by (@JordanRuntagh)

Brad Pitt’s New Furniture Line Joins Our List Of The 20 Weirdest Celebrity Side Projects

Brad Pitt launches new furniture line

Brad Pitt’s latest role is an unusual one: Furniture designer! The 48-year-old is teaming up with famed craftsman Frank Pollaro for a line of luxury home furnishings to be unveiled in New York on November 13th. The pieces include a 17-foot dining room table finished in 24K gold, and an epically huge bed.

Apparently Brad has been harboring secret carpentry ambitions for many years. “I’ve been doodling ideas for buildings and furniture since the early 1990s, when I first discovered [Charles Rennie] Mackintosh and Frank Lloyd Wright,” the actor told Architectural Digest. “Actually, I found Wright in college, when looking for a lazy two-point credit to get out of French. It forever changed my life.”

The duo hit it off when Frank was installing a custom commissioned desk in Brad’s home and caught a glimpse of his sketch book. “I asked him, ‘Why don’t we make some of this stuff real?’” Frank said. “Brad said he thought that could be fun.” But Brad is by no means the first celebrity who’s gone out of their comfort zone with a side project. Although some have succeeded more than others. Head on down to the gallery below to see a few of our favorites from over the years!

[Photo: Getty Images]

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by (@unclegrambo)

Rap’s Top 20 Richest Artists Revealed

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First things first: Do people still say the word “bling”? Or is that term a relic of a bygone era? Either way, it’s no secret that there is a lot of money to be made by becoming a global hip-hop icon these days. So much so, in fact, that a normally hoity-toity magazine like Forbes has been putting together lists of the Top 20 Hip-Hop Cash Kings since 2007. To that end, the high-falutin’ magazine is putting its fawning coverage of Wall Street robber barons in a temporary holding pattern as they focus their efforts on counting down which rappers are making the most cheddar in 2010.

While you most certainly won’t be surprised to find out that Jay-Z currently holds the title as hip-hop’s wealthiest mogul — he raked in some $63 million last year, no big whoops — you might be surprised when you hear that Lil Wayne places fourth on the list, this despite the fact that he’s been behind bars since March. Hilariously, Weezy’s actually on track to earn more money this year ($20 million) than he did last year ($18 million).

Check out our gallery below to find out who else made the list (and how much they took home). Only one question remains: If hip-hop’s wealthiest don’t spend money on “bling” anymore, what do they spend it on?

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George Clooney, MTV And VH1 Team Up For Massive Star-Studded Haiti Fundraiser

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Details are trickling in as we type … But we’re hearing about a fundraiser for Haiti that is being masterminded by George Clooney. Allegedly MTV has agreed to air a bi-coastal happening on all of its channels (MTV, BET, CMT and our beloved VH1) in an attempt to provide much-needed support for the devasted victims of the earthquake.

According to Showbiz411, which broke the story today, Clooney was busy recruiting celebs at a party for Up in the Air last night — and Sting, after being approached, was overheard saying “Where do I go?” The timing for recruiting talent could not be better as nearly every A-list actor will be attending the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards on Friday and then the Golden Globes on Sunday. Expect to hear a lot about Haiti in upcoming acceptance speeches!

It’s hard to imagine this event going down without music. We can’t confirm anything at this time, but a straight talking-head telethon just isn’t how VH1 or MTV rolls. Plus, can you imagine Sting without his guitar? Exactly.

After the jump, we start the Official Haiti Fundraiser Celebrity Lineup Guessing Game, which includes Wyclef Jean, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Matt Damon, Diddy, U2, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Shakira, John Legend, Adam Lambert, Ryan Seacrest and the Dixie Chicks. (But first, find out how you can help at the White House’s website.)

Read more…

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Chris Brown To Perform At Jackson Tribute Concert

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The full lineup will be announced later this morning, but Jermaine Jackson has already confirmed that Chris Brown is one of the stars who’ll be performing at the tribute concert to his brother Michael in Vienna, Austria on September 26.

The worldwide event will see up to 25 acts perform some of Jackson’s greatest hits in front of an audience of 65,000 at the concert, not to mention a global audience of millions. If he’s aiming to rehabilitate his career after the shocking attack on ex-(current?) girlfriend Rihanna earlier this year, Chris has managed to pick one of the most prestigious and emotional events to make his official comeback. Other acts currently announced include Akon and Angela Bassett, although further press conferences in London and Berlin will see further names rolled out. [Photo: Splash News Online]

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M.J. Inspired Akon As A Performer, Father

As one of the last artists to team with Michael Jackson before his unexpected death, Akon spoke with the Today Show‘s Meredith Vieira this morning about his personal experience with the King of Pop. They joined forces last year to re-record “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” for Jackson’s 25th Anniversary Thriller album. While their 2008 single, “Hold My Hand,” leaked over a year ago, the collaboration was being reserved for Jackson’s impending comeback album. Akon became emotional as they played a selection during the interview that included the now-poignant lyrics “This life don’t last forever, so what you waiting for?”

