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Joe Cocker

Dies From Lung Cancer

12/22/2014 10:28 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

1222-joe-cocker-getty-01Joe Cocker -- the gravely-voiced singer known for his version of "With a Little Help From My Friends" -- died today after battling a lung cancer ... according to his agent.

Cocker was reportedly on his ranch in Colorado with his wife when he passed away. 

Cocker's cover of the Beatles 'Help From My Friends' made him an international superstar in 1968. He went on to have several other huge hits, like "You are So Beautiful" in 1975 -- and his duet with Jennifer Warnes ... "Up Where We Belong." That song earned him a Grammy in 1983.

Joe's Woodstock performance was legendary. He was 70 years old. 

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Casey Kasem

Buried in Norway

... FINALLY

12/22/2014 10:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

1222-casey-kasem-getty-01Casey Kasem was finally laid to rest ... 6 months after he died.

It's the end of what turned into an international power struggle between Casey's wife, Jean, and his children.  

We've learned the famed DJ was buried last Tuesday at the Vestre Gravlund, one of the largest cemeteries in Norway. We're told there was a small ceremony ... we don't know if Jean was there but we're told his kids were not. Casey's children didn't know he was even buried until Monday. 

The burial is legally significant. The LAPD has been conducting an elder abuse investigation after Casey's kids filed a police report claiming Jean caused Casey to get a fatal infection during a wild, multi-state car ride.

The body has been rotting away for months -- for a long period of time it wasn't even embalmed. The decay and now the burial in a foreign land will make it virtually impossible for L.A. authorities to make a solid determination on whether the bed sores contributed to Casey's death.

RIP Casey ... finally.

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'Dallas' Star Larry Hagman

R.I.P. ... But Only After You Pay Up

12/21/2014 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Legendary actor and "Dallas" star Larry Hagman broke his word by dying ... and now a guy who says he was left high and dry wants the ghost of Larry to ante up.

John Castonia claims he was lured from Texas to Cali in 2012, to manage Hagman's career as he shot the "Dallas" remake for TNT. But John was no fool ... he says he got a 7-month guarantee in his contract -- $2,500 a week.

Here's the problem. Larry died 3 months into the deal, and the money train stopped. So now he's suing Larry's estate for the remaining $42,500.  

The Ewings might handle this differently. 

Larry Hagman Death

Floyd Mayweather

Footing the Bill

for Murderer's Funeral

12/20/2014 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Floyd Mayweather Paying Earl Hayes Funeral
Floyd Mayweather is putting aside some brutal facts and paying for the funeral of the rapper who gunned down his wife in the bathtub and then shot himself.

We're told Floyd thinks Earl Hayes' family deserves a proper funeral, despite the horrific thing he did.

TMZ broke the story ... Floyd was FaceTiming with Hayes earlier this month when the rapper snapped as they discussed how his wife, "Hit the Floor" star Stephanie Moseley was cheating on him. He went in the bathroom and pumped 10-12 shots as she lay in the tub. He then killed himself.

We don't know if Floyd foot the bill for Stephanie's funeral Friday in Canada. Floyd was urging Hayes to dump her just before he lost it.

Hayes' funeral is set for today.

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Oscar Taveras

Cards Fan Giving Up Memorabilia Stash

To Help Oscar's Family

12/17/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Oscar Taveras Memorabilia AuctionThe family of late Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras has some cash headed their way ... all thanks to a longtime fan who's auctioning off his treasured souvenirs. 

Taveras got his first taste of the majors this season, but he made a huge impression on a Cards fan. TMZ Sports has learned the guy -- who wants to remain anonymous -- bought a bunch of Taveras memorabilia ... just one day before the 22-year-old died in a car accident.

We're told the items include -- Oscar's first home run ball, cleats from his first big league game, and a game worn post-season jersey ... all autographed and going up for auction.

We're told the fan decided to unload the merch through Goldin Auctions -- so he can donate all the profits to Oscar's family in the Dominican Republic. The auction will open on January 12th.

There's a reason Cardinals fans are known as the best in baseball.

