Britney’s Worst Year Ever: March

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year_in_britney_3.jpg

You were there through the bad driving, the head-shaving, and the Criss Angel thing. It’s been a tough year for our girl. No one could have imagined a mere 12 months ago that she’d create such glorious new nonsense every week. Some of the craziness escapes you? Come back every day: We’re counting down the events that made up the Year in Britney.

March 5Anarchy in the R.C. – A little thing like rehab wasn’t going to stop the amazing stories about Britney from coming. In what might be the most deliciously ridiculous tale to be told about Britney this year (though, to be fair, that Chinese-twins adoption thing may take the cake), our anti-hero is said to have scrawled 666 on her head, screamed, “I am the Antichrist!” and then attempted to hang herself. Lucky for an Earth full of voyeurs, she was not successful. [Softpedia]

March 15Coke Addict – Even more highly unlikely, but-wouldn’t-that-be-awesome-if-it-were-true yarn emerged (can you tell how bored the press was during the 30 days Brit was away?): Star reported that Britney had a 24-can-a-day Coke habit. For the caffeine buzz that would give you, the 3,300 calories would be but a small price to pay, no? The other part of the rag’s story is that Britney was a raving diva in rehab. That part wasn’t so hard to believe. [Star]

March 21Free at Last! – Britney left rehab and leaped right back into our arms. Or maybe it just seemed that way. Her to-be-ex-manager Larry Rudolph issued a statement, claiming that Britney had “been released by the Promises Malibu Treatment Center after successfully completing their program.” As the remaining nine months of 2007 would teach us, “successfully” is a relative term. [People]

[Image source: X17]

2007′s Craziest: Nicole Gets Knocked Up

by (@katespencer)

2007nicole.jpgSome gossip stories are too big to forget. We?re counting down the 20 biggest, baddest, and most ridiculous celeb scandals of the year. You?ll get a new one posted every day

Though the official word didn’t come until later in the summer, gossips knew all the way back in May that Hollywood’s skinniest starlet was packin’ baby weight. Given her size, it seemed impossible back then, but Richie’s rocked the baby belly better than any other starlet – certainly way better than Mama Spears! Who would have thought that Nicole’s pregnancy would spawn the end of her bad girl image and the birth of a nicer, gentler Nicole, perhaps instigated by her baby-daddy, tattooed nice-guy Joel Madden. She even donated her baby shower gifts and started a charity for mothers-in-need! The new Nicole is a huge improvement from the skinny shell of a socialite we once loathed, and we have her soon-to-be born baby to thank for that.

Madge & Mellencamp: Hall of Fame

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It’s hard to define rock and roll these days. Punk pissiness, hard-hitting blues, disco fever? It’s all got an attitude that suits the music’s essence. This year the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is all over the place with its inductees list ? and that’s good. Pop’s agent provocateur Madonna, the punchy denim rocker John Mellencamp, the sophisticated poet Leonard Cohen; each will be on board at the Hall’s annual ceremony at New York’s Waldorf Astoria. This time around it’s scheduled for March 10, 2008. VH1 Classic will show the event live. Here’s the entire list.

MadonnaMadonna
She’s been blowing minds ever since she wore underwear as outerwear, back in the early ’80s. The Material Girl is the ultimate changeling, moving from dance pop to trance pop, reinvigorating the art of spectacle along the way.

John MellencampJohn Mellencamp
His began as a chart-topping tough guy, fighting authority and singing ditties about Jack and Diane. He became a dedicated man of the people, rocking political moves with Farm Aid and his recent Jena Six track.

Leonard CohenLeonard Cohen
A soft-spoken lyricist who worked in Dylan’s shadow and created cinematic tracks about the anxiety of love, the Canadian bard has always worked the philosophical angle. His miniatures ask big questions.

The Dave Clark FiveThe Dave Clark Five
They rode the coat tails of the Beatles, but give it up: the Brit-Pop wonders dropped a string of great, frenzied songs between ’64 ? ’66. From “Can’t You See That She’s Mine” to “Catch Us If You Can,” they were a blast.

The VenturesThe Ventures
Car tunes, surf tunes, riff tunes ? the instrumental combo cornered the market on cool, oddball ditties in the early ’60s with classics such as “Walk, Don?t Run,” “Telstar,” and “Apache.” Every garage band has played one of their tunes at least once.

