Grace VanderWaal 'Stargirl' Making Bank ... $325k For Movies!!!

Grace VanderWaal isn't seeing stars, she's seeing dollar signs ... because we've learned she's getting paid a nice chunk of change for her lead role in "Stargirl."

The 17-year-old singer is off to a pretty strong start financially in her acting career after securing top billing in the Disney+ movie, "Stargirl." According to her minor's contract, obtained by TMZ, Grace took home a base salary of $125,000 for the first film, and it looks like she's got a bigger payday on the horizon for the upcoming sequel.

Grace is in line to double her earnings for the second 'Stargirl' movie ... the contract says she'll get paid a cool $250,000 to reprise her role as Stargirl Caraway, and Disney says the sequel is already in development.

We'll do the math for ya ... Grace will earn at least $375,000 just in base pay for both films. And, if there's a third film, she'll rake in $500,000. Yes, it pays well to be a Disney star.

Fat paydays are nothing new for Grace who, at the tender age of 12, banked $1 million for winning "America's Got Talent."

'AGT' Kid Magicians Arrested by Louisiana Cops ... For Refusing to Live with Mother

A brother and sister who gained fame on "America's Got Talent" with their magic act probably wish they could have disappeared during a tense confrontation with cops ... because they got arrested for refusing to live with their mom.

The teenage siblings, Kadan and Brooklyn Rockett, were arrested last week in Farmerville, Louisiana after refusing to go with police who were trying to return them to their mother. A Missouri judge ordered the handoff in the ongoing custody battle with their father.


We're told the arrest stems from a 2019 Missouri court order requiring the kids to split their time with their mom and dad... and law enforcement sources tell us they had paperwork authorizing the handoff. Our sources say the kids have been living with their dad in California for years, but have refused to see their mom.

In the video, the teens say they're afraid of their mother and don't want to go back to her, but cops say they have no choice. The kids refuse to comply, so the cop begins reading them their Miranda rights and slaps the cuffs on 15-year-old Kadan. 13-year-old Brooklyn -- who's sobbing during the arrest -- was also cuffed.

Our sources say the siblings were in Louisiana for their grandmother's funeral, so that is how the mother knew where they would be in order to send the police to pick them up.

Law enforcement sources tell us the children were held at the Green Oaks Detention Center in Monroe overnight to await a court hearing the next morning.

It's unclear exactly what went down at the hearing because the judge ordered it to be sealed, but we're told Kadan and Brooklyn were released back to their father ... at least for now.

The Rockett parents have been divorced since 2009, but the nasty custody battle has been ongoing. There was a similar incident with the kids and a Missouri judge in October 2019.

We've reached out to the kids' mother ... so far, no word back.

Kadan and Brooklyn were semi-finalists on 'AGT' in 2016 who wowed the judges with their magician skills.

Simon Cowell Orders Himself Set of New Chompers!!! ... During Back Recovery

Simon Cowell is still on the mend from his broken back -- and while he recovers, he decided to polish up his smile while he was at it ... TMZ has learned.

Sources tell us the music exec and 'AGT' host recently got a new set of pearly whites from Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist Dr. Apa, at his private practice. We're told Simon came in last month looking for the makeover, and just had new veneers installed this past weekend.

Turns out, Simon was actually in need of a new set -- we're told he was doing away with older, temporary veneers he'd been rockin' -- but had one request ... less Simpson-y and more streamlined. In other words, he wanted a thinner, more natural-looking smile ... and sources say he even had a pic of his OG teeth for reference on the updated design.

After two appointments at three hours a pop, we're told Simon walked away happy as can be -- and even posed with the doc on his way out. As for cost ... our sources tell us Dr. Apa usually charges around $4,000 per tooth. Considering Simon got both upper and lower veneers in this job -- 28 teeth total, we're told -- that can certainly add up to a fat bill.

That said, it's unclear how much he ultimately paid.

The silver lining here -- it looks like SC is back up on his feet again after breaking his back a few months ago and undergoing a grueling surgery process to get it all fixed up. Word is the dude is still healing and in intense rehab mode right now to restrengthen those muscles.

In the meantime ... good for him for taking care of the rest of his body in one shot.

Kelly Clarkson I'm Filling in for Simon on 'AGT' ... We'll Do It Live!!!

Another "American Idol" alum is going to fill Simon Cowell's shoes while he recovers from his broken back -- Kelly Clarkson's stepping into the spotlight for "America's Got Talent."

Kelly herself made the announcement Monday with a mock 'AGT' memo sent to "All Staff." It reads, "My friend, Simon Cowell, is doing better now but was in an accident and won’t be able to make Tuesday and Wednesday’s live shows for AGT, but no worries America, someone far wiser, cooler, and hotter is taking his seat!"

It continues, "The unbelievably amazing Kelly Clarkson 😜 You’re welcome in advance!" Kelly will tape Tuesday and Wednesday's live shows alongside Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum. Sounds like it'll just be 2 days until Simon's able to return to his judge's chair.

