Gossip mongers had no shortage of subject matter from the music world in 2013; from bad-boy shenanigans, to pop star arrests that covered everything from tax evasion to child molestation to premeditated murder. For those who love to dig through dirt, there were piles-o-plenty. Let's review the year's most shocking moments:
Jay Z refuses to pull out of a partnership with Barneys despite pressure exerted on him by civil rights groups. The fracas started after two African American young men were detained by police officers in the store after buying pricey items. Jay Z reacted to the incidents of racial profiling by insisting Barneys donate all proceeds from his overpriced product line to the Shawn Carter Foundation, which offers scholarships for young people facing socio-economic hardships.
Grammy award-winning solo artist/ex-Fugee Lauryn Hill began serving a 90-day sentence for tax evasion on July 8. The singer was locked away in a low-security jail in Danbury, Connecticut and was sentenced to another three months of home confinement after her release. After that, she'll be on supervised probation for another year. Hill failed to pay taxes for five years on earnings of more than $2 million. She claimed she was a victim of the music industry and left the business to protect herself and her children.
Oasis/ Beady Eye vocalist Liam Gallagher had an affair with U.S. journalist Liza Ghorbani. The story broke when Ghorbani sued Gallagher for around $3 million for child support after giving birth to his daughter (now 11 months old). Gallagher's wife, Nicole Appleton, reportedly left the singer when she found out he was cheating on her. Ghorbani first hooked up with Gallagher in 2010 after writing an article about him for the New York Times. The singer is currently living with his former assistant Debbie Gwyther, according to a report from the Daily Mail.
When Pitchfork booked R. Kelly to headline their music festival, Chicago journalist Jim DeRogatis exerted his right to free speech. In 2002, DeRogatis broke the story about the crooner’s alleged predatory perversions (for which a jury surprisingly found Kelly not guilty), so before this year’s festival he took to WBEZ radio to talk to fans, a sociologist, a psychologist, and music critics about Kelly’s misconduct and why he wasn't crucified by the media. "The saddest fact I've learned is nobody matters less to our society than young black women," DeRogatis told the Village Voice. "Nobody."
Chris Brown was kicked out of a Malibu anger management rehab center in late November after he lost his cool and threw a rock through his mom’s car window. Mrs. Brown was visiting her son to convince him to stay in the program to help him avoid violent outbursts – such as the one in January, when he punched and threatened to shoot Frank Ocean (both performers were trying to pull into the same parking space at a recording studio), or the one in late October when Brown was arrested for felony assault for slugging a man who tried to jump into a photo that was shot of Brown and two women.
Miley Cyrus cemented her reputation as one of this year’s most controversial pop stars by twerking against Robin Thicke's crotch at the MTV Video Music Awards. Oh yeah, and smoking weed onstage in Amsterdam at the European Music Awards, too. The former Disney star also flashed her breasts to plug the film Free the Nipple. And who could forget the images of her licking a sledgehammer and riding a demolition ball naked from the video "Wrecking Ball?" Or, that that particular antic started a Twitter war with Sinead O’Connor? Apparently Cyrus deserves a list all her own.
Michael Jackson’s 15-year-old daughter Paris attempted suicide by cutting her arm with a meat cleaver and swallowing 20 Motrin pills in the early hours of June 5. The incident happened after Jackson was denied permission to attend a concert by shock rocker Marilyn Manson. At the show, Manson displayed his typical sensitivity by dedicating the song "Disposable Teens" to Jackson, then pretended to slash his wrist with a knife. In a message to Jackson, Manson wrote, "I hope you feel better. You will be on my guest list anytime you want." After being released from the hospital, Jackson checked into a rehabilitation boarding school in Utah.
We’re guessing Justin Bieber got a big lump of coal from Santa this year, for in 2013 he was definitely a bad boy. Like Cyrus, Bieber had enough antics over the year to fill a list of his own. In March he tried to bring a pet Capuchin monkey into Germany, where it was promptly confiscated. The same month he got into a scrap with a photographer in London, and allegedly spat on a neighbor back home during an argument. In April he was attacked by the media when he visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and wrote in the museum guest book, "Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber." In July, a video surfaced of Bieber urinating into a mop bucket in the kitchen of a New York restaurant and saying "f--k Bill Clinton." Four months later, Bieber went gonzo: He spray painted graffiti on the walls of the QT hotel in Queensland and posted images of his art on Instagram. Then in Buenos Aires, when fans tossed a pair of Argentinean flags on the stage, he disrespectfully swept them away with his feet and a microphone stand. To cap off his stay in South America, Bieber reportedly spent hours in a brothel in Rio de Janeiro. A prostitute there said her hour with Bieber was "super delicious."
Tim Lambesis, vocalist of Christian metal band As I Lay Dying, was arrested on May 7 after hiring a hit man to take out his ex-wife. Unfortunately for Lambesis, the gunman was an undercover detective. After paying $160,000 bond towards his $2 million bail, Lambesis was placed under house arrest and forced to wear a GPS tracking device. His attorney claims excessive steroid use made him irrational. His trial is scheduled for March 2014.
The singer for the Welsh band Lostprophets, Ian Watkins, was sentenced to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to 13 child sexual assault charges, two of which involved trying to rape a baby. According to Welsh law, the 36-year-old will be eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of his prison term. Two co-defendants, the mothers of children he abused, were jailed for 14 and 17 years, for contributing to Watkins's crimes.