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by (@katespencer)

Thursday: Alicia Keys Gets Diva-tude

aliciakeys.jpgAlicia Keys Bails on Club Gig
The singer-turned-diva peaces out on a club appearance after promoters came up $4000 short of the promised $15,000 she was owed. This sounds more like Mariah than Alicia. Eek. [NYDN]

Mourning Kanye Cancels Show
The rapper has apparently canceled a scheduled performance at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Sadness (for Kanye, not the models). [People]

Nicole & Joel Create Charity for Moms
The expecting rents have created a charity and are asking guests at their baby shower to make donations in lieu of presents. Finally, Nicole does something truly ‘hot.’ [Us]

Paris: Still Pole Dancing After All These Years
The pole is like her security blanket, she can’t be in a club without it between her legs. How cute. [NYP]

OJ Simpson Will Stand Trial
The Juice is gonna let loose in court for those Vegas robbery charges. Will he get off and go two for two? [CNN]

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Fall Out Boy Talk Africa Shoot

Pete Wentz and his band Fall Out Boy traveled to Africa to film the video for [deep breath] “I’m Like A Lawyer With The Way I’m Always Trying To Get You Off (Me & You),” the disturbing and beautiful clip spotlighting the child soldiers of Uganda. The band’s bassist was keen to tell us all about the project, from how they shot it on the cheap to what got him interested in Africa in the first place. Check out Wentz and company on this Saturday’s Top 20 Video Countdown.

I was at a very high point of my own narcissistic anxiety when I first started taking an interest in Africa. There’s this program called Displace Me where people go to camps and sleep there, to empathize with the displacement camps in Uganda. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really feel that moved. It was only missing the s’mores. That was what really made me decide that we had to go to Africa. We met the kids [in the video] — we actually picked between a couple of kids. The boy was one of the ones I chose, the director chose the girl. The kids in the village we got to know. We would see them every day.

We shot it on the cheap — we really spent most of the money getting to Africa and donating what was left to [charity] Invisible Children, so the only thing we really spent money on was film. We built everything. [The sets] would not fly in the U.S. — we built all these gates and these different arms that would hold the camera. We only brought a four-man crew, and a group of Kenyans did our lighting for us.

I was worried that the concept was too dangerous to be played on video networks and I was worried that at points, the story would be hard to follow. I was worried that [standards] wasn’t going to pass the violence in the middle, and across the board they passed it.The first time Patrick watched it, he cried. When I look at different images, they’re upsetting for me. [In making of this video] I was really proud of how far everyone in the band had gone, because each person had their own personal limits, and everyone surpassed them.

by (@katespencer)

Tiny Girl, Big Voice, Bad Dance Moves

Dear little dancing girl who loves to sing the Backstreet Boys in an off-key voice while waving her hands like she just don’t care what rhythm is,

Hey there. We are a lot older than you and therefore smarter by default (and thanks to some mortifying life experiences). Here is some sage advice: turn off the webcam. Place it into a pillowcase, along with your glasses, stripped sweater and computer. Get in your parents’ car (this is totally fine), drive to the closet lake (we’re guessing Erie), steal a boat (again, acceptable in this situation) and drive it out into the middle of the lake. Now dump everything in the water, make sure it falls far away to the bottom, turn around, drive the boat and car home, and never look back.

PS: Watch your language!
PPS: We love you.
[via BWE]

by (@katespencer)

Wednesday: Jessica Wants Us to Like Her

jessica-simpson-1114.jpgJessica Simpson?s Fake Boyfriends
Apparently her dad is responsible for planting items about Jess and Owen Wilson to help promote her image and album. Cuz everyone loves a girl who dates a charity case! [MSNBC]

Jon Bon Jovi for Governor of Jersey?
The rocker is ready to give politics a bad name. As in Governor Bon Jovi. [NYP]

Pics Prove Jake & Reese?s Love
Sure they’re boring, but they’re also kind of perfect together in that ‘sometimes it’s fun to watch paint dry’ sort of way. [Us]

Angelina Jolie the Journalist
The actress is penning a piece for The Economist, which we hope is about how making babies with Brad Pitt will change the world. [Us]

Britney Heads Back to Court
Here’s a tip Brit – have one of your babies drive and you won’t end up back in court every couple of days. [TMZ]

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Yorke to McCartney: Let’s Just Be Friends

paul_mccartneyUsually, when Paul McCartney asks you to do something, you do it (we’re looking at you, Heather Mills). Turns out enigmatic Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke doesn’t feel that way. When one half of the most famous songwriting duo in the history of music asked Yorke to duet with him, Yorke turned him down.

In an interview with the UK’s Channel 4, McCartney shared what happened when he tried to make Yorke Michael Jackson to his, uh, McCartney: “My daughter was putting an album together and she put us in touch. I asked Thom to do a duet, but he said he couldn’t because he only felt happy working on his own and Radiohead’s material.”

Which would have been a completely reasonable excuse, had Yorke not gone on to duet with Bjork (“I’ve Seen It All”), German electro outfit Modeselektor (“The White Flash”) and Beck (“I’m Set Free”). What do you think — is Thom too cool for Macca?

by (@katespencer)

Kanye Mourns Mom as Her Doc Gets Shady

kanye-donda-west.jpg

Late last night rapper Kanye West issued a statement regarding the death of his beloved mom, Donda West, over the weekend. In it he thanked fans for their support and kind words, spoke about his mother’s life as an educator, and requested that donations be made in lieu of flowers to the Kanye West Foundation/Loop Dreams Teacher Training Institute.

