Stephen Sondheim Broadway Legend, Songwriter, Composer Dies

Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim, famous for his song writing and music compositions, has died.

Stephen died Friday at his home in Roxbury, CT ... according to a New York Times report citing his lawyer, F. Richard Pappas.

The cause of death is currently unclear ... but it sounds sudden, because Stephen's lawyer says he had celebrated Thanksgiving dinner with his friends in the area.

Simply put, Stephen is the godfather of the American musical ... writing lyrics for famous plays like "West Side Story" plus "Follies," "Into The Woods," "Pacific Overtures," "Sweeney Todd," "Company," "A Little Night Music," "Merrily We Roll Along," "Sunday in the Park With George," "Passion," "Assassins" and "Gypsy."

Stephen's decorated Broadway career includes three Tony awards, a lifetime achievement award from the Kennedy Center and a Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama.

In addition, his name now adorns the famous Broadway house in New York City formerly known as Henry Miller's Theater.

Stephen celebrated his 90th birthday in March 2020, but the pandemic postponed a Broadway revival of his famous "Company" ... though he was later honored by Broadway performers singing his famous songs.

SS recently got some movie love ... he's portrayed in the new Lin-Manuel Miranda movie "Tick, Tick...Boom!" which just dropped this week on Netflix ... with Bradley Whitford playing the role.

Stephen was 91.

RIP

North Carolina Mall Shooting Gunshots Send Shoppers Running ... Scary Black Friday

FLEEING THE SCENE

Gunshots rang out at a shopping mall in North Carolina, sending Black Friday shoppers running for their lives ... and leaving multiple people injured.

The shooting went down at Southpoint Mall in Durham, N.C. ... where police say 3 people were struck by gunfire.

Naturally, the mall was super packed with folks coming through for Black Friday deals ... and the hail of bullets resulted in chaos, with people scrambling for cover as a stampede broke out.

A local reporter also captured video outside the mall, showing throngs of shoppers booking it to their cars to try to get the hell outta Dodge.

Police say one person is in custody, though others involved in the shooting managed to flee the scene. Cops say there is no active shooting threat.

Nevertheless, police are urging people to steer clear of the mall ... and the shopping center is closing up shop for the rest of the day.

Former 'X Factor' Star Thomas Wells Dead at 46

Thomas Wells, famous for singing on a ton of talent competition shows including 'X Factor,' is dead ... TMZ has learned.

Thomas died earlier this month following an accident while working on the job at a tire manufacturing plant in Oklahoma ... according to his wife, Jessica Wells.

We're told part of Thomas' body was caught in a machine, described to us as an automatic conveyer belt type of machine which did not stop, and he was rushed to a nearby hospital in Idabel, OK.

Thomas' wife says he was then airlifted to a bigger hospital in Tyler, Texas ... because doctors thought specialists in Tyler might be able to help him.

Ultimately, we're told Thomas died in the hospital in Tyler back on November 13.

You may have seen Thomas singing his heart out on TV ... he appeared on "America's Got Talent" as well as "The Voice" and "The Winner Is" ... in addition to 'X Factor.'

Thomas got into music at an early age, teaching himself to play instruments by ear and singing choir at church and in school in Oklahoma. He mostly sang hymns and contemporary music.

His wife of 17 years is remembering him as a unique person who always had a smile on his face and tried to make people laugh. She says he would sometimes bust out singing and didn't mind the spotlight.

Thomas was 46.

RIP

Alec Baldwin Lawyering Up Over 'Rust' Shooting ... Ready To Fight Civil Suits

Alec Baldwin is preparing for legal war ... hiring a lawyer for the civil lawsuits resulting from the fatal "Rust" movie shooting.

The "Rust" star and producer is lawyering up with Aaron S. Dyer of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman ... according to multiple reports.

Dyer, who spent almost seven years as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, will reportedly rep Alec plus Rust Movie Productions and the other production companies involved in the western.

As you know ... Alec pulled the trigger in the fatal shooting on set last month that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

The revolver was loaded with at least one live round ... though assistant director Dave Halls announced it was a "cold" gun -- meaning no live ammo -- before handing it over to Alec inside a church where they were practicing for a scene.

