The E Street Band Loses A Brother

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When you go to see the Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band you always get the feeling that it’s some kind of little family up there on stage. No question, the guy up front is important, but the whomp put down by the collective efforts of everyone flanking him is crucial to delivering that signature sound. Well, the whomp won’t be exactly the same any more. Danny Federici, the group’s organist and keyboard player, has succumbed to the cancer he’s been battling for three years. He was 58. For four decades he’s been at the Boss’ side, adding to the energy, creating an array of great colors and flourishes. His accordion work on “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” is one of rock’s most memorable sounds. He and Springsteen played together their entire adult lives. “He was a pure natural musician. I loved him very much … we grew up together,” writes Springsteen on the band’s Web site. Check our video list of great E Street songs.

There are a couple of nice Federici clips, including “Sandy,” for you after the jump. VH1 Classic celebrates his life with a block of Springsteen programming starting tonight at 8pm/7c. Full listing after the jump.

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Friday: Solange’s Words of Wisdom

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solange.jpgSolange Reaches Out to Jamie-Lynn
Beyonce’s little sister/young mother drops some sage advice to mom-to-be Jamie-Lynn. She says, “decide what’s best for you.” Sounds like a Spears-ish trait already. [Us]

Britney Spears Coughs Up More Cash for Lawyers
B’s gotta pay her lawyers and conservators a whole lotta cash, and owes some guy named Andrew Wallet around $100,000. How appropriate. [Us]

Nicole Kidman Wants Kids Out of Scientology
So do we, Nic. So do we! [NYP]

Katie: Robotic Looks, Great Hair!

For someone with dead eyes, she looks really good. Though definitely a bit too skinny. Judging celebs from afar is fun! [JustJared]

Lindsay’s Dad Can’t Stop the Crazy Talk
LiLo’s a pain in the ass, yet her dad is continuously worse. He won’t shut up about his daughter doing “missionary work” even though her peeps have denied his claim. Parents are so embarrassing! [NYDN]

She Is Rocky, Hear Her Roar

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Straight-up: I Know My Kid’s a Star breakout Rocky gave this blog one of the best interviews it has ever heard. It was so good that the written word could not do it justice. You simply have to hear Rocky to believe her.

So, we’ve extracted the best 10 minutes of our hour-plus chat with Rocky, split them into two parts and added a slide show to go along with the discussion. Among the topics covered are: her daughter Hayley (of course), her breakdown in the closet, the hair-weave accusations, visible tampon strings, Miley Cyrus’ stripper tendencies, her b-movie career as Melissa Brasselle and her new single, “Who’s the Bitch Now?” Wait until you hear what it’s about.

(On that note, a word of warning: the language in these interviews, particularly in the second part, could be considered NSFW.)

Keep up with Rocky via her MySpace.

Caterpillar Cocoons on Mary-Kate’s Head

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- Mary-Kate Olsen on the red carpet last night in NYC. Notice how the giant caterpillar draped around her head compliments the dress she stole earlier in the day from Aretha Franklin‘s closet. Yep, being rich means ya just don’t give a f*ck! [Getty]

Katie Holmes Plans Escape from Tommy

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Katie Holmes is allegedly sick of her couch-jumping hubby, and is trying to take their toddle Suri and escape to the Big Apple. A source (clearly the Sur-meister) reveals that Tom’s claws are firmly in Katie’s skin, and he’s not letting her go anytime soon. “She desperately needs to be on her own for a while, but there’s no way Tom is going to let her take Suri away,” spills the spy. “There’s no way he’ll allow it. He just doesn’t want Katie — or Suri — out of his sight for long. He told her that if she goes to New York, fine, but he goes with her.”

So what is a trapped wife to do to escape the wrath of her obsessed husband?

1. Train with Top Model’s Benny Ninja on how to dance one’s way through Tom’s elaborate laser security system.

2. Dig a tunnel from Chez Cruise to Victoria Beckham‘s palace. Grab prepared lunch of soy beans from Posh and escape through her backyard.

3. Hideout with parents in Ohio for a few weeks. Tom will never think to look for his wife there – even with his giant Scientology-provided space satellite.

4. Arrive in New York via moped with Suri in a sidecar. Buy out the entire Plaza Hotel with all that Dawson’s Creek money and re-start career on Broadway! Guest star on Gossip Girl as an evil alum back to recruit new blood. Wear sweat pants. The new Katie is born (again!). [Star]

Tila Tequila’s New Contestants Are Butt-Ugly Bimbos and Sacks of Testosterone

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Dear Tila,
We begged and pleaded you to leave MTV last season and join us here at VH1. You declined. Not to be petty, but our reality star, New York, found true love on our dating show while you found nothing. This is not your fault. There’s no way you could have found even a friend among the violent drama queens, psychopaths, sex maniacs and potential sex offenders that you were subjected to. Needless to say, we’re disappointed that you’ve renewed your show, which premieres April 22, for a second season with MTV. Tila, baby, you’re making the same mistake twice. Judging by this preview clip, we’re bracing for a total freaking disaster:

First, what’s up with this “challenge?” Were these butt-ugly bimbos and sacks of testosterone contained in a cage because they have chicken brains? Did they start to peck and scratch each other? For your next challenge, why not just take them to a dog park and allow them to roll around in the mud and hump?

Tila, we’re sorry to be so negative. You know that we will always adore you. We will never tire of your dimples, your laugh, your contagious energy. You’re like a girlfriend that gets away with way too much because you’re irresistibly cute and hot. We hope that MTV treats you better this season. If not, our offer still stands for A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila 3. Because, as we all know, there’s no way in hell you’re finding love with these freaks.

P.S. Here’s an homage to your hotness:

Akon’s Shady Past is a Load of Krap

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akon.jpgYou know how Akon toiled in a Georgia jail for four years for his illegal work as the head of a car-heist ring? His tales of thievin’ and fighting behind bars after facing up to 75 years for a felony charge are a common theme in his songs and interviews, but it turns out it never really happened! The Smoking Gun did a whole lotta research on the Kon’s shady past, and while the rapper does have a lengthy rap sheet, the only felony he ever received was for a gun possession charge, for which he got just three months probation. In fact, the longest Akon’s ever spent in jail was just a few months, after he was busted for stealing a BMW. His rep as a “ringleader of a notorious car theft operation” – which he loves to boast about – is a total sham, presumably created by the rapper to appear tough to his millions of fans. Turns out that after all his bogus tales of life as a notorious felon, this might be his biggest con job of all. [Smoking Gun]