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The Cranberries Ode to Dolores ... w/ Final Album 'In the End'

1/15/2019 8:06 AM PST

Dolores O'Riordan is being honored by her bandmates exactly 1 year after her sudden death.

The Cranberries announced Tuesday they'll be releasing a final album featuring Dolores. The album's titled "In the End" and it's already catching plenty of buzz following the release of the album's first single, "All Over Now."

The album's a collection of songs Dolores worked on before she died last January in London from an accidental drowning. Dolores and bandmate Noel Hogan reportedly started working on the songs in May 2017 and demoed 11 songs later that winter.

But, Dolores died before the band could play the songs for its record label. And, after months of mourning, Rolling Stone reports the band got the O'Riordan family's support to move forward with the last album.

"The worry was that we would destroy the legacy of the band by making an album that wasn't up to standard," Hogan told Rolling Stone. "Once we had gone through all the demos that Dolores and I had worked on and decided that we had such a strong album we knew it would be the right thing and the best way that we could honor Dolores."

The album's available for preorder now and is slated for an April 26 release.

'Hello, Dolly' Star Carol Channing Dead at 97

1/15/2019 5:51 AM PST

Carol Channing, one of the most iconic actresses who owned Broadway when she starred in "Hello, Dolly!" ... has died.

The actress passed at her home in Rancho Mirage, CA near Palm Springs early Tuesday AM.

Channing was not only a huge hit on B-Way, she was a movie star to boot. Her movie credits include "Thoroughly Modern Millie," for which she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

BTW ... she was the first featured solo artist to sing at a Super Bowl ... Super Bowl IV back in '70.

She's a member of the Grammy Hall of Fame and snagged a Tony Lifetime Achievement Award. Channing was also extremely active with the AIDS and Actors' Fund.

There is a hilarious story that went around back in the day about Carol ... she was in a stall in a women's restroom on Broadway when an actress walked in and heard Carol, in her distinctive voice, mutter, "Corn? I don't remember eating corn." Her publicist, Harlan Boll, tells TMZ it never happened, but "Carol loved the story. She laughed her ass off!"

Channing was hilarious, with a super distinctive voice that made her a favorite for TV talk shows.

Back in 2007, Channing worked with the LAPD to locate her legendary "Diamond Dress" after it was stolen by a pedestrian outside of her hotel in Hollywood. 

Channing never bashed the thief publicly, instead she had compassion for the suspect -- telling TMZ at the time "he must be awfully hungry to do such a thing."

Cops eventually located the dress and returned it to Carol, who later donated it to the Smithsonian where it was exhibited along with her 1964 Tony Award for "Hello Dolly."

Her rep says "It is so very hard to see the final curtain lower on a woman who has been a daily part of my life for more than a third of it. We supported each other, cried with each other, argued with each other, but always ended up laughing with each other."

Carol was 97.

RIP

'Bachelor' Contestant Enlarged Heart, Overactive Thyroid ... Led to Sudden Death

1/14/2019 12:20 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

"The Bachelor" contestant Cristy Caserta died as a result of an enlarged heart and an overactive thyroid ... TMZ has learned.

According to the autopsy report, obtained by TMZ, Caserta's cause of death was cardiomegaly and hyperthyroidism. As we reported ... Caserta was only 38 when she died suddenly back in October after suffering an apparent seizure.

She was attending a class at a school in Sunrise, FL when she just fell forward at the desk where she was sitting. Caserta went into cardiac arrest and was shortly thereafter pronounced dead.

Caserta appeared on season 15 of "The Bachelor" ... when Brad Womack appeared for the second time at a shot of finding love. She didn't make it past the first week.

Steve Buscemi Wife of 30 Years Dies ... Funeral Held at Family Home

1/12/2019 7:18 AM PST

Steve Buscemi's wife died earlier this week and a moving funeral was held at their NYC home ... TMZ has learned.

We're told Jo Andres died either last Monday or over last weekend. On Monday, friends and family began arriving at their Brooklyn home. It appears the funeral service -- at the home -- was held last Tuesday and the burial was Wednesday.

We're told there were around 20 people at the service, including Steve's co-star from "The Big Lebowski" John Turturro and Aida Turturro from "The Sopranos." Steve's brother Michael and Steve's son Lucian were also there.

FDNY blocked off the street Wednesday as the wicker casket was removed from the home. As you know, Buscemi was a volunteer FDNY firefighter on 911.  

