Travis ScottFires Back at Astroworld Victim Attorney ...I Was Trying to Keep Fans Safe at Coney Show!!!

UPDATE

8:53 AM PT -- A rep for Travis tells TMZ, "This is the despicable, cynical height of hypocrisy. It’s beyond disappointing to see that - in a desperate bid to influence potential jurors – plaintiffs’ legal team is criticizing Travis for pausing Monday’s Coney Island show to ensure that fans can have fun safely. This is exactly the wrong message to send to fans - and to artists. And it completely ignores the fact that Travis also stopped his performance at Astroworld three different times.”

Travis Scott stopping a concert for a rowdy crowd is backfiring -- 'cause the family of one of the Astroworld victims thinks it shows him picking and choosing when he puts fan safety first.

Alex Hilliard, an attorney representing Ezra Blount's family, tells TMZ ... Scott's actions at the July 4 Coney Island show don't prove the rapper is compassionate and willing to keep order. If anything, it depicts the exact opposite ... at least according to the lawyer.

7/4/22
CROWD CONTROL
TMZ.com

Hillard says, "He knows exactly how to keep his fans safe during a concert, but the problem with that is he didn't just learn about the fact that he has control over the entire crowd."

His implication is Travis has known he wields this power all along, including at Astroworld, but simply refused to exercise it to settle things down. Travis has denied that.

Hillard goes on -- "There are 10 people that would still be alive today, including young Ezra Blount, if Travis realized his responsibility as an artist goes further than just trying to rile up his crowds, and it reemphasizes the rule of 'if you see something say something.'"

In the immediate aftermath of the Coney Island performance, one of Travis's reps came out and said ... "Travis is committed to doing his part to ensure events are as safe as possible so that fans can have fun," adding that he encouraged fans to listen to security so everyone could be safe and enjoy themselves.

It might leave TS feeling like he's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't -- but Hillard just isn't buying the compassionate Trav version of events.

He hits back rather fiercely ... telling us, "The problem Mr. Scott has is his when we call him to the stand to swear him in and cross-examine him the judge will not allow his paid spokesperson to sit in the witness chair and answer questions for him."

As you know ... Travis is still tied to several lawsuits that have accused him of being liable for the deaths at Astroworld Fest. All that litigation is still working its way through the courts, and he has yet to be dropped from any of those suits ... despite having asked.

Kirk FranklinMy Take on R. Kelly Debate ...Hard to 'Separate Artist from the Art'

WITH GREAT POWER ...
TMZ.com

Fans of R. Kelly's music are torn on how to handle the disgraced singer's catalog of hits, now that he's doing 30 years for sex crimes -- but maybe Kirk Franklin can provide some guidance.

We put the issue to the gospel music pioneer in NYC. Seeing as how he recorded with Kelly back in 1998, and he knows a thing or two about being persecuted in the spotlight ... he's a perfect person to weigh in.

The gospel Grammy magnet is currently promoting his social justice reform-themed album, "Kingdom Book One" w/ Maverick City Music, and didn't deny cancel culture is a slippery slope because we all make mistakes.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Still, he says it can be "difficult to separate an artist from the art," and, therefore, performers have a responsibility to uphold the trust of their fans.

As we reported, Kelly is currently off suicide watch in prison, and if he's at all interested in forgiveness from fans ... it's gonna take a lot of work, according to Kirk.

He loosely quoted the Bible's book of Luke 12:48 when he told us, "To whom much is given, much is required."

Westside BoogieEminem Taught Me, No Crowd-Surfing... But It's My Thing!!!

SURF'S UP
It's Tricky with Raquel Harper

Westside Boogie says he's picked up lots of gems from Eminem while signed to his record label, but, unfortunately ... the best one involves NOT doing something he loves to do!!!

The Compton-bred rapper sat down with Raq on the 'It's Tricky' podcast and talked more about being a Shady Records artist, and learning the ropes from Em.

Westside Boogie says, the best tip Em ever gave him was telling him to stop crowd-surfing because there's a chance he can get sued. Great advice, financially speaking ... possibly, but you can tell in this clip, WB is conflicted about it.

If you didn't know ... Westside Boogie, formerly known as Boogie, signed to Shady Records and Interscope Records back in 2017.

Apparently, Marshall's warning came with good reason. Besides the aforementioned legal concerns ... Westside Boogie says his label honcho doesn't approve of stage-diving because it sparked a fight, back in the day for the 'Real Slim Shady.'

