Friday, September 21, 2018
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IntermountainRegion 10 Tournament

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Welcome To Champions Choice Boxing

I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you to this web site and let you know a little about me, and why I developed this site. My name is Mike Kilmer. I was born and raised in Long Beach, California which is part Los Angeles County area and presently live in South Dakota for the last 46 years. I am the the Vice Chairman for the South Dakota Athletic Commission. I have a devoted interest in the sport of Boxing and MMA. I ran my gym, Champions Choice Boxing until about 2005 at which time my son took over the business. I am currently still the South Dakota USA Boxing LBC President and have been for 20 plus years. I was the Regional Coordinator, both Junior and Senior, for the WYOMONDAK Region that include 4 states, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota. The Champions Choice Boxing gym still resides in Spearfish, South Dakota and successfully run by Stoney Kilmer, His accomplishment after taking over the helm has been extremely success in help to develop many your boxers. I believe that anyone can learn to Box, but even more important I believe that the sport of boxing can greatly help in the developing strong, well-adjusted youth both young men and women with strong morals and values.

My two sons who competed in the amateur divisions and both put in numerous hours to give back to the sport they dearly loved. I hope this site will continue to improve the levels of communication for other athletes and coaches, so they may be informed of what is going on the in world of amateur and professional boxing. I would like to take just a moment to give credit and express my admiration to a few individuals whom have helped me over the years and continue to be my greatest friends.

First of all, I would like to thank my wife, without whose help I would not have been able to achieve any of my goals. She not only can fill the place of me as a coach but does all the things that I just can’t seem to get done.

Kenny Weldon is probably been more influential and given me more knowledge into the Sweet Science of boxing. With his abilities to teach both athletes and coaches and
making them understand the simplicities and correct techniques of both defense and aggression. I will always continue to learn from him and will know that the sweet science is to be able to hit your opponent from the farthest distance away with maximum leverage without being hit.

Thanks so very much Kenny Weldon. 

Most of all I would like to thank both my sons, Stoney and Chet, whom have always been there to help me and continue to give back in any way they can. They have both inherited the values of giving to others in any way that they can. Thanks guys you are the best.

DnnForge - NewsArticles


A special thanks to all the athletes, coaches, officials and helper for traveling and coming to the Regional Silver Gloves at the Martinez Boxing Gym in Rapid City , SD. There has been nothing but great bouts and without all of you this tournament could not be as success. Thanks. 


Results from Saturday Matches at Regional Silver Gloves  

January 12, 2013  Rapid City South Dakota

Derick Gonzales WI defeats Marcus Grinnel SD

Tomas Cargas WI defeats Armoni Hill WI

Jason Komanekin WI defeats  Saylor Kentrell  Mn

Ernest Chavez Jr. WI defeats Terrance Two Bulls SD (Tournament Bout)

Damon Reyes ND defeat Kyle Larson  WI

Gillermo Martinez WI defeated Miguel Gomez MN

Rodando Vargas  WI defeated Kaleb Grady SD

Adizha McCloskey SD defeated Selena DeLeon ND

Chance Okiosma WI defeated Terrell Grinell SD

Celso Ramiez MN defeated Cody Grady  (Tournament Bout)

Steven Bad Milk SD defeated Cross Beaulieu Mn  (Tournament Bout)

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The baby-faced star took to the stage for a shaky rendition of Celine Dion's classic, My Heart Will Go On, at the Lady D under 18s talent show.

And performed so well on the night, she even went on to take home the winner's title in the contest.

After making her mark on the X Factor, chose to hold her very first concert at the Empire theatre in her home borough. And now we know why!

WATCH Leona's stage debut here...

What are your thoughts on premiere performance? Let us know in the comments box below.

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Yes, that’s Shirley Jones bearing gifts… Or she’s a Partridge in a pear tree, perhaps?

At the risk of sending you into a panic by saying this… “HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!” I know, I know… it’s not even Thanksgiving quite yet, but it is Thanksgiving Week, so in addition to shopping around for a big roasty bird, fresh cranberries and tons of wine and hooch for the big feasting day, it’s time you also started thinking about your holiday gift-buying plans. (Oh, like you haven’t already…)

Starting today and running all this week, we’ll be offering up some good gift ideas here at NewNowNext, with it all culminating this Friday when the entire day’s worth of posts will be a slew of cool things to buy. This’ll correspond to a big promo stunt on Logo that’ll have me on-air (yikes!) with experts telling you cool things to buy in all kinds of categories, like foodie items, cool travel gear, “green” gifts, gadgets for you techie friends, hot design gifts, and so on!

Right now, I’m gonna start off by giving you a quick list of hot music picks to give this holiday season. You can get all (or most of these) at the Logo store, or just find them where you can… There’s bound to be something here for just about everybody!

Yes, our very own “gay messiah” has his blissfully barmy concert tribute to Judy Garland hitting record-sellers on December 4th. It’s a two-disc extravaganza full of this fabulously orchestrated renditions of all the standards Judy herself served up at her legendary gig way back when. The CD is full of Wainwright’s cool and daffy gay onstage banter, too. A mega-must for fans.

And you might also wanna snatch up the of Rufus’ “Judy” concert, out on December 4th, too. It’s got the subtle title of Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy! Live at the London Palladium. And it’s just that…

Many more musical gift goodies after the jump…

The soundtrack from the new film about Bob Dylan by gay director Todd Haynes is pretty awesome. The movie has a gaggle of different actors (Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett for starters) playing Dylan, and similarly the soundtrack has a massive assortment of today’s best and most eclectic musicians covering his tunes. Cat Power, The Hold Steady, Eddie Vedder, Los Lobos, Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, Antony & The Johnsons, Willie Nelson, Sufjan Stevens… The amazing list goes on. Any music-phile will die for this one.

Luther Vandross was a modern soul legend. And sure, we may never get the official skinny on was-he-or-wasn’t-he gay, but I think we all can make our own decisions on that one. But nonetheless, the man was a master at delivering uplifting, heartfelt and sometimes downright slamming R&B gems that still get you swooning today. Love, Luther is this fall’s hot box set compiling the best of the best, and it comes in a handsome case and with a 58-page book, too! Simply, it’s “never too much,” okay?

The loopy skinny French-Canadian diva with the voice that can sink (or raise, I’m not sure) the Titanic is back with a just-released full-on studio pop album. It’s Ms. D at her full-throated best, with tunes that including paint-peeling ballads and driving pop/rock (she even covers Heart’s “Alone”). You know there’s somebody on your list who liiives for her. Give ’em a treat and get them the CD/DVD full of bonus stuff. Brava!

Jonsi and his Icelandic pals are back with still more of their blissfully inventive, orchestral rock that they do so well. This time out, they’re giving a two-disc serving of music—“Hvarf” is a five-song EP of long, sprawling tracks and the second disc “Heim” is a collection of acoustic tunes from their back catalogue. As a companion, pick up the DVD, Heima, which is a documentary film following the boys as they tour around Iceland playing the music on their new double-discs. Clever, eh?

She’s just Mary, and she’s just fabulous, too. The queen of hip-hop/soul has a solid single out now with “Just Fine” and you can bet the entire Growing Pains album is gonna be more thumping fierceness, full of major Mary ballads, jams and emotional, aural outpourings. It’s out on December 18th, just in time for some hella good “ho ho ho.”

“He vas… He vas… my boyfriend!!!!!” Frau Blucher (this time around played by Andrea Martin, who does a pretty fab job, fyi) and the entire gang of Mel Brooks misfit have reassembled onstage for the just-opened new Broadway musical. Is it the next Producers? Hard to say for sure… But with big, new and improved takes on the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” number and a killer cast featuring the likes of Roger Bart, Sutton Foster and the beyond amazing Megan Mullally, this is a total must for the theater queen on your list. “Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I foooouuunnd yoooouuuuu!!!” You get the idea…

Attend the tale of Sweeney all of you Broadway babes, Sondheim junkies, Tim Burton fans, Johnny Depp groupies, and all-around movie freaks. Alas, the movie won’t feature Patti Lupone sporting a hot goth bob and toting around a tuba, but you can bet it’s gonna be a trippy, dark and deliciously twisted ride. And Johnny Depp in a musical. Yes, please! You have to wait until December 18th (the film premieres on Dec. 21st), but by that time, you’ll be ready for some operatically drama-filled musical darkness to counter those cloying visions of sugar plums that have been dancing ’round your egg-nog filled noggin.

The English-born,Wales-raised singer’s new greatest hits disc may be the perfect gift for your best bud who just loves those sensitive, hard-scrabble singer/songwriter types. And there’s nobody better at than David Gray. This collections delivers tunes from Gray’s great White Ladder album (including “Babylon,” “Please Forgive Me” and the brilliant “This Year’s Love”), as well as less-heard earlier gems. And there are two new songs, too! Maybe it’s time for a “Gray Christmas?”

Speaking of musical Davids, the biggest of all has gotta be David Bowie. And devout fans are gonna be giddy of the release of the “David Bowie Box” (on December 4th) which is a commemorative assemblage of Bowie’s five most recent studio albums, including 60+ bonus tracks and all coming in a cool limited edition slipcase. Yep, it’s a lot of Bowie…

And speaking of Bowie and the holidays, I can’t resist posting this video, which is one of the bets holiday-themed TV moments ever…

Hot Swedes: Kristoffer Ragnstam, Jens Lekman, Johnossi
If you wanna look very cool and indie/Euro this holiday season, give your more astute friends music they may not have heard of. Right now Sweden is an insanely fertile ground for hot rock/pop talent, and while most of know about The Hives, Peter Bjorn and John and even pop tartlet Robyn by this time, here are three you should get to know.

– He’s totally cute, and his music treads a pop/rock line, somewhere between Supergrass, Beck and Bloc Party.

– Blissfully melodic and oddball tunes, full of delicate longing and kooky wit. A much less gloomy, more bubbly Magnetic Fields.

– Two cute young Swedes who rock out with a big sound, White Stripes-style.

And finally…

Let’s wrap this up with a bona fide diva! Yes, Kylie’s latest, the much-awaited, X, is out soon as an import. Splurge and buy this one for yourself.

So, I made it to last night for the concert. Which was great, and most of all… It was just fun. Rufus seemed to be having a blast onstage, the crowd (which seemed a pretty balanced mix of older Judy-philes and Rufus fans of all ages: Gay men from ages 25-65; straight couples; showbiz/music notables; downtown hipsters who could afford it; theater-loving women; and savvy NYC culture vultures) was there to adore the entire enterprise from the get-go, and they did. Standing ovations abounded, starting when Rufus first walked out on stage (loved the white Viktor & Rolf suit) and following every one of the “big” Judy songs (a la “The Man That Got Away”).

At times (and noticeably about the time that Rufus got to song #8—“Puttin’ on the Ritz”) you felt like you were watching someone run a triathlon—a very gay, musical triathlon—but Rufus held his own, with fun stories and his obvious affection for the material, and given the effusive, supportive spirit of the audience there was no way he wouldn’t succeed.

(as noted by ) sort of nailed one aspect of the show. writes: “What unfolded onstage was a tour de force of politically empowering performance art in which a proudly gay male performer paid homage to the original and longest-running gay icon in the crowded pantheon of pop divas.” And further: “For those who came to worship, Mr. Wainwright could do no wrong. His courage to stand as a surrogate for every audience member who ever gazed into the mirror and fantasized slipping into Dorothy’s ruby slippers spoke for itself.”

Exactly. That was the fun, shared enthusiasm which was tangible in the hall. But Rufus also just wowed us with the power of his own pipes, which when he just cuts loose and sings, achieved a crystalline gorgeousness.

So, now I’m just gonna hit upon my basic, random notes from the night.

The Songs (my faves, anyway)

“Do It Again” – This was the third song and totally let you know you were in for some real musicianship. Arranged as a sultry cool burn, Rufus owned it. It was sexy and swanky.

“How Long Has This Been Going On” – Another foxy, slow-burner. I guess I loved Rufus most when things slowed down and you could enjoy the richness of the orchestra, and when Rufus could breathe and really infuse a song with his own intensity. This was one of those.

“The Man That Got Away” – A total home run! Of course, the audience was ready to jump up applauding as soon as this one began, but Rufus got well into the whole, needy, chugging drama of it (no shocker there). And it’s such an amazing song… A win-win situation for all involved.

“San Francisco” – My favorite perhaps? (Yep, I’m that gay.) Rufus totally enjoyed this one, majorly. He even explained for the crowd (who I’m sure didn’t need much of a tutorial) about the Jeanette MacDonald references in the song’s intro. The he sang, and pranced grandly around the stage and owned it. The line about “a real gone bridge” may be one of my favorites turns of phrase in music. Rufus’s performance of this number was a total tribute to (and renovation of) traditional gay culture. Yee-haw!

“A Foggy Day in London” – This was just simple, moving and sweet.

“Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart” – Big and fun! Typical of all the big, bouncy Judy favorites, this one rattled through the house happily.

“The Trolley Song” – Rufus was having a ball with this one. Such a fun tune about meeting a cute boy… And impossible to hear and not imagine young Judy in the film “Meet Me in St. Louis.” And Rufus drove that jolly trolley all the way home. This was some totally gay fun.

“Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody” – I’ve never cared for this song, but Rufus and the orchestra seemed to bring out the brassy, gutsy fun of it. Indeed, this was one of the tunes where Rufus seemed unconcerned about tip-toeing in the shadow of Judy. He grabbed this one by the balls and aggressively sang it and turned it out. Bravo!

“Over the Rainbow” – Rufus’ mom, Kate McGarrigle (folk legend) came out and played piano on this one. And evidently, Rufus and Mom have performed this song since he was a toddler. In fact, Rufus explained that back when his parents would have all-night parties, his mother would come and get him out of bed at 3am, and make him come downstairs and sing the song for party guests, as a way of getting them to go home. As he told this anecdote, his mother, seated at the piano seemed wryly bemused. She cracked: “And look where it got you.” Well put, Mom. This was a lovely, heartfelt rendition, delived with Rufus sitting on the edge of the stage. Beautiful.

Encores: “Put On a Happy Face” and “Every Time We Say Goodbye” – Both were lovely and fun. When he started into “Forget your troubles, come on get happy…” I was hoping that maybe Barbra Streisand would stroll out and duet with him (a la the famous duet medley between Streisand and Garland from the 1960s). No such luck. But these were charming, and the simple, sparse rendition of “Every Time We Say Goodbye” (performed with ma Kate back on piano) was a delicate and touching finale.

Other Notes

A big bonus of the night was being reminded how strong all of these standards (which we’re all familiar with perhaps too much) are as musical pieces. Hearing them cranked out in a big, acoustically flawless hall by a full orchestra was a total treat. There’s some seriously good music in there.

Costumes – I loved all the fun, dramatic garb that Viktor & Rolf schemed up. Rufus’ sleek black tux and top hat were perfect for “That’s Entertainment,” which opened up the second act. And then having him doff the hat, jacket and tie and belt out the rest of the show in his black vest and shirtsleeves just worked.

Mom Kate McGarrigle – When she hit the stage in her swinging, shiny gold pantsuit with a sheen-y white blouse, fully made-up with her hair glamorously slicked back, it was fierce. “I feel like Celine Dion,” she cracked, which Rufus and the crowd loved. And I always enjoy the onstage dynamic between Kate and Rufus. She’s always a bit stern, and almost slightly disapproving of him, but in a charmingly, curmudgeonly, comical way. But by the end, after they played the final encore, she was visibly teary and beaming at Rufus. So sweet.

Martha Wainwright – Rufus had his sister come out and sing the tune “Stormy Weather.” Whoa! She tore the roof off, and the crowd freakin’ loved it. First, where did she get all that big, long blonde hair? And that champagne-colored, shiny dress? I loved it. The whole look was very Claudia at La Mirage on Dynasty. But Martha’s wildly loopy and unabashedly histrionic and dramatic delivery of “Stormy Weather” was a fun, guttural contrast to Rufus’ more conscious, effete delivery of much of the material. She was a blast of primal and hormonally fueled fresh air.

Lorna Luft – Fun to see her pop out and duet with Rufus. She certainly seemed happy to be there. But is it shady for me to have wished it had been Liza?

Celeb-spotting: Tons of fancy and fun New York gays, of course. Justin Bond and Kenny Mellman (of Kiki & Herb); cabaret crooner Jack Donahue; NY State Attorney General hopeful Sean Patrick Maloney; Sarah Jessica Parker; Talking Head David Byrne; Laurie Anderson; playwrights Jeff Whitty and Tony Kushner: John Waters; B-52 Fred Schneider; Kristin Johnston; Joel Grey; Patricia Field; Antony; Norah Jones (I think); actor John Benjamin Hickey.

Stories and Chatter: Rufus, as always, was totally engaging in his story-telling on stage. From the beginning with his “We’re not in Kansas anymore…” quip, he related tales of his own Judy devotion and the ordeal of preparing for this concert. The audience learned that as a kid, Rufus used to love to play Wizard of Oz. On good days, he’d put on mom’s apron and be Dorothy, with his little stuffed lamb toy as Toto. On bad days, he’d be the Wicked Witch of the West, and line up his mothers high heels, slip into her dresses and practice “melting” repeatedly. He also told tales of Judy fanatics (including a former drummer from her 1961 Carnegie Hall gig) who’ve approached him, and he gave frequent props to the orchestra and musical director Stephen Oremus, who supported him.

Again, my final analysis was that the night was a big, musical love-in. But it wasn’t a cornball evening of kitsch or self-congratulatory camp at all. More than anything, it was a celebration of two artists. Judy Garland was recognized as a performer with a huge heart, amazing precision, stamina and exuberance—and also of an indestructible cultural relevance and worthiness. Her rather encouraging presence loomed large and benignly over the entire evening.

And for Rufus Wainwright, the concert was a triumph whereby he moves up a notch in the cultural radar, buoyed by his own talents and ambition and courage for undertaking such a task. Here’s a gay man who’s up for renovating our perceived notions of corny, traditional queer culture. By an artist of Rufus’ caliber tackling the Garland songbook, the idea of this being done for kitsch’s sake evaporates in a second, and the enterprise soars due to the raw talents of all of its elements. And in so doing, Rufus demonstrates how we can celebrate the strengths and merits and loopy theatrics of our past, while simultaneously taking it all a step forward. Sure, the cult of Judy and showtunes are a gay cultural touchstone, but the music and its power and the unadulterated wealth of talent backing it up is indisputable and much bigger than any rainbow-tinted cliché.


Will there be any surprises at this year’s ? Not so sure – I feel like it would be hard to top this year’s VMAs in pure-entertainment value. But, of course I’ll be watching – look who’s going to be there: The show already confirmed that Daughtry, Celine Dion, Fergie and Rihanna as performers for the night. Amazing!

The committee announced its yesterday as well; Beyonce, J.T., Daughtry and Linkin Park all earned the most (three nominations each).

Jimmy Kimmel will host the ceremony, which will air November 18…and I actually didn’t know this: The AMAs get their nominees based on record sales, and then they narrow thise down based on national sampling. Hmm…

Check the for the full-list of nominees…after the jump!


Male artist:

Akon, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake

Female artist:

Beyonce, Fergie, Avril Lavigne

Band, duo or group:

Linkin Park, Maroon 5, Nickleback

Album: “Daughtry” (Daughtry), “Minutes To Midnight” (Linkin Park), “FutureSex/LoveSounds” (Justin Timberlake)


Male artist:

Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley

Female artist:

Martina McBride, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood

Band, duo or group:

Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Rascal Flatts


“Let It Go” (Tim McGraw), “Me And My Gang” (Rascal Flatts), “Some Hearts” (Carrie Underwood)

Soul/Rhythm & Blues:

Male artist:

Akon, Ne-Yo, T-Pain

Female artist:

Beyonce, Fantasia, Rihanna


“B’Day” (Beyonce), “Double Up” (R. Kelly), “FutureSex/Love Sounds” (Justin Timberlake)

Rap/Hip Hop:

Male artist:

Fabolous, T.I., Young Jeezy

Band, duo or group:

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Pretty Ricky, Shop Boyz


“Strength & Loyalty” (Bones Thugs-N-Harmony), “T.I. vs. T.I.P.” (T.I.), “The Inspiration” (Young Jeezy)

Adult Contemporary:


Daughtry, Norah Jones, John Mayer



Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, the White Stripes



Daddy Yankee, Juan Luis Guerra y 440, Jennifer Lopez

Contemporary Inspirational:


Casting Crowns, Jeremy Camp, tobyMac


Album: “Dreamgirls,” “Hairspray,” “High School Musical 2”


New artist:

Daughtry, Plain White T’s, Robin Thicke

Annie Lennox’s album won’t be out until October 2, but you can listen to the new single right here: "."

Songs of Mass Destruction will mark Annie’s fourth solo album; one of the 12 tracks, a feminist anthem called "Sing," will feature contributions from 23 different female musicians, including Celine Dion, Melissa Etheridge, Madonna, Fergie, Shakira, Beth Gibbons, Faith Hill, Angelique Kidjo, Beverley Knight, Gladys Knight, KD lang, Sarah McLachlan, Pink, Joss Stone and KT Tunstall…just to name a few.

That’s so nuts! I am more than impressed, Annie.

The black suit Rachel has on in this scene, is a perfect example of “Broadcast Journalism Lady Fierceness”™

Whether they’re trying to balance love and career, reporting and sensationalism, or a stack of papers and a venti coffee (extra black), broadcast journalism movie ladies have brought us fast-paced entertainment for years. These women know what’s important. They’re willing to risk it all for a big story. When that camera is rolling and America is watching, they know it’s go big or pack up those shoulder pads, and go home.

With the DVD release of today, it only seemed appropriate to take a look back at the memorable movie characters who have SERVED us the news honey over the last 30 years or so. So finish up that chapter in , resolve that lingering tension with your co-anchor, and give your cab driver directions to get home extra fast, because we’ve got a show to do. [CUE THEME MUSIC]

This James L. Brooks film may be the standard bearer by which all broadcast journalism lady films can be measured. Holly Hunter plays Jane Craig, a network news producer based in Washington who LOVES the news. I’m talking, power-walking-every-morning-to-buy-seven-newspapers loves the news. She eventually becomes caught in a love triangle between William Hurt and Albert Brooks, two male reporters on her newscast. The best things about this movie is Joan Cusack’s hair while she’s running, a cameo by Jack Nicholson, and Holly Hunter constantly bursting into tears. Oh, and it’s one of the best romantic comedies ever. I BURIED THE LEDE.

QUESTION: What would you do if you were an upstart news reporter and your first boss was Robert Redford? ANSWER: You would use him to further your serious news career while simultaneously falling in love with him. That’s basically what Michelle Pfeiffer’s character, Tally Atwater, does in Up Close and Personal. This movie is basically A Star Is Born in a news room. Way too much of the movie is set in a prison during an inmate riot, but other than that it’s pretty good. Up Close and Personal also has the added plus of including that Celine Dion song “Because You Loved Me.” Broadcast Journalism ladies + easy listening soft rock = a match made in pantsuit heaven. Now whenever you hear this song you can think of Robert Redford singing it to you while you’re sporting an early ‘90s bob.

Wow. Is this Nicole Kidman’s best film or is it? In broadcast journalism lady movies, if you desperately want to break into the industry it either means you are “inspirational” or a “ruthless, conniving slut.” Nicole Kidman’s Suzanne Stone in this film, is definitely the latter. Suzanne DESPERATELY wants to be a world famous news anchor. When her husband asks her to take some time off from a local weather girl job to focus on their family, she does what any career-minded girl would do, she gets rid of him. Suzanne eventually gets what’s coming to her in the end, but not before that chasing her broadcast television dreams until the very last frame. THAT’S dedication.

The on-the-scene reporting continues after the break. How’s my hair holding up?

Bridget Jones is undeniably one of the best movie characters of all time. From her self-deprecating humor to her constant uphill battles with life, she constantly inspires. Who hasn’t had one of those nights where all you can do is smoke a couple fags, drink an entire bottle of wine, and listen to a Celine Dion album. (Fact: Broadcast journalism ladies love Celine Dion almost as much as they love shoulder length haircuts.) When Bridget quits her job after a messy break-up with her boss, she finds redemption (well, kind of) as a television journalist. With the help of Colin Firth, she scores a big interview and climbs her way to the top. I think I need to start keeping a diary.

Sarah Jessica Parker plays unlucky talk show host Natalie Lake in this darkly comedic parody of science fiction B movies directed by Tim Burton. After Martians arrive on Earth promising they come in peace, they start pretty much murdering everything in sight. This is much more entertaining than the prison riot scene in Up Close and Personal. Unfortunately, poor Natalie gets stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time while reporting at one of the alien landings. She gets abducted, and her head is switched with her pet Chihuahua. Hey, no one said broadcast journalism was easy, did they? [See Above: No. They Didn’t.]

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Is Courteney Cox’s Gale Weathers the best character in the entire Scream franchise? If not, she definitely ranks pretty high. Gale is a tabloid reporter who has a long history with the protagonist of the films, Sidney Prescott, after accusing her of lying about her mother’s death. Throughout the horror series, she manages to both report on the murders while also saving others and avoiding being killed herself. Multitasking is very important for a career in broadcast journalism. Also, who could forget Parker Posey playing an actress playing Gale in Scream 3. “What are you doing?? BEING GALE WEATHERS” and “My agent liked that” are lines that anyone can easily, and should, work into every day conversation. We’ll have to stay tuned to see what happens to Gale in .

Uploaded by . –

The 1976 film Network is a biting satire of network news, and its never-ending quest for higher ratings. When news anchor Howard Beale has a breakdown on air, the television channel’s executives decide to keep him in front of the camera and the station’s ratings soar. One of the executives who make this decision is Diana Christensen played by Faye Dunaway. The only thing more cutthroat then Faye Dunaway in this movie, are Faye Dunaway’s blouses in this movie. This is a Programming Executive who knows how to fit some 1970s tailoring into her busy decision-making news days, ok? Dunaway won an Academy Award for her performance in this film, and you definitely don’t want to miss it. “Is That Clear?”

One of the funniest movies of the last 20 years, Drop Dead Gorgeous is about a beauty pageant in the small town of Mount Rose, Minnesota, and the lengths that one of the contestants’ mother (played by Kirstie Alley) and her daughter will go to win. The innocent counterpoint to their ruthlessness is Amber Atkins, a beautician at the local funeral home who just wants to follow the example of her role model, Diane Sawyer. Through a series of events, Amber is able finally land a job on a local Minneapolis-St. Paul television station, and the loveable Kirsten Dunst gets the happy ending she deserves. You betcha.

Uploaded by . –

This “film that launched a thousand catch phrases” stars Will Ferrell as a news anchor in the 1970s threatened by a new female colleague. That colleague is Christina Applegate, who knows how to WORK some bell-bottoms. In addition, she has one of the best broadcast journalism lady names ever: Veronica Corningstone. Per usual, Veronica gets a bit carried away by her unquenchable thirst to read a teleprompter while being filmed, but luckily it all works out in the end.

Uploaded by . –

Which bring us to Morning Glory. This adorable film was released last year, and features Rachel McAdams as Becky Fuller, a television news producer who just really loves producing. Like, it gives her as much fulfillment as her crackberry addiction and running in heels. Meanwhile, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton play a pair of anchors who struggle to get along on the air and off. In fact, this movie incorporates themes from many past Broadcast Journalism Lady Movies. Becky has Holly Hunter’s love of news in Broadcast News, goes through a career rebound similar to Bridget Jones, and oversees a newscast makeover like in Network. However, Morning Glory has something none of these movies have. That thing is Patrick Wilson.

Remember them?

Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda might actually make it to the multiplex. Word has it that “substantial negotiations” have begun between to finally get their sh*t together and ! Of course, I’m still waiting for the big-screen smash, “The Golden Girls Movie: Shady Pines or Bust!”

A poster at the opening of Prince’s new 3121 club in Vegas last night. Wear your diamonds and pearls, yo!

isn’t just a nebulously named, hard-to-pin-down musical genius. He’s also a clubowner and restaurateur. Turns out the purple powerhouse has at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Vegas. And, Prince himself will at the club on Friday and Saturday nights. And… There’s a restaurant, too. Take that Celine!

Shakira and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters: Strange hotel bedfellows?

Perhaps not to be outdone, (how those two got together, I’ll never know) have formed a joint business venture, in the Bahamas for $16 million, and are and selling off prime seaside property. Okaaayyy…

Sing out, Kate!

Pete Doherty—he’ll take a pass on.

The late Johnny Cash: Still crankin’ out videos!

Speaking of Kate Moss, she and just about (mostly music biz stars, like Kanye, Justin Timberlake, Iggy Pop, Sharon Stone, Bono, Dixie Chicks, Johnny Depp and on and on) , “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.”

Young Love: You’re gonna hear from him!

And thanks to an early nod from (from a week or so back, actually), here’s a head’s up about , whose tune “Discotech” is ripping up the NYC club kingdom. YL is basically the musical moniker for Dan Keyes, who serves up zingy, rocking dancey music that (to quote Arjan, who put it pretty aptly) suggests Franz Ferdinand meets Justin Timberlake. You’ll also hear echoes of The Killers, which is no big surprise as the same record honchos at Island are guiding YL’s release, due in January 2007. (In fact, check the pic of Dan and Brandon below. They’re like, BFF’s!) Listen to YL’s tune and dig up more dish and . And watch Logos’ and catch the “Discotech” video.

Flowers & Love: They go so nicely together…

Yes, this did happen – and yes, Canadian kooky makes it everything you could possibly imagine; she even tries to beat box! On her CBS special, "That’s Just The Woman in Me," Celine brought on stage to perform his remixed version of her track "Eyes On Me."

The remix is actually really good; I kind of wish Celine would stop lip-synching, though. And I can’t decide which moment is more wondrously awkward: Celine shaking her skeleton hips while telling to keep "his eyes on her" or Celine escorting off stage because he has a broken foot!

Watch the video after the jump…

Beyonce as Aida? It’s as "Easy as Life." Hillary gets some female fan action. And Mariah’s next movie is, like, totally good. Hurrah!

might star in ! Are theater folks fussy that Heather Headley might get dissed? Whattya think?

Yay! A Why wasn’t this voted as Hill’s official song? Celine who?

Evidently, ’s next flick Tennessee is, like, totally . Which would be amaaaaazing. I thought she should have won for that catfight with herself in the ladies room in the “Heartbreaker” video. Bitch was robbed!


Ummm, there’s a lot going on with . MTV will help you sort it out.

Poor just keeps getting . It’s enough to drive a gal to drink. Er, wait a minute…

Remember that from a few weeks back? So does queer porn company Dark Alley Media. They’re planning . Har!

oft-nipped-and-tucked lead singer today in Britain. Awwww… How can that not be nice news? Congrats!

. No, not the movie, sillies.

Time to play "Where’s Wintour?" courtesy of Radar’s Fashion Week Anna Wintour stalkers.-

After three years of retirement, Cher is snatching up Celine Dion’s Las Vegas throne.-

Amy Winehouse won’t be performing – or attempting to perform – at the Grammies ‘cause we Americans rejected her app for a visa.-

Charlize Theron sat between two Harvard students in drag for their ‘Hasty Pudding’ Parade. They just gave her some dumb, brass pot!–

The sultry Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley is hard at work on her second solo album.-

Gawker posted a very gay (and booty-baring) ad; they also want your “modern gay lover” stories!-

The new Get Smart trailer is online! Lovin’ 99’s hair! –

A 16-year-old boy planned to crash a plane into a Hannah Montana concert. –

Lo Bosworth – a.k.a. the best thing about Laguna Beach – will move in with L.C. and Audrina for The Hills’ new season! Let’s hope she flashes "her Britney" again! –

Queen Latifah, Jake Gyllenhaal and Celine Dion are among a few celebrities to wish Ellen a Happy 50 with “I Will Survive” karaoke. –

Peter Pan-ified Tina Fey, Gisele Bundchen and Mikhail Baryshnikov are the latest subjects in Annie Leibowitz’s weird Disney photo shoots.

Courtney Love, all cleaned up and arriving at the Oscars in 1997.

Today’s highlighted diva in the running for is…

Just mentioning her name can send people into gushy odes of rock goddess worship, or vitriolic diatribes about what a malevolent, destructive force she’s been. She’s been called “the second-most famous rock widow of all-time (after Yoko Ono)”—that nugget appears in an awesome cover story in just out now—and along the way, the former Mrs. Kurt Cobain has been a movie star, a red-carpet tornado, an alleged drug-addled mess, and a constant media fascination. Not to mention a mom. And even today we have in the press that “the girl with the most cake” has just for the latest issue of the British magazine, . Hey… Once a diva, always a diva.

The “Queen of Rock ‘N’ Roll?”

Frankly, I think Love’s a rock survivor. And I’d say that ’s album stands up as one of the best rock records of the 1990s (and that’s given some formidable company). Say what you will about Ms. Love, she’s nothing if not direct, candid, fearless (even if sometimes a bit of hesitancy might serve her well) and outspoken. The current story in reveals that she’s also funny, smart and back in the game with some big new projects coming your way.

Courtney on the cover of the current issue of V Magazine.

And inside the current issue of V.

She’s just released a scrapbook/diary tome, , which the U.K.Guardian newspaper called “a hugely pictorial collection of personal artefacts – school reports, scribbled notes, bits of actual diary, letters, photographs (many of them featuring Courtney in various stages of casual disrobement), song lyrics and tons of other ephemera – that she has, apparently, stuffed into what must be a particularly roomy handbag.”

Love, with Woody Harrelson, as Althea and Larry Flynt in 1996′s The People Vs. Larry Flynt.

Love and daughter Frances Bean Cobain, earlier this year. And with Josh Groban and Celine Dion (say what?) backstage at the World Music Awards in 2004. They’re watching Whitney Houston perform. Whoa!

Love’s next record is due on the spring, and it comes with songwriting and producing work courtesy of Billy Corgan and Linda Perry. Perry herself recently hailed the virtues and talents of Love when she pronounced publicly: Perry told . “Damn it all to hell. She is the last one.”

Love, as her Hole iconic self in the “Doll Parts” video.

Feeling Courtney? Go her classic Hole track, and see if she’s worth your . If you don’t, I may just send Courtney over herself, and you’ll have to deal with her.

To check out other to watch and upon, go

I chose as today’s diva (whom you can vote for in ), because it’s Thanksgiving, and I’m thankful that she’s splitting up with her husband Bobby Brown. Not that I even know truly what the dynamic might be between those two, but I welcome anything that might help put Whitney back on course to reclaiming (if that’s even possible) her place as one of the world’s best voices and most sparkling pop divas.

I mean, it was a long time ago, but I remember Whitney back during her and days. She was so elegant and squeaky clean, she made Celine Dion look street. I don’t know where along the way she got derailed, with all the rumors about her drug abuse, and her bizarre behavior, and jittery interviews where she crows “Crack is whack!” It’s rather hard to reconcile that early, seemingly innocent Whitney with the older, broken figure that we’ve seen in recent years.

Whitney serves up “The Greatest Love of All.” Shiny!

Whitney wants to dance with somebody. Hopefully, somebody who likes BIG hair.

But like I said, I’m thankful that she seems to be taking her life in a new direction. Because she does have (if it’s still there) one of the best singing instruments around. And when she’s on it,

Whitney nails “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl in 1991.

The video showing as part of the is her And it’s nuts! That crazy jewelry, that intense choker necklace thing, the jagged hair, and that crowd of sisters who are over dealing with their no-count men—it’s brilliant. (As is the infamous Thunderpuss remix of that song, which will forever be a gay dance floor anthem.)

So forget about the awful, base spectacle of Being Bobby Brown. Think clean and shiny from The Preacher’s Wife. Think Think of the Whitney who scored 7 consecutive #1 hits (matching records by The Beatles and the Bee Gees). If you must, think of the Whitney how had a record-breaking stint in the #1 spot with her cover of Dolly Parton’s That song is a pop cliche now, but she nailed it.

Whitney, with Bobby visiting Israel. (Okaayyyyy…) And last month with Clive Davis, looking good again. Things can only get better.

Vote for , and if you’re feeling it.

And Happy Thanksgiving! See you Monday!

And I am telling you, I am soooo going to see the minute it gets released this December. In the meantime, the lucky suckers in Cannes got a chance to peek at the film today. There was a special “preview” of the movie, with the stars in attendance, including , , director , and our fave American Idol veteran (pictured above), who gets to play big, beautiful, bodacious Effie—and who gets to sing the musical’s mega-song “And I Am Telling You (I’m Not Going)” made famous by the .

Sure, Beyonce showed up looking all skinny and cute, but we’re f-ing lovin’ Effie!

Meanwhile, in Vegas, met the press to announce plans for her . Watch out Celine! Scooch over Elton! Toni’s gonna get

And gay super-director ’s latest, —which stars two of his regulars, and — today, too. It’s a comedy/ghost story/serious drama—of sorts. And it’s all about powerful women. Hurrah! And it was met with at film’s end. Bravo and stuff!

Um, and somewhere in Berlin, Famke Janssen, Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry posed in front of a wall covered with logos in German. And yep, that’s kind of the entire news story there… Can anyone tell me which X-Men the little dog on the left is? Is there an X-Man called Poochy, perhaps?

Speaking of drama queens, former New Jersey Governor and “Gay American” is going . Ya think she’s gonna read him to filth?

Rejoice! It’s time for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, one of the strangest, most amusing and campiest European traditions around. Begun in 1956, Eurovision was meant to broker peace, unity and uh, joy among members of the European Broadcasting Union. Over the years, the contest has helped discover some major musical talent — like Abba! and Celine Dion! — but it’s also just an amazing over-the-top show, filled with spectacle and showmanship and amazingly bad pop songs. And absolutely no irony.

How It Works: Each country submits one musical act to represent it. Fans then vote for their favorites over a series of rounds. Right now, we’re in the semifinals. The Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Russia. Russia’s entry is Buranoskiye Babushki, a team of six grandmas who sang “Party for Everybody.”

Yes, there is no rhyme or reason to who or what gets submitted to Eurovision — or who wins. A few years ago, Finnish rock band Lordi took home top honors. This is what they look like:

Some of it is earnest. A lot of it is not. Making a return trip to Eurovision this year, representing Ireland, are creepy, plucky twins Jedward. Here they are in their semi-final alien silver suits. These guys are the living, breathing embodiment of annoying.

Then there’s these spunky kids from Moldova, Pasha Parfeny. I always associated Moldova with crushing poverty and human trafficking but that’s all changing now!

Sadly, one contestant who’s already out of the semifinals is Austria’s terribly named Trackshittaz, whose track Woki Mit Deim Pop was apparently about shaking your ass. Here they are. Auf Wiedersehn!

All photos courtesy Getty Images.

Lindsey isn’t a very good singer. Nor is she a particularly bad singer. That, and a typical weakness for attention from strangers, is what makes her at her happiest while performing karaoke. Ever since she discovered that belting Tammy Wynette and 4 Non Blondes in front of crowds substituted perfectly for therapy, she’s been pressuring her friends to listen to her sing weekly at a plethora of karaoke bars across NYC. Meanwhile, while not singing, she’s developed very strong opinions about what constitutes the proper etiquette of karaoke–everything from song choice to mic-handling technique. Her opinions (while regarded trustworthy by some of the greatest karaoke’ers in town) are her own, so feel free to disregard. After all, if you’re just dying to sing “Don’t Stop Believin’” you’ll probably just go ahead and sing it. Send your karaoke questions for Lindsey to karaokeconfessional AT

What’s the modest and appropriate response when someone compliments you on your ABSOLUTELY PERFECT PERFORMANCE of a song you have been performing at karaoke for 10 years? –Amy

Your grinning “thank you” will suffice, and so will the suggestion that the complimenter buy you a drink (or another song). Congrats on your perfection, Amy.

Speaking of…

I love karaoke, but I feel dumb doing it because… I have a pretty good singing voice? And I feel dumb suggesting it as a group activity because I feel like people are thinking “oh, of COURSE she wants to do karaoke because she is good at singing.” You may be wondering, how good actually is this letter writer’s singing voice? Does she just think she’s really good but really no one else does or gives a hoot? So, for the purposes of this letter, I will tell you that one time I won amateur night at the Apollo. –Alison

You guys are really good singers, apparently, because I got three (3) versions of this exact question. Well Alison, (also: Amy (above) and Sadia, who both asked similar questions) first of all: congratulations on your beautiful singing voice. No sarcasm intended, as I am truly jealous of your naturally graceful vocal cords. Secondly, when I karaoke and a good singer steps up to the plate, for me it is truly a magical experience. Not only can they redeem the night, but they also can redeem karaoke ITSELF for those dragged to the bar by friends. Who knows, your performance might turn a karaoke-hater into a karaoke-lover (or even a karaoke-doer!) Trust me, it’s your own egotistical (sorry!) self-consciousness that’s making you worried about others’ perceptions. All you’ll receive are compliments.

Again, a good karaoke singer is likely to get cheers, which makes them feel great and feeling great doing karaoke is the bottom line. Stage presence makes up for a less-than-perfect singers, and you’ve already got the voice. You won’t even have to work as hard as the rest of us.

One thing I will request of you gifted singers: please choose songs that are challenging to you and stay away from the ones I sing to properly disguise my less-than-gifted voice. Hey man, I need them! Belt yourself some and step awayyyyy from my Fleetwood Mac. And on that thought, good singers: ABSOLUTELY NO MUSICALS. I don’t care how good of a singer you are. Ace the vocal runs in “Halo” like I know you can. Again: No musicals.

I need to work up a new song in honor of my friend’s bachelor party. Thinking No Mercy’s “Where Do You Go”? Literally my only other karaoke is Roy Orbison’s “I Drove All Night”, which often leads to me trying to guess how far to transpose the Celine version so I don’t have to scream (Spoiler: I have a 20% success rate in this matter). If you have any good ideas for fail-proof songs that I can awkwardly sing to my friend, I would appreciate it! P.S. I am male, and can sing medium-well. –Tim

Ah, karaoke bachelor(ette) parties. The only kind, in my opinion. Unless you can get strippers to sing karaoke OR karaoke singers to strip while they sing. (Please call me if you can provide either of those services.) Since you’ve opened this door wide open for me, can I suggest a strategy that works (almost) every time? If you’re a dude, sing a song originally sung by a woman. It’s that simple. When a dude sings a song originally sung by a woman, in my past experiences, it brings the house down. My friend Steven does a version of ’s “I Kissed A Girl” that brings tears to my eyes.

And now that you have double the options (and a medium-well singing voice!), I have some suggestions for you. Songs of adoration that will go over so well with your flawless gender switcheroo, I promise: Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man” (listen to Lyle!), Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know”, Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There”, Madonna’s “Like A Virgin”, Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”, Shania Twain’s “From This Moment On.” All beautiful love songs for your BFF groom-to-be.

And if all else fails, go with Billy Idol’s “White Wedding.”

Last Week:
is a writer living in Brooklyn. Her karaoke bar of choice is Montero’s Bar & Grill and she limits herself to singing “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes only once a month. You can . Send your karaoke questions for Lindsey to karaokeconfessional AT

The NY Times called , a.k.a. music project Final Fantasy, "The World’s Most Popular Gay Postmodern Harpsichord Nerd." Mmm – dreamy. Well, Owen certainly up-ed the gay factor when he ‘s "The Power of Love" at a release party for an anti-Celine book called, Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste. Ouch.

No comment on the Celine-hatred; I know he loved it, and the video’s totally adorable. Before singing, Owen even admits he considered performing an a capella "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" in a dress. Aw!

More on Final Fantasy after the jump – and a fellow gay, indie musician!

Owen posing with fellow gay music-y, Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear. Who knew they hung out?

I can’t embed the clip of Owen doing his violin , but follow that link to watch the video. And check out his video for the single "He Poos Clouds" below, if he’s caught your interest.

He is intriguing; I’ll have to revisit him soon. But how about a little background on the gay singer from Ontario? Well, first off, he got the name for his act from the Japanese video game series, comparing his musical stylings to the whole concept. He’s said…

"I like the idea of it, this big gay thing. … The games are ridiculously overwrought and convoluted emotionally."

Very true, Owen. I love that he’s a gay-mer. As far as music, Owen has toured with and arranged for Arcade Fire and later, along with his friend, Leon Taheny, released his debut album, Has A Good Home. He followed up with an EP called Young Canadian Mothers.

Owen has said Canadian, German and French music journalists – not surprisingly – love his music, but added the "impatient ears" of the U.S. and U.K. aren’t as enthusiastic. Fair enough; but I’m really feeling "." I guess he does know his Final Fantasy.

Having gone solo, Owen released the LP in 2006. Check out the video for the album’s title track below; there are some cool animated, fantasy sequences – along with the cute, violin-playing Owen himself. These sequences actually remind me more of Shadow of the Colossus than of Final Fantasy – but OK, nobody played that…

Mariah Carey rubs it on thick this week.

Insiders commonly remark that pop superstar is among the most down to earth of that perpetually otherworldly creature, the celebrity. True to her reputation, Mimi will continue to exude a pleasant aroma tomorrow, when she debuts her sweet new fragrance, , with a daylong spritz of prime media opportunities.

On Tuesday, October 23, Carey is scheduled to flaunt her scent of a woman with morning appearances on NBC’s The Today Show and ABC’s The View, and in the afternoon at in New York City, where she will officially launch M by Mariah Carey. There, despite her benevolent reputation, only customers who signed on early to purchase the fragrance sets at varying levels of VIP (make that “very important perfume”) status will be treated to meetings, autographs and photos with the diva.

Based on its own description, Carey’s eau de parfum, designed by Carlos Benaim and Loc Dong, sounds like a better than average first date:

“M by Mariah Carey opens with an indulgent, creamy accord and blooms into an opulent floral heart as a rich base reveals darker, sensual facets.”

Fans also spray generally positive comments in this .

Carey joins the seemingly who have released fragrances, including musical heavyweights like Kylie Minogue, Celine Dion. Christine Aguilera, and Gwen Stefani. However, if it seems like her mild perfume is taking a concentrated step on Madonna’s turf by using the initial, M, just wait until February. has it that both Mimi and Madge could be releasing competitive new albums around that time.

Smells like trouble.

Looooove the yellow Bardot hair, and the retro light fixture accessory. Madness and joy! Gaga!

were the usual bonkers parade of uninspired awardees and kooky/WTF onstage moments, like any good award show should be. opened the show (see below), Taylor Swift duetted with Stevie Nicks (and Ms. Swift’s vocals were very train wrecky; Stevie should have given her a booty bump pre-show), , mashed up with “If I Were a Boy” and proved to be a flawless machine (as always), and Celine Dion’s knobby knees came at you in 3D. Sort of like Roberta Flack’s face.

Taylor Swift won a buttload of trophies, and Beyonce and Gaga scored some too. Just read the to get schooled. I’m just gonna post a lot of pics and offer comments. But nothing’s better than . That’s really all you need to see.

also served up . Bless!

After the jump see freaky pics, and watch a bit of Taylor Swift, Stevie Nicks and Beyonce performing.

Here’s a snippet of Beyonkers raging with “You Oughtta Know”:

And now some pics…

Yikes! Adam Lambert is serving us red-carpet Oompah-Loompah skin tones with Liberace realness. Tone it down, gurl!

Oh, HELL no! Who is this bossy backstage power-bottom PR handler-woman all up in Beyonce’s bizness? That pointy finger is shrieking “To the left, TO THE LEFT” at Sasha Fierce. Maybe she thinks she’s talking to Solange???

Aaahhhhh, look at Brit-Brit sitting all demurely in the audience. It’s kinda sweet. And sad. She looks nice and sane, but I miss crazy Britney.

I practically exploded when I realized that Taylor Swift (who I sort of really like) and Stevie Nicks (who I utterly worship) were going to do a duet. Then Miss Taylor sort of barfed her way through “Rhiannon” totally off-key. Tragic. The gals sounded better (and Stevie rocked her tambourine) on “You Belong With Me” but I fear it was too late for redemption. Oy.

Watch a teensy bit of this mess below.

My best friend Leslie says she’s just being Gaga…

Gaga, clearly NOT “Speechless” cuz I can hear her crotch from here!

I’m guessing this isn’t the first time Elton John has had big, black, gloved hands jutting upwards in his general vicinity. Gaga is clearly amused.

P!nk is leaking all over the stage. Er… ewwwwww.

I don’t care who knows it: Joe Jonas, boring as he may be, is totally doing it for me in those glasses. Grrrrroooowwwwlllllll!!!!!

Even overrated Ke$ha is all like, “WTF??? Who is this little elfin girl-child onstage next to me?” This is some kind of weird baby-sitting gig gone very wrong.

Glee’s Lea Michele is looking so hot even Ricky Martin is turned on. Except that he’s not. Because… Well, you know why. Ahem.

Okay, I know Roberta Flack is a total legend. But I’m sorry… She’s looking like Mrs. Garrett meets that big orange stone-man creature from the Fantastic Four. She is killing me, and she is NOT doing it softly.

Say what you want about batty, bonkers, skinny Celine Dion, but bless her heart, she always commits to whatever she’s doing. She is truly FEELING this lame 3D Michael Jackson tribute number. Attagirl, CeCe.

And then there’s Beyonce, who’s gorgeous even when you can’t see her.

Annnnnndd… We’re out.

– Grace Chu from

American Idol is getting a fourth judge — the smart, capable and sexy songwriter, artist and business owner Kara DioGuardi.

"Kara who?" you ask. Her name may not ring a bell, but unless you have been living in a cave or are one of those people who proclaim themselves to be too "enlightened" for Top 40 music, you have definitely heard her work on the radio. Her work includes Kelly Clarkston‘s "Walk Away," Christina Aguilera‘s "Ain’t No Other Man," Gwen Stefani‘s "Rich Girl," The Pussycat Dolls‘ "Beep," Ashlee Simpson‘s "Pieces of Me," Nick Lachey‘s "What’s Left of Me" and many others.

In fact, it looks like an artist cannot be considered part of pop music royalty unless he or she has collaborated with Kara DioGuardi. From her :

Kara’s songs have been recorded by Grammy award-winning artists such as … Santana, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Marc Anthony and Pink. Scores of major recording artists including Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Jewel, Jonas Brothers… Hannah Montana, Natasha Bedingfield, Puddle of Mudd, Theory of a Deadman, Daddy Yankee, Ashley Tisdale, Katharine McPhee, Taylor Hicks, Bo Bice, Clay Aiken, Jesse McCartney, Backstreet Boys… Hilary Duff, Cheetah Girls 3, Camp Rock, Jessica Simpson… have recorded and released Kara’s songs. DioGuardi has achieved equal success internationally with hit singles for artists such as Enrique Iglesias, Anastacia, Ricky Martin, Kylie Minogue, Diego, Belinda, RBD, Eros Ramazzotti, Delta Goodrem, Darius, Thalia and Martine McCutcheon.

DioGuardi also co-owns the music publishing powerhouse Arthouse Entertainment.

"We are turning the heat up on Idol this year and are thrilled to welcome Kara to the judges’ table," said creator and executive producer Simon Fuller. "She is a smart, sassy lady, and one of America’s most successful songwriters. We know she will bring a new level of energy and excitement to the show."

Turning up the heat indeed. In addition to being creative and business-savvy, she is a looker.

Meanwhile, Paula Abdul, a mere few hours after the announcement, gave an uncharacteristically lukewarm about the new judge: "I am concerned about the audience and acceptance," said Abdul. Usually, Paula is forthcoming with mostly incoherent compliments, but compliments nonetheless. Don’t worry, Paula. You still have a niche carved out for yourself. For example, I doubt DioGuardi will ever come up with crazy gems like this:

Paula, you will always be special. And don’t you forget it!

The new season of Idol begins in January.

You like them, Canadians! You really like them! The Canadian Academy announced their music picks yesterday, and took the lead with six nominations – two of which were for her albums D’Elles and Taking Chances.

Avril Lavigne and Michael Buble came in second with five nominations each; and of course, Feist is in there somewhere. Not sure what Fergie Ferg’s doing, though! The show will air in April.

Check out the full list of nominees after the jump…

Avril Lavigne
Celine Dion
Claude Dubois
Michael Buble
Nelly Furtado

"Girlfriend," Avril Lavigne
"1234," Feist
"Paralyzer," Finger Eleven
"Seven Day Fool," Jully Black
"Everything," Michael Buble

Lost Highway, Bon Jovi
The Dutchess, Fergie
Noel, Josh Groban
Good Girl Gone Bad, Rihanna
Timbaland Presents Shock Value, Timbaland

The Best Damn Thing, Avril Lavigne
D’Elles, Celine Dion
Taking Chances, Celine Dion
The Reminder, Feist
Call Me Irresponsible, Michael Buble

Avril Lavigne
Celine Dion
Michael Buble
Pascale Picard

Arcade Fire
Blue Rodeo
Finger Eleven

Jeremy Fisher
Justin Nozuka
Serena Ryder
Suzie McNeil

Faber Drive
State of Shock

Neon Bible, Arcade Fire
LP, Holy Fuck
Close to Paradise, Patrick Watson
The Con, Tegan and Sara
Welcome to the Night Sky, Wintersleep

For the moment, I can tentatively—tentatively— forgive Ke$ha’s new single.

It’s called “Die Yong,” and it was just released today. If you haven’t heard it, it sounds like this…

And… um… it’s okay. It sounds exactly like a Ke$ha song (except for the opening few seconds, which sound exactly like the opening of  “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida. .)

And that’s fine. Ke$ha songs are good. They mix club beats and a shitty attitude with rap-singing and a whole mess of AutoTune. They’re a little rebellious, a little robotic, and catchy as hell.

I can’t be mad at “Die Young” for being all of those things.

But here’s the thing: For months and months, we’ve been promised that Ke$ha’s new album is going to sound different than her previous material. Apparently, , which suggests a transition to straight-up rock music. That could be interesting, and more importantly, it could suggest that Ke$ha has a real artistic personality and isn’t just a slave to the sound that made her famous.

She needs to break away from that sound pretty quickly, since it’s already getting stale. When One Direction’s new song—the similarly titled ““—sounds like a Ke$ha track, with its thumping party chorus and snotty posturing, and when Jessie J and Cher Lloyd are both making careers as Ke$ha 2, then it’s time to change or become irrelevant. If Ke$ha stays in her current lane, she’ll get trapped in her moment, and when pop music inevitably takes a new path, she’ll get left behind. Everyone will just associate her with 2011 and assume she has no future. (Celine Dion and Boyz II Men couldn’t stop making power ballads, and look what happened to them when the 90s went away.)

That’s why it’s a bummer that “Die Young” sounds like a typical Ke$ha song. Why does anyone need to listen to it, if they’ve already got “Tik Tok” or “We R Who We R” on their iPods? Why buy the third version of a song you’ve already bought twice?

However,  maybe Ke$ha’s label thinks her fans want a gentle intro to the new sound. Maybe “Die Young” is just the comforting appetizer before the surprising main course. If it is, then I can forgive it. But if it’s just the first wave in an ocean of “same old Ke$ha,” then I’ll know it was the song that started the end of her career.


Mark Blankenship didn’t realize how much he was looking forward to this song until he was disappointed by it. He tweets as @IAmBlankenship

Not only did the NRJs (the French Grammies, kind of) award gay icon their "NRJ Award of Honor" – presented it to her! I’m not implying anything, but I’m almost overloaded. … and guess which CD won "Best International Album of the Year." … Britney’s Blackout. Seriously! I love it!

The award show – in Cannes, France – had some standout performances as well: Kylie rocked "In My Arms;" Mika performed "Relax;" Rihanna did "Don’t Stop the Music;" and Celine sang "Taking Chances." Gay, gay and more gay!

You know I’ve got them all for you … including Mika presenting to Kylie … after the jump!

So you’ve got to watch Kylie perform "In My Arms" in her futuristic, collared mini-dress; but almost more importantly, watch Mika give her the award at the end of the clip. It’s in French … "Kee-lee Minooogue!"

I don’t speak French very well anymore, but if you’re curious, I’m pretty sure Mika just asks Kylie if she can understand him, to which she replies, ‘almost everything;’ he then lists her achievements in music for the past 20 years, praising her record sales and her ability to reinvent herself. But how funny is Kylie? She’s more excited to meet Mika than he is to meet her; she totally wants him to be her BF!

And this one is Mika performing "Relax;" his booty-shaking is pretty damn awkward, but I still like him. That song must not be easy to sing, either; he’s so talented!

And here’s Rihanna performing "Don’t Stop the Music" – my favorite track. Rihanna’s new hair looks totally hot, but no comment on her outfit. OK, a little one: It manages to be both heinous and boring. What happened?

And finally: the wonders of Celine. … But, is she lip-synching? It can’t be…

Kylie, after landing in Tokyo yesterday; and onstage in London for her last Aphrodite UK gig.

After two months of nonstop shows, just wrapped the UK & European legs of her glamapaloozaAphrodite/Les Folies tour last week. But there’s no rest for the lovely diva, as she just yesterday to prep for her Japan dates this weekend. (Nope, no fearful Japan cancellations for Kylie. This showgirl must go on!) And while in Tokyo, Ms. Minogue added her celebrity oomph to fundraising efforts for.

Then, after shows in Japan Sat-Mon, she heads to North America for her (sponsored by Logo), with a gig in Montreal on Thurs (4/28) and then she’ll roll in to Boston next Friday (4/29) for the first of 13 U.S. shows.

Get a teaser of the Kylie glamour heading our way…

If , maybe Kylie could have more U.S. dates in her future. Celine was gabbing to the press this week, encouraging younger pop divas like Kylie and to follow the examples of Celine, Cher and Bette Midler and sign on for long-term . Could be cute, right?

But first, Minogue is all about spreading her love. Starting next week. Stateside!!!

It’s ‘s world; we just live in it. In the last weeks, she’s claimed to be a hermaphrodite, and and delighted audiences in (talking fondly of Israeli men’s endowments — and hummus!), and — move over Kanye — she’s making headlines thanks to yet another high-profile collaboration.

Turns out, Yep, the gravelly-voice power ballad champ from the 90s is the latest artist to get some help from the Lady Gaga school of musical madness. Evidently with some music on his forthcoming album, One World One Love, collaborating on the tune Word has it that Gaga helped pen the song, and may be heard singing backup on the track. The new Bolton album is due Sept 21st.

Hotness. Now I all need to hear is some genius-ness about a Gaga/Celine Dion duet. Please. Pretty please!???

This has been a good week for Celine! She took home a peeps, and her new album (her 35th in total!) Taking Chances comes out November 13! AOL is right now, though, so Whaddya saaaay to giving New Celine a listen?

At the very least, check out the first two tracks, the second of which is Celine’s cover of the fantastic Heart song, "Alone." She definitely does it justice, as Celine has the voice to tackle that kind of number. But I don’t know…I’m kind of sick of Celine’s trademark youuu, and she’s a little harsh. I also just kept thinking she did a better job covering Cyndi Lauper’s "."

Not to distract you or anything…although we could just talk about Celine’s crazy drag queen hair…

Whoa! Celine’s hair looks like it weighs more than her body.

We all know Celine just does something to the gays…and lookin’ kinda drag-tastic for her cover doesn’t hurt (makes me think Dr. Boogie from Shear Genius did it). Taking Chances is due out November 9.

Check here to listen to her recording, well, "recording," the lead single, "." There’s also plenty of awkward interactions with her band and dancing around the studio and Renee looking on. But at least you’ll hear the single, right?

The lyrics are a little cheesy, but I’m glad to see Celine is still doing something other than her Vegas show. Apparently it’s a cover of Platinum Weird. I’m actually more excited for her cover of Heart’s "Alone!"

Manila Luzon is an all-time RuPaul’s Drag Race fan favorite, a style icon for those not afraid of color, and a well-known queen about town in New York. Here she gives Trip Out Travel her favorite destinations around town you’ll want to check out – whether it’s romance, lust or drunkenness you’re after — as well as her dream vacations.

What’s your very favorite restaurant in New York?
in Hells Kitchen! They have any food you’d ever need to eat: from meatloaf to sweet & sour chicken! It’s just so damned cute in there! The record album cover menus are a trip. Maybe you’ll be seated below a shadow box displaying the New Kids on the Block Barbie dolls. Oh, and you must use the bathrooms! I like the Dolly Parton bathroom, but you may prefer the Cher bathroom.

And when you’d rather drink than eat?
! It’s got a piano bar upstairs to belt out show tunes, and a little club downstairs to dance. And every once in a while I’ll show up to do a number or two. And they make the strongest drinks in the city. Two drinks and you’re drunk for three days!

Best place to score killer fashions?
in SoHo! They have affordable fashion and a sickening shoe section!

Your best secret store (that you’d only share with friends)?
The … it’s not a secret by any means, but it’s one of the most inspirational places to shop.

Best daytime sight to enjoy in your city?
The ! You can pretend you’re one of the voguing Pier Kids in the documentary “Paris Is Burning.” You can also look across the river and point and laugh at Carmen Carrera’s home!!! just kidding … I’m sure New Jersey is a lovely place … although I’ve never been.

