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Don Cornelius Died at 75; Madonna is Nervous on the Super Bowl Halftime Show; Tracy Morgan Has an Issue with his Estranged Mother

Aired February 2, 2012 - 23:00:00   ET



A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST (voice-over): Big news breaking tonight on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT."

Tracy Morgan`s shocking family feud. The "30 rock" star under fire from his own family over money. Tonight, Tracy tells "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" why he won`t give his own mother $25,000 to save her house.

The showbiz flashpoint, does he owe it to her to bail her out?

Brand new "soul man" mysteries. New clues behind the apparent suicide of "soul train`s" Don Cornelius, his painful divorce, money troubles and deteriorating health.

Tonight, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" uncovers the mysteries behind Don`s demons.

Madonna`s big super bowl gamble. Tonight, the biggest star in the world takes on the biggest stage on TV.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Are you nervous about doing the super bowl?

MADONNA, SINGER: I`m so nervous. You have no idea.

HAMMER: Tonight "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" dares to ask, will Madonna score a touchdown at the super bowl halftime show, or will it be a big fumble?

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show breaks news right now.


HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer in New York with big news breaking tonight.

Tracy`s turmoil. "30 rock" star Tracy Morgan is speaking out today and for the very first time he`s addressing what`s turning out to be a very public family feud. He tells "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" he`d prefer to handle this ugly battle privately.

But unfortunately for Tracy, the cat is out of the bag. Both his sister and his mother are talking publicly and claiming Tracy doesn`t care enough about his mom to keep her off the streets. His mom who Tracy hasn`t even seen in more than ten years has fallen on hard times, and unless someone steps in, she will likely lose her home to foreclosure.

Tracy, whose career is at a high point, is really stuck between a rock and a hard place. Help his estranged mother or risk the judgment of others who may think he should pay. Either way, there are no easy winners in this game of celebrity family feud.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You left me, dad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was young and confused. Your mom didn`t want me around no more.

HAMMER: On the sitcom "30 rock" the troubled family history of Tracy Morgan`s character is often played for laughs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this true, mom?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He gambled away my welfare check. Woman, I got to mind to smack you upside the head.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not helpful.

HAMMER: But "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" can tell you today Tracy Morgan is in a very unfunny media feud with his real life estranged family, re-claim the rich and famous comedian are refusing to help his desperate 61-year-old mother.

ALICIA WARDEN, TRACY MORGAN`S MOTHER: I don`t talk to the media, but I`m in a dire position right now.

HAMMER: Tracy Morgan`s mom, Alicia Warden, says she`s lost her job and has fallen behind on the mortgage payment for her home in Youngstown, Ohio, and if Tracy doesn`t help out, she`ll be homeless.

WARDEN: If the worst happens, then I`m in the streets. I didn`t see anything wrong with asking him for help.

HAMMER: "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" has all the shocking and sad details of Tracy Morgan`s personal family drama.

Yes, Tracy Morgan can be wild and outrageous on stage, but when the topic turns to his estranged family, he turns dead serious.

TRACY MORGAN, COMEDIAN: My childhood, yes, sure, it wasn`t a happy ending. I lost my daddy. At some point I lost my mom my emotionally.

HAMMER: In a 2009 interview with NPR`s (inaudible), Tracy emotionally talked about his rough childhood. He said he left his mom`s home to live with his heroin addicted father who later died of aids.

MORGAN: It was a terrible situation. It was a really terrible situation, and it wasn`t my mother`s fault. That was the hardest day of my life and I heard my mother cry and it just broke me down and I think about it now. I never meant to hurt my mother.

HAMMER: Tracy won`t say what specifically caused his falling out with his mother but now his mom accuses him of lying about his rough childhood.

WARDEN: Tracy was brought up normal. My kids were always with me.

HAMMER: Alicia Warden says she lost her job last year and she tells "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" her unemployment is running out and she`s fallen behind in her mortgage.

ALAN DUKE, CNN ENTERTAINMENT WIRE EDITOR: Tracy`s mom says it would take $25,000 to pay off the mortgage on her home.

HAMMER: That would be a drop in the bucket for her rich and famous son who`s worth an estimated $18 million. But she says al she`s gotten from Tracy Morgan is a phone call from his assistant who offered her a one-time payment of just $2,000.

WARDEN: Don`t have someone call me to tell me you`re giving me a one-shot deal because that $2,000 would pay November, December, January. What was I going to do for February?

HAMMER: And now, Tracy Morgan`s sister has joined in the media family feud.

In an exclusive interview with "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" she said, quote, "Tracy is not a nice person. He never has been, but my mom is holding on hope that Tracy will eventually come around."

DUKE: It was really surprising how much anger she had toward her brother.

