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HQ Trivia CEO Colin Kroll Dead at 34 Apparent Drug OD

12/16/2018 7:26 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Colin Kroll, the CEO and co-founder of HQ Trivia, has died of an apparent drug overdose ... TMZ has learned. 

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ, Kroll's girlfriend called police early Sunday and asked them to check up on him after she was unable to get in touch. Cops went to downtown Manhattan to do a welfare check, entered his apartment and found Kroll's body in his bedroom with drug paraphernalia nearby.

A police source tells TMZ at this point cops believe the drugs involved were cocaine and heroin. 

Kroll was named CEO of HQ Trivia in 2018. He had previously been fired from Twitter after he was determined to be a "bad manager." Female employees claimed his behavior made them uncomfortable, however, no sexual harassment claims were ever filed.

HQ Trivia was having problems recently. It was steadily losing audience. In January, HQ was in the top 10 list of most downloaded iPhone games. It's now fluctuating between #250 and 500 in the U.S. Also, Kroll was dealing with an H.R. complaint by an HQ employee for his "aggressive management style."

Kroll was also the co-founder of Vine and was General Manager between 2013 and 2014. And, he was the Chief Technology Officer for Jetsetter. Prior to that, Kroll served as the Engineering Manager at Yahoo between 2007 to 2009.  

Kroll was 34.

RIP

LFO Member Brad Fischetti Releasing New Christmas Music It Was Devin Lima's Last Wish

12/15/2018 12:10 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The last surviving member of LFO wants to keep the late Devin Lima's legacy alive ... and he can think of nothing better than to publish previously unreleased music just in time for the holidays.

Brad Fischetti tells TMZ ... he just released "Xiles Xmas" and "Hip Hop Reindeers." The 'Reindeers' track is a tribute to all the artists who influenced LFO over the years -- from Snoop Dogg and Andre 3000 to Jay-Z, Biggie Smalls and Tupac. Meanwhile, 'Xiles' pulls at the heartstrings -- it's about spending Christmas alone while missing that special someone.

BTW ... both tracks are also gonna be available on iTunes and Spotify.

Brad says releasing the tracks fulfilled 2 purposes ... for starters, he and Devin talked about releasing the track shortly before Devin passed away after losing his battle with stage 4 cancer. Secondly, Brad felt it's a great way to remember his pal. 

Check out the vid ... Brad says Devin's fingerprints are all over the new tracks. And, it's unclear what's next for LFO -- Brad says the group is gone as we know it since former lead singer, Rich Cronin, died in 2010. Nevertheless, he's optimistic the new music will set the band's legacy in stone. 

50 Cent 'Power' Crew Member Died On Set

12/10/2018 10:17 AM PST
Breaking News

A production assistant on the set of "Power" was hit by an out of control SUV and died from his injuries ... TMZ has confirmed.

NYPD tells us ... Pedro Jimenez was setting up parking cones for a location shoot in Brooklyn around 4:20 AM when he was struck by a 2006 Ford Explorer. Police responded and Pedro was transported to a Brooklyn Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

In a heartfelt Instagram post, 50 Cent said his prayers and condolences are with Pedro's family. Fiddy is one of the show's executive producers and previously had a starring role.

NYPD officials say they are investigating the incident and have already spoken with the driver of the SUV that struck Pedro. The driver, a 64-year-old man, is also a crew member of "Power." No arrests have been made.

Pedro had worked on the series since it debuted in 2014. He was 63. 

RIP

Roger the Ripped Kangaroo Dead at 12

12/10/2018 6:20 AM PST
Breaking News

Australia just lost a true legend ... Roger the ripped kangaroo has died at 12 years old.

Roger -- AKA Kangaroo Jacked -- lit the internet on fire back in 2015 after pics of him crushing a metal bucket with his hands went viral.

The 6'7", 200-lb. 'roo was living at the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Australia ... and his videos and pictures showing off his Schwarzenegger-esque physique were a big hit on the web.

"Sadly Roger has passed away of old age," owner Chris Barnes announced on Facebook. "He lived a lovely long life and was loved by millions around the world."

Barnes rescued and raised Roger as a joey after his mother was killed in a car accident ... and in 2016 announced the kangaroo was dealing with arthritis and vision loss.

"We will always love you and miss you Roger"

Pour one out for Roger. This one hurts.

MLB's Luis Valbuena & Jose Castillo Killed in Car Accident ... in Venezuela

12/7/2018 12:40 PM PST
Breaking News

12:40 PM PT -- Venezuelan authorities believe Valbuena and Castillo may have been victims of robbers who throw rocks onto roads to cause cars to crash and then steal from people inside the vehicle.