Joan Rivers

Clinic Overhauls Procedures

To Avoid Repeat Tragedies

12/16/2014 12:25 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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The clinic where Joan Rivers' throat procedure turned deadly ... just filed a plan to make a slew of major changes to avoid getting shut down by the feds.

According to docs obtained by TMZ ... Yorkville Endoscopy is responding to flaws found by the Department of Health and Human services ... by making several upgrades to its procedures.

Among the changes:
- Stricter procedures to credential physicians and observers who are admitted into operating rooms
- The clinic has to perform a full assessment of a patient's weight, allergies, and medical history before administering Propofol 
- Supplemental oxygen should be routinely used and immediately available for patients sedated with Propofol
- Anesthesiologists must check vital signs at least every 5 minutes for patients sedated with Propofol
- Unscheduled drills to resuscitate patients using defibrillators/crash carts will be run 4 times a year

Most of the changes relate directly to problems the agency found at the clinic while investigating Joan's death. The Dept. of HHS has signed off on Yorkville's plan.

Yorkville officials had been given a January deadline to get this done ... or the feds could have closed down the clinic.

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Floyd Mayweather

Tells Cops

I Heard the Murder/Suicide

12/11/2014 9:28 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Floyd Mayweather
finally sat down with the LAPD for a 2-hour interview Wednesday, telling detectives he desperately tried talking his good friend, rapper Earl Hayes, out of killing himself.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Floyd confirmed the story first reported on TMZ ... that he was on FaceTime Monday morning with Hayes when the rapper walked away from the phone, into the bathroom and pumped multiple bullets into his wife, Stephanie Moseley.

Floyd told detectives after Hayes shot his wife, he came back to the phone and continued talking with Floyd. The boxer says Hayes said he was going to shoot himself and Mayweather pleaded with him ... to no avail.

As for what happened before shots rang out ... Mayweather acknowledged he was talking with Hayes about Stephanie's infidelity, but denies riling the rapper up.

Detectives asked Floyd why Hayes called him at 7 AM. Mayweather said it was because they were best friends and Hayes was trying to say goodbye.

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Floyd Mayweather

I Don't Wanna Talk About Murder/Suicide

12/11/2014 6:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

121114_floyd_mayweather_jr_launchFloyd Mayweather wants to be seen -- going out to a major celebrity event in L.A. for the 3rd night in a row -- but he REFUSES to talk about the murder/suicide he witnessed on FaceTime. 

The boxer -- along with model Liza Hernandez -- went to the Runway Wonderland 2014 fundraiser last night to benefit children in need ... and was asked repeatedly about the incident involving his friend Earl Hayes

But despite the fact he was at another event that was heavily covered by media, Floyd's lips were sealed about the incident. As we previously reported, he's been "less than willing" to cooperate with police as well. 

There is one guy in the video who WAS willing to talk ... Floyd's massive bodyguard -- who hilariously corrects our photog when he incorrectly guessed his height.

VH1 Star, Rapper Murder-Suicide

Ridiculous Amount of Weed Recovered

12/10/2014 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Earl Hayes Weed
There was so much weed in the house where a rapper shot his famous wife Monday in a murder-suicide, it required an armed guard to protect the stash as it was taken to a police lab.

Law enforcement tells TMZ it's a significant twist to the tragedy. We broke the story ... rapper Earl Hayes shot and killed his wife, VH1 star Stephanie Moseley, in the bathtub and then turned the gun on himself. This all happened as Floyd Mayweather listened on FaceTime as his friend repeatedly fired shots.

We're told cops found nearly 10 pounds of high-grade marijuana inside the L.A. apartment. It's an enormous amount of pot ... way more than for personal use. The estimated street value approaches $40K.

As we reported, Mayweather was riling Hayes up during the call, telling him he should divorce his wife because she was habitually unfaithful ... allegedly having flings with various singers and rappers including Trey Songz. Hayes flew into a rage, walked into the bathroom and began firing.

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Floyd Mayweather

Continues to Grieve ...

In Courtside Lakers Seats

12/10/2014 6:38 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

1210-floyd-mayweather-lakers-gettyFor the second night in a row, Floyd Mayweather decided to deal with the murder/suicide involving his friend Earl Hayes by sitting courtside at a NBA game.

