HIGHLIGHTS: O.J. SIMPSON was granted parole yesterday, meaning he’ll be released in October. He served 9 years of a 33-year sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery.
FULL STORY: Well, it happened . . . and it really shouldn’t be a surprise: O.J. SIMPSON was granted parole yesterday. So after serving 9 years of a 33-year sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery, he’ll be a free man in October.
The four-man parole board in Carson City, Nevada voted unanimously to set him free. Ironically, one of the reasons they cited was his LACK OF PRIOR CONVICTION.
O.J. looked and sounded great, especially for a guy who just turned 70. That’ll probably be disappointing to a lot of people, but what can I do about it?
The hearing was interesting, because everyone ignored the fact that O.J. murdered two people. I mean, they had to, since in the eyes of the law, he DIDN’T. But it still led to some interesting soundbytes from The Juice. Such as . . .
“I’ve always been a guy that pretty much got along with everybody.”
“I’ve basically spent a conflict-free life.”
“Nobody has ever accused me of pulling any weapon on them.”
(This is actually true, but only because the one time he did it, he did it really, really well.)
“I’m not a guy who lived a criminal life. I’m a pretty straight shooter.”
And . . .
“I’d just like to get back to my family and friends, and believe it or not, I do have some real friends.”
It certainly helped O.J.’s case that one of the victims . . . a guy named Bruce Fromong . . . testified on his behalf. He even said that if O.J. called and asked him for a ride from prison, he’d be there. (And he wore a Heisman Trophy shirt to the hearing.) (???)
O.J.’s 48-year-old daughter Arnelle also testified, calling her dad, quote, “my best friend and my rock.”
Twitter was all over this, of course. Comedian Rory Albanese had a good one . . . quote, “It’s crazy that this generation will only know OJ as an armed robber and not for the thing he’s most famous for, murder.”
And Harry Shearer said, quote, “OJ: ‘lived a conflict-free life’ . . . but we heard Nicole’s 911 calls, the baseball bat through her car windshield.” (Grab more Tweets here, here, here, and here.)
Celebrities have been known to do such strange things to avoid attention . . . or to GET attention . . . that even the most ridiculous stories won’t have most people batting an eye.
But yesterday, that line was crossed when a lot of places reported that TAYLOR SWIFT snuck out of her New York apartment . . . by climbing into a large suitcase and having two men CARRY her out. (???)
It all started with a paparazzi company, which released a photo of the two men carrying the suitcase. They captioned it, quote, “Taylor Swift being transported in a huge suitcase from her Tribeca apartment into her truck, in the trunk.”
Later in the day, they took it back . . . and changed the caption to, “Taylor Swift’s security guards are seen moving a huge case into the trunk of a waiting SUV.” Which makes it a FAR less valuable photo, obviously.
The agency also said that the person who made the mistake was “not really a regular photographer” that they use . . . and that the person had NOT personally verified that Taylor was inside.
AARON CARTER was arrested for DUI after being pulled over at 9:00 P.M. in Georgia on Saturday. Technically, he was arrested for SUSPICION of DUI, because he refused a breathalyzer and drug testing.
He was hit with three misdemeanors: DUI . . . possession of less than one ounce of marijuana . . . and possession of “drug related objects.” His girlfriend Madison Parker was also in the car, and she was arrested and charged with obstruction and two drug related charges. They’ve both posted bond and have been released. Aaron was supposed to be performing in Kansas City on Saturday night, around the time he was pulled over in Georgia. But several hours before, his people Tweeted, quote, “Due to transportation issues, Aaron will not make his set time tonight in Kansas City.” This is Aaron’s first DUI arrest . . . and it had some AMAZING timing. Just FIVE DAYS before the arrest, Aaron was talking to the paparazzi about Shia LaBeouf’s drunken arrest, and he boasted, quote, “You won’t catch ME getting any DUIs. I don’t have any DUIs.” TMZ has video of him saying that, and just after he says that, a guy in the background says, quote, “Because I drive.” It’s unclear who that guy is . . . but he WASN’T driving on Saturday night . . . possibly due to those “transportation issues.” For what it’s worth, Aaron claims he was being TARGETED because he’s a celebrity. In a statement on Twitter, he said he was “aggressively” arrested inside an Auto Zone, after he went there looking for help with his car.
He said he has a medical license for the marijuana, and was “not in a moving vehicle while arrested and charged with DUI.” He also took an angry swipe at his brother Nick, who made it sound like Aaron DID need help.
“Billboard” has put out their annual ‘Music Moneymakers’ list, which ranks the 50 artists who raked in the most money last year. The estimates include stuff like music sales, streaming, ringtones, publishing royalties, and touring, which is where the big money comes from these days.
They only count U.S. sales and touring, so anyone who spent a lot of last year touring abroad won’t have that income added. Merchandise sales and sponsorships weren’t included either, because there wasn’t enough information available to make it consistent across the board.
BEYONCÉ is #1, with an estimated net income of $62.1 million, and no one else was even close to that.
Here are the Top 20 Music Moneymakers:
- Beyoncé, $62.1 million
- Guns N’ Roses, $42.3 million
- Bruce Springsteen, $42.2 million
- Drake, $37.3 million
- Adele, $37 million
- Coldplay, $32.3 million
- Justin Bieber, $30.5 million
- Luke Bryan, $27.3 million
- Kanye West, $26.1 million
- Kenny Chesney, $25.4 million
- Billy Joel, $23.6 million
- Rihanna, $22.3 million
- Twenty One Pilots, $21.1 million
- Carrie Underwood, $19.9 million
- Metallica, $18.5 million
- Paul McCartney, $17.7 million
- Future, $17 million
- Garth Brooks, $16.02 million
- Trans-Siberian Orchestra, $16.01 million
- Barbra Streisand, $15.8 million . . . with almost ALL of that coming from touring. Hey, remember when Barbra launched that farewell tour in 1999? And then in 2006, and then in 2012? Yeah, she’s STILL on the road.
(Hit up Billboard.com for the whole list, along with cool breakdowns of how each artist made their money.)
A New York auction house called ‘Gotta Have Rock and Roll’ is placing a CD up for bids later this month, and it supposedly contains a full, finished album of unreleased MICHAEL JACKSON songs.
It looks like a blank, Sony CD-R . . . but it has the word “Bible” written in blue sharpie, and it features 12 mastered tracks, all with completed vocals.
Different versions of three of the tracks . . . “Monster”, “Breaking News”, and “Keep Your Head Up” . . . appeared on “Michael”, the first album that was put out after his death. But the other nine tracks have never been released.
The CD was in the possession of an anonymous person who’s described as a, quote, “personal friend and personal assistant to Michael, whose family was very close to Michael for many years.”
The starting bid on the unreleased album is $50,000. There is a catch, though . . . the winning bidder will NOT have the rights to the music, so they won’t be able to distribute it in any way.
There’s no reason why you can’t play it at a party to impress all your friends. Although, if you have $50K to burn, impressing your friends probably isn’t something you have a problem with. (Here’s a video report on the auction.)