Yaracuy governor Julio León Heredia announced 4 suspects have been arrested after they were found with the players' belongings.

MLB infielders Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in a car crash in Venezuela on Thursday ... after a car they were riding in veered off the road.

According to local reports ... 33-year-old Valbuena and Castillo, 37, were leaving their Venezuelan league game with Cardenales de Lara in Yaracuy when their driver either hit or swerved to avoid a rock ... and drove off the road.

The man driving the car was the chauffeur of their teammate, Carlos Rivero -- who survived the crash.

Photos of the accident have surfaced ... showing the van totally damaged and flipped on its side.

Valbuena -- who most recently played for the Angels this past season -- has been in the majors since 2008 ... and has also played for the Astros, Cubs, Indians and Mariners.

Valbuena hit 25 home runs with Houston in 2015.

Castillo played 5 seasons in the MLB with the Pirates, Giants and Astros.

The MLB released a statement Friday morning, saying, "We are saddened by the tragic news that Luis Valbuena and former major leaguer José Castillo have died in a car accident."

#RIP

Originally Published 6:23 AM PT

Mac Miller 1st Grammy Nom ... for Best Rap Album

12/7/2018 7:32 AM PST
Breaking News

Another reason for Mac Miller's fans to celebrate his life and music -- the late rapper just got his first ever Grammy nomination.

The Recording Academy announced Friday morning Mac Miller's "Swimming" is nominated for rap album of the year. The album's got hefty competition ... going up against Cardi B (Invasion of Privacy), Nipsey Hussle (Victory Lap), Pusha T (Daytona) and Travis Scott (Astroworld).

"Swimming" peaked at no. 3 on the Billboard charts when it was released back in August. It returned to the top 10 following his death in September.

TMZ broke the story ... Mac died from an accidental overdose.

"Swimming" got rave reviews, including from Rolling Stone which said Mac revealed "himself to be a sympathetic, even winning presence."

BTW, Mac wasn't the only artist to earn a posthumous nomination. Chris Cornell -- nominated 4 previous times -- is up for best rock performance. Chris died by suicide in May.

George H.W. Bush Celebs Pay Respects ... At Texas Funeral

12/6/2018 9:37 AM PST

You can clearly tell just how much George H.W. Bush was liked and respected simply by the incredible number of celebs who turned out for the late President's funeral in the Lone Star State.  

Reba McEntire sang "The Lord's Prayer" and The Oak Ridge Boys gave a powerful rendition of "Amazing Grace" during the funeral services Thursday at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston.

Everything's bigger in Texas, including Houston sports stars -- past and present -- who turned out to say goodbye to 41 ...  former Rockets centers Yao Ming and Dikembe Mutombo towered over the crowd, while Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt brought the muscle with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Naturally, Chuck Norris was there, and legendary Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda made the trek from Los Angeles. 

Our 41st president, who died last Friday in Houston, will be buried at his Presidential Library at Texas A&M in nearby College Station. 

Thousand Oaks Shooting Country Night Returns to Bar One Month After Massacre

12/6/2018 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The Thousand Oaks bar where 12 people were killed in a shooting rampage nearly a month ago is making a valiant effort to return to normalcy. First order of business -- hosting country night again.

The Borderline Bar & Grill's management is bringing their popular Country Line Dancing Night to a new venue, because they're not yet ready to open their doors. The event will be held at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills -- just a 9 minute drive away from Borderline.

The owners say The Canyon Club "graciously allowed us to set up shop and take over Thursday." The first country night is slated for December 20 with doors opening at 6 PM, dance lessons at 6:30 PM ... then line dancing, drinks and food until closing.

As we first reported ... Borderline plans to open again, but the owners don't have a timetable yet.

It's been closed since an ex-Marine stormed the bar last month and opened fire on tons of college students attending Country Night. Tamera Mowry's niece and a Ventura County Sheriff's sergeant were among the victims.

Responding cops eventually found the gunman dead by apparent suicide.

George H.W. Bush George W. Bush Breaks Down Eulogizing Dad at State Funeral

12/5/2018 7:45 AM PST

George H.W. Bush's state funeral just wrapped up at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. ... where his son -- 43rd President George W. Bush -- was brought to tears eulogizing his late father and former POTUS. 

Dubya delivered an incredibly emotional tribute to his dad, which ended with him choking up and having to step back from the lectern. It was a powerful moment, and fellow mourners gave 43 a big round of applause as he went back to his seat.

Presidential funerals are always extraordinary for the rare gathering of ex-Presidents. Trump, Obama, Clinton and Carter are all there ... and seated RIGHT next to each other. 