Best place to be at 2am?
Right between tipsy and WASTED at any party in the city!

Best romantic date spot?
The because it’s so giant and filled with beautiful art.

And when you’re getting straight to the making out?
Anywhere in this city. It’s so romantic to stop in the middle of all the hustle and bustle for an intimate make out session … and Charlie, the homeless crackhead, will really enjoy watching.

Your favorite vacation destination?
Barcelona, Spain (or as they say, ESPAÑA) The architecture is wacky! The beach there is amazing! And the Spanish boys are super sexy!

Sexiest place you’ve ever been?
Brazil. Brazilians are the sexiest people on Earth. Even the old ladies exude sex! It’s crazy!!!

Dream destination you’re dying to visit?
Tokyo, Japan: I wanna be the tallest thing there. The 6 foot Drag Queen vs. Mothra!!!

Best place you’ve ever performed & why?
Las Vegas. I was sitting at my vanity putting on my make up when I realized that I was technically headlining in Vegas! How Celine of me!

Finally, where would you want your dream wedding to be?
I am so proud that gay New Yorkers are finally allowed to marry, so I’ll gladly get married at home here in NYC!

Keep up with Manila here:

“Rock With You” – Michael Jackson

remembrances are all over the media today (his autopsy is due today, too) and the tributes have surely only just begun. The man, who died yesterday, was an iconic pop superstar who influenced just about every musician working in the pop and R&B milieu today. His , especially from the Thriller, Bad and Dangerous eras were cultural touchstones. Nobody else had his moves, his style, his way of singing — he was a singular performer.

As years passed, we all watched Michael evolve into a strange, mysterious figure that become hard to comprehend and relate to. His face and body changed dramatically, he faced charges of molestation (being acquitted in on instance, settling out of court on another), and he seemed to devolve into a caricature of a reclusive pop star and an oddity, and we’ll probably never quite know all that went on behind the gates of his Neverland ranch.

For the next week, we can expect to endure all manner of and freaked-out media-circus moments; I’m already morbidly intrigued to see what kind of funeral shenanigans will unfold. Bring on Latoya and Debbie Rowe! Will Macaulay Culkin offer a statement? Has Madonna stopped crying? It’s all gonna be bizarre, no doubt.

But regardless of all the craziness and speculation that came to surround his persona, Michael Jackson did create some fiercely memorable, legendary music, revolutionary videos and his influence on style, dance, MTV, the 80s, and even how African-Americans impact culture is undeniable. So, in tribute, here’s a random mix of his videos to enjoy.

“Billie Jean” – Michael Jackson

Here’s a CNN clip of Celine Dion talking to Larry King about Michael Jackson’s influence upon her.

Embedded video from
Celine Dion remembers Michael Jackson, on CNN.

And more videos…

“Beat It” – Michael Jackson

“Scream” – Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson

“The Way You Make Me Feel” – Michael Jackson

“Man in the Mirror” – Michael Jackson

“Black or White” – Michael Jackson

“Thriller: The Long Version” – Michael Jackson

And finally, Michael’s video tribute to AIDS activist Ryan White, “Gone Too Soon.”

“Gone Too Soon” – Michael Jackson

Who counts as a Diva nowadays? While there have been who is the very best, there’s no denying that VH1 made themselves the authority on anointing the title with the Divas Live series.  This year Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence and the Machine and Jessie J all take the title when the long running concert series returns December 19th at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, where the ladies will pay tribute to the birthplaces of soul music with a mix of original tracks and classic ones. Plus the boys of the Roots are joining the celebration as house band.

The lineup this year is a mix of longstanding Divas, with Mary J holding the title for the longest (since 2001) and the most number of appearances (four including this year), plus newer veteran divas like Kelly Clarkson, Jill Scott and Jennifer Hudson (all appearing for a second time), and finally the addition of the new class of Florence and Jessie J.  This year VH1 is skipping tween Divas altogether, a welcome change because Divahood takes time to earn.  Even Celine and Whitney weren’t true Divas from day one. The only startlingly absent Diva from the list is Adele, who last appeared in 2009 but is having a banner year.  We hope it was just a scheduling conflict and not an oversight.

‘s been performing "Cirque de Celine" (as Kathy Griffin calls it) in Las Vegas for four years now, so I’m guessing she’s pretty happy to have some new material. This video, "," the lead single and title track for the new album, seems to involve Celine as a Kill Bill-esque spy, oddly enough. (The new CD is due November 13.)

I’ll always have a soft spot for Celine, though, and her voice sounds great toward the end of the track. I am giving a big "no" to the air-guitar, however.

Kelly Sweet: 18, sings nicely, and not trashy. We like!

There are no shortage of eager, earnest young vocalists out there. But it’s rare that one kind of busts out in front of the crowd to make an impression. Or, at least an impression that’s not snared by screechy American Idol antics, or just skeezy behavior on reality TV.

So arriving to add a bit of class to the music world is newcomer . Yes, she’s 18 years old, but she’s got a worldly wise vibe to her. And while the Cape Cod native is poised to become the next adult-contemporary darling (her debut disc, , due in March 2007, is produced by folks who’ve cranked out hits for Josh Groban and Celine Dion), she’s got a sense of oomph to her work that lends it a bit more impact. She’s already gotten props in pubs like USA Today and Teen People; and she’s had her tunes played on the soaps “Passions” and “One Life to Live”—so yes, she’s starting to make the media rounds. Right now, she’s got a version “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” out which you can , too.

Sweet writes much of her own music, although she also turns out a pretty too. Basically, her stuff is smart and sensitive singer/songwriter pop music. Think of it as very Gilmore Girls-y.

Whoa. It looks windy out there in sensitive, wispy pop-music land!

The first single from Sweet is called which will hit radio stations in early January. And the titular ballad “We Are One” is going to have dance remixes, too.

Sweet’s even got nice, inspirational quotes posted on her blog section of . Here’s a part of one that she likes; it’s a quote from Martha Graham, writing to Agnes DeMille (wurk!):

“You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than others.”

Yep, ya gotta love that queer, divine dissatisfaction.

Avril Lavigne is a , an occasional actress, a and a horrible applier of eyeliner and mascara — but did you know she loves to bake?

Watch above as Avril turn some plain sugar cookies into beautiful holiday delights with some frosting and imagination. Not so complicated after all…

Watch Avril Lavigne Make Christmas Cookies While Being Certifiably Adorable []

It’s that time again! We’ve got another fantastic edition of our weekly video blog, , for you! This week John Polly and myself discuss object of worldwide gay affection, Celine Dion’s, new album, ! We do love her, but how can we not have a little fun with this French-Canadian nutter?

And the second half is after the jump! We have our picks for happy and sad moments in pop culture this week…They involve Amy Winehouse, The Spice Girls, Project Runway and "White Oprah." Don’t miss!

Now that you’ve watched…feeling curious? NewNowNext (of course) has coverage of the and of to get you in the know!

The , which honors musicians based on their worldwide sales, gave out its 2007 statues November 4 in Monaco…and guess who cleaned up?

That high-pitched, I’m-too-good-to-talk-about-whether-or-not-I’m-gay British pop-ster, Mika! The singer’s awards included World’s Best Selling Pop Male Artist, World’s Best Selling Pop/Rock Male Artist (never thought I’d hear "rock" and "Mika" in the same sentence) and World’s Best Selling New Artist .

And the lovely Canadian gay icon Celine Dion (whose new album, , is due November 13) took home the ‘Legend’ award. Damn right.

– Dennis Ayers from

There’s a veritable smorgasboard of campy DVD titles out today that might be of interest
to you, or the perfect stocking stuffer for a friend or pet.

The FX series returns for its sophomore season in January and just in time for new viewers to catch up is this . The show itself was a bit uneven last year, but it did offer a few delights. Among them is Grant Show as a closeted movie star getting down and dirty with Leo Spiller (Will McCormack). The boy certainly has come a long way from Melrose Place.

Also out, you can finally get R. Kelly‘s R&B opera — all 22 chapters of it — on one . Collectively the chapters tell the story of a one-night stand
that sets off a chain of events "revealing a web of lies
and deceit." Some of those lies involve certain characters "on the down low."

The front of the box says, "it’s the big package," but that may not in fact be true. Kelly claims to have another 20 chapters written and yet to be released. Oh for goodness sake, come out of the closet already!

Are you a Zac Efron fan? Oh come on admit it. You know you are. Well
you can see him gamely returning to the franchise that made him a teen
heartthrob and breakout star in . And no doubt in a few months Disney will be releasing the "director’s cut" of this cash cow franchise.

Of keener interest to me is the DVD release of a 1996 Lifetime original movie, …

Ann-Margret, Peter Coyote, Tobey Maguire and Christian Campbell star in this true crime story of a Wisconsin teacher’s aide who hired teenaged students to murder her estranged husband. (This one sounds a lot like To Die For.) Not exactly gay interest, but certainly high camp as Margret vamps it up in her shoulder pads an pearls – drawing her mesmerized students into her murderous plot.

For all you Celine Dion fans, her Vegas show, is now out on DVD. And for you David Hyde Pierce fans, is now available. Ironically, they released the eleventh (and final) season on DVD way back in 2004. So with the release of this 10th season boxed set you can finally complete your Frasier collection.

Last on our list of DVDs out today — the perfect stocking stuffer for your pooch. (I just wish we’d included in our over on the main page.) is described as a video companion for your pet while you are away. The DVD autoplays on a loop and includes footage of dogs barking, playing, running. My only concern? My dog might feel like a couch potato watching it.

Still, sounds like a great idea for single dogs who are stuck at home alone while their owners are at work. Anyway, sure beats subjecting them to regular daytime TV — ATWT‘s Luke & Noah notwithstanding!

Episode 9: Let's Put on a Show 

—by Eric Walter

It's sort of a designer's dream come true on this week. Dressmaker-to-the-stars Bob Mackie stops by to task the designers with creating an extravagant stage look for pop diva Christina Aguilera.

This is not fashion, he says. This is the stage. It's almost as if he's daring them to create a monstrosity.

At first everyone's kind of excited, but then they start to feel the pressure — there are so few left — and they all get a little nutty. Shirin seems totally lost, and Tim does not mince words with her.

More feathers!

Not slutty enough!

Even Gordana freaks out and spends most of the challenge in a foul mood. Relax, lady; you've got immunity this week. (And it's a good thing too, Heidi tells her, out she would have been *this close* to being auffed.)

The only one who keeps her cool is Irina, who seems to especially enjoy sitting in her corner watching Shirin squirm and trash-talking Carol Hannah. Bad form!

So it's all the more sweet that the judges love Carol Hannah's dress. Snap! She wins.

Shirin never finds her way, and predictably she gets sent home.

So Carol Hannah is free to liberally crush on Logan. Christopher has a narrow escape, but the  gay boys are safe once again. And Irina is free to outbitch her opponents.

What Worked

From left to right:

Nicolas gives us a cute feathered mini-dress. I could see a mic in this model's hand.

Irina's reveal is a little unnecessary. The dress underneath is lovely, but the top layer could get lost in the coat-check with nary a tear shed.

Hail to the victor! Carol Hannah's vampish black dress is sleek and classy. I thought the abrupt shifts in texture were a little odd at first, but then they grew on me.

Althea's silver gown looks more Celine Dion than Christina Aguilera, but there's no denying it's a beaut.

What Didn't

From left to right:

Logan's model looks like a lounge singer in a live-action "Flintstones" film. It's too understated. And why is the pink underlayer totally hidden?

Shirin has a little trouble this week. All that's missing is the pointed hat.

Christopher's another one who went for a reveal, but what's revealed is not interesting enough. He lands on the bottom again this week. I wouldn't put this on a chorus girl in the background, screams Bob Mackie.

Gordana almost pulls it off, but this looks unfinished. Thank goodness she had immunity. But those days are over now!

Best Gay

As much as Nicolas can annoy me, he's keeping it together pretty well. He looked like a one-trick pony this week, but he stayed out of the bottom of the pack. Christopher'd better step up is game.

Next Week
Now that there are so few designers left, we can really dig into some cattiness, and by the looks of it, we're getting an hour-long bitch fest next week. That reality show mantra rears its ugly head: .

Time for Broadway and stage-related news, ladies & gents…

’s taking over when Celine Dion wraps up her show in . Yep, the Divine Miss M will start tearing up in her own flamboyant way in February 2008.

Nice gay performer and nice straight showboy are heading on Broadway. It’s a nice way to commemorate the show’s anniversary.

Speaking of , Anthony and Adam are gonna be joined by American Idol-fave . Yep, she’s as Mimi on May 29th. Whoa… Broadway’s just getting crammed full of ex-Idol kids, eh?

(whoa!) is . Tonight! I’m guessing he’s not playing Roxie. Or Velma. Blossom must be proud.

After the jump, news about "Saved! The Musical," Cherry Jones, Young Frankenstein, Hedwig and more!

Show People: Real-love couple Sarah Paulson & Cherry Jones may team up onstage; Chris Sieber returns to "Spamalot!"; and Hedwig’s coming back, too!

Tony-winning stage superstar and her real-life girflriend (of Studio 60 fame) may . Word has it they’re gonna star in a stage adaptation of the . Sounds hot!

The movie with Mandy Moore and Jena Malone that you, like, totally loved? It’s Which sounds kind of awesome and really fun, if ya ask me. Remember when Mandy shrieked “I am filled with the holy spirit!” then chucked the Bible at Jena? Praise!

Handsome gay actor on Broadway. He was in the original cast. Did I mention he’s handsome?

And speaking of gay, this sounds really gay. The musical is heading Off-Broadway. It’s about legendary gay Trojan, , who comes back in present-day NYC to star in a about himself, and then falls in love with his male costars. Mercy!

Meanwhile, will begin a in in !

and her are this fall. No cast lined up yet.

It’s already a holiday weekend here in TV & online work-land. Our offices are a ghost-town today with the long, hot red-white-and-blue weekend looming. Today’s a half-day and everyone’s off tomorrow so… Might as well head home and get that grill fired up, eh?

If you are looking at this, here are some hot party videos to sass up your all-American holiday weekend, for better for worse. We’ve got some cheesy Americana, and some fun tunes you’ll be hearing all summer. Cheers! Cook it up! Wear sunscreen! Go America!!!

Oh, say can you see the classic Whitney fierceness?

More videos and a nice classic American butt after the jump!

In the mood for some completely bizarre animated video action from Euro-disco survivors Boney M.? This one’s called “Felicidad America (Obama, Obama)” and well… It’s insane!

And what’s more American than a nice manly rump in jeans…

And to go with that nice butt shot above, some classic Bruce…

How about a nice British girl to show us how to properly appreciate our Yankee men…

The Killers are nice boys from Las Vegas. “Dustland Fairytale” is all about a slick-chrome American prince” and his girl… It’s retro Americana overload! Sooo nice…

Green Day is more than happy to burst any delusional gung-ho nationalism bubbles, in case things get carried away.

I thought about posting Madonna’s “American Pie” or “American Life” but they’re both so dreadful, I just went with a under-rated classic instead.

Aimee Allen’s got the spirit. She’s “On Vacation.” We like!

Back to patriotic matters at hand, here’s Celine Dion’s post-9/11 tribute to the good old U.S. of A.

David Archuleta singing Neil Diamond’s “America”? Egads? How can I resist?

Passion Pit is the indie/pop band to be reckoned with this summer. Feeling “The Reeling?”

Chances are you may be drinking some this holiday weekend. Cheers! Let’s hope you don’t exactly follow the Paradiso Girls’ instructions on imbibing to excess and hurling and all that. Take it easy, ladies!

And to end things on a fully demented note, how about some corny America-loving French disco? Yes, you say??? Then here’s Patrick Juvet. Nice overalls, dude.

Always the princess of peace.

If ever there was an occasion tailor made for Madge to sing this sounds like it!

As reported today by , a non-profit group is in talks with major artists like Madonna, Led Zeppelin, Justin Timberlake and U2 to present a series of concerts in different locations this spring focused on bringing world peace.

Um, what took them so long?

“Put your troubles down, turn this world around, and bring back all of those happy days” … after the jump!

Organized by , a group that includes some veteran Live Earth and Woodstock executives, the concerts are scheduled to begin on May 17. Performances would take place in Beijing, Istanbul, London, Johannesburg, Miami, the United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and India.

What, has New York lost that much clout? Or even with the dollar in a port-a-potty, is the place still that damned expensive as a concert destination?

Shows aside, World Peace One reportedly also plans to launch education and government initiatives as part of a 10-year-campaign to bring peace. Other acts in talks with the organization include Timbaland, adult-compatible Celine Dion and Lionel Richie, and oldies but goodies, INXS and ZZ Top.

Britain’s Got Talent champ is expected to on the big finale of America’s Got Talent. AND, she’s expected to

I know, I know… Wha? This frumpy old maid getting rock ‘n’ roll on us? But yes, she does. The tune was leaked online a few days ago. And it’s pretty fabulous. Fabulous in that righteous Celine Dion/adult-contemporary vibe, but why not??? I’m loving it. Give it a listen, above.

“Wild Horses” has been covered many times before. I also love ‘ classic take on it. Check that one out after the jump!

Anyway, go Susan!!!

The Sundays – “Wild Horses”

Ola Salo (and his Ark-mates): “Worrying” his way to Eurovision gold?

The amazingly flouncy and glam-rocking Swedish pop-stars of (led by bisexual superstar Ola Salo) are likely headed to Finland this May to represent their homeland in the . The official Swedish entry will be decided at the . The Ark’s tune is a chatty, bouncy, rockin’ tune – typical of their brand of buoyant, super-melodic pop. And yes, you can bet that Ola will be strutting and preening onstage like a madwoman come showtime. Here’s a of him at the recent semifinals. (Love his diso-ball bedazzled chest!)

More Swedish Eurovision madness (and lingonberries) after the jump…

Watch Ola and The Ark sing about “The Worrying Kind” .

That said, I’m kind of partial to two other of the entrants in the Swedish finals. (It’s all so dizzyingly Europop-tastic it makes my teeth hurt!) Check out ’s entry He’s kind of an aging pop lothario with a Neil Diamond-esque flavor. , daffy balloons float around the audience, and he’s backed up by girls twirling guitars. Yay! It’s blissfully doo-wop cornball.

Andreas Johnson needs your

The other Swedish entry I’m feeling is the amazingly kitschy , who must be the most “Swedish” of all the entries. She’s a pie-faced bleachy blonde pop diva who comes off like . And better yet, she sings her tune (entitled ) in Swedish, so you won’t understand a single word (which is usually best when it comes to enjoying pre-fab, cotton-candy Europop). Think of a discount, Scandinavian Celine Dion and you’re almost there. I’m worshipping her.

Mamma mia!

Anyway, for , LogoOnline has a , like, . If you can’t view that, you can read an interview with Ola here.

Then go eat some lingonberries, potatoes and meatballs.

“Smaklig måltid!”

Women on Top: Jennifer Hudson and Melissa Etheridge both scored Oscars last night, resulting in gay rejoicing all over the place.

last night seemed fantastically lesbian to me… for Best Song and planted one on her wife, Tammy Lynn Michaels and excitedly once onstage. And I don’t know the story behind that costume designer, , who won the , but she was very cool (and channelling Judy Davis as George Sand, in that froofy costume drama-comedy about 16 years ago). Loved that…

Love this shot! Oscar winning costume designer Milena Canonero (for Marie Antoinette) seems quite taken with her presenters, Emily Blunt and Anne Hathaway. Who can blame her, eh?

I was happy to see … And I was sorry Eddie Murphy didn’t win, but there ya go.

But in other major gay movie news, the results from all of are in. AND… Gay America (and elsewhere, I’m thinking…) totally voted for Helen Mirren, Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker to all win Oscars! Yay! But us gays also voted for Eddie Murphy to win for Best Supporting Actor, and for Little Miss Sunshine to win Best Picture, so… Urf.

But even more fun might just be the non-Oscar-related categories that the gays voted for. The full list (and I mean full… it’s long) is after the jump. Check ‘em out. Turns out the gays love a sexy James Bond, and an even sexier (given the enthusiastic vote) Lost-star turned Bloodrayne warrior (meaning the women are liiiiving for Michelle Rodriguez). And you voted The Devil Wears Prada for Best Comedy and Children of Men as Best Drama, and Shortbus as Sexiest Movie, and Borat’s rump-smooching won for Best Kiss and…

Awww, just check out all the gabby details, already…

And, go online to watch of our about . (Full disclosure: I’m in the videos. Ack!)

Women We Love: Your sexy favorite, Michelle Rodriguez, hit last night’s Vanity Fair Oscar Party. And so did Portia and Ellen, natch.

The Short List of LogoOnline’s Queer Year in Film Poll winners:

Favorite Comedy – The Devil Wears Prada
Favorite Action Movie – Casino Royale
Favorite Serious Drama – Children of Men
Favorite Scary Movie/Thriller – Saw III
Sexiest Movie – Shortbus
Best Gay Indie Film – Adam & Steve
Best Socially Aware Documentary – An Inconvenient Truth
Favorite Animated Animal Movie – Happy Feet
Favorite Guilty Pleasure – Another Gay Movie
Favorite Gay Filmmaker – Bill Condon, Dreamgirls
Sexiest Male Movie Star – Daniel Craig, Casino Royale
Sexiest Female Movie Star – Michelle Rodriguez, Bloodrayne – by a BIG margin
Favorite Gay Movie Couple – Rachel & Luce, Imagine Me & You – also by a BIG margin
Least Favorite Gay Movie Character – Sharon Stone’s bi killer, Basic Instinct 2
Biggest Oscar Snub – Dreamgirls, not nominated for Best Picture
Fiercest Female Character – Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), The Devil Wears Prada
Best Kiss – Borat and his friend’s rear end
Character Most Likely to Inspire Drag Queens – Any of the women from Dreamgirls
Most Lesbianish Non-Lesbian Film – The Descent
Biggest Disappointment – The DaVinci Code
Best Action Movie with a Coincidentally Gay Storyline – V for Vendetta
Character You Most Want to Get Drinks With – James Bond (Daniel Craig)
Film Most Looking Forward to in 2007 – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

And that’s just for starters!
Below is THE ENTIRE LIST of how the gay universe chimed in on the (as of results at 8am this morning):

The Oscars

Who do you think deserves the Best Actress Oscar?
Penelope Cruz, Volver – 10%
Judi Dench, Notes On A Scandal – 12%
Helen Mirren, The Queen – 36%
Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada -34%
Kate Winslet, Little Children – 7%

Who do you think deserves the Best Actor Oscar?
Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond – 16%
Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson – 15%
Peter O’Toole, Venus – 7%
Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness – 17%
Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland – 45%

Who do you think deserves the Best Supporting Actress Oscar?
Adriana Barraza, Babel – 4%
Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal – 14%
Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine – 21%
Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls – 54%
Rinko Kikuchi, Babel – 7%

Who do you think deserves the Best Supporting Actor Oscar?
Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine – 18%
Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls – 32%
Mark Wahlberg, The Departed – 28%
Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond – 15%
Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children – 7%

Which film deserves to win Best Picture?
Babel – 15%
The Departed – 26%
Letters from Iwo Jima – 5%
Little Miss Sunshine – 31%
The Queen – 23%

Who deserves to win Best Director?
Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima – 12%
Stephen Frears, The Queen – 18%
Paul Greengrass, United 93 – 5%
Martin Scorsese, The Departed – 51%
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu, Babel – 14%

What deserves to win Best Original Song?
“I Need to Wake Up” from An Inconvenient Truth [Music and lyric by Melissa Etheridge] – 23%
“Listen” from Dreamgirls [Music by Henry Krieger and Scott Cutler; lyric by Anne Preven] – 32%
“Love You I Do” from Dreamgirls [Music by Henry Krieger; lyric by Siedah Garrett] – 25%
“Our Town” from Cars [Music and Lyric by Randy Newman] – 13%
“Patience” from Dreamgirls [Music by Henry Krieger; lyric by Willie Reale] – 7%

What deserves to win for Best Original Screenplay?
Guillermo Arriaga, Babel – 13%
Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine – 39%
Iris Yamashita & Paul Haggis, Letters From Iwo Jima – 4%
Guillermo del Toro, Pan’s Labyrinth – 23%
Peter Morgan, The Queen – 21%

What should win for Best Adapted Screenplay?
Patrick Marber , Notes on a Scandal – 20%
William Monahan, The Departed – 37%
Sacha Baron Cohen & others, Borat – 21%
Todd Field & Tom Perrotta, Little Children – 10%
Alfonso Cuarón & others, Children of Men – 12%

What should win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film?
After the Wedding (Denmark) – 10%
Days of Glory (Indigènes)” (Algeria) – 6%
Lives of Others (Germany) – 9%
Pan’s Labyrinth (Mexico) – 67%
Water (Canada) – 8%

What should win for Best Animated Film?
Cars – 35%
Happy Feet – 50%
Monster House -15%

What should win the Oscar for Best Art Direction?
Dreamgirls – 32%
The Good Shepherd – 2%
Pan’s Labyrinth – 39%
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – 22%
The Prestige – 5%

Which film should win for Best Cinematography?
The Black Dahlia – 18%
Children of Men – 14%
The Illusionist – 18%
Pan’s Labyrinth – 45%
The Prestige – 5%

Which film should win for Best Costume Design?
Curse of the Golden Flower, Yee Chung Man – 7%
The Devil Wears Prada, Patricia Field – 33%
Dreamgirls, Sharen Davis – 31%
Marie Antoinette, Milena Canonero – 21%
The Queen, Consolata Boyle – 8%

Which film deserves to win for Best Documentary Feature?
Deliver Us from Evil – 8%
An Inconvenient Truth – 72%
Iraq in Fragments – 6%
Jesus Camp – 12%
My Country, My Country – 2%

What film deserves to win for Best Film Editing?
Babel – 28%
Blood Diamond – 11%
Children of Men – 11%
The Departed – 30%
United 93 – 20%

What deserves the Oscar for Best Makeup?
Apocalypto – 20%
Click – 9%
Pan’s Labyrinth – 71%

What deserves to win for Best Original Score?
Babel, Gustavo Santaolalla – 19%
The Good German, Thomas Newman – 5%
Notes on a Scandal, Philip Glass – 13%
Pan’s Labyrinth, Javier Navarrete – 33%
The Queen, Alexandre Desplat – 30%

What was the biggest Oscar snub this year?
Dreamgirls, not nominated for Best Picture – 40%
Volver, not nominated for Best Foreign Film – 27%
Bill Condon, not nominated for Best Director – 6%
Steve Carell, not nominated for Best Supporting Actor – 16%
Sasha Baren Cohen, not nominated for Best Actor for Borat – 11%

Fess up. Which highly regarded film are you most unlikely to see?
Babel – 11%
An Inconvenient Truth – 12%
The Last King of Scotland – 20%
Letters from Iwo Jima – 44%
Little Children -13%

Who gave the most memorable Oscar acceptance speech ever?
Sally Field, when she exclaimed “You like me!” – 35%
Halle Berry, sobbing – 31%
Gwyneth Paltrow, sobbing – 2%
Jack Palance, doing push-ups – 12%
Roberto Benigni, after climbing on chairs – 20%

The Best of 2006

What’s your favorite comedy of 2006?
Borat – 12%
The Devil Wears Prada – 44%
For Your Consideration – 4%
Jackass Number Two – 6%
Little Miss Sunshine – 31%
Talladega Nights – 3%

What’s your favorite action movie of 2006?
Blood Diamond – 9%
Casino Royale – 33%
The Departed – 32%
Inside Man – 7%
Miami Vice – 2%
Superman Returns – 17%

Your favorite serious drama of 2006?
3 Needles – 8%
Children of Men – 23%
Flags of our Fathers – 13%
Little Children – 16%
The Good Shepherd – 20%
United 93 – 20%

What was your favorite scary movie/thriller of 2006?
The Covenant – 17%
The Descent – 25%
The Hills Have Eyes – 11%
Saw III – 33%
See No Evil – 6%
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning – 8%

And what was the sexiest movie of 2006?
The Black Dahlia – 8%
Casino Royale – 28%
Imagine Me & You – 18%
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer – 2%
Shortbus – 31%
Tristan & Isolde – 13%

What was the best gay indie film of the year?
Adam & Steve – 27%
Another Gay Movie – 24%
Imagine Me & You – 17%
Quinceanera – 10%
Shortbus – 22%

Best socially aware documentary of the year?
An Inconvenient Truth – 63%
Iraq in Fragments – 3%
Jesus Camp – 11%
Last Letters Home – 4%
Shut Up and Sing – 19%

Your favorite animated animal movie of the year?
The Ant Bully – 2%
Barnyard – 5%
Charlotte’s Web – 16%
Flushed Away – 7%
Happy Feet – 52%
Over the Hedge – 18%

Your favorite guilty pleasure movie of 2006?
Another Gay Movie – 42%
The Descent – 9%
Jackass Number Two – 13%
Madea’s Family Reunion – 18%
Rocky Balboa – 7%
Snakes on a Plane – 11%

Your favorite gay filmmaker of the year?
Pedro Almodovar, Volver – 16%
Jamie Babbit, The Quiet – 5%
Bill Condon, Dreamgirls – 25%
John Cameron Mitchell, Shortbus – 18%
Bryan Singer, Superman Returns – 11%
Nicholas Hytner, The History Boys – 3%

The Stars

Who’s the Sexiest Male Movie Star of 2006?
Daniel Craig, Casino Royale – 38%
Andre 3000, Idlewild – 6%
Jesse Garcia, Quinceanera – 13%
Johnny Knoxville, Jackass Number Two – 11%
Matthew McConaughy, Failure to Launch – 19%
Patrick Wilson, Little Children – 13%

Who’s the sexiest female movie star of 2006?
Beyonce, Dreamgirls – 8%
Penelope Cruz, Volver – 10%
Famke Janssen, X-Men: The Last Stand – 4%
Kristanna Loken, Bloodrayne – 2%
Michelle Rodriguez, Bloodrayne – 73%
Hilary Swank, The Black Dahlia – 3%

Favorite Gay Movie Couple of 2006?
Adam & Steve, Adam & Steve – 13%
Rachel & Luce, Imagine Me & You – 75%
Annabelle & Simone, Loving Annabelle – 2%
James & Jamie & Ceth, Shortbus – 6%
Mr. Jellineck & Mr. Noblet, Strangers With Candy – 4%

Who was your least favorite gay character of 2006?
Bad lesbian mom Annette Bening, Running with Scissors – 8%
Suicidal gay Steve Carell, Little Miss Sunshine – 11%
Psycho closeted lesbian Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal – 15%
Pedophile Joseph Fiennes, Running with Scissors – 18%
Trashy bi killer Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct 2 – 48%

Fiercest female character onscreen this year?
Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), The Devil Wears Prada – 56%
Effie White (Jennifer Hudson), Dreamgirls – 29%
Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris), Strangers With Candy – 6%
Jazmin Biltmore, (Mo’Nique), Phat Girlz – 4%
That final surviving woman from The Descent – 5%

The Red Carpet

Who worked the best signature pose this year?
Beyonce’s armpit pose – 26%
Lindsay Lohan’s peace sign pose – 10%
Borat’s thumbs up pose – 33%
Jamie Foxx’s pointing pose -11%
Renee Zellweger’s perennial pucker – 20%

Which actress dressed to impress best at the Golden Globes?
Drew Barrymore – 17%
Penelope Cruz – 20%
Jennifer Hudson – 21%
Helen Mirren – 17%
Reese Witherspoon – 25%

Which actor brought sexy back at the Golden Globes?
Sacha Baron Cohen – 14%
Leonardo DiCaprio – 27%
Aaron Eckhart – 13%
Jamie Foxx – 15%
Mark Wahlberg – 31%

Which actress should have fired her stylist after the Golden Globes?
Vanessa Williams – 31%
Jennifer Love Hewitt – 9%
Cameron Diaz – 20%
Rinko Kikuchi – 23%
Chloe Sevigny – 17%

Who wore the best worst Oscar dress ever?
Bjork’s swan dress – 32%
Barbra Streisand’s see-through pants – 2%
Gwyneth’s see-through dress, 2001 – 31%
Uma Thurman’s milkmaid look – 5%
Celine Dion’s backwards white tux thing – 22%
Cher, just about any year – 8%

Movie Moments

Best Movie Kiss of 2006?
Annette Bening & Kristen Chenowith, Running With Scissors – 17%
Jerri Blank and her football jock, Strangers With Candy – 9%
Hugh Jackman and Famke Janssen, X-Men: The Last Stand – 23%
Patrick Wilson and Kate Winslet, Little Children – 13%
Brandon Routh & Kate Bosworth, Superman Returns – 11%
Borat and his friend’s ass, Borat – 27%

Best Dance Number/Choreography?
Adam & Steve – 18%
Dreamgirls – 53%
Little Miss Sunshine – 27%
Borat – 2%

Overall, which movie had the most amazing costumes, hair and makeup?
Dreamgirls – 24%
The Devil Wears Prada – 31%
Kinky Boots – 5%
Marie Antoinette – 19%
Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man’s Chest – 19%
Running with Scissors – 2%

Best Action Scene?
The boat turns over, Poseidon – 10%
Opening parkour/jumping/chase scene, Casino Royale – 36%
The non-stop snake action, Snakes on a Plane – 5%
Effie sings “And I Am Telling You…” Dreamgirls – 24%
Steve’s explosive “messy” scene, Adam & Steve – 8%
Any of the orgy scenes, Shortbus – 17%

Best Use of a Prop?
The nonstop cell-phone usage, The Departed – 6%
Naked James Bond’s seatless chair, Casino Royale – 24%
The beer bong, Jackass 2 – 5%
Flying fur coats and bags, The Devil Wears Prada – 32%
Graham Norton’s appendages, Another Gay Movie – 23%
That chick who replaced Effie, Dreamgirls – 10%

Other Questions

Character most likely to inspire drag queens?
Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), The Devil Wears Prada – 30%
Any of the women from Dreamgirls – 46%
Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette – 9%
Peneope Cruz’s hot housewife, Volver – 3%
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Carribean – 12%

Most lesbian-ish non-lesbian film of the year?
Bloodrayne – 21%
The Descent – 26%
Stick It – 15%
Underworld: Evolution – 14%
John Tucker Must Die – 24%

Biggest large-scale disappointment of the year?
All the King’s Men – 9%
The DaVinci Code – 32%
Lady in the Water – 27%
Snakes on a Plane – 14%
The Pink Panther – 18%

Best action movie with a coincidentally gay storyline?
Poseidon – 7%
See No Evil – 3%
V for Vendetta – 47%
X-Men: The Last Stand – 43%

Which character would you most wanna get drinks with?
James Bond (Daniel Craig), Casino Royale – 37%
Emily (Emily Blunt), The Devil Wears Prada – 29%
Queen Elizabeth (Helen Mirren), The Queen – 8%
Effie White (Jennifer Hudson), Dreamgirls – 14%
The dudes of Beerfest – 12%

Best Film in which to catch a Noah’s Arc star?
Darryl Stephens in Another Gay Movie – 49%
Darryl Stephens in Boy Culture – 14%
Wilson Cruz in Coffee Date – 17%
Wilson Cruz in Bam Bam & Celeste – 8%
Rockmond Dunbar in Dirty Laundry – 12%

Movie you’re most looking forward to in 2007?
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – 34%
Ocean’s 13 – 6%
The Simpsons Movie – 15%
Spider-Man 3 – 20%
Transformers – 8%
Zodiac – 17%

Whew! Thanks for voting! Don’t agree with the results? You can still chime in and change who won!

No, seriously… this video is the reason I love the internet. Before I explain way, just watch actor and filmmaker arguing with a recording he made of himself when he was 12 years old.

All done? Still thinking about how sad and cute it is for a 12 year old to believe his dog will be alive in 20 years? Right.

Anyway… here are the reasons this video makes me love the internet:

(1) It’s funny to imagine a kid in 1992 recording a series of questions for his older self, but it’s even funnier to actually see that kid. It reminds me of my own awkward youth, which is endearing, and it lets me laugh at how dorky someone else used to be, which is awesome. If it weren’t for the internet, I’d never get to experience that. (Or voguing in 1991.)

(2) Without the internet—and the easy-to-use filmmaking technology is supports—this film might never have been made. Sure, McDonald is funny, and he does an excellent job editing this piece to tell a funny/moving story about how we do and don’t live up to our childhood expectations of ourselves. But let’s be real: No television network or major film studio would ever distribute something like this. Only the internet will make room for this kind of art. Or maybe, like, an art gallery in an alleyway or a theatre in an abandoned billiard hall, but screw that. Only the internet can get something this weird and brilliant to the masses.

(3) That thing about the old cartoon characters he used to draw, and now he doesn’t draw them? It’s hilarious and heartbreaking. I’m not actually sure what that has to do with the internet, but there you go.

(4) This guy’s cute, but he’s cuter in motion than he is in still photos. It takes the power of online video to appreciate his make-out potential.


Mark Blankenship tweets as @. Somewhere in his parents’ house, there’s a video of him doing a slow dance to the Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson version of “Beauty and the Beast.”

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know… This big just seems cheesy as hell to me!

Yes, it’s awesome to raise more money for Haitian relief. And I’ll be fascinated to watch its big sprawling, charitable train-wreck unfurl when the 3D (Gaaaaah!!!!) spectacle hits TVs on Feb. 12th as part of the Olympics hysteria. But somehow a recording studio full of the likes of Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Barbra Streisand, Brandy, the Jonas Brothers and a zillion other random music folks just seems like a masturbatory PR stunt, rather than an effective way to help folks. But what the hell do I know?

And, c’mon! The original song isn’t even really very good!!!! (They could have at least brought Cyndi Lauper back for her big solo!!) But that’s it. I’m done. Just watch the videos and check the pics… And read the bits on , , and the .


Pics of Miley Cyrus, Joe Jonas, TPain, Snoop, Babs and more after the jump!


Pink gets a solo moment.

Miley Honey, I know, I know… I’m feeling you.

Yes, the parking lot is the place to be. Do y’all smell some funny smoke?

This bitch is gonna show ‘em how it’s done. Get ‘em, Babs.

Whoa. This is genius, and ought to be the basis for a new Nickelodeon/MTV co-production reality show: “Life with Uncle Smokey!” I’m pretty sure lil’ Justin Bieber just experienced his first contact high.

Get more (and lots of behind-the-scenes video) on the whole madness at .

is ‘s resident gay expert on what’s hot and sassy across queer Montréal 24/7. He’s also an avid video blogger and maestro who’s witty, cute and very fun to follow.

This week, he’s served up his for what’s fun in . Check it out!

will be decking its halls with a troop of body and sex positive performers that would make jolly ol’ Saint Nick himself turn a whole new shade of red. The night will feature a variety of naughty performances that will flip tradition on its head. Take a seat on Santa’s dirty lap for a snapshot, sneak a few kisses under the mistletoe and be sure not to miss a merry evening of classic burlesque, comic reinterpretation and just plain debauchery. Tits the season… to be naughty! December 11 & 12. 10pm. 1230 Blvd Saint Laurent. $10.

For three December days, one of Montréal’s hottest art spaces (Society for Arts and Technology) will host a bazaar featuring local up-and-coming artisans and designers called ‘SOUK.’ You’ll find one-of-a-kind threads, funky accessories and decorative objects, basically something for all tastes and budgets. DJs will provide a sultry retail atmosphere. This is NOT your mother’s Christmas craft fair. December 11-13. Free Admission. 1195 Blvd Saint Laurent.

If the true spirit of the holiday season is that of ‘giving,’ then Robin des Bois (Robin Hood) is a perfect place to let that seasonal spirit soar. Considered an ‘epicurean community centre,’ the classy Plateau bistro engages volunteers to serve tables and do basic kitchen work. Profits are then donated to local women’s shelters and youth groups. The concept is simple – you get a great meal and you support community-driven initiatives. Brilliant! And if you need some cheap therapy, for $5 you can throw your plate against the wall in their ‘release room.’ 4653 Blvd Saint Laurent.

Many nations have a queen, and every gay village has several, but in , there are no queens that can even compare with the iconoclastic Mado. Known for her wickedly sharp tongue and over-the-top costuming, Mado will make fun of you, and then throw you a wink. She is the city’s queen of the night… a “must-see” on anyone’s Montréal itinerary. For guaranteed fun, check out “War of the Bitches” on December 17 – featuring Kylie, Madonna, GaGa, Céline, Britney and more! For a taste of the action, watch my own ridiculously awesome at Cabaret Mado. 1115 Saint Catherine Street East.

As a world renown nightlife destination, Montréal will certainly be buzzing as we head into a new decade. In the gay village, internationally acclaimed DJ Hector Fonseca will be spinning house music at . One of the trendiest clubs in the heart of Old Montréal, , will host DJ Eddie Lewis (Montréal’s best R&B and Hip Hop DJ). If you prefer a slower pace, there is always the to waltz your way into 2010. Finally, to keep the party going on the evening of January 1, check out featuring German trance DJ Paul Van Dyk.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!


Welcome back to another fun week here at NewNowNext. Here’s what you missed on this miserable Monday.

Me’shell Ndegeocello is gonna rock Brooklyn as part of a Fela Kuti tribute concert for World AIDS Day.

For starters…

In Brooklyn, you can head to (Brooklyn Academy of Music) for a , whose life was cut short by AIDS. The show will feature performances by the likes of and the amazing .

Sisters Helene and Celine — aka Les Nubians — are gonna bring some gorgeous beats to Brooklyn, too.

And furthermore…

The folks behind the massive campaign to fight AIDS have today. You can shop, go to concerts, buy a new phone, or just donate to help in the fight against AIDS.

For instance in London, Motorola’s sponsoring a special concert with cool (and queer!) artists and the hot band (the lead singer Dan Gillespie Sells is gay) for a big fundraiser.

And at stores, from London to Dubai to New York to Tokyo to L.A., the store windows will feature World AIDS Day-relevant displays and boasts a variety of celebrity appearances, DJs, parties and awareness-raising events.

On , there’s an entire day’s worth of . From powerful movies like And the Band Played On and the network TV premiere of In the Gloaming (starring Glenn Close and Robert Sean Leonard), to the documentary series The Ride, to the Oscar-winning doc Common Threads: Stories Behind the Quilt.

And of course, there are candlelight vigils and rallies in cities all across the U.S. Check your local paper or gay publications for details!

This is why you’re hot: The 2010 “Cause You’re Hot” nominees

Shazam! This should be the easiest category to talk about yet. The “” Award is all about the sexiest among us, and you guys, the six hotties up for this year’s award are already burning up this html coding. for who you think is the hottest (as if they need anymore reassurance) then cool down with, I don’t know, perhaps a refreshing (FYI – they’re totally sponsoring this award, so drink up!).

When it comes to serial SEXINESS these six contenders are all repeat offenders. From actors to athletes to models, let’s review this year’s batch. Feel free to write your own slash fiction in the comments, but the only medium though which I’m comfortable approaching these gods among men is that of some adoring love letters.


MATTHEW BOMER “White Collar”- USA Network

Somebody, Somebody, Somebody’s eyes, are REALLY BLUE

Dear Matt, your stunning blue eyes pierce love wounds into my lonely soul. Ever since you stumbled into my life on the tattered posters for “” scattered across midtown, I’ve known that we were meant to be together. With your dark, wavy locks and killer style, you sashay’d away with my heart over the first season of your flashy, sexy basic cable show. And remember that one time you played Bryce on ? I do.


SCOTT FUJITA “Linebacker, Cleveland Browns”

Scott Fujita, OVER HERE!!! I’m Open!! I’m Open!!

Dear Scott, I don’t really follow football, but I’d follow you anywhere. You’ve played football for the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, and Cleveland Browns. That shows real versatility. I think it’s so cool that you were given your Japanese last name by your adoptive parents, and that you consider yourself “culturally Japanese.” I also think it’s awesome that you are a supporter of .

P.S. I was doing some research on you, and saw on your page says you’ve had 19 sacks in your career. I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD THING.

I got 55 problems, but Scott Fujita’s goatee ain’t one

KELLAN LUTZ “The Twilight Saga”

A body any person as shallow as that water could appreciate…

Dear Kellan, Wow. What a journey. Your portrayal of the vampire, Emmett Cullen, has got to be one of the hottest depictions of an undead entity to hit the big screen since Elvira. I would start a mall riot in Long Island for you any day. Speaking of malls, remember when you were a smoking ? Hot. My skanky friend Jenny disagrees with me, but I think your recent Calvin Klein X underwear ads are even hotter. Call me!


Jesus Luz, you is finer than the pinstripes on yo suit

Dear Jesus, writing the first two sentences in this paragraph, kind of felt like I was about to start praying. But how else am I supposed to talk to a SEX GOD?? Your hot Brazilian abs haunt my waking dreams like that one Celine Dion music video with . Would you ever consider DJing a party of 2? What if we split a ? But . This photo of you in Interview Magazine is something that would convince me to give away my first-born.

Who needs a kid anyway?


A body I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t mind having as their Avatar. Cute dress!!

Dear Zoe, Girl. Not that many people could pull off looking hot as a blue CGI alien, but I’ll be damned if you didn’t pull if off with flying colors. Flying colors mainly in the blue spectrum. But seriously, you’re out of this world, and often, quite literally. You were my favorite actress in after Winona Ryder!

BETTY WHITE “Legendary TV Star”

“And this is where the magic happens” – Betty

Dear Betty, Let’s talk. If there’s anyone who’s been able to maintain their hotness over the years it’s you. You were a man-hungry homemaker on the Mary Tyler Moore show, a surprisingly sassy Golden Girl, and now, you’re . I’m sure you’re receiving a lot more attention lately, now that your career is as hot as your dimples, but if you’d ever like to hang out with someone who knows his way around a Prince Orloff, let me know. I will be your friend AND your confidant.

So. Don’t forget to cool down a second with a nice , and for who you think deserves this year’s “Cause You’re Hot” award. But really, when you look this good, you’ve pretty much already won.

French-inspired swimwear collection Éclairée mixes elegant, sophisticated silhouettes with contemporary details and sexy sheer paneling. The emerging swimwear line has been featured everywhere from Harper’s Bazaar to Nylon, gaining praise for their covered up approach to sensuality. For Éclairée’s latest collection, the brand looked to classic beauty Grace Kelly for inspiration, mixing boy-cut shorts with plunging tops. The result is pure retro-fied sex appeal.

A timeless, chic silhouette. The Céline,

Sheer and sexy in all the right places. The Noémi, .

Fashion-forward and sophisticated. The Kiki, .

Sporty and modern. The Adele,

When I Revenge I secretly hoped it would be like a Lifetime movie that never ended. I got my wish. Let’s look at where the characters stand after last night’s dramatic turn of events.

Nolan vs. The Internet
Whoever is in charge of creating the computer images should be fired. They have Nolan, the fey version of Mark Zuckerberg, writing on a chat platform that looks like something people used when Prodigy internet service was still a thing.
Loser: Web designers and engineers everywhere. They are going to have nightmares full of modem noises tonight.

Declan vs. Charlotte
I forgot Ashley was a person who existed until last week and now that woman just won’t. shut. up. She’s claimed her place as the mouthpiece for the Graysons, and she is ripping right into Declan for dragging Charlotte’s druggie secret into the press. Charlotte is still angry, mostly because she loses her dignity… hard.

Victoria is trying to pin Tyler’s murder on Jack (I mean, if she saw the poo hoodie she might back off) and she won’t give up until Daniel is acquitted. She’s even willing to pimp out her own daughter to Declan in order to get him to turn on Jack. Charlotte shows up and tries to seduce Lil’ D and I give her credit. I was watching this scene, looking at Declan and everything was okay until OH MY GOD WHAT IS GOING ON WITH HIS CHEST HAIR? It’s not just patchy. It’s not just long. It’s weird. And Charlotte had to look at it while wearing last year’s Herve Leger and try to keep a straight face.

Declan doesn’t take the bait, probably because his vision was obstructed by his chest hair, and he ends up telling the truth about Charlotte on the stand. He calls her out for being a pillhead and a drunk. But then he follows it up by saying that she’s a really good person. He might as well have started his whole testimony with “No offense but…” because he basically just stuck all of Charlotte’s dirty laundry on a clothesline.

However, the worst part comes when Victoria bitches out Charlotte for not being sexy enough to sway Declan and the bonsai tree on his torso. So who does she turn to? Her old boyfriend, who she sleeps with to get some pills. And that my friends, is what we call rock bottom.
Loser: Sadly, it’s Charlotte. I’ve seen Requiem for a Dream and I am scared of where this is going.

Victoria vs. The Jury
Ol’ Mama Grayson has been reading her legal books and apparently plenty of John Grisham. She’s trying to rig the jury to help Daniel… but not if Emily has anything to do with it. Victoria thinks she can conquer the whole judicial system because she’s been busy sexing with Dominik and being painted like one of his French girls to even notice that Emily is totally setting her up for a grand failure. But, damn, that woman can rock a man’s button down and post-coital cheek flush like nobody’s business. Emily manages to grab Victoria’s attempt at jury tampering on her little whale cam (seriously, they should sell those), which ends up helping Jack and Daniel.
Loser: Victoria. Is she losing her mind or is Emily just making it look that way? Discuss.

Jack vs. Declan
I am forcing myself to write about Jack because he is on this show. He’s still looking for the cheek-chewing Aman-duh and holding on to that damn bloody hoodie. Doesn’t he know stains settle? And that blood stains turn brown? And that even if that article of clothing can save his love, it will always look like he got pooped on by giant if he ever wears it again? These are things I think about that are more interesting than his character.

Declan has ruined his relationship all because Jack won’t get rid of the poo hoodie. Pretty sure that’s enough reason to submit Jack to be on Hoarders. Lucky for Jack, Emily still likes him, so she manages to help get rid of the sh$#ty sweatshirt and plant it on Victoria’s hired thug.
Loser: Jack. Because not only is he boring, but I think a bag of rocks would have figured things out better than he has.

Emily vs. Daniel
With the setup that Emily’s been trying to help out Jack, it was obvious that dim-witted Daniel was bound to get jealous. I mean, he should have been for a long time but I’m proud of his brain for finally connecting some dots. He’s so ticked off that he ends his sobriety and turns into Bridget Jones. He’s staring out the window, sitting outside in the snow and making desperate phone calls. And instead of having whimsical mishap involving Colin Firth, Daniel breaks the terms of his house arrest and gets real pushy with Emily. Luckily, before he can send her his really pathetic note, Victoria’s thug ends up dead, conveniently leaving behind a note confessing to Tyler’s murder. Daniel is off the hook, but it remains to be seen if he can forgive himself for firing the first shot.
Loser: Emily. Daniel’s off-the-wagon persona probably drinks wine and listens to Celine Dion.

Dominik vs. Conrad
Boy fight! Conrad confronts Dominik, who seems to know everything about what the Graysons did to David Clark, and puts the not-so-starving artist in his place. But how much does Dominik really know? And how much Conrad really know? Not much, apparently, because he had no idea his wife has been hiring a goon squad to do her dirty work.
Loser: Conrad. He may have gotten rid of Victoria’s lover but his loose lips have found him a new enemy. Emily knows the Graysons has her dad killed. Things are not looking good for Conrad.

Weekly winners: Razors (somebody please buy one for Declan), Jack & Daniel (they are both off the hook), Ashley (for having a few lines that I actually remembered).

Weekly losers: Pretty much major player has something to be sad about, but I think we can all agree that hoodies are having the worst week ever.

Episode Bitch Scale Score: Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted. Because nothing can make a woman look crazy like being around another crazy woman.

ABBA's Agnetha Faltskog prepares comeback

Originally published: October 4, 2012 9:09 AM
Updated: October 4, 2012 10:39 AM
By The Associated Press

STOCKHOLM - (AP) -- Agnetha Faltskog, one of the former members of Swedish pop band ABBA, is preparing for a comeback and has returned to the recording studio after more than eight years of musical silence.

The singer's spokesman, Staffan Linde, told The Associated Press Thursday that the 62-year-old Faltskog is working alongside Swedish songwriter Jorgen Elofsson, who has previously penned and produced tunes for megastars including , and boy band Westlife. He could not say when the new album will be released.

After ABBA split in the early 1980s, Faltskog pursued a solo career for a few years, but then went into a music hiatus for most of the 1990s. Her last album, "My Colouring Book," contained cover songs and was released in 2004.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Adele gives voice to restraint

Originally published: May 20, 2011 3:47 PM
Updated: May 20, 2011 4:31 PM

Adele is a different kind of diva.

Sure, she has the voice to compete with anyone around -- the power and control to match anything from Whitney and Mariah in their prime, the effortless range and clarity of Celine. What sets her apart also may be what makes her so emblematic of these times -- restraint.

You won't catch Adele singing 10 notes when one will do, and you won't find her...

All hail Oprah, the Queen of Daytime

Originally published: May 19, 2011 5:55 PM
Updated: May 20, 2011 11:53 AM

Photo credit: AP talk-show host announces during a live broadcast of "The " in that her daytime television show, the foundation of a multibillion-dollar media empire with legions of fans, will end its run in 2011 after 25 seasons on the air.

Well, that was quite a ride.

Twenty-five years ago, many expected "The " would be big. No one anticipated Planet Oprah. Over a quarter century, "Oprah" -- which airs its final episode Wednesday -- and Oprah became worldwide phenomena that breached lives, cultures and -- most unexpectedly -- whole industries. But there have been other talk shows and other hosts. What made this one so outrageously different?

Where to begin? With Winfrey herself, of course. The show and Winfrey were one, as if a moving, talking image on someone's TV could somehow be turned into flesh and blood.

She was all there, right there, fully present on the screen every day for 25 years, and absolutely relentless in conveying the sheer force of her humanness: the appetites, fears, insecurities, joys and triumphs, often refracted even further through the battles with body weight or dress size. Her past became present, and a bandage ripped from a still-raw wound, with stories about childhood poverty and abuse, adolescent promiscuity and an unplanned pregnancy. Winfrey's life was her material, and the subject she knew best.

While she pored obsessively over this life, the lessons became apparent to fans who embraced them as well. The universe was not indifferent but had a plan for her, and for them. No one had ever heard talk about the universe's plan. But Johnny was detached, cool and ironic. Oprah -- and "Oprah" -- were not.

As a blend of inspiration and aspiration, her show was something that had never been seen on daytime TV. Here was an African-American woman from the Jim Crow South who had been raised in poverty and became one of the world's wealthiest people. Winfrey's singular "aha" moment -- repeated mantra-like through the years -- was that life was about redemption, salvation and (most of all) personal fulfillment.

But if "Oprah" occasionally took on the aura of an old-time revival meeting, it also was yoked to a distinctly secular and even consumerist worldview. "Thin" was usually better than "fat." Fashion mattered, really mattered. And things, especially nice, expensive things, were good. "EVERYBODY GETS A CAR," she bellowed repeatedly over the hysterical din of an adoring studio audience in one of the most famous moments in TV history. In another time or place, she could have just as easily been saying, "Everybody gets to heaven," but in that wild, ecstatic, made-for-TV moment, a free new car seemed much better.

In fact, had been just another Elmer Gantry in pumps, her show would have disappeared years ago. Other TV preachers had come and gone. She was not a preacher, but a BFF, who cared deeply -- boy, did she care. No one on TV -- maybe with the exception of Mr. Rogers -- had ever seemed to care so much. When she cried hot tears, then looked deep into the camera, it was like she was looking right into viewers' souls. Then Winfrey would invariably say something absolutely perfect to the moment, such as these Oprahisms from various shows: "If there is one message, it is that you are not alone. . . . To be embraced, and feel part of other people's lives . . . I don't know of another human being who has appreciated [this] more than I have. . . . I preach gratitude . . . it changes the way you see the world . . . the great lesson I have learned in all these years is that every person matters."

That's right. You matter. You, sitting there in the solitude of your living room trying to navigate life. You are hearing from your Best Friend Forever that you matter. And you believed her. What's more, she truly seemed to believe what she was saying, too.

It was quite a performance over 25 years, one that changed millions of lives, altered the culture, made her a billionaire and even landed her a cable network cast in her own image.

10 ways Oprah changed pop culture

Books have been written about how Planet Oprah managed to do all of this. But we don't have time for a book, so here are 10 ways Oprah Winfrey changed American popular culture:

1. BIRTH OF THE TV CONFESSIONAL Other broadcasters, from Jack Paar to , had, of course, deployed some aspect of their life story for their TV act, but no one had ever elevated it to the level that Winfrey did. This was almost like TV emerging from the confession booth, with Winfrey setting a new standard for intimacy (she out-"Donahued" ) on the tube. In 2011, the TV personality as your pal and confidant is standard fare, from "Live! With Regis and Kelly" to "." In 1986, when "Oprah" began, it was revolutionary.

2. SELF-HELP TV "Oprah" evolved from the often lurid so-called "schlock talk" of the late '80s to TV that was all about uplifting lives and personal fulfillment through the '90s. "Change Your Life" was even a popular segment that was a road map to said fulfillment and occasionally a punching bag for critics who deemed the star "Deepak Oprah" or a New Age quack talking about "The Secret" (a book that literally espoused good vibrations) or the psychic efficacy of bubble baths. But self-help is also now a standard feature on the talk-show landscape, and it came into full force with this show.

3. OPRAH INC. More than any other personality in history, Winfrey would turn the trappings of great fame into the trappings of a media empire. Harpo, her production company, branched into TV movies ("Their Eyes Were Watching God"), specials and miniseries ("The Women of Brewster Place"), alongside a range of retail and specialty brands -- Oprah Boutique, Expert Minutes, Oprah's Favorite Things, Oprah's Book Club,, Oprah Radio and so on. Winfrey became omnipresent throughout the world, and the show was only the most visible facet.

4. OPRAH AND O Much has been said about Winfrey's impact on the book-publishing industry (see story on C18), but her effect on magazines was almost as electrifying. The launch of O in April 2000 was the most successful magazine takeoff in history, and if the show was a refraction of All That Was Oprah, the magazine was a high-gloss distillate. There was the "O List" of all the stuff she loved (Fendi sunglasses); favorite recipes; interviews with extraordinary people and personal heroes (); and life strategies for success, health and happiness ("9 things weight loss winners know -- and you don't").

5. OPRAH AND RACE That Oprah's an African American woman from Kosciusko, Miss., is the bedrock fact of her entire life, and a core part of her message. But she was, and is, also a so-called "crossover" personality who appealed to white viewers almost more than to black ones. There have been many theories about Oprah's impact on race relations, such as a 1989 essay by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison that even claimed that "in a racist society, the majority needs and seeks from time to time proof that they are loved by the minority" they've oppressed. Oprah, "a one-person demilitarized zone, has served that purpose."

6. OPRAH AS A SELLING MACHINE Winfrey's ability to sell products was as great as her ability to sell ideas. Everything and anything mentioned on her show, from diet fads to soap, was sprinkled with marketing magic dust, while to be one of "Oprah's Favorite Things" was to be conferred a status that no amount of advertising or paid publicity could hope to replicate.

7. OPRAH AND THE TALK BOOM "The Oprah Winfrey Show," later shortened to "Oprah," arrived in a crush of daytime talk; there were to be dozens of shows over the years jostling for attention, influence and fortune, and they are mostly all gone now -- except for the ones she developed. She used her considerable influence and fortune to launch some of the most successful daytime talkers now on TV -- "," "," "Nate Berkus" and "Dr. Oz."

8. OPRAH AND POLITICS For the first 15 (or so) years of "Oprah," she kept the show a politics-free zone, on the assumption -- certainly reasonable -- that politics tended to be divisive, while she had carefully crafted a vision of unity and fulfillment of life goals. That would change because Oprah came to obvious realization that her show tapped into the national dialogue on any number of subjects. Oprah left her show for a brief period to help 's candidacy, but some believed her sabbatical hurt the show as well by alienating or Republican supporters. Nevertheless, her role as a political power broker -- when she chose to wield her power -- was undeniable.

9. OPRAH AND HOLLYWOOD Stars beat a path to "Oprah," believing that not only would an appearance sell tickets, but that the approval of the show's host could almost beatify a career. Dozens of stars appeared over the years, and the show became a force unlike no other. ", and really became friends of mine" through the interviews, she said. would appear nine times. They became friends, too -- couch-jumping and all.

10. OPRAH AND GIVING Central to "Oprah" was charity, and its star gave. In 1997, she launched the Angel Network, saying she was inspired by the "little girl" who collected 400,000 pennies. The Angel Network collected millions of dollars in change that went to student scholarships over the years, and giving has likewise become a part of many other stars' personas.

Oprah moments we'll never forget

BY FRANK LOVECE, Special to Newsday

Many Oprah moments got people talking. And a few got people, the press, the Internet and maybe even aliens monitoring our broadcasts talking. Here are five of Oprah Winfrey's most widely discussed moments.