The company that showed up to do the prep work for the funeral specializes in home funerals and "natural burials" ... where the body is not embalmed and typically the final resting place is in a "natural setting." Everything is biodegradable and one of the purposes is to preserve the environment.

Steve and Jo were married for 30 years. They had a son, Lucian, who's 29.

We do not know the cause of death.

Jo was 65.

RIP

Verne Troyer Left Behind Car, Cash & Memorabilia

1/10/2019 7:06 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Verne Troyer had a sizeable collection of celebrity memorabilia and just under $80,000 in cash when he died ... TMZ has learned.

The final appraisal on Verne's estate came in at $139,283.16 ... according to docs, obtained by TMZ. His attorney submitted the estimated value this week to the probate in L.A. County.

The docs show Verne had $21,000 worth of autographed memorabilia. There's no detail about the merchandise. He also had $78,283 in the bank.

We also know Verne was riding in style before he died in April 2018. The docs say he had a 2015 Audi S4 with only 3,490 miles on it -- guess he wasn't making a lot of road trips. The whip's valued at $38k. He also had a couple thousand bucks in furniture and personal belongings.

TMZ broke the story ... Verne died after spending a week in the hospital getting treatment for severe alcohol abuse.

'Mean' Gene Okerlund Wrestling Legends Pay Tribute ... Celebration of Life

1/9/2019 4:41 PM PST
Exclusive Details

Why are so many people smiling at "Mean" Gene Okerlund's memorial event in Florida on Wednesday??? BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT MEAN GENE WOULDA WANTED!!

Tons of wrestling stars from years past -- from Diamond Dallas Page to one of the Nasty Boys -- gathered in Sarasota, FL to honor the late wrestling announcer. 

Gene's wife Jeanne -- along with their children -- was at the event where friends and family members told stories about the greatest WWE voice of all time. 

Among the guests ... The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell), Brian Knobbs (of the Nasty Boys), Greg Gagne, Dave Hero and former WWE ref Mike White. 

WWE execs Kevin Dunn and Kerwin Silfies were also in attendance. 

We spoke with DDP who tells us everyone had a great time honoring the late, great "Mean" Gene -- who's widely regarded as one of the nicest guys in the history of the biz. 

Okerlund passed away on January 2. He was 76. 

Eric Church's Brother Death Caused by Alcohol Abuse

1/9/2019 8:25 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Brandon Church -- the late brother of country star Eric Church -- died as a result of chronic alcoholism ... TMZ has learned.

According to the autopsy report obtained by TMZ ... Brandon had a clinical history of alcohol withdrawal-induced seizure disorder -- meaning he had a history of binge drinking and trying to quit ... which would trigger a seizure.

As we reported ... Brandon suffered 2 seizures when he died last June in Granite Falls, North Carolina. The second seizure -- suffered while he was on his way to the hospital -- appears to have sent him into cardiac arrest.

According to the autopsy, the alcohol abuse also caused a thickening of his heart, coronary artery disease and liver damage. The family has set up a Scholarship Memorial Fund, which has already raised more than $45k. The family asks that donations to the fund be sent in lieu of flowers.

Brandon, who had written a handful of songs over the years with his famous brother, was 36.

'Mean' Gene Okerlund Bad Fall Led to Death

1/3/2019 9:43 AM PST
Exclusive Details

"Mean" Gene Okerlund was seriously injured during a nasty fall back in December ... triggering a rapid decline in his health that ultimately led to his death, his son tells TMZ Sports

We spoke with Todd Okerlund who says Okerlund suffered multiple broken ribs during the fall at his Florida home and was treated at a hospital in Sarasota. 

Todd says Okerlund had been in frail health for a while but the fall clearly made things much worse. 

Just 4 days before his death, Gene was admitted to a nursing home .... but he began to have trouble breathing and was rushed to a hospital on Wednesday where he ultimately passed away with his wife, Jeanne, by his side. 

Todd tells us ... the family has been touched by all of the support for his father. Todd also says Gene LOVED his career and would have done it for free. 

"Mean" Gene is a WWE Hall of Famer who was a key part of the company's success -- with legendary interviews with Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and more. 

Vince McMahon also issued a statement on Okerlund ... saying, "It was impossible not to crack a smile whenever 'Mean' Gene Okerlund entered a room. He was the voice behind so many of WWE’s most iconic and entertaining moments, and the WWE family will miss him immensely."

Gene was 76. 

R.I.P. 

Captain and Tennille The Captain, Daryl Dragon, Dead at 76

1/2/2019 2:21 PM PST
Breaking News

Daryl Dragon, "The Captain" of singing duo Captain and Tennille, died early Wednesday morning ... and love really did keep them together to the very end.

