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Prince Wanted Fans to Hear Music Vault ... Says Protege Shelby J

4/21/2017 4:26 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Prince absolutely wanted his mountain of unreleased music to be heard after his death ... this according to his friend and longtime protege, Shelby J.

Shelby told us -- on the first anniversary of Prince's death -- she distinctly remembers talking to him about the legendary vault of music he'd recorded ... some even with her. She says Prince was very clear about his wishes.

Prince's estate got a restraining order against the producer who tried to release a 5-track EP of previously unreleased tracks. But according to Shelby -- who worked with Prince for 10 years -- he'd be on board with "Deliverance," and much more, going public.

Cuba Gooding Jr. Working Through the Pain ... Filming with Jaden Smith

4/21/2017 1:00 PM PDT

Cuba Gooding Jr. coped with the pain of his dad's death by working on his movie with Jaden Smith.

They were in Toronto shooting Friday morning -- the day after Cuba Gooding Sr. passed away. Focusing on his work seemed to do Cuba some good as he managed a few smiles with Jaden between scenes.

His father -- 72-year-old Cuba Gooding Sr. -- was found dead in his car Thursday.

Cuba Jr. powered through a long day of filming "Life in a Year" when he got the news Thursday evening, but the emotion showed on his face.

'Hell's Kitchen' Star Died from Accidental Drug Overdose

4/21/2017 10:42 AM PDT
Breaking News

Paulie Giganti -- a star on "Hell's Kitchen" who was found dead in his home Thursday -- accidentally OD'd ... TMZ has confirmed.

The Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office tells us Giganti's body tested positive for drugs from a standard urine drug screen. The office wouldn't say which drug or drugs were found in the chef's body.

Law enforcement sources tell us cops got a call Thursday from a neighbor for a foul odor. When cops showed up, they found the door wide open and his body sprawled on the floor of his bedroom.

Giganti -- who famously feuded with Gordon Ramsay in season 16 -- was 36.

George Lopez & D.L. Hughley Get Charlie Murphy Tats DARKNESS!

4/21/2017 6:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Darkness lives on ... thanks to George Lopez and D.L. Hughley!

The comedians decided to get permanent tributes to their late friend, Charlie Murphy, Thursday night -- rolling into Fun City Tattoo in NYC to get CM's famous nickname inked on their hands.

Of course, Rick James gave Charlie the nickname back in the day -- and Charlie shared those stories during his "True Hollywood Stories" on "Chappelle's Show."

Lopez and Hughley had been in NYC for Murphy's funeral on Wednesday when they decided to get the tats. They were joined by close friends Bryan Kellen and Franco Porporino Jr.

Charlie passed away on April 12 after battling cancer. He was 57.


Sandy Gallin DEAD AT 76

4/21/2017 7:05 AM PDT
Breaking News


Sandy Gallin -- who repped the likes of Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Cher, Richard Pryor, Barbra Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg, Neil Diamond, Donny and Marie, and many, many others -- has died ... TMZ has learned.

Gallin was clinging to life at UCLA Medical Center where he was in ICU after suffering a relapse of multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.

The former powerful Hollywood manager's condition had deteriorated over the last few days to the point his closest friends -- including Calvin Klein, Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen and many others -- visited Sandy in the hospital.

Gallin's powerful clout in Hollywood transcended into politics as one of the Democratic party's driving forces ... raising millions for various candidates and causes. Gallin, who is gay, also lent huge support to gay rights legislation.

He also found success in real estate ... making untold millions as the house flipper to the stars.

Gallin was 76.

#RIP

Prince Anniversary Morris Day, Fans Celebrate His Life

4/21/2017 7:06 AM PDT

The first anniversary of Prince's death is marked by a couple of his favorite things -- new music, and his fans.

Fans gathered at Paisley Park, Prince's home and studio, on Thursday night as part of Celebration 2017 -- 4 days of concerts honoring the legend who died a year ago today. Huge bouquets of purple balloons flew outside the event.

And there's this ... Morris Day -- lead singer of The Time and Prince's nemesis in "Purple Rain" -- released a new song in his honor ... "Over That Rainbow."

Morris told Rolling Stone the last time he saw Prince, "I thought maybe something wasn't right. I thought, he looked thin, even though he always looks fragile. After he passed away, I just wondered if he knew something that he wasn't telling me. I just felt like he knew. Like he knew that something wasn't right."

#RIPPrince

Cuba Gooding Jr. Solemn on Set After Learning of Dad's Death

4/21/2017 6:37 AM PDT

Cuba Gooding Jr. showed his emotions on his face Thursday after learning his father had died.

TMZ broke the story ... Cuba Gooding Sr. was found dead Thursday in the San Fernando Valley ... slumped over in his car. Cops found alcohol and drug paraphernalia and believe he OD'd.

Cuba Jr. was filming "A Life in a Year" in Toronto, Canada when he learned his 72-year-old father had passed.

The photog who took the pics says Jaden Smith, who is co-starring in the movie, was comforting Cuba.

Cuba Gooding Sr. Dead at 72 ... Possible Overdose

4/20/2017 3:57 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Cuba Gooding Sr., a popular soul singer and father to the Oscar winner, was found dead Thursday in the San Fernando Valley ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us Cuba Gooding Jr.'s dad was slumped over in his silver Jaguar, parked on Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills, CA. We're told the fire department responded to the scene at 12:58 PM PT and attempted CPR, but could not resuscitate him.