CRUISE COUCH-JUMPING On the May 23, 2005, show, Tom Cruise couldn't seem to control his ardor for actress , whose relationship with him had recently become public. Maniacally grinning, laughing, restless, he twice jumped up on the sofa, and into TV history.

FAT ON A WAGON In Nov. 15, 1988's "Diet Dreams Do Come True" -- the highest-rated episode to that time -- a skinny Winfrey in size 10 jeans pulled behind her a wagon with 67 pounds of animal fat, representing her four-month weight loss from 212 to 145 on an all-liquid diet.

CAR GIVEAWAY For 276 audience members hand-picked because each needed a car, Winfrey gave each a GM-donated on the Sept. 13, 2004, season premiere. Her excited announcement, "You get a car! And you get a car!" became a catchphrase.

OPRAH'S HALF-SISTER On Jan. 24, 2011, Winfrey revealed that unbeknown to her, she has a younger half-sister, Patricia, born while Winfrey was living with her father and unaware her mother was pregnant by another man. Patricia had discovered the relationship in 2007, and just before 2010 finally reached out to Winfrey to tell her.

-TRIP GIVEAWAY On the Sept. 13, 2010, premiere of her 25th and final season, Winfrey told her delighted audience she was giving them a free, eight-day trip to Australia, where she was taping a series of shows. Their pilot? Well, John Travolta was supposed to fly one of the two 747s that arrived in on Dec. 7, but that didn't happen.

'American Idol:' Top 12 ladies review

Thursday March 3, 2011 7:52 AM By

Here we go-- another two second capsule review that will take you exactly two seconds to read. First, my quick overview of last night-- the women are definitely better than the men, overall, but many seemed a bit too anxious to channel their inner-Alicia Keys (or Celine Dion), giving the whole affair a sense of sameness, which equals dullness.

Here goes . . .

- Ta-Tynisa Wilson: Trying to channel Rihanna. A pitchy mess. Not gonna happen.

-Naima Adedapo: Nice vocals, but the whole lounge act was over the top and distracting.

- Kendra Chantelle: Top notes thinned out, and were drained of power or impact. Not a memorable performer.

- Rachel Zevita: A slinky Fiona Apple rendition.Not good.

- Karen Rodriguez: Best of the night. Terrific vocals, very clean phrasing (and in Spanish) along with crystal-clear tones. Only setback is that her stage presence is unremarkable.

- Ashthon Jones: Speaking of stage presence, she's got it, plus solid professional pipes. Wonder if voters will like her as much as I did though? Doubtful . . .

- Julie Zorilla: Head-on collision with pitch problems. A "Breakaway" mess.

- Haley Reinhart: Fallin' . . . fallin' . . . out of the competition.

- Lauren Turner: Belts out some Etta James with real force and conviction. Another favorite.

- Thia Megia: Everyone loved this . . . but me. Boring song and presentation (from "Fame."). Great vocals of course, and she's one of those budding stars-- 15!-- that will connect with the audience. Should be interesting to see what she does next. She'll go far -- this season's David Archuleta, and could win the whole thing.

- Lauren Alaina: Country rocker and a very competent one ("Turn on the Radio.") She gave a real lift to the night; my second favorite to go far.

- Pia Toscano: Just didn't get it; huge vocal close was gale- force. But I'm way in the minority on this one.

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American Idol 10: Handicapping the Top 13

Wednesday March 9, 2011 11:08 AM By

Photo credit: Handout

The “American Idol” season begins in earnest tonight and we'll get to see how well the show's wholesale changes will actually play out.

So far, most of them have worked out pretty well. Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler have proven to be good additions, though sometimes they really are too nice to the contestants. (Anyone who saw them praise Ta-Tynisa's unfortunate “Only Girl in the World” last week had to be wondering if they heard the same thing the rest of us did.) Last week's sudden-death cut of 11 semifinalists made for great TV, even if was robbed of a slot in the finals.

And now, we'll get to see how well all these music industry mentors will do their jobs, helping the Top 13 with song choice, arrangements and overall packaging. That help removes the advantage that previous contestants, including David Cook and Adam Lambert, who had arranging and strong musical backgrounds used to have, but it should make for a better-sounding TV show.

Here's a look at how the Top 13 stack up coming into the finals:

1. Jacob Lusk: He has a stunning R&B voice and a great way of connecting with a song emotionally, as he has shown with “God Bless the Child” and “A House Is Not a Home.” He looks like the one to beat, but, no matter what Randy Jackson likes to say, when it comes down to it “Idol” is a popularity contest, not a singing contest. Will he become yet another more-talented runner-up? Time will tell.

2. Casey Abrams: The 20-year-old has a great voice, mad musical skills and a winning personality. He seems to have gotten past his little health scare and his “I Put a Spell on You” was wildly entertaining last week. If I was a betting man, my money would be on him to win.

3. Scotty McCreery: I'd also put some down on young Scotty. He has the clearest run to a major-label contract of the entire field. Country labels must be salivating already to get their hands on the poised 17-year-old. Does that make him a winner too? Maybe.

4. Paul McDonald: His indie-rock-meets-R&B vibe is an attractive combo. He has overcome a lack of early screen time by coming on strong and showing he knows how to use his distinctive voice and work the crowd. If others stumble, his experience could pull him through. The dark horse, Blake Lewis-like pick.

5. Pia Toscano: The Howard Beach native is a Celine Dion-esque powerhouse, the kind of singer that would have been dominant 15 years ago. Her masterful “I'll Stand by You” showed that she can be crafty and hold her own. If all the other girls fall away, she could stick around Crystal Bowersox-style until the end as the only female in the field.

6. Thia Megia: Will tweens embrace this delightful 15-year-old the way they did Jordin Sparks? They probably should. Thia has a sweet, powerful voice that she uses skillfully, but she doesn't oversell. Her “Out Here on My Own” was clear and potent, letting the song shine through. The “Idol” marketing teams could build her into something very, very bankable.

7. Naima Adedapo: OK, Naima could go one of two ways – she could gain some confidence and use her great voice and musical instincts to become a contender or she could let the nerves get to her and bow out early. I'm hoping for the former, especially considering her great back story, but I'm not completely sold just yet.

8. Lauren Alaina: An early front-runner and clearly beloved by “Idol” producers, she has a nice voice and a memorable personality. However, Scotty has kind of stolen her country thunder and Thia is younger and sweeter. She seems like she could easily right herself, but she seems currently on a bid of a fade.

9. James Durbin: As the only rocker in the field, he could hang around for a long time. He has a chance of winning if he figures out how to sing without relying on that big scream every week and if he can distinguish himself as not Adam Lambert II. “You've Got Another Thing Comin'” was certainly an unexpected start.

10. Ashthon Jones: The diva is entertaining, but she does kind of have to pay more attention to the singing and the song choice. She could clearly be molded into some sort of current chart-topper and could be quite the surprise once the mentors get a hold of her.

11. Stefano Langone: He seems like a nice guy with a nice voice – not sure there's much more than that there.

12. Karen Rodriguez: Gotta give it up to the pride of the Boogie-Down Bronx. She's working the angles. She's playing up her J.Lo love, but K.Ro needs a bit more oomph and a bit less pandering. Also, in the end, aggressively pursuing the Latin vote is not going to help her gain a widespread vote. Just sayin'.

13. Haley Reinhart: Her version of “Fallin'” was annoying and ill-conceived, so I have no idea how she landed among America's Top 5 vote-getters. I don't think she'll be around long enough for us to find out what her voters saw in her.

MORE: Our pal Verne Gay ranks the Top 13 .

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American Idol 10: Top 12 Gals power rankings

Wednesday March 2, 2011 11:03 PM By

Photo credit: Fox

The women may not have the bench strength that the guys have this season, but their best will give Jacob and Casey a run for their money.

Pia Toscano transformed The Pretenders' gorgeous “I'll Stand By You” into a full-blown Celine Dionesque ballad, ending on huge notes that lifted her straight to the top.

Thia Megia's pretty, elegant take on Irene Cara's “Out Here on My Own” showed a maturity that many of the semifinalists could lack. She understood that less can definitely be more and stood out by tapping into the song's simplicity.

Lauren Alaina brought the fun out of Reba's “Turn on the Radio,” while Lauren Turner smartly updated Etta James' “Seven Day Fool” into something Amy Winehouse-current. And Ashthon Jones played every bit the diva to make Monica's “Love All Over Me” interesting.

After that, though, it started going awry. The fact that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez's comments didn't reflect that – especially on Ta-Tynisa's off-key “Only Girl in the World” and Haley Reinhart's dismal “Fallin'” – was kind of scary. At least they did catch onto Julie Zorrilla getting swallowed up by Kelly Clarkson's “Breakaway.”

There were enough good performances, though, to justify at least two, if not three, wild card choices from the gals' side to create a better chance of yielding a female “Idol” this season.


Pia Toscano, “I'll Stand by You”
Thia Megia, “Out Here On My Own”
Lauren Alaina, “Turn on the Radio”
Lauren Turner, “Seven Day Fool”
Ashthon Jones, “Love All Over Me”
Naima Adedapo, “Summertime”
Karen Rodriguez, “Hero”
Kendra Chantelle, “Impossible”
Haley Reinhart, “Fallin'”
Rachel Zevita, “Criminal”
Julie Zorrilla, “Breakaway”
Ta-Tynisa Wilson, “Only Girl in the World”

TOP 5: Pia, Thia, Lauren A., Lauren T., Ashthon
WILL BE ELIMINATED: Naima, Karen, Kendra, Haley, Rachel, Julie, Ta-Tynisa (Judges will save Kendra and Julie and maybe even Haley)
SHOULD BE ELIMINATED: Naima, Karen, Kendra, Haley, Rachel, Julie, Ta-Tynisa

ACTUALLYELIMINATED:Naima, Kendra, Rachel, Julie, Ta-Tynisa, Ashthon, Lauren T.

FINALISTS: Pia, Thia, Lauren A., Karen, Haley and wild cards Ashthon and Naima.

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Artists behind Oscar-nominated songs won't perform

Published: February 17, 2010 8:42 PM
By The Associated Press SANDY COHEN (AP Entertainment Writer)

(AP) — Some of Oscar's most memorable moments have come during performances of nominated songs.

Among them: rap group Three 6 Mafia surrounded by streetwalkers as they performed "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from "Hustle & Flow" in 2006, and Celine Dion's resplendent performance of the "Titanic" hit, "My Heart Will Go On," in 1998.

Don't expect such musical moments at the 82nd Academy...

At Studio K, teens record tunes from past, present

Originally published: February 15, 2010 6:04 PM
Updated: February 20, 2010 11:04 AM
By JENNA KERN-RUGILE Special to Newsday

Photo credit: Joe Epstein Karen Van Houten, upper left, leads teens from Studio K in a recording at Cove City Sound Studios in Glen Cove. From left are Joe Ball, Lauren Doherty, Zak Thompson, Adara Mifsud, Olivia Buonsante, Zoe Black, Ashlyn Libert and Michael Recchia. (Feb. 7, 2010)

Many Long Islanders spent Super Bowl Sunday glued to the game, but for eight talented teens the action took place in the main room at Cove City Sound Studios in Glen Cove.

The teens, part of a new group called Studio K, are hoping to follow in the footsteps of some of the other singers who've recorded at Cove City. Mariah Carey, Billy Joel, Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston and Celine Dion all...

Avon Products rejects Coty's $10B offer

Originally published: April 2, 2012 9:20 AM
Updated: April 2, 2012 8:28 PM
By Mae Anderson and Michelle Chapman. The Associated Press

Photo credit: AP Struggling is rejecting a buyout offer worth about $10 billion from beauty company Coty Inc., as Coty went public with the bid Monday, April 2, 2012. (July 28, 2010)

Coty came calling, but Avon slammed the door.

Struggling direct cosmetics seller Avon Products Inc. Monday rejected a $10-billion buyout offer from Coty Inc., a smaller beauty products maker looking to capitalize on Avon's business woes.

It is the largest takeover offer by far from Manhattan-based Coty Inc., which has snapped up smaller beauty brands like OPI nail polish and Philosophy...

BIG 10: Lutheran boys stay on top

Published: December 20, 2010 9:09 PM

Photo credit: Pat Orr Photography Achraf Yacoubou of Long Island Lutheran boys basketball.

 1. LONG ISLAND LUTHERAN BOYS BASKETBALL Achraf Yacoubou is surrounded by talent, including Bay Shore transfer Jordan Allen. The Crusaders lost starter Anthony Brutus, who transferred from the school this week.

2. HALF HOLLOW HILLS WEST BOYS BASKETBALL Half Hollow Hills West is the team to beat in Suffolk’s Class AA, with Tavon Sledge and Emile Blackman leading the way. The Colts earned the...

Blind restaurant dining is coming to NYC

Published: August 27, 2010 12:03 PM
By The Associated Press

Photo credit: AP Patrons enter the Dans le Noir (In the Black) restaurant in . (Sept. 21, 2004)

A French restaurant group that offers pitch-dark dining is preparing to open New York City’s first blind eatery.

Eat with your eyes? Not at Dans le Noir?, French for “In the Dark?” At the existing restaurants in Paris, London, Barcelona and Moscow, diners are guided to a table where they can’t see their hands in front of their faces and are served by blind waiters.

“It’s an experience...

Bob Seger, Jim Steinman inducted to Songwriters Hall

Tuesday February 21, 2012 12:27 PM By

Photo credit: Capitol Records

Classic rock standard-bearers Bob Seger and Jim Steinman lead this year's class of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The “Old Time Rock 'n' Roll” star and the songwriter behind Meat Loaf's “Bat Out of Hell” will be inducted on June 14 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan, along with “Sundown” singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, “The Gambler” songwriter Don Schlitz, and the composing team Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, who wrote the Broadway musical “The Fantasticks.”

Seger, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, has had an impressive string of hits since the '60s, including “Against the Wind” and “Like a Rock.” His “Greatest Hits” album was the best-selling catalog album from 2000-2010.

Steinman has written hits for himself (“Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through”) as well as Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler (), Celine Dion () and Air Supply ()

Tickets for the induction are $1,000 and are on sale now through Buckley Hall Events, 212-573-6933, with proceeds going to the Songwriters Hall's programs.

Brown leads Freeport in playoff opener

Originally published: February 16, 2012 10:05 PM
Updated: February 16, 2012 10:10 PM

Jere Brown scored 13 points, including a free throw with 18 seconds left, as No. 8 Freeport held off ninth-seeded MacArthur, 48-46, in a Nassau Class AA first-round boys basketball playoff game Thursday.

MacArthur went a 10-0 run late in the fourth and cut a 12-point deficit to 48-46 with under a minute left.

Isaiah Barnes added 12 points and eight rebounds and Leondre Simmon had 10...

Buckner '86 World Series ball for sale

Published: October 4, 2011 5:30 PM

Photo credit: Newsday File OCT. 25, 1986: BILL BUCKNER'S WORLD SERIES GAFFE
Trailing 5-3 in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series and behind 3-2 in the series, the Mets rallied for three runs in the 10th inning against Boston to produce one of baseball's most miraculous finishes. Down to their final out, with champagne waiting in the visitors' clubhouse at Shea Stadium, the Mets managed three singles, a wild pitch and an unforgettable E3 to win the game. That E3 was courtesy of Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, who allowed Mookie Wilson's "little roller" up the first base line to trickle between his legs as Ray Knight came around to score the winning run.

The ball is back in play.

The prize souvenir from the 1986 World Series will go on this month with a $1 million price tag, put up for auction by the Grammy-nominated songwriter who once bought it from actor Charlie .

Seth Swirsky owns the ball, along with a bevy of bats, gloves and other mementos tied to the likes of , and Eddie . He celebrates the game's lore, and has written three books based on his letters to and from ballplayers.

"I love my collection. I don't think I've ever sold anything from it," Swirsky told The Associated Press from his home in Los Angeles. "But that ball, it's time to pass it along, to let someone else enjoy it." Swirsky plans to begin the online auction on Oct. 15, and it won't last long. He intends to close the bidding late on the night of Oct. 25 -- at the exact minute of the 25th anniversary of Buckner's famous error.

Swirsky said he decided to part with a favorite piece while driving around last week, a day after watching Boston collapse on the final night of the regular season.

"The myth of Buckner continues. There he was on '' last month. Everybody knows where they were when that play happened," he said. "I wasn't in a gloating mood. This isn't about, 'ha, ha, the Red Sox lost.' I'm not a Red Sox hater, I'm a baseball history lover.

"If anything, I want people to know how good Buckner was. You really wanted Billy Buck on your team. He got 2,715 hits -- almost as many as ," Swirsky said.

Buckner, however, is more noted for what happened in Game 6 of the '86 Series. Playing first base for Boston, he let 's grounder roll through his legs, allowing the to cap an incredible rally in the 10th inning. The went on to win the title.

The ball was picked up by right field umpire , who put a tiny "x" near a seam to mark the real thing. Montague gave it to executive Richman, who in turn presented it to Wilson. Then Wilson signed it to Richman -- "The ball won it for us," he wrote -- and the souvenir made its way around the clubhouse. Someone left a tobacco stain where he kissed it.

Sheen bought the ball for more than $93,000 in 1992 and Swirsky purchased it for nearly $64,000 in 2000. Auction houses handled those transactions, but Swirsky said he's going online because the anniversary date is fast approaching.

To Swirsky, the Buckner ball captures the heart of the sport.

"People ask, 'Why would you have a ball about sorrow?' To me, it's encompasses the two emotions of the game. The highs and lows, all encapsulated in one ball." Raised in Long Island, the 51-year-old Swirsky gave the ball to the Hall of Fame last year for display. He's also shown it to both Wilson and Buckner at different times. Buckner thought it was "cool" and Wilson's eyes "got real big," Swirsky said.

Swirsky's extensive collection is a combination of historical and hysterical.

He's got a ticket stub from 's last game, the ball hit for his third straight home run in the 1977 World Series and a letter Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis wrote to Shoeless Joe after getting banned in the Black Sox scandal.

Swirsky also owns the cap that was wearing when a ball bounced off his head for a home run, a bottle of champagne the Red Sox had in their clubhouse in anticipation of winning the '86 Series and a rare autograph from Gaedel, the dwarf who batted in a 1951 publicity stunt.

Baseball memorabilia is only a part of Swirsky's life. He co-wrote the hit "Tell It To My Heart" by , and has multiple hits with , and . Swirsky also performs with The Red Button, his Beatles-oriented retro band that recently released a new album.

Swirsky thinks $1 million is a good starting point, based on previous ball sales. 's 70th homer went for over $3 million and 's homer from the 1933 All-Star game went for $850,000, as did 's last home run.

Swirsky plans to donate part of the proceeds to the Baseball Assistance Team, which helps those in the baseball family having financial hardship. He previously donated from his book sales to B.A.T.

"We should share this with the people who created these memories for us," he said.

Swirsky would sell the Buckner ball for a certain person in an instant.

Outspoken political commentator Keith -- an excellent baseball storyteller, too -- came in second to Sheen when the ball initially went to auction. Olbermann then was second to Swirsky.

"If I got a call from Keith and he wanted it for a million, I'd do it. He deserves it," Swirsky said. "I'd rather have someone who really wants it to have it, y'know?"

Cardinal Timothy Dolan honors Hartsdale principal

Originally published: May 24, 2012 5:57 PM
Updated: May 24, 2012 6:18 PM

May 24, 2012 2:26 PM

For Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, a Thursday visit to Maria Regina High School in Hartsdale was anything but typical.

But then the private, all-girls school's principal, Sister Danielle Marie Baran, C.R. (Congregation of the Resurrection), is not your typical nun.

"I'm a principal that does not stay in my office. I can sink a basketball and hit a softball," said Baran, who is retiring for...

Celine Dion camp: No early C-section scheduled

Published: October 14, 2010 8:50 PM
By FRANK LOVECE. Special to Newsday

Celine Dion's husband and manager, René Angélil, has denied a report that the singer has scheduled an early C-section to deliver her twin boys, or that she made diva demands of the Florida hospital where she's to give birth - prompting an angry reply from the Palm Beach Post columnist who reported that story.

"There is nothing scheduled. We do not have a date," Angélil, 68, told People magazine...

Celine Dion coming back to Vegas for 3-year stint

Published: February 11, 2010 6:18 AM
By The Associated Press OSKAR GARCIA (Associated Press Writer)

(AP) — Celine Dion is returning to the Las Vegas Strip in 2011 to begin a three-year run at Caesars Palace.

The Grammy award-winning singer announced Wednesday she'll return to the 4,300-seat Colosseum, home of her previous show, "A New Day." It grossed more than $400 million and was seen by nearly 3 million fans over five years before closing in December 2007.

The new show begins March...

Celine Dion gives birth to twin boys

Published: October 23, 2010 9:11 PM

Celine Dion has given birth to twin boys, finally realizing her dream of being a mother again at 42 years old after a long struggle to become pregnant, The Associated Press reports.

A statement released by St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., said the singer delivered the boys yesterday afternoon. One weighed 5 pounds, 10 ounces, the other, 5 pounds, 4 ounces. No names have...

Celine Dion pregnant with twins, magazine says

Published: May 30, 2010 8:00 PM

Photo credit: AFP / Getty Images Canadian singer gave birth to twin boys.

Céline Dion is pregnant with twins, reports.

The singer, 42, is expecting after a sixth attempt, her rep Kim Jakwerth, confirmed to the magazine. Dion also turned to acupuncture this time to improve her chances of a pregnancy, she said.

Dion, who has a son René-Charles, 9, with husband and manager René Angelil, is 14 weeks along. She will find out the gender of the twins next month.

"We're ecstatic," Angelil said. "Celine is just hoping for a healthy pregnancy. She was hoping for one baby and the news that we are having two is a double blessing!"

Dion announced a pregnancy last August, but months later, revealed that the fertilization attempt had not taken.

She opened up about the miscarriage on "The " in February, telling Winfrey, "It's life. You know? A lot of people go through this."

She told Winfrey she waited before announcing the miscarriage because the news had come so soon after the initial reports of her pregnancy.

"They said that I was pregnant, and a couple of days after, we were not pregnant again. We didn't want to feel like we were playing yo-yo. 'I'm pregnant. I'm not pregnant. I'm pregnant. I'm not pregnant.' "

Celine Dion says new movie a 'VIP' pass for fans

Published: February 14, 2010 8:43 PM
By The Associated Press NEKESA MUMBI MOODY (AP Music Writer)

(AP) — Celine Dion's new movie, "Celine: Through the Eyes of the World," does more than highlight her performances during her last world tour; it also allows fans rare glimpses of her offstage life.

The documentary shows Dion as a goofy jokester, a doting mother, a tender wife, a wide-eyed tourist, a devoted daughter and more. The cameras tag along for intimate moments the superstar is happy...

Celine Dion, husband to try for baby again

Published: March 10, 2010 6:57 PM

Céline Dion and her husband René Angélil will go to New York this weekend for a third try at conceiving a child through in vitro fertilization now that news is out that the Canadian singer isn't pregnant after all.

"Céline and I didn't get discouraged . . . we put our faith in life and in the stars," Angélil told the Canadian newspaper the Journal de Montréal.

Dion's U.S.-based publicist,...

Cool pools at Atlantic City hotels

Originally published: July 30, 2009 2:12 PM
Updated: April 29, 2010 3:31 PM
By JOSEPH V. AMODIO Special to Newsday

Photo credit: Photo by Michael Nagle The pool at Harrah's casino in Atlantic City is encased by a UV-absorbent glass dome.

A big win at Atlantic City always appeals. But in economic crunch times, who's got the cold hard cash to throw at slot machines, roulette wheels and blackjack tables?

No worries. It's still possible to make a splash in AC - literally. Hoping to entice visitors looking for gambling alternatives, hotel owners have been jazzing up their pool bars and beach joints, creating a tranquil - at some, almost spalike - respite from the tobacco-jonesing hordes on the neon gaming floors. Getting patrons out into the sun is an intriguing shift for casinos, given that most don't even have windows.

We've surveyed some of the best pool bars in town. In most cases, they're open to hotel guests only . . . but anyone can walk in and check 'em out.



Rooms: From $209 a night Friday and Saturday; from $80 a night Sunday-Thursday

Pool hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily; nightclub 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Thursday-Saturday


The scene: This is where the pretty people go - hip and hot singles and couples in their 20s to early 40s - for a luxe, boutique hotel experience right on the boardwalk that has, get this, no casino. What it lacks in dice it more than makes up for in jazzy amenities: a Stephen Starr restaurant, spa, and - new this season - a South Beach-worthy rooftop pool bar landscaped with Brazilian ipe wood planters, white-cushioned chaises, a massive tent-covered bar and eight cabanas stocked with plasma TVs, mini bars, PlayStation 3s and a DVD and game library ($150 food/drink minimum weekdays; $500 weekends).

The pool makes for a soft and soothing dip, which you've gotta follow up with a refreshing cocktail (try the Boardwalk Lemonade, $10, with citrus vodka and rosemary; or the Chelsea, $12, with vodka, mint, lemon, and cucumber garnish).

Peckish? Try the grilled mahi wrap or Caprese sandwich with prosciutto de Parma and mozzarella, or crab cake-style fries ($6-$12) served up by a staff of young hotties.

While the pool is officially only open to hotel guests, management says if there's room, nonguests can join in the fun after 2 p.m.


After dark: By 10 p.m., the pool turns nightclub. Beams of purple light shoot up the side of the hotel tower, a DJ spins tunes and the place is packed with a cool club crowd (actor recently stopped by, and, look, that guy from ""). A line typically forms by 10:30 or 11, and hotel guests must queue like the locals. The party goes till 3 a.m. Two hours later, a phalanx of fixers is switching out messy cushions and sprucing things up for the morning pool crowd.


Good to know: Before you head to breakfast, place something on a chaise (by 9:30 a.m. to be safe) to make sure you've scored one for later; they fill up quickly. Luxe accommodations at The Chelsea are in "The Tower" - the hotel's cheaper "Annex" rooms have yet to be renovated. Fine if you're desperate to save a buck - but otherwise steer clear.




2100 Pacific Ave., 800-443-0104,

Rooms: From $269 a night Friday-Sunday; $219 a night Monday-Friday

Pool hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (adults-only after 1 p.m.)


The scene: This sybaritic getaway offers two levels, a canopied bar, plenty of sleek, modern chaises and a few luxe cabanas ($50 for five hours, $100 a day; deluxe "cabs" including two drinks and a fruit basket are $75 and $150, respectively).

Go ahead - you went all in at poker last night and won, so why not indulge in a spa treatment right in your cabana ($100 for marine oil Swedish massage; $140 reflexology)?

Speaking of which, you've gotta try a strawberry mojito ($10.50) and maybe a plate of those tangy chopped Jersey tomatoes, a Kobe beef burger or veggie lavosh with hummus and flatbread ($9-$16.50).

A quibble: The roof deck offers stunning ocean views, but the music from Caesars' nearby beach bar wafts up in the summer breeze, clashing with the pool bar sound system (imagine 's "The Wanderer" from below and the Pointer Sisters' "He's So Shy" from above).


Good to know: The food comes from room service, which gets backed up on weekends by midafternoon, so order earlier if you're famished.




Sixth Floor of North Tower, 800-345-8767,

Rooms $229-$349 a night Friday and Saturday; $109-$149 a night Sunday-Thursday

Pool hours: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Friday; open until 7 p.m. Saturday


The scene: The resort's Web site dubs it a "secluded outdoor oasis," but it needs more decor (would it kill 'em to throw a few more flower boxes around?) and a bigger pool. This is a big ol' hotel-casino, which means the pool swarms with kids (splash, squeal, scream) as sweaty adults sit thigh to thigh on the pool's edge. A large, drab deck with old plastic chaises dominates the space.

To be fair, it's spacious, a DJ spins tunes and there's a nifty view of the ocean beyond for those at patio tables, front row chaises and a few bare-bones cabanas ($65-$85 a day) placed smack in the middle of the space.

A basic menu covers snacks, sandwiches and salads. For cocktails, the Frosty Sunbather, with frozen cappuccino and Patron XO Café, will perk up weary gamblers, and Capt. Morgan's Iced Tea is dubbed "very refreshing" - but we knew that.


Good to know: If you want to swim, use the indoor pool at the hotel's health club, for a fee - $10 a day a room.




Rooms: From $219 a night Friday and Saturday; $109 a night Sunday-Thursday

Pool hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily; nightclub 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday


The scene: Harrah's went liquid, "Logan's Run" style, two years ago, erecting a dramatic glass dome to house an aquatic wonderland awash in 86,000 gallons of water. Talk about oasis: They've got trees, tropical flowers, large curvaceous pool, plus hot tubs and cabanas (with TV, docking station and gift bags) sprinkled about.

A poolside massage ($71 reflexology; $160 Swedish) is a must.

This place sizzles . . . but you won't burn, thanks to the UV-absorbent glass. You'll also never tan, so sun worshipers must take their bronze bods up to the stylish outside tanning sundeck.

Love the complimentary chips and salsa. Or order from the bar everything from bottle service to smoothies, rumrunners to Philly cheesesteaks and "Mac Daddy" shrimp cocktail (from $9).


After dark: For more wicked watery delights, three nights a week the space turns into a club open to the public.

Patrons come dressed for clubbing, but can change in a locker room into bathing attire for a late-night dip.


Good to know: On Mondays, Harrah's hosts a 7 p.m. Resort Island Luau that includes dinner and an Aloha hula show. Tickets are $49.99.




David Leathers steals the show as Shannan MacGrane, Jessica Phillips also advance on 'American Idol'

Wednesday February 8, 2012 8:51 PM By

Shannan MacGrane, whose dad is a former baseball star, next up on "American Idol" singing Alicia Key's "Fallen" -- throaty and well-performed.

17-year-old David Leathers, the "ladies man" to quote Ryan Seacrest who looks like he's 12, comes out with a fantastic, on-pitch rendition of Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" -- audience applauds, he's totally got charisma.

Jessica Phillips, whose boyfriend recently had a stroke, doing Whitney Houston's "All the Man That I Need." I mean, it's so hard to do Whitney on this show, but she's got an interesting voice that keeps us listening, and gets a "beautiful!" from Steven Tyler.


They're all through. Leathers gets some kisses from a bevy of women gathered around him at the end.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments below, or on Twitter using #ndidol.

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Destinee Hooker and Olympic women's volleyball

Saturday July 28, 2012 4:26 PM By

Watching the women’s indoor volleyball, USA vs. Korea, and I think I have a new hero: Destinee Hooker.

Sure, there’s the fabulous name, which will surely inspire a new generation of drag queens. But look at this woman -- she’s killing out there. (And “kill,” I’ve just learned, is an actual volleyball term, not just hyperbole.) The 24-year-old Texan has got the longest legs you can imagine and she can JUMP. And those arms look skinny but she can WHACK that ball.

The match is being played in Earls Court, where many musical acts have played over the years, including the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Celine Dion -- but apparently the NBC announcer doesn’t care for Dion. Thanks for sharing, dude.

OK, things got rough for the American team, but they managed to win the match. Go, Destinee -- we want to see more of you.

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Dion cancels shows until June

Published: March 1, 2012 9:03 PM

Dion cancels shows until JuneCeline Dion has canceled more shows at Las Vegas' Caesars Palace, citing a virus causing an inflammation of her vocal cords, The Associated Press reports. Christi Nelson, an official with show producer AEG Live, said the singer has been ordered to rest her voice for six to eight weeks and will resume performances June 9. "I tried to sing at my sound check last week,...

Drops: Lopez's 'Love' looks like a smash

Originally published: April 29, 2011 1:24 PM
Updated: May 2, 2011 12:12 PM

Photo credit: Handout The cover of Jennifer Lopez's "Love?"

Nothing breeds success like success.

Only a year ago, looked like she was on the outs. Her movie "The Back-Up Plan" flopped. So did "Louboutins," the lead single off the previous incarnation of "Love?" And her longtime label, Epic Records, decided that "Love?" wasn't even worth putting out.

Now, look at Miss Jenny From the Block. The Brookville resident is "'s" breakout star and 's "Most Beautiful Woman in the World." And "Love?" (Island ) looks like a smash.

It's hard to go wrong when people pour resources this extravagant into a project. La Lopez already has a hit with her pal Pitbull on the Latin-tinged club-banger "On the Floor" and she will likely land another with the island-tinged, groove-driven "I'm Into You," which features delivering sharp lines, including "I'm falling for ya, baby, I need a parachute."

But the high-profile help, which does outshine her at times, doesn't stop there. and producer Red One step in for two sure winners -- the thumping, AutoTuned, -esque "Invading My Mind" and the thrilling, Eurodisco-themed "Hypnotico," which sounds like "Poker Face" crossed with "Waiting for Tonight."

There are still holdovers from "Love? 1.0," notably the odd, -ish ballads "Until It Beats No More" and "Starting Over," but there isn't a "Louboutins"-styled clunker in sight. Lopez hasn't sounded this good since the "J.Lo" days, and with "Love?" there's no question she can still be queen of the block.


Jennifer Lopez




BOTTOM LINE This "Love?" does cost a bunch

Fighting to find a friend in 'War Horse'

Published: December 21, 2011 4:51 PM

Photo credit: Andrew Cooper Photo/ Albert Narracott (Jeremy Irvine) joyfully rides atop his beloved horse, Joey in Pictures' "War Horse" director 's epic adventure set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the .

Though based partly on a children's novel, 's "War Horse" is not entirely a children's movie. It does star a boy and a horse, and it has many moments of warmth, humor and reassuring corn. But "War Horse" is also a film about the human animal and its capacity for violence and cruelty. You can always depend on to land on the side of optimism, of course, just as you know he'll put you through the wringer to get there.

The story is simple: In rural Devon, England, a young farm boy, Albert Narracott (Jeremy Irvine, a suitably fresh-faced newcomer), makes fast friends with a spirited horse named Joey. But when England enters the Great War in 1914, Albert's drunken father, Ted (), sells the animal to the cavalry. Ted and his wife () soon lose their son, as well: Albert enlists, determined to find his friend.

What follows is a series of vignettes in which Joey sees the war from nearly every angle: He'll gallop under the noble Captain Nicholls (a deeply moving Tom Hiddleston), haul artillery for the Germans, brighten the days of an orphaned French girl (Celine Buckens) and end up stranded between sides in No Man's Land -- the story's most resonant and symbolic chapter. For better and sometimes for worse, Joey ultimately reflects the humanity around him.

"War Horse" is also based on the still-running, Tony-winning stage play, rightly acclaimed for its life-size horse puppets and stark, harrowing visuals. goes more for a classic Western, with dramatic lighting and russet-colored skies (the cinematographer is his longtime collaborator Janusz Kaminski). The material sometimes feels oversugared, though it's also guaranteed to raise a lump in your throat.

PLOT A young British boy signs up for WWI to search for his beloved horse. RATING PG-13 (intense scenes and violence)

CAST Jeremy Irvine, Emily , , Toby Kebbell


PLAYING AT Area theaters, starting Sunday

BOTTOM LINE Equal parts profound and corny, but always emotionally powerful and beautiful to look at. Parents should take the PG-13 rating seriously.

Filipino sensation Charice wants to conquer America

Published: May 6, 2010 4:02 PM

Photo credit: Getty Images CHARICE
HIT: “Pyramid”
WHY: The Filipina teenage sensation backed by knows her way around a big ballad, but it’s the American dance scene that’s embraced her first.

Charice shakes her head.

"No," she says, giggling, as she sits with her younger brother, Carl, who shakes his head as well before returning his attention to a video game. "I can't even think about it. I can't."

"Really," she continues, fidgeting a bit with her blinged-out "LOVE" necklace, and readjusting herself in the plush chairs of her publicist's conference room. "I can't think about it."

But as she breaks into a broad smile, it's clear that Charice, who recently dropped her last name Pempengco, does think about "it," about joining the ranks of divas so famous they need only one name, about becoming the next Whitney or Mariah or , about becoming the first female singer from the to break into the American mainstream.

It's clear that she's thought about it, dreamed about it, for years. It's just that now - as her single "Pyramid" seems poised to take over the top spot on the dance charts and her debut album "Charice" (Reprise) is set to hit stores Tuesday with an unusually large marketing push for a new artist - the dream is close enough to come true, yet still far enough away that it could evaporate before she reaches it.

Having already tasted success and then disappointment, Charice, who turns 18 Monday, seems determined not to get ahead of herself.

"I'm ready for my album to not be a hit," she says. "I just want to help my mom and my family. I'm just happy to be singing my own songs for people. ... I want it to be a hit. But it's fine if it's not huge like Mariah or Whitney. It's all good for me."

However, considering the all-star team behind Charice, expectations may be a bit higher than just "good."

Superstar-producer , who launched the careers of and Michael Bublé, produced her debut. Superstar-songwriter wrote songs for her. Her publicity is being handled by the same team as .

Launch with ''

And then there's Oprah . Having already taken Charice under her star-making wing, introducing the singer to her idol, , and relaying her story on the powerful talk show, Winfrey is taking the unusual step of bringing Charice back to the show on the day of her album release.

"That's the kind of launch people dream of," says a competing music industry exec. "I would give anything to be on 'Oprah' on release day."

Of course, many consider Charice to be a special circumstance. "Charice is, for sure, the next global superstar," Foster said recently. "And I'm thrilled that we have a new great female vocalist!"

At her showcase at the Canal Room last month, Tommy Page, Warner Bros.' vice president of Top 40 radio promotion, took the unusual step of introducing Charice by saying how watching her sing in a conference room still manages to make him choke up.

"This is history in the making," Page says, before she takes the stage. "What she has is so rare."

Then, she set out to prove it, with songs from "Charice" that show off the big, booming voice housed in her petite, 5-foot-1 frame and her ability to win fans over to her side quickly. That's a talent Charice has always had, from her early days of entering talent shows near her home in the Laguna province of the to her stints on the Filipino and Korean versions of "."

It also translated well to YouTube, where her performances of Houston and songs made her a sensation and attracted the attention of and Winfrey, who flew her to America for her first visits, to be on their talk shows.

Because loved her

It was the "Oprah" appearance that stuck with her most, especially after Winfrey surprised her by introducing her to via satellite.

"I was so confused," Charice recalls, adding that she had prepared to sing the Beyoncé song "Listen," but Winfrey's staff kept telling her that she should sing a Dion song instead. After Charice sang "My Heart Will Go On," she turned around to see that Dion had been watching her performance.

"I was about to faint," she says. "I cried, and my mom cried, and Oprah cried, too; and she says, 'I knew this was going to happen, but I'm still crying.'"

That introduction led to Charice's Madison Square Garden debut, performing "Because You Loved Me" with Dion during her concert last year. "That night, I thought I was going to die," she says, laughing. " was really, really nice that time."

Those appearances have given Charice a considerable advantage over most new artists. However, she recognizes she has some hurdles to face, as well. "My mom always tells me, 'It's only the beginning, there are challenges coming your way,'" Charice says.

Christine Bacareza Balance, assistant professor of Asian-American Studies at the , Irvine, who has followed Charice's rise to fame, agrees. "The recording industry is a very black and white sort of place," Balance says. "It's difficult to see where she would fit in as an icon because there hasn't been somebody who looks like her. There's been no precedent."

That said, Balance says Charice can make a compelling case. "She has the range, and she has the talent," she says. "She can also show that she's trying to live 'The American Dream.'"

Charice says she's ready to work hard to make that dream come true. "That's my life: work, Internet, talk to my friends, school, sleep," she says. "I'm enjoying it. For me, that's my teenage life."

And she lets herself indulge in a bit of that dream for a moment as she talks about the video for her single "Pyramid."

"The concept of the video is my past," she says. "I get cut in an audition. I'm so depressed, and then I'm transformed into. ..."

She catches herself quickly before continuing, "I don't want to say 'superstar,' because I'm not that, but in the video, I become a singer, a real singer," she says, laughing. "I guess I can call myself that now." 

More thrillers, and not just from

Though Charice is on her way to becoming the most famous singer to come from the , she has some big stars to surpass. Here's a look: (Allan Pineda) 

Originally from Pampanga

Best known as Co-founder of The with, making mainstream hip-hop music that has been among the most successful in history. He also has made the most successful Tagalog songs in American pop music, as part of albums.

Biggest hit "I Gotta Feeling" (No. 1 for 14 weeks, 2009) 


Originally from

Best known as Guitarist for The , the pioneering band that helped establish the alternative rock sound with classic albums "Surfer Rosa" and "Doolittle."

Biggest hit "Here Comes Your Man" (No. 3 Modern Rock, 1989) 


Originally from South Cotabato

Best known as The WBO welterweight champion, though the international boxing star is also an actor, politician and, yes, a singer.

Biggest hit No American music hits yet, but that may change if his on-again, off-again fight with ever happens.

Freshman Fay leads Lynbrook in Nassau 'A'

Published: March 1, 2011 5:53 PM

Freshman Jen Fay had career highs of 31 points and 16 rebounds as visiting No. 5 Lynbrook overcame a double-digit halftime deficit to edge fourth-seeded North Shore, 69-68, in a Nassau girls Class A quarterfinal game Tuesday.

Fay scored 17 points during a 40-25 second half for Lynbrook, which trailed, 43-29, at the break.

Brooke Gerstman had 21 points and Danielle Amaya added 12 rebounds...

Garden City's Mahon, Bruno score in shutout

Originally published: October 17, 2010 8:50 PM
Updated: October 17, 2010 9:46 PM

Tara Mahon scored off an assist by Alex Bruno in the first half and added an assist for Garden City in a 5-0 win over John Jay Cross River in non-league field hockey Sunday.

Bruno had a goal and an assist, and Laura Fanning had a save as Garden City (11-0-1) posted its 10th shutout of the season. John Jay Cross River goalkeeper Dayna Mercer had 13 saves in the loss.Patchogue-Medford 3, North...

Girls Hoops 3 Stars of the Night (1/6)

Friday January 6, 2012 10:19 PM By James Crepea

The 3 Stars for Friday 1/6:

Celine Jolicoeur had 33 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for Sewanhaka in an 80-56 win over Hewlett in Conference A-II.

Senior Jenn Doppelt scored 25 points, including the 1,000th point of her career, and added 16 rebounds and 10 assists to lead Great Neck North past Valley Stream South 63-42 in Conference A-III.

Senior Meagan Doherty scored 25 points...

Girls Hoops 3 Stars of the Night (2/8)

Thursday February 9, 2012 2:48 AM By James Crepea

Photo credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The 3 Stars for Wednesday 2/8:

Danielle Brusca had 22 points and four assists as Bethpage upset Sewanhaka 67-63 in Conference A-II.

Caitlyn Garger (above) had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Hicksville in a 39-30 win over East Meadow in Conference AA-II.

Celine Jolicoeur had 32 points for Sewanhaka which lost to Bethpage....

High school basketball roundup

Originally published: February 22, 2011 9:30 PM
Updated: February 22, 2011 9:44 PM

Girls basketball

Division 56, Mineola 34: Julie Ballantyne scored 16 points and went eight-for-eight from the free throw line and Brianne Connolly added 14 to lead No. 1 Division (19-1).

Garden City 44, Seaford 20: Barbara Sullivan scored eight of her 22 points in a 14-5 first quarter and Christina Mangels had 11 rebounds for No. 2 Garden City (16-3) against No. 7 Seaford in a Nassau...

Hollie Cavanagh belts out Celine Dion on 'American Idol'

Wednesday March 14, 2012 9:54 PM By

Hollie Cavanagh is singing Celine Dion's "The Power of Love" next on "American Idol." As guest mentor put it, "All that power in that little Tinkerbell Hollie!"

Very dramatic start, in a gold-bedazzled gown, and she just gets right into it. She has a huge voice and doesn't seem to be straining at all. Totally at ease up there; it's not really building toward anything though. She just seems to be at 10 the whole time, so there's no emotional connection. Was expecting more, impressed but a bit disappointed.

Jennifer Lopez thought it was strong, Steven Tyler calls it "a little pitchy," but beautiful overall, Randy Jackson says, "You blew it out of the box."


Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments below, or on Twitter using #ndidol.

Tags: , ,

Hot song: Adam Lambert's new single

Published: January 6, 2012 2:43 PM

Is trying to send out secret messages through his singles? His new single, "Better Than I Know Myself" (19/), sounds like a ballad filtered through and . In other words, it doesn't sound like Lambert, but perhaps what record company moguls would like him to sound like. Hopefully Lambert gets to shake off the blandness on the rest of the forthcoming "Trespassing" album.

It's now or 'Never' for Justin Bieber's movie

Originally published: February 3, 2011 4:18 PM
Updated: February 4, 2011 11:23 AM

Photo credit: Paramount Pictures Screengrab from the Justin Bieber 3-D movie, "Never Say Never."

's "Never Say Never" 3-D movie opens with a bunch of videos that went viral the way his did. Sneezing pandas, surprised kittens and little Bieb singing, "With You."

Director Jon M. Chu says he wanted to start the documentary the way he, like most people, learned about the 16-year-old sensation. "I remember exactly where I was when I saw him sing that song," Chu says. "I remember saying, 'Who is this kid?' and I remember forwarding it to my friends."

More than almost any other artist - aside from maybe , who gives him a run for his cyber-money - is a product of today's brave new, incredibly wired world, where stars seemingly maintain one-to-one contact with fans through a barrage of tweets, pictures and videos. When dubbed his debut, "My World," he could just as easily have been staking his claim to his considerable corner of the Internet.

But "Never Say Never" - part documentary, part concert film - shows that 's new- millennium success is based on old-school hard work and talent. "That's the vision I wanted," says Scott "Scooter" Braun, Bieber's 29-year-old manager and one of the movie's producers. "We didn't make this for his core audience. This wasn't just a kiss to the fans. We wanted to make a great movie. In this recession, when kids aren't hearing any stories of inspiration, this is a success story and it's for real. It shows hard work and determination can lead to something extraordinary."

When discussions began for a " Bieber" movie, Braun says they were planning a more limited project, filming Bieber's sold-out Madison Square Garden show in August and releasing it on DVD. But, Braun says, Team Bieber took inspiration from , whom they had gotten to know from working with his son, Jaden, on the movie's title track.

"One thing he says a lot is 'Do not be realistic,' " Braun says. "What we're hoping the film shows is that it might seem impossible. It might never have been done before. But we did it. It's like the Wright Brothers were told, 'You can't fly.' Well, now we're flying all over the place."

The Bieber success story that "Never Say Never" chronicles may be familiar to fans, but that doesn't make it less amazing.

In 2007, when he was 12, Bieber entered a singing contest in his hometown of Stratford, . His mom, Pattie Mallette, filmed it and uploaded it to so their relatives could watch it, but soon strangers were finding Bieber's version of "Respect" and forwarding it to their friends.

By the end of 2009, Braun, who also manages rapper Asher Roth and worked with at So So Def Recordings in , had seen the videos, signed Bieber, and helped him create his major-label debut. Now, even though Bieber is still new enough to be up for a best new artist Grammy next week, he's already sold out Madison Square Garden.

"It's a fairy tale," Chu says. "I love fairy tales. ... This is the origin story of a hero."

However, real-life fairy tales have struggles, too. "Never Say Never" shows Bieber and his team working hard, traveling from city to city to meet radio personalities and building an audience a handful of excited teenagers at a time.

The sign that this strategy was working comes when those excited teens band together in ever-growing groups, as they did at Roosevelt Field mall, where police had to shut down a Bieber appearance out of public safety concerns in November 2009. (Braun faces misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance for not helping disperse the crowd, according to prosecutors. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and says he could not discuss the ongoing case.)

And in real life, fairy tales also have consequences. "Never Say Never" gets some extra drama when Bieber gets sick and starts losing his voice only days before the star-studded Madison Square Garden concert that forms the heart of the movie.

"It's just one of God's jokes," Braun says, adding that they were already making plans to film another show on the tour.

Though the illness made the movie more exciting, it also created some serious production issues. "I did not want to cheer this drama on," Chu says. "It may have added another layer to the movie, but we had a lot riding on that one show. We already had 11 3-D cameras coming in. We were thinking ... 'this movie could double in price.'" (Spoiler alert: Bieber performs at the Garden and sounds just fine.)

Chu says that in watching hundreds of hours of footage of Bieber, he found another unexpected consequence of fame.

"We got to see how we were just one of 300 people he would talk to in a day," Chu says. "For him, he has to start seeing people as a sea of people. Everywhere he goes people are staring at him. Everyone has a weird fascination with him. I don't know how he copes with it. ... He has to grow a thick skin."

Though Bieber says in "Never Say Never" that he wants to make sure he doesn't miss out on his childhood, he also wants to keep moving forward.

"He keeps telling me he wants people to hear the new songs he's written," says Braun, adding that they hope to release a new album in November.

Bieber wants to keep acting, after good reviews for his guest arc on "CSI," which continues Thursday. Braun says Bieber will look at small movie roles this year, with hopes of larger roles next year. "This is his moment," Braun says. "He's not going away."


's got talent: 4 more discoveries



Bieber is the biggest star to be discovered on so far, but he isn't the only one.

Here's a look at some other musicians who have built their careers on the video site:




WHO The 49-year-old Scottish singer with the remarkable voice who had two No. 1 albums last year and sold more than 14 million copies worldwide.

YOUTUBE MOMENT Her audition for "" stunned judges and viewers with her stirring version of "I Dreamed a Dream," showing how deceiving appearances can be.

VIEW COUNT 70 million




WHO rockers who released their eponymous debut in 2002, but became sensations after their videos went viral.

YOUTUBE MOMENT Their "Here It Goes Again" video, the one where they dance on treadmills, went viral in 2006 and has been their biggest success, though several other videos, including the machine for "This Too Shall Pass," have been big hits.

VIEW COUNT 52 million for "Here It Goes Again"




WHO The 13-year-old from Edmond, Okla., is currently working on his major-label debut, signed to ' eleveneleven label, and is on his first tour supporting his debut single "Waiting Outside the Lines." He also opens for at NYCB Theatre at Westbury next Sunday.

YOUTUBE MOMENT His piano-driven version of 's "Paparazzi," taped at his sixth-grade festival, garnered lots of attention, including an appearance on ' talk show.

VIEW COUNT 47 million




WHO The 18-year-old from the was discovered on YouTube singing on talent shows. She has since released a CD and is set to return to "Glee."

YOUTUBE MOMENT She wowed , who booked her on the show and introduced her to , who signed her to Warner Bros. Records, and , who had her perform with her at Madison Square Garden.

VIEW COUNT 30 million for her song "Pyramid."

Jackson lifts Longwood to track title

Published: May 5, 2012 10:09 PM

Mark Jackson won the 100 meters in 10.8 seconds, the long jump in 21 feet, 4 inches and took second in the high jump (6-6) Saturday as Longwood won the Monroe-Woodbury Track and Field Invitational team title with 50 points.

Mike Engesser won the 800 (1:58.4) and Jamal Sally finished first in the triple jump (43-7) for the Lions. Jackson and Engesser also were part of Longwood's sprint medley...

Jennifer Lopez's 'SNL' struggles

Sunday February 28, 2010 5:49 PM By

Photo credit: Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez’s “Saturday Night Live” appearance wasn’t bad exactly. It was just, well, messy.
Her monologue was just OK. Her musical performances were iffy. This is not the Jenny from the Block we’ve come to know.
Even more unusual, none of it served a point. The “SNL” gig was supposed to drum up support for her singles “Louboutins” and “Fresh Out the Oven” from her upcoming album “Love,” which was scheduled for an April release on Epic, in conjunction with her new movie “The Back Up Plan.” It’s a combo that she has used before to much success, when “J.Lo” and “The Wedding Planner” in 2001 made her the first to have an album and a movie debut at No. 1 in the same week.

It’s not working out that way this time. Instead, Lopez, who is on the comeback trail after taking time off to raise her twins in Old Brookville with husband Marc Anthony, performed two new songs, a midtempo ballad “Pieces,” that seems built for Celine Dion, and an acoustic ballad “Starting Over” that doesn’t play to any of Lopez’s strengths. So what’s going on?
Well, in the warm-up to her appearance, it came out that Lopez and Epic had split and that her album “Love” was going to come out on another label this summer – perhaps Island Def Jam, according to .
“I have belonged to the Sony family since the beginning of my career as a singer and together we've had great success,” Lopez said in a statement. “I have fulfilled my contractual responsibilities with Sony/Epic up to this point, and we have both reached friendly terms about my departure from the label. I'm also happy to say that we've found a new home for my album, 'Love,' and that it is slated for release in the summer of 2010.”
So instead of promoting “Fresh Out the Oven,” which hit No. 1 on the dance charts in January, or “Louboutins,” which is currently climbing the dance chart, Lopez did the new songs. And it seems she could have used some extra rehearsal time. (Check out the struggle to hit notes at 2:10 and 2:50 below in case there’s a doubt.)
In other words, an uncharacteristic mess.

PHOTO:Jennifer Lopez by Getty Images.


Jessica Sanchez channels Celine Dion on 'American Idol'

Tuesday May 22, 2012 8:33 PM By

Jessica Sanchez's second "American Idol" finale song -- her self-chosen favorite performance of the season -- is Celine Dion's version of "The Prayer."

It's sung perfectly, with just the right touch of emotion and pace -- slow, deliberate and compelling.

Can't take your eyes away; she performs it like a pro, one of those songs she was just born to sing. Easily nails the high notes, gets a big reaction from the audience.


Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments below, or on Twitter using #ndidol.

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Josh Groban sings praises of comedy

Published: November 2, 2011 1:56 PM
By STEVE KNOPPER. Special to Newsday

Photo credit: None/ 's "Straight To You" world tour in New York at will be held on November 4, 2011.

In addition to his heavenly voice, which helped his "Noel" album sell 5 million copies, 30-year-old "popera" singer Josh has a surprising reserve of comedy talent. He memorably portrayed 's controlling not-quite-fiance in last summer's "Crazy, Stupid, Love" and continues the shlumpy deadpan as ' brother on "." 's acting gigs happen between music projects, such as last year's Rick -produced "Illuminations," which played up the dramatic tension in 's falsetto. Here are five other things you might not know about the man who once dated . He plays the Friday night.

1. He snagged his acting gig on "" through Twitter. "When "Office" actress[ asked me about doing the show, she said -- she actually kind of direct-message tweeted me, and I was shocked to hear from her and I said, 'Yeah, no, I would love to do the show. When are you thinking?' " he told BuzzSugar. "It was 100 percent just serendipity that I happened to be in town when they were taping this episode."

2. He once installed a bowling alley in his tour bus. "My band can turn that bus into many things," Groban told Entertainment Weekly. "The bowling alley is just one of them."

3. His acting career didn't come out of nowhere. Groban was in a improv troupe in 8th or 9th grade, studied theater at County High School for the Arts and did one year as a musical-theater student at Carnegie Mellon. Then he signed to a record label as a singer and delayed the comedy.

4. He met super-producer Rubin while lunching with 's manager. Groban asked Guy Oseary to set up a meeting, which led to the -- producer to sign on for "Illuminations."

5. His breakout performance, as far as show business was concerned, was at a 1999 rehearsal, when he pinch-hit for pop-classical predecessor as Celine 's duet partner on "The Prayer." Dion later said: "He was almost going backwards, he was so scared . . . and you couldn't be any more powerful than that -- this kid was incredible." Immediately afterward, , who happened to be in the auditorium, booked Groban on her , as "opera boy."

WHO Josh Groban

WHEN WHERE Friday night at 8,

INFO $40-$93.50; 800-745- 3000, .com

Karaoke battle takes it to a higher level

Originally published: August 10, 2011 2:20 PM
Updated: August 11, 2011 11:44 AM

Photo credit: ABC/Donna Svennevik KARAOKE BATTLE USA - Who will be the next singer to leap from the karaoke circuit to superstardom? "Karaoke Battle USA" shines the spotlight on the best karaoke singers across the country in six one-hour episodes, hosted by Joey Fatone (*NSYNC, "Dancing with the Stars") and premiering FRIDAY, AUGUST 12 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Some amazing talent, including , has come out of the karaoke circuit. And that struck a chord with Muriel Pearson, executive producer of 's "Karaoke Battle USA," which launches with a two-hour premiere tonight at 9.

"I have discovered that the karaoke community is a community, and they frequent bars and create social networks through this experience," Pearson says. "It is a social networking experience to do karaoke. It brings people together. The best karaoke singers in America all know each other from competing in these competitions."

The six-episode show picks up the Karaoke World Championship trials after people have been competing for months. The judges, singer Carnie , karaoke champion and journalist Joe Levy, pick one man and one woman. Viewers don't vote. 's hosts. (The judges listened to singers in regional contests in Houston, Las Vegas, New York and Chicago.)

TAKING IT UP A NOTCHThis contest chronicles how people take it to the next level with the judges advising them.

"I am looking for a man and a woman that can end up on the stage, and first and foremost sing their tail off," Wilson says. "I am not looking for someone that can mimic the singer of the song they chose. I don't expect someone to get up there and sing exactly like or .

Singers are judged on voice quality, rhythm and tempo, vocal expression, stage presence and entertainment value, Pearson says.

KEEPING IT REAL The show partners with the Karaoke World Championship, which, Pearson says, keeps the "experience very authentic." In addition to representing the United States at the international contest in this year, the winner receives a recording contract for a single.

"This whole competition is about real people, not wannabe stars," Pearson says. "It's people who just love to sing. We want to use it as a prism of looking out in America. People come from every walk of life. There is a physicist, a burlesque dancer, a lot of moms and dads, just normal family folk."

Kelly Killoren Bensimon says she loves Long Island

Sunday September 9, 2012 1:46 PM By

Kelly Killoren Bensimon may be a former member of the "Real Housewives of New York City," but the author, model and mom of two says Long Island is where her heart is.

"New York is where I work, but the Hamptons is where I live," she said Sunday at the presentation of the Catherine Malandrino line during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, adding that she will continue to spend weekends on the Island even now that Labor Day has passed.

"I really, really love the Island," she said. "I love the North Shore; I love the South Shore. I have a lot of fun there. I've been going to the Hamptons since I was 16, so it's a big part of my life."



When she's not paddle boarding in Montauk or hitting the beach in East Hampton, Bensimon said she loves to shop at Target off Exit 60, Ronkonkoma Avenue, on the Long Island Expressway.

Bensimon said she chooses Target because she can find anything she needs for her daughters, and she especially loves the beauty products and sheets.

"My bed is my sanctuary, so I always have to have a beautiful bed," she said.

Surprised this staple on the Manhattan fashion scene shops at such a practical store? Wait until you hear what's in her closet.

"I have, like, so many Converse sneakers, and I have high-tops," she said. "I don't think anyone would ever imagine me in high-tops, but I love them."

Bensimon's must-have item for fall, however, is a bit more high-end.

"The Phantom Celine bag in blue suede is probably the most gorgeous bag on the planet," she said, "but only in a fun color. You can't just get it in black."

Photo: Kelly Killoren Bensimon attends the Jill Stuart spring 2013 show Saturday at Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. (Sept. 8, 2012)


Kidsday review and interview:'Let It Shine'

Published: June 5, 2012 2:17 PM

Recently, we went to the ABC Studios in Manhattan to see a screening of the movie "Let It Shine," starring Tyler James Williams as Cyrus. The movie is about a young man who wants to become a rapper. However, his father is a preacher, and he thinks rap music is the "devil's music." Cyrus has to convince his dad it really isn't.

The movie was interesting, entertaining and kept us guessing....

Kidsday talks with singer Charice

Published: May 25, 2010 3:43 PM
By Matthew Agoursalidis, Leila Burbar, Jarren Carelus and Katherine Medrano Kidsday reporters, Age 12, West Hempstead

We recently met and interviewed the wonderful singer, Charice, in Manhattan. She just released her self-titled debut album. It was very exciting to meet her!

Her full name is Charice Pempengco and she is from the Philippines. Charice was discovered a few years ago after her friend posted her “Filipino Idol” audition video on She has appeared twice on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” during...

LI Caroling: Billy Joel and Cass Dillon

Tuesday December 21, 2010 5:03 AM By

Photo credit: Bruce Gilbert, 2010

For one of the few pop songs he has written in the past decade, Billy Joel certainly picked a hard-hitting topic with "Christmas in Fallujah" and enlisting newcomer Cass Dillon to deliver it. Joel will likely spend this holiday season testing out and working out of his 20th Century Cycles, though he told me that he's looking forward to getting back onstage in 2011 after spending this year off the road.


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LI Caroling: Brian Setzer

Wednesday December 22, 2010 5:17 AM By

Christmas is big this year for Massapequa native Brian Setzer, with his new live album "Christmas Comes Alive," recorded last year in Knoxville, Tenn., which includes "Stray Cat Strut" combined with "You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch," as well as this rocking version of "Run Rudolph Run."


