja during her headlining gig at Coachella.

RIP.

Chris Cornell Special Tribute at Festival Show Where Soundgarden Was Set to Headline

5/19/2017 12:52 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

Soundgarden won't take the stage without Chris Cornell at the music festival they were supposed to play ... but the show will go on with a tribute to their frontman.

Sources with the Rock on the Range fest tell TMZ ... all other bands scheduled to play Friday night in Columbus, OH will still take the stage. The lineup includes Bush, Chevelle and Live -- but we're told in place of Soundgarden, there will be a special performance in honor of Cornell.

Mum's the word on what the tribute will include, but we know it will be right after Live's set.

Live's camp says they plan to celebrate Chris' music during their set too, telling us ... "His voice and lyrics came from a deep and spiritual place and their power will be felt forever."

Chris Cornell Used Exercise Band and Sturdy Clip Device To Hang Himself

5/19/2017 10:11 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

Chris Cornell used a common piece of exercise equipment to take his own life. 

We've learned the Soundgarden frontman secured a red elastic exercise band attached to a carabiner to the top of his hotel bathroom door. A carabiner is a device commonly used by mountain climbers which they attach to a belt to keep them from falling. The device can withstand enormous weight.

Cornell jammed the door shut with the carabiner at the top of the frame. The carabiner was jammed so tight it left an indentation in the door frame.

As we reported, Chris' family believes he may have taken his life while under the influence of Ativan, and that he had no plan or desire to commit suicide just hours earlier.

According to the police report, obtained by The Detroit News, Chris was on the phone with his wife, Vicky, shortly before committing suicide, who said he sounded "groggy" and repeatedly told her, "I am just tired," before hanging up.

Vicky became alarmed, called the hotel and Chris' security guard kicked down 2 doors and found him in the bathroom with blood running from his mouth.

Chris Cornell Wife Says Drugs May Have Triggered Suicide

5/19/2017 5:57 AM PDT
Breaking News

Chris Cornell's wife believes her husband's death was actually caused by an overdose of Ativan and that if he took his life he was not in his right mind.

Vicky Cornell confirms the story we broke Thursday ... that she spoke with Chris twice hours before his death and he was not suicidal ... not even depressed. Vicky says when she spoke with Chris before his Detroit concert they discussed vacation plans over Memorial Day.

She says after the show when they spoke, she noticed he was slurring his words, and that's when Chris told her he "may have taken an extra Ativan or two."

The family lawyer is not ready to concede Chris' death was suicide, and says the toxicology tests may provide the key. The lawyer notes Chris was a recovering addict and, "The family believes if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions." He adds Ativan can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts.

Nick Carter's Father Ashes will be Spread with Late Daughter

5/19/2017 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Nick Carter and his family will honor their father's dying wishes -- cremate him and spread his ashes, but the family's also decided to involve their late sister.

We're told Bob -- whom the families believe died from a heart attack -- requested cremation. He wanted his ashes spread in the Gulf of Mexico by the Florida Keys.

The family would like a ceremony which reunites Bob with his late daughter postmortem. Nick's sister Leslie died suddenly at 25 back in 2012 of an overdose. Sources say she was cremated and her husband has retained her ashes ever since. 

Now that Bob died, the family would like to spread both his and Leslie's ashes at the same time. We're told Leslie's husband is on board so it's all systems go.

The private ceremony will go down later this year.

Times Square Tragedy Cameras Capture Car Plowing Through Crowd

5/18/2017 3:37 PM PDT
Breaking News

Surveillance cameras caught the moment Richard Rojas plowed down more than 20 people in Times Square Thursday ... and the scene is gruesome.

You can see Rojas coming at full speed in the wrong direction before he literally mows down a huge crowd of civilians. As we reported, Rojas was taken into custody by police after he jumped out of the vehicle and tried fleeing the scene.

22 people were injured and an 18-year-old woman was killed. 

Law enforcement sources tell us Rojas admitted smoking marijuana before driving, and when he was captured he told cops he wanted them to shoot him. 

Chris Cornell Music Soaring on Sales Charts

5/18/2017 1:34 PM PDT

Chris Cornell's music is spiking in sales on iTunes and Amazon.

The leap was, of course, expected after his death -- but it's interesting to see what fans are connecting with most. The 20th anniversary reissue of Soundgarden's "Superunknown" is the #1 album on iTunes -- and his other band, Audioslave, has the #2 spot.

His recordings are scattered all over Amazon's "Movers & Shakers" chart as well.

In an odd coincidence ... some rare Cornell recordings will be out Friday when a deluxe reissue of the "Singles" soundtrack is released. It will include previously unreleased songs Chris wrote for the film's score.

Chris Cornell Loved Detroit, Talked About Next Show ... Did NOT Sound Suicidal

5/18/2017 9:52 AM PDT

Chris Cornell was fully anticipating Soundgarden's next concert stop after Detroit ... and shared his feelings with the crowd Wednesday night. 

In the footage ... Chris and the band were about to start an encore, and he gushed about how awesome Detroit fans had been, saying, "I feel a little bit sorry for the next f***ing place we play."

They were set to play Friday in Columbus, Ohio and Chris joked he'll have to tell fans there, "You should have been at that Detroit show. That crowd was something."

The Fox Theatre crowd ate it up, but this clearly shows Chris was in great spirits, and already thinking beyond Wednesday night. TMZ broke the story ... Chris' wife, Vicky, said he showed no signs of depression or being suicidal in the hours before he was found dead.

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