Little WalterLittle Walter
A master of the blues harp, the rough and tumble band leader helped Muddy Waters build his fierce and sexy Chicago blues before breaking off on his own to cut an array of gnarled little gems such as “Juke” and “Off the Wall.”

Gamble & HuffGamble & Huff
Writers and producers both, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff hooked up to concoct one of R&B most durable sounds: Philly Soul. They’re responsible for the perfection that is Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes‘ “Back Stabbers” and The O’Jays‘ “Love Train.”

Which artist are you most hot to see at the Hall of Fame show?

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Ashlee Simpson Is The Emo Yoko

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ash_peteThis year’s Grammy announcements have been made, and Fall Out Boy is pissed. At Ashlee Simpson, that is. According to a report in the New York Daily News, a source says that the band is blaming Ashlee and Pete’s relationship for the lack of nominations the band received for this year’s Infinity on High.

“Grammy voters are fed up with Ashlee after she was caught lip-synching. Her relationship with Pete has definitely affected public opinion of the band,” a source told OK! magazine. “They think everything Ashlee touches is poison, and they really want her to stop touching Pete!” It’s not the first time a Simpson sister has ruined an artist’s career — has anyone seen Nick Lachey doing anything other than chugging beers and opening presents on the cover of People?

Top 20 Albums of the Year (6-10)

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Thousands of discs were released this year, but only 20 could make the final cut. With the most scientific of instruments (headphones, and sometimes CD players) we whittled down this year?s releases, and each Thursday until the end of ’07 we?ll deliver five of our faves. Let us know what we missed, and what you loved.

Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight (WARNER BROTHERS)

06_rilokiley.jpg Indie rock likes to dodge refinement, so there were some grimaces when Rilo Kiley?s rather glossy third disc spilled open. A couple of years ago, singer Jenny Lewis and her buds were underground royalty, but they?ve always wanted their day in the sun, and Blacklight?s motley songs are proud enough of their mainstream aura to carry themselves with an enviable swagger. Like its model, Fleetwood Mac?s Tusk, this is a disc about craft and breadth. White soul, punk-disco, sunny twang ? each new track is just as dapper as it is daring. Believable, too. As Lewis injects coos and come-ons into her sex-centric lyrics, all the genre-jumping feels natural, a flurry of ways to express the feelings at hand, and a cool strategy for dodging stasis.

Amy Winehouse, Back to Black (ISLAND)

08_amywinehouse.jpg The beehive hairdo, nude lady tattoos and odd fashion sense marked Amy Winehouse an outsider from the get-go, a retro soul-singer who could sing like it was still 1968 and she lived in Detroit, not London. The collection of songs on her second record produced an impressive five singles including ?Rehab,? which has our nomination for song of the year, and the album?s title track, a hauntingly recorded lament about love gone wrong?as with Winehouse it so often seems to do. Back to Black garnered her six Grammy Award nominations; her 2003 debut, Frank, earned her a Mercury Prize nomination in the U.K. and the attention of New York DJ and party-boy Mark Ronson. His production work on her second album (not to mention the work he did with the year?s other famous Brit, Lily Allen) ushered Winehouse into the limelight and also created a neo-retro movement in pop. Everyone seems to have gotten the point: Back to Black features the contributions of everyone from Ghostface Killah to Ashford and Simpson.
Coconut Records, Nighttiming (YOUNG BABY)

07_coconut_records.jpgJason Schwartzman is a man of many talents. The former Phantom Planet drummer has enjoyed a successful and offbeat film career, starring in Wes Anderson?s The Darjeeling Limited this year and appearing as Ringo in Walk Hard. But he never gave up the music, as this latest project attests to. Self-recorded and produced, Schwartzman released Nighttiming on his own record label, so it didn?t get much play in the press. But it is one of the finest collections of pop music released in 2007, from the folksy humor of ?The Thanks I Get? to the disco-trills of the title track. ?West Coast? is one of the most wistful songs in recent memory, as Schwartzman sings: ?For a second there I thought you disappeared/ It rains a lot this time of year/ We both go together if one falls down/ I talk out loud like you?re still around.? It?s a sweet, sad number that recalls sunshine delays in California and New York City in the rain, and if you?re ever in need of an album you can drive to?without having to skip around tracks?Schwartzman?s got you covered.

Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (EPIC)

09_modestmouse.jpgBands break-up and artists go crazy attempting what Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock accomplished by accident. That’s not to say We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is a tossed-off affair — it means only that Brock and his band sacrificed none of the hallmarks of their sound on their way to the top of the charts. After two decades of work, the trailer park philosopher has hit his stride, finally fusing the harsh-quiet extremes he?s spent his career bouncing between. With the addition of former Smiths? guitarist Johnny Marr (and help from Shins frontman James Mercer) the band?s fifth album is a nautically themed endeavor — sailors traveling the globe, doomed to die at every port. The songs alternate between spiked guitars and barking vocals (?Florida,? ?Dashboard?) and lilting guitars and lisping whispers (?Little Motel,? ?Missed the Boat?). The band?s most inclusive, technically impressive album easily drowns out the indie faction?s cries of mainstream foul.

Jay-Z, American Gangster (ROC-A-FELLA)

10_jayz.jpgProving that there is life after, “I’m too old for this s***,” a post-post retirement Jay-Z turns out his most compulsively listenable album with American Gangster. Inspired by the film of the same name, Jay-Z’s chronicle of his life’s work (i.e. the hustle, in its legal and not-so-legal forms) offers a humble sense of nuance that was nowhere to be found in Ridley Scott‘s brutish picture. A slap in the face to hip-hop’s pervasive ageism, it’s the kind of album that could only be released now, at this point in the 38-year-old’s storied career. Maturity, patience, taste and humility are unfortunately not really associated with hip-hop, and yet Jay-Z offers an album rich in those elements. Sadly, the album has pretty much flopped. The kids just don’t get it. Not that they even had a chance in the first place.

HERE ARE OUR FIRST FIVE ALBUMS OF THE YEAR (LAST WEEK’S INSTALLMENT).

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Britney Calls in ‘Sick’ to Court

by (@katespencer)

britney-121307.jpgOops! Britney bailed on her court-ordered deposition yesterday, after the starlet fell ill with a mysterious sickness. Her creepy babysitter Sam Lufti said, “We got up and got ready to go. Her attorneys came to pick her up, but when she saw the media frenzy outside her house, her anxiety sky rocketed.”

Brit was out and about later that night driving around before she headed to her hotel away from home, The Four Seasons Hotel. Her no-show now might strip her of visits with her kids, so that illness better have been pretty bad! Let’s check out what could have gotten our troubled girl so down.

Frappucinitis
-Too much sugar, whipped cream and caffeine can make a lady lose it.

That sick feeling in your stomach after inhaling the leather interior of a Mercedes
-We’ve never had this exact ailment, but once we rode around in an ’84 Jetta that almost made us puke. Brit’s gotta be suffering in that car!

“Ouch! My extensions are too tight and hurt my head ya’ll!” Syndrome
Her new brown locks say all we need to know. Brit’s in pain. Head pain. She’s also a pain in the ass.

Thursday: Paris Loves Her Mother Earth

by (@katespencer)

paris-121307.jpgParis Hilton Saves the Planet
The heiress is helping the earth by buying a hybrid car. Maybe she could stop polluting it with her skanky outfits and cheap perfume, too. [Yahoo]

The Hills Girls Get Boozy
Vogue intern Lauren Conrad got a little too buzzed at The Hills finale party. Is it because the word is out that her Parisian love interest may be a plant? [NYP]

Reese Witherspoon’s a Bossy Co-Star
The actress is letting her Type A attitude flow on the set of her new movie with mellow dude Vince Vaughn. Somewhere her ex-husband is laughing. [NYDN]

Britney’s a Bad Boss
Brit got busted by paps who got her on video showing driving away from a gas station and leaving her assistant behind. [TMZ]

Charlie Sheen’s Psycho About Decorating
We love this picture of Charlie Sheen’s mansion decked out in X-Mas lights almost as much as we love his scandalous past. There’s gotta be something x-rated going on in that wholesome looking house!