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"SHE WAS MY FRIEND"
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TMZ broke the story ... the key gaffer on "Rust" is already taking legal action against Alec, Halls and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed ... Serge Svetnoy is suing over the shooting, claiming the defendants' alleged negligence caused him severe emotional distress.

Remember ... Svetnoy claims the deadly bullet nearly hit him too, and says he was one of the first people who tended to Halyna while she was bleeding from her gunshot wound, trying to comfort her and keep her conscious.

Alec is also named in another suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, who claims she suffered emotional and physical injuries when AB shot Halyna.

All eyes are now on Halyna's family ... as they have yet to file suit.

Channing Tatum Who Wants My Kid's Lemonade ... Zooey Deschanel Does!!!

BUSINESS IS BOOMING
BACKGRID / SplashNews.com

Channing Tatum is logging some quality time with his daughter ... selling lemonade by the side of the road and serving a very famous customer in Zooey Deschanel!!!

The "Magic Mike" star helped his little girl, Everly, open a lemonade stand Friday in Los Angeles ... wrangling in customers with some homemade signs and balloons.

Channing and Everly, who he shares with estranged wife Jenna Dewan, are calling the pop-up stand Evie's Lemies ... and daddy was dancing around and twirling their painted yellow and purple sign.

The dude's got skills ... Channing's sign-twirling looks like it caught Zooey's eye ... the actress stopped by for some fresh lemonade with her boyfriend, "Property Brothers" star Jonathan Scott.

TMZ broke the story ... Channing and Jenna finally worked out a parenting schedule in February 2020, putting an end to one of the nastier parts of their divorce, and they alternate holidays.

Jenna had Everly on Thanksgiving, and now Channing's getting his turn for some family fun.

Ye 'Memba This Kiss, Kim?!? Talks Alcohol, Mental Health & MAGA in Prayer

Ye is putting on a full-court, very public press to patch things up with his currently estranged wife, Kim Kardashian -- he's using old photos, and confessing to his failures as a husband ... all in hopes of getting her back.

The man formerly known as Kanye West is feeling some sorta way about an old pic of himself and the missus kissing -- he posted the black and white image on his IG story Friday morning. We'll get back to that in a moment, but he did something else extraordinary on his social media.

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Ye posted what he called his Thanksgiving prayer on Thursday evening. He warned it would be "super super super super super long," and then over 5 minutes he confessed to drinking too much, letting his ego and temper get the best of him and even to being a "self-righteous Christian."

In the earnest speech he goes back and forth between jokingly poking fun at himself -- "I was arrogant with my Jesus. Like I had just got me some Jesus at the Gucci store with a stimulus check" -- to dead serious.

Ye admitted, "Good Lord, my wife did not like me wearing the red [MAGA] hat. Being a good wife, she just wanted to protect me and our family. I made me and our family a target by not aligning with Hollywood's political stance, and that was hard for our marriage."

The earnest and revealing prayer came one day after he publicly declared God would help him and Kim come back together.

As we previously reported, Ye stopped by the L.A. Mission on Wednesday, and grabbed a mic to let everyone know he was keeping faith that God will help repair things between Kim and himself. In fact, Ye attached our headline from that story to his posting of the old kissing shot.

As for that B&W pic? It dates all the way back to September 2019, when Kimye and their kids had taken a family vacay to the Bahamas. Kim posted it back then but, mysteriously, deleted it moments later. Clearly, Ye did not delete it from his memory.

Of course, Mr. West's pining for his wife comes just as she's feeling more and more at ease with Pete Davidson in public. Earlier this week, they were spotted at dinner in Santa Monica ... where Pete was sporting a hickey on his neck.

Kanye has been linked to Irina Shayk and 22-year-old model Vinetria since Kim filed for divorce in February -- but right now he seems laser-focused on saving the marriage.

Cowboys Game Brawl Women Throw Down at Concession Stand ... Nacho Fast, Bitch!!!

CONCESSION CALAMITY

The penalties in the Raiders-Cowboys game were nothing compared to what went down at a concession stand -- at least 3 women throwing, and landing, big punches in an ugly brawl.