HAMMER: Tracy Morgan tells "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" the stories is estrange family they`re telling about him are untrue. He has quote, "for reasons that are between us, I have not seen my mother in 11 years and outside of a random call here and there, have had little to no contact with my sister.

We all have personal and family issues we deal with in life, but I choose to deal with mine in private and not through the media.

With all this disagreement, Tracy and his mother seem to agree on one thing. She says she still loves Tracy.

WARDEN: I still love my son. He`s my son. I will always love my son.

HAMMER: In that emotional NPR interview, Tracy Morgan said he loves his mom.

MORGAN: Me, I forgive my mother, and I moved on. I love my mother. Thank you for showing me there really is love in my family after all and I need to stay the hell away from them.

HAMMER: So, Tracy Morgan is showing that while family conflict can be funny on TV, it can be tricky in real life especially when fame and money are involved.


HAMMER: Obviously, it is a very long and very complicated history there between Tracy Morgan and his mother.

With me, here in New York, Sunny Hostin, legal contributor for "In Session" on our sister network, truTV. In Hollywood, Pat Lalama, correspondent with the crime network "Investigation Discovery."

Sunny, let me start with you in our showbiz flashpoint. Let`s put it up. Despite their complicated history, should Tracy Morgan help his estranged mother with his money troubles? A lot of people are saying today, hey, he`s worth 18 million bucks, just write her a check.

SUNNY HOSTIN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, IN SESSION, TRUTV: No. Bottom line is we don`t know what happened between Tracy Morgan and his mother. They`ve been estranged for over ten years. And relationships are very, very tricky. And just because he has the money doesn`t mean he has to give it to her. We don`t know what happened.

And I`ve got to tell you, what if she`s a mommy dearest? What if she was abusive to him emotionally or physically? And should he now all of the sudden give her $25,000? I think shame on the people who are getting involved in his personal relationships and telling him to bail his mother out. Why should he do that?

HAMMER: Yes. I`m with you. Of course, when you`re a celebrity, it comes with the territory. Everybody is going to have advice. But, I do agree with you, just because he has these millions of dollars, we don`t know the history and doesn`t mean he should write a check.

But Pat Lalama, I`m getting a sense from hearing your reaction in the background. You`re on our side here.

PAT LALAMA, CORRESPONDENT, INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY: Well, you know what, as much as I love a good sparring with Sunny, this is not one we`re going to argue about.

HOSTIN: Finally! Finally!

LALAMA: I know. I know. Now we can have lunch and agree on something, right?

Here`s the story. Think about this entire matter. What does it take for a son to turn his back on a mother? It takes a lot. Mothers do a lot of bad things in a lifetime, and sons will not turn their back. Something happened. You`re absolutely right. And what`s interesting about him, he`s taking the high road.

Remember his quote, "for reasons I`m not going to discuss here." And I find it vile and vicious that the family has chosen to use the media to bully him in a sense. And I do think this is a man in a lot of pain and those are issues he`s going to work out. But to bully him in the media, to make him feel badly, I say Tracy, stick up for your guns.

HAMMER: And feel forced to respond with that statement. He said he doesn`t want to talk about it in the media. I do think he felt obligate to release a statement because he was getting attacked here. And this is not a new phenomenon. We`ve seen this in the past where so many rich and famous celebs find themselves with mom and money troubles. Here are just a couple.

Remember our Christian Bale was arrested a day before the premiere of "the Dark Knight" and this was after allegedly assaulting his estranged mother. The argument was reportedly about money. He was never charged in that.

We have "Gossip Girl`s" Leighton Meester and her estrange mom actually sued each other. It over support payments and alleged misuse of Leighton`s money, that lawsuit was dropped.

And of course, Eminem famously sued for $11 million by his mom who claimed that Eminem defamed her in song lyrics. She ended end getting just $1, 600.

And these are more recent stories that happened over the past several years. I realize, look, all families have issues.

But Sunny, you add fame, you add all that money to the mix, and it`s really not surprising that this kind of family drama can be a common thing among some celebrities.

HOSTIN: That`s true. I love the way Pat put it. They`re almost holding him hostage to his celebrity trying to almost defame him. And I think it`s terrible because as a celebrity, I mean, there are wonderful things that come along with the celebrity. But in a sense your life is exposed to the public because you`re a public person. And you would think that there would be some sort of safe haven when it comes to your family matters.

And unfortunately, for Tracy and so many other people, that`s no just not the case.

HAMMER: And look. I don`t want to stick my nose in anybody else`s business. We`ve said it several times. We don`t exactly what the story is.

But Pat, we heard both of them saying they still love each other. And as an optimist in life, I hear that and hold out hope. So perhaps, perhaps this going on right now might present an opportunity to, hey, get in the same room together and at least have some kind of discussion about reconciliation or, you know, coming to understand one another.