Tags: ,

LI Caroling: Rosie O'Donnell and Celine Dion

Monday December 20, 2010 5:28 AM By

Rosie O'Donnell and Celine Dion tackle the lovely "The Magic of Christmas Day" on one of the Commack native's variety specials. (Um, isn't it about time for another one of those? Please?)Though Rosie has been out of the headlines recently, happily doing her show on Sirius, and spending more time at home with her kids, she will be on the next season of "Who Do You Think You Are?" on NBC in February, where they will trace her ancestry.


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LI Caroling: Taking Back Sunday

Friday December 24, 2010 4:44 AM By

Photo credit: Warner Bros., 2010

We wind up LICaroling with a new song from Taking Back Sunday, "Merry Christmas I Missed You So Much." A lot changed for the Rockville Centre-based band this year now that the "Tell All Your Friends"-era lineup is back together and working on a new album. (The band even announced a holiday surprise last week, as they headline ever along with Lil Wayne and Dashboard Confessional.) You can download "Merry Christmas IMissed You So Much" as part of a free EPof new songs at the band's .


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LI Challenge: Farmingdale Reaction

Monday May 7, 2012 2:53 PM By Stephen Haynes

Photo credit: James Escher

Farmingdale was a gracious (and victorious) host for Saturday’s Long Island Challenge. The event featured four games, Suffolk vs. Nassau, with Farmingdale’s 8:30 p.m. matchup with Eastport-South Manor being the nightcap.

The event went smoothly (‘least as far as I know) and it was a festive atmosphere. Props to Barbara Brescia (Samantha’s mother) and Laurie Kolodny (Kim’s mother), who helped...

LI Marathon's family fun events

Published: April 30, 2011 7:58 PM

Photo credit: Joseph D. Sullivan Tyler Glenn, 7, of Levittown outpaces the field in his age catagory in the Fun Run. The first day of the included a 1-mile and 5K race for children and adults, at the Mitchel Athletic Complex track. (April 30, 2011)

Tyler Glenn fidgeted in his seat, unable to contain his excitement.

"I'm going to win the race," he said, earnestly, as he and his family waited for the rest of the participants to register.

The Kids Fun Run was just one of three events, including the 1-Mile run and the 5K, held Saturday at Mitchel Athletic Complex as an introduction to today's : Festival of Races. With Ronald McDonald leading the pre-race stretching and mascot, "Sparky The Dragon," doling out hugs and high-fives, the boisterous bunch was impervious to the cool breeze that whipped around the track.

Thomas Glenn tried to explain the goal was simply to have fun, but his 7-year-old son could think of nothing else but crossing the finish line, paces ahead of the others.

After just a few minutes with the family from , it became obvious just how deep those competitive genes run. Thomas, a two-time Ironman finisher, is preparing for Sunday's 8 a.m. marathon, which begins on Blvd. in and ends inside Eisenhower Park. His brother plans to run in the half-marathon and their father will run in the 10K.

Thomas' racing interest piqued in 2006 after, "on a whim," he competed in the half-marathon. And after six years of marathons, the 34-year-old physical education teacher is planning to race from to the Light House -- a 102.3-mile journey -- in June to raise money for The John Theissen Children's Foundation.

And his kids already share his enthusiasm.

"I could run it again," said a winded Tyler, after crossing the finish line first in his age group.

His younger sister, 2 ½-year-old Kylie, won the "Diaper Dash" last year -- "She was determined," Thomas' pregnant wife, Kelly, said -- and, with the help of a sizable head-start Saturday, charged through the finish line well ahead of the friendly competition.

Other Kids Fun Run participants included 3-year-old Jacob Lukose and his 10-month-old sister, Celine, who, along with their cousins, Alissa Cyriac, 4, and Alina Chacko, 3, wore white and purple "Team Joy" shirts, in honor of their grandfather Joy who passed away in December.

"We're doing this for him," Tommy Lukose said of his late father, hours after completing the 5K.

He was just one of 15 or 20 family members and friends honoring Joy, a resident. Tommy said his brother, Mathew, plans to run today's half-marathon and his friend Luke Tharathattel, of , will compete in the 10K.

Hours earlier, 6-year-old Hana Lima and her father, Louis, 39, shared a touching moment, completing their first 1-Mile Run together in 10:05.

Sunday will mark the father's fifth straight -- but he hopes, in the next decade, to have some company on the 26.2-mile course.

"She likes to go see me run, so we've been training together," Louis said with a smile.

Long Island Top 10 rankings

Monday February 21, 2011 7:54 AM By Adam Ronis

1. St. Anthony's (21-2): The Friars defeated St. Dominic, 59-29 as Kerrin Maurer had 12 points and five assists and Shannon White added 10 points and seven assists. Maurer scored 13 points and Micki Impellizeri had nine points and seven rebounds in a 50-40 win over Sacred Heart. The Friars capped the week with a 65-28 win over St. Mary’s. Maurer scored 16 points. The Friars can finish off...

Long Island Top 10

Monday December 20, 2010 5:55 PM By Adam Ronis

1. St. Anthony's (5-1): The Friars opened the week with a dominant win over preseason favorite St. John the Baptist. The Friars won 52-39 and held a 38-15 lead at the half. Symone Kelly had 15 points and 12 rebounds. The Friars then beat Holy Trinity 65-52 behind 18 points from Lauren Williams. They capped the week with a 58-38 win over JFK, which is one of the top teams in the PSAL. Kerrin Maurer...

From Male Diners Tip Better When Waitress Wears Red: Study

Published: August 9, 2012 4:45 PM
-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

Waitresses who wear red receive bigger tips from their male customers, researchers have found, noting that the color red has been shown to increase women's physical and sexual attractiveness to men.

In conducting the study, researchers Nicolas Gueguen and Celine Jacob of the University of Southern Brittany, in France, instructed 11 waitresses in five restaurants to wear the same tee shirt...

Nassau girls basketball preview 2011-12

Published: December 23, 2011 12:16 PM

Photo credit: Christopher Pasatieri Baldwin junior Alex Hampton controls the ball during the first half of the Class AA final against Farmingdale. (Mar. 5, 2011)

Reigning Long Island champion Baldwin is the favorite in Class AA. Seniors Alex Hampton (point guard) and Janae DeGraff (center) are returning starters for the Bruins and senior guards Amber Harrison and Ayanna Hudson will also play big roles. Sophomore Mariyah Butler will be an important new comer to Tom Catapano's squad, which is aiming for its third straight county title.

Massapequa returns...

Nassau Top 10 girls hoops rankings

Monday February 13, 2012 11:23 AM By James Crepea

Photo credit: James Escher

1. Long Island Lutheran (15-5)

2. Holy Trinity (15-6)

3. Baldwin (15-1)

4. Massapequa (15-2)

5. North Shore (16-1)

6. Sacred Heart (14-8)

7. MacArthur (13-2)

8. Kellenberg (11-7)

9. Uniondale (11-5)

10. Lynbrook (12-4)

Top 10 Public Schools:

1. Baldwin (15-1) the Bruins eased past Plainview JFK, resting all of their starters and then...

New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State musicians

Published: June 18, 2012 1:49 PM

Instrumental JazzLast NameFirst NameSchoolBallereauAndrewHalf Hollow Hills HS EastBomzerRichardSyosset HSChiarelloGlennWantagh HSEntwistleBrianFarmingdale HSHochlerAndrewEast Meadow HSMohanDaveerCentral Islip HSPetersonShawnGreenport HSRatnerEricW. Tresper Clarke HS

Mixed Chorus

Last NameFirst NameSchoolAgoliaJames PaulChaminade HSAlbaneseLouisMassapequa HSBakerBreaFreeport HSBenkhoukhaAmarWest...

No Jerry Lewis, but MDA telethon raises $61.5M

Originally published: September 5, 2011 8:50 AM
Updated: September 6, 2011 9:44 AM

Photo credit: AP This photo provided by Muscular Dystrophy Association shows the 46th annual MDA telethon co-hosts, from left to right, , , and Alison Sweeney, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, in Las Vegas.

Even without , the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon posted its best gain since the started, though the program's longtime host was on the minds of many during the 46th annual fundraiser.

"" executive producer said after co-hosting Sunday's program that he's sorry the famed comedian didn't participate, but the organization needs to move on to ensure the fundraiser continues.

The telethon raised nearly $61.5 million Sunday, an increase of about $2.6 million over last year, MDA officials said.

told The Associated Press minutes after the six-hour live broadcast ended on the east coast that he thought the 85-year-old actor would show up either during the telecast or earlier to film a taped segment of his signature song "You'll Never Walk Alone."

"I was fully expecting him to turn up at any point and join that six hours — and I'm sorry he didn't," told the AP. "And hopefully another year he might. I mean, he knows that he is always welcome on the telethon. It's his baby."

An orchestra was ready to film Lewis, but he didn't come to the Las Vegas casino where the telethon was filmed, said.

Lewis publicist Candi Cazau declined comment when reached by the AP. Earlier, she said Lewis never agreed to any appearance — recorded or live — after the MDA announced in August he wouldn't take part in the show or be its chairman. and co-host said during the show that Lewis "retired."

Lewis has not publicly said why he is no longer chairman of the MDA, or why he didn't personally appear in this year's telethon. The co-hosts' remarks during the show were the first time the MDA has addressed Lewis' departure since it was announced, and telethon spokesman Jim Brown declined further comment about the split.

Lewis' absence ended a 45-year run in which he raised $1.66 billion.

The fundraiser raised $58.9 million last year, but was shortened this year from 21½ hours.

Brown said early Monday that this year's donations increased to nearly $61.5 million, the MDA's best showing since 2008 when the started.

"The tremendous success of the telethon, even in a tough economy where some communities are also being challenged by natural disasters, shows that America understands and appreciates the truly rapid progress being made by MDA-funded researchers worldwide," R. Rodney Howell, M.D., chairman of the MDA Board of Directors, said in a statement.

said he and other telethon hosts knew Lewis — a man inextricably bonded to the telethon — would be a presence even in a show that never included his voice.

"There appeared to be an elephant in the room, and it's one that you go talk about," said. "This guy is someone who's put this whole thing together."

Buy Lythgoe said the telethon and cause can't center around one man — even Lewis.

"It has to continue without him and we are going to need a lot of help from everybody to ensure that it does continue," Lythgoe said. "Because Jerry, bless him, is 85 and isn't going to be around forever anyway. And the MDA and this telethon has to continue."

The Lewis-less telethon began airing live on the east coast Sunday night with an opening number featuring young dancers performing to 's "Titanium," with an introduction from Abbey Umali, the organization's tween goodwill ambassador.

Lythgoe, and co-hosts and Alison Sweeney then spent five minutes after being introduced talking about Lewis and his lifelong legacy felt by the telethon, the MDA and everyone who participates in the charity's pushes for neuromuscular research, clinics and summer camps for youngsters known as "Jerry's Kids."

Lythgoe said during his opening comments that Lewis, 85, seemed to be passing the torch last year when the comedian offered Lythgoe his seat as Lewis took a break and Lythgoe was coming on the air

"And Jerry, and I know you're watching, when you gave me that chair I know it's possible to sit on it, but it's isn't possible, Jerry, to replace you, sir," he said.

Later in the show's first hour, superstar singer mentioned Lewis again during a taped segment, referring to him as a friend as she introduced a cover performance of Journey's "Open ."

Other celebrities briefly mentioned Lewis throughout the show during cameos sprinkled between a variety of performances, interviews with people touched by muscular diseases and suit-clad corporate representatives touting company philanthropy and partnerships with the MDA.

Just before the show's closing, a two-minute montage over piano music showed Lewis dancing, singing, mingling with famous faces and interviewing children — though he was never heard.

It was a stark contrast from previous years, when the show was as much about Lewis at center stage as the donations themselves.

As the program aired, many viewers openly wondered on Twitter and other social networks about how the show would be affected by the split.

Randy Duncan, a 45-year-old pastor from Westland, Mich., said he tuned in for about two minutes, but stopped watching and instead switched between baseball and an airing of "." He said the show had lost the nostalgic touches that reminded him of raising money for the MDA with neighbors through backyard carnivals when he was a kid.

"The way they handled it just gave me no interest," Duncan said. "At least give him one more shot, let him go out with style."

Instead, the telethon was an unceremonious end to a six-decade association that forged one of the world's most famous annual TV moments.

Lewis, who's appeared in scores of films and TV shows as well as produced, directed and taught film, had been chairman of the MDA since the early 1950s, before the famed telethon began. In 1977, Lewis was nominated for a for his work with the telethon and the MDA.

In May, when the MDA first announced Lewis was retiring as host, the organization said he would stay on as chairman and still appear on the show. It released a statement from Lewis in which the comedian said he would sing the song that has become an annual tradition.

But the statement said Lewis wouldn't step down as chairman.

"I'll never desert MDA and my kids," he said.

The was a medley of patriotic songs featuring , and , among others, singing along with 70 children from a Las Vegas choir.

In the show's final moments, Lythgoe said; "We missed you, Jerry."

Lythgoe said he didn't know the details of Lewis' split with the MDA. But he said he knew Lewis was watching.

"As far as I'm aware, this was all with Jerry's blessing," he said.

Penteck's point gives FP girls win

Originally published: January 6, 2012 10:37 PM
Updated: January 7, 2012 12:00 AM

Jocelyn Penteck's only point of the game, a free throw with 2.3 seconds left, gave Floral Park a 38-37 win over Lynbrook on Friday in a Nassau Conference A-III girls basketball game.

Penteck was fouled while attempting a putback off a missed free throw. Kaela Hilaire had 13 points, six steals and six assists and hit a layup with 30 seconds left to tie the score at 37 for Floral Park (3-0 Conference...

Pia Toscano: No regrets, bright future

Friday April 8, 2011 2:36 PM By

No regrets.

No anger.

No blame.


But...interestingly enough...a premonition: That Thursday would be her last night on "American Idol," and there was nothing she could do about it.

Pia Toscano just got off the phone with a press gaggle that pretty much wanted to know two things - how do you feel and how could this travesty happen?

And if they expected fire, brimstone, or a raging (Charlie) Sheen machine, then the disappointment belonged to them alone. After one of the most unexpected "Idol" eliminations in the show's ten seasons, Pia Toscano sounded happy, calm, and full of a sense that she was at the beginning of a glorious career, and maybe she is.

Was she surprised last night? "It's funny because the night before ]Wednesday[ I had a weird feeling in my stomach...I felt strange the night before and it happens to me a lot, these premonitions, and usually when I feel it, it happens."

Someone asked her about the judges' visceral response - what a huge mistake the whole thing was - and whether Stefano Langone shoulda been the one to go. Said she: "Stefano's a very good friend of mine and I was sitting down with him, and he was saying to me, 'I'm the one that's going.' I said, 'no you're not....' He was so upset with the outcome but he deserves to be in the top 8. He's an incredible talent and everything happens because it's supposed to happen."

But of course, that doesn't make it any easier. Toscano broke into sobs last night - maybe one of the most emotional moments ever witnessed on such a carefully cablibrated and calculated artifice such as "Idol." She was then helped off stage by a medic. A medic! "It was a tough moment for me. While I was singing ]'I'll Stand by You'[ it was very very hard for me to get through that song. I was trying to take deep breaths but it wasn't working out so well. I was getting lightheaded and it was a bit much, a little overwhelming, So I did have the medic walk me off-stage. But I'm fine now."

"What a lot of people don't know about me is that I do get kind of shy, and get a little bit of stage fright right before I go onto the stage, which I feel everyone can relate to...but I want to make sure that during the tour I really own that stage."

OK, what happened? Great contestant, gone too soon. Did people forget to vote? What?

"You can't really say why I got voted off. It could have been people assumed I was safe, maybe they didn't. Maybe a lack of connection. You don't know for sure why things happen but it was my time to go. I'm excited to see what the future holds. I really am."

But Pia! Where's the fury! The injustice of it all! Why are you not foaming at the mouth at all those stupid voters, and teen girls who don't vote for balladeers who kinda look like Celine Dion! Give us your inner Charlie Sheen! Go warlock on "Idol!"


"Definitely a woman can win again. I feel like every singer, ever contestant is extremely strong...they all deserve to be there....there are a lot of young girls that watch and vote, but I don't have an answer to that question."

The future? "I'm gonna go back to New York for a little while. ]But[ I want to be close to my management out here. I think I may come out here after the tour.We'll see what happens. I love it out here. I'll travel back and forth. I'm very very close to my family, but I really love it out here as well." "I'm not upset. I'm positive right now."

]Some readers may be wondering at this point - did "Idol," which is effectively her employer, tell her to put the best foot forward and to not trash the show which clearly screwed this up to an almost monumental degree - but don't ask me how, I'm just feeling warlockish right now? Did it tell her to go all smiley for the press and pretend that everything is peachy keen while inside she is that raging torrent? Maybe, but I can also say she sounded pretty sincere on this call, and in a funny way, almost relieved - that the ordeal is over, and now she can get on with the rest of her life, which undoubtedly will include record contracts and who knows-what-else. In other words, she very much sounds happy and positive, and maybe because she has a premonition about her future.[

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Pia Toscano had 'premonition' about 'American Idol' cut

Friday April 8, 2011 2:51 PM By

Photo credit: Fox

What's Pia Toscano like on the day after she was shockingly cut from "American Idol"?

No regrets.No anger.No blame.

But . . . interestingly enough . . . a premonition: That Thursday would be her last night on "American Idol," and there was nothing she could do about it.

Toscano just got off the phone with a press gaggle that pretty much wanted to know two things-- how do you feel and how could this travesty happen?

And if they expected fire, brimstone, or a raging (Charlie) Sheen machine, then the disappointment belonged to them alone. After one of the most unexpected "Idol" eliminations in the show's 10 seasons, Pia Toscano sounded happy, calm, and full of a sense that she was at the beginning of a glorious career, and maybe she is.

Was she surprised last night? "It's funny because the night before ]Wednesday[ I had a weird feeling in my stomach . . . I felt strange the night before and it happens to me a lot, these premonitions, and usually when I feel it, it happens."

What went through her the minute - gulp - the unthinkable - gulp again - happened?

"I was just trying to stay composed. I was really emotional. It's scary being up there. You lose years off your life. It's terrifying but I feel like everything happens for a reason."

Someone asked her about the judges' visceral response-- what a huge mistake the whole thing was-- and whether Stefano Langone should havebeen the one to go. Said she: "Stefano's a very good friend of mine and I was sitting down with him, and he was saying to me, 'I'm the one that's going.' I said, 'No you're not . . . ' He was so upset with the outcome but he deserves to be in the top 8. He's an incredible talent and everything happens because it's supposed to happen."

But of course, that doesn't make it any easier. Toscano broke into sobs last night -- maybe one of the most emotional moments ever witnessed on such a carefully calibrated and calculated artifice such as "Idol."

She was then helped offstage by a medic. A medic!

"It was a tough moment for me. While I was singing ]'I'll Stand by You'[ it was very, very hard for me to get through that song. I was trying to take deep breaths but it wasn't working out so well. I was getting lightheaded and it was a bit much, a little overwhelming. So I did have the medic walk me offstage. But I'm fine now."

"What a lot of people don't know about me is that I do get kind of shy, and get a little bit of stage fright right before I go onto the stage, which I feel everyone can relate to . . . but I want to make sure that during the tour I really own that stage."

OK, what happened? Great contestant, gone too soon. Did people forget to vote? What?

"You can't really say why I got voted off. It could have been people assumed I was safe, maybe they didn't. Maybe a lack of connection. You don't know for sure why things happen but it was my time to go. I'm excited to see what the future holds. I really am."

But Pia! Where's the fury! The injustice of it all! Why are you not foaming at the mouth at all those stupid voters, and teen girls who don't vote for balladeers who kinda look like Celine Dion! Give us your inner Charlie Sheen! Go warlock on "Idol!"

Ummm. No.

"Definitely a woman can win again. I feel like every singer, ever contestant is extremely strong . . . they all deserve to be there . . . there are a lot of young girls that watch and vote, but I don't have an answer to that question." The future? "I'm gonna go back to New York for a little while. ]But[ I want to be close to my management out here. I think I may come out here after the tour. We'll see what happens. I love it out here. I'll travel back and forth. I'm very very close to my family, but I really love it out here as well."

"I'm not upset. I'm positive right now."

Some readers may be wondering at this point-- did "Idol," which is effectively her employer, tell her to put the best foot forward and to not trash the show which clearly screwed this up to an almost monumental degree-- but don't ask me how, I'm just feeling warlockish right now? Did it tell her to go all smiley for the press and pretend that everything is peachy keen while inside she is that raging torrent?

Maybe, but I can also say she sounded pretty sincere on this call, and in a funny way, almost relieved-- that the ordeal is over, and now she can get on with the rest of her life, which undoubtedly will include record contracts and who knows-what-else.

In other words, she very much sounds happy and positive.Maybe because she has a premonition about her future.


Playoff roundup

Published: February 18, 2011 10:17 PM

Monique Roberge hit three free throws in overtime as No. 11 Sewanhaka scored a 58-55 upset of sixth-seeded New Hyde Park in a first-round Nassau Class A girls basketball playoff game Friday night.

Roberge's first free throw with 3:18 left in the extra session gave Sewanhaka (10-8) a 56-55 lead. Roberge's free throws were the only points Sewanhaka scored in overtime. She finished with 10 points,...

Police: Break-in at Celine Dion's home

Published: September 7, 2011 8:43 PM

Police: Break-in at Dion's homeA 36-year-old man has been charged after he allegedly broke into singer Celine Dion's home near Montreal, raided the refrigerator and even took the time to draw himself a bath, police said Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. He was nabbed by police in the Montreal suburb of Laval on Monday afternoon after the alarm system went off. The pop superstar and her...

Review: Adele @ Beacon Theatre, 5.19.11

Friday May 20, 2011 8:36 AM By

Photo credit: Getty Images

Adele is a different kind of diva.

Sure, she has the voice to compete with anyone around – the power and control to match anything from Whitney and Mariah in their prime, the effortless range and clarity of Celine. What sets her apart may also be what makes her so emblematic of these times – restraint.

You won't catch Adele singing 10 notes when one will do and you won't find her holding a note to show that she can. On her “21” (XL/Columbia) album, which has already logged eight weeks at the top of the charts this year, Adele takes the directness of the blues and '60s soul and adds some British refinement and contemporary gloss to suit her, but there isn't anything extravagant aside from her luxurious voice.

She extended that potent austerity to her sterling, 90-minute performance at the Beacon Theatre last night, belting out her tightly wound tales of love gone bad next to warmhearted covers of Bob Dylan's “Make You Feel My Love” and The Cure's “Lovesong.”

It's telling that Adele has to turn to other songwriters to express love well, while she crafts songs of her own pain so beautifully, but why mess with multiplatinum, Grammy-winning success, right?

Given the elegant restraint of Adele's music, the 23-year-old does need some outlet for release, which comes in her endearingly chatty stage discussions.

If her songs like the stunningly simple lament “Take It All” are surgical strikes on the heart, her audience interaction is a dizzyingly scattershot approach that is marvelously unscripted. After the ballad, she explains how singing it still makes her sad and how the breakup still affects her, which drew screams of support, as well as commentary that Adele walked over to a fan to hear more clearly and then repeated for the crowd. “You're right,” she said, laughing. “He is a ]expletive[ loser!”

She then revealed that the ex, who inspired the bulk of “21” has now contacted her. “I wonder why,” the year's biggest star on both sides of the Atlantic, says coyly, before letting loose another curse word.

Of course, we should probably thank that guy, even if Adele can't. He inspired some extraordinary songs, which Adele made even more special during her encore, showing range.

She started the tender ballad “Someone Like You” with only her acoustic guitar for accompaniment. “I heard that you're settled down, that you found a girl and you're married now,” she sang, letting the stark words hang in the air with her pained delivery. “I heard that your dreams came true. Guess she gave you things I didn't give to you.”
Adele followed that with the musical flipside, her No. 1 smash “Rolling in the Deep,” where her five-piece backing band and two backup singers get a chance to flex their soul-revue muscles.

As her most recognizable line so far, the simple lament “We could've had it all,” resonates over the fiery groove, it seems only fair that it will be the key to her superstar success. Adele's gonna get it all back and more.

Adele plays United Palace on Saturday.

SETLIST: Hometown Glory / I'll Be Waiting / Don't You Remember / Turning Tables / Set Fire to the Rain / If It Hadn't Been for Love / My Same / Take It All / Rumour Has It / Right As Rain / One And Only / Lovesong / Chasing Pavements / Make You Feel My Love // ENCORE: Someone Like You / Rolling in the Deep

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Richie, Jones honor Jackson in 'We Are the World'

Published: February 11, 2010 7:56 PM
By The Associated Press

(AP) — The late Michael Jackson has a prominent role in the revamped version of "We Are the World."

Lionel Richie, who wrote the original charity anthem with Jackson, says the King of Pop can be seen in the new video for the track, singing with his sister Janet.

"We left the original footage of that part, but now he is singing with his sister," Richie said.

"It's something we wanted...

Ringen has record 40 in Harborfields' win

Published: February 21, 2012 10:04 PM

Justin Ringen scored a school-record 40 points, leading top-seeded Harborfields to a 95-52 win over No. 4 Shoreham-Wading River Tuesday in a Suffolk Class A boys basketball semifinal.

The senior, whose previous career high was 36 points, surpassed Bret Bearup's record of 38, set in 1980. Ringen shot 16-for-25 from the field, including 7-for-14 from three-point range. Senior Lucas Woodhouse...

Sherwin rolls 300 for Middle Country

Originally published: January 11, 2012 9:31 PM
Updated: January 11, 2012 10:05 PM

Middle Country junior Melissa Sherwin bowled a 300 in the Suffolk girls singles/doubles tournament at East Islip Wednesday.

Sherwin, who had a two-game 558 series and became the second girl this season to have a 300, won the "A'' division singles title. Teammate Kelly Skalacki took second with a 514 series. Angelina Macaluso and Melanie Mayer (Islip) combined for a 933 to win the "A'' doubles...

Soaps win major Daytime Emmys

Originally published: June 19, 2011 10:14 PM
Updated: June 20, 2011 12:58 AM

"The Bold and the Beautiful" won drama series honors for the third consecutive year at the Daytime Emmys Sunday night in a bittersweet ceremony that marked the impending daytime departures of two veteran soap operas along with and talk show queen Oprah , The Associated Press reports.

Executive producer Bradley accepted the trophy, saying, "It's over the top. We're so grateful."

Bell saluted his late father , who created "The Young and the Restless" and gave the younger Bell his start in the business. "Dad, we did it," he said. "Happy ."

Laura , who plays Carly Corinthos on "General Hospital," won her first Emmy in her first nomination. Thrusting the trophy in the air, Wright said, "This has been 20 years of the best career ever."

Michael Park, who plays Jack Snyder on CBS' "," earned lead actor honors.

of "General Hospital" and of "The Bold and the Beautiful" earned trophies as supporting actor and actress at the Daytime Emmys.

Jackson, Lucky Spencer on the soap opera, brought his young son and daughter onstage with him to accept the first award presented live on CBS. "It's Father's Day. I couldn't resist," he said at the Las Vegas show hosted by .

Tom, a veteran soap star who plays Katie Logan Spencer on the CBS show, won for the first time after five nominations in the supporting category.

"Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" tied for best game show.

"The Show" earned best talk show-entertainment honors for the second straight year, although she skipped the ceremony.

In a tribute to Winfrey, sang "That's What Friends Are For" as a montage of the talk queen's shows played behind her. Frequent Oprah guest sang "Because You Loved Me" from the stage at Caesar's Palace. Winfrey appeared on tape with her staff while holding the Crystal Pillar award she was given for changing the face of daytime TV.

Special-needs playground opens on Long Island

Published: May 1, 2012 1:29 PM
By Beth Whitehouse

Photo credit: Linda Rosier Disabled children get a preview of the " Let All The Kids Play" playground, especially designed for disabled kids, in Eisenhower Park which is scheduled to have its official opening in early May 2012. Danielle Marino, left, and Grace Darcy, enjoy the harness swings. (April 23, 2012)

Grace Darcy claps her hands gleefully as the merry-go-round at the new Let All the Children Play playground in Eisenhower Park spins and spins. It's the first time the Merrick 9-year-old has been on one -- and she can ride this one only because it's adapted to accommodate wheelchairs.

Grace would never be safe on a regular playground merry-go-round. "She wouldn't know to hold on," says Grace's...

Spoiler alert! 'American Idol' Top 13 set list

Wednesday March 9, 2011 1:26 PM By

Photo credit: Getty Images

Here's the "American Idol"Top 13 set list for the show which was taped Tuesday and airs tonight at 8 on Fox as reported by .

This will be the last taped show before it's all live.

Tonight's theme is "your personal idol," and contestants are paired with producers and expected to perform songs in the styles of selected performers.


Don't read any further if you want to be surprised!

1. Lauren Alaina -- "Any Man of Mine" (Shania Twain)

2. Casey Abrams -- "With A Little Help From My Friends" (Joe Cocker)

3. Ashthon Jones -- "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" (Diana Ross)

4. Paul McDonald -- "Come Pick Me Up" (Ryan Adams)

5. Pia Toscano -- "All By Myself" (Celine Dion)

6. James Durbin -- "Maybe I'm Amazed" (Paul McCartney)

7. Haley Reinhart -- "Blue" (LeAnn Rimes)

8. Jacob Lusk -- "I Believe I Can Fly" (R. Kelly)

9. Thia Megia -- "Smile" (Michael Jackson)

10. Stefano Langone -- "Lately" (Stevie Wonder)

11. Karen Rodriguez -- "I Could Fall In Love" (Selena)

12. Scotty McCreery -- "The River" (Garth Brooks)

13. Naima Adedapo -- "Umbrella" (Rihanna)

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Suffolk OTB refiles for bankruptcy

Tuesday May 15, 2012 9:46 AM By Yancey Roy

Photo credit: Ed Betz

Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. posted operating losses of about $24 million over the last five years and has more than $10 million in outstanding liabilities, according to documents it filed to reapply for bankruptcy protection.

The troubled gambling enterprise entity said it owes money to more than 200 creditors, including $3.3 million to the state retirement fund, $3 million to...

Survey: Nassau Coliseum food's OK, but worries at arenas

Originally published: July 26, 2010 9:13 PM
Updated: July 26, 2010 11:00 PM

Photo credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas (June 30, 2010)

A nationwide survey of America's sports arenas and stadiums that serve hot dogs, burgers and a smorgasbord of other food and beverages shows some troublesome health violations - including at some of 's own sports palaces, according to .

But 's biggest venue, the Nassau Coliseum, home the , had a perfect record. The Coliseum had no reported health food violations among its vendors, according to .

Overall, 28 percent of the sports venues surveyed had serious health violations at more than half their concessions, ranging from mouse droppings in food areas to hot dogs not kept hot enough. The sports network reviewed reports for food and beverage outlets at all 107 North American arenas and stadiums that were home to , , and teams in 2009. The survey was based on government health inspection reports.


Private firms responsible

Most of the sports centers rely on private, outside food service companies. Government officials say the food cart owners and other concessionaires are held responsible for any health problems.

While didn't name the specific concession stands cited by the City and Mental Hygiene's restaurant inspection records, the report documented various violations.

At , 61 percent of the vendors had critical violations, according to the records reviewed by . Inspectors there found 53 mouse droppings underneath the cash registers in the front food-preparation/service area and on top of a soft-drink dispensing unit.

At Yankee Stadium, where 48 percent of the vendors had critical violations, inspectors said they found five hot dogs that registered 91 degrees in a hot-holding unit when they were supposed to be no cooler than 140 degrees. also said inspectors had a vendor dump a bottle of Chivas Regal whiskey containing dead fruit flies.

And at , where 45 percent of its vendors had critical violations, inspectors found a handful selling "spoiled, adulterated, contaminated or cross-contaminated" food, the report said.

Spokesmen for all three facilities said they have already addressed the problems.

The individual sports teams and stadium owners are not charged with keeping up the health quality of the food and beverages served to fans, said Celine De Leon, a spokeswoman for the city and Mental Hygiene.

"We do inspections at least once a year and it's the vendor who is responsible," De Leon said. She said vendors must have both a permit to operate and a health department license showing that the vendor has passed a food safety course.


Scores based on severity

De Leon said the inspection scores depend on the severity of the problem and the ability of the vendor to correct it. Violations can result in fines as determined by the Department's Administrative Tribunal, according to the health department.

officials said they would clean up violations there. "We are aware of the report and have worked to correct all of the issues," a spokesman said. "Violations of any kind, no matter how minor some may be, are unacceptable."

, senior vice president of Legends Hospitality Management, which holds the food contract for Yankee Stadium, said that, "When the issues around food and beverage were pointed out last year, they were immediately remedied."

A spokesman for , which holds the vendor contract for , said that the "issues in past reports have been addressed."

But no violations needed to be addressed at Nassau Coliseum.

"It's exciting that we have one of the better food associations going on here," said Kimber Auerbach, an spokesman. "When you're trying to put a contender on the ice, it's nice to have the supporting factors keeping up the pace as well."

Howard Saffan, senior vice president for operations for the company that runs the Coliseum's more than 50 concessions, said Nassau County health officials conduct at least four inspections every year.

The two worst venues in the country, according to ESPN's survey, were the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., and in St. Petersburg, Fla. At each, 100 percent of vendors had at least one violation.

The Dolan family owns controlling interests

in MSG and .

owns Newsday.

Talking With Darin Strauss: Facing a fatal accident

Published: September 2, 2010 3:42 PM
By SAM THIELMAN. Special to Newsday

In 1988, North Shore High School senior Darin Strauss accidentally killed a classmate when her bicycle swerved in front of his car. No charges were brought against Strauss, but he was sued by her parents for millions of dollars. Strauss, who went on to publish three novels, including 2008's "More Than It Hurts You," has now written "Half a Life" (McSweeney's, $22), partly to honor the dead girl...

VIDEO: "We Are The World 25"

Friday February 12, 2010 9:06 PM By

Though the three-minute version of "We Are The World 25" just debuted on NBC's Olympics coverage, the full 8-minute version is now available . You can purchase it at iTunes or donate at . The full version will be shown tomorrow night around the world.

Like its predecessor, “We Are The World 25" is a snapshot of a moment in time, not a commentary on the whole of music history. There’s already a lot of carping about who’s in and who’s out in this version and how they stack up to the original, which is pretty much a waste of time.
Does Lil Wayne equal Bob Dylan? Of course not. (No matter what Nick Jonas .) Does his contribution to the song work? Yeah, it does. So does Wyclef Jean’s traditional Haitian singing and the hip-hop verses, especially the ones delivered by Kanye West and
Times change and so does music. Comparing one era’s stars to another really only guarantees pointless fights since there’s no way of knowing how any careers are going to turn out until they’re completed. That said, here’s some random thoughts about the new version, in chronological order:

Picking newcomer Justin Bieber to open this song is kind of shocking, but maybe that’s the point. He handles himself well, at least.

Jennifer Hudson serves as one of the song’s MVPs.

Jennifer Nettles is a nice change of pace and her voice blends well with Josh Groban.

Tony Bennett is always a class act. And Mary J. Blige is always a thrilling one.

Putting the late Michael Jackson, who co-wrote the song, in the song was a nice touch. Having his sister Janet Jackson sing harmony with him was also fitting, though the mix of her vocals is too low to hear, even on the finalized version,

Barbra Streisand sounds gorgeous. Putting her next to Miley Cyrus didn’t do the youngster any favors, though. Same goes for Enrique Iglesias.

There’s a whole lot of Jamie Foxx in this video – the first pass is good, the Ray Charles impersonation at the end, not so much.

Wyclef Jean really feels this song. So does Adam Levine, apparently.

Pink is truly a can’t-miss singer. So is Celine Dion, who somehow brings the same emotional punctuation to the song as Cyndi Lauper did in the original. Having Fergie finish that phrasing does not offer a good comparison, though.

Nick Jonas should probably have gotten more lines – maybe one of Nicole Scherzinger’s?

AutoTuned Lil Wayne was actually kind of sweet. AutoTuned Akon, not as much. AutoTuned T-Pain, um, no.

The gang vocal from rappers LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg and others really updates the song far more than all the AutoTune.

Go J. Hud!

Kanye West’s verse is characteristically excellent, while brings home the “One Tribe” vibe.

Wyclef fittingly closes out the song for his homeland.

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'We Are the World' debuts, worldwide airing set

Published: February 12, 2010 9:27 PM
By The Associated Press

(AP) — The revamped "We Are the World" made its world premiere Friday during NBC's coverage of the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, and a simultaneous worldwide screening of the full, seven-minute version of the music video is planned for Saturday.

The worldwide simulcast on 53 domestic and international channels is planned for 2 p.m. (1900 GMT) Eastern time.

A three-minute...

'America's Got Talent': We have a winner!

Thursday September 15, 2011 10:09 AM By

Photo credit: NBC

Who called it? Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., above, the dreadlocked, car-washing crooner who channeled the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin like a sworn member of the Rat Pack, took the top prize in last night's "America's Got Talent" finale. And it was well-deserved. I'd rather see him perform in Vegas than another headliner like Celine Dion (yawn).

And what really makes this an all-around, feel-good victory is that the guy seems genuinely nice. He took the youngest performers under his wing during the season-long competition, and he befriended everyone in the contest. The kids, he said, call him "Uncle Doonie" (though it's not clear to me where "Doonie" came from).

The Logan, W.Va., native who works at a car dealership will be changing careers soon: He'll be headlining at Caesars Palace Las Vegas in October, and in an odd development, the other three finalists will be appearing with him. No explanation was offered last night for the quadruple-billing.

"Thank you so much for just believing in me," Landau said, choking back tears after his name was announced. "It's been a long, hard journey ... and it's finally paying off."

After Lys Agnes blew it in the semifinals, Landau (we're on a first-name basis) became the obvious choice, though I'd certainly lay down money to see Team iLuminate and Silhouettes. I hope they get a gig on or off Broadway after their Vegas appearances. I'll be first in line.

Poplyfe is talented and likable, but after trashing Queen in the finals, there wasn't a chance they'd be chosen. Still, I think we'll be hearing more from those kids, too.

Williams' putback wins it for SJB

Published: December 29, 2011 9:44 PM

Anastasia Williams' putback with time expiring gave St. John the Baptist a 48-47 girls basketball win over Ursuline (Del.) Thursday in the semifinal round of the Diamond State Classic in Wilmington, Del.

Williams had 19 points and 21 rebounds and Brianna Thomas had 14 points and 17 rebounds.

SJB (7-4) will play the Mary Lewis-South Shore winner in the final Thursday night at 7 p.m.


'X Factor': Week 3 power rankings

Thursday November 17, 2011 7:38 AM By

Photo credit: Fox

Nothing says “Rock Week” like hair bows.

Or Celine Dion. Or dance routines straight outta “Solid Gold.” Or bickering. (Man, there was a lot of bickering.)

The first theme week just brings out why “X Factor” hasn't connected the way it was expected to. It's out of touch with how much of America is feeling right now. While much of America may not be able to handle the truth, they certainly don't want lies. They certainly don't want to hear about bending rules and technicalities on their singing competition. They see enough of that in real life.

So go ahead and nod and wink your way through explaining how Bob Marley is rock, L.A. Reid. People know you're just defending what Chris Rene wanted to do, which was subpar reggae without an ounce of the rebellion that made Marley rock. What Astro did with “I'll Be Missing You” was exponentially more “rock” than Rene, without changing his hip-hop style one bit.

Josh Krajcik was the only one who actually rocked out, with Foo Fighters' “The Pretender,” even after he wasted some time with a too-slow opening again. (Doesn't Nicole Scherzinger understand how to start songs in the middle?) Lakoda Rayne was sort of rock (hair bow and all) with their mashup of The Outfield's “Your Love” and Fleetwood Mac's “Go Your Own Way.” And LeRoy Bell was faithful to Bob Seger's “We've Got Tonight” – except for, you know, the lyrics, changing “No one will care girl” to “No one will tellllbluhhhh” and “I know you're weary” to “It's really feeling.” Once again, no one said a word about the messed-up lyrics.

Of course, that was far from the worst of the night. At least he remained in key, something Stacy Francis didn't manage on “It's All Coming Back to Me Now.” And while Marcus Canty's “Piece of My Heart” was slightly wobbly vocally, it was an embarrassing performance-wise as he slid on the floor through female dancers' legs after promising to be true to his preacher's kid roots.

“You said you were going to be a good boy and I saw you look up 10 girls' skirts,” said Simon Cowell, calling him out. Truth!


Astro, “I'll Be Missing You”
Josh Krajcik, “The Pretender”
Rachel Crow, “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction”
Drew, “With or Without You”
Lakoda Rayne, “Your Love/Go Your Own Way”
Melanie Amaro, “Everybody Hurts”
LeRoy Bell, “We've Got Tonight”
Marcus Canty, “Piece of My Heart”
Chris Rene, “No Woman, No Cry”
Stacy Francis, “It's All Coming Back to Me Now”

BOTTOM TWO: Lakoda Rayne, LeRoy Bell




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Xu's layup wins it for Great Neck South

Published: February 8, 2012 9:40 PM

Daisy Xu hit the go-ahead layup with six seconds left as Great Neck South (3-10) defeated Westbury, 39-36, Wednesday in Nassau Conference AA-III girls basketball. Xu finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Betsy Tannenbaum had four steals to lead a defense that limited Westbury to 16 points in the second half.

Mepham 49, Bellmore JFK 24: Nicole Castaldo had 17 points, 12 rebounds and four...

State Attorney General Dennis Vacco slapped lawsuits yesterday on two ticket brokers who allegedly gouged Spice Girls and Celine Dion fans by selling tickets at markups as high as 405%. Vacco said he acted after his investigators posed as ordinary fans and ordered tickets over the telephone from All Events Tickets of Queens and Taramack Tickets of Valley Stream, L.

I., and Connecticut. In the worst example, All Events allegedly charged investigators $150 each for two $37 tickets to the Spice Girls concert at Madison Square Garden on July 1. The 405% markup was for so-called nosebleed seats in the Garden's third tier. "These ticket brokers targeted consumers who had Spice Girls fever on their minds," Vacco said. The lawsuits accuse the brokers of violating state laws against reselling tickets for more than $5 or 10% above face value. Vacco will seek court-ordered refunds for customers charged more than the law allows. The lawsuit against Taramack accused it of selling two $25 tickets to the June 29 Spice Girls concert at Jones Beach for $95 each and of selling, for $175 each, two $52 tickets to the upcoming Celine Dion concert at the Garden. The owners of All Events and Taramack declined to comment. All Events advertised in the New York Post, Taramack in The Village Voice. Vacco launched the undercover sting in April after fans loudly complained about the almost instantaneous sellout of Spice Girls concerts. At the time, Vacco was already investigating ticket diversions at city box offices. "Box-office diversions remains the ground zero of our investigation, but as events like the phenomenally fast Spice Girls' sellout arise, we will expand it," said Vacco spokesman David Corvette. Corvette said it is not clear how the brokers accused yesterday obtained their tickets. Many in the business say they get them simply by hiring nominees to stand in line.

Thousands of spectators will gather in downtown for the opening ceremony Friday, as anticipation builds to see which athletes will take home Olympic gold.

But many viewers at home may be almost as excited to see which stars will perform at the Winter Olympics' grand kick-off.

Thanks to a few spies at the event's dress rehearsal, and a commercial for the Vancouver games that aired during an episode of , the names of likely opening ceremony performers have been leaked, reports .
Canadians , and are all likely bets for Friday's performance, although program details for the opening ceremonies have yet to be disclosed by Vancouver Olympic organizers.

According to a report, the above-named singers were spotted arriving at the dress rehearsal this week.
predicts that rockers Rush and jazz singer , also Canadians, are sure bets as well.

There is no yet word on whether other Canadian A-listers, like , and , will perform at any time during the games.

One part of the opening ceremony lineup had been confirmed. The new star-studded "We are the World" video for earthquake relief is slated to make its debut during tonight's coverage.

The XXI Olympic Winter Games will be held Feb. 12 to Feb. 18 in Vanouver, . The opening ceremony can be seen starting at 9 p.m. Eastern on .

Thanksgiving means family entertainment ? for better or worse.True to form, this week brings three ubiquitous, family-friendly music stars to the small screen. Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Ricky Martin all will host specials on CBS, promising everything from guilty pleasure (Twain, Martin) to bloated schmaltz (Dion).Though Dion has been threatening to take some time off from her career for centuries now, you can see her for what may actually, finally, be the last time ? for a while, at least ? on Wednesday at 8 p.

m. The program, titled ?These Are Special Times,? features a guest duet between Gloria Estefan and ?N Sync on their hit ?Music of My Heart? (from the movie of the same name). Estefan also performs a medley with Dion, while the main attraction contributes her usual array of hugely oversung ballads.Shania Twain?s special, ?Come on Over,? has a more athletic spin, appropriate to the well-toned star. Twain taped her show at Texas Stadium at the end of a Dallas Cowboys game. In the one-hour show (airing Thanksgiving night at 9), the star performs all the hits that made her the biggest-selling female star ever launched from Nashville. While her songs could hardly be called roots country, they?ve got the snap of great bubblegum pop.Martin?s special airs Friday at 8 p.

m., and emphasizes the star?s Latino heritage. He?ll perform with fellow Puerto Rican Jose Feliciano and the Tijuana-born Carlos Santana (who?s enjoying his own fresh success this year). Martin taped the show at Liberty State Park last month, where he performed hits including ?The Cup of Life,? ?She?s All I Ever Had? and the inevitable ?Livin? La Vida Loca,? along with his first international smash, ?Maria.? Look for plenty of hip action along the way.

Cher turns 60 Saturday, but has no reason to wish she "could turn back time.

" With an album in the works and a deal to replace Celine Dion as resident performer at a Las Vegas hotel, Cher is heading a pack of seasoned stars refusing to settle down and take up sewing. Celebrities in their 60s like Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda and Sherry Lansing all have projects lined up that would tire a 20-year-old, and are proving that 60 is the new 40. Simon Doonan, creative director of Barneys New York, believes they have plenty of company. "We baby boomers - me, Cher, Diane Keaton - we're the 'me' generation, so we had no problem lavishing all this time on our own exercise regimens and whatever," he says. "I think 60 is the new 40 for this generation that's about to hit 60.

" In other words, whippersnappers, don't trade in your twin sets for leather pants. "The baby boomers are more experimental with their clothes than, say, the Gen X people who reembrace the conservative dressing of their grand-parents," adds Doonan. "Cher thinks nothing of walking around in chaps by Chrome Heart.

" Fad or not, sixtysomething stars are making sure they don't dim out. Cher will reportedly get $60 million to put on a flashy show at Caesars Palace in 2008, after Dion's contract is up. Word is the hotel is building a concert hall for her. Though she's sold impressive numbers of tickets throughout her four-decade career, her three-year "Farewell Tour," which ended last year, was the highest-grossing ever for a female performer: She made more than $250 million playing to more than 3 million people. Will Cher slow down in other areas now that she'll officially be 60? Nope. She's supposedly hard at work on a rock album. Keaton, who recently turned 60, and Fonda, 68, aren't too old to be the faces of beauty. They've both just signed contracts to be spokeswomen for L'Oréal Paris' anti-aging products. Keaton's ads will be seen in the U.

S.; Fonda's, in Europe. Singers Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner continued to achieve greatness into their 60s. Franklin has snagged her 16th and 17th Grammy Awards since turning 60, while Turner's 2000 world tour was the highest-grossing act of the year. And her 2004 greatest-hits compilation, "All the Best," entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 2, the highest debut of her career. Lansing, 61, stepped down as CEO of Paramount Studios in 2004, but set up the Sherry Lansing Foundation a year later to promote cancer research and education. Doonan says that at this point, keeping track of most women's ages is irrelevant, and in any case impossible, thanks to time-reversing beauty procedures. He points to the five Southern California women featured in "The Real Housewives of Orange County," a reality series. "All these chicks are all pumped up and Botoxed and they have fake hair and fake tans - you can't tell how old they are," he says. "It's more like 20 is the new 80.

THE QUIET ROOM. Chloe Ferguson, Celine O'Leary. Directed by Rolf De Heer. At the 68th St. Playhouse. Running time: 91 mins. Rated PG. 3 1/2 STARS A 7-YEAR-OLD CHILD WATCHES, IN silence, as her parents' marriage dissolves. Her wordlessness may be a way of compelling attention from her battling parents, or it may be a more profound disorder possibly autism. In "The Quiet Room," Australian director Rolf De Heer limits himself entirely to the girl's point of view, restricting the action to the bedroom she never leaves (with occasional flashbacks to her early childhood) and reproducing her unhappy and confused interior monologue on the soundtrack. When she thinks back to happier days, her 3-year-old self materializes "Me, when I was then," she says. In De Heer's original and unsentimental vision, childhood looks a lot like a theatrical performance, taking place on a brightly colored, three-sided set that has the jarring vividness of first experience. The children, played by sisters Chloe and Phoebe Ferguson, are refreshingly uncute, and De Heer directs them with unusual patience and respect, never forcing them into obvious effects. A fascinating attempt to re-experience childhood from the inside out, this unique film is concentrated and solemn rather than conventionally beguiling. (PG: May be upsetting to younger children.)

Two accused robbers were charged Wednesday with killing a beloved nun - even the teen cops arrested minutes before his partner plowed their getaway car into her.

, 20, and , 18, are accused of felony murder in the death of , 84, following a string of robberies.

Robbins was detained by police June 22, right before Williams jumped into the driver's seat and fled, plowing into the Catholic nun about 20 blocks away.

Prosecutors argued the speeding that killed Graham was connected to the robbery, making Robbins responsible.

But his lawyer, , claimed that Williams' flight from police constituted a new crime and that his client cooperated with the arresting officers.

"This case will no doubt become a landmark case defining the parameters of felony murder," Heller said.

Williams was also charged with depraved indifference murder, and both were hit with a slew of other counts.

SONG OF THE YEAR"My Heart Will Go On" NEW ARTIST Lauryn Hill BEST POP ALBUM Madonna, "Ray of Light" FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On" MALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE Eric Clapton, "My Father's Eyes" ROCK ALBUM Sheryl Crow, "The Globe Sessions" MALE ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE Lenny Kravitz, "Fly Away" FEMALE ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE Alanis Morissette, "Uninvited" ROCK PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCAL Aerosmith, "Pink" HARD ROCK PERFORMANCE Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, "Most High" METAL PERFORMANCE Metallica, "Better Than You" ROCK SONG Alanis Morissette, "Uninvited" ALTERNATIVE MUSIC PERFORMANCE Beastie Boys, "Hello Nasty" FEMALE R & B VOCAL PERFORMANCE Lauryn Hill, "Doo Wop (That Thing)" MALE R & B PERFORMANCE Stevie Wonder, "St. Louis Blues" R & B PERFORMANCE BY DUO OR GROUP Brandy and Monica, "The Boy is Mine" R & B SONG Lauryn Hill, "Doo Wop (That Thing)" R & B ALBUM Lauryn Hill, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" RAP PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP The Beastie Boys, "Intergalactic" RAP ALBUM Jay-Z, "Vol. 2 . . . Hard Knock Life" COUNTRY ALBUM Dixie Chicks, "Wide Open Spaces" FEMALE COUNTRY VOCAL PERFORMANCE Shania Twain, "You're Still the One" MALE COUNTRY VOCAL PERFORMANCE Vince Gill, "If You Ever Have Forever in Mind" COUNTRY PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCAL The Dixie Chicks COUNTRY SONG "You're Still the One" CONTEMPORARY JAZZ PERFORMANCE Pat Metheny Group, "Imaginary Day" POP/CONTEMPORARY GOSPEL ALBUM Deniece Williams, "This is My Song" TRADITIONAL SOUL GOSPEL ALBUM Cissy Houston, "He Leadeth Me" CONTEMPORARY SOUL GOSPEL ALBUM Kirk Franklin, "The Nu Nation Project" LATIN POP PERFORMANCE Ricky Martin, "Vuelva" TROPICAL LATIN PERFORMANCE Marc Anthony, "Contra La Corriente" REGGAE ALBUM Sly and Robbie, "Friends" REMIXER OF THE YEAR, NONCLASSICAL David Morales

Aretha Franklin goes by many names, most associated with royalty. She answers to Lady (Soul) and Queen (of Soul), but given Franklin's new association with VH1, she may soon be known as the Diva's Diva. Franklin, after all, managed to out-diva Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan and Shania Twain on the network's first "Divas Live" broadcast in 1998. (Footage later emerged illustrating how Franklin stole lines from other singers and refused to surrender center stage, "zooming" the others into submission.) Now the network has surrendered, celebrating Franklin on tomorrow's "Divas Live: The One and Only Aretha Franklin" at 9 p.

m. from Radio City Music Hall. Paying tribute are Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Celia Cruz, Nelly Furtado, Marc Anthony and, in what could only be an homage to Franklin's Detroit roots, Kid Rock - plus a few surprise guests. Presenters will include Janet Jackson (who will absolutely not be singing, according to VH1), members of the Backstreet Boys and, with no apparent connection, several actors from "The Sopranos.

" Franklin proved that she is a diva in the traditional sense when, substituting for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti at the 1998 Grammy Awards, she made her famed last-minute performance of Puccini's "Nessun Dorma.

" But Franklin says the title "diva" is all about art, not attitude. "Customarily and in the past, it has been associated with opera singers, but 'diva' can cross the board and is indicative of anyone who can reach that level of the principal singer," Franklin says in a phone call from her tour bus. "Today, ]pop[ singers sell a lot more records than classical singers do, but that is not the note upon which a diva becomes a diva," she adds. "It's more of reaching a level of artistry.

" As if to prove a diva's life is not all glitter and Champagne, her bus hits some turbulence and suddenly Franklin is all wet. "Aaaargh!

" she cries out. "A whole glass of orange soda fell in my lap.

" But Franklin says that she still thrives on the idea of being honored. An inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she has also won 17 Grammys. At "Divas," she looks forward to singing with a new generation of artists. "Sometimes they get starstruck, but I think that's okay," she says. "I think I was probably a little starstruck around Sarah ]Vaughan[ and Ella ]Fitzgerald[.

" But Franklin gets most excited by the idea of jamming with an all-star jazz band also on the program. "And there's no telling where it will wind up," she says.

Back in April, Celine Dion was primed and ready to play Caesars when her manager-husband, Renee Angelil, was diagnosed with skin cancer and had to undergo surgery. The chanteuse put her titanic career on hold while hubby recuperated. Apparently, his recovery is going well, allowing Dion to fulfill her commitment to Caesars this weekend. But if you intend to catch her show, bring money. Lots of it. Tickets if you can get 'em are selling for $200 a pop for tonight's and Sunday night's shows. Elswehere, Robert Palmer is another high-priced ticket at the Sands, as is LeAnn Rimes at the Trop. ATLANTIC CITY HILTON. Boardwalk & Providence Ave., (609) 340-7200. The Theater: Louie Anderson. Shows: Fri. at 9 p.

m., Sat. at 8 p.

m. Tix: $35-$40. Restaurants: Caruso's (G), Oaks (G), Cornucopia (M), Cornucopia Buffet (E), Peregrines (G), Sterling Brunch (G). BALLY'S PARK PLACE & Wild Wild West Casino. Boardwalk & Park Place, (609) 340-2709. Main Ballroom: Dark. Park Cabaret: "Legends in Concert.

" Call for times. Tix: $20-$25. Restaurants: Sidewalk Buffet (E), Sbarro Pizza (E), Animations (E), Spa Cafe (E), Pickles (E), Snack Bar (E), Prime Brunch (G), Arturo's (G), Mr. Ming's (M). CAESARS. Boardwalk & Missouri Ave., (609) 348-4411. Circus Maximus: Celine Dion. Shows: Fri. at 10 p.

m., no show Sat., Sun. at 8 p.

m. Tix: $200. Restaurants: Primavera (G), Hyakumi (G), Nero's (G), Cafe Roma (M), Imperial Garden (G), Pompeii Pasta Pavilion (M), Rotunda (M), La Piazza (M), Bacchanal (G), Planet Hollywood (M). CLARIDGE. Boardwalk & Indiana Ave., 1-800-752-7469. Palace Theater: Lou Rawls. Shows: Fri. at 10 p.

m., Sat. at 7:30 & 10:30 p.

m., Sun. at 7 p.

m. Tix: $25. At other times: "Viva La Diva," a musical revue. Through Dec. 4. Tix: $15-$19. Restaurants: Martino's (G), Twenties (G), Garden Cafe (M), Wok & Roll (E). HARRAH'S ATLANTIC CITY. Brigantine Blvd. (northwest Marina area), (609) 441-5165. Broadway-by-the-Bay: Dark. Restaurants: Andreotti's (G), Reflections (M), Steak House (G), William Fisk (G), Rum Pointe (E), The Deli (M), Fantasea Reef (M). RESORTS. Boardwalk & North Carolina Ave., (609) 344-6000. Superstar Theater: Jimmy Sturr Orchestra. Shows: Now through Tuesday. Call for showtimes. Tix: $25. Eleven33 Club: Tonight Dane Anthony and the Sons of Thunder, Sunday Joe Sample. Free. Restaurants: Capriccio (G), Camelot (G), Ginza (G), Le Palais (G), Beverly Hills Buffet (M), Asian Spice Restaurant (G), Noodle Bar at Asian Spice (M), Beachball Deli (E), Breadsticks (E), Starbucks (E). SANDS. Boardwalk & Illinois Ave., (609) 441-4444. Copa Room: Robert Palmer. Shows: Fri. at 10 p.

At (609-348-7000)

Sept. 20: brings her celebrated "Taking Chances World Tour" to the venerable hall at 8, $55, $95, $150, $225.

At (609-677-1000)

Sept. 19-21: plays the Music Box at 9, sold out.

At (1-800-2-HARRAH)

Ongoing: runs through Sept. 27. Showtimes: Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday at 8, Friday and Saturday at 9, $25.

At (609-340-7160)

Through Sept. 20: are in the Grand Theater on Friday at 9 and Saturday at 8, $45.

At Tropicana (609-340-4020)


Ongoing: The Piano Men, a tribute show honoring the great singing pianists, runs through Oct. 19. At various times and dates; call for schedule, $25.

Sept. 19-21: are back for a weekend stay on Friday and Saturday at 9 and next Sunday at 7, $20-$55.


Ongoing: "Yesterday - A Tribute to the ." Showtimes are Wed., Thurs., Fri. at 8:30; Sat. at 3:30 & 8:30, and Sun. at 8:30, $23.

At (609-441-6000)

Sept. 20: Comic headlines in the Trump Theater at 9, $40.50.

At (609-449-5150)

Sept. 20: is the main event in the Etess Arena at 8, $35-$45.

At : (860-312-3000)

Fox Theater

Ongoing: "" every night at 7 (and 2 on Wednesdays as well), through Oct. 30, $25 with Wampum Card, $30 with credit card.

at Foxwoods

Sept. 19: Sugarland plays the Grand Theater at 9, sold out.

At (1-888-226-7711)


Tonight: goes on at 7:30, $50.

Sept. 19: offers his unique brand of comedy and music at 7 & 10, $45.


To anyone with a GPS system, a singer opening at a cabaret next week may sound familiar.

, who will be belting out ballads at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on 42nd St., is the soothing voice that tells owners when to make a turn.

She began lending her sound to global positioning systems a decade ago - but hopes to make the leap from the road to road shows.

"As a little girl, I dreamed of hearing my voice in the car radio," Jacobsen said. "I never dreamed that my voice would end up in cars, but in a GPS."

Jacobsen, who describes her style as meets , always thought she would be a singer - but casting directors seemed more interested in the Australian native's speaking voice.

She landed her first gig with Garmin when she moved to in 2000.

"They were looking for an Australian female voice living in the Northeast U.S.," she said. "I said to myself 'That's my job!'"

Other GPS calls and commercials followed, including a voiceover for an Aussie shampoo ad.

While it wasn't the singing stardom she dreamed of, her GPS work did win her fans. She still gets emails from drivers she steered in the right direction.

"You helped me find my cousin's wedding in ," one wrote.

"You helped me find my way through the Black Forest in ," read another.

She's even been thanked for improving the mood in the car.

"Our relationship is so much better. We yell at you and not at each other in the car anymore," someone told her.

There have even been a few apologies, like the one from the woman who confessed, "I once strangled you."

Now Jacobsen is making the transition from four-seat sedan to 100-seat theater. At shows next Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, she'll sing covers and some of her own tunes.

"It's a little strange hearing your voice on a GPS. I want people to see I have a good singing voice too," she said.

IF THE new Barbra Streisand/ Celine Dion duet was designed to take over the radio world, it's partway there. But in this age of niche marketing, there are some places it looks like it may not penetrate. The duet, "Tell Him," was fed to radio in a blaze of mega-hype as an advance tease for Dion's new album, coming next month. It is designed to be an event music available only on radio and in adult contemporary radio, the strategy is working. "Our phones have been ringing off the hook," says Jim Ryan, program director of WLTW (106.

