A crowd of about 10,000 fans, music professionals and relatives filled the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., to bid farewell to TLC member Lisa Lopes. Reuters reported that before the service, the TLC hit song "Waterfalls" played softly in the background while images of Lopes played on two monitors. Among those in attendance were singers Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Keith Sweat, producer Kenneth "Baby Face" Edmonds and Marion "Suge" Knight, founder of Death Row Records.
Teen People magazine announced its 25 hottest stars under 25. Those who made the cut include those Attack of the Clones lovebirds Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen, Spider-Man's Kirsten Dunst, songster Alicia Keys, cutie boys Josh Hartnett and Orlando Bloom, and martial arts butt-kicker Zhang Ziyi.
Britney Spears smokes! NewYorkPost.com reported the pop princess was caught by a cameraman with an offending butt in her hand as she sat on the balcony of her hotel room in Sydney, Australia. Now you might ask, who the heck cares? Well, two years ago she told the Knoxville, Tenn., News-Sentinel that she doesn't believe in drugs or even smoking. Only God. Ah, the hypocrisy of it all.
Sometimes it doesn't pay to get your face on television. Joseph Bakley, the brother of Robert Blake's slain wife, learned that the hard way when the state of Florida came after him for probation violation after seeing him on ABC's 20/20, talking about his sister's death. D'oh!
Angel's David Boreanaz and his wife, actress Jaime Bergman, welcomed their first child on May 1, boy Jaden Rayne Boreanaz, weighing in at 8 lbs., 9 oz. Mother and baby are doing fine.
Daily Variety's columnist Army Archerd reported the final scene being shot for Mike Myers' new Austin Powers film, Austin Powers in Goldmember, is set in the home of Ozzy Osbourne. Myers and director Jay Roach are big fans of the MTV show about the Osbourne family. Myers told Archerd that it will be only one of the "many surprises" in the movie.
Will Smith may enter back into the television arena. His company Overbrook Entertainment is looking to develop a syndicated half-hour newsmagazine pilot, Good News, to roll out in fall 2003. It will focus on inspirational individuals, including celebrities, public figures and everyday heroes.
Fox's Dark Angel may be no more. Series creator James Cameron told the New York Daily News that the show is on the verge of cancellation, but Fox will announce its final decision in the next two weeks. The finale of season two will air this Friday night, marking Cameron's TV directing debut.
Legendary rockers The Rolling Stones plan to announce their first tour in three years Tuesday in New York. The tour will coincide with the band's 40th anniversary of its first public appearance. They just don't know when to quit, do they?
Eminem donned a turban and played Osama bin Laden in his latest music video, for his single "Without Me." He also parodies the Survivor TV show, Elvis Presley and singer Moby. It premiered Wednesday on MTV's Making the Video.
Don't confuse the shock rock group Slipknot with the knitters' quarterly journal Slipknot. Apparently, irate fans of the American group sent threatening e-mails to the British knitters' Web site, telling the club not to call its publication Slipknot because it made their idols look bad.
Audrey Hepburn will be honored with a sculpture outside the UNICEF headquarters in New York. Called "Spirit of Audrey," the artwork of a tall, slender woman holding a child will commemorate Hepburn's years of tireless support of the children's organization before she died in 1993.
John Nathan-Turner, a producer of the British cult show Dr. Who, died in England at the Brighton's Hove Hospital on Wednesday following a short illness. He was 54.
Sometimes taking a joke too far can cause harm.
Just ask disc jockeys Kramer and Twitch of the Dallas hard-rock radio station KEGL-FM, who were fired Monday after reporting on their night show that teen heartthrobs Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were involved in a car accident. Police and fire officials in Los Angeles were bombarded with phone calls from distraught fans on the night of June 12 and into the morning of June 13 wanting to know whether the accident had killed Spears and left her beau, 'N Sync's Timberlake, comatose. The disc jockeys, whose real names are Keith Kramer and Tony Longo admitted later that the report was a hoax.
Radio personalities often make jokes on the air about the famous. Always on the hot stove is Howard Stern, the so-called "King of all Media," who thrives on grilling his guests or ripping those who dare not step into his studio.
Those who devise such on-air hoaxes as the Spears-Timberlake car crash are simply doing it to garner attention, according to Russ Morley and Mickey Miller, hosts of the "The Get Up & Go Show" on WRMF-FM in West Palm Beach, Fla.
"They are just looking at the ratings," Miller said. "They want to get people to talk about it."
Disc jockeys try to be funny when they do "bits," Miller and Morley said, but falsifying news reports to amuse listeners is done partly for the shock value.
When disc jockeys decide to play a joke of that magnitude, they had better have a copy of their resume handy because they are likely to be fired, Miller said.
Kramer and Longo have lost their jobs, but not to worry, Miller said. The publicity and notoriety surrounding the hoax may help Kramer and Longo land pretty jobs elsewhere, he speculated.
The disc jockeys definitely got caught the nation's attention. The hoax made many believe that their idols were dead. Jive Records, which represents both artists, had to release a statement on June 13 saying that there was "no truth to the rumor" and that "Spears and Timberlake are in great health." The record company went as far as to say that Timberlake is touring with 'N Sync and that Spears is in the studio recording her next album. There also was a threat of possible legal action against the perpetrators of the hoax, but Spears' representatives said Wednesday that the disc jockeys would not face any lawsuits filed against them by the stars.
The Federal Communications Commission would not comment on the hoax or any possible action against Kramer and Longo.
That the hoax became accepted fact so quickly surprised one of Timberlake's colleagues.
"I can't believe that [rumor] spread so fast, but yeah, I mean, I don't see how CNN and ABC could actually report stuff like that and not even get it for fact," 'N Sync's Lance Bass told online music magazine Launch on Monday.
The news hit so fast that they didn't have time to call their families to let them know that it was a hoax, he said.
"[Timberlake] had family members who really thought it was true because they saw it on CNN," Bass said.
CNN only reported on the hoax, not on the accident itself, said network spokeswoman Megan Mehoney.
ABC News.com public relations rep Lauren Kapp said that the network's only story regarding the teen couple was a column written by Heidi Oringer, in which she speculated how the public would react if the accident had really happened.
KEGL-FM received a few calls from people who wanted to confirm the rumor, but a few callers figured it wasn't true, Tom Schurr, Clear Channel vice president and Dallas market manager, said Wednesday.
The disc jockeys joined KEGL-FM in 1998. Their show also aired from December to May on KSJO-FM in San Jose, Calif., where they were based.
Kramer and Longo courted controversy long before they thought up the Spears-Timberlake hoax. The Dallas Morning News reported that the disc jockeys once implied that motorists knock down bicyclists or hit them with their car doors.
"The decision to fire Kramer and Twitch was based on a whole series of things that we have experienced during the last several months," Schurr said.
Schurr would not elaborate further.
Kramer and Longo could not be reached Wednesday for comment.
Kramer told The Dallas Morning News that he and his partner were surprised that they were fired.
"We got permission to air the bit," he said.
Schurr said that the disc jockeys neither asked nor received permission to air the hoax.
Kramer said that they decided to use Spears as the butt of their joke because they did not think her fans listened to their radio station.
KEGL-FM has replaced the disc jockeys with Chaz Knight, another radio station's personalities.
"What Kramer and Twitch did was extreme night-time radio," Schurr said. "[Knight] plays more music. He will do a good job for us."