LALAMA: Well, wouldn`t that be a beautiful thing if out of all of this came a resolution for both? But you know what? We never give enough credit to how painful family life can be. And every one of us has some little skeleton in the closet somewhere. It is painful.

And you know what? There are two schools of thought. The old school is you have to protect your parents no matter what, they`re your parents. Then there`s the other side, wait a minute, if bad things happen in life, blood doesn`t mean anything. And I think he`s probably conflicted, which way does he go?

HAMMER: Yes. Great point! Pat Lalama, Sunny Hostin. Thank you both so much.

So tonight, is Madonna of all people super nervous about the super bowl? Yes, believe it or not, one of the most famous entertainers on the planet reveals she`s flipping out over a little football game. OK, not so little. But, will Madonna`s halftime show be a touchdown or fumble?

Maybe Madonna should be a judge on the "X Factor." No pressure there, right?

And tonight, brand new evidence of Simon should consider Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston or even Seal as new judges on the show.

And Soul man mysteries, you got to see this. Brand new insight into why "Soul Train`s" Don Cornelius is, may have taken his own life.

This is "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" on HLN "news and views." It`s time for the "Showbiz News Ticker." More stories from the "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" newsroom making news tonight.

Text: AmyWinehouse death inquiry may be reopened after coroner of case resigns.

Text: Daniel Radcliffe tells "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" how he has to get past "Harry Potter" for new jobs.


DANIEL RADCLIFFE, ACTOR: Why don`t people need convincing in terms they`ve only seen me do one thing. So, the first thing I say when I go into any meeting with a director is, I`m willing - I want to read for this. I don`t consider myself as having a body of work. Like, I`m only 22.



HAMMER: We need to bring those outfits back. The first stop in the ride for fame for so many artists was "Soul Train." For 35 years Don Cornelius was the conductor.

Tonight as friends and fans mourn the loss of a pioneer, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" uncovers the mystery of the shocking death of Don Cornelius.

Welcome back to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." I`m A.J. Hammer in New York with soul man mysteries.

Tonight everyone`s trying to connect the dots, trying to figure out exactly why Don Cornelius took his own life. In a brand new interview today on CBS "This Morning" Don`s son, Tony Cornelius, spoke out for the very first time and he may have revealed the very first clues to solving the Don Cornelius mystery.

I want you to watch with me what Tony just told Gayle King about the phone call that prompted him to rush to his dad`s home.


TONY CORNELIUS, DON CORNELIUS` SON: During that call, it was a call of urgency, and I came to his home immediately.

GAYLE KING, CBS ANCHOR, THIS MORNING: It has been reported that he was depressed and in poor health. Is that true? Was that true?

CORNELIUS: Yes, he had been very, you know, very unhappy about some things that have gone on in his life, you know, several years, and his health was failing.


HAMMER: His health was failing, Tony not getting specific there. Legal contributor Sunny Hostin is with me in New York, and obviously, Tony Cornelius still in shock, Sunny.

But, is it surprising at all to you that the family is still being mysterious about his death? Everybody wants answers.

HOSTIN: Yes. It`s not surprising to me at all because we`re talking about Don Cornelius. I mean, he`s a legend and leaves quite a legacy. We`re talking about "Soul Train." I remember watching it religiously every single Saturday and dancing on the "Soul Train" line, my imaginary one in my home.

And so there`s money, I think, to be protected and there`s the legend to be protected. And a suicide is something that`s just so wrought with emotion and there are also legal ramifications as well. So they`ve got to be careful.

HAMMER: Yes. Including, of course, life insurance, we know when suicide is involved, that can affect that. He reportedly had two life insurance policies and he also had had a very public divorce battle several years ago. So do you think we`re potentially looking at a money battle here?

HOSTIN: I think that`s always possible when you`re talking about celebrity and fame and money. And so there`s no question that this family is going to close ranks and try to figure out what the best way to proceed is. And it`s just such a sad thing, isn`t it? I mean, we`re talking about Don Cornelius. I was shocked when I heard about it.

HAMMER: A man with a huge legacy. And it`s not surprising to me at all this mountain of tributes that have been pouring in from fans for Don. I mean, this was a larger than life figure.

And late today, we did hear from his son, again, Tony Cornelius has issued a statement essentially asking for privacy to get through what`s obviously a difficult time. Well, Tony also told Gayle King on CBS that Don`s intense privacy may be one of the reasons his death is now such a mystery. Watch.


CORNELIUS: Well, you know, my father was extremely private, and unfortunately, you know when you`re a private person, you keep things inside. Obviously me being extremely close to him, I could tell that he was uncomfortable. But, you know, our family could never know that he would -- how uncomfortable he really was.


