Week’s End Digest: Lady Gaga, Teena Marie, Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, Aretha Franklin, American Idol

Posted January 8, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in News

News you can really use. This ‘Week’s End Digest’ features reports on Lady Gaga’s new glasses and intimate N.Y. gig, the latest in the MJ trial, Teena Marie’s post-chart buzz, American Idol’s latest gimmicks and Aretha Franklin’s latest public statements about health

So much can happen in a week. So we’ve decided to give you the rundown on the lowdown…in one digestible digest.

Michael Jackson Trial Picking Up, New Testimonies Hurting Dr. Murray’s Defense

Things aren’t looking good for Doctor Conrad Murray this week as strong testimonies are giving in the murder trial of pop singer Michael Jackson. Several witnesses are now clamouring the witness stand during a multi-day preliminary hearing with their testimonials on MJ’s conditions and are painting gruesome details on the care provided by Dr. Conrad Murray, MJ’s personal physician. Dr. Richelle Cooper stated that she was sure Jackson was dead on arrival when he entered into the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. More than a hour of resuscitation didn’t persuade her to change her mind either. Based on what Jackson’s personal physician told her, though, she didn’t quite know why.

According to the Associated Press, Murray told her he had seen Jackson stop breathing and immediately started CPR, but prosecutors say that’s not what happened. Instead, over three days and a dozen witnesses at a preliminary hearing, they have put forth a timeline in which Jackson died in the bedroom of his rented mansion and Murray delayed calling 911 to conceal his actions.

Hurting Murray’s defense, Dr. Cooper states that she was not aware by the physician that he had administered anesthetic propofol, nor mentioned the other drugs and other sedatives involved.

Cooper testified she authorized paramedics to pronounce Jackson dead at 12:57 p.m., but they declined at Murray’s request and because of the singer’s celebrity. Cooper officially pronounced the King of Pop dead at 2:26 p.m. on June 25, 2009.

More from the Associated Press:

With Cooper and another UCLA doctor, prosecutors have elicited testimony from five witnesses who said Murray either never mentioned the all the drugs he had given Jackson, or tried to conceal them.


Paramedic Martin Blount, who also testified Thursday, said he saw Murray scoop up three vials of the painkiller lidocaine from the floor of Jackson’s bedroom during resuscitation efforts. Blount said he was surprised to see the medications because Murray had told him that he hadn’t given the singer any drugs.

Teena Marie, Beyond the Grave, Resurrects Back on Music Charts

Since the passing of the Ivory Queen of Soul, a resurgence of Teena Marie’s big hits have made their way up the Billboard music charts this week. “Lovergirl” entered the Dance/Electronic Digital Songs’ chart at No. 14, followed by “Square Biz” (No. 20) and “I Need Your Lovin'” (No. 36). “Lovergirl” sold 21,000, while “Square Biz” and “I Need Your Lovin'” sold more than 18,000 copies collectively.

Lady Gaga Reveals Polaroid Venture, Stop at Local Bar for Some Jazz

Big week for the Gaga. With the announcement of her upcoming release Born This Way, Lady Gaga premiered her new designs for the Polaroid Grey Label line at CES 2011. The biggest of them all was  a set of sunglasses that double as a digital camera allowing individuals to snap and save photos and display them on the outer lenses. None are on sale now, but will be made available during 2011’s holiday season. The Gaga was also seen on stage in New York on January 5 at the Oak Room singing jazz standards like “Orange Colored Sky” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.” It was a rare and intimate impromptu performance from the fancy pop star as she serenade the attendees of her friend jazz singer/trumpeter Brian Newman.


Aretha Franklin: “I Am Feeling Great”

Speaking to JET Magazine in a rare exclusive interview. Aretha Franklin wanted to address her fans this week about her undisclosed health scare and her need for privacy. “I am not one to do a lot of talking about my personal health or business,” says the 68-year-old multiple Grammy-award winning singer, who won’t confirm rumors that she was treated for pancreatic cancer. “I don’t have to talk about my health with anybody other than my doctors. The problem has been resolved.” Franklin did speak about a “very hard pain” she felt in her side during a concert in late 2010 and felt it came from a recent colonoscopy. The doctors examined it with a CAT-scan and, according to her, determined it was not a result from her colonoscopy. She thanks her fans for their concerns and prayers. “Let them know I am feeling great and coming along.”

Dancer Hits Stage Literally on Paula Abdul’s New Dance Show

If you missed the premiere of Paula Abdul’s new competitive show ‘Live to Dance’, you missed the biggest face-plant to hit primetime. During an audition, one contestant hit the stage headfirst after losing her balance during a few aerial turns. Her bead bounced like a basketball, sending chilling reactions from the show’s hosts and producers. The left side of her head began to swell up immediately. Abdul questioned the health of the contestant, as she stood up pretending the stumble had no effect on her performance.

“I can’t even feel it right now,” the dancer stated with a smile. Abdul replied, “Oh, you will tomorrow!”


‘American Idol’ Announces Even More Big Plans and Overhauls

American Idol is still trying to pump new blood into their dinosaur reality-TV show. With Simon Cowell gone and two other judges replaced with Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, producers of the FOX TV hit are announcing even more plans to rebuff and revamp the show for this season. Along with the idea to beef up the show with Big Brother-esque reality-TV showcasing the living arrangements of the top 12 and the announcement of Ray Chew replacing Rickey Minor as musical director, ‘American Idol’ is allowing the option for contestants to perform original songs rather than cover songs while also releasing their music during the season – like Glee does with their soundtrack of music. Top producers like Jimmy Iovine, Alex Da Kid, Rodney Jerkins and Timbaland will also mentor the kids during the season. New music released during the show will definitely create a serious burden for voters as they make their choices for the season’s winner. With producers scurrying to re-invent the show, it makes you believe if desperation isn’t seeping into the cracks of retirement. The premiere of the 10th season of American Idol airs Jan. 19 on Fox.

8 Big Changes Coming to American Idol – Hollywood Reporter

WEEK’S END DIGEST is a weekly roundup of current events and headlines that involves the music industry. Although HiFi Magazine reports news throughout the week, the stories compiled for the Week’s End Digest column are usually deemed as being events “bubbling under the radar.”

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine

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