When Vieira queried about Akon’s personal encounter with Jackson, he spoke  nothing but words of praise and admiration. Throughout their work together, ‘Kon said Jackson was very talkative, direct, and had an unmatchable work ethic. He also motivated Akon to be a better father through his consistent dedication to spending time with his children. Akon explained that Jackson’s motivation for the comeback tour was fueled by a desire to “show his kids what they’d been hearing about.”

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Dolla Shot To Death, Suspect In Custody

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Born Roderick Anthony Burton II, the Atlanta rapper Dolla was shot to death yesterday while waiting in a valet area of the Beverly Center, an upscale mall in Beverly Hills. According to TMZ, the LAPD arrested a man at the Los Angeles International Airport who may have been either the shooter or connected to the shooting and who goes by the name of Aubery Berry. The suspect allegedly had a 9 millimeter handgun tucked in his pants.

In addition to rapping, Dolla modeled for Diddy‘s Sean John clothing line. He was recording his first album, “Another Day, Another Dolla,” which was meant to be released on Akon‘s Konvict Muzik label. His debut single, “Who the Fuck Is That?,” reached #82 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Before the shooting yesterday, Dolla opened a Twitter account. His only tweet was “about to try out this twitter thing.” A funeral will be held in Atlanta. He was just 21 years old. [Photo: Getty Images]

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Akon Employee Allegedly Robbed By Suge Knight’s Crew

TMZ is reporting that Christopher Walker, an employee who works for Detail, Akon‘s producer, had an unpleasant night last night when his home was robbed by five armed men who work for Suge Knight.

The men claimed they were there to collect a debt that Detail owed Knight, and poor Walker’s house got ransacked as a result. Between $200,000 and $300,000 worth of merchandise was taken, including $170,000 worth of jewelry, the keys to a Mercedes, and a 130-pound safe.

The longstanding feud between Akon and Suge came to a head last February at NBA All-Star weekend when a man from Akon’s camp, Robert Carnes, Jr., punched Suge in the face because of the debt. Do Akon and his people know that you don’t mess with Suge? Doesn’t everyone remember the Vanilla Ice Behind The Music, where Vanilla described being hung out a hotel window with Suge holding him by the ankles? And that was just Vanilla Ice! Clearly if you owe the man money, and you’re as big as Akon, you shouldn’t keep having your people punch him in the head.

Detectives are currently at the scene of the crime in Van Nuys, CA but we’re wondering how much there is to detect when your thieves tell the victim why they’re there and who they’re collecting a debt for.  [Photos: WireImage, Getty Images]

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Suge Knight’s Face Fractured By Akon’s Entourage

Former Death Row impresario Suge Knight may have declared bankruptcy in 2006, but he can still throw down with the biggest stars in music—or at least their entourage. Knight went to an Arizona hospital early Monday morning after Robert Carnes, Jr., a member of Akon‘s “camp,” punched him twice, breaking several bones in his face. Scottsdale police had to use tasers to break up the fight, arresting Carnes and Thomas Anderson, Jr. for disorderly conduct and assault. Akon, who attended the NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix last weekend, was not present during the incident.

Despite his frequent financial troubles and inability to revive his musical empire, Knight had a busy 2008, getting knocked on his ass in May, attacking his now-missing girlfriend in public with a knife in August, and suing Kanye West over a lost earring in November. Looks like 2009 might be just as exciting.

[Photos: Splash News Online]

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Celebs Embrace Obama As 44th President

When Barack Obama promised change, we didn’t realize that bringing great entertainment to political events was part of the deal. But … wow! The “We Are One” concert on Sunday kicked off with Bruce Springsteen performing “The Rising” with a full gospel choir and ended with Beyonce belting out “America the Beautiful.” Sandwiched in between were performers like Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Usher, Shakira, John Mellencamp and U2 — not to mention actors/speakers like Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Marisa Tomei, Jack Black, Steve Carell, Rosario Dawson, Jamie Foxx and Tom Hanks. Double wow!

And the parties spreading out in Washington D.C. continue — from the Latino inaugural gala (Marc Anthony performed, J.Lo in tow) to the “Declare Yourself” inaugural kick-off event (yes, Lindsay Lohan and Sam Ronson are still an item.) to Young Jeezy‘s “Presidential Status Inauguration Ball,” where a shirtless T.I. pumped up the crowd. Check out the pics below to see some of the action, and keep up with today’s events at VH1′s Live Inauguration Blog.

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Hottest Muslim Stars

Eid Mubarak! With Eid Ul-Adah behind us and Islamic New Year days away, we put together a list of some of Hollywood’s Hottest Muslim stars. These talented Qur’an toting followers of Allah sing, dance, rap, model, and just are fabulous overall. Check out our list of Hollywood’s Hottest Muslim stars!

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