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Jackson left huge catalog of new music for kids

Despite the high-dollar debts Michael Jackson accrued during his final years, the music legend made an effort to ensure his children’s financial future.
/ Source: msnbc.com contributor

Despite the high-dollar debts Michael Jackson accrued during his final years, the music legend made an effort to ensure his children’s financial future. A secret song library, reportedly stocked with up to 200 unreleased tracks, could mean a lasting legacy for Jackson’s brood.

According to the Daily Express, the “King of Pop” bequeathed the massive music catalog to Michael Joseph Jr. (aka Prince Michael), 12, Paris Michael Katherine, 11, and Prince Michael II (aka Blanket), 7, just weeks before his death.

“He has as many as 200 unpublished songs that he planned to leave his children when he died,” a source explained. “They can’t be touched by the creditors, but they could be worth as much as ($100 million) that will ensure his kids a comfortable existence no matter what happens.”

A report in the Times Online, which puts the unreleased song count closer to 100, revealed biographer Ian Halperin discovered Jackson’s plan while researching his forthcoming book, “Unmasked: The Michael Jackson Story.”

“He wants to leave them for his kids, a very personal legacy to them,” Halperin wrote before the singer’s death.

Heath Ledger’s last days Before a lethal combination of prescription medication took his life, actor Heath Ledger attempted to clean up his act, giving up marijuana and alcohol, and agreeing that he’d be better off without pills.

“(Heath) used to smoke marijuana on a regular basis, like probably 50 percent of Americans,” cinematographer Nicola Percorini revealed to Vanity Fair. Once usage became an obvious problem for Ledger, Percorini said, he “went clean as a whistle.”

According to Gerry Grennell, Ledger’s vocal coach from “The Dark Knight,” the star was equally successful in his battle with the bottle, but simply didn’t have the time to follow up on a decision to part with prescriptions.

“I’d say, ‘If you can possibly bear it to stop taking the medications, do, because they don’t seem to be doing you any good,’” Grennell recalled. “He agreed. It is very difficult for me to imagine how close he came to not taking them.”

Reality producers debate the future of ‘Jon & Kate’
Fans split as to whether or not TLC should continue filming new episodes of the hit reality series “Jon & Kate Plus 8” in the wake of the Gosselins’ divorce drama are not alone. The topic even divides reality-show producers.

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“They have the opportunity to explore a situation facing a lot of American families when the parents get divorced. And it sounds like Jon and Kate have come up with a unique situation where they're going to take turns being in the house with the kids,” Jonathan Murray of “The Real World” told USA Today. "You can explore what happens when a couple breaks up and how both are working hard to keep things as normal as possible for the kids.”

But Barb Machen, who co-produces the online reality series “Jen and Barb, Mom Life,” believes there’s nothing the public can learn from the Gosselin family that’s worth the toll it’s bound to take on their children. If the show must go on, Machen suggests it take a different direction.

“If the cameras have to continue because of contractual obligations, then leave the kids out at this point,” Machen told the paper.

Dish on the fly Six months of community service and five years of probation was the sentence Chris Brown received after pleading guilty to assault charges, but according to his victim’s father, Brown deserved more. “Chris should have been sent to jail for what he did to my girl,” Rihanna’s dad, Ronald Fenty, said in a quote published in the Daily Mirror. “He got off lightly.” … A waiter who served Mickey Rourke more than a meal received a big tip for going above and beyond his duties, according to the National Enquirer. When a server from Beverly Hills’ Cristoni asked Rourke if he could get the actor anything, Rouke reportedly responded, “Yeah … can you walk down to the drugstore and pick up my prescription?” Though the waiter was said to be reluctant at first, Rourke rewarded him an extra $300 for his troubles.

Tabloid Tidbits is compiled by Ree Hines.