7 FM). By popular demand, he adds, Lite has stretched its own guidelines by playing the song four times a day. WPLJ (95.

5 FM) jumped on the song and took phone calls about it on yesterday's Scott and Todd morning show. Most were favorable, though Scott Shannon himself admitted the song doesn't blow him away. "Barbra sounds a little too '70s," he said, diplomatically explaining to callers he feels bad "that I can't appreciate Streisand more.

" Top-40 WHTZ (100.

3 FM) is playing "Tell Him" less than Lite and 'PLJ are playing it. Z-100 says it's too early to gauge listener response. But WKTU (103.

5 FM), a rhythm-based top-40 that plays some pop ballads, is holding off on this one. "We're not ruling it out," says music director Andy Shane. "But we're not playing it now. It's a great song, but a little down-tempo for us. It's aimed at adult contemporary.

" Lite's Ryan agrees with Shane's market analysis. "It's perfect for us," he says. "But it may be a little slow for top-40.


BEFORE SUNRISE. Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy. Directed by Richard Linklater. At area theaters. Time: 100 mins. Rated R. 3 Stars. 'IT SOUNDS TOO MUCH LIKE the perfect travel story," says Celine (Julie Delpy), and so it does. She's a beautiful French student, with long blond hair and big blue eyes, who's just been picked up by a handsome young American, Jesse (Ethan Hawke), on a train passing through Austria. He's persuaded her to get off with him in Vienna to spend a night with him, walking and talking before he takes off for home in the morning. Celine is reluctant to sleep with Jesse, if only because that would give his travel story too pat an ending. Yet "Before Sunrise," the gentle, beguilingly talky new comedy by Richard Linklater ("Slacker," "Dazed and Confused"), remains a strong if subtle erotic experience. Linklater did not personally coin the term "slacker" to describe the proudly unmotivated twentysomething generation, yet he's probably done the most to define it. Though Jesse and Celine are still in school, and seem distinctly more energized than the usual Linklater protagonists, they are passing through one of life's parentheses. Their flirtation takes the form of an extended interchange of experiences and philosophies, on topics ranging from the giggly and trivial (first sexual feelings) to the achingly profound (thoughts on death and fate), as they explore the wonders of Vienna. Celine, a bit too predictably, tends toward a romantic view of life. Jesse can't resist bursting her bubbles. He points out the mercenary motives of a palm reader who envisions a radiant future for Celine, and claims he finds solace in work rather than love. One suspects that Celine represents what Linklater wants to believe, and Jesse what he really believes. And yet, the film is firmly on Celine's side. Slowly and unobtrusively, Linklater allows a number of spiritual references to accumulate a visit to a cemetery, a stop at an old church, a feverish poet who steps from the shadows to offer the couple a consecrating verse in exchange for a small donation. Hawke relinquishes his usual preening self-regard in favor of a bashful charm, and Delpy though her English dialogue is too confidently slangy for a non-native speaker has a warmth and softness she's never had onscreen before.

Thanks, but no thanks. has turned down a $100 mil offer that'd have her crooning in for three years. "After left Vegas, no one has been able to replace her," says a Sin City insider. " failed, is trying - only Barbra is guaranteed to succeed." But a source close to Babs says cash is hardly an incentive: "Money has never been a deciding factor in her career."

HOLY MOLY: 's latest getup is by far her most outrageous: The troubled starlet emulates on the upcoming cover of French fashion glossy Purple. But LiLo can't even take credit for her latest cry for attention: Famed fashion photog produced the sure-to-be-controversial spread, which features La Lohan decked out in a long white robe and crown.

WATCH OUT, : and her gang are coming to town. Reports surfaced yesterday that the kids of MTV's will be trading for South Beach next summer. So what's ? Apparently producers are setting up a house off Lincoln Road and putting in requests to film at some of SoBe's hottest venues, like the Mynt Lounge.

DESTINY'S NEWEST CHILD? A woman who claims to be ' former mistress has given birth to a boy - and says Beyoncé's father is her baby-daddy. According to reports, Alexsandra Wright is even heading to court next week to obtain support money from Knowles. But the music exec/manager isn't owning up. Says Knowles' rep: "We are not aware of the birth of a child. Mr. Knowles has never had a DNA test. These rumors are untrue."

‘’ producers aren't happy that has packed on some pounds. “Ed has been gaining a lot of weight — not just around the waist, but through the whole body,” an on-set source says. “First, the costume department had to buy him new, bigger pants. Then, his shirts and jackets got way too snug. The costumers even requested that producers talk to Ed — they don’t want ]his character[ Chuck to be fat!”

Prince has a royal crush on . The singer adores the actress so much, he named his hit, “Valentina,” after her baby daughter. “Hey Valentina, tell your mama she should give me a call,” the song goes. But Prince isn’t a one-woman man. Another line from the tune: “If Penelope wants to Cruz, there ain’t no way that we ain’t gon’ dance.”

is available for a lunch date.  “” star is auctioning off the chance for one lucky person to enjoy a get-together with him in ; the auction will benefit the . Bidding ends April 16 — so ladies, get ready to fire up those laptops!

is being a good sport about her latest business venture. The “My Heart Will Go On” hitmaker has placed a bid to purchase the team, but she has some fierce competition. founder and cable giant are also in the running, meaning Celine may be on thin ice!

Wednesday night in , 's favorite brassy diva, , launched her newest extravaganza, "The Showgirl Must Go On," with boas, bawdiness and one loco burro, which she rode in on.

Midler's 90-minute production fills the massive stage of the Colosseum in - built for - with shimmering scenic effects, a chorus line of 20 tail-flipping mermaids and Midler’s own one-of-a-kind voice and star power.

The show begins with a "Wizard of Oz"-like tornado that tears through the desert and down the to Caesar's.

On Wednesday night the place was packed with nearly 4,300 people - die-hard fans, friends and celebs like and , , , and .

"Showgirl" follows the formula of the Divine Miss M’s previous productions: A mix of naughty jokes, big dance numbers and her signature songs and characters (wheelchair-bound mermaid and the salty joke-teller Soph). What makes this Midler show special is that it supposedly cost $10 million and is scheduled to run for two years.

I'm not much of a gambler, but this show looks pretty much like a sure Bette. In Friday's Daily News, I'll tell you all about it.


Fat chance! "" trainer is being sued in a class-action lawsuit - for pushing an allegedly "worthless" dietary supplement. According to court papers, Michaels is "promoting a weight loss supplement that purportedly will cause weight loss by itself." But , the attorney who filed the suit, says, "Telling people you take two magic pills and then eat chocolate cake all day is a deception."

isn't giving up her dreams of another child, despite four failed attempts at in vitro fertilization. "I'm going to try until it works," says the 41-year-old, who already has a 9-year-old son with husband . Dion is still giving herself daily hormone shots - and her hopes are high. Says the singer: "Five's my lucky number, so this is the time."

Just trippin'. once indulged in a foreign substance at a Hollywood bash - but thought he was just being hygienic. "I didn't know what was happening," recalls the star of "," who believed he was just accepting a breath strip from a fellow partygoer. "My friend said, 'Are you okay?' and I said 'No, I think I'm fine, but I can touch colors. Should I get naked?'"

is on a mission ... "Mission: Impossible 4," that is. The Hollywood heavyweight has signed on to reprise his role as in the latest installment of the "MI" series. There's no director for the flick just yet - but screenwriters and are ready to write the script, and Cruise will serve as producer along with "MI: III" director .

As I was telling my butler, Armando, when I returned from the spa - having passed Celine Dion on the way and spotted Leonardo DiCaprio and his girlfriend Gisele Bundchen down by the infinity pool - life is good. Maybe not all the time, unless you're in the same income bracket as Celine and Leo, or Hugh Jackman, who was at the table next to mine at dinner that night. But for however many days you can afford to live like them at a place like this - the One&Only Palmilla Resort in Baja California's Los Cabos - it's really, really good. You can ask John Travolta, whose wife arranged a surprise 50th birthday party for him here in February, or Tom Cruise, Barbra Streisand, Oprah Winfrey or any of the dozens of other A-list stars who showed up to toast him and wander the seaside oasis. Palmilla es primero. The red-tiled, white-washed resort, built as an isolated Mexican getaway for wealthy sport fishermen in the 1950s, has just undergone a $90 million renovation and - like a big movie whose budget you can see on the screen - the money is in the experience. Palmilla's list of amenities is the norm for luxury resorts. There's a golf course, a spa, three restaurants, tennis courts, two pools, a fitness room, glorious grounds, and a staff dedicated to discreet pampering. But the 27-hole golf course is a distinct, perfectly manicured Jack Nicklaus layout following the contours of the saguaro cactus-covered hills right down to where the red desert meets the aqua blue Sea of Cortez. The new spa has six buildings and 13 additional villas where you can indulge yourself with more than a dozen Mexican/Asian treatments, most of which begin with a rose-water foot bath and don't end until the last knot in your most stubborn muscle has surrendered. C, the most formal restaurant, and Breeze, a poolside café, feature changing menus prepared by famed four-star Chicago chef Charlie Trotter. Agua, which opens to the new infinity pool and the surf just beyond, features Moroccan-born chef Larbi Dahrouch's unique "Mexiterranean" fare. In the 2,000-square foot fitness room, you can do your stairmaster workout while watching waves crash over volcanic rocks below or counting the variety of palm trees that gave the place its name (there are five). And that staff? Well, it's big. Palmilla has three employees for each of its 172 rooms. And they demonstrate their warmth and training by saluting guests with a hand over their hearts every time you pass them. It's a gesture borrowed from native Mexican culture. Did I mention my butler? I actually shared Armando and his night replacement, Oscar, with the guests in five other rooms in our three-story villa. But the butlers are there 24 hours a day, in case you spill some of that $60 half-bottle of Chateau Castera Medoc from the mini-bar on your white shirt. Armando will run the shirt down to the laundry and pick up another bottle of Medoc on the way back if you like - and can afford. The mini-bars in Palmilla would be maxi-bars anywhere else, in both selections and price. If you want to venture out of the 250- acre compound, there's sport fishing, snorkeling, and two towns to visit: Cabo San Lucas, a dockside tourist trap at the southern tip of the Baja peninsula, and San Juan del Cabo, a tranquil, mostly unspoiled provincial village north of the resort. Edward Steiner, the managing director of Palmilla, is doing everything he can to keep people busy. There are Hummers to take guests on desert tours, a 54-foot yacht for sea-going excursions, and the original chapel, where couples can start their holiday with a wedding. Still, Steiner's not through. Gesturing toward the surf from our table in Aqua, he said he envisions future diners watching dancing fountains in the sea, and has been talking to the people who put in the fountains at Las Vegas' Bellagio Hotel. "I want people who stay here to be able to say they had an experience," he says. So, what's the entry price for all this luxury, plus possible celebrity sightings? Rates for the ocean-view and ocean-front rooms range from $325 to $1,450 a night. Through Sept. 30, those who book a seven-night stay receive the last two nights' accommodations for free. Also included is one dinner at Agua, and children under 12 eat free in all restaurants throughout their stay. For more information and reservations, visit www.


com or call 1-866-829-2977.

has been admitted to a hospital in order to prevent the early delivery of her twins.

The 42-year-old singer was admitted to in , Fla. for observation on the recommendation of her doctors, reports. According to her rep, Dion's hospitalization is a standard preventive measure "for any patient with twin pregnancy in this clinical setting."

The rep told the magazine that the precautionary move is "done to ensure the patient can be in close contact with their doctors and clinical resources, leading up to their birth," according to .

Last week, Dion's husband, René Angélil, shot down reports that the singer made diva demands surrounding the delivery and had scheduled a C-section for Oct. 22.

"]Doctors[ want Celine's pregnancy to go as long as possible, at least until the first week of November," Dion's rep told at the time. "She would never intentionally endanger her unborn children by scheduling a birth early like this."

"Celine and her doctors are hopeful that she can continue her pregnancy as long as possible, and hope to get her to at least 37 weeks gestation to ensure the healthiest outcome for her children," the rep added.

Dion announced in July that she is expecting twin boys. After multiple failed attempts to get pregnant, the singer successfully conceived earlier this year after undergoing her sixth in-vitro fertilization attempt. She also said she turned to acupuncture to improve her chances of pregnancy.

Dion and Angelil, 68, are also parents to a 9-year-old son, .

Although is only 14 weeks pregnant, she has already gone through great struggles to carry her twins.

"I feel like I've been pregnant more than a year," the singer, 42, tells French paper , according to .

Dion and husband finally conceived their twins after five failed in-vitro fertilization attempts. Dion admitted to last year that one of those attempts resulted in a miscarriage.

"I never gave up," Dion says. "But I can tell you that it was physically and mentally exhausting."

Angelil, 58, adds, "Everyone knows that Celine has guts and is determined. These treatments were truly hard on my wife's body. It wasn't simple at all."

For her sixth IVF attempt, the singer spent a month and a half in and also tried acupuncture, Dion's rep told .

The singer says it was incredibly stressful to wait to see if the pregnancy would stick this time.

"My doctors had to constantly reassure me. I ]wanted[ to see the babies," she says. "Each week I had sonograms. I heard their heartbeats."

When the couple finally got the news that twins were on the way, "There were truly great emotions," says the singer.

Now, Dion will do whatever it takes to keep the babies healthy.

"It's stressful but I'm relaxing. I look at my little belly. I do almost nothing," she says. "If you tell me I have to stay in bed, I will stay in bed until November, when the babies are born. To bring them into the world, there's nothing more important than that. It's incredible."

The twins are due to join brother Rene-Charles, 9, in November.

"We will have a beautiful family nest full of love," says Dion.

Although the singer has had an extremely successful career, she adds, "There are no accomplishments bigger than" motherhood.

"The trophies and money, that doesn't give meaning to life and that doesn't give you true happiness...a baby -- yes."

Six weeks after giving birth to twins, is sharing her baby boys with the world.

The singer and her new sons, Nelson and Eddy, appear on the covers of both and magazine this week.

Dion, 42, gave birth Oct. 23, adding to a family that already included 9-year-old son, Rene-Charles, and husband , 68.

The music icon and her growing family posed for the cameras inside and outside their sprawling mansion in ,

The fraternal twins are already showing personality at younger than two months old, their famous mom said.

"Nelson is Angelil," she told Hello! "Eddy is Dion!"

And while Dion finds her life "extraordinary," she also said she doesn't "know how women do it."

"Every day René asks, 'Did you sleep well?'" she said. "I'm like, 'You must be kidding! There is no sleep!'"

But, as she told People, "The love and what I feel inside, what we have accomplished – I don't know how to put it into words. It's bigger than life itself."

A new day has come! It's double-boy joy for Céline and husband René Angélil, reports.

The singer, 42, welcomed twin boys (who are still unnamed) at a hospital Saturday afternoon, just one minute apart from each other, at 11:11 a.m. and 11:12 a.m.

"Celine is resting now and they plan to discuss what to name the boys when she wakes up," Dion's rep told People.

The happy news comes less than a week after the singer checked into in , Fla. for observation. Doctors said Dion, who was more at-risk for premature labor due to her age, was simply undergoing a standard precautionary measure "for any patient with twin pregnancy in this clinical setting."

Already mother to son René-Charles, 9, the crooner is "thrilled" with the new additions to her family. The twins, who were born premature, will now spend a few days in an incubator.

"René-Charles has been to the hospital to visit his brothers and is just so excited they are here," the rep added.

If you're making plans to head for Atlantic City on the coming weekend, you're going to need a truckload not for gambling, but to catch any of the big shows that are playing on Friday, Saturday and next Sunday. Topping the list of expensive headliners is Celine Dion, who is singing at Caesars on Friday and Sunday. The price of a ticket to see the heady chanteuse is a titanic $200. (Call 609-348-4411.) At the Sands, meanwhile, Robert Palmer is commanding a $60 price-tag for his shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. (Call 609-441-4444.) Elvis Crespo is getting as much as $75 a ticket for his one-and-only show Saturday at the Taj Mahal. But at least his ducats scale down to $35 (609-449-1000). Likewise LeAnn Rimes at the Tropicana on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights (609-340-4000). By comparison, Louie Anderson at the Hilton on Friday and Saturday ($35-$40 609-340-7200) and Lou Rawls at the Claridge Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights ($25 1-800-752-7469) are bargains.

Celine Dion is determined to go on.

The Canadian diva shares her painful struggle to get pregnant again via in-vitro fertilization in a revealing cover story.

"I'm going to try until it works," says Dion, 41. "Five is my lucky number, so this is the time it's got to ]work[."

The "My Heart Will Go On" singer has undergone daily hormone injections and painful tests in her attempts to conceive, but the biggest blow was when she briefly became pregnant with the help of IVF last August. Tragically, she lost the pregnancy.

"We were ]pregnant[, it was positive," she told “Access Hollywood” at the time. "And yes it was, so for about four or five days later, then with the blood test, they found out that it was going down a little bit and it was not staying."

"We are living the reality of the majority of couples who have to use ]IVF[. The process can be long and arduous," husband René Angelil, 67, told the Canadian paper Journal de Montreal. "But today, we are full of confidence. Celine is more determined than ever."

"Celine and I didn't get discouraged," he added. "We put our faith in life and in the stars."

The couple has one son, Rene Charles, now 9, who was conceived through the help of their doctor, Zev Rosenwaks, the director of the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Center Medical. Dion plans to continue consulting with the same doctors.

"It's a big process," she told “” about her IVF treatments. "I'm sure people that go through in-vitro (fertilization) know how much it takes and it demands, but I'm good."

For now, Dion is staying positive by focusing on her career.

Her new concert film and family documentary, "Celine: Through the Eyes of the World," will be released on Feb. 17. She will also return to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to begin a three-year, multimillion-dollar residency next year.

Celine Dion has got it bad for Adele.

The stunning Canadian songstress calls the Grammy-winning singer "a total package" in an interview for

"I think that her whole image is very good!" the 44-year-old star said. "The way that she is will definitely help the new generation of girls accept themselves."

Dion sang the British chart-topper's praises during a chic black and white photoshoot at her Florida home - her first non-promotional magazine shoot in nearly six years.

The "My Heart Will Go On" singer said that Adele has the potential to bring change to an industry that she's always been wary of - a feeling that's increased in the wake of fellow pop legend Whitney Houston's death.

"I have always been scared of the industry," Dion said. "I was just in shock when Whitney's life had been taken because of drugs. It's a big loss for all of us."

But the star says she won't let her concerns stop her from taking the stage.

"I was brought into this world to do this, no doubt," she said, though acknowledging that she's taken on a much more important endeavor in recent years - motherhood.

"I thought I had a life before, but until I was a mom, I had no idea. I'm more grounded now than ever before," she said.

The confidence she's gained from being a mother shows.

"I've been an open book all my life, and I think that's why people like me," Dion said. "I've been criticized for it, but I'm not forcing myself to be the person that you see."

V Magazine’s Travel issue hits stands on Aug. 30.

Pop queen Céline Dion is pregnant with twins after a long struggle to conceive and less than a year after having a tragic miscarriage.

The 42-year-old Canadian super star, who has a 9-year-old son, is 14 weeks' pregnant, her husband said Sunday.

"She was hoping for one baby and the news that we are having two is a double blessing," Dion's husband, René Angelil, told .

The singer and her 68-year-old husband are toasting their success after undergoing six in-vitro fertilization attempts.

In addition to in-vitro treatments, Dion underwent acupuncture to bolster her chances of having a baby.

The couple will not learn the gender of their twins until next month, Angelil said.

"We're ecstatic," Angelil said. "Celine is just hoping for a healthy pregnancy."

Dion and Angelil, who doubles as her manager, have a 9-year-old son, René-Charles, also the result of in-vitro fertilization.

The five-time entertainer - whose hit songs include "My Heart Will Go On" and "Because You Love Me" - spoke in February on the "" show of having a miscarriage last year.

"It's life. You know? A lot of people go through this, but it's not being told because it's not in the newspaper," Dion told .

News of her miscarriage came six months after she publicly announced in August 2009 that she was pregnant.

"I will be the happiest one to tell you when I'm pregnant," she told Winfry. "And if not, I'm the luckiest artist, especially wife and mother of a wonderful son. So I'm glad."

Earlier this month, Dion told the Web site that she would not announce she was pregnant until she was far along.

"I don't want to talk about it so much because I'm superstitious, but I know people have been very wonderful for us and praying for us," she said at the time.

"Once you live in show business and everything spreads out so quick and every pregnancy you have to wait three months to make sure it's all okay and it's nerve racking," she added.

"We're not getting any younger and you always think it's your last chance, you're last try."


LAS VEGAS — Celine Dion called it a wrap at Caesars Palace, acknowledging in her final show that pregnancy and poor early reviews almost sank her titanic five-year engagement.

As adoring fans cheered, stood and clapped through Saturday night's performance, Dion interspersed her usual numbers with emotion-filled monologues.

"At one point, it was like feeling like the Titanic was about to sink again,"she said. "But we believed and we went on with it. Even though the vibe was not that positive for us."

While the show was still in development in 2000, Dion, 39, became pregnant and told husband-manager Rene Angelil she did not want to continue.

"I had a life for the first time,"the French-Canadian chanteuse said in a video before her 717th show. "I knew then that I wanted to have more success as a mother than a singer."

But Angelil told her that too much money and too many people were involved. Not only would the Colosseum cost $95 million to build, her initial three-year, $100 million contract broke records for a live entertainer.

So she pushed on, fighting through initial bad reviews to make it five years of filling a 4,100-seat arena.

After her last number, Dion invited husband Angelil and her son, Rene-Charles, now 7, on stage with her. Rene-Charles repeatedly reached down to grab rose petals that rained down on the final bow, giving them to her.

"Most of us have left our families behind to give ourselves every night,"she said. "I can assure you it was worth it."

Since opening in March 2003, Dion's show, "A New Day ... " grossed more than $400 million and was seen by nearly 3 million fans. Dion said one fan had seen her Las Vegas show more than 100 times. Tickets for the final show were for sale on EBay for as much as $1,899.

Last month, Dion released "Taking Chances"her first English-language album in four years, and she sang the title song on the album during the extra-long finale. The album was most recently the 12th best-selling in the U.S., according to Billboard magazine.

Dion starts touring with a first concert date set for Valentine's Day in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Taking Dion's place at Caesars Palace will be Bette Midler's "The Showgirl Must Go On,"which is set to open Feb. 20.

"Tomorrow morning, it will be back to reality and back to (being) mommy,"Dion told reporters after the show.

will keep trying to have a second child through in vitro fertilization, she told in a new interview.

The singer was widely reported to be pregnant in November with another child with husband , but it proved to be short lived.

Dion explained, "We were ]pregnant[, it was positive. And yes it was, so for about four or five days later, then with the blood test, they found out that it was going down a little bit and it was not staying.

"So it happens you know, in life in general, people who are not on TV, and newspapers, they go through this all the time and most of the time would not even know that they were pregnant for three or four days, because it was just delayed a little bit," she told Access Hollywood.

"Because of the treatments I have, I have blood tests a lot and so we found out I was ]pregnant[ and then it didn't stay and that is why we are trying again."

Dion and her husband have a son, Rene-Charles, age 8, whom she says would be thrilled to have a little brother or sister. He recently began attending a new school after being home schooled for his early years.

"We have a wonderful child, we're extremely happy. It's not like, 'Oh my god, she's not pregnant and she's depressed.' You know how it works. We are great. We hope for the best, we hope to get pregnant. If it happens, it happens."

She will continue seeing the same doctors in . "It's a big process," she said of the in-vitro treatments. "I'm sure people that go through in-vitro (fertilization) know how much it takes and it demands, but I'm good."

gave a hair-raising performance over the weekend - literally.

One couldn't help but notice on the well-lit stage in a furry outline to the singer's thighs. With her sexy short dress, primped hair, and flawless make up, it seems the nearly 40-year-old powerhouse forgot to shave her legs.

Despite the fuzz, Dion gave a fierce performance for her fans, one of many on her extensive world tour following the November release of her newest album "Taking Chances."

The French Canadian singer moves on to next, with her family, husband and 7-year-old son , by her side.

Her tour comes as she ended her five-year engagement at in , which raked in an estimated $400 million.

CHICAGO - Celine Dion says her 6-year-old son has started to realize not everyone's parents appear on TV - or are recognized by the public.

"He's got to share his mom and dad most of the time when we go out," the 39-year-old singer said of little Rene-Charles.

"So right away, it is different," she told Oprah Winfrey yesterday. "And that's why he doesn't want to go out a lot. I notice that he always wants to stay home."

Dion's splashy "A New Day" show, which opened in March 2003 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, will close Dec. 15.

She said the nearly five years she has spent performing in Vegas have been exciting, demanding and - despite her initial fears - never boring.

"You know, the crowd and the people there is different every night, to start with," Dion said on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

"Nights you don't feel so good, you go on, they give you the energy you need," she added.

Her new album, "Taking Chances," is due in stores today.

She may have hit platinum with the theme for "Titanic," but a new poll has named a cover of an as an epic disaster in its own right.

Dion's interpretation of Aussie rockers AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" has obviously shaken voters, who named it the world's worst cover song in the latest issue of Total Guitar, a European rock magazine.
"Celine Dion covering AC/DC is sacrilege," Total Guitar editor told .

Though never recorded on an album, the song had been performed during one of the singer's concerts in six years ago. Thanks to , however, the song's infamy has grown.

British pop tarts and combined to produce a version of "Walk This Way" - barely recognizable from the original - that was bad enough for second place. 's 1999 cover of Extreme's ballad, "More Than Words" finished third.

As far as the best covers go, the magazine's readers said 's cover of 's "All Along the Watchtower" hit the highest note. In second was ' twist on the Top Notes' "Twist and Shout." Guns 'N' Roses finished third, with the band's version of the Wings' "Live and Let Die," the theme to the movie of the same name.

Celine Dion is expected to be the first major act to play the revamped Radio City Music Hall. The mega-selling pop songstress would inaugurate the glittering new hall upon the completion of its multimilliondollar facelift. The event, expected for early October, will be a benefit concert broadcast as a holiday special on CBS, I?m told. And get this, it will occur even before Radio City is officially reopened to the public. ?We?re planning on somewhere between Oct. 6-13,? said Pierre Cossette, the show?s producer. ?We haven?t decided on the charity yet, but I?m certain we?ll fill the hall.?Dion put her career on hold recently to be by the side of her husband and manager, Rene Angelil, who is undergoing treatment for squamous-cell cancer. And while I hear everything down the road depends on how he is doing, Dion?s Radio City show would no doubt be a blast.Dion put her career on hold recently to be by the side of her husband and manager, Rene Angelli, who is undergoing treatment for squamous-cell cancer. And while I hear everything down the road depends on how he is doing, Dion?s Radio City show would no doubt be a blast.By the way, it?s going to be quite a fall for the famed venue.Aside from the Dion concert, Radio City is planning a splashy star-studded musical extravaganza afterward to officially open the venue. The talent for the event has not been booked yet, but it will be big.A ?CIVIL? DISAGREEMENT?No mikes!? That?s what Kathleen Turner and Zoe Caldwell said in unison as they high-fived each other during intermission at the Broadway opening of ?The Civil War.?The performers in the Frank Wildhorn musical all wear flesh-colored face microphones, which ? to these actresses, at least ? seem more reminiscent of a Madonna concert than a Broadway show.?I?m arcane, I know it,? Turner told me. ?But I wish they would just sing and not have to rely on the big sound that comes from this type of microphone. Stage mikes strategically placed, okay. But not these face mikes.?Cossette, who?s also producer of ?The Civil War,? says the production switched to the microphones when the show was in Houston last fall ?because we found that it technically worked better ? certainly better than no mikes.?Gone are the days,? Cossette said, ?when singers like Al Jolson, John Raitt and Ethel Merman would come in and belt out a song with no mike. We have 27 musicians in the pit, playing loud, brassy arrangements. If the performers weren?t miked, either the arrangements would have to be quieter, or there would be a shouting contest on stage each night. We certainly can?t have that.?Other ?Civil War? first-nighters included Donald Trump, George Steinbrenner and a very glum-looking Howard Safir.WHO?S THAT GIRL?Call it a case of mistaken identity ? to the max.Rupert Everett walked into the Los Angeles hotspot 360 the other night accompanied by a woman whose face was somewhat obscured by a floppy hat.Gawkers at the John Schlesinger-hosted event automatically assumed the woman to be Madonna, because she?s co-starring with Everett in ?The Next Best Thing,? which Schlesinger is directing.Weren?t they surprised when the woman removed her hat and turned out to be none other than Joan Collins.OPENING ACTSThe Lawrence Wein Studios downtown looked like a Broadway musical factory the other day with producers on two separate floors trying to raise money for shows.On one floor, Jim Belushi led a workshop presentation of a musical that will either be called ?Lonestar Love? or ?The Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas.? The music is by the Red Clay Ramblers, who recently did the tunes for ?Fool Moon.?Also there was producer Allan Carr, hosting a backer?s audition for his next musical, ?The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.? Ken Ludwig, of ?Moon Over Buffalo? fame, conceived the show and wrote it. Music is by Don Schlitz. And helping out with the reading were Broadway veterans Dee Hoty, Jonathan Freeman, Kevin Gray and Ron Holegate.QUICK HITSn Producers Ken Kragen, Harvey Goldsmith, Don Mischer and Jeff Pollack have scheduled a press conference tomorrow at the United Nations to announce a concert tour to help eradicate poverty. Along the lines of Live Aid, the effort will involve Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte and Muhammad Ali, among others.n Even though designer and socialite Carolyn Roehm has been out on the town with political guru Ed Rollins, I?m told romance is not in the air.n Not so for Angelina Jolie and Timothy Hutton, who are indeed a couple. ?Meet my girl,? Hutton told his friend Neil Young at the musician?s post-concert party at Madison Square Garden. Jolie and Hutton held hands and smooched throughout the evening.

Is Celine Dion a big fan of waffles and Tintin? The bouncing-back belter is moving to Belgium for several months, Dion told a Belgian TV interviewer Wednesday. Come September, the singer and husband Rene Angelil will set up camp 30 miles south of Brussels. The couple, along with son Rene-Charles, won't be living in the style to which they've become accustomed in their Palm Beach and Las Vegas mansions. "We found a small house there," Dion said, "and that will be our home for three months.

" What's more, the pair's love shack is in La Louvière, a steel town. A curious draw, until you realize it's the home of Franco Dragone, the brilliant director of Cirque du Soleil and Las Vegas' "O" aquatic acrobatic show. Dragone is set to create a megaproduction for Dion at Caesars Palace in Vegas, which, come next March, she'll do five nights a week for three years at a salary of $100 million. With a rape accusation recently leveled against Angelil by L.

A. minister Yun Kyeong Sung Kwon, moving to Europe might seem like an effort to escape media attention here. But Dion's spokeswoman tells us, "They're putting together the concepts for the show there. Then they'll rehearse it until about December.

" Besides, the news is good for Dion this week. Her album "A New Day Has Come" has sold 2 million copies. And US Weekly reports that Kwon, Angelil's accuser, has twice been found guilty of shoplifting and owes Harrah's casino $500,000. Kwon is seeking money in a lawsuit against Angelil, who has not been charged by police. Angelil has admitted to his own gambling issues, but Dion apparently has solved them. Worth $160 million, the 33-year-old gives her husband an allowance of about $100 a day, the mag reports. Pay to play? You would think having a hit show on MTV would be enough for Ozzy Osbourne. But the outrageous rocker wants more money, too. For his upcoming Ozzfest summer tour, the 53-year-old former Black Sabbath frontman and his wife and manager, Sharon, are charging bands $75,000 to participate. Word is, the hefty admission charge is irking performers - like P.


D., System of a Down and Rob Zombie (who just replaced Rage Against the Machine) - who have been lining up for the tour. Some industry insiders even speculate that the unprecedented fee proves that Ozzy's MTV show, "The Osbournes," has gone to his head. But Sharon Osbourne tells us that "in the past, some tours have requested cash payments and points on new bands' CDs. No one has complained to me, and we don't force anyone to pay.

"American Idol" (Fox) Oh my goodness. Somebody tell us that was not Celine Dion singing with an old video of Elvis from 1968 as though the two were onstage together - and with a straight face. At some point, you always expect Celine to admit it's all a big joke, but then she doesn't. That was only one highlight from the epic extravaganza, which spanned two hours, two continents and countless cheesy performances. Other special moments: Ryan doing another take at the opening of the show, as though it wasn't on live. Annie Lennox knocking "Bridge Over Troubled Water" out of the park, and Kelly Clarkson, our favorite "Idol" ever, singing basically anything she wants. Madonna, Ben Stiller and even the Simpsons making compelling entreaties for cash. But who did Teri Hatcher's makeup Wednesday night? Her attempts at impressing ex-paramour Seacrest couldn't have worked. In the end, in a colossal cop-out, no contestants went home. The night, we learned, was devoted to charity, and that charity extended to Jordin and Chris, who appeared to hit the bottom two. They were spared, but not before Jordin, believing she had lost, sobbed. Nice.

NOW THAT'S GOOD TV: Don't think the whole thing was worth watching? They brought back the crying girl and put her in the audience again. That's right, retrieve that sucker from your DVR right now.

"The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman" (ABC) This week, Andy caught on - as all Bachelors do, eventually - to the cattiness rampant in the house. It's always a great moment: One girl tells him the other women are jerks, he starts asking around until he finds out who the main culprits are. He asks the singled-out mean girl what the deal is, and she says she's misunderstood, that she has had this problem with women her whole life, and that everyone is probably just jealous. What's dating like outside of one of these shows, with no panel of women readily available to rat on one another? Poor guys.

NOW THAT'S GOOD TV: Oh, Stephanie South Carolina. All that confidence was just so misdirected. "It's situations like this when the pressure's on that I perform the best and rise to the top, and tonight is no different," she squawked on the elimination evening. If only she hadn't given Andy a list of all the girls she thought should go home. Because in the end, she wound up on that list anyway.

CELINE DION CAME TO DANCE. HER fans came to weep. In the end, everyone got what they wanted Sunday at Continental Airlines Arena, where Dion opened the three-night New York leg of her victory tour. Dion, who hit Nassau Coliseum last night and finishes Thursday at Madison Square Garden, took the stage in the Meadowlands primed to boogie. Each time the band struck up a beat, she prowled the perimeter of the in-the-round stage exhorting people to get up and join her. This took some effort, because much of the sellout crowd seemed less eager to shake it than to sit back and nod like proud grandparents watching Celine astonish her relatives with high notes at the family Christmas party. Even more to the point, the crowd's primary musical thirst was for the lush, soaring and often heartbreakingly bittersweet love ballads that have made Dion a star: "Because You Loved Me," "All By Myself," "It's All Coming Back to Me" and, of course, "My Heart Will Go On," the omnipresent theme song from the omnipresent "Titanic.

" For crying out loud Dion faithfully performed them all, with "My Heart" saved for the encore. Music swelled in the darkened arena, clips from the movie flashed on the giant video screens and then there was Dion at a ship's bow, waving her arm, closing her eyes and clenching her fist as she smashed through each musical wave. There was scarcely a dry eye in the house. The earlier part of the two-hour show featured lavish production. Musicians popped up and down on hydraulic lifts and the basic stage outline was a heart that glowed in different colors. After surrounding herself with small children during the first number, a scene straight from either "The Sound of Music" or a Michael Jackson video, Dion spent most of the night in motion. She wore a John Travolta suit for "Stayin' Alive," and she later was joined by the Bee Gees in a stiff-looking video for "Immortality.

" Her other video partner was Barbra Streisand, and together they sang "Tell Him" like two people scrambling up a mountain of notes, reaching wildly over each other to grab the next one. There's a trace of awkwardness in Dion's stage patter, but most of the audience found it charming okay, maybe except for one joke whose punchline was dead children. Mainly and wisely, she stayed with the music: no surprises, no disappointments. Trip down Abbey Road Perhaps the passage that best summarized the evening, musically, was a tribute in which Dion sang Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," the Beatles' "Because," Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" and Frank Sinatra's "All the Way.

" After being tucked into lush, swelling Dion arrangements, they all sounded like pretty much the same song. We'll know things have changed when she keeps going with the Beatles' medley and does "Polythene Pam" and "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window.


Celine Dion is corrupting the youth of Broadway.

The fresh-faced cast of "Spring Awakening" has become obsessed with an affectionate parody tribute to the singer, available online, called "Celine Dion is F***ing Amazing."

"They watch the video every night before they go on, to get ready," laughs an insider. "And they try to crack each other up onstage by whispering lines from the video to each other that the audience can't hear."

One young star, when addressing the audience to take up a charity collection after the performance, quoted banter from Dion's Las Vegas show verbatim: "Everybody's feeling good tonight? Well, I'm glad you're feeling good, because we're feeling awesome."

As commentary on the video points out: "Got that? You are good. She is awesome. She wins."

LAS VEGAS - Cher is picking up where Celine Dion left off.

The longtime pop icon announced Thursday she'll be one of the headline acts at Caesars Palace.

"I started in Vegas at Caesars, so I've come full circle," Cher said. "I'm back, and I plan to give my fans the best experience yet. I think everybody knows I only do things in a big way."

The Oscar, Emmy and Grammy Award winner said she will begin a three-year, 200-show engagement May 6.

"Cher at The Colosseum" is scheduled to include hit songs from her career of more than 40 years, with choreography, costumes and special effects.

She will alternate performances at the 4,300-seat Colosseum with headliners Elton John and Bette Midler.

In December, Dion ended a five-year run at the theater.

Cher's show will run four nights a week, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Ticket prices range from $95 to $250.

April 13, 2008,

Cherone Slater's best friend told her boyfriend's gregarious cousin, , she had "someone to calm and quiet him down." In April 2003, the pair got in touch. "We've been talking every day since," says Cherone. "We went on our first date about a week later. George mentioned to his cousin that when he saw me, he wasn't going anywhere."

After a wedding they attended last July, the pair decided to get serious. "We were just saying what a beautiful, wonderful time we had and he just started emoting and expressed a desire to be together for the rest of our lives," Cherone recalls.

Cherone, 42, an administrator at , wore a strapless gown for her "very DIY" wedding at Seventh Day Adventist Beth Church. She carried white roses, peonies and hydrangeas down the aisle to "The Prayer," by and . The couple's respective daughters were junior bridesmaids.

At Glen Terrace, 120 guests enjoyed a three-tiered vanilla cake with chocolate filling and a traditional black fruitcake a friend made. The pair danced to "Spend My Life With You," by and Tamia. They honeymooned in .

Eric Clapton and his recording "Change the World" dominated the music world at the 39th Annual Grammy Awards last night. Clapton walked away with Top Male Vocalist for his version of the song, which was named Song of the Year as well as Record of the Year. Other top winners included singer Celine Dion, who won Album of the Year honors with "Falling Into You;" the Beatles, who won their first Grammy since 1967, and 14-year-old country crooner LeAnn Rimes, who was dubbed the Best New Artist. Rimes became the first country singer and the youngest performer ever to in a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. The teenager, who launched her career at age 11, was honored by the music industry for her hit album, "Blue," which flew to the top of both the country and Top 10 charts. "I never expected this at all," said Rimes, who was close to tears as she accepted the award. She also won a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocalist. Rimes led a host of newcomers picking up multiple Grammys, including Smashing Pumpkins and double winner Beck, along with relative newcomers compared with the 51-year-old Clapton Sheryl Crow and Celine Dion. But the music industry does not easily let go of its veterans. In addition to Clapton, winners included veterans like Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett, Bob Marley, Bill Monroe and multiple statuettes for Miles Davis. The Beatles won for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group for "Free As a Bird" a song manufactured by the three surviving members from a tape left behind by the late John Lennon. The Beatles won their last Grammy in 1967 for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

" R&B diva Toni Braxton took two Grammys, one for her hit song "Un-break My Heart" and another as Best Female R&B Vocalist for "You're Makin' Me High.

" Kenneth (Babyface) Edmonds, who earned a record-tying 12 Grammy nominations, won the songwriter's award for Best R&B Composition, "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)," sung by Whitney Houston. LL Cool J was ecstatic upon finding out he won an award for Best Rap Solo Performance and added some welcome honesty to the occasion. "My head was exploding over there because I didn't want to have to smile if someone else won," he said. Veteran folk artist Pete Seeger received a standing ovation when he won an award for Best Traditional Folk Album. Lyle Lovett and Billy Williams' "The Road to Ensenada" took the award for Best Country Album. Music's top awards ceremony was moved to the Garden this year, and, for the first time, members of the public were admitted to see the televised portion of the show. The lavish stage for the ceremony weighed in at 185,000 pounds just 20,000 pounds under the maximum allowed at the Garden. Winners were chosen by the 9,000 voting members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, a group of music business professionals.MUSIC MAJORSRecord of the Year: "Change the World.

"Album of the Year: "Falling Into You," Celine Dion.Song of the Year: "Change the World.

"Best New Artist: LeAnn Rimes, 14-year-old country crooner whose album, "Blue," flew to the top of country and Top 10 charts.

William Cabeza took up singing two years ago, just to emulate his father, who once sang in his own salsa group. But 11-year-old William, a student at Community Elementary School 73 in Bronx District 9, never dreamed that he would one day share a stage with singer Celine Dion. "I'm really curious about meeting her," William said. "I want to see what she looks like.

" William and nearly 300 other students from eight Bronx public schools and one Catholic school are part of the Highbridge Voices, a Bronx choir that is starting to get as much notoriety as the stars it is accompanying. "When we first started this group, we went around to every school in the neighborhood, auditioning kids," said Bruno Casolari, 32, director of the group, which was formed in February of last year. "A lot of these kids didn't even know what a choir was. We knew we had our work cut out for us.

" But soon the kids were performing everything from Bach to "The Lion King.

" And last week, the fledgling group helped open the refurbished Radio City Music Hall, singing backup for Dion. "I can learn a lot about singing from her," said Angela Santos, 11, a student at Community Intermediate School 303. "Everybody has always told me that I have a beautiful singing voice, but I think that I can train it better.

" Sponsored by the Highbridge Unity Center, a nonprofit housing and community organization formed in 1991 to revitalize the neighborhood, the choir is the first of its kind in the Bronx, according to Casolari. More than 3,000 young people between the ages of 9 and 13 auditioned for the 120 spots in the original choir. Highbridge Voices has added a 120-member training choir for kids ages 5 to 8, and a chamber group comprised mainly of graduates of the main choir, and ranging from ages 11 to 16. The choirs are drawn from several local schools, including Sacred Heart, PS 26 and 11, CES 73, 104, and 204, Intermediate School 145, and Community Intermediate Schools 303 and 22. Singing in the choir has helped teach discipline and good behavior, said Casolari, who also is convinced that the group helps kids improve their grades. His young singers agree. "It teaches me how to read quarter notes and eighth notes," said Jonathan Cruz, 9, from Sacred Heart. Johnathan Lopez, another Sacred Heart student, said his grades have gone up since he joined the choir. "I have so much more to keep in my mind now, it makes school easier.

" The Daily News wants to showcase the achievements of pupils in Manhattan and Bronx public and private schools. Items for the Class Report Card column can be sent to: Daily News Bronx Bureau, 1892 Eastchester Road, Bronx, N.

Y., 10461. Or fax the notice to the Bronx Bureau at (718) 822-1562. Photos may be sent for consideration, but cannot be returned.

Cops nabbed a robbery suspect Wednesday after they say he bolted from the scene of a wild smashup that killed a beloved 84-year-old nun.

is accused of causing a chain-reaction crash that killed .

Williams was the passenger in a when it was pulled over by police Tuesday. The driver, 18-year-old , stepped out of the car - but Williams, 20, got behind the wheel and sped away, cops said.

He slammed into a Honda at the corner of Lenox Ave. and W. 122nd St. As Graham lay in the street, Williams fled, cops said.

confirmed that an car was following the Pacifica but denied that it played a role in the crash.

Williams was charged with second-degree murder and robbery; Robbins was charged with robbery, cops said. They are expected to be arraigned today.

The 's driver, 55-year-old , suffered bleeding on the brain but said she is expected to make a full recovery.

"You and I" by Celine Dion will certainly carry Clinton supporters all the way to the voting booths on a bed of warm fuzzies, but how would the other campaign-song contenders have affected Hillary's path to the White House?

Shania Twain's "Rock This Country" surely would have had some country-lovin' U.S.-of-A-ers kicking up their cowboy boots. "We're pluggin' in the power/Crankin' up the sound/It's comin' your direction/It's headin' to your town," go the lyrics, but that kind of in-your-face patriotism sometimes scares New Yorkers, Clinton's hometown crew.

"Look out baby, 'cause here I come/And I'm bringing you a love that's true," sing The Temptations on their hit "Get Ready," but as we all know, any promise of truth/trueness by a politician is never a good idea. The second Clinton brings a love that's only kind of true; her detractors would crucify her. With humiliating musical accompaniment.

KT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See" goes "Suddenly I see/This is what I wanna be/Suddenly I see/Why the hell it means so much to me." It's a sweet sentiment, but it doesn't really work for a woman the country must trust to make rational, informed decisions. There's nothing sudden about becoming or being the President of the United States.

Lastly, Smashmouth's "I'm a Believer" was just an out-and-out wrong suggestion. Clinton's campaign will never be as exciting as a "Shrek" movie, where we last heard the song, and the opportunity to be compared to a fat green ogre is way too risky.

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CELINE DION: All The WayCBS, tonight at 8 2 Stars Say this for Celine Dion: Here she is doing her first network TV special and she has the will power not to build it around "My Heart Will Go On," the "Titanic" song that for a long time threatened to become inescapable. Rather, this special filmed at Radio City mostly serves as the latest hand wave in what has become the music world's longest goodbye. As Dion has said many times, many ways, she will soon be taking a several-year break from public performance to concentrate on starting a family with her husband, Rene Angelli. And this is fine. She has been working for the last 10 years to turn herself into one of the major pop stars of the world, and she's entitled to a break. But at some point, her long day's journey into this break became an event unto itself, and it's not over yet: There's still a New Year's Eve concert, after which she will perhaps be borne off into the clouds on wings of angels. In other words, she's taking longer than Billy Joel to get from Plan A to Plan B, and frankly, some arms are getting tired from all the waving. "All The Way" is a show for those arms that haven't for those fans who are heartbroken to see Dion go, but also only want her to be happy. Partway through the show, Dion lays out the story again, including the part about how Angelli was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. The cancer is now said to be in remission, but its specter heightens the urgency of their family quest, and when the camera cuts to Angelli sitting in the audience as she talks, it's a four-handkerchief moment for Dion fans. It's also a bit melodramatic, and Dion sustains the emotional pitch of either reaction by immediately segueing into a duet of "All the Way" with the video image and audio track of Frank Sinatra. Since Dion has a legitimate voice, the performance is musically interesting tasteful, even classy. But in this context it also feels like part of a calculated package, which in fact is the general concern about Dion's music: It's all wrapped up just a little too neatly. Needless to say, "All The Way" isn't where she's going to break away from that, since the whole point of a TV special is slick wrapping and given that premise, this one presents the Dion her fans want to see. It starts with Dion boogieing atop Radio City's outdoor marquee and then moves her inside and onstage for several solos ("The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face") plus duets with Gloria Estefan and 'N Sync. The 'N Sync numbers are smooth and clean, the Estefan medley a little funkier. There is also a short throwaway segment of black-and-white footage that shows Dion and Estefan backstage before rehearsals, bantering about what they will sing. It adds up to a nice lightweight keepsake, something Dion fans can watch while she's gone. By that time, we may all need a break.

After three months of lackluster chart debuts, the music business is expecting to report its first halfmillion-plus opening week for Celine Dion's "A New Day Has Come.

" According to Hits Magazine, which surveys the nation's largest music retailers, Dion's album moved roughly 550,000 copies in its initial seven-day sales period. That would give it by far the biggest debut of 2002. The official SoundScan numbers will be released today. The closest opening-week figure was racked up by Alan Jackson's "Drive," which started at 423,000 copies in late January. The compilation album "Now That's What I Call Music, Vol. 9" topped the Billboard charts last week with the second-biggest yearly figure so far: 419,000. As impressive as those sales may seem, the two predecessors in the "Now" series each topped the halfmillion mark. The first months of every year traditionally set a snail-like pace in music sales. But this year's figures have proven especially slothful. Purchases of recorded music for the first three months of 2002 lagged 12.

2% behind the same period last year. Dion's salvo will not only perk up the music business, it outperforms her own recent debuts. The big-lunged singer's last studio effort, 1997's "Let's Talk About Love," started out with 334,000 copies banked. Her greatest-hits compilation, "All the Way ... A Decade of Song," registered a 302,000 first spurt in November 2000. The music business has several upcoming releases that it hopes will provide a spring thaw for its chilly winter. The R&B singers Tweet and Ashanti should vie for the No. 1 spot on next week's Billboard, while later April will see the debut of an anticipated new work from Sheryl Crow, "C'mon, C'mon.


Fahion house Christian Dior is in no hurry to replace disgraced designer John Galliano as it relies on existing teams for new collections, its head said on Thursday.

Dior, one of the biggest brands within luxury goods group LVMH, sacked Galliano earlier this month following publicity over a video of him shouting abuse in a Paris bar and saying he loved Hitler.

Dior Chairman and Chief Executive Sidney Toledano said the company was studying possible replacements and the brand's creative development had not been interrupted.

Fashion magazine Elle reported this week that Dior might not announce Galliano's replacement before the autumn.

"(The announcement) could come at any time, after (the autumn) or before," Toledano told Reuters after LVMH's annual shareholder meeting in Paris.

"It requires a period of study of various projects. As our internal teams are working perfectly well, we have time."

Toledano said the brand's teams were working on a new cruise collection and that there would be a Dior haute couture show in early July as planned.

"There is no interruption at all," he said. "No blanks in the calendar of creations."

It is not clear, however, what will happen to the John Galliano brand of which Dior owns 92 percent. Toledano said it was for Dior to decide its future but he declined to elaborate.

Fashion critics said Galliano, known for his theatrical and dramatic styles, had grown out of touch with minimalist, sober and conservative designs favored after the financial crisis.

Possible contenders to replace Galliano include Peter Copping at Nina Ricci and, within the LVMH group, Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy and Phoebe Philo at Celine.

Oscar-winning actress Nathalie Portman, now promoting Miss Dior Cherie perfume, publicly condemned Galliano for his comments and said she no longer wanted anything to do with him.

LVMH, the world's biggest luxury group, this month agreed to buy Roman jeweller Bulgari for 3.7 billion euros, its biggest acquisition in a decade.

The group, which makes 9 percent of its sales in Japan, on Thursday said the nuclear crisis in the country had only affected trading in the east and north of the country.

But overall, LVMH Chief Executive Bernard Arnault said: "The impact should be quite limited, despite everything."

Arnault said the group had made a donation of 500 million yen ($6.03 million) to help rebuild Japan.

A vicious thug who killed a nun during his frantic flight from cops in upper Manhattan pleaded guilty Tuesday to robbery, murder and assault.

, 22, admitted to speeding down Lenox Ave. in a blue Chrysler Pacifica, desperately trying to evade capture, when his minivan struck a Honda Odyssey and sent it spinning into . The accident killed the 84-year-old nun and injured five others at W. 122nd St.

The June 2010 incident started when Wilson and his co-defendant, , 20, were stopped by cops at W. 142nd St. and Lenox Ave. on suspicion they were involved in a spree of armed robberies.

When Robbins was ordered out of the car, Wilson, who was in the passenger seat, slid behind the wheel and took off.

“Murder was not committed with a gun or a knife in this case, but a car,” said “Dyson showed an utter disregard for human life and his actions had tragic and deadly consequences.”

The family of the nun has a pending lawsuit against the city, claiming the police should not have chased Williams.

Celine Dion is getting into the holiday spirit. On Wednesday night, the Canadian singer will be serving up such holiday classics as "O Holy Night" as well as new songs like "These Are Special Times," from her holiday album of the same name. Also on tap will be "My Heart Will Go On" from the ubiquitous "Titanic," and "Because You Loved Me.

"Guest stars include Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and Rosie O'Donnell. Meanwhile, tonight at 8 on CBS/Ch. 2, Dion will make a guest appearance on "Touched by an Angel," playing herself. nCeline Dion: These Are Special TimesCBS/Ch. 2, Wednesday, 9 p.


Elton John was king of the road this year, raking in $46.

2 million as the top U.

S. concert draw in 1998. The 51-year-old piano man, whose career was revived by his "Candle in the Wind" tribute to Princess Diana, beat out by $6.

1 million a group whose members were in diapers when John hit it big in the '70s the Dave Matthews Band. Rounding out the top three was siren Celine Dion, who rode the wave of her "Titanic" soundtrack success to earn $38.

1 million. Long Island troubadour Billy Joel was the highest-placing local act, finishing 13th on the top-20 list with $26.

6 million. Consumers spent an estimated $1.

3 billion on concerts in 1998, about the same as last year, according to the concert business trade publication Pollstar. And nobody expected John to be the top pop concert draw. The flashy singer wasn't even among Pollstar's five nominees for its honorary distinction as the year's top concert draw. John didn't just beat the Dave Matthews Band, which made $40.

1 million and was one of the few acts to play stadium shows in 1998; he also did far better than New Age music maestro Yanni ($37.

4 million) and country stars Garth Brooks ($37.

2 million) and Shania Twain ($33.

5 million). Last year's top draw, the Rolling Stones, spent most of the year touring the world but still managed to place 10th on the list with $31.

8 million. Also in the top 10 were Eric Clapton, with $33.

6 million, Janet Jackson, with $33.

1 million, and the George Strait Country Music Festival, which made $33 million. Promoters are optimistic about 1999, particularly with Bruce Springsteen set to tour with his E Street Band. Dueling divas Madonna and Barbra Streisand are expected to perform next year, too. Also, the Lilith Fair tour led by singer Sarah McLachlan is fast becoming a summer staple, earning $28.

3 million in its second year up from $16.

4 million last year.

September1 Joe Cocker at Beacon Theater2 Backstreet Boys at Nassau Coliseum2 & 5 Hanson at Jones Beach3 & 4 Celine Dion at the Garden3 Suffragette Sessions tour with The Indigo Girls, Ann Wilson, Lisa Germano, Gail Ann Dorsey, ane Siberry8 Pearl Jam at the Meadowlands Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds at the Beacon9 B.

B. King blues fest at the Beacon10 & 11 Pearl Jam at the Garden10 & 11 Bauhaus reunion at Hammerstein Ballroom Slayer at Roseland11 Brand Nubian at Tramps12 Massive Attack at Hammerstein Ballroom14 Gillian Welch at Tramps18 Cowboy Junkies at the Beacon25 Bob Mould at Irving Plaza "The Family Values" tour with Korn, Rammstein, Ice Cube, LimpBizkit and Orgy at Meadowlands OCTOBER 2 Morcheeba at Irving Plaza2 & 3 Rod Stewart at the Garden10 & 11 Janet Jackson at the Garden11 Run DMC at Tramps13 & 14 Elton John at the Garden13 & 14 Aerosmith at Jones Beach29, 30& 31 Cheap Trick at Irving Plaza

After five years caged up in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace, songbird Celine Dion has finally escaped.

The French-Canadian is taking her act on the road next year in support of her recently released CD, "Taking Chances," and one of the major stops will be Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City in fall 2008.

And though the concert is almost a year away, tickets go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. at the box office or through Ticketmaster for $55, $95, $150 and $225.


Build it and they will come.

Even as Foxwoods rushes to complete its $700 million MGM Grand tower by May, the Connecticut playpen has announced it also will undergo a $55 million renovation of its main Grand Pequot building to "enhance its culinary and retail offerings."

The project "will bring two new dining experiences by David Burke to the property," said a spokeswoman. David Burke Prime, a 280-seat steakhouse/bar and private banquet area, and Burke in the Box, with gourmet food to stay or take-away

The high-end boutiques will offer designer watches and jewelry, luxury apparel, celebrity memorabilia and more.


Foxwoods is also talking turkey. It donated 400 of the Thanksgiving birds to the Gemma Moran United Way/Labor Food Center in New London and St. Patrick's Diocese in Norwich, Conn.


Atlantic City casinos took it on the chin for the 10th straight month last month as profits dipped 7.5% over the same period a year ago. The casinos won $384.4 million compared to $415 million in 2006.

Slot revenue decreased 12.6%, while table games went up 7.3%.


Remember Chuck Bednarik? He was the Philadelphia Eagle who, in 1960, tackled Frank Gifford so viciously that it knocked the N.Y. Giant running back out of the game for 18 months.

Well, he is now older, kinder and gentler, we presume, and will behave himself when he hosts a get-together at Bally's Mountain Bar on Dec. 16 at 4 p.m., when the Eagles take on the Dallas Cowboys. Admission is free for adults 21 and over.


Last week, "American Idol" viewers sent Sanjaya Malakar packing.

This week, in an attempt to perpetuate the feel-good atmosphere of the reality show's two-day "Idol Gives Back" charity fund-raiser, no one went home, meaning the six are still alive.

"How could we let anyone go on a charity night!" host Ryan Seacrest explained. That's despite the fact that more than 70 million votes were cast, a record for the Fox show.

Seacrest said the star-studded telethon raised more than $30 million for charities including UNICEF, Save the Children and the Global Fund.

The oddest "performance" of the evening came when Celine Dion sang an out-of-body duet with a video Elvis Presley.

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT "Want Two" (Geffen) No one ever accused Rufus Wainwright of being common. Or obvious. Or in any way restrained. But the latest release from this rare bird makes his three previous CDs seem as conservative as a Celine Dion record. It functions as a sequel to last year's "Want One," but it could also be considered its evil twin. "Want One" was, by Wainwright's standards, a conventional pop record. It blended elements of folk-rock, art songs, Broadway standards and classical music into ditties you could somehow sing. "Want Two" blows every pop rule to smithereens - from the arrangements and the use of vocals to the way Wainwright incorporates his influences. If the CD sounds like hard work to listen to, unfortunately it is. "Want Two" is far easier to admire than it is to enjoy. Tellingly, it's bundled with a bonus live DVD of earlier material, as if offering buyers a reward for sitting through the rest. On "Want Two," Wainwright forms his melodies out of waltzes, arias, sonatas and minuets. Few of the tunes have a flow pop fans will find familiar. They amble on at great length, which, sadly, encourages a flaw that has long haunted Wainwright's singing. When Wainwright holds a note over a sustained period (which he often does), his voice tends to sag in the middle, dragging down the tune. You can hear how far his voice wavers in a duet with the New York singer Anthony. The two link up for a 9-minute opera-pop-thingy called "Old Whore's Diet.

" While Anthony navigates its odd tune with consistent beauty, Wainwright's voice keeps fluttering off the mark. The focused lyrics make up for some of the flaws. "The Art Teacher" tells the romantic tale of a young woman so taken with the beauty of her mentor, she can never find love with a peer. In "The Gay Messiah," Wainwright describes his unique idea of Christ. But originality has never been Wainwright's problem. Accessibility is. No doubt Wainwright would be the first to admit that "Want Two" is a reach. Now that it's out, let's hope that next time he comes up with a couple of tunes we can hum. FABOLOUS REPORTS FOR BOOTY FABOLOUS "Real Talk" (Atlantic Records Group) The rumors about the rapper Fabolous maturing have been greatly exaggerated. Thank God. The 24-year-old Brooklyn emcee may have given some recent interviews touting his new grownup state of mind. But he spends most of his third album doing what he does best: rhyming sly asides to hotties he hopes to bed. From the start, Fabolous (born John Jackson) excelled at randy repartee. His last album, "Street Dreams," found him boasting about holding the record for having "the most ménages à trois at L'Hermitage.

" Of course, Fab's leering wouldn't have such charm if his producers didn't pair it with such frisky beats. His past songs have been club staples. On "Real Talk," Fabolous threatens to get serious by starting with an a cappella rhyme about the music industry's exploitation of artists and the importance of education. But soon enough he's joking through a cut like "Baby," in which he says "just looking at your onion, girl/I could cry.

" Throughout the album, Fab describes the women of his fantasies, who often have the unlikely combination of "a flat gut and a big butt.

" Yet in "Girls" he manages to find enough of them to cover the globe, from "the Asian to the Malaysian to the Caucasian.

" Call him an equal-opportunity dog. Fabolous is less convincing when he talks about his "hood," or when he matches his boasts to leftover West Coast gangsta riffs. Luckily, he spends far more space matching come-ons that sparkle to beats that bounce. E-mail: jfarber@edit.



The and feud has reached biblical proportions - all over a 3-year-old "joke."

During a press conference to promote the DVD release of "" Wednesday, Cameron called Beck's denial of global warming "poisonous" and labeled the Fox personality an "a--hole" for referring to him as the "anti-Christ" in 2007.

On Fox Wednesday night, Beck appeared surprised by the A-list director's vitriol.

Donning a pair of 3-D glasses to riff on the tech savvy "Avatar," Beck explained that his "anti-Christ" quip referred to the theme song for "" - 's "My Heart Must Go On" - which he called "horrific."

