Source: Spears out of ‘X Factor’
Britney Spears is out of “The X Factor” after a season in which the pop star failed to deliver a ratings boost for the singing contest, a person familiar with the show’s plans said Thursday.
Creator Simon Cowell and fellow producers are discussing replacements for Spears and another panelist, record producer Antonio “L.A.” Reid, said the person, who lacked authority to comment publicly and insisted of anonymity.
Reid previously announced he was leaving after two seasons. Demi Lovato appears likely to return, joining Cowell on the revamped panel. The show is due to return in the fall.
The departures are yet another shake-up for “The X Factor,” Cowell’s attempt to strike magic with a U.S. version of his successful U.K. series. Cowell replaced panelists Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones after a disappointing first season, and ratings dropped in the second season.
The December season finale drew 9.7 million viewers, compared with about 11 million for the first year’s season-ender. Although the series has failed to match Cowell’s bold pre-debut predictions, and certainly hasn’t eclipsed sister Fox show “American Idol,” it’s helped shore up the network’s fall schedule.
Destiny’s Child readies song, compilation CD
Destiny’s Child is back together — for a new song.
The R&B trio said Thursday they will release a new track called “Nuclear.” The song is the group’s first new offering since 2004.
“Nuclear” will appear on the compilation album, “Love Songs,” out Jan. 29. It features 13 previously released Destiny Child’s ballads, including the hits “Emotion” and “Cater 2 U.”
“Nuclear” was produced by Pharrell, who co-wrote the song with Michelle Williams.
Destiny’s Child, which includes Williams, Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Rowland, released its self-titled debut in 1998 with a fourth member. The group’s sophomore album, “The Writing’s on the Wall,” came a year later and garnered multiple hits, but the success also shook up the foursome, and Destiny’s Child became a trio.
Amy Winehouse up for Brit Award
The late Amy Winehouse has been nominated for a Brit Award, joining acts such as Emeli Sande and Paloma Faith in the running for best British female act.
Winehouse — who died in July 2011 from accidental alcohol poisoning — was eligible as a result of the release of her “Lioness: Hidden Treasures” album.
Sande, Mumford & Sons and Alt-J led the nominations for Britain’s premiere music awards, with three each.
Other nominees include the Rolling Stones, up for best live act against Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Muse and The Vaccines.
The 2012 Brit awards will take place Feb. 20 and feature performances by Muse and Robbie Williams.
Ex-bodyguard sues Justin Bieber
A former bodyguard for Justin Bieber sued the pop superstar Thursday, seeking more than $420,000 in overtime and other wages and claiming the singer repeatedly struck him in an October confrontation.
Moshe Benabou’s lawsuit claims Bieber berated him and repeatedly punched him in the chest after a disagreement about how to handle a member of the Grammy-nominated singer’s entourage. After he walked away, Bieber fired him, Benabou’s lawsuit claims.
Benabou also says he was mistakenly told that he wasn’t entitled to receive overtime despite working 14- to 18-hour days between March 2011 and October 2012.
An email message sent to Bieber’s publicist was not immediately returned.
Benabou is seeking unspecified damages on the assault and battery claims and $421,261 in unpaid overtime, vacation and other wage benefits.