We're told police found empty booze containers in the car, and suspect he died from an overdose.

Cuba Sr. was the lead singer of the '70s soul group The Main Ingredient, which had a huge hit in 1972 with "Everybody Plays the Fool."

He and his wife, Shirley, had 4 children together -- including actors Cuba and Omar. They split up in 1974, but remarried in 1995.

Cuba was 72.

#RIP

Aaron Hernandez Death Ruled Suicide By Hanging ... Suicide Notes Found

4/20/2017 1:23 PM PDT
Breaking News

Aaron Hernandez's death has been ruled a suicide by hanging by the medical examiner and officials say they recovered 3 handwritten suicide notes.

The Worcester District Attorney's Office issued a statement saying, "Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Henry N. Nields performed an autopsy on Mr. Hernandez on Wednesday and concluded today that the manner of death was suicide and the cause asphyxia by hanging."

Investigators also say they found "cardboard jammed into the door tracks of his single-inmate cell to impede entry into the cell."

"There were no signs of a struggle, and investigators determined that Mr. Hernandez was alone at the time of the hanging."

Investigators found three hand-written notes next to a Bible in the cell. We're told one of the notes addressed the general public, and the other 2 were written to specific people.

Now that the cause and manner of death have been determined, officials say Hernandez's brain will be released to Boston University’s CTE Center as Mr. Hernandez’s family wishes.

Charlie Murphy Very Funny Friends Celebrate His Life 'Darkness Is Spreading ...'

4/20/2017 8:39 AM PDT

Charlie Murphy was laid to rest in NYC and his memorial service looked like a comedy hall of fame.

Dave Chappelle, D.L. Hughley, George Lopez, Eddie Griffin, Cedric the Entertainer, Donnell Rawlings and Neal Brennan all gathered to honor Charlie. 

Donnell and Neal worked closely with Charlie on "Chappelle's Show" and there were many callbacks to his hysterical work on the Comedy Central classic.

For instance, Eddie Griffin captioned a pic from the service, "Darkness is spreading ... paying last respects to brother Charlie Murphy."

It's unclear if Eddie Murphy was at this particular service. He didn't appear in social media pics from the event. Charlie died last week after battling leukemia.

#RIP

Isaiah Thomas My Sister's Death 'Hardest Week of My Life'

4/19/2017 11:55 AM PDT
Breaking News

NBA superstar Isaiah Thomas says "the pain I am feeling right now is impossible to put into words" following his sister's fatal car crash.

Thomas' 22-year-old sister, Chyna, died Saturday in Tacoma, WA after her car violently slammed into a metal pole. Thomas -- who played in Game 1 and 2 of the Celtics' playoff series against the Bulls -- traveled home as the family prepares for the funeral and he's clearly grief-stricken.

He said, "I never could have imagined a day where my little sister, Chyna, wouldn't be here. She and my family are everything to me ... This has been without question the hardest week of my life."

Thomas went on to say he's overwhelmed by the love and support he's received from friends, fans, the City of Boston, the Celtics org and NBA community throughout.

He added, "I truly appreciate all of the support you've shown me the past several days and thank you for respecting my privacy as I continue to grieve and heal with my loved ones at this time."

Aaron Hernandez Was NOT Suicidal ... Lawyer Jose Baez Says

4/19/2017 7:19 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Aaron Hernandez's attorney, Jose Baez, tells TMZ Sports there were NO signs the ex-NFL star was suicidal in the days leading up to his death -- and now he's calling for a full investigation.

"We are shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron’s death," Baez tells us.

"There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated this scenario was a possibility."

"Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence. Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death."

"We request that authorities conduct a transparent and thorough investigation. The Baez law firm will participate in its own examination into the tragic events and will update the media and public on its finding when it becomes available."

Hernandez was discovered in his cell Wednesday morning. Officials say he hanged himself with a bedsheet.

Aaron Hernandez Commits Suicide In Prison Cell ... Officials Say

4/19/2017 4:17 AM PDT
Breaking News

Aaron Hernandez killed himself in his Massachusetts prison cell late Tuesday night using a bed sheet, this according to prison officials.

The 27-yr-old ex-NFL star had just been acquitted in a double murder case on Friday and his lawyer Jose Baez had told TMZ Sports he believed Hernandez had a real shot at getting a previous murder conviction overturned.

But Wednesday morning, officials at the maximum security Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Massachusetts found Aaron dead in his cell.

"Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window," a rep for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections said in a statement.

"Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items."

Officials say Hernandez was discovered at 3:05 AM on Wednesday morning, and they tried to save his life. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 AM.

A prison official told local news there does not appear to be a suicide note at the scene.

Aaron is survived by his 4-year-old daughter.

FYI, the Souza-Baranowski CC is considered one of the most high tech maximum security prisons in the country with hundreds of security cameras installed all over the facility.

Officials say they're investigating -- we're guessing there will be TONS of security footage to go through.

Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. He had also been on trial for killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado near a Boston nightclub in 2012 but was found not guilty of murder in that case.