Madonna and Guy Ritchie To Split

Ever though their age difference is 10 years, friends believed they were great together. But London’s Sun Newspaper now says otherwise:

“The final straw came before Madonna started her US tour.

“Madonna wanted a highly stage-managed separation, with their split being announced when it was convenient for her.

“She didn’t want the distraction while she is trying to concentrate on her tour.

“But a series of rows around Guy’s 40th birthday last month were so bad that Madge ended up storming out of the house and Guy’s had enough.

“Guy said if they were going to split, it has to be now — and their marriage will finally be over in a matter of weeks.

“Madonna was dithering at first about whether a separation would be best or whether to go ahead with the divorce.

“She has now agreed with Guy that a divorce is the best thing to do.”

Lisa-Marie Presley Has Two More

Lisa Marie Presley and hubby Michael Lockwood welcome twin baby girl. The bundles of joy are the couple’s first children together.

Lisa Marie gave birth by C-section at 2:46pm Oct 7. The babies weighed 5 pounds, 15 ounces and 5 pounds, 2 ounces. The newborns and mom are happy and healthy and resting at home.

This August, ET broke the news that Lisa Marie, 40, and Michael, 47, were expecting twins. Earlier in March, when news of the pregnancy broke, Priscilla Presley told us she was “ecstatic” at the prospect of becoming a grandmother again.

As it turns out, twins run in the Presley family. Lisa Marie’s legendary dad, Elvis, was a twin, and her mom Priscilla has younger brothers who are twins.

Lisa Marie also has two children with ex-husband Danny Keough.

Need More From Lil’ Kim

A recording company has sued Lil’ Kim for $2.5 million, saying the Grammy-winning rapper hasn’t delivered all the recordings their contract requires.

Brookland Media filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court. Lil’ Kim’s lawyer, Londell McMillan, says Brookland sued “to leverage their own position” in the contract dispute.

The lawsuit says Brookland contracted with Lil’ Kim this year and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on recordings, equipment and advance payments.

Court papers say the rapper later tried to change the contract and refused to continue recording unless Brookland agreed. The papers say she had recorded only a few tracks toward a new album by the beginning of September.

Brookland wants the court to declare the contract valid and bar Lil’ Kim from recording for another company.

AP

Meat Loaf In Hospital

publicist for Meat Loaf says the 57-year-old rocker was hospitalized in London for three days following an awards ceremony earlier this week.

Publicist Kirt Webster says Meat Loaf was admitted to a private hospital in central London on Monday, immediately after winning Q Magazine’s “Classic Song” award for his rock epic Bat Out of Hell.

Webster said in an e-mail Friday that Meat Loaf stayed at The London Clinic for three days for “testing and evaluation.” The reason for the hospitalization wasn’t disclosed.

Webster says Meat Loaf has been cleared to travel back to the U.S. He’s set to perform in Clearwater, Florida, on October 17 and Pompano Beach, Florida, on October 18.

AP

Rap Listener Sentenced To Hearing Classical Music

A defendant had a hard time facing the music.

Andrew Vactor was facing a $150 fine for playing rap music too loudly on his car stereo in July. But a judge offered to reduce that to $35 if Vactor spent 20 hours listening to classical music by the likes of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin.

Vactor, 24, lasted only about 15 minutes, a probation officer said.

It wasn’t the music, Vactor said, he just needed to be at practice with the rest of the Urbana University basketball team.

“I didn’t have the time to deal with that,” he said. “I just decided to pay the fine.”

AP

Miley Hits Milestone

Happy Birthday Hannah! Happy Birthday Miley! Combined, they’re now 32 years old.

Miley Cyrus’ 16th birthday party was more boisterous than sweet. Cyrus celebrated the hallmark birthday at an over-the-top Disneyland celebration Sunday — even though she doesn’t actually turn 16 until Nov. 23. The theme park was closed for the supersized soiree, which included a four-song performance by the teen queen and a fireworks display above Sleeping Beauty Castle and 16 giant inflatable candles.

“Miley is really hard to surprise,” her father Billy Ray Cyrus said at the event.

Organizers estimated over 5,000 people attended the special party, which cost $250 a ticket. On the event’s purple carpet — that’s Cyrus’ favorite color — the “Hannah Montana” star bragged that her parents bought her a new puppy for her birthday. What else does Cyrus want for her birthday? A new car? Perhaps a later curfew?

“My parents shut down Disneyland for me, so I’m good for a while,” Cyrus said.

Cyrus’ father opened up for his daughter with a few of his own songs, including “Achy Breaky Heart.” His daughter donned a white ruffled skirt and jersey-like vest with “Sweet 16″ printed on the back for her truncated concert. At one point, Cyrus boarded a boat in the park’s Rivers of America and crooned such tunes as “Breakout” and “G.N.O.”

