Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert Deleo is adamant the group had no choice but to fire singer Scott Weiland because his antics were making his bandmates miserable. Weiland was dismissed earlier this year (13) and he is now embroiled in a bitter legal battle with his former friends, who have sued him over allegations he sabotaged the group's recent 20th anniversary tour by turning up late for performances and missing promotional gigs.
DeLeo has now opened up about the tensions in the group which led to Weiland's exit, insisting they needed to move forward without him.
He tells Rolling Stone, "It was a very difficult decision to terminate the face of your band. There are many paths to the history of certain bands and each one is a little different, but it all kind of turns out the same at the end. But it was a very difficult decision to do that. That's as big as it gets. But we really didn't have any other choice... (We) have been saddled by someone for a long time. We've always looked out for Scott's best interests and tried to be a great friend to someone who really didn't care to be friends with us...
"And I don't think we had any other choice... (We) would rather move ahead. I want to have f**king fun, man, making music. I have the complete luxury of making music for a living. If I'm around people that don't f**king get that, then I want to be around people who get that."
Stone Temple Pilots are now working with Linkin Park's Chester Bennington as their frontman, and DeLeo admits he feels grateful to the singer's bandmates for letting him take up the post.
He adds, "I feel very humbled by the fact the guys in Linkin Park are cool with this. All these guys are great dudes. It's not about music - it's about the humanity of it. They're the kind of human beings you want to be around at this point in life."
Bennington concludes, "I really respect the decision these guys have made. I also understand how incredibly difficult having that conversation would be... (But) this is their life. This is how they're gonna pay their bills and put their kids through college, this is how they're gonna want to spend the rest of their lives."
Jamie Foxx paid tribute to singer Harry Belafonte and Motown boss Berry Gordy during an emotional speech to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's iconic 'I have a dream' civil rights address in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday (28Aug13). The Oscar winner was among several famous faces who joined African-American leaders and politicians at the National Mall for the celebrations, but his speech was one of the day's most impressive as he urged the youth of today to respect their elders, like he respects the elders who marched with King.
Foxx recalled a touching recent meeting with Belafonte when the veteran entertainer served up a life lesson for the Ray star and his teenage daughter.
The actor/singer told the crowds gathered for the day of remembrance, "I said (to my daughter), 'Listen, if you want to get inspired, come listen to this man speak.' When I sat with Mr. Belafonte, he asked my daughter, 'How old are you?' and my daughter said, '19'. And I said, 'Mr. Belafonte, what were you doing at 19?' and he said, "I was coming home from World War Two and when I got back to America I wasn't allowed to vote... I realised I had more work to do, so myself, Al (Sharpton), Jesse (Jackson) and Martin (Luther King), we marched.
"I said, 'Wait a minute, man, you sound like you're naming a boy band group. What do you mean...? And he looked at my daughter and said, 'Martin Luther King, have you heard of him?' And we sat there and we cried."
Foxx added, "What we need to do now is the young folks (need to) pick it up now, so that when we're 87 years old, talking to the other young folks, we can say it was me, Will Smith, Jay Z, Kanye, Alicia Keys, Kerry Washington (who made a difference)."
Ironically, Belafonte recently targeted Jay Z over claims the rap mogul and his wife Beyonce weren't doing enough to address modern civil rights issues.
Foxx also noted that Belafonte also bailed Martin Luther King out of jail "so that he could march" and paid for his widow Coretta Scott King's bills "as long as she was on this planet".
The Ray star concluded his stirring speech by paying tribute to another African-American icon, Berry Gordy, explaining, "We have to salute Mr. Berry Gordy because Mr. Berry Gordy put Dr. King's speech on an album and put it out on Motown Records and after he did that, he turned around and gave those reels and those tapes back to the King family."
Judas Priest have signed up to 'teach' fans all they need to know about heavy rock at Las Vegas' first all-metal Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp. Frontman Rob Halford, guitarist Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis will serve as counsellors alongside former Queensryche singer Geoff Tate, Lita Ford and Vinny Appice at the four-day head-bangers school next spring (27Feb-02Mar14).
