St. Louis rapper Huey -- best known for his 2007 hit, "Pop, Lock & Drop It" -- is dead after an unsolved shooting incident ... TMZ has confirmed.
Law enforcement tells TMZ ... Huey is one of two men who were shot Thursday in St. Louis County. Huey succumbed to his injuries late Thursday night.
Cops say they got a call about a 32-year-old male shooting victim who'd arrived at a local hospital suffering from at least one apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.
The second man who was shot was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Cops say the shootings are related and say it went down in Kinloch, Missouri, where as many as 10 people were present during the time of the shooting. It remains under investigation.
Huey's "Pop, Lock & Drop It" track was a huge hit back in 2007. It spent 23 weeks on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and peaked at No. 6 before earning double-platinum status.
Huey -- who had recently released his single "Pulled Away" back in April -- was reportedly the target of a triple-homicide back in 2009 in St. Louis. The threats were so real ... a concert promoter allegedly told the rapper not to perform because he was being targeted.
Huey is survived by his 13-year-old daughter. He was 32.
Here's the deal ... Britney kicked the Beyhive Wednesday when she posted a painting of a bee with a crown and said, "To all my fans who call me Queen 👑 B …. I believe this would be more accurate."
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Naturally, Britney's post sent Bey fans into a tizzy, and the hive sounded off by the thousands, letting Brit know there's only one Queen B in their eyes -- and she's from Houston.
Not to be a buzzkill, but Jenna Paddey, the artist who painted the image, says neither Britney nor Beyonce was her inspiration.
Translation: stand down, fan armies!!!
Jenna tells us she painted the illustration in 2018, and it was only intended to reflect a play on words for the phrase, "queen bee." She says she's not sure how Britney came across her work -- she does sell prints on her website -- but only found out about the IG post when friends started tagging her in comments.
For the record, Jenna's not picking sides in the Great Bey-Brit Fan War of 2020 ... smart. She just appreciates the buzz her art's getting from the debate.
Justin Bieber's going after 2 social media users -- whom he suggests might be the same person -- for accusing him of sexual assault, claiming the allegations are "factually impossible" and part of a scheme to seek attention and fame.
Bieber is suing 2 Jane Does -- who go by Danielle and Kadi on social media -- for defamation over what he calls "malicious" claims he sexually assaulted them in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
According to legal docs -- obtained by TMZ -- Bieber has "indisputable documentary evidence" to prove their sexual assault claims are nothing but "outrageous, fabricated lies."
First up is Danielle, who claims Bieber sexually assaulted her in a Four Seasons Hotel room in Austin, TX on March 9, 2014 after a music event. Bieber claims there is no truth to Danielle's allegation ... and he can prove it.
According to the docs ... Bieber did make a surprise appearance at SXSW, but did NOT stay at the Four Seasons Hotel or even have a room there. Instead, he and his girlfriend at the time, Selena Gomez, left together after his SXSW performance and stayed nearby at a rental property.
Bieber alleges Danielle totally made up her story based on public reports that he ate at the Four Seasons Restaurant on March 10, 2014.
As for Kadi ... she claims Bieber sexually assaulted her at the Langham Hotel in NYC around 2:30 AM on the morning of May 5, 2015. Once again, Bieber says this is factually impossible and calls Kadi's social media post "an elaborate hoax."
According to Bieber ... Kadi is a superfan who waits outside hotels for him, is desperate to meet him and desperate for fame. However, Bieber claims Kadi has never met him ... and says she even admitted to such in her own tweets AFTER the date she now claims he sexually assaulted her.
As for the May 5, 2015 allegation ... Bieber claims Kadi fabricated it because she knew Bieber attended the Met Gala.
According to the docs ... Bieber did attend the event, but went to a private after-party afterward where he stayed until almost 4 AM, then hit up a hot dog stand. Bieber claims there is photographic evidence and several witnesses to this ... and he calls the 2:30 AM allegation made by Kadi an "impossibility – a poor, but damaging, fabrication."
According to the suit ... Bieber also believes the 2 social media accounts might be run by the same person, or they're a coordinated effort to ruin his reputation.