So much for all that Thanksgiving spirit crap ... these ladies clearly checked theirs at the door Thursday when they entered AT&T Stadium. From the video, all we can tell is something or someone pissed off a female staffer serving refreshments ... because she hurled herself over the counter, ready to fight.

Unfortunately for her, the floor was covered in nachos, so she slipped down ... giving her opponent a chance to punch her square in the face!!! Ball caps and the combatants' long hair went flying.

As the fight raged on, at least one other woman and a male concession worker made some feeble attempts to break it up.

Cops tell TMZ ... there was a lot of this sorta thing happening during the game. They made several arrests for intoxication, but it's unclear if either of these women were taken into custody.

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Maybe it's overly passionate fans returning to stadiums post-quarantine, or maybe it's fans being overly served ... but we've seen some gnarly fights at NFL games lately. Earlier this month a Titans fan was hurled down several rows at SoFi Stadium during a wild brawl at a Rams game.

BTW, if you were stuffing your face and missed it ... the Cowboys lost their game in OT. So, it's a good bet there were more pissed-off fans fighting in the parking lot.

'WHERE WE BOUT TO EAT AT' Kid Mom Wants To Honor Him With Restaurant!!!

Antwain Fowler -- the viral kiddo who famously asked "where we bout to eat at?" -- could soon have a restaurant opened in his honor ... that's the big plan from the late kid's mother.

Christina Burns, Antwain's mother, tells TMZ ... his GoFundMe was created in March during one of his many stays in the hospital and it's now raised $72,000, with $22k being donated since he passed away on Sunday. She wants to put the money towards keeping his legacy alive, in the form of a restaurant called, "Where We Bout To Eat At."

Antwain's mom says the $22k raised in the past few days will be put towards kickstarting the business, with the other $50k helping pay off Antwain's hospital bills and other family expenses. Christina says she will help create the menu, but needs help managing the other aspects of a restaurant. The menu will be versatile with seafood, chicken and other grub -- so you won't have to look much further when you're asked "where we bout to eat at?"

The viral sensation had a ton of catchphrases, which will be reflected on the menu ... for example, Antwain's mom is already planning some "You Have Cheese Like Me" mozzarella sticks.

After Antwain went viral, his mom says she tried starting a seafood truck biz ... but after mapping things out, she just didn't have the time to commit to getting the biz up and running because she was busy taking care of him and her other 3 children.

As we reported ... Antwain died Nov. 21 after fighting a rare autoimmune deficiency his mother says caused him to be consistently in and out of the hospital ever since he was 4 months old. He was only 6.

His mom is shedding more light on his death ... she says Antwain was home when she heard his ventilator sounding off an alarm. Typically, Antwain alerts his family when he's experiencing pain or has trouble breathing, but this time he was silent.

Antwain's mom says police and an ambulance responded to their home and attempted to resuscitate him, but had no luck ... he was taken to a hospital where doctors fought to keep him alive, but were ultimately unable to.

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A week before he passed, Christina says Antwain was having the time of his life at a local ice cream shop in Miami. COVID made it difficult for Antwain to socialize, but the shop made special accommodations for him and he couldn't wipe the smile off his face.

COVID Pandemic New Variant Could Make Vaccine 40% Less Effective ... President Biden Acts

11:14 AM PT -- President Biden looks like he's taking the new COVID variant seriously ... because he's restricting travel from countries in the area where the new strain is cropping up.

Biden will restrict travel, starting Monday, from 8 African nations ... most notably, South Africa. Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are also on the list, according to CNN.

POTUS, who was briefed Friday on the new variant, is reportedly acting on advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the CDC.

Bad news -- possibly REALLY bad news -- there's a new COVID variant that has some countries in a panic ... a variant that may make the vaccine WAY less effective.

The new strain turned up in South Africa, but it's also been detected in Belgium, Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel. As everyone knows by now, this virus knows no boundaries, so it's become a concern worldwide.

Some scientists are saying the variant makes the vaccine 40% less effective, which is beyond alarming. The hope was the Delta variant would wane after the first few months of 2022 and the pandemic would be behind us, but this new strain poses a real threat.

