If the song was intended to get people talking, it's been a staggering success.
But Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist," a duet with LL Cool J on his new album "Wheelhouse," which came out Tuesday, is also hugely controversial, People reports.
Styled as a conversation between a white Southerner and a black New Yorker, the song features the two singers having a charged debate about race -- and features Paisley's character walking into a coffee shop wearing a shirt with a Confederate flag on it.
"I don't know if any of you noticed, but there is some racial tension here and there," Paisley, 40, says in an interview that aired Tuesday on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." "I felt like when we were writing this song it wasn't necessarily up to the media ... or talk radio or anything like that to deal with that anymore. I think it's music's turn to have the conversation."
In the song, Paisley sings, "[I'm] just a proud rebel son with an ol' can of worms/Lookin' like I got a lot to learn." LL Cool J, 45, replies. "If you don't judge my do-rag ... I won't judge your red flag/If you don't judge my gold chains ... I'll forget the iron chains."
The song caused a firestorm in social media on Tuesday, with many criticizing Paisley for glossing over the history of racism in the South. The actor and comedian Patton Oswalt wrote on Twitter: "I can't wait for Brad Paisley & LL Cool J's next single: 'Whoopsy Daisy, Holocaust, My Bad.' "
LL Cool J is glad people are talking about his controversial duet with Brad Paisley, People reports.
That means he's doing his job.
"Music is about ... connecting different people, and building bridges and breaking the rules," the rapper tells CNN. "If it's not compelling, and it's not complex and it's not interesting, then what are we doing it for? So I think that's the right move."
"I needed to do something that was going to be interesting like that, and shake things up, and jump out of the box," he said. "I'm really proud of it, and I hope the world hears it and enjoys it."
The direct slavery reference, the rapper says, didn't faze him.
"Brad's not afraid to express himself," LL Cool J tells Parade in a new interview. "What other country artist, or any artist right now, talks about slavery?"
Tom Cruise is one of the biggest movie stars in the world. He's also suddenly and unexpectedly single at age 50, People reports.
"Life is a tragicomedy," he tells the German TV network ProSieben. "You need to have a sense of humor."
Promoting his new film "Oblivion" overseas, the actor opens up about his divorce last year from Katie Holmes after six years of marriage.
"I didn't expect it," he says.
But after turning 50 just a day after the breakup, "I had an unbelievable amount of time to think about it," Cruise says, and found "life is a challenge."
"To be 50 and to have experiences and to think you have a grip on everything, and then it hits you: This is it, what life can do to you," he says.
When it comes to Halle Berry, mom's the word, E! News reports.
The Oscar-winner and her fiance, Olivier Martinez, are expecting their first child together, and -- as E! News revealed last week -- the actress is pregnant with a boy and is reportedly about 12 weeks along.
Just days after word spread that Berry will be giving her 5-year-old daughter, Nahla, a little sibling, the star is speaking out for the first time about being in the baby way once again -- an experience, she says, that's been both immensely joyous and tremendously shocking.
"I feel fantastic," the 46-year-old tells CNN.
"This has been the biggest surprise of my life to tell you the truth," she adds. "I thought I was kind of past the point where this could be a reality for me. So it's been a big surprise and the most wonderful."
We'll get to the point quickly: CNN's new prime-time talk show is gone after a week, The Associated Press reports.
CNN described "(Get to) The Point" as a one-week experiment in the 10 p.m. time slot. It featured Donny Deutsch and panelists chewing over the day's news. But the Nielsen Co. said it averaged 268,000 viewers last week, or fewer than the 446,000 the network reached in March with a rerun of Anderson Cooper's newscast from two hours earlier.
It took less than a week for the show to be mocked by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart. CNN wasn't commenting Monday on reports that its executives are kicking around the idea of reviving the political debate show "Crossfire."
That show left the air in 2005 -- after being criticized by Stewart.
Theatergoers, take note: Do not disrupt a James McAvoy performance, E! News reports.
The 33-year-old thespian halted a production of "Macbeth" at the Trafalgar Studios in London's West End after he spotted an audience member recording him with a mobile phone during the show, The Telegraph reports.
Stepping out of character as the murderous Scottish king, the actor reportedly shouted at the man to stop filming, drawing attention to the cell phone gaffe. "The poor fellow looked very embarrassed," an eyewitness told the news site.
Music and movie mogul David Geffen has kicked in $25 million for a film museum planned by Academy Awards overseers, the AP reports.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday that the David Geffen Foundation made the donation to the museum scheduled to open in 2017 next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
It's the largest contribution yet in the academy's $300 million fund drive for the museum.
In recognition, the academy is naming a theater at the facility after Geffen.
Record company executive Geffen founded DreamWorks Pictures with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Geffen says the museum will provide a permanent home for the academy's tradition of "honoring the shining stars of the cinematic arts."
Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine for president? Sort of.
Broadcast Music Inc. announced Monday that Levine will receive the President's Award at the 61st annual BMI Pop Awards on May 14, the AP reports.
The event will be held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. It will also honor last year's top songwriters in pop.
BMI says the 34-year-old Levine was selected for his "outstanding achievements in songwriting and the global impact he has had on pop culture."
Maroon 5 has released four platinum-plus albums, including last year's "Overexposed." The album features hits including "Payphone," "One More Night" and "Daylight."
Levine is also a coach on the hit NBC series "The Voice."
BMI is a music rights management company that represents more than 500,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers.
A former actor on ABC's "Pretty Little Liars" has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor larceny for lifting $7,000 in electronics and jewelry from a friend's Manhattan apartment, the AP reports.
Parker Bagley took the plea on Monday in Manhattan Criminal Court.
As part of the plea, the 23-year-old agreed to pay half of the $7,000 on Monday. The remainder is due in June.
He had faced third-degree grand larceny, which carries up to seven years in prison.
Bagley quipped outside court: "I'm just glad they didn't find the bodies. That would have been bad."
Bagley starred as Jason in the teen mystery drama. He says he's now focusing on his music.