Westside Boogie released his 2nd studio album a few weeks back, but it's still a bit unclear if he'll stop pulling out his favorite move at the shows.πŸ˜†

For the full interview, catch "It's Tricky with Raquel Harper" wherever you get your podcasts.

β€˜FNF’ Rapper GloRillaHi Haters, I’m Yo Gotti Certified ...F*** Boys Rap Made Me Rich!!!

SHOUTOUT TO THE HATERS
TMZ.com

Just follow the Instagram and TikTok hashtags -- up-and-coming Memphis rapper GloRilla’s "F.N.F. (Let's Go)"single is the hottest twerk anthem of 2022, and now she’s joined one of the hottest labels in the game ... Yo Gotti’s Collective Music Group!!!

Young Glo checked in with TMZ Hip Hop Wednesday, following her CMG chaining day -- which included a $500,000 cash money signing bonus just for being lit.

According to Glo, 'F.N.F.' (which stands for "F*** N***a Free btw) wasn't inspired by one particular relationship, but rather a sea of bird-brain males she observed in singlehood.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

GloRilla tells us she manifested her success through the power of her words, using terms like "when" instead of "if" to speak her wins into power.

She also has no shame in her game... Β thanking all her haters for giving her a punching bag on her way to the top πŸ˜œβ—

SHININ' ON STAGE
TMZ.com

Her breakout hit peaked at 91 on the Billboard Hot 100 and had everyone from Cardi B to Saweetie to Kodak Black co-signing the hit -- not to mention her fellow CMG labelmate Moneybagg Yo, who recently gave her a Ja Morant alley-oop at Spotify's RapCaviar event where Gotti was named "Coach of the Year."

GloRilla not only says she's not gonna be a one-hit-wonder, but promises she's got more big records on the way.

As she says on that catchy AF 'F.N.F.' chorus ... let's gooooo!

Nipsey HussleEric Holder Found Guilty of Murder

Eric Holder has been found guilty in the murder of Nipsey Hussle ... gunning the rapper and activist down in broad daylight back in 2019.

READING THE VERDICT

The jury returned the guilty verdict in an L.A. courtroom Wednesday, about 3 weeks after the trial began. He was found guilty of 1st-degree murder for killing Nipsey. Holder shot two other people during the murder -- he was found guilty of 2 counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter, guilty of 2 counts of assault with a firearm and guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon. He was found not guilty of premeditated attempted murder.

The details of the brutal murder were outlined early in the trial -- Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told the jury Holder kicked Nipsey in the head after filling his body with lead, calling it proof the attack was personal.

4/1/19
COLD-BLOODED

He then told the rapper "You're through," to which Nipsey replied, "You got me."

Among the people on the stand was Bryannita Nicholson, who was with Holder on the day of the murder. She stated Holder asked her to drive him around the block, she saw he had a gun and heard gunshots when Holder got out of her vehicle.

Kerry Lathan, one of the people that got shot in the back during the incident, took the stand during the trial, but he stayed pretty tight-lipped.

Holder got banged up during the trial when he was jumped by inmates at the jail waiting for transport to court. The trial was delayed for one day because of Holder's injuries -- which included a big gash to the back of the head that required staples.

Michael Jackson3 Songs Pulled From Streaming ...Debate Rages Over Legitimacy of MJ Vocals

Is it Michael or a Michael imposter? That ongoing debate about 3 of Michael Jackson's posthumously released songs is behind the sudden disappearance of the tracks from major streaming services.

The songs -- "Monster," "Keep Your Head Up" and "Breaking News" -- were all on the "Michael" album, released in 2010 ... the year after Jackson's death. But, ever since they came out some fans, and even Michael's family members, have questioned whether they feature legit MJ vocals.

The songs vanished from Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal streaming services last week, which many fans saw as confirmation that's not really MJ singing on them -- however, a rep for the official MJ website says that's not exactly the case.

The rep confirms the songs "are no longer being made available by Sony Music for purchase or streaming but I should point out that the removal of these three songs has nothing to do with their authenticity. The Estate and Sony Music believe the continuing conversation about the tracks is distracting the fan community and casual Michael Jackson listeners from focusing their attention where it should be -- on Michael’s legendary and deep music catalog."

One fan who probably isn't buying that explanation is Vera Serova, who filed a lawsuit in 2014, accusing Sony Music, the Jackson Estate and the producers of the songs of lying to consumers. She lost the case in 2018, but is now appealing to California's Supreme Court.