As we reported ... the record label exec broke his back this past weekend while riding an e-bike out in Malibu. He underwent a 6-hour surgery and is now recuperating. It's unclear if he'll miss any more live shows -- but if he does, his seat will be in good hands if they have KC fill in again.

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Kelly's done a bit of judging herself lately -- she's appeared as a regular on "The Voice" ... and by all accounts, she's killing it and makes for great TV. Natural fit for 'AGT,' obviously.

'AGT' Season 4 Star Grandma Lee Dead at 85

Comedian Grandma Lee -- who cracked the top ten on Season 4 of "America's Got Talent" -- has died ... according to her family.

Lee's son, Kelly, tells TMZ ... she died Friday afternoon at her assisted living facility in Jacksonville, FL, but it was not related to the coronavirus.

Kelly says his stand-up comic mom was doing shows up until November, but after a gig in Tampa, she fell in her hotel room and broke her hip. Sadly, he says she never fully recovered.

According to Grandma's family ... she passed with her 2 sons holding her hands after spending the past few days reading texts from friends and Facebook posts. They say there will be a service celebrating her life once COVID-19 conditiions allow for it.

Her family adds ... "Heaven just got a whole lot funnier."

Grandma Lee gained popularity in 2009 when she competed on 'AGT' and made it to the finale before being eliminated.

She said at the time that her material is based on truth, adding ... "I go up there and wing it ... but I had to clean it up for the show."

She was 85.


Sofia Vergara Meets with 'AGT' to Fill Gabrielle Union's Seat

Sofia Vergara is poised to fill one of the 2 seats that are open on "America's Got Talent" ... TMZ has learned.

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... Sofia met with 'AGT' honchos Wednesday for 2 hours. She was 20 minutes late for the meeting, but that didn't dissuade the decision-makers.

Our sources say Sofia had a big audience over at NBC, from Entertainment Prez Paul Telegdy on down. There were also members of Fremantle present, which produces 'AGT.'

As you know ... Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough were not invited back for the next installment of 'AGT.'

Our sources say although 'AGT' was top of mind, the honchos wanted to meet with Sofia on a variety of possible projects, including dramas and a possible Spanish language project -- NBC owns Telemundo.

"Modern Family" is in its last season, and we're told NBC wants to get into business with Sofia ... our sources say she's a "global star" who is an extremely versatile entertainer.

As we reported, Union has gone public, claiming 'AGT' has a toxic culture and she was fired after complaining. 'AGT' folks say they routinely rotate judges so nothing was out of the ordinary.

The next 'AGT' airs next month.

Orlando Jones I'm Fighting Same Battle as Gabrielle ... Execs Trying to Keep Us in Our Lane!!!


Orlando Jones says he and Gabrielle Union now find themselves in the same boat ... speaking out against workplace injustice, and unfair firings, at the hands of the same production company.

The former "American Gods" star came on "TMZ Live" Tuesday to fill us in on his convo with Gabrielle ... after they initially connected through social media posts about his firing from the Starz drama.

'Gods' and 'AGT' are both produced by Fremantle Media, and Orlando says he and Gabby are in very similar situations -- they spoke up at work, and suddenly they were both shown the door. In his case, he says the trouble started with a dispute over his writing credit on 'Gods' ... as a member of the Writers Guild.

As we reported ... Gabrielle said she had no qualms risking her job in the name of fighting against misogyny and racism. She's urged others in her situation to NOT "be the happy negro that does the bidding of the status quo."

'Gods' execs did offer a public explanation for his firing, but watch ... he told us exactly why it doesn't add up.

Gabrielle Union Refuses to Be the 'Happy Negro' ... Finally Talks 'AGT' Firing

Gabrielle Union's speaking out publicly after her controversial firing from "America's Got Talent" ... urging others to risk it all, as she has, to fight misogyny and racism.

The actress spoke on a panel Monday morning, and urged the crowd to NOT "be the happy negro that does the bidding of the status quo." She never called out NBC or 'AGT' by name, but fans there for the panel -- Power of Inclusivity and the Women Leading the Charge -- knew exactly what she was referencing

Gabrielle added, "It's terrifying. There's a solid chance you'll lose your job ... I speak from experience." As we've reported ... Gabrielle feels she was fired because she complained to NBC and 'AGT' producers about racially insensitive situations on set -- including producers giving her excessive notes about her hair, wardrobe and physical appearance.

According to Variety, Gabrielle told the panel it's incumbent on her to speak up and do the right thing ... never mind the company writing those checks. She said, "How many checks do I need? This financial freedom, they're shackles, masquerading as zeros in my bank account."

She added, "As long as I have air in my lungs, I will always try to cover us all and I will certainly try to center the needs of the most marginalized."

Waka Flocka Flame Gabrielle's Firing Was Racist, IMO ... Black People Should Boycott 'AGT'!!!


Waka Flocka Flame believes there were clear racial motives behind Gabrielle Union's 'AGT' firing, and says it's now on the black community to stop supporting companies that have problems with the culture.