He's suing for more than $20 million in damages -- $10 million for each of the stories.
Mario says police can exercise restraint when they want to, but most cops just don't ... a lesson he's already learned first hand.
The singer joined us Thursday on "TMZ Live" and recounted his recent run-in with police in Miami, when guns were drawn and an intense standoff was diffused only when an officer realized he was a celeb.
Mario says he was caught off guard when police stopped the car he was riding in and held him and the driver at gunpoint ... he says he was very lucky one cop recognized him because things could have turned ugly in a hurry.
The incident left Mario shaken, and also taught him a hard lesson ... he says cops can practice restraint whenever they want, especially when another cop steps in, but for some reason most police just let their instincts take over.
Mario's also got a new single out, "Rewrite It," and he tells us the inspiration behind it, and how it ties into protests against police brutality.
It's a fascinating conversation ... and Mario has some interesting ideas on changing policing in America too.
12:43 PM PT -- 6/26 -- Maluma’s lawyer, Richard C. Wolfe, tells TMZ … his client is being falsely accused and claims the deposit for the singer’s $500k performance fee was “non-refundable once booked.” Wolfe also claims the contract contained a $50k penalty for canceling the performance.
As for the June 2020 wedding date, Wolfe claims “the parties never reached an agreement for this second performance” after the initial wedding date was postponed. What’s more … Wolfe claims Maluma was NOT paid a $50k cancelation fee due under the contract.
Wolfe said, “We plan to fight Mr. Caring’s extortion claims aggressively throughout the legal process and will seek recovery of the $50,000 cancellation fee.”
Maluma will definitely NOT think this is music to his ears ... the famous Colombian singer's being sued for allegedly trying to extort the owner of SoHo House out $1 million.
Richard Caring -- the London-based businessman who owns the exclusive members-only SoHo House locations and The Ivy Restaurants -- is suing Maluma claiming the Grammy-winning singer tried pulling a fast one by trying to get him to pay DOUBLE the amount they agreed upon for a wedding gig ... this according to new legal docs obtained by TMZ.
In docs, Caring claims he hired Maluma -- gov't name Juan Luis Londono Arias -- to perform at his wedding in the Dominican Republic initially slated for November 7, 2019. Caring says his bride-to-be's a huge fan ... so Caring went all out to get Maluma to the DR ... including meeting Maluma's extravagant demands that included 5 first-class tickets, 32 coach tickets for his staff, a private plane for the singer, and a fancy hotel. This on top of the $500k performance fee.
But, 3 months before the wedding, Caring had to postpone the wedding "due to the concerns regarding the ability to deliver an event of this magnitude with the current time constraints." The wedding was then moved for June 2020 in Rome.
Caring claims he contacted Maluma's team asking about availability. Everything seemed to be kosher at this point, and Caring claims he wired Maluma $375k upfront. But, things went south when Caring claims Maluma's people told him he wouldn't "permit or allow Maluma to perform" at the wedding "unless Mr. Caring agreed to pay double." Caring claims Maluma was with the $1 million demand.
According to docs, Caring claims Maluma's people informed him they needed $1 million because the wedding interfered with Maluma's European tour. Caring scoffed at the demand and instead asked Maluma -- who has collaborations with some of the biggest artists in the game like Madonna, Shakira and Marc Anthony -- to return the dough. Caring claims Maluma's failed to do that, so he's suing to get his money back plus damages.
We're told Caring has requested the return of the $375,000 down payment several times since 2019 verbally and in writing and they have refused.
We've reached out to Maluma, so far no word back.
Originally Published -- 6/25 11:23 AM PT
The Dixie Chicks are dropping "Dixie" from their name and will now be just "The Chicks" ... and the change is 100% a response to the nationwide protests of systemic racism.
While the Texas-based band has yet to publicly announce the name change, the group's Twitter handle is now @thechicks and the band made the same change on their cover photo, which features album art for their upcoming project, "Gaslighter."
The band's official website is also now, TheChicks.com, and simply says, "We want to meet this moment."
