What’s Poppin: Diddy Dumped, Alicia Keys New CD, More Broadway For Fantasia, Busta’s Four Trials

Sean `Diddy’ Combs, 37, and girlfriend split and his longtime girlfriend, model Kim Porter, have split up, his spokeswoman, Keesha Johnson, said Tuesday. The 37-year-old hip hop mogul and Porter have a son, Christian, and twin daughters, D’Lila Star and Jessie James, who were born December 21. Combs and Porter began dating for a second time after Combs romantic fling ended with Jennifer Lopez. He has a son, Justin, with ex-girlfriend Misa Hylton-Brim. R&B superstar Alicia Keys has penciled in an Oct. 23 release date for her third J Records album, “As I Am,” reports Billboard.com. Songwriter Linda Perry chipped in with three songs, including “The Thing About Love,” which Keys premiered on Saturday at the Live Earth concert in East Rutherford, N.J. On “As I Am,” Keys also worked with Mark Batson, Kerry “Krucial” Brothers and Harold Lilly Jr. Guests include John Mayer and Floetry singer Marsha Ambrosius. Overall, six new songs previewed by Billboard exhibit the creative freedom that Keys says fuels the rest of the album. “Being able to be so free with no expectations … the results surpass whatever I could imagine,” she enthuses. “I am thankful and blessed at how this music is coming out.” R&B singer Fantasia Barrino, who is garnering huge success in Broadway’s “The Color Purple,” is looking to land a leading role in another African American-themed musical currently in the works, reports New York Daily News columnists Rush & Malloy. The When I See U singer is reportedly in talks to play Ada (Bricktop) Smith, an African-American expatriate in 1920s Paris who became a nightlife superstar. Grammy-nominated hip hop artist Busta Rhymes will face a string of trials for assault and driving violations after prosecutors lost a bid on Tuesday to consolidate four cases against the performer into one case. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Larry Stephen denied a motion by the prosecution to have one trial that would handle both assault charges: one in which Busta is accused of beating a fan who allegedly spat on his truck; the other a charge of beating and kicking a former employee in 2006. Rhymes, whose real name is Trevor Smith, was arrested most recently on May 3 on suspicion of drunk driving. Earlier this year, he was arrested for driving with a suspended license, and on a separate occasion on suspicion of assaulting his personal driver. In August 2006 he was arrested for allegedly beating up a man who reportedly spit on his car.

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