May 27, 2005

Style and Sound

Beginning on June 8, designer Marc Ecko, who is also a Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) board member, is partnering with leaders in fashion and entertainment to introduce “Style & Sound,” a fundraising initiative for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC). The online charity auction, to be held in conjunction with eBay Live Auctions, will feature custom iPod cases created by celebrity partnerships, including Carolina Herrera with Renée Zellweger, Marc Ecko with Jamie Foxx, Luca Luca’s Luca Orlandi with Mischa Barton, and Judith Leiber with Katie Holmes.

Some designers have taken the extra step to personalize their products even more. Donna Karan’s case, fashioned out of hammered brass, features a playlist with music from 20 years of her fashion shows, and Sean Combs will create his own playlist under his P.Diddy name. In addition, Nanette Lepore’s design features a brightly beaded and belted case, while Vivienne Tam’s is brocade, trimmed in fur. Each case will contain a 40GB iPod, courtesy of Apple Computers, and a playlist created by each designer’s celebrity partner.

The auction will conclude at a June 22 gala fundraising event to be hosted by Ecko and Herrera, co-chairs of this philanthropic venture. Absentee bids may be logged in, and a catalog viewed, at Bidders can also participate in the live auction via the Internet. All proceeds will benefit FTBC. Since its inception in 1994, FTBC has raised more than $40 million for various breast cancer organizations across 13 countries.

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Xzibit's New Shoe Line

Hip-hop star Xzibit has announced plans to launch his own shoe line.

The Pimp My Ride host has signed a two-year endorsement deal with athletic footwear manufacturer Dada, reports Xzibit, real name Alvin Joyner, says in a statement, "Dada has always been competitive and respected and I'm excited to design and promote a shoe that represents both of us so well."

Dr. Dre and Jessica Simpson are among the long list of celebrities who have been spotted sporting Dada footwear.

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Baby News

Sitcom star Kevin James and musician Travis Barker are both planning additions to their respective families.

The King of Queens comedian James, 40, and his wife, Steffiana De La Cruz, 30, a model, are expecting their first child this fall. "We have a little baby on the way, and we're very excited," James, who tied the knot with his bride last June.

Also expecting are Blink-182 drummer Barker, 29, and his wife, actress Shanna Moakler, 30. They will welcome their second child in December. "Hopefully it will be Christmas Eve. I'm hoping for a girl," says Barker.

The couple, who star in the MTV reality show Meet the Barkers, have a 1-year-old son, Landon. Moakler also has a 6-year-old daughter, Atiana, with her ex-fiance Oscar De La Hoya.

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According to the New York Times, one way to think of a person's place in society is in terms of four factors: education, income, occupation and wealth.

Click here to see where you fall.

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May 26, 2005

Ring's Still On

No, she's not telling the press to shove it. Look closer, and you'll see it's Jessica's way of slamming reports that she and Nick are divorcing.

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Idol Talk

Congrats to Carrie Underwood for winning last night's "American Idol."

Truthfully, I was never sold on her, and I think she has no stage presence. Don't get me wrong, I love the small town girl makes it big story, but I think the people with the best voices (Constantine and Vonzell) got prematurely booted.

I've always said that she reminds me of Trisha Yearwood. I can't decide if it's her looks, the way she sounds at times, or her mannerisms (or a combination of those) that makes me feel that way. Coincidentally, Miss Trisha got engaged to Garth Brooks yesterday.

Two weeks after Kenny Chesney and Renée Zellweger got hitched at a surprise wedding in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Garth Brooks stole the show Wednesday night when, in front of 7,000 fans, he popped the question to fellow country music star Trisha Yearwood. Her response? She said yes – and the crowd went wild.

The occasion was the "Legends in Bronze" event at Buck Owens's Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, Calif., where 10 larger-than-life bronze statues honoring Buck Owens, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Bob Wills, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, George Jones and George Strait were unveiled, the Associated Press reports.

After Brooks's likeness was presented, the triple-platinum artist got down on one knee and proposed. According to Brooks spokeswoman Nancy Seltzer, this will be the second marriage for the 43-year-old Brooks, who has three daughters (ages 13, 11 and 9), and the third for Yearwood, 40, who was named the Country Music Awards female vocalist of the year in 1997 and 1998.

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Not a Far Stretch for Rosie

Rosie O’Donnell hasn’t been doing many acting gigs lately, but she’ll appear on Showtime’s “Queer as Folk” for three episodes.

O’Donnell, long a fan of the gay-themed drama, called the show’s producers to request a role on the show, the cable channel said Tuesday. Her first episode will air Sunday (10 p.m. ET).

The former talk-show host plays an abused woman who works at the local diner and falls for her mentor, played by Sharon Gless.