The name change obviously comes in the middle of the Black Lives Matter movement, with other iconic brands and bands changing their names and dropping anything deemed racially insensitive.
If you aren't aware, Dixie is a nostalgic name for the old South ... and the band has been under mounting pressure recently to ditch the word.
As we reported ... another country act, Lady Antebellum, changed its name to Lady A earlier this month and apologized for turning a blind eye to the original name's link to slavery.
The Chicks also dropped a new song Thursday, "March March," encouraging folks to use their voice and vote. It's got imagery of protests against climate change and police brutality ... and for peace and civil rights.
Tekashi 6ix9ine's Instagram page will stay up and running despite renewed uproar over his criminal record -- because the platform feels he hasn't violated their rules.
Here's the deal ... 6ix9ine ran into some legal trouble even before he hit it big. When he was younger -- age 18 -- he pled guilty to one count of Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance.
In light of that, folks started asking why he's even allowed to have an IG since Facebook -- the parent company -- has explicit terms saying convicted sex offenders are barred from the platform. FB said his account would be put under review.
We've got an update on that review from the folks at FB and Instagram -- and it's basically this ... Tekashi is NOT technically in violation of FB/IG's sex offender policy, at least that's how they're viewing it.
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A source at Instagram tells us ... FB and IG took a hard look at his record, and turns out ... they found the guy's case -- which went down in NY -- and saw he was adjudicated as a “youthful offender” which is different from having an adult criminal conviction.
As a result, our source tells us Facebook will not be removing his account, as they don't believe -- based on their interpretation of things -- he meets the criteria that would mark him as a sex offender. Look it up yourself ... Tekashi (whose real name is Daniel Hernandez) does not appear on the state's sex offender registry.
The Manhattan D.A. confirms Tekashi's 2015 case was adjudicated as a Youthful Offender, but declined to offer more details. His attorney, Lance Lazzaro, shed a bit more light, telling us yes ... the crime was committed when T69 was 18. But, after he completed some sentencing requirements, the court granted him youthful offender status.
BTW, T69 has addressed the conviction himself on the Breakfast Club -- insisting he didn't know the girl was underage. Prosecutors say Tekashi was at a party where a nude 13-year-old girl was taped performing sex acts on a man, and T69 was seen making thrusting motions behind her and slapping her buttocks at one point.
Brendon went off on the Prez and his campaign after one of his most famous tracks -- the 2018 hit "High Hopes" -- was used at Trump's campaign rally Tuesday in Phoenix. Brendon quickly took to Twitter to unleash on the campaign before lashing out at Trump personally ... labeling him a "monster" who "represents nothing we stand for."
In a follow-up tweet ... Brendon added a link to the nonpartisan org HeadCount, which uses "the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy." The org's mission is to reach young people and music fans and inform them and empower them.
The song was also famously used by Mayor Pete Buttigieg during his run for president. BTW, this isn't the first time Brendon's spoken out against Trump. Back in 2018, Brendon didn't mince words when he told a British magazine Trump is "a f***ing asshole" who is "encroaching on people's rights."
Brendon's just the latest artist to tell Trump's campaign to stop playing their music. Most recently, Tom Petty's family members asked the campaign to stop playing "I Won't Back Down" after it was played at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The family released a statement, saying, "Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind." The statement went on to say, "Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together."
Kodak Black is pissed at Walmart -- claiming the megastore is letting someone sell a knockoff version of one of his famous chains, and he's threatening a lawsuit if it doesn't stop -- but the retail giant is putting the blame on third-party sellers.
Here's the deal ... Walmart is getting dragged online because its website features a cheap chain that looks nearly identical to the Sniper Gang bling Kodak usually rocks.
Kodak’s attorney, Bradford Cohen, tells TMZ ... "We have been aware of the situation and have prepared a cease and desist letter to Walmart and the seller on the Walmart website."
The rapper's legal team adds ... "If Walmart refuses to recognize that the seller is not a licensed authorized dealer of Sniper Gang products, we will be proceeding with a lawsuit against both Walmart and the unauthorized seller."
Kodak is currently serving a 46-month prison sentence for gun possession.