HAMMER: Yes, and that`s not something that we knew so much to that extent. We knew he was such a private person. And I imagine they`re going to try to maintain that sort of veil of privacy partially as you said to protect the brand.

HOSTIN: Yes. And to protect his memory especially when you`re talking about someone who notoriously was private. Many people said that about Don Cornelius. And I think it`s also sad that as a private person, his life is becoming so public by virtue of the fact that he may have taken his own life.

HAMMER: And you wonder if he even had the wherewithal to know that`s what`s going to happen when you`re a celebrity and this is how you pass away.

All right, Sunny Hostin, always good to see you. Thank you.

HOSTIN: Thanks.

HAMMER: We move now to Madonna`s super gamble. Yes. She may be one of the most famous entertainers on the planet, but believe it or not, Madonna nervous about the super bowl. Really? Really. So, will she score a touchdown? Will it be a fumble at halftime?

And John Legend`s extraordinary tribute to football star, Tim Tebow.


JOHN LEGEND, SINGER: Extraordinary Tebow, your power we can`t know.


HAMMER: Wait until you see this. John Legend`s take on the Tebow craze with one of his classics. That`s coming up.

This is "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" on HLN "news and views." This is the "Showbiz News Ticker." More stories from the "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" newsroom making news tonight.

Text: Madonna says she cut daughter, Lourdes` scene from her film "W.E."

Text: "The Artist" start Jean Dujardin`s new French movie ads may be pulled for being too risque.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. All right. You ready?




CROWD: Three, four, five, six, seven, eight --


HAMMER: Wow. That`s pretty good. Did you see this? First lady Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres going head to head in a pushup challenge. But which fit lady actually won?

This is so cool. Michelle Obama is known, of course, for her amazing arms. But everybody always wants to know how she gets them to look so darn good, pushups apparently.

On the Ellen DeGeneres show today, Ellen revealed she likes to do pushups as much as the first lady. So hey, why not challenge Mrs. Obama to a pushup showdown? Why do I have a feeling that Ellen is going to regret this?




DEGENERES: All right.

OBAMA: You guys count.

CROWD: Two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 --


DEGENERES: Woo! That was amazing.


HAMMER: Victory Obama. You know, you don`t get the most famous arms in the country without being able to do a whole lot of pushups. By the way, the first lady did 25 pushups. And I`m sure Michelle would instantly tell you that our president is a fit guy, too. But tidy? Not so much. Today she told Ellen about his cleanup hang-ups.


OBAMA: He thinks he`s neat, but he has people who help him, you know? And I`m like, it`s not you that`s neat, it`s the people who are --


OBAMA: The people who pick up your socks, those are the neat people. In Chicago, his idea of putting his suit away was hanging it on the edge of the door. So he would just have jackets on the edges of the door.


OBAMA: It`s like, there`s a hanger.


OBAMA: You know? But, no, he doesn`t get neat points.

DEGENERES: You can`t do everything right. You have to have some flaws.


HAMMER: With all due respect, Mrs. Obama, let him leave the socks on the floor. He has bigger messes to clean up, you know?

Now it`s time for the "Showbiz Lineup." Here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT". Please don`t audit my taxes.

Brand new evidence tonight hat Simon Cowell should be looking to hire perhaps Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Seal for the "X Factor." Could one of these stars be the key to bring the show back to life?

And is it baby time for one of the stars of "Jersey Shore"? Snooki speaks out setting the record straight today.

This is "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" on HLN "news and views." And now, to "Showbiz News Ticker," more stories from the "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" newsroom making news tonight.

Text: ABC picks up Reba Mcentire pilot "Malibu Country."

Text: Penelope Cruz releases new as for PETA.



HAMMER (voice-over): Big news breaking tonight on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT."

Betting on Madonna, one of the world`s most popular performers is taking on the huge super bowl halftime show this weekend. But why are so many people worried that a pro like Madonna might just fumble it?

The brand new evidence of who Simon Cowell should cast on the new "X Factor." It`s a showdown between Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Showbiz dares to ask who would make the better judge.

Plus, Snooki`s big baby news? Tonight "Jersey Shore`s" most popular party girl sets the record straight on those shocking baby rumors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANNOUNCER: TV`s most provocative entertainment news show continues right now.


HAMMER: Welcome back to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York, and we have big news breaking today.

I`m talking betting on Madonna. That`s right. Are you excited? Just three days, one of the most anticipated super bowl halftime shows ever will be revealed to the world. The stage is now set and it`s game on for Madonna.

But, you know, after dominating the music world for three decades, does the queen of pop still have what it takes to pull this off?

