Elliott Yamin’s mother died Monday; TMZ mocks her death

Elliott Yamin’s 65-year-old mother, who “had been hospitalized during the weekend at a local hospital,” died Monday, and a private service was held today, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

Claudette Yamin “moved briefly to Los Angeles” last year, but “returned to the Richmond area in February” for her health, as “[a] broken hip had never fully mended.”

She “she died of multiple complications after being in the hospital less than a week,” the paper reported today. Elliott said he was with his mother when she died (“We were all able to see her off together”) and said she’d be glad to know that her death was getting coverage. “She would love nothing more to see her name in the paper. She loved attention. She’s probably smiling down right now,” he said.

TMZ and the terrible, depraved human beings who work there mocked her death in a story Tuesday, which has since been edited (as the result of a poll asking readers if they should edit it). TMZ originally wrote, “Yamin finished in 3rd place in 2006 on ‘Idol,’ behind Katharine McPhee and Taylor Hicks — who, like Mrs. Yamin, will never be heard from again.” While that’s gone, even the headline is obnoxious: “Mom of Former ‘Idol’ Finalist Sings ‘My Way’.” I mocked TMZ yesterday for their alleged journalism, but clearly should have just pointed out what unrepentant assholes they are.

Someone else took care of that, though. TMZ’s story about Elliott’s mother prompted Gawker’s Richard Lawson to rip TMZ in perhaps the best description and deconstruction of the site ever. He wrote, in part, that TMZ’s staff “eagerly roll around in pop shit and gleefully smear it everywhere, because it’s so campy and naughty,” and added, “It’s all just base and poorly written and arbitrarily amoral. I’m just as complicit in the whole awful celebrity-industrial complex as they are, but good god let’s try to have a little style while we ruin people’s lives, eh? Shut this thing down, please.”

Claudette Yamin, mother of singer Elliott, dies at 65 and Richmond remembers Elliott Yamin’s No. 1 fan [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
Mom of Former ‘Idol’ Finalist Sings ‘My Way’ [TMZ]
TMZ Will Even Make Fun of Your Mother’s Death [Gawker]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.