A bunch of countries -- including Britain, Israel, Germany and Italy -- have banned flights from South Africa, but the U.S. is still allowing planes from that country to land here. The U.S. has still listed South Africa as "Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19."

Dr. Eric Feigle-Ding sounded the alarm in a tweet -- "My god—the new #B11259 variant being possibly ~500% more competitively infectious is the most staggering stat yet. Also, #NuVariant has more than >2x the number of bad spike mutations than Delta." Scary.

Short story ... there's concern this strain spreads way more easily than what we've already seen. That said, it's unclear if the strain is more severe than the strains we've all been dealing with over the last year-and-a-half.

Dr. Fauci says there's no evidence the variant has made its way to the U.S. ... at least not yet.

Originally Published -- 7:53 AM PT

Tiffany Haddish Serves Up Turkey for Thanksgiving ... A Few XMAS Suggestions, Too!!!

GIVE TIME, NOT GIFTS
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Tiffany Haddish spent ThanksGIVING ... GIVING.

Tiffany served up some turkey dinners for some of the folks who were struggling this holiday at The Laugh Factory in WeHo. She knows their situation all too well ... Tiffany has been homeless and she's never forgotten people in her past situation.

Our photog wanted to know how the supply shortage is affecting her XMAS, and she has an interesting take. Tiff doesn't give traditional presents, because she thinks it misses the point.

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When you listen ... it's clear her focus is on the less fortunate, and the things she gives are necessary and clearly appreciated.

Well, there's one present that's homegrown that may be for everyone in her life ... supply chain crisis be damned!

BTW ... lots of other comedians joined Tiffany at The Laugh Factory -- Dane Cook, Paul Rodriguez, Tom Dreesen, Thom Tran and Frazer Smith.

The Laugh Factory has made this an annual event for decades, and it's an awesome place to get a meal and share a laugh.

LeBron James Calls 'Bulls***' on Suspension

LeBron James seems furious he was booted from a game and then suspended, saying he never intended to bloody an opponent.

LeBron calls, "bulls***" on officials who took action against him, for elbowing Detroit Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart last Sunday.

The injury was gnarly, and Isaiah went after LeBron, sending both men back to the locker room. Officials called the elbow intentional.

LeBron begs to differ, calling the incident accidental ... adding he simply "grazed" Stewart's face.

LeBron said, "His elbow got kinda high, got me off balance a little bit. His elbow lifted my arm. I basically tried to swim move down on his arm. When I went down on his arm, he got off balance, and the left side of my hand grazed his face ... definitely accidental."

He said he could understand why he was booted from the game, but really kind of blamed Stewart, saying, "I thought it warranted an ejection because of what happened after that" -- referring to the fight, adding, "But a suspension, I didn't think it was warranted. But, the league made that call."

He told ESPN's Dave Menamin,  "I mean, it's some bulls***. But, whatever."

Seth Rogen Slammed Over YouTuber's Car Burglary

The Twitter posse is at it again ... this time trying to cancel Seth Rogen for daring to call out a YouTuber who called Seth's stomping ground a "crime riddled 3rd world s***hole of a city."

Seth saw a post from Casey Neistat, who groused that his car had been burglarized and then added some choice comments about the City of Angels. He said his 7-year-old daughter's birthday party decorations were taken and the burglar left bloody handprints on the car.

Rogan responded, "Dude, I've lived here for over 20 years. You're nuts haha. It's lovely here. Don't leave anything valuable in it. It's called living in a big city."

Neistat fired back, saying he felt violated and wanted to know if he's allowed to be mad. Seth's response -- "You can be mad but I guess I don't personally view my car as an extension of myself and I've never really felt violated any of the 15 or so times my car was broken into," adding, "Once a guy accidentally left a cool knife in my car so if it keeps happening you might get a little treat."

That sent some cancelers into orbit, slamming Seth for acting "privileged." True, not everyone can blow off a car burglary, but Seth was responding to someone who is also a multimillionaire.

Truth be told ... L.A. is getting hammered by crime, including a massive number of burglaries -- 10,000+ in 2021, with car burglaries up 10%.