The Estate tells TMZ ... taking down the songs was "the simplest and best way to move beyond the conversation associated with these tracks once and for all." Instead, the Estate wants fans to focus on the Tony-winning Broadway production, "MJ: The Musical" and other projects celebrating his catalog. The rep added, "Nothing should be read into this action concerning the authenticity of the tracks."

For what it's worth, Michael's mother, sisterLa Toya and his kids, Paris and Prince ... have all questioned the legitimacy of the vocals on the tracks.

Carlos SantanaCollapses During Concert

SCARY MOMENT ONSTAGE
TMZ.com
UPDATE

8:51 PM PT -- A rep for Santana tells us the 74-year-old was overtaken by heat exhaustion and dehydration, leading to the medical episode. He was taken to a local hospital for continued observation, but his rep says he's, "doing well."

A scary moment for Carlos Santana and his fans, as the legendary musician collapsed onstage during one of his concerts.

Santana was performing at Pine Knob Music Theater, outside Detroit, Tuesday night, when a concertgoer tells us the medical emergency happened. We're told Santana was bout 4 or 5 songs into his set, and started to sing a song called "Joy."

Realizing something was wrong, we're told Santana sat down in front of the drums, and then collapsed backward. From there, many staffers, including EMTs rushed to his aid.

You can see in video from the show, a black tarp was brought out in order to shield Santana while officials were working on him.

Thankfully, Santana came back around, and was seen waving to the crowd as he was wheeled off the stage.

It's currently unclear what caused Carlos to collapse, but it appears he was taken to the hospital for further evaluation.

Originally Published -- 8:06 PM PT

Travis BarkerBack To Work After Hospitalization ...Spends Hours In the Studio

It looks like it's back to business for Travis Barker 'cause he's getting back into the studio ... after being released from the hospital.

Travis was spotted Tuesday behind the wheel of a Mercedes G Wagon, heading into a Calabasas studio to make some musical magic.

Clearly, the Blink-182 drummer is feeling a whole lot better and looked pretty healthy, sporting black shades and a "D.O.A." T-shirt as he emerged from his vehicle in the studio's parking lot.

BACK TO BUSINESS
BACKGRID

Travis was anything but dead on arrival, though. In fact, he greeted the studio operator with an energetic fist bump, before heading inside.

We're told several other musicians arrived at the studio about 30 minutes later along with Travis' assistant, who went on a food and coffee run for the entire crew. Whatever Travis and Co. are cooking up from behind those walls must be good ... they've been rocking out for hours, we're told.

Of course, this comes after Travis was rushed to the hospital last week. TMZ broke the story ... he had a colonoscopy that triggered pancreatitis, which is a serious health issue that kept him in the hospital bed for days as he was being treated.

Travis told folks on social media, "During the endoscopy, I had a very small polyp removed right in a very sensitive area, usually handled by specialists, which unfortunately damaged a critical pancreatic drainage tube. This resulted in severe life threatening pancreatitis."

This isn't the first time we've seen Travis out since the health scare. Travis and Kourtney were also spotted taking a joyride in a vintage truck on July 4th, with Penelope and Reign cruisingin the back.

Thankfully, Travis seems to be making a full recovery and is now getting back to biz.

Janis JoplinMandolin She Gave Jimi Fetches $281K

Scoring anything Janis Joplin owned would be cool, but an instrument that belonged to Janis AND Jimi Hendrix is a whole new level of rock memorabilia.

We're talking about a hand-painted mandolin that fetched a whopping $281,250 after 29 bidders battled it out. The history on this item is pretty cool, so that price could be considered a steal.

Up until now, it has never been up for auction, and had been a part of a private collection for 20 years after it was acquired from the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.

More importantly, guitar god Jimi was the last famous owner ... having received it from Janis as a gift.

Besides just being a cool instrument to own, the mandolin represents the friendship between 2 of the most iconic rock stars of all time. It's painted with flowers and phrases such as "love thy neighbor," "Janis Joplin & B.B.H.Co," and "Jimi Hendrix."

The new owner got themselves 2 Rock and Roll Hall of Famers for the price of one.

BTW, the Johnny Depp motorcycle from "Cry-Baby" was a part of the same auction ... but its reserve price wasn't met. Instead, GWS auctions say it has several museums interested and currently vying for it.

Some other big-ticket items that did sell include an Elvis Presley Pyramid Ring for $131,250, an Elvis 14K Gold watch for $62,500 and a prop shotgun from 'Terminator 2' which went for $46,875.