--What? Rosie is going to play a lesbian? That'll be tough for her.

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Sopranos to End?

David Chase, who created "The Sopranos" television series, said the mobster drama on Time Warner Inc.'s HBO cable channel may end after its sixth season, which is in production and set to air next spring.

"We probably shouldn't do a seventh," Chase said at a breakfast organized by Syracuse University's Newhouse School in New York. Chase, 59, said he has known for years how he wanted to end the story and had "a great time" working on the final episodes.

"The Sopranos," starring James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano and Edie Falco as his wife, Carmela, since 1999 has lured viewers willing to pay to see the show to HBO. HBO, which isn't restricted by broadcast rules against indecency and doesn't air commercials, has also drawn subscribers with programs such as "Sex and the City" and "Six Feet Under."

The sixth season of "The Sopranos" "is going to be about money, materialism, buying stuff, consumerism," Chase said. "The U.S. is a great country, but everything is up for sale." The comments were not Chase's first on ending the series. In July 2002, he said the fifth season would be the last. Asked today whether a seventh season is possible with the sixth written, he said he wouldn't have to change "anything major."

Chase's comments indicate he hasn't ruled out the possibility of a seventh season, said Shari Anne Brill, director of programming at media buying agency Carat USA in New York.

--Reruns of Season 4 begin June 5, on HBO. I can't wait until the new season starts.

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Hot Rod To Be A Daddy Again

They don't call him Hot Rod for nothing.

Veteran rocker Rod Stewart is to be a father for the seventh time at the age of 60, it has been reported. His 34-year-old fiancee Penny Lancaster is pregnant with her first child, claims the Daily Mirror. The paper says the couple had kept the news secret but have now started to tell friends and family.

It quotes a friend as saying: "They are so thrilled. They love each other very much and a baby will make their life complete." The friend adds: "Rod might be getting on a bit but he's not the only old man to have a child and Penny has never made a secret of the fact that she would like kids."

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Tupac's Mom Opens Center

Afeni Shakur was in a cocaine haze in 1990 when she heard that her son's rap career was taking off. "I was in the heyday of using," she says. "Someone told me that Tupac was on 'The Arsenio Hall Show,' and I thought they were lying."

That's when Afeni realized cocaine was ruining her life. She had lost track of her son - a tough feat considering that all eyes were about to be on Tupac. Afeni kicked her habit, and by the time Tupac was killed in 1996 at the height of his fame, they had rekindled their relationship. Now Afeni's life is consumed with keeping Tupac's legacy alive - and her latest effort is the June 11 grand opening of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts.

The $4 million project is focused on helping at-risk youth. It revolves around a six-acre campus in the Atlanta suburb of Stone Mountain that includes an art gallery, rehearsal area, offices, gift shop and a "peace garden." There are plans to add a museum, community meeting space and classrooms. A bronze statue of Tupac will be unveiled in one of the peace garden's fountains in September.

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Crue Sues

Motley Crue has sued NBC for banning the group after lead singer Vince Neil used an expletive during a live broadcast of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

The federal lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday, accuses the network of violating the band's free-speech rights and hurting its record sales by barring it from NBC shows to placate the Federal Communications Commission. The suit seeks a court order lifting the ban as well as unspecified damages. Neil used the f-word during the live New Year's Eve broadcast as he yelled a greeting to bandmate Tommy Lee shortly after midnight.

Though carried live on the East Coast, the remark was excised in other time zones. Neil was unaware his statement was aired live, according to the lawsuit. The FCC said it received complaints about the broadcast.

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How to Make a Hollywood Marriage Work

When their acting schedules keep them apart, Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe rely on the phone to keep their seven-year marriage intact.

Lowe recently visited Swank in Bulgaria, where she's filming "The Black Dahlia" with Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett. Then Lowe accompanied the two-time Oscar winner to Japan for the premiere of "Million Dollar Baby."

"When one of us travels, we talk on the phone three-to-four times a day, no matter the time difference," he said. "We never go more than two weeks without seeing each other. My heart can't stand being away from her for too long."

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Ismail Merchant, the man behind classic films like the E.M. Forster adaptation 'A Room with a View,' passed away Wednesday at the age of 68.

The India-born filmmaker, producer and partner in an Academy Award-winning production company, Merchant Ivory, died in London with family by his side, according to a spokesperson. He had reportedly been battling illness for some time and was said to have undergone an operation for stomach ulcers recently.

Among some of the well-known films on Merchant's impressive repertoire are 'Howards End,' 'The Remains of the Day' and more modern films like 'Le Divorce.'

--"Howards End" and "Remains of the Day" were excellent. I liked "Le Divorce," but I didn't think it was up to his caliber.

