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MMA's Jordan Parsons Bellator Helping Pay Funeral Costs

5/6/2016 11:08 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0506-parsons-bellator-instagram-03The Bellator MMA company says it has "plans to help cover the costs" for the funeral of Bellator fighter Jordan Parsons, who died Wednesday after being struck in a hit-and-run incident. 

Parsons' manager has said the fighter didn't have a lot of money when he died -- and with huge medical expenses and funeral costs ... Bellator says it wants to help ease the burden on his family. 

A GoFundMe page for Parsons raised $36k to cover doctor bills and other costs. If there is money left over, Parsons' manager says the funds will be donated to a cause in Jordan's name. 

Jordan had been fighting with Bellator since 2014. He was killed after bring struck by a Range Ranger in Florida on Sunday. Officials are still trying to find the driver. 

Parsons was 25. 

'American Idol' Finalist Killed In Car Crash

5/6/2016 9:07 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0506-ricky-smith-crash-fox-01Former "American Idol" finalist Rickey Smith was killed Thursday night in a multi-car highway wreck in Oklahoma.

Smith was on I-240 just outside Oklahoma City when, according to reports, another man driving the wrong way on the interstate slammed head-on into Smith's vehicle. Cops say the other driver was hospitalized and booked for DUI.

Smith competed on the second season of 'Idol,' and finished in eighth place. Ruben Studdard took the title that year.

Rickey was 36. 

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MMA Fighter Blas Avena 'Death Investigated As Suicide' ...Cops Say

5/6/2016 6:07 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0505_blas-arena_twitterThe death of former MMA fighter Blas Avena -- who last fought War Machine at Bellator 96 -- is being investigated as a suicide ... Las Vegas Metro Police tell TMZ Sports.

32-year-old Avena was found dead around 11:36 AM Wednesday morning in his Las Vegas apartment. 

A spokesman for the LVMPD tells us, "Arriving police and medical personnel located an adult male who was pronounced deceased at the scene.  As of now, the death is being investigated as a suicide."

We're told an autopsy took place earlier this week -- but officials won't name an official cause of death until further tests are completed. 

Stephanie McMahon Chyna Will Be In HOF ... 'At Some Point'

5/6/2016 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Fear not, wrestling fans ... pro wrestling legend Chyna WILL be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, so says WWE honcho Stephanie McMahon who tells TMZ Sports it's only a matter of time.

After Chyna passed away last month, McMahon called her a "pioneer in our industry" -- and fans wanted to know when she'll be enshrined among the greatest in her sport.

Everyone knows the HOF was extremely important to Chyna -- and people close to her claim she was depressed about the snub before she passed away. 

So when we saw Steph in NYC Thursday, we had to ask if plans were in motion. 

"I'm SURE that we will see Chyna in the Hall of Fame at some point in the future. I'm not sure exactly what year that will be, but there's no denying her contributions to WWE."

There's more ... we also talk about fellow WWE HOFer Donald Trump -- and if Steph thinks WWE fans will show up in force to help get him elected. 

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Prince DEA Investigating Drugs Front and Center

5/4/2016 2:01 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

502-prince-getty-03The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration is now involved in the death investigation of Prince, and our law enforcement sources say drugs are the focal point of the criminal probe.

Our sources say the DEA and the Minnesota Attorney General are looking into the various prescriptions that were written for Prince, and the focus is opiates. Prince had a life-threatening Percocet addiction and authorities believe opiates will likely be either the sole or at least a significant factor in his death.

Our sources say the investigation is sweeping ... doctors and pharmacies involved in prescribing and filling meds for Prince are targeted, but possible enablers are also in the crosshairs.

Our sources now say the toxicology report may still be weeks away, although it was initially set to be released 2 weeks after the autopsy.  

We know at least one doctor was a friend of the singer, but we're told the investigation is much broader. 