R. KellyNo More Suicide Watch ...After Lawsuit Victory

R. Kelly just won a mini legal battle against the feds, who just did an about-face and took the disgraced singer off suicide watch after he filed a lawsuit against the prison, TMZ has learned.

In newly filed court docs obtained by TMZ, Metropolitan Detention Center Warden Heriberto H. Tellez -- who was also named in the suit -- says he made the decision today to remove Kelly from suicide watch following a "clinical assessment." No further details on the assessment were provided.

Last week, Kelly filed his lawsuit claiming thathe was being subjected to "cruel and unusual punishment" -- which violates his 8th Amendment rights -- after he was put on suicide watch at Brooklyn's MDC.

In the suit, Kelly alleged that he wasn't even thinking of killing himself and told prison officials just that. Kelly also claimed he was placed in these harsh conditions because of his celebrity.

The feds initially filed a motion opposing the suit, saying they would clinically assess Kelly for the duration of his suicide watch.

Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison last Wednesday following his conviction last year on federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges.

Prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence Kelly to more than 25 years behind bars, while his defense attorneys asked for up to 10 years.

The crooner is still facing another federal case out of Illinois, as well as a state trial in Minnesota in connection with child sex related crimes.

Highland Park MassacreRobert Crimo Posted Violent Images for Years ...Attended Multiple Trump Rallies

Robert Crimo III, the person of interest in the 4th of July Highland Park massacre, joked about school shootings online and even drew a sketch of him getting shot and killed by cops with a gun by his side.

Crimo has been on social media for years, posting violent images of mass shootings. He called himself a rapper with the name "Awake the Rapper" with 16,000 Spotify listeners every month.

One of his drawings shows a man lying on the ground, presumably dead with a rifle by his side, as police closed in on him.

In one image, you see a man holding a rifle as someone appears dead on the ground and another person is standing hands up as the gun is pointed toward him.

There's another drawing of Crimo throwing bullets on a classroom floor, decked out in armor.

He seemed to have contempt for politicians ... posting a photo last fall of Budd Dwyer, the Pennsylvania official who shot and killed himself on live TV with the caption, "I wish politicians still gave speeches like this."

He did seem to have a soft spot for Donald Trump, appearing at several rallies ... in one case dressed as "Where's Waldo." There's another pic of him draped in a Trump flag.

He was very open about his fascination with mass murder and violence ... and lots of people saw this for years. As far as we can tell so far, there were no direct threats that would have alerted law enforcement ... although apparently, he was 'known to law enforcement.'

Six people were slaughtered and several dozen injured during the 4th of July massacre in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago.

Travis BarkerCruisin' with Kourtney after Hospitalization

Travis Barker has resurfaced after his scary hospitalization last week, and he didn't look the worse for wear.

Travis and his wife Kourtney Kardashian took a ride in a vintage orange truck on the 4th, with Penelope and Reign in the back.

JOY RIDIN'

They looked super chill, as they listened to Bruno Mars' "Grenade."

Travis has said he's feeling a lot better after landing in the hospital.

TMZ broke the story ... he had a colonoscopy which triggered pancreatitis -- a serious problem that kept him in a hospital bed for days as doctors ran tests and treated the ailment.

Travis took to social media last weekend and said "I went in for an endoscopy Monday feeling great. But After dinner, I developed excruciating pain and have been hospitalized ever since."

He went on ... Β "During the endoscopy, I had a very small polyp removed right in a very sensitive area, usually handled by specialists, which unfortunately damaged a critical pancreatic drainage tube. This resulted in severe life threatening pancreatitis."

All seems to be well now, thankfully.

Travis ScottStops Concert and Orders Fans to Stop Dangling from Truss

7/4/22
CROWD CONTROL
TMZ.com

Travis Scott stopped his show Monday night because several fans put themselves in danger ... and it's impossible not to think about the tragedy at Astroworld when looking at the video.

Travis and Meek Mill performed at The Day Party concert at Coney Art Walls in Coney Island. He took the stage at around 8 PM, DJ'd and then performed.

The crowd was packed in, so much so that a couple of concertgoers climbed up a lighting truss and dangled as they watched Travis perform. One of the fans must have planned ahead ... he was wearing a Spiderman costume.

Travis saw what was happening and stopped the show, ordering the fans to climb down from the truss. They followed his orders and the concert went on.

