Relatives and friends of Jam Master Jay gathered Thursday night to honor the legendary hip-hop DJ on the one-year anniversary of his death. The Run-DMC member's mother, sister, three young sons and brothers joined music mogul Russell Simmons, comedian Keith Rock, and other notables in Queens, N.Y., for the memorial. "We all suffered a great, great loss," Rock said, with tears in his eyes.
A year ago, a gunman clad in black walked into Jam Master Jay's recording studio, in the neighborhood where he grew up, and shot him once in the head. Jay, who revolutionized the music industry 20 years ago when he formed Run-DMC with Joseph "Run" Simmons and Daryl "DMC" McDaniels, was 37. The shooting remains unsolved, with speculation that the rapper (real name: Jason Mizell) died in a dispute over money.
BLIGE'S FRANK CONFESSION
In an unsettling yet oddly admirable admission, hip-hop star Mary J. Blige says she reads at an eighth-grade level. Blige, who will appear on CBS's "60 Minutes" at 7 p.m. Sunday, tells Ed Bradley that her decision to drop out of school when she was in 11th grade has hurt her career.
"It hurts a lot when you cannot really comprehend what a person is saying in a meeting or you don't even understand what you're reading in your contract," Blige tells Bradley. The two-time Grammy Award winner added, "I find myself learning more." We sincerely hope the kids are listening.
DOUGLAS' NOBEL MOMENT
What's the best way to prove your love? Invite your honey to the Nobel Prize bash. That's what Hollywood mogul Michael Douglas did for Catherine Zeta-Jones. Asked by organizers to emcee the annual Nobel Peace Prize concert in Norway - why? Douglas said he'd do it on condition his wife was invited to join him on stage.
Overjoyed, concert organizer Odd Arvid Stroemstad said: "It didn't take us long to say yes." The couple will act as co-masters of ceremony at the Dec. 11 concert in Oslo. The show, which will be carried live in more than 100 countries, will be held a day after Iranian writer and human-rights activist Shirin Ebadi accepts her peace prize.
`QUEER' BOYS GET FABU RAISE
Bravo, which ordered 40 new episodes of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," has rewarded the show's Fab Five with a hefty raise. Carson Kressley, Thom Filicia, Ted Allen, Jai Rodriguez and Kyan Douglas, who earned $3,000 an episode this year, will make $8,000 per episode for the show's second season, inching ever closer to the $1 mil each of the "Friends" cast members make per show.
CAN JUSTIN GET ENOUGH?
Justin Timberlake wants to prove he got game. The former Mouseketeer, who appeared on TNT's "Inside the NBA" with Magic Johnson, will write the theme music for ABC Sports' NBA coverage. He'll also star in the network's ad campaign, "Can't Get Enough." As if that weren't enough, Cameron Diaz's boy toy has been tapped by NBC to work as a "special correspondent on the NBA."
BEN GETS A JOB
In other fake basketball news, Jennifer Lopez's boyfriend has signed to play famed college basketball coach Don Haskins in "Glory Road," a drama about the '66 Texas Western NCAA championships in which Haskins led a racially integrated team to victory. We think this is a good move for Ben Affleck: He'll be directed by Antoine Fuqua, who managed to transform Ethan Hawke from a boy-next-door milquetoast into a studly leading man in "Training Day."