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DJ Avicii dead at 28

UPDATE: 11:15 a.m.

The Swedish-born producer and DJ known as Avicii has been found dead in Oman.

Publicist Diana Baron said in a statement that the 28-year-old DJ, born Tim Bergling, was in Muscat, Oman.

"The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time," the statement said.

Avicii was a pioneer of the contemporary Electronic Dance Movement and a rare DJ capable of worldwide arena tours. He won two MTV Music Awards, one Billboard Music Award and earned two Grammy nominations. His biggest hit was "Le7els."

His death comes just days after he was nominated for a Billboard Music Award for top dance/electronic album for his EP "Avicii (01)." He was nominated alongside his peers, who have taken EDM mainstream of late — The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris and Kygo.

Avicii's hits include "Wake Me Up!" ''The Days" and "You Make Me." He is the subject of the 2017 Levan Tsikurishvil documentary "Avicii: True Stories."

Avicii had in the past suffered acute pancreatitis, in part due to excessive drinking. After having his gallbladder and appendix removed in 2014, he cancelled a series of shows in attempt to recover. He quit touring in 2016 but continued making music in the studio.

Last year, he posted this message on his website, promising to keep creating: "The next stage will be all about my love of making music to you guys. It is the beginning of something new."

– The Canadian Press


ORIGINAL: 11:05 a.m.

Reports are starting to explode on social media that Swedish DJ Avicii has died.

The BBC reports a statement from the entertainer's representatives confirms the death, which reportedly happened in Oman. No cause of death was given.

"It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii.

"The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given," the statement reads.

Bergling was 28.

Fellow DJ Calvin Harris tweeted: "Devastating news about Avicii, a beautiful soul, passionate and extremely talented with so much more to do. My heart goes out to his family. God bless you Tim x."



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Warrant for Swift creeper

The man who was arrested outside Taylor Swift's home in Los Angeles at the weekend is a wanted man in Colorado.

Julius Sandrock, 38, was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of felony stalking after officers were called to the singer's Beverly Hills mansion by security staff.

The masked trespasser was reportedly found in possession of a knife, ammunition and a rope.

Police officers released Sandrock on $150,000 bail on Tuesday after obtaining a temporary restraining order preventing him from possessing guns, but now it appears a warrant is out for his arrest in Colorado after he failed a mandatory drug test two weeks before he made the trip to Los Angeles.

According to the warrant obtained by The Blast, Sandrock violated his probation when he was arrested at Swift's home.

He also violated his probation by traveling out of Colorado without permission and is in trouble for skipping another drug test on April 8.

In their restraining order application, Los Angeles police officials stated that the suspect told them he owned three handguns and was on probation in his home state for firing one of them. Prescription medications, including oxycodone, were also found in his car and the document suggests Sandrock told officers that he suffered from depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and manic episodes.

Swift's latest stalker drama came less than a week following the arrest of a 23-year-old homeless man who was taken into custody by police after trying to scale a wall at her Beverly Hills property. He was charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to three days in prison.

Earlier this month, Swift was bizarrely dragged into a bank robbery investigation when Bruce Rowley allegedly confessed to robbing a bank in Ansonia, Connecticut, driving to her retreat in nearby Rhode Island and then throwing some of the stolen cash over her fence in the hope of impressing the pop star.



Weisz, Craig expecting baby

Rachel Weisz and her actor husband Daniel Craig are expecting their first baby together.

English actress Rachel announced the happy news on Friday in an interview with the New York Times to promote her new movie Disobedience.

The actress revealed that she and James Bond star Daniel, who tied the knot in 2011, "can't wait" to meet their new addition.

"I'll be showing soon," Rachel beamed to the publication. "Daniel and I are so happy. We're going to have a little human. We can't wait to meet him or her. It's all such a mystery."

Earlier this month, Rachel hid her burgeoning bump under a flowing red gown and black cape as she attended the 2018 Night of Opportunity Gala in New York with her husband.

The 48-year-old is already mum to 11-year-old Henry, who she shares with her director ex, Darren Aronofsky. Daniel, 50, is also a dad, to daughter Ella, 25, who he welcomed with ex-wife Fiona Loudon.

Rachel and the blonde haired actor began dating in December 2010, and married just six months later in front of only four guests, including Henry and Ella.

Both stars prefer to keep their relationship out of the limelight with Rachel previously telling ES Magazine: "It's very personal, it's very private. I don't think mine's particularly exceptional apart from that we're both in the public eye."

"But I never thought I would get married," she added. It was not an ambition of mine. It was the opposite."