As you all know, Travis is facing multiple lawsuits over the Astroworld tragedy, with some of the victims and victims' families alleging he should have stopped the show before the crush. Travis insists he didn't see or know what was going on, and fact is ... apparently neither did the police, who seemed oblivious.

Travis is expected to perform at several concerts with enormous crowds later this year.

Katy PerryAbortion Tweet Dragged ...Don't You Back Caruso???

Katy Perry sent a message this holiday weekend to express frustration about the Roe v. Wade decision -- but all Twitter wants to do is point out what it sees as hypocrisy.

The singer tweeted Monday about the 4th of July and what it means in her eyes in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling to reverse the landmark decision ... effectively outlawing abortions almost immediately in several states across the country, and more to come.

She sarcastically writes, "'Baby you’re a firework' is a 10 but women in the US have fewer rights than an actual sparkler smh" -- clearly referencing her 2010 track of the same name.

NBD, or so you would think ... rather than getting praised for her pro-choice sentiment here -- as many celebs have been lately -- Katy is actually getting dragged to no end right now. And it all has to do with who she publicly supported for L.A. Mayor ... aka, Rick Caruso.

As we reported ... KP was one of many celebs who endorsed the billionaire entrepreneur and real estate developer running for Mayor. And while he didn't outright win in June's election -- he has a chance to take it home in Nov. in a runoff race with Rep. Karen Bass.

The problem ... Caruso, who's running as a Dem, has been perceived as wish-washy on his abortion stance over the years, at least that's what old interviews from the 2000s suggest. Until recently ... Rick was a Republican and has donated to a lot of GOPers, including folks some say have it out for abortion rights -- all of which he's been called out over of late.

Now, he says he's pro-choice and touts himself as an advocate for women's rights. Unfortunately for him (and for Katy, it seems) ... Twitter's not buying it, and they're telling Katy to sit this one out due to her very vocal support for him.

She's far from the only celeb who backed Caruso, though -- Kim Kardashian also got behind him in the run-up to the election last month ... but she appears to have wisely dodged Twitter to lament the abortion sitch lately.

Instead, she's voiced her displeasure via IG Stories -- where random people can't comment or go after her as easily as they could on the old bird app . Smart move in hindsight.

Harry StylesI'm Devastated Over Mall Shooting ...Copenhagen Concert Canceled

UPDATE

8:10 AM PT -- Police have not determined a motive, but say the gunman acted alone and have now ruled out terrorism.

Harry Styles is devastated by the mass shooting in Copenhagen, where he was supposed to perform just hours later.

Harry canceled his concert Sunday ... after a gunman opened fire at Field's shopping centre, which is less than 2 football fields in distance away from the venue where Harry was supposed to perform later that night.

Harry said he was feeling utter "devastation" ... "I'm heartbroken along with the people of Copenhagen. I adore this city. The people are so warm and full of love."

He went on ... "I'm devastated for the victims, their families, and everyone hurting. I'm sorry we couldn't be together. Please look after each other. H."

Police say the shooter was a 22-year-old Danish man, and they believe he acted alone. Authorities have not ruled out terrorism.

The gunman entered the mall with a rifle and then began firing randomly at people inside the mall.

Originally Published -- 6:08 AM PT

Sammy HagarMakes His Loot Through Booze and Bars ...Music's Just for Fun

MOVE OVER MUSIC
TMZ.com

Sammy Hagarmakes most of his money from booze, books and bars ... which he says is the precise reason he enjoys rocking out with his band. We will explain.

The Red Rocker joined us on "TMZ Live" and we asked if he made more money outside of music ... he does, and he tells us how his success in the business world benefits his art.

Sammy says the only reason he's still playing shows with his band, The Circle, is because he doesn't have to play music to pay the bills ... a big bonus for a 74-year-old rock star.

The former Van Halen frontman says whenever he plays a show nowadays, it's for fun and not about the paycheck. His wealth allows him to pay his band more, making everyone happy and giving him the feeling they're just like a good ol' garage band.

In addition to being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Sammy's a savvy businessman ... with legendary restaurants like the Cabo Wabo Cantina, where he sells his own lines of spirits. He also writes books, including his latest, "Sammy Hagar's Cocktail Hits: 85 Personal Favorites from the Red Rocker."

Sammy says the only rocker he knows who could do nothing but play music for decades is Keith Richards ... and he tells us why he would quit the industry if he's ever asked to go on a prolonged tour again.

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!