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Keith Emerson's Death Gunshot to the Head ... Looks Like Suicide

3/11/2016 1:37 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0311-keith-emerson-getty-01Legendary rock keyboardist Keith Emerson's death is being investigated as a suicide ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us Emerson had a single gunshot wound to the head when his girlfriend found him in their home in Santa Monica.

The Emerson, Lake & Palmer co-founder had recently been suffering from a serious medical problem -- a degenerative nerve issue in his right hand ... according to our sources. We're told he could only play the keyboard with 8 fingers at this point and knew it was only going to get worse. 

As a result, he was struggling with depression.

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Keith Emerson Emerson, Lake & Palmer Founder Dies at 71

3/11/2016 12:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0311-keith-emerson-getty-launchKeith Emerson -- founding member and keyboardist of Emerson, Lake and Palmer -- died late Thursday night. He was 71.

According to our sources, Emerson's girlfriend discovered his body in their home and described the passing as "sudden." We're told Emerson had plans to tour in Japan next week. 

Emerson's death was confirmed on the band's official Facebook page ... though no cause of death was given.

Bandmate Carl Palmer released a statement, saying, "Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come." 

Emerson, Lake and Palmer was one of the most popular progressive rock bands of the 1970s ... and Emerson's solos are legendary.

'Legally Blonde' Chihuahua Dies

3/11/2016 10:54 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0311-legally-blonde-dog-dead-INSTAGRAM-01Moonie, the dog who shared the big screen with Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde" has died.

Reese just broke the ruff news ... posting a pic of her and Moonie, who played Bruiser Woods. She said, "I will never forget all the days we spent together ... I'm sure his tail is wagging in the sky."

Moonie was a rescued chihuahua before landing the "Legally Blonde" gig ... and was good pals with Gidget, the Taco Bell dog.

He was 18.

#RIPBruiser

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Beatles Producer George Martin '5th Beatle' Dead

3/9/2016 3:11 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0308-george-martin-beatles-photosGeorge Martin, the incredibly brilliant producer of The Beatles who was such an influence on the group he was known as "the 5th Beatle" -- has died.

Martin passed away Wednesday at his home in London.  

His influence cannot be understated. When Martin met the Beatles in 1962 he was not impressed ... he felt their music was all over the place, but, as he put it, "They were like plants in a hothouse. They grew incredibly fast."

Martin got initial resistance from John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who wrote the songs for the group, but they quickly grew to trust Martin like a partner. When they were recording "Yesterday," it was Martin who wanted to add a string quartet. Paul didn't get it at first, saying "We're a rock 'n' roll band!" Paul relented, and an empowered Martin added a cello and violin.

Martin's knowledge of technology was inspiration for the group ... best shown in songs like "Penny Lane," "Strawberry Fields Forever" and the crown jewel -- the album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Paul called Martin "a second father," but all 4 guys revered him.

Martin was 90. RIP.

Eagles' Randy Meisner Loose Spurs to Blame in Wife's Shooting Death

3/9/2016 7:04 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0309-randy-meisner-wife-tmz-02The shooting death of ex Eagle Randy Meisner's wife just got even more bizarre -- a pair of cowboy boot spurs literally triggered the rifle that killed her.

As we reported ... Lana Meisner was killed while moving the case holding the rifle. Law enforcement sources now tell us there were 2 spurs in the case, and when Lana picked up the case ...the spurs fell and hit the trigger.

Randy remains on a psychiatric hold after threatening to kill himself after Lana's death.

Eagles Randy Meisner Cleared in Wife's Shooting Death

3/7/2016 8:12 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0307-randy-meisner-wife-lana-TMZ-01Former Eagles member Randy Meisner has been cleared in the bizarre shooting death of his wife.

As we reported, Lana Meisner died Sunday night from a gunshot wound ... this after she had called 911 an hour and a half earlier to report domestic violence. She claimed Randy was waiving a BB gun.

LAPD detectives have concluded she accidentally shot herself. It seems weird, because police say she was "moving a rifle that was stored inside the closet" when it accidentally went off. It's a little odd as to why she would be "moving" a rifle less than 2 hours after calling 911, reporting domestic violence.

Law enforcement sources tell us the gun discharged inside the soft gun case, and the trajectory of the bullet was enough for cops to conclude Randy was not involved. 

Former Eagles Member Randy Meisner Wife Shot to Death

3/7/2016 6:19 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

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The wife of former Eagles member Randy Meisner was shot and killed Sunday at the couple's home.

Lana Rae Meisner was shot dead in the couple's Studio City home. The police are now conducting a death investigation.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ, an hour and a half before Randy called to report his wife had been shot, Lana Rae called 911 to report domestic violence at the house. She claims he was waiving a BB gun and "acting erratically."

The second call came in at 6:59 PM ... Randy told cops his wife went into another room, closed the door and he heard a gun shot. He says he went into the room and discovered she was shot in the head.

We're told at 4:45 AM Monday Randy was taken to the hospital after "acting in an altered state."

The couple has had many conflicts in the past. Randy's kids tried to get a conservatorship based on his alleged mental instability. At some point he was in an Encino hospital where he threatened to kill everyone there with an AK-47.

Nancy Reagan Dead at 94

3/6/2016 8:21 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0306-nancy-reagan-GETTY-01Nancy Reagan has died ... TMZ has learned from a close family member.