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Prince on drugs for decades?

Sinead O'Connor accused Prince of life-long drug use and battery in a police interview conducted shortly after his death.

The Purple Rain singer died at his Paisley Park home and recording studio compound in Minnesota from an accidental fentanyl overdose at the age of 57 in April 2016, and on Thursday, after a two-year investigation, prosecutors revealed no criminal cases will be pursued in relation to the pop icon's passing.

Following the landmark decision, Carver County Sheriff's Office officials made all previously sealed pieces of evidence related to Prince's death public, including a recording of Irish singer Sinead conducting a phone interview with police officers on May 2, 2016.

During the conversation, Sinead made incendiary claims about the late star, who famously touted sobriety throughout his career, by insisting he had used drugs for decades.

"In the case of Prince, everyone is mistaken who believes that he did not have a drug habit for the entire of his life. He used hard drugs commonly," she said in the recording. "I know this because I spent time with the man."

Sinead, who has a history of mental illness, moved on to suggest drug use prevented Prince from releasing an album.

"He did not release an album, famously, which is called The Black Album," she told police. "The reason he didn't, he told me himself, was that he had been taking so many dark drugs that he had had a vision from God and God had told him, the album (was) evil and he was not to release it. The man's been using drugs all of this time."

Sinead, who shot to international fame singing 1990 hit Nothing Compares 2 U, a song written by Prince, also claimed he would peel off to another room to do drugs and emerge "very violent, very aggressive", attacking her and other women in drug-fueled rages, but she admitted she never actually saw him take anything.

"I've seen him in very frightening conditions after using drugs," she said. "Now, I cannot say that I ever saw him use the drugs. I never saw him actually take them."

Sinead also made claims about Prince online, and had to apologize to comedian Arsenio Hall after he sued the singer in a $5 million defamation case for accusing him of providing drugs to Prince.

"I apologize for my Facebook posts about Arsenio to the extent that anyone thought I was accusing him of acting as Prince's drug dealer and supplying him with illegal hard drugs, or insinuating that Arsenio had something to do with Prince's death," she later wrote in a statement. "I sincerely apologize because those statements would be false, and I retract them unequivocally."

Hall dropped his lawsuit after O'Connor apologized.



Michelle Williams engaged

Former Destiny's Child star Michelle Williams is engaged.

The singer's fiance, Pastor Chad Johnson, popped the question to Michelle last month (Mar18), but the couple has been keeping the big news secret.

"We could not contain this any longer," Williams tells People magazine.

Michelle met Chad in March, 2017 at a spiritual retreat in Arizona following a breakup from a cheating ex.

"I was in a horrible, dark place," she recalls to the outlet. "I just needed to go somewhere where I could get a message of hope and restoration, rejuvenation - get connected to God."

Their relationship blossomed after the retreat, but they took the romance slow and didn't meet again for several months.

"We spent almost three months without even seeing each other, just building a strong foundation on the phone and through FaceTime," Johnson adds. "It was really built on friendship and communication."

The couple officially began dating in July and Michelle, who was previously engaged to an unknown man in 2004, finally felt comfortable to introduce Chad to her family and friends, including former bandmates Beyonce and Kelly Rowland.

"I didn't even tell any people I was talking to Chad," she says. "I wanted to treat this relationship differently because obviously all my past relationships have failed. I didn't want to talk about another relationship that possibly wasn't gonna go anywhere."

Johnson traveled to Illinois to get the blessing of Williams' family before he proposed, and subsequently popped the question at Pebble Beach, California after showing his girlfriend a video he made of himself seeking permission from her nearest and dearest.

"I started weeping and wailing when I see all these special people," she adds. "Towards the end of the video, something in my head said, 'Pull yourself together! He's about to propose! Stop all this crying!' I was just losing it!"

The couple is planning a short engagement and hopes to get married over the summer.

"We do wanna get married very, very soon," she says. "We've been moving very quickly and planning. Why wait? I want to get married now, but he wants a wedding!"

News of Michelle's engagement comes just days after she reunited with Beyonce and Kelly for the Drunk in Love hitmaker's triumphant performance at the Coachella music festival on Saturday.



His ex, her superfan

Blake Shelton once dated someone who was a huge fan of his current girlfriend Gwen Stefani.

The 48-year-old started dating her The Voice co-star in November 2015 after splitting from her husband of 13 years Gavin Rossdale earlier that year.

But when delving into Blake's romantic history, Gwen wasn't expecting to discover that she was one of his ex-girlfriend's biggest idols.

"He did tell me that he dated a girl for like three months who had my face plastered all over her whole bedroom," she shared during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night. "So that's kind of weird, right?"