With me from Indianapolis tonight, in the heart of all of the super bowl action, there he is, Carlos Diaz, sports anchor of "Morning Express" on HLN, and with me in New York, former "American Idol" contestant, Kimberly Locke. It`s terrific to have you here.

Let`s go out to Carlos first. But before I do, I want to play something for you guy. Because juts today Madonna was a guest on Anderson Cooper`s daytime talk show. This was an interview that he and she taped earlier this week. And Anderson asked Madonna if she was in any way nervous about her upcoming performance at the super bowl. Watch with me.


MADONNA: My God. I`m so nervous. You have no idea. I have to put on the greatest show on earth in the middle of the greatest show on earth. I have eight minutes to set it up and seven minutes to take it down. And 12 minutes to put on the greatest show on earth. OK? That`s a lot of pressure.



HAMMER: It`s a lot of pressure, obviously. But it`s so funny or interesting to hear Madonna of all people saying, so nervous.

Takes us to our showbiz flashpoint, Madonna says she`s nervous for the super bowl Sunday halftime show. Will it be a big success?

Carlos, I`ll start with you as you were right there in the thick of things. I`m thinking if anybody can pull this off, it`s Madonna, right?

CARLOS DIAZ, SPORTS ANCHOR, MORNING EXPRESS: Yes, but at the press conference today, she did sound nervous. And she said over and over again how nervous she is. It was very un-Madonna like for her to admit that.

But, you can tell, A.J., that she`s not looking at this performance like I`m going to shock the world. I think she`s looking at this performance like this is what I want to be remembered for. You know, it`s kind of a weird thing. She`s getting to that point in her career where she`s closer to the end than she was to the beginning.

So, I think she sees this as a pivotal point in her career where she can make an impression for the next 10, 15 years. So she`s really putting a lot of pressure on herself.

HAMMER: And it`s interesting because Madonna, of course, has always been afraid of failure. It`s one of the things I think has always driven her so, so much. But it is, of course, Madonna.

Kimberly, I have to get your take on this. Because we`re talking about Madonna of all people now, even if the performance is a big failure, yes, it will be huge headlines on Monday if something goes terribly wrong. But ultimately, will it really matter?

KIMBERLY LOCKE, SECOND RUNNER UP WINNER, AMERICAN IDOL, 2003: I don`t think it will. It`s Madonna. I mean, me, personally as a singer, as an artist, who has looked up to Madonna. I can`t wait to see what she`s going to do because I know she`s going to do something no one else has ever done. And I think that`s why everyone is going to be watching, too, you know.

And it`s OK for Madonna to be nervous. And the fact she admits it? Boy! It sure makes me feel good that Madonna gets nervous, too.


HAMMER: Yes. And let`s face it. Carlos, you know, she is a perfectionist. I actually do have to imagine with all of that pressure going on in the few minutes you have to set up and the eyes of the world watching that she`s actually very afraid of something going wrong because she likes things to be so perfect all the time.

DIAZ: I was in the front row a few years ago when Bruce Springsteen played in Tampa. And you can`t imagine, A.J., you are running out on to the field and they`re setting up the stage and it is like, OK now, naturally just perform in front of a worldwide audience.

I can tell you, that she rehearsed for five hours last night in that building behind me then, another several hours this evening. And we have had reports about her set list. The "New York post" is saying it`s "give me all your loving" "ray of light," vogue," "Music" and "Holiday." Although she said it would be one new song and three old songs.

My friends at the "Indianapolis Star" tell me that with rehearsals last night she rehearsed "give me all your loving", "vogue," "music," and "like a prayer." So, there are some discrepancies what her set is going to be. And she said she wants to keep all the secrets until super bowl Sunday.

HAMMER: Alright, I guess we will have to wait and see. But Madonna, obviously, not the only one with so much riding on this super bowl, we have some brand new reports today that Tom Brady`s wife is so desperate for him to get a win, she reportedly sent around an e-mail asking friends and family to join her in prayer. Let me read to you what this e-mail says. "He and his team worked so hard to get to this point and now they need us more than ever. So, I kindly ask all of you to join me on this positive chain and pray for him so he can feel confident, healthy and strong. Envision him happy and fulfilled, experiencing with his team a victory this Sunday."

And I don`t need to tell you this, but this e-mail is spreading like wildfire on the internet. A lot of people have been taking jabs at her because of it.

Kimberly, we know that you talk about prayer. It can obviously be very polarizing. Is it so wrong for the husband of this famous QB who`s playing on Saturday to reach out to people and ask them to pray?

LOCKE: Hey, we`ll blame it on Tebow, right?

DIAZ: Exactly. It`s kind of in that vein.

LOCKE: I think it`s OK, right? It`s OK that she wants this badly for her husband. And, hey, everybody`s on the Internet and I would probably forward it.