Fashion WTF: Coco Is Loco – And We Like it

by (@katespencer)

coco-121207.jpgWe love Ice-T’s Barbie-esque wife CoCo solely because of her outfits alone. Obviously her name is reason enough to be obsessed, but we’re hooked on her flashy fashion choices too. Just like Brooke Hogan rocks some risky looks without fear, CoCo just puts it all out there every time she leaves the house. So maybe it’s not what style icons like Nicole Richie or Jennifer Aniston would throw on, but if CoCo wants to hit up the I Am Legend premiere (like she did last night) in a fuchsia tank top that harnesses around her neck and matching eye makeup, then more power to her! And who can blame her for highlighting that sexy tank with a long white fur coat and completing the look with purple pants covered in puffy pant art? There’s no basic black on this lady, and dear God, that’s the way it should be. Viva la Coco!

Check out more pics below of our girl CoCo working it on the red carpet.

Britney’s Worst Year Ever: February

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You were there through the bad driving, the head-shaving, and the Criss Angel thing. It’s been a tough year for our girl. No one could have imagined a mere 12 months ago that she’d create such glorious new nonsense every week. Some of the craziness escapes you? Come back every day: We’re counting down the events that made up the Year in Britney.

year_in_britney_2.jpg February 13Beach Blanket Britney – Britney was spotted at a Manhattan nightclub (in the dead of winter, mind you), rocking what the New York Post described as a “bikini and white busboy coat.” Whatever, can’t fault a girl for taking advantage of global warming, right? Anyway, what seemed like one in a growing number of quirks actually was an ominous sign of things to come, for within days, Britney had her first round with…

February 14Rehab, Take 1 – Britney checked in to Eric Clapton’s Crossroads in Antigua, California, and then checked out within 24 hours. It’s not that she didn’t want help, it’s just that she has, like, a really short attention span. [TMZ.com]

February 16A Woman Shorn – That evening, Britney entered a Los Angeles hair salon and asked a beautician to shave her head. When the hairdresser wouldn’t comply, she took matters into her own hands and buzzed herself down to stubble. When asked later what prompted her to do this, she told a paparazzo it was “because of you.” The photogs who undoubtedly made a mint off of shots of the freshly shaved Brit were all, “You shouldn’t have!” [Sky News]

February 20Rehab 2, Electric Boogaloo - If the title of this entry suggests that I’m not taking Brit’s second stint that month in rehab (this time at Promises in Malibu) seriously, it’s becuase, well, I’m not. For you see…[National Enquirer]

February 21Rehab Aborted, Again – …she wasn’t serious about it, again ditching rehab after being there for fewer than 24 hours. It was as though she got dieting and rehabbing confused and decided that yo-yoing was the best method. [FOXNews.com]

February 21 - You Can Stand Under My…Rage – As if a 24-hour turnaround time in rehab wasn’t enough to entertain us, Britney trumped the head shaving of last time by kicking the ass of a photog’s SUV parked outside Kevin Federline’s house. She was reportedly enraged that she couldn’t get inside the pad to see her kids. Undoubtedly, the money made from the shots could have bought about 10 of those vehicles. For all of her hardship and messiness, Britney’s touch is Midas. [X17]

February 22Rehab: Yes, Yes, Yes - Third time turned out to be a charm for Britney, who checked into Promises and would eventually complete the facility’s 30-day in-patient program. Over the course of the time, she learned to sit and stay. So, you know, it just goes to show that she’s still trainable. All is not lost! [TMZ.com]

[Image credit: X17]

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Wednesday: Jessica Alba’s a Hot Mama

by (@katespencer)

jessica-alba-1212.jpgJessica Alba: Still Hot, Now Pregnant!
Congrats to the couple – especially her beau Cash Warren, who will now be forever covered by his cash cow of a baby-mama. [People]

Madonna Freaks Out in Yoga Class
Madge apparently kicked out an entire yoga class at her gym so she could practice by herself. Surely Kaballah doesn’t preach being an asshole, right? [NYP]

Amy Winehouse Can?t See Hubby, Cries
The singer missed visiting hours at her hubby’s jailed and spazzed. Um, set an alarm next time? [Us]

Fur Lovin? Olsens Twins Trashed by PETA
The animal rights group is ragging on the gajillionaire sisters for wearing lots n’ lots of animal products. [Us]

Gwyneth and Chris ? Still Together, Still Boring
The Paltrow-Martins were spotted lunching together and chatting. Couldn’t they be plotting their divorce? [NYDN]