The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Beloved indie singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt has died at the age of 45 after taking an overdose of muscle relaxants last week. [via New York Times]
2. The weekend’s number three film (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel) grossed $50 million dollars, which is virtually unheard of. We hope you were checking out the weekend’s top film, Avatar, instead; considering that it has already made $212 million, you probably were. [via Cinematical]
3. Roman Polanski has written an open letter to his supportive fans: “I would like every one of them to know how heartening it is, when one is locked up in a cell, to hear this murmur of human voices and of solidarity in the morning mail. In the darkest moments, each of their notes has been a source of comfort and hope.”
4. Will Apple unveil the iSlate — its buzzed-about tablet — on January 26? [via The Daily Beast]
5. Why won’t Mr. T make a cameo in the upcoming A Team movie? [via Cinema Blend]

Bonus link: All of the lists related to 2009 by category