The right-wing pundit proceeded to lash out at Cameron for holding a grudge.

"This guy is making a billion dollars on a Smurf-murdering movie and he’s stewing about a joke that nobody heard on a network nobody watched!" Beck yelled at his viewers.

He also addressed Cameron’s pronouncement that he wanted to "shoot it out" with the "boneheads" who deny global warming exists.

"I don’t think he’s just upset with me," Beck concluded. "He’s also upset with you, because you’re a global warming denier.”

Though “Avatar" is famous for its technical mastery, it is also considered an environmentalist’s love letter to nature.

ONE ‘DIVA’ TO ANOTHER. Songstress Natalie Gelman joins “ presents DIVA!” — a weekly show that has New York City’s finest female entertainers covering powerhouse hits by , and more. 11 p.m. Free. Industry Bar, 355 W. 52nd St.

HIS FEVER PITCH. performs at the MLB Fan Cave as part of the venue’s bi-monthly concert series. 6:30 p.m. Free. 696 Broadway.

FALLEN STARS. MIT professor emeritus shares his extensive knowledge on the death of stars. 7:30 p.m. $15. American Museum of Natural History, 81 Central Park West. (212) 769-5100.

THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID. Female comedians take the stage at and share some sassy stand-up. The lineup includes , , and more. 6:30 p.m. $5. 184 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.(718) 218-9737.

A STORM OF SOUND. Hear quirky indie band Skies Revolt and their catchy electronics and aggressive sound blasts. 7 p.m. Free. The Killmeyer’s Old Bavarian Inn, 4254 Arthur Kill Road, Staten Island. (718) 984-1202.

‘TRIBE’-. “Rare Earth,” a special collection of works by Mark Tribe, blends real life photographs and computer generated landscapes to trick the eye and stretch the mind. Noon-6 p.m. Free. Momenta Art, 56 Bogart St., Brooklyn. (718) 218-8058.

FUN FOR ‘FOSTER CARE. ’ Enjoy an evening of songs and stories and help raise money for the production “From Foster Care to Fabulous,” playing this June in the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity as a benefit for the Children’s Aid Society. 9:30 p.m. $15 cover and two drink minimum. The Duplex, 61 Christopher St. (212) 255-5438.

A LITTLE ITALY STORY. Author talks about his book “Newsstand,” a look at the tough streets of 1960s Little Italy in New York where he grew up. 10:30 a.m. Free. Greenbelt Recreation Center, 501 Brielle Ave., Staten Island. (718) 667-3545.

POM POM PAINTERS. Renowed japanese artist takes kids on a journey to the imaginary world of Mt. Pom Pom where they learn the most important part of art is trusting their instincts. Noon. $10. Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton St. (212) 274-0986.

GOING INTO ‘OVER TIME.’ Sports Illustrated editor discusses his five decades in sports writing and signs copies of his new book, “Over Time.” 7 p.m. Free. Barnes & Noble, 2289 Broadway at 82nd St. (212) 362-8835.

LIFE STORIES. Storyteller Adam Wade shares snapshots of his life in the form of amiable anecdotes about his adolescent years through home movies, photos and even a few songs. 7 p.m. $5. Under St. Marks, 94 St. Marks Place. (212) 777-6088.

CINEMATIC SINGER. Experience the sounds of , a singer/songwriter with a long history of crafting moving songs for feature films. 8 and 10:30 p.m. $20 bar, $35 table. Blue Note, 131 W. Third St. (212) 475-8592.

SPIN YOUR OWN. You bring it and spin it at Bell House’s “Vinyl Potluck.” Tweens 13 to 18 DJ and hear their records on a top-notch sound system. Free. 8 p.m. 149 Seventh St., Brooklyn. (718) 643-6510.

‘HOBO’ SONGS. Musician Charlie Winston grew up in England with folk-musician parents, giving him the appreciation for the performing arts that propelled him into stardom in France with the release of his album “Hobo.” 6:30 p.m. $12. Mercury Lounge, 217 E. Houston St. (212) 260-4700.

celebrated her 40th birthday Sunday with a low-key party at the InterContinental in . But while the Canadian megastar proved herself a model guest, some at the hotel are still laughing about other recent celebrity requests.

" is obsessed with blueberries," one insider told me of the President, who passed through in September for a regional conference.

"And he would order fried rice from a local Chinese restaurant every night after he came in from his official dinners."

Future hosts might also take note: According to dietary requirements submitted beforehand, doesn't care for bananas.

Apparently, may have figured out there's no girlfriend like an old girlfriend. The bedroom-eyed Oscar winner has quietly circled back to , friends tell us.

Their on-and-off long-running romance began in 2002 when George cast Krista in "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind." (This was after his marriage to and linkages with , , , , Jennifer Lynn Siebel and . But who's counting?)

George and Krista dated for close to two years, till Allen broke it off in March 2004. He moved on to model , but then he and Krista tried again in 2006. After that, he dated , cocktail waitress and "Fear Factor" winner, for most of a year.


Throughout, says a friend, "Krista has always been there for him. She admits she just can't get over him."

And something about Krista brings him back. "George really loves her," says the source.

A relationship with Krista, 37, would mean a ready-made family for George, 47, who once vowed that he wouldn't remarry or have children by the time he was 50. Krista has an 11-year-old son, Jake, with production manager .

But it may not be an issue. Says the source, "George adores Krista's son."

Reps for the two declined to comment.

Meanwhile, George has been shooting in , where slowed down production of "The Men Who Stare at Goats." He plays a former member of the 's First Earth Battalion, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions. Next up for the actor is "Up in the Air," in which he plays a "career transition counselor" who's looking to accumulate 1 million frequent flier miles and land a job at a mysterious management company called MythTech.

A 13-year-old Queens girl yesterday confronted her father's alleged killer in court, recounting the harrowing night when she watched her dad being strangled as he lay beside her. In a soft voice, Celine Chiu told riveted jurors how the accused killer, Hon Do Lau, 47, then forced her into a car with her father's body. "I turned around. I saw my dad," said Celine, wearing a pink shirt, her black hair in a ponytail. "I touched his neck for a pulse, but I didn't find it. He was cold and clammy.

" Lau is accused of murdering Tsun Ho Chiu, 44, in September 1995 because Chiu married Lau's ex-wife, Assistant District Attorney Frank Catarisano said. Yesterday, the dead man's daughter took a deep breath and, with her hand shaking slightly, pointed to Lau and identified him as the killer. Lau did not return the gaze, taking notes instead. The girl testified that she was sleeping beside her father in his Rego Park, Queens, apartment when she was roused by a "gurgling sound.

" She looked up to find her mother's first husband sitting on her father's chest, she said. "He was strangling him," she said, gently rocking back and forth on the witness stand. "He had a rope around his neck. He was pulling it tighter and tighter with all his might.

" Celine, then 11 years old, reached for the telephone, but the intruder yanked the cord from the wall, she said. "I was crying," Celine said in state Supreme Court in Kew Gardens. "I told him to stop . . . I knew he wouldn't.

" The seventh-grader fought back tears when she described her father, a parking lot attendant, as a warm and loving man. "When he comes home from work, he would give me a kiss, every day, every night," she said. Lau told police he buried the body somewhere on Long Island but was unable to lead cops to the site. Catarisano said Lau repeatedly had threatened to kill Chiu, prompting Chiu to move from the Briarwood, Queens, apartment he shared with his wife to Rego Park. The wife then tried to placate Lau an ex-con with drug convictions by allowing him to move into the Briarwood apartment temporarily, Catarisano said. He allegedly killed Chiu after the wife told Lau he had to leave her home. Testimony was expected to end today before Justice Arthur Cooperman. The jury will then deliberate on a verdict. Lau faces up to life in prison if convicted of murder.

A Queens man was convicted yesterday of slaying his ex-wife's husband in a grisly case marked by startling testimony by the victim's young daughter. Hon Do Lau, 47, showed no emotion as he was found guilty of the September 1995 slaying of 44-year-old Tsun Ho Chiu, who was strangled in his Rego Park home. Lau faces 25 years to life when he is sentenced June 23 in Queens Supreme Court. Prosecutors yesterday praised the testimony of 13-year-old Celine Chiu, who calmly told jurors Wednesday how Lau used a rope to strangle her father as she lay next to her dad in bed. She said Lau forced her into a car with the corpse. "She is as brave and as bright a little girl as I have ever run across," said Assistant District Attorney Frank Catarisano. "Without her testimony, this case would have been a hell of a fight.

" Celine Chiu wasn't in the courtroom for the verdict. The victim's widow, Jady Chiu, wept and said: "I'm happy. Justice is done.


A 13-year-old girl will bravely tell jurors how she watched in horror as an intruder strangled her father in his Rego Park bed, a prosecutor said yesterday. Celine Chiu was lying with her sleeping father when Hon Do Lau broke into their apartment and attacked Tsun Ho Chiu with a handgun and a piece of rope, Assistant District Attorney Frank Catarisano said as Lau's murder trial got under way in Kew Gardens. Lau who was angry that Chiu had married his ex-wife sat on Chiu's chest, put the rope around his neck, and choked the life out of him, Catarisano said. Celine was just 11 years old at the time of the September 1995 attack. "She saw him sitting on top of her father's chest," Catarisano said. "She reached for the phone, but the defendant pulled the phone out of the wall.

" Lau, 47, then put the girl and her father's lifeless body in Chiu's car and drove from the apartment building. The girl reached out for her father, who was covered by a blanket, in the backseat of the car, the prosecutor said. "She touched her father on the neck," Catarisano said. "She will tell you she didn't feel the pulse," Catarisano said. But defense attorney John Wallenstein told jurors a key piece of evidence is missing the body. Although Lau gave police written and video-taped confessions, he was unable to direct them to the Long Island site where he claimed to have buried Chiu's body. "How do we know Mr. Chiu is not in Hong Kong now?

" Wallenstein asked. That lack of evidence should create enough reasonable doubt in jurors' minds to help them find Lau not guilty of murder, Wallenstein said. Celine is expected to take the stand next week. Testimony is scheduled to continue today before Justice Arthur Cooperman. Lau's ex-wife, Jady, testified yesterday that Lau repeatedly threatened to kill Chiu if she did not come back to him. Jady and Lau were married and lived in France before she divorced him and came to Queens and married Chiu. Jurors were told that Lau was absent for years in France, but were not told that it was because Lau was jailed on drug charges there.

REMEMBER LAST YEAR'S Grammys, when new and unexpected artists like Joan Osborne and Alanis Morissette got nominated in every major category? Or when a long-overlooked artist like Joni Mitchell earned a shock nod? Consider that an aberration. In doling out its latest contender list, Grammy reverted to type with a vengeance. The 12,000-member voting body came up with the sleepiest mainstream brand names possible: Babyface, Whitney Houston and Celine Dion. Babyface, who snared the most nominations this year (12), has been nominated 23 times before (he has landed six). Celine Dion may boast but one previous Grammy statuette for her mantel, but she conforms to the awards' lust for lucre: She had the second biggest-selling record of the last year, after fellow Canadian Alanis. Small wonder that voters shoehorned in another shot for Alanis in the Record of the Year category with her single "Ironic," released in '96. When Grammy anointed Morissette and Osborne with so many nominations in '95 or when it lavished similar attention on Sheryl Crow in '94 it represented the awards' first attempt to deify the new. This year, the freshest artists earned only isolated mentions. Had '96 conformed to the last two years, a nominee like Jewel (who's in the Best New Artist and Best Female Pop categories) would have taken top mentions, too. For those of you who consider it progressive that Smashing Pumpkins got seven nominations, I have three letters: R.


M. That band snared the most nominations in 1992, only to trot home with no major gold gramophones. Rockers never do well in the top slots, so expect similar treatment this time for the Pumpkins, as well as Beck, whose appearance in the Album of the Year category provides Grammy's hippest nod. In rap, you'd think the Fugees would do better. True, they're up for Best Album, but got nada for their take on "Killing Me Softly.

" That disappointment can't hold a candle to the teeth-gnashing that must be going on at Toni Braxton's house, though. She had one of '96's blockbusters, but didn't get one top nod. On the champagne-swigging side, consider Tracy Chapman. Her single, "Give Me One Reason," got top Record and Song mentions, an amazing comeback considering Chapman was missing in action in the seven years before this latest work. Should she win, she'll be the Tina Turner of the year. A newer artist who should cheer is Dylan's kid Jakob his Wallflowers got two mentions. That's a nice choice from the Grammy voters. But for sheer Solomon-like wisdom, the year's smartest decision has to be the shutout on the "Macarena.

" If nothing else, it proves that, even for Grammy, some hits are just too uncool. CAN'T ALWAYS COUNT ON GRAMMY'S WINNING WAYS MERELY GETTING NOMINATED FOR A Grammy award doesn't do much for an artist's sales. But winning can provide a windfall. The most famous recent case involves Bonnie Raitt, whose album "Nick of Time" had fallen way down the charts in 1989, only to shoot all the way back up to No. 1 after snagging Album of the Year honors. Last year, Alanis Morissette enjoyed a 100,000-unit increase in the week following her big win, hurtling the album to No. 1. And last year's other big winner, Seal, doubled sales from the week before and saw his album jump 25 places on the chart. Even winning doesn't guarantee bigger bucks, however. Last year, the Best Rap album by Naughty By Nature actually sold fewer copies in the week after their win. Go figure.

YES, CELINE DION WAS THRILLED to win Album of the Year ("Falling Into You"), saying, "I don't do show business to have awards, but God!

" And, no, she doesn't mind that no one thinks she's hip. "I don't see myself recording a rap album tomorrow. My songs talk about love. Love moves people. To me, it's the hippest thing.

" A singing prodigy from a musical family that lived in Quebec and numbered 14 children, Dion was barely a teenager when she came under the wing of Canadian music entrepreneur Rene Angelil. Under his guidance, she had her first U.

S. hit in 1991 with "Where Does My Heart Beat Now.

" The following year, her "Beauty and the Beast" theme song, which she recorded with Peabo Bryson, won an Oscar, and the single "If You Asked Me To" made the Top Five. "Beauty and the Beast" then won a Grammy in 1993, spurring sales of her self-titled U.

S. debut CD past platinum. Her next album, "The Colour of My Love," went triple-platinum and she became a regular on TV awards shows. In 1995, the legendary producer Phil Spector began to work with her, but the sessions were aborted. Instead, she recorded the "Falling Into You" CD, which has a different producer for each track. One of those tracks, "Because You Loved Me," became the theme from the hit movie "Up Close & Personal.

" Dion married Angelil in 1994. She recently said that, at 28, she's anxious to start a family and will soon take a year's vacation to do so.

The Grammy Awards may be a couple of years behind in recognizing the prominence of women in recent popular music, but the 41st annual awards ceremony this week should do its best to make up for any oversights. Virtually all the major multiple nominees this year are women. Lauryn Hill leads the pack with 10 nominations, followed by Shania Twain and Sheryl Crow with six, Madonna with five and Celine Dion and Brandy with four apiece. Most of those artists are expected to perform live during the evening, though the Grammy people do like a balanced telecast and thus are sure to include guys in the mix. Actually, the Grammys haven't been as far behind in acknowledging women as in acknowledging, say, rap and dance music. Bonnie Raitt, Joan Osborne and Shawn Colvin have been big multiple winners in recent years. The Grammys have even done well with female hosts, and this year, sure enough, they have one of those, too: Rosie O'Donnell. And if you're trying to predict a big winner out of this group, don't discount Madonna. It's just about the point in her career when she's passing through the Grammy zone. The 41st Annual Grammy AwardsCBS/Ch. 2, Wednesday, 8 p.


IT'S BEEN ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to turn on the radio this fall and not hear Celine Dion belting out Jim Steinman's swelling epic "It's All Coming Back to Me Now.

" There's one moment you definitely won't hear it, however when the Grammy is announced next February for "Song of the Year.

" Sony Records, which owns Dion's 550 label, did not submit it for consideration in the Song of the Year category, a songwriter's award. Instead, Sony submitted Dion's previous hit, Diane Warren's "Because You Loved Me.

" "I'm sure the thinking was that the two Celine songs up compete with each other," says David Simone, head of Polygram Music Publishing, which published Steinman's song. "I understand that. I don't think Sony did this with bad intentions. But it's still a travesty that a song as successful as this one can't even get a chance to be in the running.

" BMI says "It's All Coming Back to Me Now," now certified platinum, is its most played song of the year. Record companies submit a list of nominations every year to the National Academy of Recording Artists and Sciences, which runs the Grammys, and NARAS says individual members can also submit nominations. This list is then narrowed down to five nominations per category, and the winner is chosen by NARAS membership. Steinman is not a NARAS member. Many of his associates are, but Simone says it "never occurred to anyone until it was too late" that Sony would have ignored "It's All Coming Back.

" Simone suggests that since "Song of the Year" is a writer's award, nominations should be made by writers. NARAS President Michael Greene indicates, however, that he would be reluctant to change the current system. In any case, this continues a streak for Steinman: He has written a number of smash hits (Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell," Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart"), but he has never gotten the time of day from the Grammys.

ATLANTIC CITY NOTES: Bad news for fans of Celine Dion. The French-Canadian pop diva has canceled her sold-out, three-day stint at Caesars, April 23-25, because of her husband's illness. As our friends Rush & Molloy reported, Dion's hubby-manager, Rene Angelil underwent skin cancer surgery last week and she immediately scrubbed an upcoming concert in Quebec. Now, apparently, she has rethought Angelil's needs and canceled all of her shows through May 7. "Renee is the biggest priority in my life," the 30-year-old chanteuse said of her 56-year-old husband. "I want to be at his side as he continues his treatment" at their Florida residence. Caesars announced its support for the singer and said they would reschedule her appearance in the fall. Those with tickets can get refunds at the place of purchase, says Caesars. Heavily used Pacific Ave. one of the town's major throughfares will become a one-way street, if Atlantic City Mayor James Whalen has his way. In a bold move to ease traffic congestion, Whalen says he hopes to have the plan in place by the fall something his predecessors often proposed but were never able to accomplish. "All you have to do is change the paint and change the signs," Whalen said last week during a meeting of local businessmen. Whalen said he would not tackle the change before the fall, fearing that the heavy spring and summer traffic would just make matters much worse. He also announced plans to further redevelop the Bader Field area, where last year a 6,000-seat minor league baseball stadium was erected. Employes at Harrah's have hit the jackpot. The Marina-side casino-resort has come up with a unique incentive program, offering cash bonuses of up to $1,200 a year to bartenders, bellhops and dozens of other rank-and-file employees if the property meets customer service and market share goals, according to the Associated Press. The "Harrah's Entertainment Performance Payout," a company-wide $24 million program that has been approved by New Jersey casino regulators, will be available to all non-management employees. If the casino meets its quarterly goals for customer service and market share, each employee could earn $300. The customer service standard will be determined based on what percentage of patrons give the casino an "A" in surveys distributed at the casino. Casino revenues rose by a modest 2.

5% in March, thanks in a great way to heavy high-roller losses at the Hilton and Caesars. The Hilton registered a 34.

2% increase over the same period last year while Caesars gained 20.

6% Both casinos credited the Holyfield-Lewis heavyweight championship bout in New York's Madison Square Garden for their big win. "A lot of big players came down from New York," a Caesars exec reported. They went home a lot lighter in the pocket. According to figures compiled by the Atlantic City Press, the city's 12 playpens raked in $335.

5 million in March, an increase of $8.

2 million over March 1998 despite having one less Sunday than a year ago. Resorts posted the sharpest decline of the month a 19.

5% loss. The Claridge dipped into the red ink with a 14.

5% decline.

'You and I were meant to fly higher than the clouds."

Hillary Rodham Clinton has her eyes on the skies ... and the Oval Office.

No surprise there. But now - with a little tongue-in-cheek help from a cleverly crafted "Sopranos" spoof released yesterday on her Web site - Hillary is sending out that message via a newly chosen campaign theme song: "You and I," sung by Canadian Celine Dion.

Think what you will about the songbird Celine. The girl is over the top.

But "You and I" - with its catchy, engaging lyrics and driving tempo - is on the mark. Even if the fluffy ditty has already been used in an advertisement for Air Canada.

Detractors aside (and there are a few - see story inside), the point of a campaign theme tune is, after all, to unify the troops, to spark interest and to stir the imagination.

Bill Clinton knew that when he chose Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop," a tune as stirring as it was forward-thinking, as his 1992 campaign theme song.

"Why not think about times to come?" the song asked.

The presidency is about the future, after all, not the past. Translated: A vote for Bill Clinton is a vote for better days.

So it is with "You and I," in which Hillary is inviting every American citizen to join her on the trip toward the White House.

"So come with me," the song continues, "and you will feel that we're soaring. That we're floating up so high."

Stick with me, in other words, we'll wing it all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

"You and I" became a part of political history because Hillary posted a YouTube invitation asking people to help her choose a campaign song.

The New York senator came up with her own nominees, but "You and I" was a write-in that ended up wining the contest.

What's fascinating is that "You and I" conjures images that we've come to recognize as American emblems, from majestic mountaintops to shining waterways.

"High above the mountains, far across the sea," the tune begins. "I can hear your voice calling out to me. I can see your love shining like a light."

Dion is doing the singing, but the "I" is Hillary.

It doesn't take much reading between the lines to get the message from Clinton loud and me clear: You need me, and I'm listening, America.

Time will tell if "You and I" inspires people to vote.

That would be music to Hillary's ears.

The latest trend in hairstyles owes its heat to Gwyneth Paltrow, who showed up at the Golden Globes sporting long, straight blond hair extensions.Now ? says celebrity hairstylist Orlando Pita who created Paltrow?s ?do ? everybody wants the look, from Jewel (who is wearing the extensions in her new video) to Celine Dion (who sported a iron-flat extensions to the Grammys). ?Celine Dion is the best makeover I?ve ever seen,? says New York?s hotshot Oribe, who is winging his way to L.

A. to coif Jennifer Lopez and Cate Blanchett on Oscar night. Oribe?s celebrity clients pay anywhere from $200 to $2,000 for custom-dyed falls. ?If it?s a pretty piece, with the right texture and the perfect- color blond, it?s worth the expense,? says Anthony Palermo, a colorist at the Oribe Salon. ?Women get very touchy talking about their hair pieces. Unless it?s obviously fake ? like when your hair grows a foot overnight ? they want people to think it?s real, so the piece has to look and feel comfortable.?To make Thersday reader Jane Witowski over as Paltrow for a day, Palermo used four separate blond falls on her short red hair. Then make up artist Liza Zaretsky, for Stila Cosmetics, went to work. ?Gywneth?s makeup always looks fresh, glowing and healthy,? says Zaretsky, who used Illuminating Powder Foundation ($42 for the chic silver compact, $22 for refills), Shell eyeshadow ($16), baby-pink blush ($15) and a new pink lipstick with a brown base called Pixie ($24). To emulate Blanchett?s elegant look, Sean Gallagher, of the Oribe Salon, twisted Lorena Sicilia?s shoulder-length hair up into a sleek chignon? with a little bit of a retro twist in the back.?Jeanine Lobell, the founder of Stila cosmetics, will be doing the makeup for the ?real? Blanchett on Sunday night, and Zaretsky used similar colors on Sicilia, giving her smoky, sultry eyes using silvery-gray/blue shadow ($15). She applied All-Over shimmer No. 3 ($28) to Sicilia?s cheeks and painted her lips with a beige gloss called ?Pink Shine? ($17). To transform Theresa Massaro into an Emily Watson look-alike, our team decided to have the most fun with this look and go all out retro-Hollywood style. Gallagher set Massaro?s hair in pincurls with a long finger-wave, while Zaretsky used strong, rich shades of makeup: A deep red called Norma ($17) on her lips and beige-gold shimmer on the eyelids ($15); and then defined her brows with a stiff, angled brush ($15) and Powder Brow Definer ($20). Call 1-888-999-9039 for a Stila catogue


Tina Turner Week continues on CBS Friday night when Celine Dion kicks off her hour-long concert special, "That's the Woman in Me," with a glittery, full-throttle rendition of "River Deep, Mountain High."

It bears a striking stylistic resemblance to Turner's own performance of "Proud Mary" with Beyoncé on the Grammys Sunday night. Specifically, Dion shows her mastery of the Las Vegas gloss that Tina applied on Sunday.

Truth is, that's something Dion has always worn better than Turner, and she puts it all on display for this prime-time show.

Big, showy productions have been Celine's signature for years, a signature that's made her one of the richest and most popular entertainers in America.

On this special, as in the rest of her work, Dion more than occasionally takes it over the top. On "The Power of Love," her voice goes up and just keeps going - and the crowd gets happier with each note.

Nearly all artists talk about how they love the audience, but that sentiment is rarely as palpable, or reciprocated, as with Dion. Much of her popularity rests on her extraordinary connection with fans, which stems partly from her ability to simultaneously project both star power and an aura of "Aw, shucks, is that me you're clapping for?"

She's done that in Vegas for years. It's harder on TV, but even here, fans will come away feeling like they've spent an afternoon in her living room.

In the segment where she is joined by Josh Groban, she devotes several minutes to a warm exchange about how much she helped and encouraged him back when he was young and nervous.

Lest anyone miss the point, she dedicates another song to Jennifer Love Hewitt, who is sitting in the audience with her fiancé. As Dion sings a love song, the camera pans across Hewitt's table, where she and her fella are bathed in soft blue light.

That's hardly an accident, though ultimately it's just decoration on the Dion package. The main reason Dion has become an institution is that people like the way she sings, and for most of this hour that's what she does. She sings "Something" with Joe Walsh, and "Eyes on Me" with from the Black Eyed Peas. She sings them strongly, with a twinkle or a plea in her eye, depending on what the song calls for.

She should save the biggest twinkle, however, for when she sings the title song from her new CD, "Taking Chances."

If there's one thing Celine Dion does not do, though, it's leave anything to chance.

Democracy and art have never mixed. The latest proof? The public's woeful decision to vote for Celine Dion's drecky "You and I" as Hillary Clinton's big campaign jingle on her Web site.

Worse, the song wasn't even among the original top 10 candidates suggested by Hillary's people. It won as a write-in.

Bill had a better idea. He had his heart set on Smashmouth's version of the old Monkees' hit "I'm a Believer." It's got a zippy tune, a likably camp aura and a pop icon for an author (Neil Diamond).

Choosing that song would have injected a shot of humor into the campaign without muddying the message of faith in the candidate. The Dion ditty, with its soaringly romantic lyric about "you and I/flying high," sung by a woman about a woman, winds up sounding like an ad for a lesbian version of the mile-high club.

Will that really help Hillary's image with the most conservative voters she needs to woo?

Several other, worthier candidates were in the running for the prize. Among 10 contenders, voters could have pulled the lever for U2's (with Bono) uplifting "Beautiful Day," Tina Turner's strutting "The Best" or McFadden & Whitehead's defiant "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now."

"You and I" has none of their righteousness or catchiness. It's just a load of sentimental wind, now destined to spend the next 17 months blowing out every speaker from coast to coast.

Is it too soon to call for a recount?

BEFORE SUNSET. With Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy. Director: Richard Linklater (1:20). R: Language, sexual references. At the Angelika and Loews Lincoln Square. 3.

5 Stars Richard Linklater's "Before Sunset," a sequel to the 1995 "Before Sunrise," may be the easiest movie of the year to recommend. If you liked the first film, you'll love this one. The earlier movie, about a young American and a French student who meet on a train and spend an adventurous, romantic night talking, walking and making love in Vienna, has already tested your patience for long-winded conversation. If you weren't bored then, hop aboard now. Nine years later, the conversation is deeper, faster, smarter and more to the point. ­Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) only have about an hour and 20 minutes this time. Jesse has come to Paris for the French publication of his first novel, which recounts his night with Celine. Of course, she shows up - he counted on it - and though he's got a plane to catch, they go out for a walk and a talk. What she wants to know is whether he showed up in Vienna for their planned six-month reunion. She didn't make it, she says, because her grandmother had died a couple days before. As it turns out, he did show up, and as their conversation wears on, both reveal how much that missed encounter has affected their lives. In fact, both think that it robbed them of some ability to love. Jesse is married, unhappily, with a 4-year-old son he can't imagine leaving. Celine has gone through a succession of suffocating relationships, and is living with a photo-journalist who is seldom home - thank God. MASTERFUL WRITING As time winds down and their conversation becomes more and more pointed, a window of opportunity opens, if narrowly, and we begin to wonder if they will allow it to slip away again. Will they at least exchange numbers this time? The naturalistic dialogue is a masterful bit of writing, credited to Linklater and his "Sunrise" co-writer Kim Krizan, as well as to the two stars. In the first film, the conversation between Jesse and Celine in Vienna was tentative, both playful and cautious, as if the strangers were afraid to burst the little romantic bubble they'd built around themselves. In the new film, they speak with the confidence of people who've been around, and as two friends who seemed to have shared more than a single night together. They still spar with each other, but on different levels. There are no sexual insecurities, and neither is particularly cautious - about their sexuality, their politics or their coarsening philosophies of life. That the chemistry that brought them together on the train nine years earlier still exists is evident from their first glance in the bookstore, and it creates a tension that carries us with them throughout the movie. Most sequels are financial considerations. This one, and perhaps the next, are organic. Linklater can wait five or 10 years if he wants, but I'd like to know how Jesse and Celine are doing, and whether they're together.

A restaurant slated to open early next year in promises to leave diners in the dark - literally.

Blind waiters will be serving up French cuisine at Dans le Noir? , in a windowless space devoid of light.

"It's a sensory culinary experience," said manager . "This is an experience that will allow people to discover and rediscover the food and wine they already know."

Clumsy foodies have nothing to fear, Djezvedjian said.

In the six years since the unconventional restaurant first opened in , there has not been a single incident. In fact, it has been so successful - and safe - that Dans le Noir? - French for "In the Black?" - now has outposts in and .

"We take safety very seriously," Djezvedjian said.

As soon as they enter the restaurant, proposed for Franklin St. near Lafayette St., diners will have to surrender their cell phones and other gadgets that light up.

A blind server will then lead them from the lit bar to a large table in a pitch-black dining area. The prix fixe menu will run about $65 a person, and guests will be limited to two glasses of wine.

There will be helpers to guide customers to the bathrooms, and in the event of emergencies, the lights can be turned on with the flick of a "panic button," Djezvedjian said.

The restaurant received approval from a Community Board 1 advisory committee this week, but it still has hurdles to overcome. The full board will rule on the project Nov. 23, and regardless of the decision, the State Liquor Authority will have the final say.

The restaurant does have in its corner organizations like , which provides services for people who are visually impaired.

"As an employment opportunity, it's a great thing," said the group's CEO, , noting that about 70% of visually impaired people are unemployed. "And for people to experience what life is like for people with total vision impairment is a tremendous thing."

Plans for the long-reported "ultimate" Latin music concert assembled by and her husband were confirmed this morning amid a blizzard of superlatives.

"Q'Viva: The Chosen," described as "the ultimate live show celebrating Latin music, artistry and dance," will be produced by , whose previous work includes the creation of "," the promotion of the and the international branding of David and .

Besides the live concert, the project will include a reality-type series documenting the three months Lopez and Anthony say they will spend traveling through the hemisphere in search of talent.

They will go "from remote villages" to major cities, they say.

The director will be , who has previously directed concerts by , , and , among others.

Everything will be filmed in three languages and the concert will be broadcast in 21 countries, said the official announcement from Fuller's . Airdate and broadcast partners are pending, though the project does have its major corporate sponsor: Blackberry.

has serious designs on a future in fashion.

The pop star is reportedly spending a lot more time in in order to focus on a high-end line of men's and women's apparel, according to the .

West, who interned at under the tutelage of , recently created a collection of scarves inspired by the art for his album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy." 

wore a color blocked woman's tunic from French luxury fashion house Celine during his performance.(C Flanigan/; Pierre Verdy/Getty)

The singer is likely looking to put out his own label rather than be a brand's celebrity guest designer.  After 's much-panned stint as the artistic adviser for the French house of , West said he was worried that he would never achieve his runway dreams.

"Did you not see the ? That was 9/11 for celebrities doing fashion. After that I thought: 'Well I can't do a line now," he said, according to the Telegraph.

West has become a fashion show fixture these last few seasons and has become a big fan of one Paris design house: Celine.

The rapper opted to wear a colorful woman's tunic from the French luxury fashion house during his Coachella performance back in April.

Nov. 22, 2008,

Karen, 27, a pharmacist, and Jose, 27, a cell-phone salesman, met at a mutual friend's birthday in February 2005.

After dating two years, Jose proposed while they were at his house on Feb. 15, 2007, with a princess-cut diamond three-stone engagement ring.

"He was calling me to pick up my phone inside the bag. I saw the ring, and I was shocked," recalled Karen. "He got on his knees and proposed."

The couple exchanged vows at City Hall on on March 1, 2007. Jose's cousin, , was the only witness.

"We chose Nov. 22 ]for the wedding[ because that's a really good day for Asians to get married, according to the Chinese calendar," said Karen.

The couple decided to have a traditional Chinese wedding at Mudan Banquet Hall, with 260 guests. During the reception, Karen changed her dress three times. She entered the room in a white strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline and beading and carried a bouquet of dark purple calla lilies and various shades of pink roses. The five bridesmaids wore grape halter dresses and held bouquets of different shades of pink roses.

After the bride and groom danced to "Look Into My Eyes" by and , Karen changed into her chi pao, a fitted Chinese red dress with slits on each side and a gold outline of a phoenix and dragon. The third dress was a pink strapless, long evening gown.

Since Jose grew up in , they decided to have Spanish hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour and American-Chinese cuisine for dinner.

The couple is looking forward to their honeymoon in .

A Rego Park man who killed his ex-wife's husband was sentenced yesterday to at least 25 years in prison thanks in large part to the dead's man young daughter, who witnessed his brutal death. Celine Chiu told jurors that she saw the killer strangle her father, Tsun Ho Chiu, in her dad's Rego Park apartment and that she touched his corpse in the hope of finding a pulse. Yesterday, Chiu, who was 11 when her father was slain, clutched her mother's hand as Kew Gardens Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cooperman sentenced Hon Do Lau to 25 years to life for the September 1995 murder. Celine's testimony last month was crucial in winning a conviction, Assistant District Attorney Frank Catarisano said. "She gave very devastating, chilling testimony," he said. Celine, now 13, did not speak in court yesterday, but Catarisano read a letter to Cooperman on behalf of the family. Now that the horrendous case is over, Catarisano said, family members feel they can go on with their lives. "We were once living in darkness, not knowing where we were heading, but now we have found a new light," he read from the letter. Lau, 47, gave no reaction and remained silent during the proceedings. During the trial, Celine said she was lying in bed with her sleeping father when she was roused by a "gurgling sound.

" She saw Lau sitting on her father's chest, she said. "He was strangling him," she said softly, gently rocking back and forth on the witness stand. "He had a rope around his neck. He was pulling it tighter and tighter with all his might.

" Celine reached for the telephone, but Lau yanked the cord from the wall, she said. "I was crying," Celine said in state Supreme Court in Kew Gardens. "I told him to stop. . . . I knew he wouldn't.

" Lau killed Chiu, 44, because Chiu had married his ex-wife, authorities said. After the slaying, Lau ordered the girl at gunpoint into her father's car, she said. He then put the corpse in the backseat, she said. "I turned around. I saw my dad," she said. "I touched his neck for a pulse, but I didn't find it. He was cold and clammy.

" Lau told police that he buried the body on Long Island but was unable to lead cops to the site. Defense attorney John Wallenstein asked Cooperman to give Lau a lighter sentence of 15 years to life. He said Lau was emotionally tortured by Chiu's beginning a relationship with his wife while Lau was imprisoned in France on drug charges. "He acted under extreme emotional distress," Wallenstein said.

almost didn't get the chance to change her life with a new movie, which starts shooting Monday.

"Labor Pains" producer kept getting turned down by insurers, an informed source tells us.

"]Schwartz[ could only find one insurance company to cover her, and even then he really had to vouch for her."

As wrote in "Postcards From the Edge," actors with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, to which Lohan has admitted, have difficulty getting film insurance. Lohan is still on probation for two DUI arrests last year.

"Labor Pains" is just the sort of romantic comedy that could turn the talented 21-year-old beauty's career around.

According to the screenplay we've obtained, Lohan plays a young woman who pretends to be pregnant so she doesn't get fired. She thrives on the attention she's getting despite "carrying a volleyball around on her stomach." We don't want to be spoilers, but the script is hilarious.

The movie will be made whether or not there's an actors strike, since the union gave Schwartz a waiver, Variety reported.

"Lindsay is a tremendously talented actress," said ' , who's co-producing the film. "We have spent a lot of time with her over the last three months, and she has really impressed us with her work ethic.

"She comes to every meeting 15 minutes early, to the point where she has shown up a few times before we were ready for her. She is rehearsing every day with energy and focus. She is lovely to her co-stars and the crew.

"We got her insured in the film, and our insurance and bond reps have also been impressed with her good behavior.

"Whatever personal issues she may have had in the past, it is clear to me that work is her total priority.

"She wants to make this role and this film a success, and I truly believe in her."

Concludes our source: "It's definitely the kind of movie people want to see Lindsay in, not like 'I Know Who Killed Me.'"

Universal Motown execs are keeping fingers crossed that 's new album can be released on time later this year. An insider tells us the volatile young star isn't being overly cooperative with scheduling and has already canceled important meetings with superproducer .

"Universal is trying to make her new album a success by lining up great producing talents, and, recently, they even hooked Timbaland. But Lindsay has canceled their planned meetings twice," says the snitch.

Lohan's rep denied that Lindsay had missed meetings, and said that Timbaland had yet to be approached to collaborate on the album.

However, it appears that after a rocky start, singer-songwriter is still on board. The source said Lindsay had rejected some initial tracks from the star-maker, who has created hits for , Usher and . But he is still in talks to work with the rehabbed pop star, and staffers hope that one song will make the cut.

did not respond to our request for comment.

July 4, 2008,

, 26, a third-grade teacher, and , 24, an electrician, met when they were just teenagers. "He was friends with my sister and we met about nine years ago, hanging out in a neighborhood park," said Lisa, "and basically we've been together ever since." The Bronx couple got engaged in May 2006. "It was a big surprise," said Lisa. "We were at a family party at , and he got down on his knee and proposed down by the water. It was really romantic."

During the ceremony, Lisa walked down the aisle with her father. She wore a gown by and carried a bouquet of calla lilies.

A celebration for 260 followed at Marina Del Ray, naturally.

The couple gave out bottles of wine for favors and had a photo booth available where guests took filmstrip-style pictures.

They had two wedding songs: a first dance to "The Prayer" sung by and , and one after the cake was cut, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by .

Guests were also treated to a view of fireworks across the water in . "It was a perfect, magical night. We really had a great time, it was awesome," said Lisa.

The newlyweds took off for a honeymoon in .

Not only does 's heart go on, her alarm system does, too.

A 36-year-old man was busted by police Monday after breaking into Dion's home, eating her food and drawing himself a bath, police told .

Dion, 43, and her family weren't home at the time of the break in, but from what police have said, it doesn't sound like the invader was looking to terrorize the superstar and her family as much as he was looking for a little rest and relaxation.

"He opened the water faucets, was pouring a nice warmish bath ]and[ he even managed to eat some pastry that was in the fridge," a police spokesman told the .

The man allegedly jumped Dion's fence and used a garage-door opener he found in an unlocked vehicle to gain entrance to the house. And although he broke in and tripped the alarm, he was apparently surprised to see the police arrive.

"The suspect was coming down the big staircase and was asking: 'Hey, guys what are you doing here?'" the spokesman said. "So the officers replied: 'What are you doing here?' and they proceeded to put him under arrest."

This wasn't the first time Dion has had trouble with overzealous fans.

In 2009, another man tried to break into the same Montreal home.

The man charged with mowing down a beloved nun in said Thursday he wasn't behind the wheel - it was a third, unidentified suspect.

"I just want to own up to what I did, the robbery," said yesterday in a jailhouse phone call to the Daily News.

"They're telling me I got to take 40 years for this... That's not the time I should be doing," he said. "I owned up to the robbery I committed, but they're trying to blame me for her murder."

Williams, who fled cops, leaving fellow suspect, , 18, behind, claimed he jumped out of the car before it hit a minivan that killed , 84.

Cops say Williams was driving at the time.

"There were two suspects, and we have both of them," police spokesman told The News.

Williams and Robbins were awaiting arraignment Thursday night.



A high school student who used his family minivan in a series of gunpoint robberies that ended in the death of an 84-year-old nun pleaded guilty Monday.

William Robbins, 20, confessed to one stickup and thereby avoided going to trial for the murder of Sister Mary Celine Graham.

Police pulled Robbins from his minivan June 22, 2010, at W. 142nd St. on suspicion he was responsible for five stickups in Central Harlem.

But his accomplice, Dyson Williams, who was in the passenger seat, slid behind the wheel and took off with police trailing. Williams smashed the Honda Odyssey at W. 123rd and Lenox Ave., killing the Franciscan nun and injuring four others.

Despite being blocks away, Robbins was still charged with her death.

Under the deal with prosecutors, Robbins will likely get 15 years in jail.

August 23, 2008,

MaryJane Foxworth, 42, a teacher, first met the , 56, when she was 16 and he became pastor of her church. Eventually, he moved to but would let former congregants know when he would be preaching. "A bunch of us got together and went down there and he was really surprised that we showed up," she recalls. Not long after, Joseph called MaryJane and asked her to dinner the next time he was in . She didn't think much of it until five days later when he asked her, "Where do you want to go on our second date?"

"I had never imagined dating a pastor," she says, "and at first, it was a bit strange for me." A few months later, she moved to Pennsylvania to be closer to Joseph, and they returned to four months later when he was offered another position.

On Aug. 19, 2007, another large group went to Pennsylvania to worship with "Father Joe." Joseph arranged a meal after the service, at which he began to make a speech. "I thought he was just going to thank people for coming," she admits. "When he had me come and stand with him, I still didn't get it. He proposed and I was in complete shock!"

The bride was escorted down the aisle by her son to 's "Because You Love Me." The ceremony was at and the aisle was lined with sandcastles. The bride wore a "long and flowing" halter gown from and carried white calla lilies. Her two daughters stood by her side as the maid of honor and bridesmaid. The groom's grandson served as the best man, while his granddaughter was the flower girl.

The party for 200 continued on the beach and included sack races, Hula-Hoop contests and an obstacle course for the kids. The couple cut into a cake with pineapple filling before treating guests to gel candles shaped as seashells and starfish.

They honeymooned at Sugarloaf Mountain in .

Sony Music boss Tommy Mottola's in play. The music honcho is pushing for an early contract renewal with the Japanese electronics giant, but talks have stalled industry sources said. Meanwhile, the man behind superstars Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, and Bruce Springsteen, is said to have had offers from other entertainment companies. Mottola's current contract expires in March, 2004. He's believed to be one of the highest paid music execs in the world, with a salary approaching $10 million. Music insiders said the Japanese may be reluctant to commit to a hefty increase during an industrywide downturn. Sony declined to comment. "He may be demanding salary increases that are greater than they want to give," said music attorney George Gilbert. "But given the talent pool, no one who is available has the experience he has.

" Since Mottola took over Sony Music in 1988, sales tripled to $4.

8 billion, making Sony the world's No. 2 music giant. With the most stable management team in the industry, Mottola is credited with propelling careers of an array of divas including ex-wife Mariah Carey, and for sparking a Latin explosion with artists Ricky Martin, Shakira, Lopez and Marc Anthony. Sony Music's operating profits last year were flat at $152 million. Its U.

S. market share is No. 3 behind Universal and Warner. MESSIER'S MESS In another major blow, shaky Vivendi boss Jean-Marie Messier has lost a key ally. His closest friend on Vivendi's board, LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault quit yesterday, right before the company's board meeting in Paris. According to several accounts, the billionaire luxury goods exec was fuming because he was not informed of a recent deal orchestrated by Messier to raise $1.

35 billion by parking Vivendi's stock with Deutsche Bank. The transaction hammered Vivendi stock to its lowest level in more than a decade. Arnault is the second French board member to resign from the troubled French media company in the last few days and the fifth to bail in recent months. His departure is expected to tilt the power of the board to its nonFrench members, some of whom are hostile to Messier. "He was fed up with Messier; he wasn't willing to run the risk of being sued," said James Kaufman, president of Kaufman Financial Advisors. While Messier survived another long and brutal board meeting yesterday, the company once again tried to appease furious shareholders, announcing a plan to hold regular analyst conference calls to "put a halt to continuous and negative rumors surrounding the group.

" The company also named Dominique Hoenn of French bank BNP Paribas to replace Arnault. EISNER'S BOOKKEEPER Disney boss Michael Eisner feels he has a Mickey Mouse accountant. The media mogul claims in a suit filed against his accounting firm, Executive Monetary Management, that he and his wife had to pay $3 million in back taxes because they were given shoddy advice. The suit alleges the firm failed to realize California law differs from federal law in its treatment of stock donations to private foundations. Eisner's seeking $3 million and legal fees. Pfurman@edit.



NBC is now waffling on its pledge to the Anti-Defamation League never to rerun a skit from the Dec. 4 edition of "Saturday Night Live" that included a line about Jews killing Jesus. The debate is continuing at NBC over an "SNL" sketch that poked fun at Christmas. In it, "SNL" cast member Ana Gasteyer playing Celine Dion, said that Jews own all the banks and movie studios. Guest host Christina Ricci playing Britney Spears, later said Christians have forgiven Jews "for having killed our Lord.

" The day after the skit aired, the ADL's offices around the country were flooded with calls from angry viewers, according to national director Abraham Foxman. Foxman then wrote to NBC complaining about the segment. "We are aware that 'SNL' pokes fun and is irreverent to institutions, people, society - and whether it's funny or not is a matter of taste," Foxman told The News yesterday. "Once in a while it crosses the line of insensitivity.

" Foxman said the "SNL" skit was "offensive, insensitive and it reinforced the worst of the anti-Semitic canards.

" In response to Foxman's letter, Rosalyn Weinman, executive vice president of East Coast Entertainment and Broadcast Content Policy, said she reviewed the parody and decided that a portion of the sketch would be cut from all future telecasts of that episode. That came as a surprise to the folks at "Saturday Night Live.

" Through "SNL" spokesman Mark Liepis, all executive producer Lorne Michaels would say yesterday is that the issue is "under discussion.

" "It was NBC's intention to not air this again, but it's currently under review," said an NBC spokeswoman, Shirley Powell. Weinman is on vacation and unavailable for comment. It appears the next step will be a meeting among Michaels, Weinman and the higher-ups at NBC, to determine the future of the sketch - which normally would be included in reruns of the show's episode and could return in other compilations. If NBC goes back on Weinman's pledge, then it and she look like liars. If not, it upsets Michaels. Though "SNL" is closely monitored by network standards-and-practices staffers, there was no mention of trouble at the show's Wednesday script read-through, early rehearsals or the dress rehearsal that occurs just before taping. "We're not at war with NBC or 'SNL,' " Foxman said. "I hope that Dr. Weinman's position prevails. If not, it's a message for the future. We're not out there calling for boycotts.

" Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League - which recorded no calls complaining about the sketch - said: "As usual, there seems to be greater intolerance for anti-Semitism than anti-Catholicism. "There have been worse things that have offended Catholics," Donahue said. "We've complained about things that were far more egregious and we've been blown off by these guys.

" Donohue said he could see why the ADL would complain about "SNL," but he feels "the average viewer of 'SNL' will understand this for what it is.


THE NEW morning co-host on WSKQ (97.

9 FM), Epi Colon, says he's not looking to compete with the memory of Junior Hernandez. Luis Jimenez and Hernandez, who died suddenly on Feb. 4, had become the second most popular morning-show hosts in the city. Colon, Jimenez' new partner as of Monday, said yesterday that he hopes to bring in some new elements. "We're taking it to a new level," says Jimenez. "New characters, new skits, a faster pace. I know Epi will be compared to Junior, but we hope people realize it's a different program.

" Colon has worked for several years in Puerto Rican radio, where most recently he was assistant program director of "Cadena Sal Soul.

" "Going on the air after Junior's death was the hardest thing I've ever done," said Jimenez yesterday. "But the listeners were great, and after getting through that, I know we can get through anything. I feel like after just two days, Epi and I are 100% already.

" WABC DEFENDS LAURA: Dr. Laura Schlessinger did not comment on-air about Howard Stern's suggestion that she was just looking for attention when she bailed out of a TV deal because she didn't want to be syndicated by the same company as Stern. But WABC (770 AM), her local radio affiliate, defends her. "Laura wasn't looking for a TV deal," says WABC program director Phil Boyce. "She had a TV deal. She canceled it on principle.

" Boyce added that he wasn't unhappy with the outcome, since her syndicated TV show could have aired in the morning thus competing with her radio show. AROUND THE DIAL: More sad news: Harold (Doc) Wade, a long-time black radio deejay, has died at his East Orange home. He was in his late 70s. . . . For tax deadline day, WBAI (99.

5 FM) is offering advice on how not to pay taxes that support defense programs. . . . WKTU's morning team, noting reports of tension between Mariah Carey and others on VH1's "Divas" show, asked who would win a fight between Mariah and Celine Dion. Most callers voted for Celine ("better reach"), but Michelle Visage picked Carey ("because Celine weighs about 2 pounds").

With its audience lagging well behind rival WSKQ, WCAA (105.

9 FM) has unveiled a new morning team: afternoon host Alipio Cocco Cabrera and glamorous Univision entertainment host Celines Toribio. "Coco y Celines en la Manana" inherits a slot that averages 1.

3% of the city audience, compared to 6.

4% for Luis Jimenez and Moonshadow on WSKQ. Moonshadow once did the WCAA morning show. Cabrera and Toribio were both born in the Dominican Republic. Cabrera has been host of Latino Mix's afternoon show, while former model Toribio has been the host of numerous Univision shows. They will be joined, 6-10 a.

m., by comedian The Borikua Kid. KISSING AGAIN: Barry Mayo, who was program director when WRKS (98.

7 FM) became an urban station 20 years ago, is reportedly returning to the station as a consultant. Mayo, who doesn't do much consulting work, is highly regarded in radio. In the roller-coaster world of urban stations, where the jockeying for position is fierce and constant, WRKS is looking for a way to ride back up again. In the fall it averaged 2.

7% of the audience, putting it in 14th place, while rival WBLS had 4.

5% and came in fourth. TAVIS ARRIVES: Tavis Smiley, a popular BET host whose departure from that network last year led to a round of protests, starts his talk radio career today. He can be heard locally on WNYE (91.

5 FM), 9-10 a.

m., Monday-Friday. Smiley is followed by several other National Public Radio shows WNYE will pick up again now that it has ended a partial simulcast with WNYC. That includes Diane Rehm, 10 a.

m.-noon, "Fresh Air," noon-1 p.

m., "Public Interest," 1-2 p.

m., and "Talk of the Nation," 2-4 p.

m. Smiley, a long-time NPR fan, says his show will cover "politics, money, relationships, race, class, culture and more.

" AROUND THE DIAL: The former "dissident" faction that is now back in power at WBAI (99.

5 FM) starts a critical fund-raising drive today. WBAI and its parent Pacifica Foundation are always on the lip of the fiscal volcano, but this time it is estimated the network is $4 million in debt even though the staffers on the air at 'BAI last fall said their drive raised a million.? DJ Bobbito of WBAI spins live every Monday at APT, 419 W. 13th St., 10 p.

m.-4 a.

m.? The Rev. Al Sharpton and James Mtume of WRKS told a symposium on black radio advertising here Friday that they plan a campaign to 1) enforce an executive order that requires proportionate media spending by any government entity and 2) demand that the ad industry hire more black folks.

Dion to take a 3-year break MUSIC - Celine Dion says she'll spend up to three years away from the music business, but not before issuing an album boasting a "duet" with Frank Sinatra and holding a New Year's Eve concert. At a news conference, the first since husband Rene Angelil underwent surgery in April for skin cancer, Dion said her Dec. 31 concert in Montreal will be her last public performance for a while. Dion, 30, says she wants to enjoy the break quietly at her homes in Quebec and Florida, and to focus with her 56-year-old husband on trying to have a baby. Haimes exits Livent stage THEATER - Todd Haimes, artistic director of the Roundabout Theater Co. since 1990, announced yesterday that he was giving up his post as artistic director of struggling Livent Inc., to resume full-time duties at the Roundabout. Haimes had been holding down both positions for the last year. Now that Livent, which produced "Ragtime" and "Fosse" on Broadway, has been sold, he's returning to the Roundabout to oversee its move to a new playhouse on W. 42nd St., on the site of the former Selwyn Theater. The new theater's first production will be "Uncle Vanya," starring Derek Jacoby. Michael Mayer ("Side Man," "A View From the Bridge") will direct. Axl's back, for Arnold flick MUSIC - When the trailer for Arnold Schwarzenegger's "End of Days" played last night on the MTV Video Music Awards, the accompanying music gave away one of the film's surprises. The song "Oh My God" is the big single from the picture, and was recorded by Guns N' Roses, with Axl Rose on vocals. It's the first new material from the band in eight years. Arnold may have been instrumental: The band's song "You Could Be Mine" was featured prominently in "Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

" 'Dogma' gets indy distributor MOVIES - Independent film distributor Lions Gate says it has purchased rights to the controversial film "Dogma" for release in North America. The movie stars Hollywood heartthrobs Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as two fallen angels who believe some religious laws are fallible, and they try to exploit a legal loophole to reenter heaven. Groups such as the Catholic League have voiced outrage about its content. The controversy grew so loud that in April, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who run Miramax, which backed the movie's production, bought "Dogma" from Disney-owned Miramax. On your Marc, get set, go! MUSIC - Tickets go on sale tomorrow at noon for Latin superstar Marc Anthony, who will be playing Oct. 3 at 8 p.

m. at the Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 W. 34th St. Tickets are $ 35 and are available through Ticketmaster, (212) 307-7171.

STEADY VEGAS GIG FOR CELINE Celine Dion plans to return to performing in 2003 with a permanent show at a 4,000-seat amphitheater at Las Vegas' Caesars Palace that is being built to resemble the Roman Colosseum. Dion will perform there 200 nights a year. The 33-year-old singer, who stopped performing last year to try to get pregnant, gave birth to her first child on Jan. 25. The theater is being built to replace the hotel-casino's 1,000-seat Circus Maximus showroom, demolished in September. HIP-HOP NATION AT THE UN Rapper KRS-One unveiled a document he calls the "Hip-Hop Declaration of Peace" during a ceremony Wednesday at the United Nations. Joined by hip-hop progenitors Grandmaster Flash, DJ Kool Herc and the Cold Crush Brothers, KRS-One said the declaration would "establish hip hop as an international culture for peace, decriminalize hip hop's public image and declare peace unto the hip-hop nation once and for all.

" KRS-One wants every hip-hop artist to sign the 23-paragraph statement of cultural unity. He says he will collect the signatures over the next year, and adapt the declaration's language to the wishes of the community. 'OKLAHOMA!


", the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, is coming to Broadway next year. A production by Trevor Nunn that was a smash last year in London was set to come last season, but was abandoned when Actors' Equity raised objections to bringing over the British cast. Now, Nunn will direct a cast made up mostly of Americans. Susan Stroman ("The Producers," "Contact") will choreograph. It is scheduled to open March 21 at the Gershwin Theater after previews beginning Feb. 23. FILLING A VOID "Urinetown," a hit Off-Broadway musical, is moving to Broadway. It will close at the American Theater of Actors July 2 and open at the Henry Miller Theater on W. 43rd St. later that month (the date is uncertain, because the theater is being rebuilt for the show). Its cast includes John Cullum, Hunter Foster, Spencer Kayden and Jeff McCarthy.

Sept. 12, 2008,

Nicole Marie Pakola was only doing her familial duty of attending her father's softball game in June 2000 when she met her future husband. was one of the younger men on the team, and, as she describes it, "We hit it off."

Her father had no problem with his daughter dating one of his teammates. "My dad always thought he was a great guy," Nicole says. The two had their first date over a round of miniature golf.

Nicole was curious when she hadn't received a Valentine's Day gift in 2007, but was soon surprised with a weekend getaway in the . When they arrived at their suite, Joseph, 31, a fireman, led Nicole, 29, who works in a dental office, to the fireplace and popped the question.

Nicole carried white roses, calla lilies and stephanotis as her father escorted her to the altar at St. Benedict's Church. Scattered appliqués, beadwork and pickups covered the bride's sweetheart strapless gown, which she topped with combs and a fingertip-length veil with matching beadwork.

Afterward, they filled a party bus with their 13 groomsmen, two maids of honor - wearing coral strapless dresses - and 11 bridesmaids in chocolate brown two-piece dresses from Watters & Watters.

Tall vases with roses and calla lilies of assorted colors filled , where the 230 guests selected from seven entree options. , a six-piece band, played "The Prayer," by and , for the newlyweds' first dance.

The pair made a donation to the in their guests' honor before departing for more than two weeks in .

has titled her current tour "Taking Chances," but those searching for some examples - in fact, for any - would have been hard-pressed to find them Monday night at .


Although four years have passed since the world's loudest diva has toured the land, after a lingering stint in , the Dion playbook hasn't added any new chapters, aside perhaps, for some added bangles, beads and video screens.

Luckily, no one treks to a Dion show for a sense of surprise. They gather to listen, in ritualized awe, to the woman's fearsome wind power.

Like a human version of Hurricane Ike, Dion whips and blows her way through songs without mercy, tearing apart nuance, meaning and subtlety as she goes. The brute force of her sound may make people of taste cower, but those who try to deny its impact do so at their own peril.

From the start of last night's marathon - a take on 's '80s hit "I Drove All Night" - Dion kept the accent on physical prowess, tackling notes as much like an athlete as a singer.

She spent much of the show pumping her fist, throwing her hands in the air and thumping her chest in a flurry of triumphant gestures even a young might think a bit much.

In her trademark style, Dion approached the biggest notes with great, feigned drama, first pausing to gain momentum, then shooting up her arms to indicate steely intent, only to finally hurl the note with the assurance of a javelin thrower going for the gold.

The rippling muscularity of her singing dovetails with the bullheaded idealism of the lyrics she sings. Love doesn't just conquer all in these songs, it beats it senseless.

In her many canned monologues, Dion hit all the populist marks, shoehorning in as many maudlin references to "family" as possible.

Of course, all the sentiment and bluster can't help but make a real impression - part camp, part legit. If anything, Dion intensified the melodic panache of her hits, from "The Power of Love" to "Because You Loved Me." Her take on Heart's "Alone" idealized the tune.

Giggle if you will at all the bombast, when it comes to diva Celine, resistance is futile.



G. earned larger-than-life sales for his posthumous new album. The prophetically titled "Life After Death" sold 689,535 copies in its first week out, easily snaring the No. 1 spot on next week's Billboard Top 200. The No. 2? Celine Dion's "Falling Into You" with 196,000. Biggie's gargantuan opening even managed to better the track record of Tupac Shakur's first posthumous release last November, "The Don Killuminati" (released under the pseudonym Makaveli). That album moved 664,000 on its first week out. Biggie's album also boasts the biggest opening-week sales of the year, nearly doubling its second place competition, U2's "Pop," which moved 349,000 its first week. Overall, Biggie's album holds the record as the sixth most powerful opening count since SoundScan began an accurate appraisal of such things in 1991, behind Guns N' Roses' "Use Your Illusion II" (at 770,000) and ahead of Metallica's "Load" (at 680,000). The biggest SoundScan debuts remain Pearl Jam's "Vs.

" (950,000) and "Vitalogy" (877,000), followed by the Beatles' "Anthology" (at 855,000).

Music, once a staple of television, is making a lot of noise lately. After a couple of seasons without any new concert series, several are rolling out this summer on channels ranging from PBS to Oxygen. But rather than going for big-name stars such as Celine Dion or Faith Hill - the focus of two recent prime-time network specials - new acts are being showcased. "I think people are hungry to see music and good performances again on TV, but there's only a handful of artists that the big networks will commit to," said Joel Gallen, an executive producer of WB's new "Pepsi Smash" that airs Wednesdays at 9 p.

m. "For me, this show brings back the spirit of those prime-time music shows from the late 1960s and early 1970s that had a lot of acts on the same bill and the audience loved each of them equally," Gallen said. Back then it wasn't unusual to have the Ronettes, Donovan and the Rolling Stones appear on the same edition of "Shindig!

" There was also "American Bandstand," "Soul Train" and "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert.

" All but "Soul Train" have faded away, leaving a void for music series. But now, the genre is being revived. Oxygen's "Custom Concert" series will have the Goo Goo Dolls in September, while other acts such as Beyonce Knowles and Michael McDonald will show up on other shows on different networks. MTV did its part earlier this year when it shifted its "Live From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" to a concert stage in Orlando, Fla., and this summer rebranded the Wednesday, 8 p.

m. show as "AT&T Wireless presents Hard Rock Live.

