American Idol surged forward this week, welcoming its first of no doubt many celebrity guest coaches, the inimitable Dolly Parton. Over the span of a career longer than most Idol contestants’ lives, Dolly has marked herself one of the finest songwriters in the business and one of its most recognizable icons. How did the nine remaining hopefuls stack up on an all-Dolly program? And what did America think?
Commenting on reports in the media that Slash had all but declared Velvet Revolver lead singer Scott Weiland persona non grata, the redheaded male sylph decided to fire himself. In a statement released to the press this morning, Weiland wrote:
“After reading the comment by Duff, Matt, Dave and the illustrious ‘GUITAR HERO,’ Saul Hudson, a.k.a Slash, I find it humorous that the so called four ‘founding members’ of Velvet Revolver, better known to themselves as ‘the Project’ before I officially named the band, would decide to move on without me after I had already claimed the group dead in the water on March 20 in Glasgow. In response to Slash?s comment regarding my commitment, I have to say it is a blatant and tired excuse to cover up the truth. The truth of the matter is that the band had not gotten along on multiple levels for some time. On a musical level, there were moments of joy, inspiration, fun?at times, but let?s not forget the multiple trips to rehab every member of the band had taken (with the exception of one member, no need to mention his name). Personally speaking, I choose to look forward to the future and performing with a group of friends I have known my entire life, people who have always had my back. This also speaks to my commitment to my music and my fellow band mates in STP and to the fans who I feel would much rather watch a group of musicians who enjoy being together as opposed to a handful of discontents who at one time used to call themselves a gang.
“P.S. Don?t be fooled by veiled trickery.
“P.P.S. Good hunting lads, I think Sebastian Bach would be a fantastic choice.”
Weiland is referring, of course, to the forthcoming Stone Temple Pilots reunion, which will only pave the way for Axl Rose to join
Guns N’ Roses Velvet Revolver. Good times all around!
P.S. We don’t think this is an April Fool’s joke, but then again, we’ve noticed that metalheads aren’t the best with dates.
P.P.S. Axl has not indicated any willingness to become involved with Velvet Revolver, but he wouldn’t mind becoming a Pepper.
Oprah Honors her Dead Dog with a Show
Queen O dedicates a show on puppy mills to her beloved cocker spaniel Sophie, who passed away earlier this year. RIP, O doggie! [Us]
Idol Rocker David Cook Hospitalized
The guitar-playing crooner was sent to the hospital with heart palpitations after his Idol performance. Guess that comes with the territory of being a heartthrob. [Us]
J.Lo Ready to Shed Baby Weight
Jen is ready to drop the 50 pounds she gained carrying her twins. Our guess: it’ll be gone in a week. Money does magical things for celebs! [Ok!]
Britney?s Getting Skinny Again
The pop star is attempting to eat healthy and cut back on the sugar, and has lost 15 pounds so far. As long as she doesn’t lose her mind, we’re cool! [Ok!]
Leno Apologizes for ?Gay? Remarks
The talk show host has finally apologized for an interview he did with Ryan Phillipe in which he asked the actor to give him his “gayest look.” [DListed]
Here I Stand, Usher‘s new album, will be out at the end of May. But in the meantime its first single has already risen the Billboard charts to hit No. 1. “Love in This Club” is a slow, steamy jam with a guest appearance by Young Jeezy and lyrics like “They don’t know what we doin’/ Let’s both get undressed right here/Keep it up girl, I swear/ I’m-a give it to you non-stop/ And I don’t care who’s watchin’.” Despite that, the track’s producer, Polow da Don, insists the lyrics are not about having sex. This is confusing, to put it mildly. Anyway . . . we have 30 seconds of the video for you now. The clip features several super-famous guest stars, some slinky dance moves and a few stylish pairs of sunglasses — exactly what you want out of an Usher video. Check it out here before the video premieres next Monday, April 7.
Why won’t these two just admit that they’re dating? We’ve all seen them cuddling in a pool, and everyone knows that in Hollywood if you cuddle, you’re like practically married. Celebs are crazy like that! But RiRi is refusing to admit that she’s got a man. She told MTV this weekend that she and Chris Brown are seriously, for REALS, just pals. “I won’t say that we’re just friends ? me and Chris are really best, best friends,” Rihanna cooed. “We both started our careers around the same time. He is one of the only people in the industry … I trust and hang out with all the time. We are best friends, honestly, like brother and sister. If he was a boyfriend, I would say that.”
Chris echoed her sentiments, asserting, “They keep asking me, ‘What’s the deal?’ I’m like, ‘There’s no deal. No deal.’ We’re just friends.”
FINE! You say there’s no deal, we say you two are passionately in love. We’re all just gonna have to agree to disagree on this one.
The animal rights organization PETA has asked Britney Spears, notorious fur-lover and tiny dog hoarder, to come work at their headquarters for a day as a receptionist. Apparently her blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gig on How I Met Your Mother has inspired PETA head Ingrid Newkirk to bury the hatchet with the pop star. In an open letter published on the group’s blog, she writes:
“After seeing your excellent performance on How I Met Your Mother, PETA would like to offer you a real job as a receptionist. It could be for as little as an hour, and you would see?from the inside?why we are so concerned about issues like fur and homeless dogs and cats. As a “thank you” for your willingness to learn and help, we would donate $1,000 to a children’s charity.”