And, the new phenomenon -- looting luxury stories in broad daylight -- has also become a big problem in L.A. as well as other cities. The day before Thanksgiving, a "looting gang" hit a Nordstrom in L.A.

National Dog Show Claire Slays Again!!! Second Title in a Row

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NBC Sports

History repeated itself on Turkey Day, when a pooch snagged back-to-back championship titles at the National Dog Show.

Her name is Claire -- a Scottish Deerhound -- and she killed again when she was named Best in Show. It's the first time in its 20-year-history the org doled out the trophy twice in a row to the same canine.

It was a doggie breath of fresh air, with a vaccinated crowd showing love for the various 4-legged contestants, but it was all about Claire. The event went down at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.

There was more than a trophy on the line. Claire's owner, Angela Lloyd, snagged $20k.

As for those Claire left in the dust, MM, a Lakeland Terrier, Jade, a German Shorthaired Pointer, Mo'Ne, a Kuvasz, and then there's Winter, a Bulldog.

Unlike "The Bachelor," The National Dog Show sticks with its hosts. John O'Hurley and David Frei have fronted the show for its entire 20-year run.

Congrats, Claire!!!

Camila Cabello Hollywood Hills Home in Escrow

Camila Cabello is single and ready to mingle ... somewhere outside the Hollywood Hills -- she's found a buyer for her beautiful estate above the Sunset Strip.

The "Havana" singer was asking $3,950,000 for her 4-bedroom pad. She has accepted the initial offer, but the deal still has some contingencies, so it's not exactly a total lock ... at least not yet anyway, but it's on track to closing.

Camila's soon-to-be-former place is 3,570 square feet ... and comes decked out with a saltwater swimming pool, BBQ area, fire pit and a state-of-the-art recording studio with a professional vocal booth.

If the new owner doesn't sing already, they've got all the tools to learn.

The master suite has a fireplace and walk-in closet ... and the gourmet kitchen is outfitted with stone counters, a breakfast bar and stainless steel appliances. There's also a laundry room and a 2-car garage.

Camila put the home on the market earlier this month, right before she and Shawn Mendes announced their split.

Denise Rosner of Compass holds the listing.

Iman Shumpert The League And I Didn't Break Up ... I'm Still An NBA Player!!!

BREAK... NOT A BREAK-UP
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Iman Shumpert might've been focusing on mirror balls more than basketballs recently, but the NBA champ says he's NOT done hooping ... telling TMZ Sports he's got a lot left in his tank.

We caught up with the 31-year-old fresh off winning the 30th season of "Dancing With the Stars" this week ... and we asked with all the moves he displayed on the dancefloor, is he going to take his talents back to the basketball court??

"Tryna see what we can get done," Shumpert said, "I love basketball. I never stopped playing."

"They call me a 'former', 'ex' but I told them the league just didn't pay me this year."

The reason for the past tense verbiage is 'cause Shumpert hasn't played a game since Feb. 23, 2021 ... when he was a member of the Brooklyn Nets. He scored 2 points in 6 minutes during that game.

But, he insists he's still an NBA player saying, "it's not an 'ex' thing. Me and the league didn't break up!"

Now that 'DWTS' is over, we could see Shumpert in a jersey again soon -- the guard's been in the league since 2011 ... winning an NBA title in 2016 with LeBron James and the Cavs, making more than $48 million in his career.

BTW, you remember his wife is singer/dancer Teyana Taylor, right? We had to ask if winning 'DWTS' automatically makes him better than her. His response is hilarious!!!

Sleeping Stars Nap Game On Lock!

We know after a long day of stuffing yourself full of celebration, family, friends and most importantly turkey ... the day after Thanksgiving can feel like such a snooze!

You're not the only ones happily counting sheep ... sleepy stars like Nick Jonas, Jessica Simpson, Selena Gomez, and Phillip Phillips are also enjoying their zzz's and shared their snooze on social media!

Halle Berry, Lea Michele, and James Van Der Beek are just a few other celebrities in need of a nap and rested their Hollywood heads on their little a-list pillows.

Don't sleep on this gallery of stars catching some shut-eye!

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