MMA Fighter Jordan Parsons Dies After Hit and Run Incident

5/4/2016 11:29 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0504-jordan-parsons-twitter-01MMA fighter Jordan Parsons has died ... days after he was struck by a Range Rover in a hit and run incident in Florida. He was 25. 

"It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of a dear member of the Bellator family, Jordan Parsons," Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said in a statement.

Parsons was 11-2 as an MMA fighter -- and was a part of the famed Blackzilians training group with stars like Anthony "Rumble" Johnson and Rashad Evans. 

"Jordan was an exceptional athlete and a rising star in the sport. But more importantly, he was an exceptional young man," Coker added. 

"Jordan was hard-working, dedicated, intelligent, and a pleasure to be around. He represented all the reasons we love this sport. It is a terribly tragic loss and our thought and prayers go out to his family, friends and teammates."

Parsons was struck by the car while crossing a street early Sunday morning. Officials believe Parsons may have been wearing headphones and was unable to hear the car approaching. 

Cops are still looking for the driver of the car that hit Parsons and have vowed to prosecute that person to the fullest extent of the law. 

Story developing ... 

Prince Addiction Specialist Had Pills in Backpack

5/4/2016 10:24 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

The addiction specialist who was at Prince's house the day he died brought a backpack containing a synthetic opiate ... and his criminal defense lawyer now insists he should not be prosecuted.

Prince's people called Dr. Howard Kornfeld the day before the singer died, saying they believed Prince was on the verge of dying from drugs. Prince was apparently on board to get help, but the doctor said it would be 2 days before he could get there.  

Dr. Kornfeld sent his son, Andrew, who worked at their facility -- Recovery Without Walls. Andrew flew out early and was at Prince's home the day he died. 

0504_DR_KORNFELD_SUB_recoverywithoutwallSAndrew's lawyer, William Mauzy, just said Andrew did not supply Prince with any drugs, although he did have synthetic opiates in his backpack. The drug is called buprenorphine, a synthetic opiate for pain management and to wean people off actual opiates. 

 It was Andrew who called 911 after the staff found Prince unconscious in the elevator.

Attorney Mauzy made an odd comment, suggesting prosecutors may be targeting Andrew for some sort of criminal charge. Mauzy said the 911 call would not subject his client to prosecution under the Good Samaritan law. It's unclear why the call is even relevant. What seems obviously more important is the drugs in the backpack. 

Prince Scheduled to Meet with Addiction Dr. Day After Death

5/4/2016 6:12 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

502-prince-getty-05Prince was supposed to meet with a doctor specializing in addiction treatment the day after he died ... to deal with a "grave medical condition."

Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a national authority on opioid addiction, could not clear his schedule on April 21st, so he sent his son, Andrew, to meet with the singer ... this according to the Star Tribune. 

Dr. Kornfeld was supposed to come the following day, and his son -- who works with him at the Recovery Without Walls clinic -- was going to outline the course of treatment. Andrew is the person who called 911 to report Prince was lifeless in the elevator.

According to the report, Dr. Kornfeld was initially contacted by one of Prince's reps, who said the singer "was dealing with a grave medical emergency."

TMZ was the first media outlet to break the story ... Prince almost died from an overdose of Percocet 6 days before he was found in the elevator.  

Afeni Shakur Smarter Than Prince ... Tupac's Money and Music Protected

5/4/2016 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0503_tupac_Afeni-Shakur_gettyTupac's mother guarded his music and financial legacy in life, and TMZ has learned Afeni Shakur took extraordinary steps to do the same in death.

Afeni had set up a trust to control all of Tupac's music rights, and a rep for his estate tells us the paperwork is flawless. She also named the perfect executor, Tom Whalley -- former head of Warner Bros. Records -- to handle Tupac's valuable catalog.

We're told the trust is very specific about heirs, and the money is going to select charities and family. Afeni is survived by her sister, Gloria, and a daughter, Sekyiwa Shakur ... Tupac's half sister. 

