Danny Federici worked with Springsteen for 40 years

By Tiffany McGee and Steve Helling
Updated April 18, 2008 01:15 PM
Credit: Greg Allen/Rex USA

• Danny Federici, Bruce Springsteen’s longtime keyboardist, died April 17 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The 58-year-old E Street Band member had been fighting melanoma for three years. “Danny and I worked together for 40 years – he was the most wonderfully fluid keyboard player and a pure natural musician. I loved him very much … we grew up together,” Springsteen wrote on his website. The band has postponed their concerts in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights.

Akon’s Past Exposed

Akon the Con? Not quite. He built his career on tales of his jail blues, but singer Akon [real name: Allaune Thiam] embellished stories of his time spent locked up, according to the website the Smoking Gun. After combing through police records and court documents, the website debunks parts of Akon’s criminal CV. Those three years Akon says he completed in prison for running a fancy car theft operation? Try a few months for stealing one car. And that time he was surrounded by cops with their weapons drawn? One of the arresting officers told the Smoking Gun that the singer was busted by only two officers “without incident.”

Clive Davis Replaced

• In a shakeup at Sony BMG Music Entertainment Group, legendary music man Clive Davis has been replaced by Barry Weiss, the former Zomba Label Group head who had a big hand in the successes of both Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Weiss will now run the BMG Label group as chairman and CEO, while Davis – who has shepherded the careers of Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys – will take on a new role as Chief Creative Officer of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, where he’ll continue to work with top artists at labels like RCA Records, Jive, LaFace and Arista. Neither Davis nor Weiss have commented on the reshuffle.

Slash Disses Scott Weiland

• Velvet Revolver’s breakup took another ugly turn this week, as Slash responded to singer Scott Weiland’s statements to MTV news. quotes Slash as telling British music magazine Kerrang! that Weiland was “out to lunch” during their August 2007 tour with Alice in Chains. ” I will not be in a situation where a guy is making the audience wait half an hour or an hour or more,” said Slash. “It’s criminal.”