Chill out PETA. Brit isn’t ever going to “tell people about the misery that foxes, chinchillas, and other animals suffer on fur farms,” because her wardrobe depends on that misery! And without fur, what would cover up her stained dresses and her nipple slips? Seriously, what is more important – the life of innocent animals or the hiding of Brit’s vag behind a fur coat?! Yeah, we thought so.
50 Cent can’t seem to make up his mind. The rapper’s brain, apparently, is a microcosm of the Democratic Party’s nomination process. MTV News reports that 50 was originally for Hillary Clinton, telling Fox News, “I just think she’d do a good job. There’s nothing bad about Obama in my eyes either, but I just think Hillary would be my choice.” But after listening to Obama’s speech on race, the MC changed his tune: “He hit me with that he-just-got-done- watching-Malcolm X, and I swear to God, I’m like, ‘Yo, Obama!’ . . . I’m Obama to the end now, baby!”
Well, as S.E. Hinton says, that was then, this is now. These days, 50 is more confused. “To be honest, I haven’t been following that anymore,” he told MTV News. “I lost my interest. I listened to some of the debate and things that they were saying, and I just got lost in everything that was going on . . . . Don’t look for my vote, for me to determine nothing on that. Just say, ’50 Cent, he don’t know, so don’t ask Fiddy.’” He continued, “I just think there’s people that might not be ready for an African-American president. It’ll be an issue, believe it or not.”
Those of you who remember how effectively the Republican smear campaign worked against John Kerry — another notable flip-flopper — must be hoping 50 sticks to music. After all, he already lost that one race to Kanye West. Looks like somebody’s just not fit for politics.
Jamie-Lynn Flaunts her Ring, Baby Bod
Brit’s sister is not only engaged, she’s looking super hot! Baby weight never looked so good.? [DListed]
Audrina Can?t Stop Getting Naked
Enjoy these recent NSFW nudies pics of everyone’s favorite spaced out Hills star.? [Egotastic]
Lauren Conrad Defends her Boy Obsessions
LC sticks up for herself and her boy-crazy ways. We don’t care what she says – her Brody obsession speaks for itself!? [Us]
Jessica Simpson Stuck in Hospital
Big sister Simpson was hospitalized this week with a kidney infection. Feel better – we hope Tony brings you some chicken soup.? [Us]
Comeback Alert! Brit Back with Ex-Manager
Brit allegedly made amends with her former manager Larry Rudolph. Is she serious about this comeback or just mending her burned bridges?? [Ok!]
Looks like the halcyon days of John Varvatos camaraderie are over. The increasingly internecine relationship between Velvet Revolver and their red-headed lead singer, Scott Weiland, has come to a breaking point. Speaking to the NME, Slash explained that “There will be a third album . . . . We don’t know how or when but the core four guys will continue.” This comes after Weiland announced that the band might never tour again, and Velvet Revolver’s subsequent in-fighting hit the Internet. Idolator has a list of replacements for Slash and company (Rod Stewart! Yeah!), and, in not-unrelated news, Weiland is heading up the Stone Temple Pilots reunion tour this summer. Yay. [Ed.: Yay?]
Elsewise, Dr. Pepper issued a challenge last week to reclusive former Velvet Revolver singer Axl Rose, explaining that the soft-drink company would give a free can of Dr. Pepper to every American (with the exception of guitarists Buckethead and Slash), should Guns N’ Roses’ long-delayed, Howard Hughes-soap-opera-esque album Chinese Democracy see the light of day in 2008. Denying any involvement in the promotion, Axl explained that he found the offer flattering and that he’d share his fizzy beverage with Buckethead. Ouch, right? But also whatever. Look, Axl, if Velvet Revolver is missing a lead singer, we can’t think of another redhead who qualifies better than you. Can no one get Guns N’ Roses — the real Guns N’ Roses — back together? Please? We have an inkling that people would rather see even the worst, loosest, 20-minute-long version of “Coma” as played by Axl, Slash, Duff, Matt and that other guy than a tight “Interstate Love Song” performed by Weiland, the DeLeo brothers and that other guy. Just an inkling, though.
Last Tuesday night, American Idol contestant David Cook gave a rousing — if also melancholic — rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” While that’s not exactly news in itself, the judges’ comments were. The trio praised Cook for his originality in rearranging the composition. The trouble is that Cook was covering Chris Cornell‘s version of the song as it appeared on the latter’s second solo album, Carry On — as was clearly stated by Ryan Seacrest before Cook began performing. The Seattle rock luminary and former Soundgarden frontman reinterpreted the Thriller classic as a much darker song; Cook followed Cornell’s version note for note. (Cornell’s version has seen a massive sales jump on iTunes in the days since.) We caught up with Cornell to ask him about what he thought of Cook’s version.
VH1: Your fans seemed to be outraged with David Cook. Can you talk about their response?
Chris Cornell: They were angry because they felt like the judges were giving David Cook credit for coming up with the idea — reinventing the song in a rock format — and didn’t seem to know that it was taken from somewhere else.