Halford tells Billboard.com he can't wait to meet the fans who pay to play with him and his pals: "I'm sure some of those Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Campers will be full-on. I will be interested to see if there's some Metal God, Rob Halford lookalikes wandering around Vegas in metal and studs and whatnot - although I'm sure you can find that in Vegas on any given day, right?"
But he thinks many of those who sign up for the camp will already be good players looking for tips to become great: "I think they're just looking for some professional tips and want to hear from the voice of experience.
"It's one thing to sing in the shower and it's another thing to sing on stage. They're two totally different worlds. So it'll be an opportunity for me to do the best I can to answer questions: 'How do you sing this note? How do you manage to scream like that? How do you breathe? How are you able to keep up that type of intensity?'
"I'll try to explain myself as best as possible and give some insight into what it's like to be a metal singer."
A man has shot himself at the Florida home of singer/actress Olivia Newton-John, according to U.S. reports. Police were called to the Grease star's residence after it was reported that a man had killed himself with a gun.
According to Sergeant Scott Pascarella, the spokesman for the Jupiter Police Department, the deceased man is not related to John or her husband John Easterling, and does not live in the home.
The couple was not home at the time of the tragedy, but there were building contractors on site.
Earlier this month (Aug13), it was reported that the house was for sale and comedienne Rosie O'Donnell was hoping to buy it.
Actress Ashley Tisdale is engaged to her musician boyfriend Christopher French, according to a new report. The former High School Musical star began dating the Annie Automatic singer last December (12) and he allegedly proposed to the 28 year old during a special date in New York on Thursday night (08Aug13).
A source tells Life & Style magazine, "It happened on the 103rd floor at the top of the Empire State Building. It was totally romantic and Ashley's over the moon, of course!"
Tisdale has yet to officially comment on the engagement, but she hinted at some happy news when she took to her Twitter.com blog late on Thursday, writing, "Best night of my life. We're on top of the world."
The blonde beauty previously dated music video director Scott Speer and was linked to Boys Like Girls frontman Martin Johnson last year (12).
Sick soul star D'angelo has pulled out of a planned performance at California's Outside Lands festival on Friday (09Aug13) as he continues to recover from a mystery "medical emergency". The Brown Sugar singer has scrapped a series of U.S. concerts after he was recently hospitalised with a "serious" illness, and now he has cancelled his last remaining summer gig at Outside Lands as a result of his health troubles.
Funk legend Nile Rodgers and his CHIC bandmates have been recruited as last-minute replacements and event organiser Allen Scott, of Another Planet Entertainment, is confident fans will still enjoy the festivities.
He says, "We hope that D'Angelo has a speedy recovery, and we are grateful to Nile Rodgers and CHIC for stepping in at this late hour. CHIC is still one of the greatest live bands around and I can guarantee that they are going to bring the party to Outside Lands on Friday."
Details about D'Angelo's illness have not been made public, but a spokesperson for Chicago, Illinois' House of Blues, where the singer was due to perform on Wednesday (07Aug13), reveals he "should be OK".
Linkin Park took their legions of fans on a trip down memory lane during their headlining set at the Sunset Strip Music Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday night (03Aug13) when they recalled playing their first shows at venues dotted along the fabled street. The rockers performed an 80-minute set of hits and singer/rapper Mike Shinoda even revamped a rap from an early song, titled Read My Eyes, that never made its way onto any of the band's albums.
Clearly emotional onstage at the full circle concert, he told fans, "Our first shows were at the Whisky (A Go Go) and Roxy. We played the majority of our first 15 shows there and it was our, like, dream... the Key Club used to be called Billboard Live and it was our be dream to be like, 'Dude, one day we're gonna be big enough to play Billboard Live!. And we would never have f**king thought that the dream wasn't to play Billboard Live; it was to play in front of f**king Billboard Live."
Bandmate Chester Bennington added, "Back when we were recording (album) Hybrid Theory and writing music for Hybrid Theory we'd have these crazy dreams, like, 'Wouldn't it be f**king cool if we shut down Sunset...?'"
Shinoda later recalled performing with Jay-Z at The Roxy, which was among the venues taking part in the SSMF, after spotting the club from the stage.
He added, "This is the most nostalgic show we've ever played," prompting Bennington to add, "I teared up, like, twice already."
