Kanye West gets rid of phone so he can ‘create’

“20 Kids and Counting”?… Highest paid actresses on TV… “America’s Got Talent” winner… “Empire” gets an new songwriting team… and Kanye West gets rid of phone so he can ‘create’

How do you like the sound of “20 Kids and Counting”? This is actually a really sweet thing Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are doing. They’re taking custody of their 8-year-old great-nephew — the son of their niece, Rachel Hutchins, who is unable to care for him. Rachel is struggling with financial and legal issues and is now homeless and unemployed. She’d previously asked her mother — Michelle Duggar’s sister — to take custody of him, but she suffered a stroke two months ago. At that point, the little boy went to live with the Duggars and it looks like that’s where he’s found his forever home! The Duggers are going to court in November to make their guardianship permanent and then start the adoption process.

“Forbes” magazine is out with another list! They’re out of control! This time, it’s the highest paid actresses on TV. Topping the list again for the FIFTH year in a row is Sofia Vergara, who earns a huge chunk of change from “Modern Family,” but gets the majority of her $43 million from her endorsements. She tied with Sofia last year but Kaley Cuoco from “The Big Bang Theory” dropped to second this year with $24.5 million. Third place with to Mindy Kaling of “The Mindy Project” with $15 million, up from with eighth place last year. And tied for fifth are “Law & Order: SVU” star Mariska Hargitay and Ellen Pompeo from “Grey’s Anatomy” with $14.5 million.

She won “America’s Got Talent” last night and has already booked her first gig in Vegas. Twelve-year-old Grace VanderWaal will strum her ukulele and sing her little heart out at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino October 27-30. She will be joined by first runner-up, the Clairvoyants, and Tape Face, who didn’t make it to the top five so I don’t know how he got this gig. Auditions for Season 12 of AGT kick off November 12 in Chicago and they’ll make 10 stops across the country. They also accept online auditions. Go to AGTAuditions.com for info.

Winner Grace VanderWaal at the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas!

Timbaland has led the songwriting team for “Empire” since the show began, but he is not coming back for the third season. Taking his place are Rodney Jerkins and Ester Dean. Rodney’s best-known credits include Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” and Brandy & Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine.” Ester co-starred in the “Pitch Perfect” movies and has written “Rude Boy” for Rihanna, “Firework” for Katy Perry and “Super Bass” for Nicki Minaj. Columbia Records releases all of the music from”Empire” and the label says they just want to take a different approach with the music this season. Thanks to the new team, we can look forward to a duet between Jussie Smollett and Mariah Carey. Other guest artists include Biz Markie, Birdman, French Montana and Romeo Miller, who used to be known as Lil Romeo.

Kanye West tweeted yesterday, “I got rid of my phone so I can have air to create.” Maybe he blames the phone for his recent fashion week disaster? But back in April when he appeared on his sister-in-law’s show “Kocktails with Khloe,” Kanye admitted he only bought a cellphone to win over Kim Kardashian, who was married to Kris Humphries at the time. He said, “I got a phone because somebody decided they wanted to marry Kris Humphries. I wasn’t up to anything, and I looked on the internet, and there was Kim Kardashian with some extremely tall person, and I was like, ‘I need to call her or something.’” And this actually might have led Kim to leave Kris after only 72 days of marriage! Kanye admitted, “I started sending her pictures of certain basketball players that used to be cool, that now they wear their pants all the way up to here. Like, ‘This is your future!’”


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