Floyd -- along with model Liza Hernandez -- went to Staples Center and sat on the hardwood to watch the Lakers take on the Sacramento Kings ... laughing and smiling as if nothing was wrong.

Shocking ... considering Mayweather witnessed the horrific incident on FaceTime -- and you'd think a public place like a NBA game would be the last place he'd want to be.

As we previously reported, cops want to speak with Mayweather about the incident. We're told police have reached out to Floyd's people ... but they've been "less than willing" to cooperate.

Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant walked on to the court last night with a shirt that read "I Can't Breathe" ... as a tribute to Eric Garner.

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Mary Ann Mobley

Ex-Miss America Dies from Breast Cancer

12/9/2014 5:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

1209_Mary-Ann-Mobley-gettyMary Ann Mobley -- one of the first Miss America winners to make it big in show business -- died on Tuesday in Beverly Hills after a long battle with breast cancer.

Mobley won the 1959 Miss America pageant before breaking into Hollywood. She appeared in several big movies in the '60s ... including "Girl Happy" and "Harum Scarum" with Elvis Presley

In 1967, Mary Ann married actor and TV host Gary Collins ... who passed away in 2012.

She went on to star in tons of TV shows through the '70s and '80s -- among them ... "Love, American Style," "Fantasy Island," "Diff'rent Strokes," and "Hotel."

Mobley was also famous for her humanitarian work with children in Cambodia, Ethiopia, and the Sudan.

Mary Ann's family says she will buried next week in her native Mississippi. She was 75.

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Earl Hayes

Rapped About Murder-Suicide

Four Years Ago

12/9/2014 2:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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Rapper Earl Hayes had thoughts of suicide long before killing his wife and himself on Monday -- back in 2010 he recorded a song with lines like, "I could just kill us both, go out with a smash."

The song was called "Suicide" and it was part of a mixtape Hayes put out called "The First 48" (which also happens to be an A&E show about murder investigations). 

It's pretty eerie ... in the song Hayes describes almost exactly the tragedy with his wife, VH1 star Stephanie Moseley:

Shoot your girlfriend or when you get surrounded by cops. 
F**k the real life shoot it out and do your time on the spot. 

Make a family crying with your girl and their hearstses. 
Take somebody with you who really didn't deserve it.
Show everybody that life just ain't perfect.
And when you get mad, it's time to close curtains,
Cuz this song is for you.

In another song ... "Introducing Hayes" ... he raps, "I want respect even if I got to die for it. Even if my family gotta stand over my casket and cry for it."

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Floyd Mayweather

Riled Up Killer Before Murder-Suicide

Dump Your Wife

12/9/2014 10:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Floyd Mayweather
whipped his friend Earl Hayes into a frenzy over his wife's infidelity ... to the point Hayes gunned her down ... and now the LAPD wants to sit the boxer down for questioning ... multiple sources tell TMZ.

TMZ broke the story ... Floyd was on FaceTime with his rapper friend Monday morning when the shots were fired. Now we're told, Floyd was telling Hayes he should leave his wife, Stephanie Moseley -- a well-known backup dancer and star of VH1's "Hit the Floor" -- because she was bad for his career.

As we reported, Hayes was distraught over what he believed was repeated infidelity, including a fling he said Stephanie had with Trey Songz.

One Mayweather source says Floyd challenged Hayes, saying he was weak for not leaving her.

At that point, as Floyd was on FaceTime, Hayes went off and said he was going to gun down Stephanie. We're told when the boxer realized Hayes was going to shoot Stephanie, he begged Hayes not to go through with it.

Our law enforcement sources say Hayes went into the bathroom and fired 10 to 12 shots as Stephanie was taking a bath. We're told she was hit multiple times.

Neighbors who heard the shots called the LAPD and cops rushed to the scene, but when they got to the door they heard another shot and retreated. That shot was Hayes taking his own life. 

The SWAT team showed up and broke down the door. Cops found Stephanie's body in the bathtub and Hayes was in the bedroom.

We're now told the LAPD wants to interview Floyd ... presumably because he was a witness to the murder-suicide.
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