A study posted Thursday on the online journal

BMJ Open

(

» READ MORE: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/

) suggests music stars are nearly twice as likely to die before the average life expectancy as the general population. Researchers looked closely "at patterns among 1,489 pop and rock stars from Europe and North America who became famous between 1956 and 2006," says USA Today. Of those, 137, or 9.2 percent, had died by early 2012. Suicide, drug overdose, gunplay. . . . The study adds that solo artists are more likely to die early than members of a band. There is a small set of exceptions, music stars - such as

Keith Richards

, 69 - who have been famous for 25 years and lived to tell about it.

There seem to be as many stars gone before their time - Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, the list goes on - as stars in the sky.

When celebrities love 'n' marry

Award-winning

Homeland

star

Claire Danes

, 33, and husband of three years, Brit pretty-man

Hugh Dancy

, 37, have welcomed their first child,

Cyrus Michael Christopher

, People says.

What Katie Holmes' girl wants . . .

. . . she gets. Some mums buy their daughters a playhouse where the li'l tykes can shelter their dolls. So it's no surprise that

Katie Holmes

picked one up for her 6-year-old girl,

Suri Cruise

.

But this ain't exactly a dollhouse: It's a fully outfitted, furnished, child-size dacha!

London's Daily Mail says Katie shelled out more than $24,000 to have a Victorian playhouse installed in the garden at their family home. Made by Sweet Retreat Kids, the Grand Victorian Playhouse comes with electricity, running water, and a full kitchen with range and refrigerator, and can be outfitted with a semidetached garage. A garage? U.K. tab the Sun claims Katie also is buying a $9,750 kids' version of a Mercedes.

Gossip petits fours

Late actor

Brittany Murphy

, who died in December '09 at 32, may soon be seen in a new film. The Los Angeles Times says the

Clueless

star's final film, the horror yarn

Something Wicked

, has finally been completed. Now all director

Darin Scott

needs is a distributor. . . .

Heidi Klum

tweeted, to her 1.2 mil twitheads, a photo of her sunbathing topless. (You don't see much, as she's lying on her stomach.) . . . Bronx-born rapper

Fat Joe

(

Joseph Antonio Cartagena

), 42, on Thursday pleaded guilty to tax evasion in federal court in Newark, N.J. The IRS says Fat owes taxes on more than $1 mil of income in 2007 and 2008. . . . "Katie Holmes has a late, long, and flirty goodbye with handsome mystery man," ostensibly after a romantic date, the New York Daily News has reported. . . .

Jessica Simpson

's new starring role, in a Weight Watchers ad, is finally out! "I love food, I love life, and I had no idea I could be so in control and so free at the same time," Jessica bellows in a masterful postfeminist "I am woman, hear me roar.".

A lesson in narcissism from Cowell

Simon Cowell

, the

Pol Pot

of reality television, made headlines for tearing up Wednesday on

X Factor

as he introduced a musical tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook mass murder.

"I would say it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do on TV in my life," Si later said, cognizant that his feelings are at least as important as any national tragedy.

Of Kate Upton, Van Gogh, and a bikini

Like

Van Gogh

, who sacrificed sleep, sanity, and an ear for art (or was it for a gal?)

Kate Upton

is ready to give up life and limb for her sacred metier, modeling. "The curvaceous 20-year-old model stripped down to her skivvies for an Antarctica photo shoot," TMZ says, "where the temperature hit 35 BELOW!!!" What did the penguins think of that, we wonder?!

Kerry Washington takes risks

"If you look at my body of work, I've always taken huge risks," the captivating, indomitable, lionhearted goddess

Kerry Washington

tells Uptown mag (

). "I've played prostitutes, drug addicts, pimping lesbians. I do work I'm drawn to." Her new pic,

Django Unchained

, deals with slavery in America. Though Kerry says it's "not necessarily the film I would make about slavery," she does appreciate

Quentin Tarantino

's take: "We should have a plethora of visions and interpretations of who we are as a nation."

'Zero Dark Thirty' debate rages on

The controversy over the depiction of torture in director

Kathryn Bigelow

's

Osama bin Laden

-hunt thriller,

Zero Dark Thirty

, shows no sign of abating.

"We believe the film is grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in information that led to the location of bin Laden," Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), Carl Levin (D., Mich.), and John McCain (R., Ariz.) write in an open letter to Sony studio chief Michael Lynton. They suggest that Sony release a disclaimer.

Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal maintain the film does not endorse the use of torture. They say to ignore the practice of torture (or "enhanced interrogation," as some call it) in any depiction of the war on terror would be tantamount to whitewashing history.

This article includes information from Inquirer wire services. Contact "SideShow"

at sideshow@phillynews.com.