Her estranged husband, Gust Davis, is not mentioned in the trust -- so Tupac's money and music will be virtually untouchable in that divorce

Interestingly, Tupac's mother was repped by attorney Howard King, who also worked with Prince years ago. He says Prince hated dealing with paperwork and rarely listened to advisors, but Afeni was the exact opposite -- which is why there shouldn't be any legal battles over Tupac's fortune. 

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Talladega Superspeedway 2 Dead Bodies Found After Race

5/3/2016 7:39 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0503-talledega-speedway-GETTY-01Two dead bodies were discovered in a trailer at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday -- following a NASCAR race ... officials say. 

Investigators are currently trying to figure out what killed the two men -- who appeared to have been dead for roughly 6 or 7 hours when they were discovered Sunday afternoon in the campground area of the speedway. 

We're told there was a 3rd person who was in town with the men for the event -- and that person discovered the bodies when he had returned to the trailer after the race. 

Officials say they do not suspect foul play. We're also told it does not appear to be a case of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

We spoke with the coroner and asked if drugs or alcohol were involved -- we were told to contact law enforcement. So far, no comment from cops. 

We're told the bodies have been sent to a state facility to determine cause of death.

Tupac's Mom Afeni Shakur Dead at 69

5/3/2016 5:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0503-afeni-shakur-getty-02update_graphic_red_bar12:22 PM PST -- The Marin County Sheriff's Office tells TMZ shortly before an ambulance was called Afeni expressed she had physical pain. She was with two other people who tried CPR after she fell unresponsive until paramedics arrived.update_grey_gray_barTupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, died late Monday night ... possibly from a heart attack.

The Marin County Sheriff's Department says it responded to Afeni's Sausalito, CA home Monday around 9:43 PM for a report of a cardiac arrest. She was transported to a hospital ... where she was pronounced dead at 10:28 PM.

Afeni was a philanthropist, founding and running the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation after her son's death. She was also a Black Panther ... and defended herself in court when she was accused of multiple bombings in 1970.

As keeper of all things Tupac, Afeni greenlit the biopic, "All Eyez on Me" ... which just recently wrapped filming.

As TMZ first reported ... she was in the middle of an ugly divorce battle -- her estranged husband is demanding $10k per month ... for life. 

The Marin County Sheriff says the coroner will investigate to determine the exact cause of Afeni's death.

She was 69 years old.

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Kid Rock 911 Operator Defended by Bosses

5/2/2016 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

429-kid-rock-tmzThe 911 operator who painfully procrastinated while Kid Rock and his girlfriend made a desperate plea for an ambulance was rock solid and right ... so say her bosses.

It's difficult to hear. Kid Rock pleads with the dispatcher to send help for his assistant who appears to be dead after getting into an accident on the singer's ATV, but the dispatcher asks a slew of questions before sending help, some of which make no sense. You hear both Kid Rock and the girlfriend say the man appears dead, and then the dispatcher asks, "Is he awake?"

A rep for the Nashville Emergency Communications Center tells us the dispatcher was following protocol ... adding the agency must protect first responders, so the dispatcher won't send them until he or she is convinced the EMTs aren't putting their lives on the line.

Turns out the ambulance did no good ... KR's assistant, ​Michael Sacha​, was already dead when he called.

Lisa Ann Chyna Didn't Belong In Porn 'She Was Bigger Than Us'

5/2/2016 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Chyna was a larger than life icon who should've never done porn ... that's according to one of her co-stars Lisa Ann ... who says the bang biz was too dark a place for the late WWE star.

FYI, Lisa Ann starred in the XXX movie "Chyna Is Queen Of The Ring" back in 2012 ... and Lisa says her heart sank as soon as she saw the WWE legend on set.

"Porn wasn't an element for her, she was so much bigger than us ... it's a bottom feeding situation where people will take advantage of people when they're weak."

It's pretty compelling stuff ... Lisa -- who recently detailed her relationship with Chyna in Stashed magazine -- goes on to say there should have been someone ... ANYONE ... in Chyna's life willing to give her a hand financially so she didn't have to bang on camera.

Check out the clip.

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