HAMMER: What do you think, Carlos, out there? Is it a mistake when a spouse or a relation of somebody who`s involved with the game makes a bold prayer statement like this so close to the game? Or does it not matter at all?

DIAZ: I think this is a huge -- I think it`s a huge statement, A.J. because Tom Brady all week has tried to be laid back and oh, it`s another game. But then Gisele says please, please pray for my husband, pray for my man. And when you`re going against the guy named Elijah, which his name stands for, it`s Elijah Manning. It`s very biblical. Though, I don`t know if the guy up there is going to be going, I`m not going for Elijah. I love to see but it does say this is very important to Tom Brady.

HAMMER: And listen, maybe some of the prayer will help other performers involved. Madonna, Kelly Clark of course, all eyes on her singing the national anthem.

Now, Christina Aguilera have what I thought was basically a great performance last year but for the fact that she flubbed the words and caught flak for it. It`s an immense amount of pressure. I mean, it`s funny we`ve forgotten about it now. But take us on stage with you to let us know what it could be like doing that.

LOCKE: I mean, I`ve never signed to the super bowl. So, that type of pressure, I mean. I`ve been on "American idol" where millions of people are watching. So, that amount of pressure, and that particular song, what people don`t understand, that`s one of the most difficult song to sing.

It`s written unlike any other song. It doesn`t rhyme, it doesn`t repeat. Sp, you have a lot, you know, our songs, hey; you get to sing the chorus twice. All you really have to remember is the verse. So the national anthem is so difficult.

HAMMER: Not to mention the acoustics and the staging.

LOCKE: The feedback, the people.

HAMMER: I`m nervous right now.

LOCKE: They`re waiting for you to mess up, A.J. OK?

HAMMER: Kelly not the only former "idol" star making headlines today. Simon Cowell, of course, fired Paul Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger from his new show, the "X factor." And since then, there are a lot of speculations about who the new judges should be.

Here are the shocking results I think of our "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" exclusive poll. Who should replace Paula and Nicole? Look at this, 52 percent say Mariah, 16 percent Whitney, 32 percent Seal. So, that`s ahead of Whitney. That`s surprising to me that that`s what people think.

LOCKE: It`s interesting. I mean, I would have voted for Whitney. Just because I don`t know, I think she`s an icon in her own right. And she`s had a rough, you know, few years, we`ll say, but I think she would be great at it. And doesn`t Simon want somebody who can stay and, you know -- I mean, because I think Simon knows how, you know, having the same judges every year, like the judges become instrumental to the show.


LOCKE: So --

HAMMER: He only has one chance to fix this. We have to leave it there. He better get it right this time. Great to see you, Kimberly Locke, thanks so much Carlos, have a great time this weekend.

And tonight, I can`t wait. We have a `70s icon in the house. I`m talking about legendary supermodel Cheryl Teague. She`s on the new season of "Celebrity Apprentice." She`s raising a lot of money for the Farrah Fawcett Foundation. And Cheryl is right here with me for a must see "Showbiz newsmaker interview," all about her good friend, Farrah, on her birthday, she would have been 65 today.

Plus, Gwyneth Paltrow`s confession. The Oscar winning actress opening up about a deep, dark pain from her past.

This is "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" on HLN "news and views." And this is the "Showbiz News Ticker." More stories from the "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" newsroom making news tonight.

Text: Police report shows Leslie Cater suffered apparent overdose.

Text: "Idol" contestant Britnee Kellogg is being compared to Britney Spears.



HAMMER: Welcome back to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Tonight Gwyneth Paltrow`s betrayal confession.

The superstar actress reveals a dark pain from her past. Also, wait until you find out who was just named the sexiest Oscar nominee?

And the heartwarming tributes to the man who created "Soul Train." that tops the buzz today.


HAMMER (voice-over): Remembering Don Cornelius. Just after learning of the apparent suicide of "Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius, shocked stars throughout Hollywood are paying their personal tributes to the television icon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was great. I loved him very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s given so much. I mean, look at all the people. Jeff Daniels and Jody Wadley, and my God, M.C. Hammer, all the people who came out of "Soul Train." People may not realize how many people popped off of that screen. Nick Cannon used to dance on "Soul Train." I mean, people don`t know this. There are a lot of us out here that will be keeping that heartbeat of Don Cornelius alive and his legacy alive.

HAMMER: Cornelius died Wednesday at the age of 75.



HAMMER: Gwyneth opens up on an ex. Gwyneth Paltrow has just revealed she was cheated on by a mysterious man from her past. In a brand new interview Gwyneth who dated both Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck before she was married, doesn`t name names but confesses she knows what it`s like it be betrayed.

She tells, "I had a boyfriend who used to cheat on me all the time. I was quite naive. I knew on a cellular level, but I bought his story."

