Everyone’s favorite College Dropout had a birthday last week, and the celebs were out in full force to celebrate. Jay-Z, Diddy and Mariah all came out to pay Kanye their respects on his 30th at the Louis Vuitton flagship in New York, even if the caterers didn’t feel compelled to — apparently the Great One’s name was spelled incorrectly on the cake, as "Kayne." Also in attendance were Ashlee Simpson and Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz, who had earlier joked to VH1.com he was getting Kanye a knock-off Louis Vuitton bag for his birthday. Noticeably absent? Ye’s hip-hop hall pass buddy John Mayer. Their harpsichord-laced track "Bittersweet" leaked last week. A pre-Jessica John fills in the funny on the making of the first single off Kanye’s latest.
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In the forthcoming American Legacy, a new book about the sadly deceased JFK Jr., one of the scion’s friends from university told the author about an evening the Kennedy shared with Madonna in 1988. Apparently the two were at a fleabag Chicago hotel for a “secret rendezvous” (that’s how The New York Post puts it, anyway), when they realized they didn’t have protection. No glove, no love. Because both were so famous — and because both were also very much attached to significant others, Madonna to Sean Penn — they couldn’t just go to the Duane Reade and buy a pack of condoms. This was back when famous people knew what shame was. Doesn’t celebrity suck?
Speaking to New York City weekly Time Out, British ragamuffin and sometime tour-canceller Lily Allen explained she has an addictive personality. She was a woman on the verge there for a while, but now she seems to have put things in perspective. Allen says she hasn’t touched any alcohol since January, and explained to the magazine that she knows the warning signs. "When you walk into your dressing room every night and there are 40 beers there, it?s difficult to not drink them all, you know? Like I said, I have a very addictive personality, and alcohol leads to other things. I don?t want to end up hanging over a toilet seat snorting coke when I?m 50." Lily’s smart. And if she’s interested in giving up music to go into counselling, we know a few people who could use her help.
Bono‘s a busy man. After guest editing the new issue of Vanity Fair, Bono trekked off to the Northern African nation of Morocco to join his bandmates, as well as The Unforgettable Fire producer Brian Eno, for a songwriting session. Whether any album is forthcoming from the sessions remains to be seen: "We have no plans for the music yet," Bono reported on the band’s website.
Apparently no one’s more psyched than President George Bush, who after delivering a speech Thursday at the G-8 summit, allegedly shouted to an aid "Where’s Bono? Bono for President!" Bush then pulled out his copy of Zooropa, hoping for an autograph.
Everyone’s headed to rehab and Justin Timberlake won’t be left out. Last night during a performance in Zurich, Switzerland, the pop hunk started singing a few bars of Amy Winehouse‘s substance-friendly smash "Rehab." Now folks are suggesting the song, which J Timber changed to say "they tried to make her go to rehab," could have been a message to ex-girlfriend Britney Spears.
In other dreamy former boy bander news, Justin’s announced the first signing to his label, Tennman Records — 18-year-old YouTube phenom Esmee Denters. Through performing covers of Beyonce and Alicia Keys, Denters received 21 million hits on her YouTube postings.
Akon thinks he’s above the law. The Senegalese-American was excoriated in the press for tossing a fan off the stage at an upstate New York show last Sunday. Since video of the incident hit YouTube, there have been several other significant developements. First, when Akon threw the 15-year-old into the crowd, he hit a 26-year-old woman named Abby Rosa. She suffered a concussion and wants Akon to make a public apology. Second, the 15-year-old whom Akon threw has been identified by police because his mother called the cops. How embarrassing. Third, Akon’s lawyer, Ben Brafman (formerly counsel for Diddy and Michael Jackson), released a statement to the press in which he declared that Akon did nothing wrong. What do you think? Should Akon have picked on someone his own size?
Last season’s disappointing ratings of American Idol have started the rumor mill. If you believe the Interweb murmurs (and those of the National Enquirer), executives upset by Idol‘s viewership’s attrition — to Dancing With the Stars? come on, people! — may be not-so-quietly sharpening their knives for Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. In their time of need, those in the brain trust at Fox have allegedly come up with a list of potential replacements for the two judges. Topping that list is disgraced pop star Britney Spears. And since Britney seems to have little else to do besides warning sunbathers against the dangers of jellyfish and mounting ill-conceived and poorly styled 12-minute "comeback" performances, we think this is a great idea. Go get ‘em, girl. That would be compelling television.
First Peter Gabriel sang, then Phil Collins showed up. The hits soon followed. There have been a lot of changes in the progmeisters’ past. Here’s a 60-second glimpse into their roots.
If you don’t believe Rihanna‘s hype even after seeing last Sunday’s MTV Movie Awards, then we don’t know how to help you. The 19-year-old "Umbrella" singer showed up Jay-Z with a choreographed routine where she was clad in fetish gear — basically what appeared to be a succession of belts. Fun.
Her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, showcases more club-bangers and sensitive R&B balladry, but it’s her live performances we’re impressed by.
To see why you want to be under this girl’s umbrella-ella-ella any day-ay-ay, click the pics:
And don’t miss our complete Rihanna: Hottie of the Week photo album!
From helping to invent heavy metal to romping around his reality show, our Rock Honors hero has lived a wild-assed life. Got 60 seconds to get a crazed little synopsis of the Blizzard’s tale? Sure you do.