Trump's attendance was not initially a lock, but he reportedly decided to attend after discussions with the Bush family, and getting assurances he wouldn't be bad-mouthed. Interesting to note, this is the first time Hillary Clinton and Trump will be in the same space since the election. 

Also, Michelle Obama wrote in her new book she would never forgive Donald Trump for sparking the birther movement. Sooo ... tense moments.

The former President's body has been lying in State at the Capitol since Monday ... and a steady stream of dignitaries, politicians and celebrities have shown up to pay respects. 

Our 41st President died last Friday in Houston. He was 94.

George H.W. Bush Will Puts George W. and Jeb in Charge

12/5/2018 7:02 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

George H.W. Bush's will has been filed in probate court and it lists two of his sons -- former President George W. Bush and former Governor Jeb Bush -- as executors. 

The will, filed in Texas Tuesday -- obtained by TMZ -- used to list Barbara as the executor, but when she died on April 17, it was turned over to George and Jeb. The two brothers are also in charge of Barbara's estate.

As for H.W.'s financial situation, the docs don't get specific -- everything was put into a trust -- but the amount is listed as more than $50,000 ... a number that surely downplays 41's actual worth.

H.W. died in Texas Friday ... his health was declining in recent years and was in and out of the hospital several times. He was admitted to ICU at the Houston Methodist Hospital back in January 2017 due to pneumonia. Barbara was also admitted with her own health issues.

As we reported ... his former service dog, Sully, has been by his casket at several places leading up to George Sr.'s funeral Wednesday. 

Dynamite Kid Ex-WWE Superstar Dies at 60

12/5/2018 5:58 AM PST
Breaking News

The Dynamite Kid -- one half of the famed British Bulldogs tag team duo -- has died, his family announced Wednesday. 

The wrestler -- real name Tommy Billington -- had been battling health issues for years though his exact cause of death has not been revealed.

He turned 60 years old on Wednesday ... the same day he passed away. 

Dynamite made his WWF debut back in 1984 and famously wrestled stars like Bret "The Hitman" Hart and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart

His biggest moment was winning the tag team championship with British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith at Wrestlemania II back in 1986.

The duo defeated The Dream Team of Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and Greg Valentine on the same night Hulk Hogan defeated King Kong Bundy in a steel cage match. 

Dynamite Kid's nephew, Davey Boy Smith Jr. -- a former pro wrestler himself -- issued a statement on his passing Wednesday morning, 

"It deeply saddens me to announce the passing of Tom Billington the 'Dynamite Kid.' I was really happy and glad I got to see Dynamite one last time last June in the UK."

"Dynamite was certainly an inspiration to myself and many others and really revolutionized professional Wrestling as we now [sic] it today. He flew high, and gave it his all every match. Thanks for everything and sad to have lost another family member. Rest In Peace Dyno."

Peyton Manning, Jack Nicklaus Pay Respects At George H.W. Bush Memorial

12/4/2018 2:37 PM PST
Breaking News

Sports legends from all over the country gathered at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to pay tribute to George H.W. Bush

Those in attendance include Peyton Manning, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Mike Krzyzewski, Chris Evert, Jim Nantz, Fred Couples and Jim Calhoun

The body of the 41st President of the United States is lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda until his funeral service on Wednesday morning at the Washington National Cathedral where his son, former President George W. Bush, will deliver the eulogy.

After the service, Bush's remains will go to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and then to a ceremony at a church in Houston before he's finally laid to rest at a family plot at his Presidential Library in College Station. 

Bush was big into sports -- he played baseball at Yale and was a huge fan of the Houston Astros. He also played a lot of golf and horseshoes, and famously enjoyed skydiving. 

Bush was 94. 

RIP

Troy Gentry Deadly Chopper Crash Blamed on Pilot

12/4/2018 2:06 PM PST

Troy Gentry died as a result of his helicopter pilot's error ... according to investigators.

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded the pilot cut the engine too soon as he attempted to make an emergency landing back in September 2017.

As we reported, Troy -- one half of the country music group Montgomery Gentry -- and the pilot were killed when they crashed in a field in Medford, NJ.

According to the NTSB's report, the pilot's mistake led to an uncontrolled descent and instead of landing at nearby Flying W Airport, the chopper crashed in the woods. The report included dialogue between the pilot and experts on the ground assisting him with the landing.

The pilot had intended to pull off a maneuver he said he had done before -- cutting the engine and attempting to glide to the ground. However, experts had advised a shallow, run-on landing. 

Troy was 50.

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