Kodak's protege, Jackboy, has also called out Walmart for selling the Sniper Gang chains ... and he too is threatening legal action.
It appears the company has gotten wind of Kodak's anger, they tell us they're taking steps to remove the knockoffs and the chains are strictly from a third-party seller.
Sniper Gang isn't the only rap label pissed off at Walmart... Lil Baby has also claimed the retail giant is selling a knockoff version of his 4 Pockets Full chain for the always low price of $24.99.
1:31 PM PT -- A spokesperson for the airline tells TMZ it cannot comment on active litigation, but says ExpressJet (partner of United) "does not tolerate racism and we are investigating this incident to better understand what occurred onboard our aircraft in December."
Nathan Davis Jr. is taking United Airlines to court because he claims he was racially profiled on a flight and falsely accused of having a gun ... according to a new lawsuit.
The TikTok star and ''Detroit'' actor just filed suit against UA, alleging he was singled out and harassed by a flight attendant late last year while he was on his way from Houston to Tennessee. Nathan says listening to music escalated to him getting removed from the flight ... for no reason at all.
According to the docs, obtained by TMZ, Nathan says he was listening to music when one of the flight attendants told him it was too loud and that others could hear it. Nathan says others were listening as well, but he was the one reprimanded.
Nathan -- who has almost 9 million followers on TikTok -- says he complied but goes on to allege the lady circled back twice more in a rude manner and continued to tell him his music was too loud -- even though he disagreed and claims she even scolded him when the music was muted.
Eventually, Nathan says she snitched to the pilot ... and that's when s*** really hit the fan. He claims the plane turned around and the staff forced him to exit the aircraft in what sounds like a humiliating display. Nathan claims the captain even tried to take his cell phone, before ultimately ordering him to go back, get his stuff and get out for good.
That's when Nathan says a gun claim was made against him over the aircraft loudspeaker ... he claims it was shocking, reckless and false.
Nathan filmed some of the encounter, and while he was leaving the plane for the second time ... you can hear someone over the PA system say "He has a gun now." He instantly reacted.
We should note -- Nathan says he wasn't even approached by law enforcement over the false and inflammatory remark. He also says no further action was taken by the airline itself ... other than bumping him up to first class on a later flight.
Now, he's suing United ... claiming negligent hiring, assault, infliction of emotional distress, discrimination and more. He's asking a judge to award him damages of no less than $10 mil.
Originally Published -- 10:33 AM PT
George Floyd's death has not only sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and racism, it's also fueled donations to charities and organizations ... especially The Bail Project.
Joseph Pate -- spokesperson for the national nonprofit, which pays bail for people in need -- tells TMZ ... it has received more than $15 million from nearly 200,000 donors in the weeks since Floyd was killed by Minneapolis PD officers.
Other sources close to the organization tell us the support -- financially and otherwise -- has been pouring in from all over the world, including people looking to do volunteer work.
Several celebrities have also been chipping in big time. We're told the band, Wallows, held a fundraiser Saturday where they raised nearly $11k for The Bail Project from roughly 900 donations.
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On top of all this ... Nicki Minaj announced a portion of the proceeds from her "Trollz" collab with 6ix9ine will also be going to the org soon. Lil Baby's splitting money from his track, "The Bigger Picture," to Bail Project and a couple other causes related to the Black Lives Matter movement, as well.
The Bail Project has paid $26 million in bail for nearly 11,000 low-income people since 2018, and $11 mil of that has already been recycled to pay new bails.
We're told with the recent flooding of donations, the size of its National Revolving Bail Fund now stands at approximately $27 million, which allows it to secure freedom for thousands of people, but more importantly ... work to pass real bail reform.
Luke Bryan wouldn't let the pandemic stop him from making an amazing wish come true for a young fan with cerebral palsy ... and her reaction will melt your heart.
Luke sent a special, personalized video to Emma Lookatch, brightening her day with a loving message and telling her he's hopeful they can meet in person when the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
Emma's a huge Luke Bryan fan, and the good folks over at Kids Wish Network -- a charity that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses -- had arranged for her to meet Luke on the set of "American Idol," a meeting that was dashed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
While he couldn't meet Emma in person this time, Luke recorded a special greeting and sent it to her and her parents ... and ya gotta see Emma's reaction as she watches the message on a brand new iPad and Beats by Dre headphones.