Yet the emerging scandal surrounding Donda’s death continues to grab headlines, as more information is revealed about the plastic surgery that took place just hours before her passing. A plastic surgeon, Dr. Andre Aboolian, with whom West had consulted, came forward to state that he had advised that she receive medical clearance before moving forward with the procedures. West did not end up receiving treatment from Dr. Aboolian, and now the doctor who did treat her has come forward to accuse Aboolian of being “sleazy and manipulating.” Dr. Jan Adams (a dude) says that West met with him for four months about the surgery and changed her mind numerous times on whether or not she would move forward with the breast augmentation and tummy tuck. Heres where it gets shady: it turns out that Dr. Adams was almost suspended by the Medical Board of California after three DUI convictions. TMZ has also turned up two “malpractice judgments” against the doctor, and allege that West’s operation lasted 8 hours - twice the time it normally takes. Adams has also appeared on Oprah and co-hosted The Other Half - that short-lived male version of the The View.

Of course, these recent allegations still do not change the simple fact that Kanye lost his mom in a sudden and unexpected manner. Our thoughts remain with the rapper and his family during this difficult time. [Image: Getty]

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news_20?95.gifR.I.P., Kanye?s Mama

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Kid Rock: Candid Camera Victim

kid_rockThe music world was rocked this morning by a JFK-sized conspiracy: someone tried to tape Kid Rock backstage. In a news item posted on his website, Kid Rock reported that his head of security, Little Bear, found a camera in the dressing room at a recent tour stop at the Myth Nightclub in Minneapolis. “Little Bear, who runs SpyOps.net, discovered the device before the show and alerted the authorities who are now investigating,” said Rock.

It’s unclear what someone could be curious to know about Kid Rock, given his life-as-open-book policy with the public. We’ve seen the sex tape, we know about the miscarriage and we’ve giggled at the mugshot(s). It’s possible there’s a far more sinister plot going on, and something Kid Rock doesn’t want us to know. What could the hidden camera have captured? We came up with a few scenarios:

1. Kid Rock, swathed in his waffle-weave cotton robe, settling in after an intensive yoga session with some green tea and observing his vow of pre-show silence.

2. Transforming his backstage dressing room into command center for Hilary Clinton’s 2008 election campaign, Kid is hand-painting signs, taking a break from reading The Economist, then interrupted by a phone call from his good friend Al Gore.

3. Emptying cans of Miller High Life and filling them with imported beer.

by (@katespencer)

Britney Saves the Children (But Not Her Own)

britney-spears-1113.jpgBritney Spears and her paparazzi BFF x17 are holding an eBay auction together for the charity Unicef. The item up for bid – a Blackout CD autographed by Ms. Spears herself – currently has 96 bids and is sitting pretty at $7200. The oh-so generous singer told x17 that, “I think it?s important to give back and with the release of Blackout, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give the fans a chance to bid on something to help children everywhere.”

That sure is a nice statement (well done, Britney’s new manager!), but we can think of two children who would really benefit from Spears’ help – her own kids. Shouldn’t she be holding an auction to raise money to get them some new teeth and maybe a nanny? Or better yet, she could just put them up for bid! Surely K-Fed’s got enough child support money horded under his bed that he could win that auction hands down. [Image: Getty]

by (@katespencer)

Tuesday: Lindsay Lends a Hand

lindsaylohan-1113.jpgPhotog Chasing Britney Hit By Car
A “spotter” who was following the pop star to the Four Seasons was hit by another paparazzo’s car and seriously injured. Welcome to the painful world of Brit Watch. [TMZ]

Lindsay Does Time at Red Cross
LiLo has started her community service working at the organization’s blood services facility. Wouldn’t it be more helpful if she just hid out for ten days? [People]

T.I. Convinced He?ll Go Free
The rapper is convinced he’ll be “exonerated” of the charges against him. That’s the spirit! [Yahoo]

Posh Ready to Pop Out Baby #4?
The Spice Mom is rumored to be pregnant with a daughter who she can prompty ruin with bad outfits and poor eating habits. [OK]

Reese & Jake Sneak Off on Vacation
The new lovers headed to Napa for some private R&R. Someone should tell them that they can cuddle all they want in LA – no one cares! [OK]

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James Blunt Heads Out On Tour

James Blunt Headlines VH1?s You Oughta Know Tour

We’ve got yet another reason to look forward to 2008 — this February, James Blunt hits the road with Sara Bareilles for an 11-city romp as part of VH1′s You Oughta Know Tour. The UK crooner, an esteemed alum of our You Oughta Know program, will be working the tunes from the recent All the Lost Souls, while the soulful Bareilles, another YOK singer, just put out Little Voice in July.

Find out where they’re playing below, and check back here to purchase tickets starting November 17th. In the meantime, whet your appetite by clicking on the pics below and then watch Blunt’s videos and Bareilles’ sexy “Love Song.”

2/4/08 Seattle, WA The Moore Theater
2/6/08 San Francisco, CA The Warfield
2/7/08 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
2/8/08 Las Vegas, NV The Pearl
2/12/08 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
2/22/08 Chicago, IL Vic Theatre
2/23/08 Ann Arbor Michigan Theater
2/27/08 Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre
2/29/08 New York, NY Beacon Theatre
3/1/08 Philadelphia, PA Keswick Theatre
3/4/08 Atlanta, GA The Tabernacle

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news_20?94.gifJames Blunt Artist Info
news_20?94.gifSara Bareilles Artist Info