Gabrielle's feud with 'AGT' is striking a chord with Waka, and he unloaded when we got him in Atlanta -- telling us he's proud of Gabrielle for speaking out about what was allegedly going down at 'AGT.'

As you know ... Gabrielle feels she was given the boot because she complained to NBC and 'AGT' producers about racially insensitive situations on set -- including producers giving her excessive notes about her hair, wardrobe and physical appearance.

Waka says Gabby's a role model -- because black people in similar situations need to push back and stand up for themselves when someone asks them to change who they are.


Gabrielle also had issues with Jay Leno joking about Koreans eating dogs while he was guest judging. Jay won't say if the joke is racist, and has been mostly mum on the whole controversy.

We ask Waka if we're living in a society that treats racism as a joke, and he says anyone over 40 who is still acting racist is "f***ed up," and needs to stop teaching racism to younger generations.

Pretty fascinating conversation, and Waka doesn't hold back at all.

Jay Leno Calls Gabrielle Union a 'Great Girl' ... Mum on 'AGT' Firing Her


Jay Leno's trying like hell to put a positive spin on the firestorm around Gabrielle Union's 'AGT' firing and his role in it, but for the most part ... he's at a loss for words.

Leno was asked point-blank Sunday night about Gabrielle calling him out to 'AGT' producers for making a joke about Koreans eating dog. On his way out of the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, CA ... Jay would only say he enjoyed working with Gabrielle, and she's a "great girl."

As for Gabrielle, and others, labeling his joke racist ... Jay pleaded the Fifth, but in his own unique way.

As we've reported, prior to her firing, Gabrielle complained to 'AGT' honchos about the workplace environment -- due to Leno's joke and what she reportedly called "excessive notes" from producers about her hair, wardrobe and appearance.

The insinuation from Gabrielle's camp is she was fired because she complained.

The photog asks Leno if he thinks Union was treated fairly -- he's refusing to commit one way or another.

Either way, her firing has garnered a lot of attention, and SAG-AFTRA has even announced it's investigating the matter ... but so far, it has nothing to report.

Kodi Lee Full Support from 'AGT' ... No Restrictions on Performances

"America's Got Talent" is not going to get in the way of Kodi Lee entertaining folks in his hometown, because producers know that's what helped make him a star ... and he's still gotta make a living.

Production sources at 'AGT' tell TMZ ... there's nothing in his contract keeping the 22-year-old from performing local shows in Southern California, even though he was awarded the "golden buzzer" pass from Gabrielle Union to ensure his spot in the competition's live shows.

We're told as long as Kodi shows up for his scheduled 'AGT' events and filming dates -- and isn't intentionally seeking press for an unfair advantage -- he's free to perform any previously scheduled live concerts and gigs.

As one source put it ... many 'AGT' contestants make a living off their art, so it wouldn't be right for the show to keep them from that.

We broke the story ... Kodi's breakout 'AGT' moment has created a huge buzz for his upcoming shows with the cover band Midnight Satellites, with whom he's been playing for a while.

Owners of 2 separate venues in Riverside County tell us Kodi's scheduled performances have fans in a frenzy, and fortunately, the Old Town Blues Club will have doubled its seating capacity for its July 6 show featuring Lee.

As for 'AGT' ... since Kodi's already advanced past the auditions stage, he won't be back on stage until the live shows kick off in August.

But, we'll probably hear about him plenty 'til then.

'AGT' Star Kodi Lee Golden Buzzer Has Him Buzzin' ... Local Shows a Hot Ticket!!!

Kodi Lee -- the blind, autistic "America's Got Talent" contestant who wowed judges with his incredible performance -- has caused a fan frenzy at 2 SoCal spots where he's already a rock star.

Kodi's amazing breakthrough moment on the show this week culminated with new judge Gabrielle Union using her first-ever golden buzzer to ensure his spot in the competition's live shows. Fans in his hometown can't wait until then.

Paul Little, the owner of The Shamrock Irish Pub in Murrieta, CA ... says Kodi's been entertaining at the bar for 4 years, and they've known all along what America just found out.

Paul tells us Kodi has a gig with the Temecula-based cover band, Midnight Satellites, scheduled for June 7, but after his 'AGT' appearance ... it's become a WAY bigger deal.

The owner says they've been flooded with calls for reservations, and the pub had to send out a message to regulars to reserve spots ... because the venue's almost totally booked.

Kodi and Midnight Satellites have another show at the Old Town Blues Club on July 6, and its owner, Andy Doty, tells us they're preparing for it to be "insane."

Doty says Kodi's already a local legend and always plays to a packed house, but the club's expanding its capacity -- from 75 to 200 people -- and will be ready in time for Kodi's band to rock.

Other changes for the show -- a cover charge (they're not dumb), and extra security for the much larger crowd.

If you're wondering, the band plays a variety of rock, blues and funk songs to showcase Kodi's range.

Probably a good bet they'll play Donny Hathaway's "A Song For You." The whole world knows Kodi has that one down pat.

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