Sexiest Oscar nominee. just released its brand new list ranking the 99 most desirable women of 2012 and "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" can tell you the Oscar nominees considered sexiest by the site`s 1one million readers. "The girl with the dragon tattoo`s" Rooney Mara came out at number three, putting the best actress nominee ahead of the rest. Fellow best actress nominee Michelle Williams ranked 63rd. And Jessica Chastain, best supporting nominee, got the 86th spot. TV`s Sophia Fegorra (ph) top the list.

Right, now celebrating Farrah forever. It is almost fathom, but the forever young and beautiful Farrah Fawcett would have been 65 years old today. Farrah died in 2009 after battling cancer. But her legacy lives on through the dedication and courage of her two of her best friends and of course, her millions of fans.

I`m so happy to have two showbiz newsmakers with me tonight. Here in New York, the legendary supermodel Cheryl Tiegs who is on the new season of "Celebrity Apprentice," raising money for the Farah Fawcett Foundation, can`t wait to hear about that.

In Hollywood tonight, Alana Stewart. She is the president of the Farrah Fawcett Foundation. Really great to have both of you guys here tonight.


HAMMER: Alana, let me start with you, you were right there, of course, for Farrah`s final days even filming some of it for what was such an incredibly moving documentary, "Farrah`s Story." what are you doing to mark Farrah`s birthday?

ALANA STEWART, PRESIDENT, FARRAH FAWCETT FOUNDATION: Well, for one thing, we`re thanking Cheryl. We`re very grateful to Cheryl for playing for us on "Celebrity Apprentice" and she`s our special angel. Tonight I`m going to dinner with Ryan and a few of her very good friends at her favorite Mexican restaurant.

HAMMER: Perfect. Raise a glass. Have a margarita. Cheers Farrah. Very nice.

STEWART: A margarita. Yes, absolutely her favorite.

HAMMER: Exactly. What`s the most important thing you`re doing as the president of the Farrah Fawcett Foundation? I know, you guys are doing so much incredible work and obviously raising a lot of money. But what`s on top of your list right now?

STEWART: Well, we`re trying to carry out Farrah`s wishes by contributing to cancer research and to also help people who are struggling with cancer today. And we just sponsored the Farrah Fawcett symposium for chemo sensitivity testing in September with Angeles clinic. And doctors came from all over the world to share their research and knowledge. And it was very exciting. So, we`re just doing a lot of really exciting projects and trying to keep her legacy alive.

HAMMER: And Cheryl, you`re doing a wonderful job with that raising the much need funds. You guys were not only and remain true icons, but you are also best friends and now you honor her legacy by of all things competing on "Celebrity Apprentice" to raise money for her cancer research foundation. Why are you reacting like that when I say "Celebrity Apprentice"? You have this immediate knee jerk reaction that maybe it wasn`t so good.

CHERYL TIEGS, CONTESTANT, CELEBRITY APPRENTICE: "Celebrity Apprentice" is one thing and talking about Farrah is just completely the opposite because she was so kindhearted and "Celebrity Apprentice" is so mean spirited. So --


HAMMER: Was it not a good experience for you?

TIEGS: It wasn`t for me because I tried to look at the best in people and I try to be kind to people, and it is, again, very mean spirited. Farrah on the other hand was so not like that. She was so kind and so sweet and so funny. She was a shining light in our lives and one of the things that she has -- when she found out she had the cancer, she kept going to Europe and getting alternative medicines.

HAMMER: Right.

TIEGS: And maybe, maybe America will start to, you know bring some of that over here. So Farrah was -- whenever I gave a dinner party, Farrah and Ryan were always first on the list. She did the poster, so I did the pink bikini poster. She -- I followed -- she was a maverick in many ways and I followed in her footsteps. Some, you know, in certain ways.

HAMMER: Do you think she could have gotten a huge kick, however, of you working with Donald trump doing a reality show?

TIEGS: You`re not going to let that one go, are you?

HAMMER: The way you`re reacting, I can`t help it.

TIEGS: I tried to change the subject. It really made me very uncomfortable to sit with someone, to be nice to them, to believe in them, to work hard and then they say awful things about -- I can take the awful things, because I know who I am. I don`t want to say bad things about other people. So I felt very uncomfortable doing the show.

HAMMER: But I will offer this, and Alana, I`m sure you would agree, that she would be thrilled that if it`s a way to keep her legacy alive and help raise awareness and funds, it`s only a good thing.

STEWART: And Cheryl was doing it for such a worthy cause. As I said, she`s our special angel and we thank you, Cheryl and love you.

HAMMER: Well, thank you both for being here. I can`t wait to see you on "Celebrity Apprentice" now. Alana Stewart, Cheryl Tiegs. Thank you very much. Happy birthday, Farrah.

