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Celebrities

Friday, January 11, 2013 - Updated: 5:51 PM

Spears out of 'X Factor'

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A person familiar with plans for Fox's "The X Factor" says Britney Spears is out of the show.

Spears was a mentor on the singing contest for one season, reportedly drawing a $15 million paycheck but failing to pull reviews to match. The person who confirmed reports of her departure wasn't authorized to comment publicly, speaking Thursday on condition of anonymity.

The person said that over the holidays, producers discussed replacements for Spears and for another "X Factor" panelist, record executive Antonio "L.A." Reid. Reid previously announced he would leave the show after two seasons.

It's yet another shake-up for "The X Factor," Simon 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 after a disappointing first season.

Group goes 'Nuclear'

NEW YORK (AP) -- Destiny's Child is back together -- for a new song.

The R&B trio announced 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 include 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.

Timberlake hints at return

NEW YORK (AP) -- Is Justin Timberlake bringing his music career back?

The 31-year-old superstar has concentrated almost exclusively on his acting career over the last few years. But on Thursday, he posted a video on his website that showed him walking into a studio, putting on headphones and saying: "I'm ready."

Timberlake hasn't made an album since 2006's Grammy-winning "FutureSex/LoveSounds." In the video, Timberlake is also heard saying that he obsesses over his music and doesn't want to put music out that he doesn't love -- and that you have to wait for music you love.

The video ends with a countdown to midnight Sunday.

Timberlake -- who recently married longtime girlfriend Jessica Biel -- has been in several movies, including "The Social Network," "Bad Teacher," "Friends With Benefits" and last year's "Trouble With the Curve."

"FutureSex/LoveSounds," which won four Grammy Awards, launched three No. 1 hits and sold more than 4 million units in the United States.

Bieber sued for assault

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 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 during 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.

In October Los Angeles prosecutors declined to file charges against Bieber after finding insufficient evidence that he punched and kicked a photographer outside a movie theater near his home in Calabasas, Calif., a month earlier.

'Warriors' author dies

NEW YORK (AP) -- A writer whose street gang novel "The Warriors" was adapted into a film of the same title that became a cult favorite has died. Sol Yurick was 87.

His daughter, Susanna Yurick, says the author died of complications from lung cancer early Saturday at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan.

A native and longtime resident of New York City, he drew upon his years working in the welfare department for his first book, "The Warriors," which came out in 1965. The movie was directed by Walter Hill and substantially changed from Yurick's book. It was released in 1979.

     

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