Throughout the evening, several popular attractions, such as Big Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean, remained open to partygoers. Additional activities, like receiving a “Hannah Montana” makeover and playing the upcoming Disney Interactive Studios rhythm video game “Ultimate Band,” were also made available to attendees.

Partygoers ogled celebrities roaming around the park throughout the party. David Archuleta and his entourage skipped the line to ride Space Mountain. Jennie Garth and her family ducked out before the fireworks display capping the celebration. Other stars in attendance included Steve Carell, Cindy Crawford, Tyra Banks and Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Disney used the event to promote their upcoming “What Will You Celebrate?” marketing initiative, which encourages tourists to take “celebration vacations” with their families. Beginning in 2009, guests at Disneyland and Walt Disney World in Florida can gain free theme park admission on their birthday with a valid ID and proof of birth date.

Over at Disney’s California Adventure, Disneyland’s sister theme park, an entirely different celebration was occurring during the Sweet 16 event: the 11th annual Gay Days Anaheim, an unofficial gathering of gays and lesbians at the Disneyland Resort. Event producer Jeffrey Epstein said Cyrus’ affair didn’t conflict with Gay Days Anaheim.

“We’re happy to share our big weekend with Miley,” said Epstein. “While it may be a small world after all, we think it’s big enough for both groups to have a blast.”

AP/Mr Pop Culture

Original Kingston Trio Member Passes

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Nick Reynolds, a founding member of the Kingston Trio who jump-started the revival folk scene of the late 1950s and paved the way for artists such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, has died. He was 75.

Reynolds had been hospitalized with acute respiratory disease and other illnesses, and died Wednesday in San Diego after his family took him off life support, said son Joshua Reynolds.

“Dad was so happy he turned people onto music in a way that people could really approach it, in a simple and honest way,” Josh Reynolds told The Associated Press. “He was a very gracious and loving performer. He was a devoted family man.”

The Kingston Trio’s version of the 19th century folk song “Tom Dooley” landed the group a No. 1 spot on the charts in 1958, and launched the band’s career.

Born on July 27, 1933, in San Diego, Nicholas Reynolds demonstrated an early love of music and did sing-alongs with his two sisters and their Navy captain-father, who taught him to play guitar.

He graduated from Coronado High School in 1951 and attended the University of Arizona and San Diego State University before attending Menlo College, a business school near Palo Alto. He graduated from Menlo in 1956.

It was during the mid-1950s that Nicholas Reynolds met Bob Shane, who introduced him to Stanford student Dave Guard. Guard and Shane knew each other from playing music in Guard’s native Hawaii. The three formed the Kingston Trio.

In 1958, “Tom Dooley” earned Reynolds, Guard and Shane a trophy for best country and western performance at the first Grammys. The group, defined by tight harmonies and a clean-cut style, went on to win a Grammy the next year for best folk performance for its album “The Kingston Trio At Large.”

Later member John Stewart joined the group in 1961, replacing Guard. Stewart died in January, also in San Diego.

Among other things, the group had the distinction of being the first pop group featured on pay television back in 1962. You can catch the 1960′s weeks in the Mr. Pop Culture site for more details.

AP/Mr Pop Culture

Melissa Etheridge To Marry Girlfriend Tammy

LOS ANGELES – Melissa Etheridge will wed girlfriend Tammy Lynn Michaels, the singer told celebrity television show “Extra” ahead of California’s vote next month on whether to strip same-sex couples of the right to marry.

“Yes, we have four children and we’re trying to find the right time,” Etheridge said when asked about marriage in an interview set to air on Wednesday night.

Back in May, the California Supreme Court granted same-sex couples the right to marry, but residents opposing the decision have organized a proposition calling for an amendment to the state’s constitution that would ban gay marriage.

Voters will cast their ballots in November’s election on whether or not to support the proposition.

Etheridge, 47, whose rock hits include “Come to My Window” and “I’m the Only One,” has for years been one of the most high-profile celebrities to live openly as a lesbian.

A spokeswoman for Etheridge was not immediately available.

Reuters

Madonna: Movie Director

That’s right – Madonna makes her movie directing debut.

Look for “Filth and Wisdom” – a movie directed by… Madonna to debut October 17. So far, it’s had mixed reviews. Here’s the so check it out for yourself. Still waiting for Madonna songs to be featured on Broadway – how about you?

Mr. Pop Culture

Phish Are Biting Again

Phish is getting back together.

The Vermont-bred jam band, which disbanded in 2004, is planning three dates next March in Hampton, Virginia. A notice posted on the band’s website says Phish will play March 6, March 7 and March 8, 2009, at the Hampton Coliseum. The website says more 2009 dates will be announced later.

A spokesman for the Coliseum, who wouldn’t give his name, confirmed the booking.

Phish was among the nation’s top touring acts when it called it quits in 2004. The band received a lifetime achievement award at the Jammy Awards last May.

AP

Photo – Phish on the cover of the Rolling Stone – 2003