Daryl's publicist says the musician died of renal failure in Arizona, and was in hospice care at the time.

Daryl and Toni Tennille were famous for cranking out huge hits in the '70s, including "Do That to Me One More Time," "Muskrat Love" and "Love Will Keep Us Together." The duo was actually a couple -- they married in 1975. They landed their own TV variety show the next year.

Although they divorced in 2014, they remained friends ... and Toni was by his side when he died. As TMZ first reported ... their divorce docs made specific mention about their health insurance coverage. In 2009, she said Daryl was suffering from Parkinson's Disease. Daryl was blindsided by Toni's filing ... and told us they were still living together at the time.

In a statement, Toni says Daryl "was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved him greatly. I was at my most creative in my life, when I was with him."

Daryl was 76.

Bob Einstein 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Star Dead at 76

1/2/2019 10:59 AM PST
Breaking News

4:15 PM -- HBO tells us they had scheduled Bob to part of season 10 of 'Curb,' but his health prevented it.

Larry David says, “Never have I seen an actor enjoy a role the way Bob did playing 'Marty Funkhouser' on 'Curb.' It was an amazing, unforgettable experience knowing and working with him. There was no one like him, as he told us again and again. We’re all in a state of shock.”Bob Einstein, the Emmy-winning actor from "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and creator of Super Dave Osborne, died Wednesday from cancer. 

Bob had recently been diagnosed, and he died at his home in Indian Wells, CA. 

He famously played Larry David's pal, Marty Funkhouser, on 'Curb,' but he was a very successful comedy writer before that -- winning Emmy awards for being a writer on "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour" back in the '70s and for producing Dick Van Dyke's "Van Dyke and Company."

Bob's character, Super Dave, pulled crazy stunts decades before "Jackass" even existed -- but he would always hilariously fail. Super Dave had his own show on Showtime in the late '80s and early '90s.

Bob didn't start out in showbiz -- standing 6'4", he played college hoops at Chapman University and then got into advertising. He was "discovered" in the comedy world by Tom Smothers who saw Bob on a local cable show.

His younger brother is actor and director Albert Brooks. Deadline first reported Bob's passing.

He was 76.

WWE's 'Mean' Gene Okerlund Dead at 76 Tributes Pour In

1/2/2019 7:51 AM PST
Breaking News

10:45 AM PT -- We're told Okerlund passed away early Wednesday morning. Cause of death is still unclear. Working on it. 

8:59 AM PT -- We just spoke with Diamond Dallas Page who praised Okerlund as one of the greatest people in the industry. 

Page got emotional as he reflected on Okerlund's life and says he will be missed by all. 

"Mean" Gene Okerlund -- the most famous announcer in the history of pro wrestling -- has died, WWE has confirmed. He was 76.

Vince McMahon's company issued a statement saying, "WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Gene Okerlund, the most recognizable interviewer in sports-entertainment history, has passed away at age 76."

Hulk Hogan also commented ... saying, "Mean Gene I love you my brother."

Unclear how he died, but Okerlund had health problems dating back years. He had 2 kidney transplants -- the first one in 1995 and the second in 2004. 

Okerlund started as a radio DJ back in Nebraska before taking a job with the American Wrestling Association in 1970. 

He moved to WWF in the early '80s and WRESTLED -- famously pinning Mr. Fuji in a tag team match with Hulk Hogan in 1984. 

Okerlund was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 by Hulk Hogan.

Among his many highlights, Okerlund sang the national anthem at Wrestlemania I back in 1985.

His interviews were legendary -- standing face to face with guys like Andre the Giant, Ultimate Warrior, Ricky Steamboat and others ... and getting the best out of these guys.

He was beloved in wrestling circles for decades. In fact, he served as the best man at The Iron Sheik's wedding!

As for his nickname, Jesse "The Body" Ventura is credited with the name "Mean" Gene. 

The tributes from WWE stars are already pouring in ... 

Ric Flair -- One Of My Closest Friends Since 1972 Until This Very Sad Day In 2019. Not Only The Greatest Voice And Personality In The History Of Announcing, But A Man Who Touched Everyone’s Life Who Were Fortunate Enough To Know Him. Rest In Peace Knowing No One Will Ever Replace You.