The festival also gave Stone Temple Pilots fans a bonus - as both the band's current frontman Bennington and former lead singer Scott Weiland hit the stage on the same night, hundreds of yards apart - the Linkin Park star took over as STP's semi-permanent singer when Weiland was fired from the band earlier this year (13).
Weiland and his new band The Wildabouts added a second night to their Friday night (02Aug13) Viper Room gig and were performing there as Bennington left the main stage with Linkin Park.
Bennington made no mention of his other band during his set and Weiland made sure there was no bad blood between the two rockers by telling Rolling Stone magazine last week (ends02Aug13), "I've known Chester for a long time... I don't think Chester did it (replaced me) in a spiteful way."
Weiland and the remaining members of STP are currently locked in a legal dispute over the rights to the band name.
Rocker Scott Weiland insists there are no hard feelings between him and his Stone Temple Pilots replacement Chester Bennington, because he's convinced the Linkin Park star did not act spitefully when he stepped up to front the band. Bennington stunned fans when he hit the stage with STP for a radio concert in California in May (13) and now he has become a semi-permanent member of the group and plans to tour with the DeLeo brothers later this year (13), while honouring his Linkin Park commitments at the same time.
Weiland, whose firing left a vacancy for his rock peer, is at war with his former bandmates, but, as he prepares to hit the stage with his new group at the Hollywood music festival Bennington and Linkin Park are headlining this weekend (02-04Aug13), he wants to make it clear that he's not upset with his replacement.
He tells Billboard.com, "I've known Chester for a long time. I got to be pretty close with him on the (2001) Family Values Tour...
"I don't think Chester did it in a spiteful way. The brothers DeLeo can be pretty persuasive... I guess nothing is totally shocking, but... I don't think it was smart for them to do that. I'm surprised they did what they did without checking the legality of it, how they just decided to go and use the name and go and hire another singer and start playing shows with a name that I still am an owner of."
The DeLeo brothers and Weiland, who is now touring with his band the Wildabouts, have filed lawsuits against each other.
Sir Mick Jagger's famous friends and fans took to the Internet on Friday (26Jul13) to send messages of congratulations as the Rolling Stones star turned 70. The music legend's milestone created a buzz on Twitter.com and the singer was flooded with birthday greetings from devotees from around the world.
Jagger's partner L'Wren Scott gave fans a glimpse into the star's private birthday celebrations by posting a picture of a big pile of gift-wrapped presents on her Instagram.com page with the message, "Happy Birthday Mick Jagger... The most kind and adoring man... Love to you."
The singer's Rolling Stones bandmate Ronnie Wood also sent a public birthday message to his friend - in a post on Twitter.com, he wrote, "Hey - Happy birthday Mick Jagger! Enjoy & have fun," while Jagger's ex-wife Bianca added, "Happy birthday Mick Jagger - May the Good Lord shine a light on you warm like the evening sun, xx Bianca."
One Direction star Harry Styles also sent a birthday message to the veteran musician, writing, "Happy birthday Mick Jagger legend," and former U.S. President Bill Clinton also took time to honour the star: "Everyone wants the moves like Jagger... but Mick Jagger, you're one of a kind. Happy Birthday, friend!"
Rocker Lenny Kravitz offered, "Happy Birthday Mick!!!!... Have a good one Bro," while tributes also came in from Pamela Anderson, William Shatner, Martin Kemp and Mia Farrow.
Rocker Duff Mckagan was saddened by Scott Weiland's firing from Stone Temple Pilots, but insists he could "see it coming". Former Guns N' Roses star McKagan performed with the singer in Velvet Revolver before Weiland was sacked and made a return to his ex-band Stone Temple Pilots.
Weiland was kicked out of that group earlier this year (13) and replaced by Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, and McKagan admits he was sorry to hear of his former colleague's new problems.
He tells Billboard.com, "You could kind of see it coming, I suppose. It's a sad situation any way you look at it. That guy... You hope (Weiland) pulls it together; I shared enough good times with that guy that I wish him nothing but the best."
Weiland is currently locked in a legal battle with his former Stone Temple Pilots bandmates - they sued him for allegedly sabotaging their recent 20th anniversary tour with his bad behaviour, while he has filed a countersuit in a bid to stop them using the group's name without him in the line-up.