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Eva's Next Gig

Eva Longoria — milking her man-eating "Desperate Housewives" image to the max — has taped a spot for Sirius Satellite Radio where she huskily pants: "Some women have to guess what a man wants, but I know what a man really wants, something that will keep a smile on his face for a really long time — over 120 channels, enough to satisfy any man."

And in other Eva news...

She made her feelings known to the world, but now Eva Longoria has finally admitted defeat. She says she has lost out in the race to bag movie hunk Brad Pitt. Eva caused a sensation just weeks after he had split with wife Jennifer Aniston by brazenly wearing a T-shirt with the slogan "I'll have your baby, Brad".

But she will just have to try and get her claws into someone else after conceding: "I think we have to accept that he's with Angelina Jolie now."

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Timberlake to Be Jack's Man

Justin Timberlake is reportedly set to go gay for his next role - with a guest spot on hit sitcom Will & Grace.

Sources say the 'N Sync frontman, who has displayed his comedy skills a number of times on long-running sketch show Saturday Night Live, is planning to play the "bad boy" boyfriend of Sean Hayes' character Jack.

Us Weekly reports that Timberlake has signed up for a three episode run on the show when it returns for its eighth and final season in the autumn. Bosses of the show will only confirm that they have "some great guest stars" lined up for appearances.

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Mayo Clinic Designs Underwear

Who is the latest up and coming underwear designer? The Mayo Clinic

Scientists at the Mayo Clinic learn your secrets if you have been one of the select few to wear a set of underwear with racy-looking cutouts at the crotch and backside, and pockets holding position and motion sensors dangling a half dozen tangled wires.

In January, the scientists here who designed the underwear reported a striking difference in activity levels between lean people and overweight ones. Their study, published in Science, did not involve deliberate exercise, but it measured - with the help of the sensors - how much people moved about naturally and spontaneously.

The heavier ones tended to sit, while the lean ones were more restless and spent two more hours a day on their feet - standing, pacing around and fidgeting. The difference translated into 350 calories a day, enough for the heavy people to take off 30 to 40 pounds a year, if they would get moving.

The researchers believe the tendency to sit still or move around is biological and inborn, governed by genetically determined levels of brain chemicals. And that tendency influences weight - not the other way around, the researchers say.

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May 25, 2005

When Politics and Stars Collide

When politics and stars collide:

Whoopi Goldberg is still mad at the Democrats.

Goldberg, who was renounced last summer after making a lame double entendre about George W. Bush at a John Kerry fund-raiser, told Air America's "Politically Correct" host David Bender: "My party abandoned me. There's no other way to say it: they put their tails between their legs and they ran. I've closed my eyes to the party. I haven't turned my back on them, but I no longer feel comfortable saying that I feel like I'm represented by them. Until people can stand up for what's right in the face of whatever is flying at you, nothing is going to change."

And on the Republican front:

Porn star Mary Carey is set to spice up the National Republican Congressional Committee's "Salute to Freedom" dinner with President Bush next month.

The former fringe candidate for California governor and star of "Lesbian Big Boob Bangeroo 2" and "Thumpin' Melons" will be the guest of her boss, Kick Ass Pictures president Mark Kulkis, an honorary chairman of the NRCC's Business Advisory Council. The prurient pair will also attend a lunch with top Bush advisor Karl Rove, who Carey hopes will give her tips on her planned run for California lieutenant governor next year.

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Kevin Makes Brit Workout

We all know that Britney Spears is eating for two, so she is usually spotted emerging from Starbucks with a super-sweet caramel coffee concoction or eating burgers and fries.

And so it was when the 24-year-old turned up on the set of her little sister Jamie Lynn's new TV show Zoey 101 - sucking on another mega mocha.

She arrived on set ahead of husband Kevin Federline, who turned up later with a brand new pair of trainers and soon had his pregnant wife power-walking around the set.

--I can hear it now: "Stay in shape or else! You saw what happened to Shar."

On another note...Click here to play BirthMatch3000: Fetus Spears v. Fetus Garner.

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Bono's Bloated

Bono's looking, um, well-fed:

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Dating Your Way to the Top

Dating Tom Cruise is starting to pay off for Katie Holmes, if internet reports are to be believed - she's set to steal a Mission: Impossible 3 role from Lindsay Lohan.

According to website Ananova.Com, Holmes has become the hot favorite to replace Scarlett Johansson as Cruise's love interest in the action movie sequel.

Holmes and Lohan aren't the only girls in contention for the two parts left vacant by Johansson and Carrie Anne Moss' departure from the project - Keri Russell (start the campaigning, Iceman) and Elisha Cuthbert are also reportedly in the running.

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