Seth Rollins -- Super bummed about Mean Gene. Literally JUST sat down last week to do an interview about his legacy. He was the most iconic backstage interviewer in wrestling history in my opinion. #RIPMeanGene

Charlotte Flair -- Goodbye, old friend. Thank you for the memories

Stephanie McMahon -- Gene Okerlund was an incredibly rare talent. He made everything and everyone better. #ThankYouMeanGene for all the incredible memories. Our condolences to his family and loved ones.

Ted DiBiase -- WWE universe has lost one of its greatest announcers and truly one of the nicest guys you’d ever know. “Mean” Gene Okerlund, RIP my friend

Stone Cold Steve Austin -- "Just heard Mean Gene Okerlund has passed away. As an interviewer, pitch man, announcer, or host, he was untouchable. Simply the best. Total professional with quick wit, sarcasm, humor, and that golden voice."

Triple H -- "A voice and sound track to an entire era of our industry. He was the star of some of @WWE’s most memorable segments. “Mean Gene” was beloved by all who got to work with him. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."

Big E -- "Mean Gene was the voice of millions of childhoods. Mine certainly. An honor to meet him. Condolences to his family."

Mustafa Ali -- "The voice of my youth. Condolences to his friends and family."

Ligero -- "Extremely sad news to hear of the unfortunate passing of Mean Gene Okerlund. One of the most iconic interviewers and personalities of my childhood, and one of the very best in the business."

Charles Robinson (famous WWE ref) -- "So sad to hear of the passing of one of the greatest voices in wrestling. Mean Gene you will be missed and we will continue to love you. What a true class act. I am very fortunate to work with you."

Bully Ray -- "RIP “Mean” Gene. Thanks for the memories and being a Gentleman. God Bless."

Kevin Owens -- Mean Gene was universally loved by everyone I’ve met that knew him.

Very few people can say that their work will forever be appreciated and remembered. Very few can legitimately claim to be legends in their field.

Those things can undoubtedly be said about him.

Matt Hardy -- RIP to an absolute legend of our industry, @TheGeneOkerlund. "Mean Gene" was incredible in many roles, as he wore many hats throughout his iconic career in pro wrestling. My thoughts are with his family & friends today.

Kurt Angle -- Very seldom does an interviewer become just as popular, and at times even more popular than the superstars he/she interviews. Gene Okerlund was that person. Im saddened to hear of Gene’s passing. It was an honor to know you Gene!

Mac Miller Charity Raising Big Money for Youth $700k and Counting!!!

1/2/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Mac Miller's still making a difference -- his charity foundation's quickly approaching a million bucks in money raised to help kids in his hometown ... TMZ has learned.

Folks at The Mac Miller Circles Fund tell us ... donations have been pouring in from the late rapper's fans and the total is up to around $350,000. The cash will be used to provide programs and opportunities to underserved youth in the Pittsburgh area, "helping them recognize their full potential through exploration in the arts and community building."

Add that money to proceeds from the October 31 tribute concert for Mac -- which we're told is expected to be another $350k -- and the Circles Fund's hauled in $700k since his death.

As we reported ... the tribute show, "Mac Miller: A Celebration of Life," went down at L.A.'s Greek Theatre and featured performances by artists -- and some of Miller's closest friends -- like Chance the Rapper, Travis Scott, SZA and John Mayer.

We broke the story ... Mac died from an overdose in September. According to the toxicology report, it was the result of "mixed drug toxicity" -- specifically fentanyl and cocaine. The Coroner ruled his death accidental.

Mac was 26.

Aretha Franklin IRS Wants Her Money ... More Than Just a Little Bit

12/27/2018 3:35 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

3:35 PM PT -- David Bennett of Thav Gross P.C., attorney for Franklin's Estate, says the Estate disputes the claim as Aretha paid off the vast majority of her debt before she died. He says, "The Estate is diligently working to resolve any remaining issues."When Aretha Franklin died in August she left behind a legacy as the undisputed "Queen of Soul" ... and also a huge debt to Uncle Sam.

According to legal docs obtained by TMZ ... the IRS claims Franklin owes more than $6.3 MILLION in back taxes from 2012 to 2018, and an additional $1.5 mil in penalties.

One of Aretha's former lawyers tells us the massive tax lien is the result of several audits over the last 6 years. The weird thing ... one of the years in question is listed as 2018, and that tax year is not over.

We broke the story ... the "Respect" singer's being dogged in death by more than just the tax man -- her lawyer also filed docs in October demanding the estate pony up nearly $54k to cover bills dating back 6 years.

There's also a new lien filed by a publishing company that wants $136,000 for royalties in connection with the 1973 song "Angel."

Say a little prayer for the person managing her finances.

Originally Published -- 2:32 PM PT

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