Luke sounds like he's down to make her original wish come true, but in the meantime ... pretty good consolation prize!!!
12:20 PM PT -- 6/23 -- Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Lil Yachty was issued a citation for driving too fast for conditions, failure to maintain lane and driving in the HOV lane.
We're told he was also issued a warning for not having his driver's license with him.
Lil Yachty got into a scary car wreck in Atlanta after his car and Mother Nature clashed ... which left his sweet ride totaled, but he's gonna be okay.
The rapper was driving on Georgia State Route 400 Monday during some nasty rain and spun out, smashing into a barrier along the shoulder. Our sources say there was a lot of standing water on the road, causing the sports car to hydroplane.
Yachty lost control and you can see how the impact destroyed his car.
Seems bad -- and it is -- but fortunately for him ... we're told Yachty was able to walk away relatively unscathed, with only minor injuries to his arm.
Emergency crews responded to the scene. It's unclear if Yachty went to a hospital for treatment. As for his whip ... there's no treating it, we're told it's totaled.
Time to get that insurance rep on the phone.
Originally published -- 6/22 5:21 PM PT
Barcelona's Liceu opera is back in business after more than 3 months of silence, but its return concert leaves a lot to be desired ... mostly, a human audience.
In a truly bizarre sight, the musicians for Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu opera put on a show for nearly 2,300 nursery plants placed in the seats instead of people.
Organizers of Monday's concert say the goal was to raise awareness of how important audiences are in post-lockdown life, and to reflect on the absurdity of human life amid a pandemic. Check and check!
As an added bonus -- all the plants will be donated to frontline health workers.
The Concert for the Biocene comes one day after the end of Spain’s state of emergency. The country has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19, at least in Europe, with more than 28,000 deaths.
The Liceu says it hopes the show reaffirms the value of art, music and nature and paves the way for returning to normal activity.
Of course, replacing the sound of leaves rustling with actual applause would be another step in the right direction.
Mega-producer Mustard just came up with one helluva remix ... not only delivering free meals to those in need, but making sure they're healthy meals.
The hitmaker hopped on "TMZ Live" Monday to talk about his latest venture ... teaming up with his pal, YG, to buy up 7 L.A.-based Fishbone Seafood restaurants. But, the partnership doesn't end there. The L.A.-native ballers also partnered with Postmates to give back to their community ... delivering $100k worth of free food to L.A. residents and community organizations.
Check out the video and the pics ... Mustard said he wanted to lead by example and give back to his community, never forgetting his roots. The producer says he's not doing this for the praise. Far from it. It's about showing kids that those who make it out have a responsibility to give back.
Mustard -- who BTW, earned the stage name because his first name is Dijon (as in Dijon mustard, get it?) -- is also looking much different these days. Dude tells us being locked up in quarantine is what triggered the transformation ... with an assist from one of his camera guys.
Mustard says he hates to see pics of himself from back in the day 'cause he doesn't recognize that person. But, gotta say ... it's one helluva transformation.
The rookie was doing a rapid-fire Q&A with the team when he was asked a bunch of questions ... and Tua made sure to mention he LOVES Shania's music, calling it his "guilty pleasure."
But, the 22-year-old's obsession goes far beyond Twain's hits -- he revealed the country singer is his celebrity crush ... and even asked for a personal shoutout.
"Shania, if you watch this ... from this moment on, please message me back!!" Tua said.
Thanks to the powers of social media, 54-year-old Twain caught wind of Tua's big crush ... and hit him back with a flirty tweet!!
"Guilty pleasure?! You should be proud of your good taste @Tua" ... while adding a kiss emoji.
A KISS EMOJI!!!
Tua -- who has proven what he can do under pressure -- hit Shania back with the perfect response by referencing one of her songs ... saying, "'You’re still the one' @ShaniaTwain."
We ship Tua and Shania ... or should we say, "Shua?"