" "We hope this will become a signature series for us," said Amy Doyle, a vice president of music programming at MTV. One of the channel's last breakout performance series was the acoustic-based "MTV Unplugged," which ended in 1999 after a decade on the air and was briefly revived in 2002 on MTV2. Meanwhile, PBS programmers are getting back into the music act with a new, highdefinition version of the studio-based "Soundstage," which hasn't aired on public TV in 20 years. New episodes appear on WNET/Ch. 13 Friday nights at 12:30 a.

m. and on WLIW/Ch. 21 at 10 p.

m. Sundays. "Before MTV established itself as the outlet for music on TV, PBS had an exclusive on this type of show," said Randy King, executive producer of "Soundstage.

" "Now, we're able to take advantage of new technology that we hope will distinguish this series from other attempts to do music on TV.


A CD containing various songs was playing in the Mets' clubhouse yesterday afternoon when Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" came on. "Somebody please turn the sound down, I can't do the Titanic thing no more," Bobby Bonilla said of the song from the hit movie. Thanks to John Olerud and his gigantic grand slam Wednesday night against the Braves, the Mets didn't have to do the Titanic sinking thing at least for one night. Olerud who was dubbed by one television station as the "King of Queens" was the hero in the Mets' 9-2 victory over Atlanta which snapped a seven-game free fall for the Mets. His fourth-inning grand slam off Greg Maddux helped the Mets score seven runs during that inning, and in the process, unload a great deal of frustration in one swing. "I think with all the pressure everybody has had, to come through and get that many runs on the board that quickly, especially against a pitcher like that and a team that's beaten us that many times, that's a big lift," teammate Robin Ventura said of Olerud's smash. The always humble Olerud said he woke up yesterday morning having put the slam behind him. "That's the past and you've got to concentrate on the games coming up," Olerud said before last night's game at Shea. "They are great when they happen but the next day, it doesn't matter.

" Olerud knows how cruel the game of baseball can be. Prior to hitting his sixth career grand slam, Olerud had been mired in a bit of a slump. Ever since hitting coach Tom Robson was fired with two other assistant coaches on June 5, Olerud has been less than Olerud. The first baseman was batting .

333 with nine homers and 38 RBI through June 5. From that point, however, Olerud batted .

285 with 10 homers and 57 RBI going into last night's game. Olerud, who called Robson the best hitting coach he ever had shortly after he was replaced by Mickey Brantley, is a career .

301 hitter. "Just because you have a good game doesn't necessarily mean you are out of it," said Olerud, who hit .

354 last year. Olerud doesn't want to finish the season mired in a slump for several reasons, one being he is a free agent at the end of the season. Olerud, who told the Mets at the start of the season he didn't want to negotiate until the end of the season, says that has no bearing on his play at the moment. "We definitely would like to re-sign John, he's an important part of the team both in the clubhouse and on the field," Mets' general manager Steve Phillips said. "We will certainly honor (John's wishes) but aggressively pursue him once the season ends. Our goal is to try and find a way to make it work.


AMERICA'S HEART AND SOUL A documentary that captures the spirit of America through the personal stories of ordinary people. Friday at the Angelika. BEFORE SUNSET Nine years after their one-night encounter in "Before Sunrise," Jesse (Ethan Hawke, see page 7) and Celine (Julie Delpy) meet again unexpectedly for one day in Paris. Friday at the Angelika. BONJOUR MONSIEUR SHLOMI A neglected high-school student who plays caretaker to his entire family discovers himself after a teacher reveals his hidden talents. In Hebrew, with English subtitles. Friday at the Quad. CINE MEXICO A festival of classic and contemporary Mexican film plays from Friday through July 22. Film Forum 2. THE CLEARING A successful businessman (Robert Redford) is kidnapped by a disgruntled employee (Willem Dafoe). Helen Mirren plays the Redford character's wife. Friday. THE CORPORATION This documentary examines the dominant role of corporations in modern American society. With Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky. Wednesday at Film Forum. DE-LOVELY (See story, opposite) A biopic of songwriter Cole Porter (Kevin Kline) that reimagines the major events of his life as if it were a stage musical. With Ashley Judd, Jonathan Pryce. Friday. SPIDER-MAN 2 (See cover story) College student Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) reluctantly girds up as Spider- Man again to battle mad scientist Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), who has transformed himself into a mechanical octopus. With Kirsten Dunst. Wednesday.

An Empire of Women, by Karen Shepard (Putnam, $24.

95) Seventy-five-year-old Celine Arneaux is a well-known French-Chinese photographer. She returns to a family cabin in Virginia for a reunion with her Asian-American daughter Sumin and granddaughter Cameron, whom she once photographed for a series of nude child portraits. Joining them at the cabin is a journalist working on a profile of Celine, and Alice, a 6-year-old Chinese-American girl in Cameron's care. Shepard's intricate and intriguing debut novel weaves together the stories of the three women, and three generations, revealing family secrets and tensions, custody battles, strength and hope. The Sugar Island, by Ivonne Lamazares (Houghton Mifflin, $23) A tough young girl named Tanya narrates the story of her complicated relationship with her mother and their attempts to escape Cuba in 1958. Tanya's world abruptly changes as her mother becomes a rebel guerrilla during Fidel Castro's revolution and has a son. They eventually move to Miami and discover that, although the setting has changed, their struggles continue. In her first novel, the Cuban-American author Lamazares tells a dramatic story of a culture in conflict and a remarkable mother-daughter bond. The Justice Story: True Tales of Murder, Mystery, Mayhem compiled and edited by Joseph McNamara (Bannon Multimedia Group, $24.

95) For 17 of his 40 years at the Daily News, legendary newsman McNamara ushered the hugely popular crime feature "The Justice Story" into print every week. McNamara died in May; this collection reflects his choice of the most compelling tales from the series, which began in 1923, from the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and the horrifying crimes of Lizzie Borden and Baby Face Nelson to the still unsolved 1937 Red Circle murders. Joe Mac, as he was known, wrote many of the columns himself, spinning what seem like thrilling short stories from unbelievable tales of true crime. Where Is the Mango Princess?, by Cathy Crimmins (Knopf, $24) During a family vacation in 1996, Crimmins' husband, Alan, was severely injured in a boating accident. It left the frontal lobes of his brain severely damaged and affected his speech, memory, personality and movement. From that moment, the family's life was radically altered. Here, Crimmins chronicles what happened after her husband woke up and her experiences with doctors and the medical bureaucracy. She also confronts healing, faith and morality as she takes a journey into her newly transformed world.

TOP SINGLES OF 1996 ARTIST TITLE NO. 1. Los Del Rio "Macarena (Bayside)" 3.

75 2. 2Pac "How Do U Want It" 1.

70 3. Keith Sweat "Twisted" 1.

63 4. BLACKstreet "No Diggity" 1.

56 5. Toni Braxton "You're Makin' Me High" 1.

48 6. Quad City DJ's "C'Mon 'N Ride It" 1.

38 7. Celine Dion "Because You Loved Me" 1.

34 8. L.

L. Cool J "Loungin' " 1.

28 9. Tony Rich Project "Nobody Knows" 1.

26 10. Toni Braxton "Unbreak My Heart" 1.

25 11. Mariah Carey "Always Be My Baby" 1.

21 12. Keith Sweat "Nobody" 1.

21 13. Tracy Chapman "Give Me One Reason" 1.

09 14. Celine Dion "It's All Coming Back to Me" 1.

08 15. R. Kelly "Down Low" 1.

07 16. AZ Yet "Last Night" 1.

02 17. Brandy "Sittin' Up in My Room" 1.

02 18. 112 "Only You" 1.

02 19. Mary J. Blige "Not Gon' Cry" 1.

00 20. SWV "You're the One" .

98 21. Mariah Carey "One Sweet Day" .

97 22. Ginuwine "Pony" .

93 23. R. Kelly "I Can't Sleep" .

92 24. Donna Lewis "I Love You Always Forever" .

81 25. W. Houston/C. Winans "Count On Me" .

80 26. Total "Kissin' You" .

79 27. Monica "Why I Love You So Much" .

79 28. No Mercy "Where Do You Go" .

78 29. Busta Rhymes "Woo-Hah!!

" .

76 30. Outkast "Elevators" .

76 31. Coolio "1 2 3 4 (Sumpin' New)" .

75 32. En Vogue "Don't Let Go (Love)" .

72 33. Eric Clapton "Change the World" .

71 34. Joe "All the Things" .

71 35. Babyface "This Is for the Lover in You" .

69 36. Los Del Rio "Macarena Non Stop " .

67 37. Merril Bainbridge "Mouth" .

67 38. Do or Die "Po Pimp" .

66 39. Alanis Morissette "Ironic" .

66 40. L.

L. Cool J "Doin' It" .

64 41. Dru Hill "Tell Me" .

63 42. Aaliyah "If Your Girl Only Knew" .

63 43. New Edition "I'm Still in Love With You" .

62 44. Case "Touch Me Tease Me" .

62 45. R. Kelly "I Believe I Can Fly" .

62 46. New Edition "Hit Me Off" .

60 47. Mint Condition "What Kind of Man" .

60 48. MC Lyte "Keep On Keepin' On" .

60 49. Junior M.




A. "Get Money" .

59 50. Whitney Houston "Exhale" .

58 TOP ALBUMS OF 1996 ARTIST TITLE NO. 1. Alanis Morissette "Jagged Little Pill" 7.

38 2. Celine Dion "Falling Into You" 6.

13 3. Fugees "Score" 4.

51 4. No Doubt "Tragic Kingdom" 4.

36 5. Mariah Carey "Daydream" 3.

08 6. 2Pac "All Eyez on Me" 3.

00 7. Metallica "Load" 2.

96 8. Toni Braxton "Secrets" 2.

89 9. Shania Twain "Woman in Me" 2.

78 10. Oasis "What's the Story?

" 2.

63 11. Tracy Chapman "New Beginning" 2.

Coming soon to the pop charts: Britney Spears, Ricky Martin and . . . Pope John Paul. The pop princess and Latin heartthrob are set to recite the pontiff's prayers on a new CD designed to help reach young people with a spiritual message of hope, the Sunday Telegraph of London reports today. "Titanic" songbird Celine Dion, boy band 'N Sync and actress Jennifer Love Hewitt also are slated to recite on the CD, which should be in stores this fall. "What better way to . . . introduce spirituality to young people than through entertainers," said producer Rick Garson, who also masterminded the Pope's million-selling 1999 CD of prayers, "Abba Pater.


CONCERT PROMOTER JOHN SCHER SAYS he will cooperate "in any way" with Attorney General Dennis Vacco's announced probe of ticket scalping for the upcoming Spice Girls and Celine Dion concerts. Scher, who is promoting Dion's four area shows, told Vacco in a letter that he would love to help with "an investigation into the wider issue of scalping in general.

" He says his company, Metropolitan Entertainment, has pushed for years for action against scalpers, as well as stronger enforcement of anti-scalping laws now on the books. The "scandalous" scalping in this region, he says, "has gone virtually unchallenged for too long.


Relatives of a beloved Harlem nun killed when she was hit by an out-of-control car fleeing police announced Friday their intent to sue the .

Sister Mary Celine Graham, 84, was cut down June 22 as she went for her daily walk, crushed by a stolen SUV after it collided with another car.

Cops were following the SUV - which had a robbery suspect behind the wheel - in the moments before the crash. Graham's family and caretaker say the police were responsible for the deadly wreck.

"We're seeking justice for a death that was clearly avoidable," the family's attorney said. "This could have been prevented by the police."

Two accused robbers, , 20, and , 18, were charged with felony murder in the days after Graham's death.

Williams was in the when it careened onto the Lenox Ave. sidewalk and struck Graham and her health aide, .

"My body is still in pain," Cruz said. "I am hurting mentally and physically."

Police have acknowledged that an unmarked NYPD car was following the SUV, but have insisted their vehicle was several blocks behind the Pacifica.


Celine Dion, whose soaring voice has sold 100 million records around the world, expects to be crooning nothing but sweet lullabies next year. The 32-year-old French Canadian pop star, who desperately wanted a baby but had trouble conceiving, broke the titanic news yesterday that her dream finally has come true - she's expecting in early March. "There's no hiding happiness," she gushed in an open letter to fans. "We can't keep something so big, so wonderful a secret just for us - I'm pregnant.

" The singer said she and husband Rene Angelil got the good news Thursday "that the dream dearest to our hearts has come true. We are completely, totally happy.

" Dion had taken a three-year break from performing to try to get pregnant. Her last performance was Dec. 31 in Montreal. In February, she sued the National Enquirer for $20 million, charging a story it carried falsely said she was pregnant with twins. She said the story filled her with heartache. But "this time it's for real," Dion said yesterday. "In three weeks, if all goes well, we'll hear the heart of our baby, beating inside of my tummy," said Dion, who's best known for "My Heart Will go On," the theme song from the Oscar-winning movie "Titanic.

" The entertainer had been getting fertility treatments in New York. Dion's statement also noted that her husband, who had surgery last year to remove a malignant lump in his throat, has received test results that showed no cancer. "The man of my life, my whole life, was seriously ill," Dion wrote. "He could have thrown in the towel, given up and let our happiness die. But instead of giving up, he chose to fight with all his might.


Jonathan Schwartz is returning to daily radio, as artistic coordinator and air personality for a new station that will play the popular standards of Ella and Gershwin, undiluted by Barry Manilow or Celine Dion. The only catch is this: The station won't go on the air until 2001 and when it does, it will cost money to listen. Schwartz yesterday was named artistic coordinator for the American Standards format at XM, one of two outfits duking it out in the new field of satellite radio. Satellite radio, also called pay-radio, is similar to satellite TV. Listeners will buy a receiver and pay $9.

95 a month for 100 channels, half news/talk and half music. Because they are sent by satellite, the channels will be heard nationwide, and it is expected the car-radio market will be a major battleground. Schwartz says he was "initially skeptical," but became convinced "this is the future particularly for 'niche' formats like popular standards, which major commercial stations no longer offer.

" Since WQEW went off the air in December, New York has no standards station that can be heard areawide. Equally important, says Schwartz, almost all commercial standards stations including WQEW have felt it necessary to play later pop songs in hope of attracting a younger audience. "Here, we are free to do it right," says Schwartz. "We can play great songs the way they should be played with jazz, big bands, Broadway and cabaret. We can go more deeply into a great artist's catalogue.

" Schwartz will do the 3-7 p.

m. daily shift on the new station, plus his Sunday and Sinatra Saturday shows on WNYC (820 AM). He says he's "just starting" to consider the rest of the airstaff. XM's rival, CD Radio, is also expected to offer a popular-standards channel. Both companies have been signing programers, personalities and "content providers" such as the Weather Channel.

Bill Carney doesn't speak French. But that didn't stop him from adopting the name Clermont Ferrand (after a French provincial capital) and becoming the lead singer of Les Sans Culottes, New York's most notorious - and ludicrous - celebration of rock Francaise. Over the last six years, the Brooklyn-based septet - which also includes singers Kit Kat Le Noir and Celine Dijon, bassist Jean Luc Retard, drummer Pascal Blase, keyboardist Anouk Ennui and guitarist Cal D'Hommage - has earned a reputation for excessively fabulous performances and intoxicatingly catchy pop in the mold of Serge Gainsbourg and Jacques Dutronc. Last year, the band released its first full-length album, "The Ennui & the Ecstasy," and tomorrow night they play at Makor. Carney says that, at first, he was worried that people wouldn't share his love for the "ye-ye" sound of '60s Paris, so he made sure the group's costumes captured the vibrant spirit of the originals. "It was a challenge to present it to Americans," he says, "especially since I don't speak French and most Americans don't speak French. So we decided at first to stress the outrageousness of it. At the same time, we put across the greatness of the music and how much we loved it.

" Of course, the songs written by Les Sans Culottes - the name means "Those Without Pants" and refers to the ill-equipped volunteers of the French Revolutionary Army - hardly need translation. The ironic anti-American-culture rant "I do not wish for McFoie Gras, do not Supersize me," from the song "Non Merci, Oncle Sam" ("No Thanks, Uncle Sam"), sounds just as bizarre in French as it does in English. (Dijon, the only member who actually speaks French, edits all the lyrics.) Given their rampant Francophilia, it's odd that the band has yet to play Paris. They have gone to Quebec, however, where the notoriously prickly defenders of French culture embraced the group immediately. "We were a little nervous about going to French Canada, because people are so proud of their culture," Carney says. "I was concerned about my fake French accent. But when I spoke with a reporter, they said, 'Oh, your French accent is excellent.

' "Which is good," he adds, "because a fair amount of French people actually come to our show and we want to make sure that it's not all nonsense.


HEY, MARIAH Carey and Celine Dion: Watch out! There's a Brooklyn diva catching up to you. Alessandra Guercio may only be 9 years old, but her beautiful, vibrant voice is beyond her young age. Just ask the judges of PAX TV's new variety show, "America's Most Talented Kids," who have picked the Mill Basin youngster out of thousands of applicants. "We Fed-Exed the tape to California, and the show called us the next day," said Alessandra's dad, Maurice. "She's a natural," beamed Alessandra's mother, Lucy. "She was the only Brooklyn kid there. We love it!

" Alessandra will be one of seven contestants on this Sunday's episode, which will air at 7 p.

m. on PAX TV. At home, wide-eyed and wearing platform sneakers and a lavender turtleneck with a picture of the "Sleeping Beauty" princess on it, Alessandra looked like a typical kid. Her favorite movie is "Shark Tale," and she loves eating pizza. "I like playing teacher with my sister and brother," said the straight-A student. "I also like math - the times tables.

" What Alessandra loves most of all is to sing. "I just love to see the smiles on my family's faces and the people who hear me," she said. Alessandra's singing career began when she was 4 and in the bathtub, where her father discovered her singing "Part of Your World" from the "Little Mermaid" movie. "She was right on target. It was so beautiful," Guercio said. Her first stage performance was a year later at a breast cancer benefit in Queens - and people listened. "When I first looked at Alessandra's tape submission, I saw this sweet little unassuming Brooklyn girl. "Then Alessandra opened her mouth to sing and all bets were off," said the TV show's executive producer, Peter Johansen. "She transformed into this powerful dynamo with the stage presence of a pro.

" But for now, the fourth-grader's fan base is at St. Mary's Mother of Jesus School in Bensonhurst, where she sings the national anthem during assembly. Alessandra's No. 1 fan is her sister and schoolmate Stefanie, 8, with whom she shares a bed, as well as toys and clothes. "I think she sings really good!

" said Stefanie. "I love it when she sings 'How Do I live Without You?

' " Although Alessandra's parents are supportive of her singing, they are not stage parents. "This is one happy kid, and that's what we want," said Lucy Guercio. "She loves singing.


ASSUMING THIS TURNS into a fine, balmy, mellow summer night in the greatest metropolitan area on Earth or hey, even if it doesn't there will be fine, mellow music in the metropolitan air. Starting out toward Long Island, Westbury Music Fair will host the "Legends of Motown" show at 8 o'clock. The Temptations who today consist of founder Otis Williams plus Ali-Ollie Woodson, Ron Tyson and Theo Peoples will be joined for the evening by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, the Marvelettes and the Contours, long renowned as the original Motown dancing group and beneficiary of a second life when their classic "Do You Love Me" was spotlighted in the 1988 movie "Dirty Dancing.

" Also out to the east, James Taylor opens a two-night stand at Jones Beach, at 8. Taylor's music has always had a mellow sound, so his voice fits it just as adroitly with age as it did with youth. Shifting to the southwest, the PNC Bank Center, known until its recent corporate takeover as the Garden State Arts Center, hosts the very hot Celine Dion, who has been singing melodic pop songs for years and has seen them really catch on in the last two or three. Showtime is 8 o'clock. Back in town, meanwhile, the hot Latin group Mana plays tonight at Radio City, also at 8. Legends of Motown, tickets $27.

50, at Westbury's box office, 960 Brush Hollow Road in Westbury, or Ticketmaster. Call (516) 334-0800. James Taylor, tickets $32, at Ticketmaster. Call (212) 307-7171. Celine Dion, tickets $42 reserved, $20 lawn. The PNC Center, Exit 116 off the Garden State Parkway. Call 908-335-8698. Mana, tickets $31-$41. Call (212) 247-4777.

WPLJ (95.

5 FM) has caught lightning again with a song that splices romantic dialogue from the smash movie "Titanic" into the movie's theme song, Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On.

" It's the same trick that worked so well for 'PLJ and other stations last year when dialogue from "Jerry Maguire" was spliced into Bruce Springsteen's "Secret Garden.

" Springsteen's song was a minor element in the movie, but the "Jerry Maguire" mix gave the Boss his biggest hit in years. WPLJ vice president Tom Cuddy says phones are "ringing off the hook" for the "Titanic" track. "You never know how long a novelty will last," says Cuddy. "It could die in a week. But right now, we can't play it enough.

" Cuddy notes that even though the spliced recording was not done by either the record or the movie company, they don't seem to mind because it's such great promotion.

Thanks to big hits from Celine Dion and other artists, Sony Corp.

's U.

S. music division posted a 14% boost in sales for the year ended March 31. Sony music posted sales of $4.

7 billion. Sales for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year were $1.

09 billion, a hike of 11.

8% from the year before. The company credited strong sales of Dion's "Falling Into You.

" It has sold more than 21 million units since its March 1996 release. It also credited the continuing success of such stars as Fugees, Mariah Carey and Oasis. "The Score," by Fugees, has sold more than 11 million units. For the quarter, Sony Corp. earned $99.

5 million, and revenues totaled $11.

82 billion. For the year, profits rose to $1.

12 billion on sales of $45.

67 billion.

"America: A Tribute to Heroes," an unprecedented collaborative relief effort televised simultaneously last night by ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and dozens of cable networks, was as rich with emotion as it was devoid of ego. It began with Bruce Springsteen and ended a little more than two hours later with Celine Dion leading a choir in an all-out rendition of "God Bless America," Clint Eastwood vowing, "We will stand, and we will not yield," and Willie Nelson leading part of the all-star group in "America the Beautiful.

" The finale was sloppy, but everything that came before it was polished and impressive. Mariah Carey sang. Tom Hanks spoke. Jack Nicholson answered phones. And none of them was identified by name, or on screen. Performers came and went quickly, contributing their part without fanfare, flourish or indulgence. They gave of their heart, and their art, and moved on. Similarly, no network superimposed its logo during the two-hour special, so every image, no matter where you tuned in, was exactly the same: All that was on the screen was the show's title and the phone number, address or Web address to contact with contributions to help those whose lives were most directly touched by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. It was a show of solidarity - across the cable and broadcast dial, and across generations of musicians and actors. Most musical performers chose appropriate numbers from their own song books, but some opted to perform emotionally resonant works by others. Neil Young sang John Lennon's "Imagine" - a typically defiant gesture, since the song had been singled out as one recommended for removal from certain radio playlists. Wyclef Jean sang Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," beautifully. Mournful, hopeful tone Springsteen opened the show cold, after an establishing shot of the Statue of Liberty, and sang "City of Ruins," a number he wrote about Asbury Park, N.

J., but whose lyrics established the program's mournful, hopeful tone instantly: "My city's in ruins," he sang. "Come on, rise up.

" Performances, in front of TV cameras but no audiences, alternated between Sony Studios in New York and CBS Television City in Los Angeles (and, with both U2 and Sting, on separate occasions, from London). "America: A Tribute to Heroes" was polished, professional, dignified, with a fast yet respectful pace that provided more than its share of emotional, memorable moments. Among them: Muhammad Ali, finding the strength and will to support Islam but denounce the terrorists; Kelsey Grammer quoting John F. Kennedy; Robert De Niro quoting Franklin Delano Roosevelt; Young's aforementioned "Imagine"; Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind"; Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water"; and passion-filled performances by Pearl Jam, Limp Bizkit and Stevie Wonder. Others taking part included Faith Hill, Tom Petty, Alicia Keys, Dixie Chicks, Dave Matthews and Sheryl Crow. Actors reading tributes included Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, De Niro, George Clooney, Will Smith, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock, Dennis Franz and Jimmy Smits. Inspirational. Remarkable. And, one hopes, beneficial, for the victims and families of the terrorist tragedy as well as for the spirits of the scores of millions who tuned in.

After "Before Sunrise," the 1995 film romance about two young people spending a night walking, talking and falling in love in Vienna, Julie Delpy had some romantic mishaps. "I had boyfriends fall in love with my character, Celine, then they'd realize I'm not her and they'd dump me!

" the French actress says with a laugh. "I'm not as romantic as Celine - I'm much more down-to-earth, and kind of tough. "My personality is about 90% darkness and 10% light, though I do have a sense of humor about it.

" Delpy's cynical side is more evident in the sequel, "Before Sunset," which opened to great reviews last week. In it, Celine and Jesse (Ethan Hawke), who were twentysomething and starry-eyed the first time they met, come together nine years after failing to keep a promise to reunite. He's now a writer who has come to promote a book in Paris, where she lives. They have two hours to catch up - and maybe spark again - before his plane leaves. "Before Sunset" has the same director, Richard Linklater ("School of Rock"), as "Before Sunrise," but he took a different approach in the new film, having his actors write much of their own dialogue, which touches on everything from sex and relationships to philosophy and culture. "In your 30s, you have more of a sense of humor about things, especially love," says Delpy. "You're more resigned to reality. In 'Sunrise,' Celine was kind of soft, so this time I wanted her to have more of an edge.

" Delpy, 34, was born in Paris, where her parents were poor "street actors," she says. Because they were homeless, they had to give up custody of Delpy to her grandparents. But with every spare cent, she says, her parents took her to museums or the movies. She began acting as a teen and starred in films in France before attending NYU film school in 1992. She returned to Europe to star in "White," part of director Krzysztof Kieslowski's acclaimed "tricolor" trilogy, leading to such American movies as "The Three Musketeers," "Killing Zoe" and "Before Sunrise.

" The characters of Celine and Jesse were featured in a dreamlike segment of Linklater's animated 2001 movie, "Waking Life," and she, Hawke and Linklater have discussed following the characters again in several years - though she doesn't think life will get any easier, for her or her character. "I want Celine to capture that contradiction I see in a lot of my female friends - how they're extremely strong and intelligent, but fall apart when they're heartbroken. "And though I'm much less emotional, I can relate to that.


Tenor Luciano Pavarotti announced yesterday that he would join Celine Dion, Jon Bon Jovi, the Spice Girls and other music stars in a June benefit concert for a children's charity in war-torn Liberia. The third annual "Pavarotti & Friends" concert will be held in Pavarotti's hometown of Modena, Italy, on June 9 and also will feature Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, Trisha Yearwood and The Corrs. Spike Lee will direct the concert, as well as the film and video of the benefit event. "Liberia is certainly one of the countries who need more of our help now than any other," Pavarotti told reporters. Past concerts have benefited Fondazione Berloni, a medical establishment that researches and treats children's leukemia, and War Child, which funded construction of the Pavarotti Music Center in Mostar, Bosnia one of the most ambitious building projects in Bosnia since the beginning of the war there.

Dreamy boys and dramatic soundtracks captivated pop fans in 1998. It should shock no one, then, that the year's top seller turned out to be the most romantic possible soundtrack, for a movie that starred the most squeezable teen idol of all. Not only did the Leonardo-associated/Celine Dion-sung "Titanic" soundtrack top this year's sales list (with nearly 10 million copies moved), it outstripped the biggest numbers racked up by any album from the last two years, including 1997's top mover, the Spice Girls' "Spice" (at 4.

9 million), and '96's biggie, Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill" (7.

38 mil). In fact, more wealth was concentrated in the Top 10 albums this year than in recent times: 44 million units sold among them, compared with 31 million last year and 40 mil in '96. More bucks went to teenybop groups than at any time since the beginning of the decade, with The Backstreet Boys racking up the No. 3 LP with their debut, while fellow Orlando boy toys 'N Sync took the sixth spot and girl-bait Savage Garden seized No. 8. That's a far better show for the teen set than last year, when only the Spice Girls filled that bill, or '96, which allowed no teen idols anywhere in the Top 50. Again this year, Celine ranked as the biggest diva, far outshouting Mariah or Whitney. Not only did her single "My Heart Will Go On" keep the "Titanic" album afloat, she also enjoyed the year's No. 2 album with her own "Let's Talk About Love.

" That should keep the folks at Sony in Champagne for a while. They released both LPs. Dion's success continues a roll that has lasted three years: Her previous work, "Falling Into You," ended up the No. 2 seller of 1996 (at 6.

13 million), maintaining enough momentum to rank as the sixth-biggest seller of 1997, too (with another 2.

9 million copies sailing out of stores). The trend in soundtracks found more support in the smash status of "City of Angels," which ranked as the year's No. 5 release, even though the movie itself tanked. Credit goes to the singles from Morissette, which came out months before her super-anticipated second LP, not to mention a big hit from Goo Goo Dolls. Another movie tie-in accounted for the year's No. 11 album, the "Armageddon" soundtrack, which was buoyed by the Aerosmith hit "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing.

" Last year had only one soundtrack in that company ("Space Jam"). And 1996 had none. While Aerosmith's success, along with the other guitar acts on the "Armageddon" LP, put in a bid for the influence of rock this year, it was a fairly weak one. First, the Aerosmith song is a ballad. Second, only one rock album made the year's Top 10 by Matchbox 20, (at No. 9), and they're more of a folk-rock compromise than a hard guitar act. It went the same way last year, when the only "rock" albums in the Top 10 were The Wallflowers' folk-rock work and the ska-punk No Doubt. At least '96 had some truly tough acts up high, like Metallica and Oasis. Rap may claim plenty of places in the year's Top 100 list, and it may dominate the charts in certain weeks, but it holds just two spots in '98's full Top 10, and both LPs have links to other genres. Will Smith's album lands at No. 7, but it's as much R & B/pop as rap, while The Beastie Boys, who came in at No. 10, could be considered as much rock as hip hop. R & B, for its part, had a stronger year than the Top 10 reveals. It took the 14th through 17th spots of '98. Women continued to do well if not quite so terrifically as in the recent past. They took the No. 2 and 4 spots, with links to the soundtracks at No. 1 and 5 by appearing as featured artists. Last year, women took half the Top 10, including the first and second spots. In '96 they acounted for the entire Top Five, and seven of the Top 10. As for the lifeblood of the industry new artists the accent on fresh teenyboppers helped the year keep pace. Four of the Top 10 got in with debut works. That ties '97's record and beats the daylights out of '96, when only one breaking act ranked among the 10 biggies (The Fugees). Then again, how many of these new artists can be developed as serious sellers in the future? Three of them (Backstreet, 'N Sync and Savage Garden) may not last longer than a Sweet 16 party, while the soundtracks are one-time-only phenomena. Meaning next year you can expect to see a list packed with as many new names and surprises as pop can provide. Below, 1998's top sellers, with approximate sales: 1. "Titanic" soundtrack, 9.

1 mil. 2. Celine Dion, "Let's Talk About Love," 5.

6 mil. 3. Backstreet Boys, "Backstreet Boys," 4.

9 mil. 4. Shania Twain, "Come on Over," 4.

1 mil. 5. "City Of Angels" soundtrack, 3.

8 mil. 6. 'N Sync, " 'N Sync," 3.

1 mil. 7. Will Smith, "Big Willie Style" 3.

1 mil. 8. Savage Garden, "Savage Garden," 3.

1 mil. 9. Matchbox 20, "Yourself or Someone Like You," 2.

9 mil. 10. Beastie Boys, "Hello Nasty," 2.

9 mil. 11. "Armegeddon" soundtrack, 2.

8 mil. 12. Madonna, "Ray of Light," 2.

6 mil. 13. Garth Brooks, "Double Live," 2.

6 mil. 14. Usher, "My Way," 2.

4 mil. 15. Lauryn Hill, "Miseducation of . . . ", 2.

3 mil. 16. Brandy, "Never Say Never," 2.

3 mil. 17. K-Ci and Jo-Jo, "Love Always," 2.

2 mil. 18. Spice Girls, "Spiceworld," 2.

2 mil. 19. Barenaked Ladies, "Stunt," 2.

2 mil. 20. Jay-Z, "Hard Knock Life Vol. II," 2 mil.

Kentucky Derby and Travers winner Street Sense breezed four furlongs in :48.60 yesterday morning at Churchill Downs. It was his second work since taking the Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 25.

"It was just a maintenance work," trainer Carl Nafzger said. "He was just stretching his legs."

Street Sense is scheduled to return to the races during the weekend of Sept. 29-30. Nafzger has narrowed it down to the Sept. 29 Hawthorne Gold Cup at Hawthorne, the Sept. 29 Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park or the Sept. 30 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.

Nafzger said he'll probably decide where Street Sense will run by this weekend.

From long and stately to schoolgirl-short, plaid skirts are warming the legs of ladies on both coasts. Burberry has even added a splash of sexy lace to its wrapped kilt, proving that plaid is anything but prim. * 1 Celine, a public-relations rep, found her orange plaid skirt at a flea market and her scarf in her mom's closet. 2 Fran Drescher pauses in a Burberry skirt at a Hollywood film premiere. 3 Former MTV veejay Kennedy wears a pleated kilt at the premiere of "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

" 4 Frances McDormand keeps it simple in a long wrapped skirt and boat-neck top. 5 Model Cash Casia pairs a Burberry skirt with a Christian Dior sweater and Miu Miu shoes at the Agent Provocateur boutique opening.

Celine Dion may have titled her new album "Taking Chances," but does she?

Can she?

Yes and no.

One song slips in a sitar and allows a mild Hindu beat. Another cut could almost be called country, if you call Faith Hill country. Yet another goes all Janis Joplin on us, letting the singer find a tough new texture, and a bluer hue, to her voice.

Hard-line Dion addicts shouldn't sit and pout. Nothing on the disk will make you raise too high an eyebrow, or snap your wallet shut. In fact, the greatest "chance" the singer takes on the album is a - gasp! - subtle one.

On the first English-language, nonconcept album in four years from the world's loudest singer, Dion croons more carefully than usual, and stresses twinkling ballads over the more bombastic kind.

Not that even Dion's quietest songs manage to stay that way for long. Power fanatics still get plenty of Celine the shrieker. But this time she's better at calibrating her belts, yelps and loop-de-loops. Unlike all too many older Dion recordings, she's not being athletic for its own sake. She waits - and waits - for the right moment to let all hell break loose.

Once she does, batten down the hatches. Man, can this chick blow.

The more refined approach of the CD lets us appreciate Dion's Olympic moments more, while also leaving room for her to connect to the material more often. You could almost call some of the result nuanced.

In "Surprise Surprise," Dion shades notes with more sensuality before letting it rip. In "A World to Believe In," she holds back her constant temptation - to turn every note into a climax.

Along the way, Dion has some truly impressive moments. In "New Dawn," she's not just exploiting gospel's drama. Her swoops and wails get at the feeling that fuels them. In the blues song ("That's Just the Woman in Me"), the nose-bleed notes won't just impress you, but move you, too.

In the final ballad, "Skies of L.A.," Dion goes for a Michel Legrand-style delicacy, and winds up sweetly finessing every note of the tune.

Of course, Dion remains saddled with a love of unsinkable lyrics. She's always rising above, seeing the light or being reborn. And - if we're talking about sheer surprise - there's nothing as fantastically chancy as her brilliant take on AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" from a VH1 "Diva" special some years back. Then again, we can't expect a singer of her populist ilk to sustain anything that radical for long. At least "Taking Chances" shows that when Dion allows a few of them, it makes a real difference.


Arista Records, home of hitmaking superstars Whitney Houston and Santana, just landed another marquee act: Kenneth (Babyface) Edmonds. Arista's new president Antonio (L.

A.) Reid signed Edmonds - his longtime partner, music producer and songwriter - to a long-term recording contract. Edmonds, who's produced mega-hits for superstars like Celine Dion, Eric Clapton and Mary J. Blige, will leave Sony-owned Epic Records after the Nov. 14 release of his next album, "Babyface: A Collection of His Greatest Hits.

" Edmonds and Reid, who started out in a band together, have been prominent songwriting and production partners since the early '80s. The duo, whose hits include Houston's "I'm Your Baby Tonight," created their own successful label, La Face Records, in 1989, which they sold this year to BMG Entertainment. "Kenny is one of the most important artists of our time," Reid said. "I love him, I love his music, I think we can take him to the next level as an artist.

" Edmonds said, "It was time for a change. It's a fresh start - it will make me push harder.

" The Babyface deal marks Reid's latest effort to put his stamp on Arista, the BMG-owned label founded by music legend Clive Davis, who now runs J Records. Since taking over from Davis in May, Reid has installed a new management team, signed up producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and laid off about 35 employees with close ties to Davis. In a series of earlier deals, Reid gave Edmonds his own label under the Arista umbrella, Nu America Music, and signed a deal that obliges Edmonds to produce many records for Arista artists. "Babyface is a superstar. Keeping him close to home is a good idea," said Cory Robbins, president of independent label Robbins Entertainment, a BMG affiliate.

MAYBE this isn't the occasion to say "a rising tide lifts all boats," but the success of "Titanic" has lifted Celine Dion's theme song, "My Heart Will Go On," to near-icon levels on the radio. "The song didn't get that much response when it came out," says WPLJ (95.

5 FM) program director Scott Shannon. "Then the movie hit, and now it's one of the strongest radio songs in 10 years.

" "Before the movie came out, it was hard to get a fix on response to the song," says program director Tom Poleman of WHTZ (100.

3 FM). "But when we do research now, it's off the scale.

" "Maybe one record a year hits this level," says Adam Goodman, program director of WNSR (105.

1 FM, Big-105). "The song captures the emotion of the movie," says Frankie Blue, program director of WKTU (103.

5 FM). "When you hear the song, it brings everything back, especially the love story.

" Jim Ryan, program director of WLTW (106.

7 FM), says that with the media crush today, cross-promotion is essential. "You need two forms of media in this case, radio and the movie for a superhit," he says. "It's like with 'Candle in the Wind' it was everywhere.

" Nor is "My Heart" wearing thin with listeners. "Very low burnout," says Poleman. "Kind of like the movie, I guess.

" "It's been No. 1 here for eight weeks, so you'd think there would have to be high burnout," says Goodman. "But there isn't.

" Radio has even had a couple of variations: the "Jerry Maguire" version, interspersing dialogue from the film, and now a dance remix being played on WKTU. "It's not a 'hard' remix," Blue says. "It's more a pop tempo. So it keeps the mood.

" Both WHTZ' Poleman and WLTW's Ryan think "My Heart" would have been a big hit without the film just not this big. "Celine has always been a very strong artist," Ryan says. "She's one of the artists who defines Lite-FM. When people think of Celine Dion, they think of Lite.

" Which is exactly what WNSR and WKTU say about Dion and their stations, by the way. AROUND THE DIAL: Chancellor Media has named Charles Warfield, a long-time exec at WRKS and WBLS, as senior veep for its urban operations. Chancellor (WLTW, WKTU, WHTZ) doesn't have an urban format station in New York yet. . . . Dr. Dre and Ed Lover of WQHT (97.

1 FM) had an interesting exchange yesterday while marking the anniversary of Notorious B.



's death. Lover asked why rappers don't make more songs with positive messages; Dre said one reason is that it's hard to get radio play. . . . WBGO (88.

3 FM) has the T.

S. Monk Trio live tonight at 6 from Macy's, Herald Square. . . . It didn't take long for conservative radio callers and hosts to find something just too convenient about James McDougal's death. . . . WHTZ is close to naming a 10 p.

m.-2 a.

m. deejay.


Organ virtuoso Nathan Laube will pipe up with classics by Bach, Widor, Messiaen, Strauss Jr. and Rossini. He's part of Trinity Church's summer organ concert series, "Conservatory Stars." 1 p.m.; free. 74 Trinity Place at Broadway and Wall St. (212) 602-0873 or.


Twelve of America's best-selling masters of suspense will sign their novels at the "Thrillerfest Conference" at the Park Ave. Borders store. Among them: Tasha Alexander ("A Poisoned Season") and Brett Ellen Block ("The Lightning Rule"). 6 p.m.; free. 461 Park Ave., at 57th St. (212) 980-6785.


The NETSational Seniors dance troupe kick off Coney Island's Seaside Summer Concert Series, which includes performances by Tommy James and The Shondells, Jay Black and Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge. 7:30 p.m.; free admission. Asser Levy/Seaside Park, W. Fifth St. and Surf Ave.


Darrell Hammond from "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" performs at New York's 106.7 FM's "Broadway in Bryant Park" concert series. 12:30 p.m.; free. On Sixth Ave., between 40th and 42nd Sts. For info:.


David Gurland will pay tribute to female singers such as Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson and Bonnie Raitt at the West Bank Cafe. He'll be joined by Lisa Asher, Scott Coulter and Julie Reyburn. 7 p.m.; $16 cover. 407 W. 42nd St.; (212) 695-6909.


The Empire State Building keeps cool with frosty white lights. Dusk to midnight. 34th St. and Fifth Ave.

Fax complete information on openings and other events to (212) 210-2203 or E-mail.


m. (ANPL) "Big Spender.

" Casper Van Dien (l.) plays an ex-con who turns his back on life, until he forges a relationship with an abused racehorse. NONFICTION 8 p.

m. (WNET) "Nova.

" Just as coalition forces get set to enter Baghdad comes this documentary about the potential fallout from a terrorist attack using a radioactive bomb. The show looks at the realities and the public health policy implications of such a strike. 9 p.

m. (WNET) "Becoming American: The Chinese Experience.

" Journalist Bill Moyers is behind this three-part special that tells the story of Chinese immigration into America. SERIES 8:30 p.

m. (ABC) "According to Jim.

" Talk about a tough one. Jim (Jim Belushi) has to decide whether he'll provide support for his wife as she undergoes dental surgery or going off to meet blues legend Bo Diddley. SPECIALS 9 p.

m. (CBS) "Celine in Las Vegas: Opening Night.

" Celine Dion has been on the sidelines for a while, but now she's back with a special built around the start of her three-year engagement at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. In addition to Dion's performance, the special also includes a behind-the-scenes look at how the Vegas show was put together. SEASON FINALES 9 p.

m. (ABC) "Life With Bonnie.

" Barring a preemption for war coverage, this popular comedy about a TV talk show host played by Bonnie Hunt will quietly end its season with two, new, back-to-back episodes.

GAST ARTIST . Ana Gasteyer, best-known for her impressions of Martha Stewart and Celine Dion on "Saturday Night Live," and roles in "Mean Girls" and "What Women Want," revisits her musical roots at Ars Nova with "Let It Rip! An Evening of Songs.

" 8 p.

m., $20. 511 W. 54th St. (212) 868-4444. IN WITH THE SPIN CROWD . Five deejays compete in the New York regional finals for SpinOff 2004 at the Guitar Center. The winner advances to next month's competition for the title of "Best Up and Coming DJ in America.

" 7 p.

m., free. 25 W. 14th St. (212) 463-7500. SQUARE SOUNDS . The Washington Square Music Festival in Washington Square Park continues with the Festival Chamber Ensemble with pianist David Oei performing works by Prokofiev and Janacek. Actress Lori Singer ("Footloose," "Short Cuts") narrates "Peter and the Wolf.

" 8 p.

m., free. LaGuardia Place and W. Fourth St. Should it rain, the concert will be at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 371 Sixth Ave., at Washington Place. (212) 252-3621. BATON IN B'KLYN . The New York Philharmonic, under the direction of David Robertson, opens its 40th season of free outdoor concerts with a visit to Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The program includes Charles Ives' Variations on "America," Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto and John Adams' "Harmonielehre.

" 8 p.

m., midpark. GLEAMING AT GLOAMING . The Empire State Building glows white tonight. Dusk to midnight, 34th St. and Fifth Ave.

ABC's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" with Regis Philbin capped its ratings-rich sweeps run on Wednesday night by easily winning the 8-9 p.

m. slot. According to Nielsen data, the game show averaged a 15.

8 rating (percent of the nation's 100 million homes) and a 28 share (percent of U.

S. homes watching TV) during its first half hour, then bumped up to a 19.

4/ 33 in its second half. "Millionaire" outranked CBS' concert by Celine Dion, NBC's "Dateline" and Fox' "Banned in America: The World's Sexiest Commercials.

" On the same night an hour later, Fox' rival game show "Greed," hosted by Chuck Woolery, ranked last among the top four broadcasters during the 9-10 p.

m. hour. According to Nielsen, Greed" averaged a 6.

5/ 11 from 9-9:30 p.

m., and 16.

9/ 12 for its second half. Tomorrow night at 7, CBS' "60 Minutes" profiles former U.

S. Army Capt. Gordon Hess, who was found dead with 26 stab wounds. Although Hess' wife thinks he was murdered, the Army says the injuries was self-inflicted. WNET/ Ch. 13 tips its hat to New York's TV broadcasters tomorrow at 8 p.

m. with coverage of the New York State Silver Circle awards. Honorees include Fox News chair Roger Ailes and WNBC/ Ch. 4 anchor Chuck Scarborough. Ch. 13 introduces the event starting at 6 with a profile of NYC broadcasters. As Hollywood revs up to release its biggest movies of the season, cable's Learning Channel tomorrow night at 8 uncovers the secrets of movie-making special effects. It covers such films as "The Haunting," "Ronin" and Alfred Hitchcock's "Frenzy.

" Brady Barr, aka Gator Doc, is profiled tomorrow night at 8 on CNBC's "National Geographic Explorer" as he combs the forests of Burma searching for deadly spitting cobras. Tomorrow night at 10, public TV's WLIW/ Ch. 21 profiles Jerusalem's famed King David Hotel, which has for years served as a tranquil stopping point for travelers through the turbulent Middle East. Today at 11 a.

m., CNN's "Travel Now" wraps up its three-part Italian journey, by profiling Venice.

TONIGHT at 10, ABC's Joan Lunden visits war rooms at the Pentagon and goes backstage with Celine Dion on "Behind Closed Doors IV," the latest of Lunden's own prime-time specials. Also included in the telecast is a trip to Necker Island, owned by billionaire Richard Branson, and a supermodel fashion layout. . . . Tomorrow at 9 a.

m., Anthony Mason kicks off a four-week series on mystery book authors on "CBS News Sunday Morning.

" On Sunday's telecast, he talks with James Ellroy about his latest book, "My Dark Places.

" In upcoming weeks, Mason discusses the writing process with Sue Grafton, John Dunning and Janwillem Van De Wetering. . . . On Monday, Gotham First Lady Donna Hanover talks with actor and activist Alec Baldwin about campaign financing on WNYW/Ch. 5's "Good Day New York," 7-9 a.

m. . . . Also on Monday at 9 a.

m., "Beverly Hills, 90210" star Jason Priestly and Luther Vandross appear on "Fox After Breakfast.

" . . . Cable's CNNfn on Friday became the first television network to air real-time quotes from the American Stock Exchange. Previously, that info was delayed 15 minutes.

QUIZ SHOWS* 8:00 p.

m. (ABC) "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

" Tonight, Regis Philbin says "Final answer?

" for the final time - until next year.* 8:00 (Fox) "Greed: The Multi-Million Dollar Challenge.

" The real challenge, regarding this show, is sitting through it, and Chuck Woolery's career-worst smarminess doesn't make it any easier.SPECIALS* 8:00 p.

m. (CBS) "Celine Dion: All the Way.

" The first of three nightly music specials presented by CBS this week, this one also is the least appealing (Shania Twain tomorrow, Ricky Martin Friday). Worst of all is the prospect of Dion doing a duet, via the miracle of audiotape, with Frank Sinatra. My advice: Doobie-doobie-don't.SERIES* 8:00 p.

m. (WB) "Dawson's Creek.

" Look who is guest-starring as Jen's mother on tonight's Thanksgiving episode: Mel Harris, the angst-ridden mother from "thirtysomething.

"VINTAGE TV* 8:00 p.

m. (TV LAND) "The Millionaire.

" TV Land's brilliant umbrella title for this two-hour presentation of old episodes is "Who Wants to See 'The Millionaire'?

" An unseen John Beresford Tipton writes the checks, Michael Anthony delivers them, and human nature reveals itself in the process.MOVIES* 2:00 a.

m. (BRAVO) "Casino Royale.

" I know this telecast is very late, but I find this 1967 James Bond a delightful spoof - one that understands the sexiness and absurdity of a Bond film better than most of the more authorized versions. In this one, everyone from David Niven and Ursula Andress to Peter Sellers and Woody Allen ends up being, or claiming to be, 007. Meanwhile, Andress, Daliah Lavi and Joanna Pettet make for a torrid trio of Bond girls, Orson Welles makes for a hefty adversary, and the score by Burt Bacharach is the best Bond soundtrack bar none.

July 26, 2008,

, 27, a nurse, and , 27, a systems administrator, met through mutual friends in December 2002 and were just buddies until Victoria made a move.

"In March of 2003, I approached him, and asked him to go bowling," said Victoria. "And that was it. After that, we started dating and we've been together ever since."

The Brooklyn couple got engaged in March 2007. "I didn't think it was ever going to happen because it had been five years," said Victoria, laughing, "but it did right before our anniversary.

"He had made me dinner and had roses waiting for me at my apartment one night after I had gone out with friends from work. And he told me to look on the bookshelf, and the ring box was wooden, so I didn't see it at first, but as I did, he came over and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him."

Victoria walked down the aisle with her parents and carried a bouquet of red roses to accent some of the red in her gown.

A celebration for 200 followed at the Riviera. The couple danced to "The Power of Love" by and gave out whisks with heart-shaped handles for favors.

In keeping with the red and white color theme of the affair, the wedding cake was red velvet.

"It was a fabulous time," said Victoria. "Honestly, I had the best day of my life."

The couple honeymooned in .

Fuzzy "Electric Juices" (Tag): If you like tiny female voices (like Julianna Hatfield's or Tanya Donelly's), you may fall for Hilken Mancini. The lead singer of this Boston band boasts an appealingly impish sound, while her band specializes in dinky alternative-pop. Some of the group's vocal harmonies recall vintage Bangles, only with a chirpier tone. Likeably cute.Celine Dion "Falling Into You" (550 Epic): So Celine Dion wants to be the new Mariah Carey. May God have mercy on her soul. Epic has been grooming Dion as a similarly blustery, kitsch-prone hack. Her latest LP perfects the mold. It's all oversung and sappy, bottoming out with a truly appalling take on "River Deep Mountain High.

" Consider this the year's most shameless release. The O'Jays "Back Stabbers" (Epic/ Legacy): '70s soul music often turns up in refigured hits compilations. Luckily, the Legacy label decided to re-issue this classic O'Jays album in its entirety. With its dense arrangements, sweeping melodies and wrenching vocals, "Back Stabbers" ranks as more than just a collection of songs. It both epitomizes its time and speaks to the ages.Deftones "Adrenaline" (Maverick/ Warner Bros.): Imagine a lighter version of Ministry. That's what the Deftones amount to. The band combines the brusk, stuttering riffs of hardcore metal with the more commercial parts of Metallica and Skinny Puppy. Nothing original, in other words. But if you're hard up for some metallic punch, you could do worse.

Paul Karais, 29,retail management, Queens" 'Precious and Few,' because it's beautiful.

"Marie Torres, 25,cashier, Bronx" 'Love Will Go On' by Celine Dion. It's from `Titanic,' which is a beautiful love story.

"Frank St. John, 28,graphic artist, West Babylon, L.

I." 'Angel Eyes,' by Jeff Healey. It's my wife's and my wedding song.

"Iris Silva, 24,student,Manhattan"The Boyz II Men song `Mamma' because it tells you about your mother, about the ones who love you.


- It's good to be the Prez.

This is the palatial hotel room where stayed after headlining a fund raiser for   - and it's almost as good as the .

The and Cleopatra Suite atop is a 22,000- square-foot mansion complete with six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, two kitchens, two outdoor decks with waterfalls, a sauna and much, much more.

"I thought I had a pretty nice room" while campaigning, Obama said Tuesday. "But now that I'm president, they upgraded me. I got the upgrade, and it's a really nice room now."

The suite occupies the entire top floor of Caesars Palace on the Vegas strip.
Bronze-swirled marble floors and pillars accent the Roman themed abode.

Caesars has always had the massive suite, but renovated it last year and welcomed  and as its first guests. Others who have used the suite include , , , and .

Caesars spokeswoman said the suite has no set price and is only available to high rollers or celebrity guests.

will be given one final televised encore.

Usher, Celine Dion and Jennifer Hudson are the first major stars to be announced for “We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston,” a one-hour special airing Nov. 16 on CBS, the network announced Thursday.

Hudson paid tribute to her idol in an emotional tribute at the Feb. 12 Grammys.

Her performance of Houston’s signature hit, “I Will Always Love You” came one day after her idol was found dead in the bathtub of a Los Angeles hotel room.

It was a responsibility so overwhelming that the 30-year-old singer reportedly broke down in tears during a rehearsal.

The special, which is being taped on Oct. 11 at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre, will also include include never-before-seen footage of the star, remembrances from some of her peers and some of Houston’s signature concert performances.

What's that smell in the air? It's celebrity fragrances. This fall, famous folks have been working overtime to produce scents for the masses. The monster crop includes Antonio Banderas' "Spirit for Women," Ashanti's "Precious Jewel," Jennifer Lopez's "Live," Sarah Jessica Parker's "Lovely," "Shania" by Stetson and Celine Dion's third perfume, this one called "Belong.

" Why are so many celebs crafting their own odors? For one thing, star scents grossed $94.

9 million last year. "Celebrity-inspired fragrances like Fantasy by Britney Spears (pictured, right) are a huge trend right now, and we expect them to be among our best sellers during the holiday season," said Allison Slater, vice president of retail marketing for Sephora. But while many people obviously (and inexplicably) want to smell like Sarah Jessica Parker, our poll on the street found folks weren't so forthcoming about their celeb perfume purchases. Of 100 New Yorkers, 84% said they've shunned star scents. Among those who've bought into the hype, the most popular choices are J.

Lo's Glow and Miami Glow and an old classic: Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds. Below, what our respondents had to say: "I bought Celine Dion. I was hoping to get a little piece of her life, how she's living. To smell exotic, the way she does.

"Deneen Strickland, 40, the Bronx "Well, I got Glow by Jennifer Lopez as a gift. The person who gave it to me thought I would like it because I love Jennifer so much. And, to my surprise, I hated it!

"Yolanda Rodriguez, 33, Manhattan "I bought Tommy Hilfiger's True Star because I wanted to see what Beyoncé's definition of a nice-smelling perfume would be. It's soft. I like it.

"Marilyn Martin, 22, Manhattan

Some years ago, Jim Ryan recalls, he was program director of a radio station in Portland, Ore., and the station ran a contest offering listeners a chance to see a little-known teenage singer from Canada named Celine Dion. The contest winners were invited to a lunch where Dion sang live to a taped musical track. Only trouble was, a lot of the contest winners didn't bother to show up. "At that time, they probably just didn't know who she was," says Ryan. "But Celine sang flawlessly, beautifully, and I felt bad for her that more people weren't there to see it. "So before she finished, I went over to the gift shop and bought a bouquet of roses. When she finished, I gave it to her and told her I was sure she was going to make it.

" Well, they both made it. Dion is one of the most popular singing stars of the last decade, thanks to songs like her hard-to-forget rendition of the soaring "Titanic" theme song, "My Heart Will Go On.

" Ryan came back to New York and now programs WLTW (106.

7 FM, Lite-FM), the most successful and profitable radio station in the country. He's also a national vice president of adult contemporary programming for WLTW's parent Clear Channel. On Friday, Ryan and Dion will meet again, when she headlines Lite's annual "One Night With Lite" concert at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. It's Dion's only North American concert this year outside Las Vegas, where she's in the middle of a three-year run. That is to say, this is a nice coup for Lite. "I won't tell you it was the flowers that got her here," says Ryan. "I think it had more to do with our being the No. 1 radio station in the No. 1 radio market. But I figure the flowers didn't hurt.

" Adult contemporary stations don't usually do splashy concerts the way hip-hop or top-40 stations do, but Lite got into a groove five years ago, and it's proven both a success and a challenge. "We've had artists like Elton John and Rod Stewart headline our shows," says Ryan. "So each year it becomes a matter of 'You gotta top it.

' " So he set his sights on Celine, negotiated for months with her agents, and in the end got her, he says, "through a piece of sheer luck. The one night she could do the show, The Theater happened to be available.

" A concert like this doesn't enhance Lite's healthy bottom line. Ryan figures the cost at around $750,000, which even a Dion-size ticket price won't cover. "The concert is more a way to thank our listeners and reinforce the station's image," he says. "We want people, when they think about Elton John or Celine Dion, to think Lite-FM.

" Josh Groban, Martina McBride and Five for Fighting are also on Friday night's bill, and it's unlikely that any consolation roses will be necessary at evening's end. "But I still think it's a good lesson to be nice to people," says Ryan. "You never know who you'll meet again.


As soon as Nikki Yanofsky sits down at the table in , Jazz at Lincoln Center’s imperial spot overlooking Central Park, she takes the menu, says she’s starving, warns that she doesn’t have good table manners (?You’ll see: I can make crumbs out of apples?), announces that she’ll want dessert, and otherwise yaks away. ?I know, I talk very fast,? she declares. ?I call it ?Nikkanese.’ That’s how I do my scatting.?

Scatting?singing nonsense syllables to jazz music?doesn’t usually appear in the lexicon of a girl who just turned 16. But Yanofsky sounds less like a teenager than like, well, Ella Fitzgerald. That’s no exaggeration. Listen to Yanofsky’s rendition of Fitzgerald’s famous scat ?Airmail Special? (when it was recorded for a 2007 Verve Records tribute album, Yanofsky became the youngest artist ever to appear on the label) or to her first full-length album, Ella ? Of Thee I Swing: The tracks sound as if they were recorded by an artist 30 years older?60 years ago.

Anyone watching the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics got a sense of this when Yanofsky belted out a jazzed-up version of ?O Canada.? That was the only time since she began performing in 2006, she claims, that she has ever really been nervous. ?I was shaking,? she says. ?I said to the guys who were with me, ?In five seconds, the whole world will know who I am.’ Afterward, I cried for twenty minutes, I was so overwhelmed. My whole life changed.? Now she is preparing for her Stateside launch. Yanofsky’s first U.S. album?Nikki, a mix of standards like ?I Got Rhythm,? as well as new numbers she co-wrote?will be launched here at Dizzy’s on May 4. It will be followed, in June, by a PBS special called Nikki Yanofsky: Live in Montreal, her hometown.

A perky, astonishingly talented Quebecois import with a voice like a velvet clarion: We have been here before. Like Céline Dion, Yanofsky can belt, croon, and purr, flawlessly. But there is something immediately disarming, almost puppyish, about Yanofsky, even as her musical taste is more sophisticated (or less Vegas) than Dion’s. In any case, she steers away from any direct comparisons. ?I don’t know her,? Yanofsky says of Dion, ?but we have met, and she’s the nicest girl.?

Although Yanofsky’s father plays the piano and has a band, and her mother calls herself a ?closet singer,? they owned just one jazz record, Ella and Louis, the 1956 album pairing Fitzgerald and Armstrong, as Yanofsky was growing up. Yanofsky picked up jazz at 11, when one Friday her vocal coach gave her a recording of ?Airmail Special? to try. By Monday, she’d not only nailed it but also found her musical métier. She quickly became a phenom in Canada, and has attracted fans like Tony Bennett and Marvin Hamlisch. It was Hamlisch, the legendary composer-conductor-pianist, who, in 2008, brought her to U.S. stages. She sang at Carnegie Hall on her 14th birthday. (The audience sang ?Happy Birthday? back. ?That was a good birthday present,? she says.)

Over the last two years, Yanofsky (accompanied by her parents) has kept up a heavy tour schedule?Japan, South Korea, Turkey?all while trying to stay on top of school from afar. ?I’m in grade ten at St. George’s School, and I go when I’m not on tour,? she says, which is about once a week. So far she hasn’t needed a tutor and has been able to maintain an 86 average. ?My parents don’t push me; it’s because I want it so badly,? Yanofsky explains. ?Music makes me feel so much, music makes me feel so good.?

Soon after the waiter clears her onion soup and macaroni and cheese, she’s bopping to the brassy sounds of the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. Dressed in a black net top over a gray tee and white jeans, Yanofsky alternately claps, plays the table like a drum, and sits up straight to watch, occasionally twirling her curly brown hair. When the bandleader calls for audience participation, her voice rings out clearly.

Yanofsky’s new album contains strains of R&B, soul, and rock, as well as some surprise vocalese: Her version of ?Take the A Train? includes a bit Yanofsky wrote about the theater and shopping, her other favorite activity (since arriving in town this morning, she’s already bought two headbands, a T-shirt, and a fancier top on a whirlwind trip through Soho). She is quick to point out that she’s not a jazz evangelist??I’m not a jazz singer, I’m just a singer??but when the 89-year-old Candido Camero unexpectedly joins the stage at Dizzy’s, Yanofsky is beside herself. Camero introduced the conga drum to jazz and played with Dizzy Gillespie himself. He’s now slowed by arthritis, but when his bandaged fingers start to hit the congas, his face breaks into a smile of delight.