The former first lady was living in Bel Air and has been in failing health in recent years. She died from congestive heart failure at her home.

Mrs. Reagan married Ronald in 1952 and went on to became a First Lady who at first was severely criticized for her fancy taste -- particularly in china -- but went on to become beloved, along with her husband.

She'll be buried next to her husband at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

Nancy was a former actress who starred in B movies, before meeting her future husband.

She was fiercely loyal to Ronald and extremely protective, often getting in his ear about White House staffers she thought were less than loyal.

In one famous moment during Ronald Reagan's presidency, he was asked a difficult question and Nancy whispered an answer, "We're doing the best we can."

During her time as First Lady, she created the "Just Say No" to drugs campaign.

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O.J. Simpson Murder Case Buck Knife Could Produce Fatal Wounds

3/5/2016 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0304-nicole-autopsy-images-cnn-03The knife found buried on O.J. Simpson's former estate was more than capable of inflicting the mortal wounds on Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman ... so says the man who examined the wounds of the victims.

Dr. Irwin Golden, who served as the Deputy Medical Examiner, testified in the O.J. Simpson case and performed both autopsies, tells TMZ the folding buck knife could have severely cut both victims. Nicole was brutally attacked with a deep neck wound -- 2 1/2 inches deep and 5 1/2 inches across -- and Golden says a 4" blade could have done the deed.  We broke the story ... the knife in question has a 5" blade.

Sources connected with the 1994 investigation and others involved in the evaluation of the knife tell us there was always a wide belief among LAPD cops that Simpson used a buck knife.

TMZ broke the story ... a construction worker found the knife buried on the perimeter of the property in 2002, gave it to a retired LAPD cop who never turned it in, instead taking it home and putting it in his tool box. The cop claims he alerted LAPD when he got it, but they expressed no interest.

Dr. Golden cautioned if the murder weapon was a buck knife it had to be "heavy." A knife expert tells us back in '94 buck knives were made with heavy American-made steel.

The knife is being tested for fingerprints and hair. Next week it goes to the serology unit for DNA testing.

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Rapper Bankroll Fresh Shot Dead

3/5/2016 7:03 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0305-bankroll-fresh-instagram-03Rapper Bankroll Fresh was shot to death Friday night.

Cops say gunfire erupted outside an Atlanta recording studio. The shootout was bedlam ... more than a dozen shell casings were found.  We don't know if anyone else was hit.

2 Chainz -- also from Atlanta -- tweeted about the "Hot Boy" rapper's death ... "Man I'm a fan of Bru and always will be, I'm in shock at the moment !! Senseless deaths we just got to stop it, I'm speaking up now."

So far, no suspects, but cops are on the hunt.

Bankroll was 28 years old. RIP.

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Ex 'Gladiators' Star Unfinished TV Projects Will March On

3/5/2016 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0301-lee-reherman-GETTY-02Lee Reherman was juggling multiple unfinished TV projects before his death -- but we're told the shows will go on without him.

Reherman -- best known as Hawk on "American Gladiators" -- was working behind the scenes and producing two new shows -- one is a fitness-focused series called "Undercover Trainer."

We're told Reherman was producing a reality show called "Pin-Up Garage" about hot female car mechanics. Lee was working with EP Scott Satin and developing both shows for Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios.

Reherman also co-starred on "The First Family," playing a secret service agent. No word yet on what changes will have to be made -- we're told he's written into every episode for the upcoming season.

Showrunners tells us the first episode will be dedicated to Reherman.

Bobbi Kristina Family Plans BDay Celebration

3/4/2016 3:46 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0304_Bobbi-Kristina_gettyBobbi Kristina's family and friends will gather Friday night on what would've been her 23rd birthday.

It's a difficult day made even tougher for Bobbi Kristina's family following the medical examiner releasing the autopsy report -- but BK's brother Landon Brown says the family's focus is celebrating Bobbi's life.

Landon tells us Bobbi's friends and family will be gathering at a private residence in L.A. tonight to share memories and talk about the good times. We're told Bobbi's siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles will be there but her father, Bobby Brown, will most likely not be attending.

We're told her relatives in Atlanta have a similar evening planned.

Landon released a song Friday about his sister as a way to honor her memory. He tells us he recorded it in the hospital while he was staying with Bobbi during the months she remained in a coma. Landon says he recorded it next to her bedside, hoping she'd hear the song.

Nick Gordon's legal team also spoke out today, saying Nick feels vindicated by the autopsy findings.

'Star Wars' R2-D2 Creator Dead

3/4/2016 7:05 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0303-Tony-Dyson_Tony-DysoncomTony Dyson, the man behind the birth of 'Star Wars' character R2-D2 has died.

Sources close to Dyson tell TMZ Tony was recently at a convention in Holland and flew back to Malta where he lives. We're told Tony's girlfriend became worried when she couldn't contact him so she called the cops. When police went to Tony's house, they found his body. 

Local reports say police are investigating, but at this time there's nothing suspicious about his death.

Tony was the technician behind the creation of the R2-D2 robot for 'Star Wars: A New Hope' in the '70s. Tony also did robotics work on "Superman II" with Christopher Reeve and "Dragonslayer" in 1981.

He was 68 years old.

R.I.P.

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