Arsenio Hall inks lucrative TV deal amid claims he provided Prince with drugs

Photo credit: Arsenio Hall/Facebook
Photo credit: Arsenio Hall/Facebook

ABC is pressing play on a new music series, “Greatest Hits.” Funnyman Arsenio Hall and country singer Kelsea Ballerini have signed on to host the six episode series, reports Deadline. Each week, iconic music artists, as well as some of today’s music chart-toppers will take the stage to perform hits from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. The music showdown will also feature never-before-seen duets and incredible tributes.

Although the network didn’t reveal its star studded line-up, what we do know is that “Greatest Hits” will highlight a five-year period celebrating the biggest hits from that era.

Hall’s big news comes on the heels of claims he provided Prince with drugs for decades. “Two words for the DEA investigating where Prince got his drugs over the decades … Arsenio Hall. Anyone imagining Prince was not a long time hard drug user is living in cloud cuckoo land,” singer Sinead O’Connor wrote in a Facebook post that has since been deleted. “Arsenio I’ve reported you to the Carver County Sheriff’s office. Expect their call. They are aware you spiked me years ago at Eddie Murphy’s house. You best get tidying your man cave,” she continued.

Days later, Hall slapped O’Connor with a hefty lawsuit, claiming O’Connor’s statement, flowing with “despicable, fabricated lies,” put a target on his back, leaving him open to “hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloquy” and/or cause him to be “shunned or avoided.” He is seeking damages of “not less than” $5 million. “ Oddly enough, it appears O’Connor’s beef put a little more money in Hall’s pockets. Funny how that works.

Prior to securing his spot as one of Hollywood’s most in-demand comedians, Hall tried his hand at stand-up comedy. In 1980, the Harlem Nights star toured, opening for major headliners including Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder, among others. In 1987, Hall took his career to the next level, as interim host on “The Late Show” and signed a deal with Paramount Pictures – which led to the opportunity to co-write and co-star in the hit romcom, Coming to America. Then in 1989, he kicked off “The Arsenio Hall Show,” a hip new comedy series responsible for the television debut of superstars like Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg, and Boyz II Men. However, in 1994, Hall resigned from the late-night series to pursue other interests.

Those interests included joining the cast of the CBS’s “Martial Law” in 1998, a two-season stint as host of CBS’s new “Star Search,” and returning to the stand-up stage that made him a star. But wait, there’s more! In 2010, Hall was featured in HBO’s “Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals.” Other credits include being featured in “The Announcement,” OWN Network’s “Your OWN Show,” as well as appearing as a guest host on “Access Hollywood LIVE!,” CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” and “The View.” Did we mention that on May 20, 2012, Hall was crowned the winner of NBC’s since scrapped “Celebrity Apprentice?”

Despite a failed comeback to late-night TV in 2013-2014, with the nationally syndicated “The Arsenio Hall Show” reboot, we anticipate only great things from Hall moving forward. “Greatest Hits,” premieres Thursday, June 30 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. Will you be watching? Sound off in the comment section below.

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