In what might be seen as the ruler reaching out to his disciples, Usher‘s name has recently surfaced in connection with a couple of R&B’s young guns. First, he popped up on a remix of Omarion‘s "Icebox," a version that uses the same beats as the original but has new verses by O and Ush (you can listen to the remix here). Now, SOHH.com is reporting that Usher "got at" Ne-Yo to collaborate on a new single, which should be out this spring. Whether Usher genuinely respects the new blood as artists or simply wants to keep them at arm’s length remains to be seen. But regardless of where this goes, collaboration beats beef any day.
- On last night’s Idol, Simon Cowell implored Ryan Seacrest to “come out” of his closet. This video just burned it down. [Gawker]
- Madonna looks refreshed – could it be that she’s had some, ahem, enhancements of the plastic variety? Once a material girl, always a material girl. [CityRag]
- Don’t hate because Tyra Banks and her talk show received Emmy nominations. Her “Kiss my fat ass rant” was the dramatic performance of the millennium. [Dlisted]
- In the latest development in the Rosie O’Donnell/Donald Trump feud, Rosie says that she’ll “never mention that dump truck again.” She probably means “never” as in “on tomorrow’s episode of The View.” [Best Week Ever]
- Britney Spears reportedly will leave rehab early to attend Kevin Federline’s birthday party. Nothing chases recovery like your booze-swilling ex. [I'm Not Obsessed]
In this episode, New York climbs into a hot-air balloon and then worries about her weave catching on fire.
Seriously, what else do you need to know?
Tori Spelling Gives Birth
The actress welcomed her first son, 6-pound, 6-ounce Liam Aaron McDermott to the world. [Yahoo!]
Kim Kardashian’s Sexy ‘Fitness’ Tape
Watch her "press the goods together" while breaking a sweat in the gym. [Us Online]
Celeb Fashion Designer Arrested On Rape Charges
Anand Jon, pal to the beautiful people, has been jailed. [TMZ]
Cops To Paparazzi: Leave DiCaprio Alone!
Photographers get the boot from Leo and crew. [Reuters]
O.J. Gets Squat For New Book
A judge says the Goldman family will receive all income Simpson earns from his book, If I Did It. [E! Online]
Lindsay Lohan gave one lucky paparazzo the ultimate gift Tuesday night: the chance to make more money. In a lawsuit-ready flap, Lindsay "hit" a heckling photographer, Giovanni Arnold, with her mother’s BMW after a night of partying in New York. INF Photo, which employees the celeb-shooter, claims that Lindsay peeled forward in her car, knocking Giovanni down in the process. However, this video shows Giovanni hanging onto Lindsay’s barely moving car, lamely rolling off and then writhing in pain like a drama queen.
If this doesn’t make the paparazzi look bad enough, a car-chase ensued after the incident. Even worse: at the start of the video, Lindsay is heckled for drinking, which is exactly how she was heckled the night before. They’re questioning the notorious rehabber’s sobriety to her face — can you even blame her for her road rage? [New York Post]
Even though the competition now lacks amateur pin-up Antonella Barba, last night’s episode of American Idol proved that the show still has plenty of boobs on display.
- More than half of the Top 12 gave lackluster, boring performances.
- Three of them (Brandon Rogers, Haley Scarnato, and Stephanie Edwards) forgot the words to their songs.
- All of them were upstaged by Paula‘s tearful breakdown and Ryan and Simon‘s bitchy banter.
Those Flavor of Love ladies could be a rough bunch, but they’re about to clean up their acts. VH1′s new spin-off, Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School starring Mo’Nique, is set to premiere April 15 at 10:00 PM. The Celebreality series finds the boisterous comedienne-actress dispensing rules of etiquette to the finger-waving, weave-swinging, expletive-spewing, booty-shaking, attitude-flaunting princesses from Flav-ville. Here’s the deal:
Mo’Nique lets the girls know that their Flavor of Love stardom has also turned them into walking punchlines. "America wasn’t laughing with you," she tells them, "they were laughing at you." Under Mo’s tutelage, the ladies will be trained in proper etiquette and have their social skills challenged to test their self-confidence, composure and grace. The one left standing will receive a $50,000 prize.
The Charm School contestants, as pictured above are: (Top row, L-R) Like Dat (Flavor of Love 2), Rain (Flavor of Love 1), Buckeey (FoL 2), Saaphyri (FoL 2), Goldie (FoL 1), Buckwild (FoL 2), Hottie (FoL 1); (Bottom row, L-R) Toastee (FoL 2), Bootz (FoL 2), Krazy (FoL 2), Smiley (FoL 1), Serious (FoL 1) and Pumkin (FoL 1).
If the photo is any indication, this show will be amazing. It’s like The Facts of Life on Alize!
Dept. of Foregone Conclusions: Aretha Franklin confirmed that Dreamgirls star (and Burger Queen) Jennifer Hudson was being considered for the lead role in a biopic about the soul legend. Franklin told Access Hollywood that she actually sees three different people playing the role, but didn’t reveal any names. Auditions for the stage musical, which will precede the filmed version of the story, begin May 1st, and as yet there’s no word on whether Hudson’s been asked to show up. Odds are she’s too famous for that now — after all, she’s even been awarded Jennifer Hudson Day in Chicago. We bet she’ll be in the film, though. What do you make of her chances?
Photos: Jennifer Hudson
[Wait for It is our regular roundup of things to look forward to in
Thanks to 300‘s ballistic opening-weekend box office, star Gerard Butler suddenly is hot property and so is the upcoming remake of John Carpenter‘s 1981 cult flick Escape From New York that the actor’s attached to. A bidding war has launched for the remake, which is to be written by Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down). Gerard will be filling Kurt Russell‘s decidedly big shoes in this decidedly risky venture, considering how beloved Carpenter’s flick is to many. "A man should remember his past," says Kurt’s character Snake in the original movie. If he’s smart, Gerard will live by those words. [Variety.com]
An onslaught of new Rick James related material is on its way, including an autobiography (Memoirs of a Superfreak, due April 15) and possibly a biopic. Not the least of it all is the inevitable posthumously released music, which the world just got its first taste of via the new single "Deeper Still." That cut is due off an as-yet-untitled album due this spring, which collaborator Danny LeMelle says will show off Rick’s rock and roll and Americana tendencies. There are at least three other Rick records in the can, which means that if you miss him now, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be sick of him. [USA Today]
– Whitney Houston reportedly gets to cracking on her comeback album. Good luck, Whit! Keep your nose clean! [A Socialite's Life]
- The monikers of Fat Joe (aka Joey Crack) hold true. [Rhymes With Snitch]
- Donald Trump speaks out on Rosie O’Donnell‘s depression. He thinks it isn’t debilitating enough. [Dlisted]
- Sandra Oh looks insane in Marie Claire. Why, Oh? Why? [Just Jared]
- Britney Spears leaves rehab to attend an AA meeting. Drop what you’re doing right now and stare. [IDontLikeYouInThatWay]