The Hollaback Girl star confessed that she and country singer Blake have their differences when it comes to their musical preferences, and recalled she once compiled him a playlist consisting of her favourite ska tracks. However, the couple do share a love for '70s love songs.

"When I was like 'Yeah, Bread is one of my favourite groups ever,' he'd be like, 'What?! I thought you were like a rock/ska girl'," she laughed. "(Actually) he didn't even know what ska (was)."

The singer also talked at length about her upcoming Las Vegas residency, which she officially announced earlier this month.

She will be performing 25 shows at the Zappos Theater inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino starting 27 June, and admitted though she was excited, playing in Sin City could also be "challenging."

"Even when you're on tour and you go through Vegas, it's quite a challenging show because you're competing so much with just Vegas," the Grammy winner explained. "(There are) so many choices and so much pressure people put on themselves to have the greatest time of their lives."

Gwen insisted she was going to deliver a fun and "theatrical" performance and take the show "to another place that (I've) never got to go before."



Jared Leto's 'delusional fan'

Jared Leto's friend has sought a restraining order against a "delusional" fan who believes she's in a relationship with the 30 Seconds to Mars rocker.

According to documents obtained by The Blast, Jared's pal Emma Ludbrook is concerned about the danger Noele Sewell poses to Jared, his brother Shannon and two other people. Apparently, Sewell is under the impression that she and Leto are dating, and that it's his close circle of friends that are preventing them from seeing each other.

Ludbrook claims Sewell has called Leto "multiple times and left strange voicemails", and once sparked concern by sending him an email stating that she was "taking an overdose of pills."

Steps have already been taken to prevent Sewell from getting close to Leto - she's banned from attending 30 Seconds to Mars events, but continues ignoring their requests to stay away. Ludbrook adds a warrant was previously issued for Sewell's arrest over her "continued harassment," while a restraining order was issued in her "home country" - although it wasn't specified which country this was.

Calling her "delusional and unpredictable", Ludbrook wants a restraining order issued that would result in an arrest if Sewell was to violate it and try and see Leto.

However, Ludbrook's request was denied on Wednesday, meaning she will have to continue fighting the case at a hearing next month.

A blog post on Wordpress that appears to have been written by Sewell in 2012 suggests she had been a big fan of the band up until the point she was "ostracised" with no explanation.

"I followed all the rules, did the missions, didn't upload illegal videos or music, reported those that did. Supported the band and crew 100 per cent, she wrote. "Yet I was ostracised, outcast for who knows what and yet the people who do download illegal posts of music and vids, speak poorly of the band and crew are kept in the family. I don't understand. To this date not one person has the balls to even tell me WHY I was banned in the first place. I have asked and no one will answer."



Kanye West - philosopher?

Kanye West has offered up excerpts from his new philosophy book on Twitter.

The rap visionary announced plans to release a book of deep thinking about the world's photography culture last week, and now he's giving fans a taste of what to expect.

In a series of tweets posted on Wednesday, Kanye urged creative people to stay away from social media and email when they wake up in the morning in order to be more productive.

He wrote: "When you first wake up don't hop right on the phone or the internet or even speak to anyone for even up to an hour if possible. Just be still and enjoy your own imagination. It's better than any movie."

He also urged followers to trust their gut: "You have the best ideas," he adds. "Other people's opinions are usually more distractive than informative. Follow your own vision. base your actions on love. Do things you love and if you don't absolutely love something stop doing it as soon as you can.

"thoughts have been placed in our heads to make everyone assimilate. Follow what you feel."

The Stronger rapper also maintains being honest is the secret to a happy life, before revealing his mid-week musings are all part of "my book that I'm writing in real time".

"No publisher or publicist will tell me what to put where or how many pages to write," he states. "This is not a financial opportunity this is an innate need to be expressive."



Kelowna writer a winner

The fourth time was the charm for a Kelowna writer.

Brittni MacKenzie-Dale is the winner this year’s Okanagan Short Story Contest.

Organized by UBC Okanagan, the contest is an annual writing competition open to fiction writers in the Southern Interior.

MacKenzie-Dale is a UBC Okanagan master of arts student. Her story, “They Called Him Luke,” landed her in first place in the 20th annual contest.

New for 2018 was a high school category.

Bethany Pardoe of Nelson’s LV Rogers Secondary School won top honour with her story, “Sunlight.” 

Contest organizer and UBC associate professor Michael V. Smith joked that the contest is actually older than some of the winners.