Remember to watch Cheryl on "Celebrity Apprentice." The new season debuts Sunday February 12th on NBC.

And as we move on, I must ask, is Snooki pregnant? The "Jersey Shore" star comes clean about the bombshell pregnancy rumors, next.

This is "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" on HLN, "news and views." And this is the `Showbiz News Ticker." More stories from the "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" newsroom making news tonight.

Text: Bruce Springsteen and the E street band to perform at the Grammy awards.

Text: "The Hunger Games" will get an IMAX release this March.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I told her that I would try to win for her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And try you will.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just keep wishing I can think of a way to show that they don`t own me. I want to still be me.


HAMMER: Here`s what the "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" staff is buzzing all about.

We are cooking up the wings and chilling the bruise for Super bowl`s Sunday, of course, the giants taking on the patriots. We can`t put down the book "Raylan" by crime novelist, Elmore Leonard (ph) based on the character in the effect show "Justified."

All our DVRs are set for "Fat Chef." It`s on the food network, all about overweight chefs fighting the fat and saving their own lives.

We would burn to listen to Lana Del Ray`s brand new album called "Born to Die." That`s out right now. And Brown, one of the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion," it was great; we can`t wait for round two, Monday on Bravo.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You think they`ve given me a check.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know the one person that saw the story.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve never sold a story in my life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I won`t be accused of that.



HAMMER: Well tonight, Snooki is setting the record straight on those explosive rumors that she`s pregnant. Plus Snook`s "Jersey Shore" co-star, J. Wow, are striking back today at my new friend, the mayor Hoboken in after, she just ban them from let them shoot here as pin off in her town.

"SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" Kareen Wynter is Hollywood with all the brand new details. What`s going on, Kareen?

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: That`s right, A.J. What is going on here, right? Well, Snooki and J. Wow, they had a candid talk with "Good Morning America`s" Lara Spencer this morning. And you know, Snooki - she finally open up A.J. about whether or not she is actually pregnant.


LARA SPENCER, HOST, GOOD MORNING AMERICA: Why do you think people are asking you questions --?

SNOOKI, START, JERSEY SHORE: If I`m pregnant? Well, the rumors were an insider said something. But I never said I was pregnant. So, I`m thinking like, you know, people are thinking I`m fat or something. It`s like an insult kind of.

SPENCER: Yes, you were on a radio show yesterday and you were not pleased about it.

SNOOKI: Yes, I mean, it sucks because, you know, being pregnant should be, like, you know, a real thing and a happy thing and I`m not. And, you know, I`ve been working on my fitness a lot, so I don`t know.

SPENCER: What did you say when they sort of surprised you with that question?

SNOOKI: I`m like, am I fat? Did I get fat again? Like, what`s going on? So, you know. It`s fine.


WYNTER: All right, A.J., there you have it. Snooki says no. She is not pregnant.

HAMMER: All right, Kareen, let`s get into this now. Snooki and J. Wow, apparently also hit back at my new buddy the mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, who refused to let them tape their new "Jersey Shore" spinoff in their town.

WYNTER: That`s right A.J. And you know what? They didn`t pull punches, either.


SPENCER: What`s the problem with Hoboken?

SNOOKI: You`re going to have people that love us and have people that don`t like us I guess. It would have been just nice if she met us first.

SPENCER: She being the mayor of Hoboken.

SNOOKI: Yes, the mayor.

SPENCER: Thank you but no thank you, we don`t want you to shoot in Hoboken.


WYNTER: A.J., I have to wonder if a face to face meeting would have even really changed anything at all here.

HAMMER: Well, you know, when I spoke with the Hoboken mayor on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," she told me the ban was making sure there wasn`t a huge crowd of fans causing chaos if her small city. So, I got to say, I can understand all that. Thank you, Kareen.

And now, a Grammy winning R&B icon is getting in on the Tim Tebow craze. The great John Legend`s hilarious new riff on football`s biggest celebrity.


HAMMER: OK. This is how huge a celebrity Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is. His name was mentioned 88 times during just one hour on ESPN recently. And now the great R&B icon John Legend is getting in on the Tim Tebow praise with a hilarious riff on Tebow`s wild popularity.


LEGEND: Advances and TV ballroom dances, though it`s not a fantasy because all you do is win extraordinary Tebow. Your power we can`t know.


HAMMER: John Legend performed that spoof on ESPN. Perfect.

That`s it for "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." I`m A.J. Hammer. You can catch "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" weeknights 11:00 p.m. Eastern and pacific here on HLN.

Stay right here for Dr. Drew, next tonight. Dr. Drew. He gets to the bottom of the upstate New York medical mystery.

Dr. Drew starts right now.