“This is a banner event for Okanagan writers and was another great success,” Smith said. “Being able to celebrate 20 years of prize money for Okanagan stories is an exciting marker."

Along with $1,000 in prize money, MacKenzie-Dale’s winning entry will be published in subTerrain magazine.



Cardi coy on baby name

Cardi B's fiance Offset has already chosen their baby's name.

The Bodak Yellow star confirmed her pregnancy after months of speculation as she performed on U.S. TV show Saturday Night Live earlier this month. She's since been doing the promo rounds for her debut album Invasion of Privacy, and appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday, where she chatted to the host about plans for her first child.

Asked if she had started thinking about names yet, Cardi replied: "Yeah my dude named the baby. I really like the name." And when Ellen pushed her to reveal the name, she smiled: "I'm gonna let him say the name, since he named the baby. It's like almost tricky but when it comes out it's like, 'Ohh!!'"

Ellen then told Cardi that she'd pay her $20,000 if she called her baby Ellen, to which the money-savvy rapper replied: "Can I put it in the middle name?"

Elsewhere in the interview, Ellen spoke about how she'd got Offset a discount on his perfect car, which led to Cardi asking if she'd be able to get her a cheaper deal on her dream machine.

However, Cardi admitted that while she desperately wants a Lamborghini truck, there's one issue with her plan.

"I don't drive," she laughed. "I'm a professional passenger. I don't have a licence. I'm from New York... I'm so used to taking the train so I was like, "What do you need a car for?'"

When Ellen said she'd get her a discount on her Lamborghini, which Cardi wants to be red with a "baby friendly interior", the music star smiled: "I need friends like you - all my friends just get me into fights and trouble!"



Chris Pratt: 'Divorce sucks'

Chris Pratt is opening up about his separation from estranged wife Anna Faris for the first time, insisting he's miserable.

The couple separated in August after eight years of marriage, and identical divorce papers were filed in December, with both stars citing irreconcilable differences.

The Guardians of the Galaxy star and Anna have remained close following their split as they continue to co-parent their five-year-old son Jack, but Chris is now admitting he is not enjoying life as a single dad.

"Divorce sucks," he tells Entertainment Weekly. "But at the end of the day, we've got a great kid who's got two parents who love him very much. And we're finding a way to navigate this while still remaining friends and still being kind to one another. It's not ideal, but yeah, I think both of us are actually probably doing better."

Many fans were shocked when the former couple announced the split and Anna has previously spoken about how she initially felt a tinge of "anger" towards social media followers for their exaggerated reactions.

"Chris and I did talk about, like, 'Oh boy... (we're letting fans down)', and we got on the Twitter feed (messages like), 'Love is dead' and 'relationship goals...'," she recalled on the podcast Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard.

Anna explained she decided to "just be silent" on social media until the shock of their split news blew over, but she admitted some tweets did get on her nerves.

"I had a little bit of a childish feeling like, 'Oh, come on, ... grow up,' like, a little anger," she confessed.

However, she is grateful the former couple has been able to maintain a loving relationship for the sake of her son.

"We had an unbelievable marriage, and we have a great friendship now. We love our son to death, and I'm really proud of that, because I'm not sure I did that well the first time (when she was married to Ben Indra)," she said.



Dating Bieber's ex

The Weeknd is reportedly dating Justin Bieber's ex-girlfriend Chantel Jefferies.

The Starboy hitmaker was reportedly photographed walking arm-in-arm with Chantel on Saturday and attending her DJ gig at the Apple Music x Beats 1 party during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which he headlined on Friday night.

The pictures followed reports he was seen kissing his ex-girlfriend Bella Hadid at Poppy nightclub's pop-up at the festival site. The model has since made it clear the story was false by commenting on an E! News' post about the alleged kiss, writing: "It wasn't me" followed by emojis of a person shrugging and a detective with a magnifying glass.

And now editors at Us Weekly magazine report The Weeknd and Chantel are "casually" seeing each other.

"Chantel and The Weeknd are definitely dating," a source tells the publication. "It's new and nothing crazy serious."

The singer, real name Abel Tesfaye, and Chantel reportedly dated before he embarked on a relationship with Bella in 2015, and then with Selena Gomez for 10 months in 2017.

"They have been friends for years," the source adds. "They're seeing if they can make it work."

Meanwhile, the Canadian singer reportedly had tears streaming down his face during his Coachella set, as he performed new songs Call Out My Name and Privilege, which are thought to be about his failed relationship with Selena, who went on to rekindle her romance with on-off boyfriend Justin. They have since split up again.

The Weeknd has yet to comment on any of the relationship rumours.



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