Yanofsky pulls out her BlackBerry to take Camero’s picture. Moments later, she leans over, points to her phone, and says, ?I’m letting my friends listen. They love it.?

It’s 9 p.m., and the crowd for the 9:30 set is waiting to get in. Yanofsky has one more thing in mind. Hurrying across the room, she introduces herself to the band’s drummer, Jake Goldbas, and they exchange contact information with a promise to talk about collaborating. She is only in New York for three days, and isn’t wasting any time.

Multiplatform competition has sapped her ratings, but as Oprah Winfrey prepares for her last episode on May 25, she remains the undisputed queen of celebrity/lifestyle media, reaching more viewers a day?6 million?than the Today show. Here, a look at 25 years of being all things to all women.



Introduces best friend, Gayle


Introduces boyfriend, Stedman


Introduces personal trainer, Bob Greene


Introduces dog, Sadie


Introduces secret half-sister, Patricia



Will Smith

Billy Crystal


Tina Turner

Maria Shriver

Tom Cruise

Tyra Banks


Barbara Walters

Jim Carrey


John Travolta


Patti LaBelle

Julia Roberts


Halle Berry

Mariah Carey


Chris Rock


Céline Dion


Survivors of the Jonestown Massacre

The Little Rock 9

A family of Rwandan refugees

Cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show


Rose Water and Warm Laundry


John Tesh

Reginald Chevalier*

Roger Ebert

*Billy Dee Williams look-alike; met on a pre-syndication episode on celebrity dopplegängers.


1987: 200

1988: 212

1988: 145

1992: 237

2004: 160

2008: 200


Homosexuality (Greg Louganis, 1995; Ricky Martin, 2010)

Fabulism (James Frey, 2006)

Pornography addiction (Gospel singer Kirk Franklin, 2005)

"Baby Addiction? (Nadya Suleman, 2011)

Incest (Mackenzie Phillips, 2009)

The original ending to the Twilight saga’s New Moon (Stephenie Meyer, 2009)

Having the first name ?Mary? (Oprah’s fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Duncan, 1989)

Abduction by aliens (Constance Morgan and Dorothy Wallis, 1987)

Being pregnant (Halle Berry, 2007)

Being pregnant while being a man (Thomas Beatie, 2008)

Favorite cereal brand (Al Gore, 2000; it’s Wheaties)


?Oprah Makeovers? (February 2, 1993)

?I Killed My Ex and His Wife? (March 2, 1992)

?Michael Jackson? (February 10, 1993)*

?Celebrity Hall of Fame? (February 11, 1993)

?Diet Dreams Come True? (November 15, 1988)

*Preview show that ran the afternoon of her prime-time interview with Jackson

The Paris runways have been a parade of feminine looks with masculine touches, or to put it more articulately, sensible touches, such as trousers worn under dresslike numbers — a combination thatspeaks to a woman who wants to feel comfortable while looking elegant.layered asimple fluttering chiffon dress over trousers, whilestyled a silk organza dress with gold hardware over ivory slim pants, andpaired atuxedo vest dress with black silk slacks.

If the array of bejeweled showgoers in Paris has given you the itch to for new baubles, you're not alone. In our latest we hunted down 140 of our favorite pieces of the season from budget-friendly costume finds to investment-worthy statement pieces. If chokers bring back memories of tacky Goth-inspired pieces from the nineties, think again: They're making a comeback in luxe materials like leather and sleek polished silver. Earrings are longer, dangling to mid-neck or even the tips of shoulders. While a stack of carefully mismatched bracelets can be effective street style a good arm party is far from the only way accessorize this season.

was spotted out in West Hollywood yesterday wearing a black-and-white striped tank top and cutoff shorts. She accessorized with a Celine bag, red bedazzled boots, an armful of bracelets, and her dog, whose pink dye job seems to be in need of a touch-up.

This is a look that very few people (and dogs) could pull off, but does Alessandra? Or is this an outfit that no one should try?

This New Year's Eve, singer Alexa Ray Joel (daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley) took to her Facebook page to reassure her fans that she was okay after her recent attempt to . Joel, whom we've always regarded as one of the more grounded and likable children of two big celebrities (no small feat), says she's moving on with her life and her music career. She also declared her new goal to spend 2010 trying to help young girls with a certain affliction:

...Something I feel I know a GREAT deal about: Heartbreak-Related Depression. Although it does not get much attention in our society, it is a very serious and painful condition that often gets "swept under the carpet". I hope to bring this topic more to light... I'm even going back to school for Psychology in hopes to learn more about this and many other afflictions that many of us have had to face.

We did a cursory look to see if "Heartbreak-Related Depression" is really a thing. It is. Whether it was a thing on December 30, 2009, before Alexa Ray Joel said it was a thing, remains a little less clear.


• will debut men's ready-to-wear and swimwear collections this summer. ][

• Rumors about getting married in a gown by John Galliano persist despite her fiancé Jamie Hince's . Now, the Daily Mail hilariously claims John Galliano’s boyfriend will help make sure the dress looks just right. ][

• In other Kate Moss wedding news, Mario Testino will photograph the whole thing, so says iPad newspaper The Daily. ][

• covers the new issue of Spanish V. Pictures of her fellow Brazilian hotties are inside. ][

Like Céline, rag & bone, Proenza Schouler, and Fivestory. Retail cartographer Jim Leniart that, on the same stretch of Madison (from 60th to 78th Streets), there are now "82 designer-clothing boutiques, 34 high-end jewelry stores and 34 stores specializing in categories like shoes, handbags, or eyewear." Our wallets (or the Ziploc baggies we keep our money in) hurt.

A decade ago, when Idol was launching, the best producers could get to fill the celebrity seat was Paula Abdul. The show became a phenomenon, and dinging amateur singers on national television became a coveted job. When Cowell exited the show in 2010, Idol producers landed two household names in Tyler and Lopez, whose shtick would be the opposite of Cowell’s: gentle and kind to even the tone deaf. It appeared to work for a while — ratings ticked up their first year, but the across-the-board cheerleading ultimately rendered them useless as judges, and viewership for their second season plummeted. At the same time, NBC scored a surprise win with a dysfunctional family of famous coaches — Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, and Blake Shelton — whose feisty chemistry and light trash talk have made The Voice the younger, hipper version of Idol.


10 a.m. I think that everyone walking into a Chalayan show is hoping, at least in some small way, for a magical, theatrical Chalayan moment, and leaves slightly disappointed when all they’ve seen is clothes, even when those clothes are incredibly nice. Unfortunately, I am sitting behind an enormous man who is dressed in a white shirt and jeans — all reasonable — and a tiny black singlet. It’s one of the more confusing outfits I have seen in a while. Also: There’s a pillar in front of me. Not ideal.

1:30 p.m.Another not-wacky show, this time from Viktor and Rolf. Today it’s all pastel evening dresses, soft and pretty.

Love's Labors Lost
Imagine, if you will, one of those hyperactive, assiduously “contemporary” productions of a Shakespeare comedy — all winks and hip thrusts and Halloween costumes and desperate Top 40 music cues: basically a college Godspell in iambic pentameter. Now imagine a perfectly excellent execution of the same play, starring actors fine enough to trust without a net — without, in other words, all those overdirected, extratextual seat-buzzer moments designed to bully or trick us into being Bardolaters for an evening. Somewhere between these disparate points lies Karin Coonrod’s occasionally overcaffeinated but often gratifying new vision of Love’s Labor’s Lost. (The title has been pointedly and irksomely Americanized, said the grumpy Anglophile.) Playing it out on a square of Astroturf, Coonrod takes the Bard’s harpooning of ivory-tower snobbery and imperious male austerity and turns it into a series of daffy lawn games, many of them spot-on, some swatted wildly into the rough. Hoon Lee (School for Lies) is Ferdinand, King of Navarre, who swears his fratty pals (Nick Westrate, Keith Eric Chappelle, and Jorge Chacon) to an oath to abjure women and pleasure as they embark on three cloistered years of personal enrichment: Navarre will redefine the man cave as ashram. Witty, worldly Berowne (the superb Westrate) is skeptical, especially since a distaff royal delegation (Renee Elise Goldsberry, Rebecca Brooksher, Samira Wiley, and Michelle Beck) is inbound from the French court. As Navarre is flooded with X-chromosomes, the boys change their short pants for grown-up all-weather duds, and various clowns — most notably Robert Stanton’s drawling lawman Dull, Stephanie DiMaggio’s withering Jaquenetta, and, as her suitor, the ridiculous Spanish knight Don Armado, a towering, teetering, bitumen-voiced Reg. E. Cathay — play out their own romantic intrigues, which criss-cross with their betters’. Coonrod opens entire theater to her actors, who make liberal use of the aisles and open seats. Things can get a bit shrill and spittle-y at times, and Coonrod’s choice of spotlit pop-culture references (Beyoncé and New Kids on the Block? Huh?) feels a little random. She also goes way outside the text for a handful of cheap laughs. And despite many a pelvic gyration, there’s no real sex at stake here. (DiMaggio, who barely moves an eyebrow the entire show, is the salient exception.) But this Love’s Labor’s Lost isn’t really making a play for the grown-up market. It’s a giddy masque from end to end, long before the actual dancing starts. Are your kids still tweaking from all that Halloween candy? Now’s a perfect time to introduce them to Shakespeare. (At the Public Theater Lab through November 6.)

Phoebe Philo showed wide-leg pants, prints, gauzy wide-leg pants worn over prints, and a slew of summer scarves — and one model kind of looked like a cow in her polka-dotted ensemble. Moo. See the the complete collection in our .

• Oscar de la Renta and André Leon Talley are teaming up to curate an exhibition for the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute. The exhibit, called Joaquin Sorolla and the Glory of Spanish Dress, will feature both paintings and clothing, including items donated from Daphne Guinness. ][

• Macy's is teaming up with Dancing with the Stars pro Cheryl Burke to launch an activewear line. ][

• covers Vogue Germany's December issue. ][

• All had to do to get Pippa Middleton to come to her fashion show was ask. ][

Currently , designer Phoebe Philo held a presentation for about 30 editors yesterday in place of the label's regularly scheduled runway show. According to the Telegraph's Lisa Armstrong, Philo personally greeted attendees and looked "much more at ease than she has in the past." And she wasn't the only one enjoying the scaled-back event — Anna Wintour was reportedly overheard asking, "Can you please ensure all fashion shows are like this?" Whatever Anna wants ...

Related: See

While wool and cashmere scarves are classics, a leather kerchief is an unexpected way to finish off an outfit. , Phoebe Philo used oversize bicolored versions in rich hues like blue and camel to add textural contrast to her sweaters and coats. Luxirare's sleek black take has a soft knit side that feels ultra cozy against the throat — all the better for practical minimalist dressing.

Luxirare leather and knit scarf, $150 at

After a short stint at the Wynn Las Vegas this summer, Beyoncé is in “preliminary talks” to return for what is rumored to be a “lucrative, long-term contract” at the casino. The superstar is, of course, a bit on the young side for this kind of money-printing Vegas residency — if she does make the move, she can look forward to spending her downtime with Garth Brooks and Barry Manilow. We guess this is the kind of wacky stuff that happens when the music industry collapses? ][

Last night at the New York Marriott Marquis, a gala was thrown to benefit the Tisch School of the Arts, but Bill Paxton was still in the mood to celebrate Titanic 3-D, which he had recently seen at its premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in London. "It was amazing," Paxton gushed to us. "I thought it was just going to punch up all of the big set pieces, but it actually kind of enhanced the drama of the lovers. And I thought Kate looked great in 3-D, naked on that day bed— like, damn! No wonder Leo had a hard time drawing. I’ve seen it from his point of view now!" (.) As for the over whether Celine Dion's immortal Titanic theme, "My Heart Will Go One," is heavenly or , Paxton says its rendition at the premiere convinced him. "You know I gotta tell you, they had ]composer[ James Horner there, and he conducted a huge orchestra with the woman ... not Celine Dion, but the one who does the choral vocals for that? And, well, it still gives me goosebumps."

During Kate Winslet's "Titanic 3-D Publicity Tour of Real Talk," the erstwhile Rose DeWitt Bukater took a break from to snark on Celine, admitting that the immortal Titanic theme song "My Heart Will Go On" Vulture , but you know who else is on Team "My Heart" with us? Winslet's Titanic costar Billy Zane! "It’s not annoying, it’s endearing," Zane the Daily Beast. In fact, when the song is played in his presence, Zane is not afraid to go all-in: "I was in Harrods last week and they have live performances there, and there was a singer who performed 'My Heart Will Go On.' There were a few balconies that overlooked this main escalator with mannequins in the latest designs leaning over, and as I was going down, people had a giggle and I was trying to compel one of the mannequins to jump. 'Jump, Rose!'" Billy Zane, we will never let go.


A look at the DIY-independent-film movement that coincided withthe late-seventies New York punk scene.

Perhaps you remember Kate Winslet's delightfully honest Titanic 3D press tour, during which , , James Cameron does! "I understand her needing to distance herself from it," he told Moviefone. "But, on the other hand, you know, it's been 16 years, like, come on, Kate. Get over it. Take the wind, girl!" Yes, take it (however it is one does that).

I was not invited. Despite positive reviews of his early YSL and Dior collections, as well as a profile, Mr. Slimane objected bitterly to — not about him but Raf Simons. Essentially I wrote that without Mr. Simons’s template of slim tailoring and street casting, there would not have been a Hedi Slimane — just as there would never have been a Raf Simons without Helmut Lang. Fashion develops a bit like a genetic line.

Anyway, Mr. Slimane insisted that he was the first to show the skinny suit. It was a silly debate. Who cares? As time went on, he also felt (as best as I can tell) that I gave preference to Mr. Simons in my coverage of the men's shows. If I gave him attention, it was because his work and my reporting into the key early part of his career merited it. I haven't spoken to Mr. Slimane in five years.


"Celine: Through the Eyes of the World" will bring Celine Dion's 2008-2009 "Taking Chances World Tour" to theaters. The highly claimed tour placed Dion second only to Madonna in ticket sales during 2008. This special motion picture event gives Dion fans who attended the live tour another chance to experience the magical event, this time from a vantage point unparalleled by any ticket. Join Celine as she travels to five continents and 25 countries, putting on show-stopping performances of some of her biggest hits. However, this world tour is different as Celine is traveling with her husband, her eight-year-old son, her mother, and her extended family. Intercutting concert performances with behind the scenes footage, audiences will get the chance to really know Celine, her family, and her co-performers, as well as those fans that she meets and performs for around the world. Inspirational, moving, honest and surprisingly funny, "Celine: Through the Eyes of the World" captures Dion's deft balance between the demands of an elaborate and extensive year-long worldwide tour and Dion's top priority -- caring for and enjoying time with her family.

Originally launched in 1945 as a children's made-to-measure shoe business for petits pieds d'anges, the French luxury house expanded during the sixties with adult footwear, handbags, and a women's ready-to-wear collection of couture sportswear or "fashion for everyone." During this time, Celine was one of the first luxury brands to open up distribution to Japan, and their focus on international expansion continued over the next few decades. Besides their flagship Left Bank boutique, shops can be found in cosmopolitan cities such as Monte Carlo, Geneva, Hong Kong, and Rome, where the high-end wearable separates, such as swinging skirts, fitted shirts, and soft knits and accessories—belts, boots, shoes, and bags—with a distinct sexy, city-girl appeal are sold. Helmed for over forty years by Madame Céline Vipiana, Michael Kors took the reins in 1997, but upon his departure in 2004, the collection lost much of the buzz he brought to the label as head designer. After Kors, ex-Burberry designer Roberto Menichetti struggled for one year as head designer. He was succeeded by Ivana Omazic, and in September 2008 the label announced that ex-Chloe visionary Phoebe Philo would step in to take the reins, beginning with a fall 2009 collection.

StatusEstablishedClientsMadonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Lucy Liu, Kylie MinogueOther Product LinesFragrances, Handbags, ShoesOwned ByLVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Inc.Address23-25 rue du Pont-Neuf
Paris, France 75001
33-1-55-80-12-78Where To Buy, , , Related WebsitesReview

A film about two young women who startliving together and begin sharing their lives, and then anotherpair of women who play them going about their lives, and theodd ways that these realities intersect. Sort of.


The final curtain will rise and fall on Celine Dion's record breaking engagement of A NEW DAY in mid-December at The Coliseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas marking the end of a remarkable journey of five consecutive years of sold-out performances, playing to nearly three million people. Now, this remarkable show will be broadcast to movie theatre audiences nationwide for One Night Only™ on Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. (local)! Created by Dragone, Celine Dion and the cast and crew of A NEW DAY bring to the stage an unprecedented combination of performance, passion and technical innovation that transports the audience to a unique theatrical world; each song evokes a different visual experience. A NEW DAY presented by Chrysler is produced by Concerts West, an AEG Live company.

• Celine Dion is coming out with her sixth fragrance in April, called Chic. The campaign features her boarding a plane in a feathered cocktail dress. Because chic people take private planes instead of cars to cocktail parties? ][

• is launching a limited-edition fragrance called Summer Time, in April. She nose what's hot, after all. ][

• Sam Bryant of Lancôme says the makeup at is inspired by “dirty, slutty, goth, rock chicks.” Aside from The City's Erin, how many girls really want to look like that? ][

• It looked like the wig wore to the Oscars was slipping down her forehead. ][

• Seal painted his nails black for the Oscars. Apparently he hasn't heard brown is the new black as far as nails go. ][

• Celine Dion is part of a group that bought landmark Montreal deli Schwartz's. Evidently her heart goes on despite a love for smoked meat. ][

• The French went ahead and outlawed it, and now the FDA is deciding by the end of the month whether to ban BPA in food packaging; the chemical has been linked to cancer and reproductive problems. ][

• Some of NYC's top Queens food bloggers are now leading tours in that borough, in case you want to finally get around to trying . ][

• How to make delicious porky tonkotsu ramen at home? It can be done — hint: You need a lot of bones. ][

• Italian desserts aren't just limited to tiramisu and cannoli; as the author of Dolci: Italy's Sweets discovered, they're sometimes made with "sugar, honey and chocolate with pasta, chickpeas, eggplant and even meat." ][

Yet another editor left , this one to go work at Page Six Magazine. Cop-slugging former Philly news anchor bought her D.J. boyfriend, Chris Booker, a new cat. wants Lindsay to be involved in the filming of her E! realty show Momager, but papa Michael says Lindsay told him that she wouldn't be. three adult daughters hate Nicollette Sheridan so much that they made dad rent them a house in St. Martin so they didn't have to stay with him and Sheridan in St. Barts. Billionaire printing heir is claiming that his mother, Betty, hired a private Dominican Republic doctor to drug, kidnap, and commit him to a mental institution to prevent him from inheriting his share of the family fortune. One day after "Page Six" reported him "clean, sober, and slimmed down," had a meltdown in the lobby of a Miami hotel before going out and fondling girls in local nightclubs. Songwriting great , who died of a heart attack at the age of 50, was laid to rest on Saturday with a service paid for by Denise Rich. The makers of a fitness tape made in 2005 are suing her because she won't give final approval. Soon-to-be-divorced center hollered at some girls at the All-Star Game in New Orleans. are still partying a lot, despite the fact that they just had a kid. now has bodyguards following her to ensure that she does not go to the bathroom or a bar alone. Producer says he got ahold of No Country for Old Men after the president of his company read the unpublished manuscript.

In March, the Harris Polls about their favorite musical acts. (Harris weighted the responses to reflect demographics, which means Baby Boomers got a lot of say, as you will soon see.) Conclusion: Anyone who does not enjoy Celine Dion is out of touch with the mainstream. The French-Canadian who once unleashed “My Heart Will Go On” on all of us remains our favorite singer despite this very fact. Our second favorite act (and first among men) is U2, followed by Elvis and the Beatles in a tie for third, Tim McGraw, Lady Gaga, George Strait, Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson, and then Frank Sinatra. Conclusion: You are probably out of touch with the mainstream. ], via [

designer Phoebe Philo is nearly seven months pregnant with her third child, due in April, and has consequently decided to cancel her runway show this season. She's still producing a collection, and will likely mount a presentation during Celine's normal time slot at Paris Fashion Week. Celine CEOMarco Gobbetti assured WWD that Philo is still very much at work, "designingthe collection with her team," and that she'll attend the presentation in whatever format it takes. "A runway show is a very demanding and personal engagement for a creative director," he added. "The objective is to simplify."

• has recently closed numerous stand-alone stores, but plans to roll out at least ten new ones conceptualized by new creative director Pheobe Philo. ][

• Guccio and Alessandro Gucci, great-grandsons of founder Guccio Gucci, are launching their own handbag line for spring named To Be G. ][

• EBay launched a new shopping site named Fashion Vault that offers free shipping. Sales only last a few days, kind of like Gilt Groupe and Rue La La. ][

• Taylor Momsen is on the cover of Japanese Nylon's December issue. ][

When Pheobe Philo took her job as creative director of Printâ?¦

Patti was actually one of the best models of the night, looking stunning in a dress by Marc Bouwer. Yet she was not one of the most popular, judging by the level of applause and shrieking awarded to each celebrimodel's runway entrance. Those were Christie Brinkley, who got so excited when she came out that she tripped on her Pamella Roland chiffon, which only made everyone like her more; Giselle Bondet, the Univision host, wore Oscar de la Renta and danced her way down the runway to that LMFAO song with the best lyric ever ("I work out"); Linda Evans, who prompted one man to exclaim, "Wow, how old is she?!"; Chaka Kahn, who wore a red leopard-print number by Chris March and walked to, well, ; and Gloria Estefan, who made up for the height her heels couldn't give her by wearing her hair in the shape of a cone-head. An honorable mention goes to Rose McGowan, who had a slit up the front of her dress so high that when she rearranged it so as not to trip, the audience saw that even her panties were red, in keeping with the night's theme.

Yesterday, tireless Titanic 3D promoter Kate Winslet turned her critical focus to Leonardo DiCaprio's aging, and … very honest. “We do look very different,” she told U.K. chat show Daybreak. “You know, he's fatter now — I'm thinner. It's true, though!” Before you take Kate Winslet to task for fat-shaming Leo, you should know that she is not the only former DiCaprio co-star making observations about his aging process. Cue Claire Danes, : “I saw Leo the other day and in some ways, our dynamic is absolutely the same, but then it’s like, ‘Oh, but wait, we’re big fat grown-ups!’” Granted, the use of the first person plural makes that comment a little more generous, but, man, it's roughout there for a formerly skinny nineties heartthrob.

The critics were divided on the success of Dior's equestrian-inspired fall collection. Some, like Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily, loved it. He called it "," and a reminder that Paris is where one can "truly witness design imagination, remarkable finish and production élan." WWD agreed, declaring it "." Suzy Menkes thought it was one of Galliano's best Dior collections: "." But others were unimpressed by the equestrian theme, which felt tired and overdone. "," huffed Cathy Horyn of the Times. She called the show uninspired, adding that "we've seen most of these clothes before." echoed her critiques, noting that the abundance of georgette dresses "." And others doubted the wearability of the clothes in the real world. "" asked British Vogue. "]T[he Dior woman lives — and dresses for — a fairytale." While the former may have been meant as a compliment, The Wall Street Journal was less kind. Though it allowed that the "extraordinary" workmanship was obvious, "." In the end, "this amounts to a collection aimed largely at advertising," it concluded.

Stefano Pilati's dual serious-and-sweet spring collection was a miss for most critics. Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune called it "," finding the strawberry-shaped earrings, leather shorts, and unsubtle colors "real puzzles." Many reviewers loved the more refined, office-ready attire but dismissed the flashier elements. "," The Wall Street Journal intoned, before briefly touching upon the "distracting" strawberry patches, panty shorts, and visible lingerie. Likewise, WWD found the diversity of the lineup "," but allowed that "]i[t made for an interesting and often strong journey." Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily liked it best, calling the show "." But in the end "," British Vogue assessed. concurred, noting, "."


• “Riccardo Tisci did a good job sticking to a sharp, sexy message. The show had a tenacious quality ? Yet Mr. Tisci didn’t overplay the water-world element, nor did he get hung up on the rock of drippy romance.” ][

• “]W[e're tempted to call this collection the most accessible that Tisci has ever done ? Tisci is riding a wave right now.” ][

• “]The collection[ screamed out take-no-prisoners hardcore Tisci attitude ? ]exotic skins[ added a couture feel and made the clothes all the more powerful ? It was fast paced and high energy.” ][


• "Ms. Kawakubo is the only designer who thinks like an artist ... Her latest collection seemed to turn couture, and the fashion world’s obsession with iconic shapes and structure, on its ear ... Strikingly, these designs are extraordinarily simple ... not to suggest that anyone can do them (you would need her patternmakers) but rather that anyone can understand them." ][

• "]The show[ was a telling reminder of why Comme des Garçons and its designer Rei Kawakubo have achieved such cult status. ]Kawakubo's vision[ is fashion at its most lovingly distilled ... Call it fashion for the purists." ][

• "]T[his show was breathtaking in its boldness and vivacity and was cheered to the echo ... Ms. Kawakubo was in a class of her own. The two elements, shape and color, were played to the max." ][

• "Rei Kawakubo chose this particular moment to present a show that glorified the flat ... If it had been a Dada performance in Zurich's Cabaret Voltaire in the second decade of the twentieth century, its genius would have been galvanic. As a fashion show in the second decade of the twenty-first century, its satire felt a little obvious. But its savage point was well taken." ][

• "It was fabulous ... Kawakubo did indeed focus on two often-challenging dimensions: those of major volume and color. She had her radical way with both, and everyone left smiling. Wow, indeed." ][

• "They were stiff and they were bold — a minimalist yet equally flamboyant sensibility ... all the elements you would usually associate with being loud and cluttered ]were[ somehow reduced to something simple, even when exaggerated and accentuated shapes came into the equation. But that’s Kawakubo’s speciality." ][

• New photos from Katie Holmes's latest Ann Taylor ad campaign are online. ][

• As part of plans for regrowth and an increased retail presence, will open two new flagship stores in New York and Paris. ][

• Here is Michelle Williams's cover of the new issue of Interview. ][

• Jezebel writer and ex-model Jenna Sauers breaks down the financial costs, and eventual debt, her modeling career accrued. ][

In the other categories, beat out , among others, for the Best Designer Brand award, and was posthumously honored with an award for Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design. The list of winners:

Although Sesame Street characters (, , andspecifically) were warmly embraced by this season's Céline shoe offerings, it appears that varying skin tones weren't quite so welcome.

After earning a cult following as the founder and editor-in-chief of the dearly departed Domino magazine, Deborah Needleman has a new gig: She’s the freshly instated editor of “Off Duty,” the Wall Street Journal’s two-week-old Saturday lifestyle section. The sixteen-page weekly features a slew of new contributors (a few of them Domino alums) writing about design, fashion, food, technology, travel, and family. But though she may covet the luxurious designs of Phoebe Philo and Tom Ford, Needleman’s editorial approach is refreshingly unfussy. “Style is such a fluid concept,” she says. “It’s in how you decorate, how you cook for your friends, how you wear your clothes, and how you hang with your children.” She’s not necessarily aiming to lure readers away from the fashion glossies, either. “The job of the section is to translate the runway for real people,” she says. “A lot of fashion coverage is geared toward the few of us who go to shows and work in the industry, rather than the masses of women who care about style."

Accessory heavyweights such as , , and showed over the weekend, but today's details spotlight shines on some quirky jewels found at . Models accented their looks with necklaces and earrings made from resin- and gold-covered walnuts and orange slices. Another sign that the still has legs?

Peg-legged is so mad at the media for harassing her during her divorce she's cutting off their access to her. stormed out of a lunch in Beverly Hills with his agent. , the nephew of murdered billionaire Edward Safra, got married on Saturday. wants to put together a reality show starring Mario Lopez where celebs beat the crap out of one another. says he was a klutz as a kid and didn't ride a bike until he was 22. doesn't like Sienna Miller and warned her not to hurt her new boyfriend, Rhys Ifans. is set to star in a musical based on his life. The mother of African baby daughter says the child is a product of rape. cooks his turkey; Glenn Close does not.

Norton, Pitt in a State of Play: Edward Norton reunites with Fight Club co-star Brad Pitt for State of Play, the Kevin MacDonald–directed adaptation of the acclaimed British miniseries in which a journalist (Pitt) investigates the death of the mistress of a congressman (Norton), who in turn discovers that the reporter is just a figment of his male insecurity and he’s actually investigating himself. ][

As , Into the Gloss founder Emily Weiss poached former Elle editor Nick Axelrod at the beginning of June to help her expand her beauty site. She , "Our goal is quite simply to do more of what we, and you, love, and even introduce some new voices, features, and functions." In other news, Weiss now has the same partly-shaved bob as .

If there is anything likes as much as fashion?and there’s not, really?it would have to be a Broadway show. This season he’s seen (twice), , Sondheim on Sondheim, A View From the Bridge, and, on a super-humid summer night, Red.

?We ran into one of our neighbors and he said, ?What does red mean to you?’ ? Kors smiles and his face lights up pink. He’s just arrived at for a late supper with his longtime boyfriend, Lance LePere. ?Red? It’s the only color that New Yorkers will buy!? He lets out an enormous peal of laughter and waves hello to Cheyenne Jackson (?Now, that is a star!?), who is at the next table, and then he orders a hamburger, fries, and an iced tea with extra ice and lemon on the side. (?Does that make me sound like Donna Karan??) ?If you want to be a real girl,? he says, ?you should order a banana cream pie and nothing else.? He leans back, delighted. ?A banana cream pie and nothing else!?

Kors goes to the theater as much as he can, usually accompanied by LePere, who is also a creative director at his company and looks, according to Kors’s friend Marjorie Gubelmann, like a ?cross between Jesus and Tarzan.?

?I don’t understand why fashion people don’t love the theater,? Kors says. ?Fashion people love escape and a show and pageantry and storytelling, right?? LePere nods gravely. Kors shrugs. He loves escape. And shows. And pageantry. And storytelling. How could he not?

Kors is having a moment. As the recession has contracted lots of luxury businesses, Kors has seen his brand explode. The company is expected to hit $1 billion in sales this year. He opened his first boutique in 2000, and by the end of 2012, he will have close to 200 worldwide, in addition to the 1,000 venues already selling his various labels, accessories, and perfumes. He’s currently wrapping his eighth season as a judge on the TV show that has made him the de facto authority on what is and what isn’t ?fashion? in living rooms all over the world. To just about anyone with a cable box, and the tendency to care about these things, Michael Kors is American fashion.

?He was our first choice,? says Runway executive producer Jane Cha. ?We wanted someone with a very serious business. But it turned out that he’s a completely natural performer. Everything is a catchphrase. Nothing is ?too crafty’; it’s too ?Becky home-ec-y.’ Nothing is ?too country’; it’s ?Appalachian Barbie.’ ?

Kors himself had no idea what a difference the show would make to his business: ?I just figured, why not try it?? he says. But it’s made all the difference. Kors’s clothing is often about the lifestyles of the rich and highlighted, but the message he delivers by being on television is one of quasi- democracy. By embracing TV, he has cracked some sort of code about what makes a designer matter now. His is a brand of fashion that is as straightforward as it is chic, and his personality happens to match. You can’t imagine him, à la Yves Saint-Laurent, locking himself away to draw and fester, or being cruel to the unattractive or the poorly dressed. And TV plays to those traits: There’s the clever on-air bitchiness, but there’s also the overt accessibility and a fixation on what women might actually want to wear. ?So many designers are so tortured,? says his Runway cohort Nina Garcia, the fashion director of Marie Claire. ?It’s, Oh my God, I’m an artist. I’m so sad. There’s none of that with Michael.?

A week after Kors’s trip to Red, he was at Lincoln Center receiving the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award from the CFDA. Gwyneth Paltrow was his date. ?When I spend time with him, I feel understood,? she said afterward. Kors stood beside her and beamed. His award was presented by Anna Wintour, who had given Kors his first editorial coverage 29 years ago in this magazine. The photograph was of a mohair coat and a pair of suede culottes. The caption read: ?Michael Kors, 22, feels that fashion should be evolutionary, not revolutionary.? She was giddy presenting her friend with his prize, and she told one story of running into Kors at Round Hill resort in Jamaica. ?After splashing about in the water, he was ready to come ashore, when he suddenly realized that he could not. Ralph Lauren had arrived and was perched on the sand right in front of him, and Michael did not want Ralph to see him in his swimsuit. So he just bobbed around in the water for hours, smiling and waving.?

The Gentlewoman is the lady counterpart to Dutch magazine Fantastic Man. designer Phoebe Philo landed the cover; she posed in her own clothes and some new and vintage Celine things for her shoot with David Sims. Though it's not called Fantastic Woman, the biannual magazine's editor-in-chief, Penny Martin, says, "It’s about modernity and women that are just fantastic." The first issue comes out March 22. ][

"I love a dress — you just throw it on and you're done," says Barneys New York's Amanda Brooks, whose look today could be described as minimalist to the max. The fashion director chose just three pieces to complete her outfit: a bright green 3.1 Phillip Lim dress, Proenza Schouler's PS1 bag, and a pair of Céline heels. Easy, simple, and chic.

On Amanda: 3.1 Phillip Lim dress, Céline shoes, and Proenza Schouler bag.
About the look: "I felt like keeping things simple on a Monday morning. There's nothing easier than throwing on a great dress in a pretty color. And I love this PS1 bag from last spring — they did color-blocked bags before everyone else."

See more: Outfits from days , , , and .

In what is Barneys New York's Amanda Brooks's most casual outfit to date (it is Sunday, after all), the fashion director wore a pair of distressed jeans and a Céline baseball tee. Brooks also forgoes her beloved Céline bags, which she's carried for the past three days, for an over-sized, classic Chanel 2.55.

On Amanda: Céline tee-shirt, Current/Elliot jeans, mystery belt, Céline shoes, Chanel bag, and Derek Lam sunglasses.
About the look: "I am trying to channel my Sunday vibe as much as possible, even though it's a busy day. When I saw this Céline tee-shirt I had to buy it because the little tiger icon looks exactly like a lamp, yes a lamp, I had in my house as a child. And I wore these glasses as a shout-out to Derek Lam, who showed a stunning spring 2012 collection this morning."

See more: Outfits from day , , and .

"Getting dressed in the morning is the pleasure of my day during Fashion Week," says Amanda Brooks. As the fashion director of Barneys New York, Brooks has some of the most beautiful clothes at her fingertips, but it's really how she puts everything together that adds the extra layer of intrigue. Her knack for picking out just the right extras takes her outfits to a whole other place — usually one of offhanded elegance. "I really, really love to splurge on accessories in a huge way ," she says. We asked Brooks to document her outfits every day during Fashion Week, as she takes in a whirlwind of shows — starting today! Like what you see? The bag and shoes can be purchased at Barneys.

On Brooks: Brooks Brothers button-down (from the boys' department), vintage Chanel leather skirt, Azzedine Alaïa booties, Céline bag, Cartier and Philip Crangi bracelets, rings from Chanel and Brooks's father's grandmother, Chanel umbrella.
About the look: "It may sound like a cliché, but more and more I’m into re-inventing classic clothes with new accessories. Today I’m wearing a white cotton shirt from the boys' department at Brooks Brothers with a black leather pencil skirt from Chanel that I’ve had for years. But what makes this outfit feel right for today are my brand new sky-high Alaïa sandals and my black leather studded Céline bag, which I bought earlier this summer. I felt great until I walked into the first day of my kids’ school and felt completely out of place among the more casual moms in gym gear and sneakers. Oh well, you cant win ‘em all."

After yesterday's , Barneys New York's Amanda Brooks went for a more demure outfit today, including a pair of mystery wide-leg pants that originated thus: "I lost my luggage in Paris and I picked them up at some random store quickly." Today's ensemble had the added businesslike touch of 3.1 Phillip Lim's black iPad case.

On Amanda: Céline sunglasses, Maje by Vanessa Traina camisole, mystery belt, mystery pants from Paris, Proenza Schouler cardigan, Céline bag, Azzedine Alaïa shoes, and 3.1 Phillip Lim fur iPad case.
About the look: "Today I'm feeling very cozy in my pajama pants, camisole, and cashmere cardigan. I even have a fur iPad case which feels like I'm holding a Teddy bear and acts as a great pillow for catnaps in the car."

See more: Outfits from days , , , , and .

Today, Barneys New York's fashion director Amanda Brooks took some personal favorites from her closet and mixed them with more recent purchases. Starting with her mother's old camisole on top, Brooks added a Proenza Schouler skirt and cinched it with her new 3.1 Phillip Lim belt. But the best part of the outfit? Her adorable Stella McCartney for Chloé socks from the late nineties that have the words "I Love You" stitched on the cuffs.

On Amanda: Proenza Schouler skirt, Brooks's mother's camisole, 3.1 Phillip Lim belt, 3.1 Phillip Lim boots, Stella McCartney for Chloé socks, Céline bag, and Céline sunglasses.
About the look: "Today was about picking old basics from my closet and putting exciting, new accessories with them. I've had this Proenza Schouler skirt for years — it's one of the most basic things I wear year-round — and this is my new fall 2011 3.1 Phillip Lim rabbit fur belt."

See more: Outfits from day and .

Barneys fashion director Amanda Brooks loves Céline, and Céline loves her back. Today she debuts her most beloved splurge of the season: the label's leopard pony classic box bag (and even compares it to a timeless Kelly from Hermès). While yesterday's outfit was minimal, uptown chic, Brooks opts for a more casual approach on this second day of Fashion Week, wearing fitted silk trousers topped off with flats.

On Amanda: Céline sunglasses, Maje by Vanessa Traina camisole, a mystery belt, Giulietta pants, Azzedine Alaïa shoes, Céline bag, Hermès watch, and Cartier bracelet.

About the look: "I always say I never wear the same outfit twice, but this one is an exception. These Giulietta pants are cut so perfectly, it's hard to take them off. And I wish I'd bought multiples of this Maje by Vanessa Traina camisole. The Céline leopard pony classic box was my big splurge for the season, but it's so worth it. It's like the new Kelly bag in that I know I'll wear it forever and then give it to my daughter one day."

See more: Outfit from .

Fashion Week is less than twelve hours away from OVER. Can we get a hallelujah? A glass of Champagne? A high-five, some blister pads, and a bed in which to crash till Monday? The besties, who Cut readers now know intimately as Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley, made it through eight days of shows, too, looking chic as all get out the whole way through. (Not us, man. We're now unbathed, unshaved, and wearing a potato-chip-flecked muumuu with Crocs.) Click ahead to see what each lady is wearing for Fashion Week's final hurrah.

No lazy Sunday-is-laundry-day outfits for these two. Nope, even when Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley, co-owners of the fashion-forward boutique, wear sweats (like Beth is on this gloomy Sunday), they're the dressed-up fancy Celine kind, totally not the wadded-up-in-a-stinky-gym-locker-somewhere version like we own. Click ahead to find out what else they'll be wearing to the tents today.

Sarah Easley and Beth Buccini, co-owners of , have been best friends for 21 years. They roomed together at UVA and founded their Soho boutique, a beacon for the fashionable avant-garde, more than eleven years ago. So naturally, the former high-end wholesaler (Easley) and ex-fashion editor (Buccini) pull out all the sartorial stops during Fashion Week, attending loads of cutting-edge shows (, , , , , etc.) and spending just as much time planning out their outfits. To that end, we've asked them to document what they're wearing each day this Fashion Week — starting now! Like what you see? Many of their clothes are from the fall 2010 looks and can be purchased at Kirna Zabête.

Whoop-whoop! They're headed into the home stretch: co-owners Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley have been documenting their Fashion Week outfits for, oh, the last six days, and the seventh set of outfits is just as polished as all the ones that came before it. (If that doesn't inspire envy, well, you're a better person than we are.) Click ahead to see what each lady is wearing on Fashion Week's penultimate day.

By this point in Fashion Week, there are a whole lotta editors, buyers, etc., really eager for the damn thing just to be over. The thought of sitting through one more show for one more minute — let alone THREE FREAKING DAYS — is enough to make an otherwise fashionable, reasonable lady want to wear a college sweatshirt and penguin pajama bottoms to Marc by Marc. Kirna Zabête co-owners Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley are fashionable, reasonable, and, apparently, tireless. They still look cute. WTF. Click ahead to find out what they're wearing to the tents today.

On Buccini by night: dress, Chrissie Morris shoes, Alaia belt, Ranjana Khan earrings
About the look: "This is my summer-is-over, urban-night-out look for dinner with friends. I always love color and print, and Thakoon does it so well: modern and cool versus garden-party flimsy."

On Easley: Lanvin white sequin jacket, T-shirt, J. Crew pants, Balenciaga shoes, Chloe "Edith" bag, and Ranjana Khan earrings.
About the look: "I love mixing the fancy Lanvin white sequins on a Friday morning with sporty stripes and army pants. I feel like the white on the heel pulls it together. The earrings are sort of too much in a good way and a nice contrast to the beaten-up Chloe bag from 2003, with summer sand still at the bottom. I am going to change before Fashion's Night Out, but I am not sure into what yet."

The stodgy, Sherlock-in-the-fog coat is loosening up. And that’s before you tack on the shocking-bright tights and pumps.See Also:

Following stints as a design intern for , , and Sally Penn, British-born Frances Tulk-Hart landed an internship at Nylon magazine and discovered the world of styling. After several years as the mag's contributing fashion editor, she tried her hand at photography. While Tulk-Hart still styles (she just wrapped a story for Purple magazine), she now shoots the Tsesay ad campaigns as well as editorials for Japanese Vogue, the New York Times, and Common & Sense magazine. We sat down with the multi-talented Tulk-Hart to discuss her love of the tomboy look, a longing for Celine’s latest resort collection, and her inability to properly tie shoelaces.

Where are you going today?
Back to my office at 57th and Lexington. I just had lunch at Michael’s with Donna Hanover. She’s one of my clients.

What do you do?
I run my own literary agency. Before that, I was the editorial director and associate publisher of Little, Brown and Company.

How would you describe your style?
I suppose I could ask my daughter, Vanessa?she’s the fashion editor of the Financial Times. But I guess I’m aware of fashion and I try to inject current elements into a fairly traditional, professional approach. I think it’s important to have a sense of humor. We could also call it flair.

What are you wearing today?
The handbag is ?it was a gift from my husband. He’s great at gifts! The coat is from , and the blue tights are an injection of humor and dash. They’re .

Did your interest in fashion inspire your daughter’s career?
Not really, but for someone like me who spends her time working on manuscripts and dealing with paper and ideas, fashion comes as both aesthetic relief and a sort of avocation. I like to look at art, interior design, fashion. That was something Vanessa shared with me, and her way of looking at it now is that it’s a cultural insight.

What artists do you like?
Color-field and Abstract Expressionist painters. De Kooning, Twombly, Rothko. My tastes exceed my budget.

What are you reading?
Proposals by authors of mine. One is by Amitai Etzioni, who heads the Institute for Communitarian Policy at George Washington University. Also, a manuscript by Celinda Lake and Kellyanne Conway, the leading female pollsters in America. Their book, What Do Women Really Want?, will be published this fall. Plus, for old time’s sake, I’m reading Faulkner. As I Lay Dying. Just to lighten things up.

What do women really want?
The right to fully participate on equal terms with men. We pay a great deal of lip service to it in this country, and yet we have only 14 percent women in the House and Senate, the lowest proportion of any First World country.

• Stefano Pilati's collection for gets a gold star — it both stayed true to the house's namesake and still turned out something completely new.

The seats also got us close-up views of the gowns they wore, which in Alves' case was a stunning canary shade and for Dobrev was a beautiful bright blue. We are suckers for color, and they were exhibits A and B as to why the awards ceremonies are such a snooze when everyone shows up in some variation on a flesh tone. Our locale also afforded us a chance to chat informally with Dobrev and, whether we meant to or not, hear much of what she said to other people. And as it turns out, Nina Dobrev is lovely. Sincerely, everything we heard her say was warm and genuine, which after almost six years in the tents we can vouch almost never happens. She was nice to Camilla Alves, putting an arm around her when they were prompted to pose for pictures, and telling her they were best friends now. She was nice when we, two wackadoo strangers in winter coats, randomly popped our heads in to tell her what a hit her red Donna Karan Emmy dress was. She was nice when that led to reminiscing about Giuliana Rancic interviewing her on the red carpet, at which point Dobrev worried about how Giuliana was feeling post-cancer surgery and fretted that she hadn't been able to get in touch with her to wish her "good luck and good energy." She was nice about the clothes — and she was right; they were very impressive best-dressed Oscar bait ("I love awards season," Dobrev giggled to Alves) — and she was nice when we popped up again to suggest she order one of each of them for her closet. She was just… nice. We wonder if it's because she's Canadian. Think about everything kind that great nation has given us: Marty McFly, Captain Von Trapp, Jack Bauer, Celine Dion and her Mighty Fist-Pump of Passion, dill pickle potato chips, and now Elena Gilbert. And what have we done for them lately? Hopefully, this Valentine is a start. (For more Fug Girls, go .)

Gaia Repossi takes the family business very seriously. At the age of 20, after studying art history at the Sorbonne, she became the artistic director of her family-owned jewelry house, originally founded in 1920. Six years later, she's become a front-row fixture at big shows like and , as well as those of young designers like and (she has teamed up with both on recent jewelry collections). Repossi's signature cuffs and intricately latticed rings are both tough and elegant. This month, she debuts a collaboration with Zadig & Voltaire, which will be available at a fraction of the price of her eponymous line. We caught up with the designer to talk about her lucky pendant, favorite vintage stores, and appreciation for ponchos.

Vogue posted a guide to "glamping" today, for those times when "your chestnut- and marigold-colored sweater inspires you to seek out fiery fall foliage, and you can hear your silver Christopher Raeburn parachute parka calling for a wintry landscape." Unsurprisingly, their packing list is less sleeping bags and s'mores and more stiletto-heeled boots and folding chairs (price upon request). And don't even bother with a tent — the magazine's recommended spots to visit include "rustic" lodges, teepees the size of a New York apartment (wait ... bigger), and a tree-house penthouse — which, presumably, comes with a chef to roast your marshmallows for you.

]Vogue Daily[

Beyoncé, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
Pizzazz: 7
Relevance: 9
Absurdity: 7
We’re feeling a little “Single Ladies” fatigue, and this episode has two versions (we averaged our impressions for the above scores). Kurt’s opening number takes itself very seriously, as we’re sure Kurt would (those leotards were not Tina and Britt’s choice); the football team’s game-time dance routine, on the other hand, didn’t amuse us as much as we thought it might (even on Glee, the idea of a mid-game dance routine seems a little absurd). Regardless, it’s a good song choice: This episode was all about many of the characters claiming their independence, whether it was Kurt coming out to his dad; Rachel making nice guy Mr. Schue face a painful decision about playing favorites; or Finn manning up to his situation by, er, reading (“I got this out from the library. Did you know you could borrow books there? All of ‘em! Well, except the encyclopedias”).

Bernstein and Sondheim, “Tonight” (From West Side Story)
Pizzazz: 5
Relevance: 9
Absurdity: 5
Finally, we get to hear Jenna Ushkowitz sing! The girl was in Spring Awakening, so we figured she had a decent voice, and she certainly nails most of Maria’s iconic solo — although she has to admit that her final note is sharp. (Also, we’re not sure how Tina standing alone on a ladder figures into a glitzy show-choir number.) It’s completely believable that Rachel would gasp at being given the alto part (altos clearly aren’t soloists; we were in choir, once, and we know) and would imagine herself the ideal Maria (“Natalie Wood was a Jew, you know. I’ve had a very deep personal connection to this role since the age of 1”). And Mr. Schue’s decision to keep Tina as soloist is an important one; even Terri’s ditzy sister Kendra notes that Will cares more about pleasing everyone than anything else, so perhaps this tough choice is a step forward.

Will is overwrought for basically the entire episode — right off the bat, he crows to Emma, "But ]the New Directions kids[ never get to win!!" Right, except for sectionals three times and regionals twice. Good point, Will. He goes on to wonder if all his hard work was enough. This year I've seen Will work hardest at planning his wedding and writing words on dry-erase boards, so I feel like maybe it wasn't? Everyone rehearses and yells at everyone else (funny how a few seasons back Will told the kids he was ashamed of them for yelling before a competition and now he's praising their intensity) and then things get solemn as everyone remembers that this is the moment, etc. It's a sequence of events that seems prime for a musical montage; weirdly, Glee doesn't get as many of those as one would think. This is my formal request for more montages in season four, beginning with a shot-for-shot remake of the from Scarface.

I wish that Tina's big solo moment had been something showier than Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me” or, at the very least, something more timely — it's the love theme for a movie that came out in 1996, but it’s nice in her voice. Still, it's hard not to feel cheated on Tina's behalf when her standing ovation turns out to be a dream, and she's Rachel Berry's chauffeur and seamstress for the rest of the episode. But I will say that Rachel and Tina's visit to Carmen Tibideaux finally, finally made Rachel's NYADA desperation palatable. It wasn't because of the speech Tina delivered on her behalf — it was because Rachel shifts from saying that she had to be given another chance immediately or her life would be ruined to telling Carmen that she would audition over and over every year if that's what it takes to prove herself. A moment in which Rachel Berry drops her sense of entitlement for a split second qualifies as a Glee miracle these days.

In 1995's Before Sunrise a very young Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy spent a long, meandering, romantic night together in Vienna. In the 2004 follow-up, Before Sunset, an older, more jaded Hawke and Delpy spent a long, meandering day together in Paris, still crazy and tortured about each other after all these years. Now it looks like the third film might be on the way. (Berlin for a 24-hour rendezvous?) , Hawke said that he thought it was just about time he, Delpy, and their director, Richard Linklater — the threesome who co-wrote the previous films — got started on a third. "I don't know what we're going to do but I know the three of us have been talking a lot in the last six months," Hawke said. "All three of us have been having similar feelings that we're ready to revisit those characters. There's nine years between the first two movies and, if we made the film next summer, it would be nine years again so we've really started thinking that would be a good thing to do. We're going to try write it this year." If you're at all like us, you imagined/hoped that after the last movie — which ended with Celine adorably singing Nina Simone to Jesse, and Jesse missing his flight — these two neurotic kids ended up together, even though, more realistically, they probably would have stayed in bed for three days, freaked out, and then decided not to exchange telephone numbers or e-mails again because it worked out so dramatically last time. May their third time be the charm. And title suggestions welcome in the comments: Before Midnight? Before Noon? Before 7 p.m.?


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Fiona Apple was upstairs, alone, stalking the small suite of her boutique hotel in Soho. It was noon, in May, and she had arrived in New York, the city where she grew up, a few days earlier from Paris, where she was shooting a music video. She was at this moment supposed to be sitting in the hotel bar answering questions about her new album and her life in general, a life that, with the exception of sporadic performances — at her hometown club, Largo, in Los Angeles — she keeps almost hermetically sealed. She’d dressed herself in a long black nylon skirt, a tank top, and a thin green hooded sweatshirt; she applied no makeup. She wore her hair tied up. Despite being late, she was consulting her laptop, which she often struggles to operate, typing the words mirror neurons into Google. With a pencil she began scribbling onto a piece of hotel stationery. The morning — which is to say the hours after midnight — had unfolded well, sunrise had come smoothly, she’d felt good, and she’d seriously debated continuing straight through, as she does most often, but with a busy day ahead, she’d figured it best to rest, and, to her surprise, slipped into unconsciousness beneath the coffee table. When she’d awoken at ten, she’d felt different. She’d felt bad. She’d returned to the window she’d spent the morning staring down from, the man clearly on drugs still hobbling along the same block of Grand Street, picking up twigs and moving them. In her head she heard the refrain from the seventies song: “Do it, do it, till you’re satisfied.”

Hot Shot: Peter Marino Was Invited to Céline, All Right? Tags: , , , , Photo: Eric Ryan/Getty Images

I observed this phenomenon in the wild, recently, at a concert where Celine's Vegas show was being projected on a giant screen for a generally uninterested audience. ( It was a weird night.) For the first two minutes, everyone was cracking jokes, whooping for the recorder player— who was given a special place onstage, with her own spotlight — and generally pretending not to care about the remarkable spectacle unfolding before us. Then the strings swelled, and Celine began to rise up over the stage on a shiny platform; as she hit the "You're here," a giant fountain shot up over her head and framed her in engine-powered tears. It was ridiculous, and hokey, and the crowd cheered, because that is all you can do when Celine Dion is towering over you singing about the enduring power of below-decks love while pounding her chest into a new register. You just give in. So why keep fighting against the laws of God and Love Ballads? "My Heart Will Go On" is a powerful song; don't be ashamed to admit it.

2. She took billionaire Über-geek boyfriend Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder, to Celine Dion in Las Vegas.
"He loves live entertainment. I took him to see Celine Dion, and I was teasing him, sending him these e-mails: "When we're in Vegas this weekend, I'd love to take you to see a singer. Her name is Celine Dion. You've probably never heard of her, but she's quite popular around the world. She is French-Canadian." And he would write back ]starts talking in robot voice[, "I have never seen Celine Dion but I have heard her name. In fact, I do not know any of her songs but several of my friends tell me rest assured I will recognize them … ]A[t the end of Celine when he didn't cry, I was convinced his heart was made of coal. He kept saying things like ]back to robot voice[ I absolutely appreciate her excellent vocal skills."

The designer and his studio's origami-inspired "132 5." collection took the top honor over some serious competition, including Sarah Burton's wedding gown for the Duchess of Cambridge, the "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" Costume Institute exhibit, Mary Katrantzou's fall 2011 collection, Celine fall 2011, Suno spring 2011, Vivienne Westwood's "Ethical Fashion Africa Collection" for fall 2011, and Melissa + Gaetano's Pesce boot and flip-flop.

For spring, which finally seems to be upon us, Lyons likes minimal looks. “I can’t really wear them, but I love all the paler creams,” she gushed. “What Pheobe Philo is doing for Celine is so beautiful. It’s all about the most expensive fabric in the world, the most beautiful tailoring, the biggest bank accounts, and the most beautiful bodies. It’s not going to happen. Those things aren’t working for me.” However, she's not a fan of the eighties revival, and didn’t escape that decade unscathed herself. “I was committing fashion crime after fashion crime all day long. I had asymmetrical hair. It was bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.”

• Jennifer Aniston decided to name her fragrance Lola V. Why? Well, does she need a reason? She says she's been working on the scent for a year. "I don't think they really expected me to be ]so[ picky. But you've got to have it smell right." ][

• Celine Dion announced that she will release her eighth fragrance, Pure Brilliance, with Coty in September. ][

• Detmar Blow: “I was very proud of how Issie inspired and encouraged so many people. I feel Issie was let down by the fashion industry — that was in all three addresses at her memorial service. I am comforted though that when Issie was dying she told the nurses, ‘Google me — I am important.’ Issie died proud — she knew she had made a mark. Coming through customs she told me proudly that the immigration officers had seen her and said, ‘We know who you are. No need to show your passport.’ She was proud.” ][

Phoebe Philo's third campaign for , shot by Juergen Teller, has been released in all its striped, flowing glory. The designer cast (pictured) and as the label's latest faces, replacing Emma Balfour and . Daria, who has been , juxtaposes Celine's trademark minimalism with a bright orange skateboard, adding some street to her pants-only outfit. ][

Kate Winslet has been using her Titanic 3-D publicity tour as a campaign for real talk, and fresh from , Winslet has circled back around to her co-star, Leonardo DiCaprio. You may remember that Winslet discussed the once-twinky DiCaprio, she giggled about how "Leo looks so young and so skinny" in the 1997 movie. This time, though, she is through with merely implying the obvious. "We do look very different ]now[, we’re older," Winslet said on the chat show Daybreak today. "Leo’s 37, I’m 36 — we were 21 and 22 when we made that film. You know, he’s fatter now — I’m thinner. It’s true, though!" Have you got all that? Next time, she will bring charts.

A few months back, during her delightfully candid press tour for Titanic 3-D (), Kate Winslet admitted that she was not the most devoted fan of the movie’s love theme. Put more bluntly: She told an Italian journalist that “My Heart Will Go On” and that she hates when people try to surprise her with it. , and the entire spat was pretty amusing, except that no one stopped to consider poor Celine Dion’s feelings. And based on her Today show appearance this morning, Vulture thinks Celine was a little hurt. She didn’t say so specifically when asked — she spent most of her answer talking about how special the song is and how honored she is to be associated with it, etc. — but just look at her expression at the 3:48 mark. That is a legitimately sad diva — like "No room left on the floating plank, 'I'll Never Let Go, Jack,' little old lady dying in her bed"-level sad. Aww. And if that's how bummed Celine is, just imagine the scrunchy-sad faces Leo is making in private. Look what you've done, Kate Winslet!

Now that Celine Dion is on maternity leave, "old friend" Will Ferrell has decided to help out and do her Vegas show while she recovers with her new twins. Ferrell, who is making a on The Late Show, gave Letterman a sneak-peek at what things will look like at Caesars when he takes over with a rendition of "The Power Of Love." Next up, Chelsea Handler doesn't have to remind Nick Swardson that the idea of that his character dating Jennifer Aniston's character in their new movie Just Go With It is ridiculous, but she does anyway, and wrapping things up on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Mandy Moore admits that she has to tolerate husband Ryan Adams' love of death metal, but when he says it influences his own music. Watch our compilation to see what you missed.

Blogger Leandra Medine got married in New York yesterday, but whether she had a cake remains a mystery— even to her: "Cake? I’m not even sure there is a cake," she told WWD. "Do you know how many Celine bags I could buy for that cake?"

For four years now, Continuum’s 33 1/3 series has been issuing a steady stream of hip little rock-and-roll catechisms: idiosyncratic pocket-size meditations by eminent critics on seminal albums. Subjects skew toward the artsy-intellectual (Radiohead’s OK Computer), the canonical (Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited), and the cultish (Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea). Among such countercultural titans, the series’s newest topic?Céline Dion’s Titanic-era Let’s Talk About Love?feels alarmingly out of place. Dion is the Antichrist of the indie sensibility, an overemoting schmaltz-bot who has somehow managed to convert the ethos of Wal-Mart into sine waves and broadcast them, at kidney-rupturingly high volume, directly into our internal soulPods. A book pondering the aesthetics of Céline risks going wrong in about 3,000 different ways. Most obviously, it could degenerate into one of those irritating hipster projects of strategic kitsch-retrieval, an ironic exercise in taste as anti-taste in which an uncool phenomenon is hoisted onto a pedestal of cool simply as a display of contrarian muscle power.

Instead, this book goes very deeply right. Like most rock critics, Carl Wilson?a writer and editor at Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail?has always reflexively detested Céline. ?From the start,? he writes in Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste, ?her music struck me as bland monotony raised to a pitch of obnoxious bombast?R&B with the sex and slyness surgically removed, French chanson severed from its wit and soul ? Oprah Winfrey?approved chicken soup for the consumerist soul, a neverending crescendo of personal affirmation deaf to social conflict and context.? (As another critic once put it: ?I think most people would rather be processed through the digestive tract of an anaconda than be Céline Dion for a day.?)

But while most critics would leave Céline there and go back to gushing over the lost tapes of the live versions of early takes of Dylan’s unwritten B-sides, Wilson feels a twinge of critical conscience. Pop criticism’s sacred duty, after all, has always been to articulate the secret genius of the underappreciated?an approach that’s given us our cherished canons of rap, rock, and manga. (Not to mention films and novels.) So what about Céline? In a critical climate that venerates slick, hyperproduced Top 40 pop, why is she immune to praise? Is her ululatory arm-flinging really so unforgivable? To find out, Wilson embarked on what he calls ?an experiment in taste,? undergoing solid months of Céline immersion in an effort to get to the bottom of his ?guilty displeasure.?

The Céline phenomenon, in Wilson’s telling, runs surprisingly deep. It was forged in the weird pop-cultural fires of seventies Quebec, a provincial bubble in which news anchors and earnest troubadours were venerated as mainstream heroes, while variety-pop stars were shunned. Céline emerged as a white-trash child star frequently mocked in the press for her ?bushy hair and snaggle teeth.? She was also possessed, of course, with that Voice, an inhumanly powerful blast that annihilated the competition at cheesy global talent contests (the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo, the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin) and made her manager cry, mortgage his house, and eventually marry her. Wilson is very good on the uncanny disjunction at the heart of Dion’s talent?that goofy, gawky frame, whipping its arms around like a t’ai chi instructor on a badly scratched DVD, unleashing crescendo after sublime crescendo. ?She is at once doing tricks with her voice and is herself overwhelmed by its natural force,? Wilson writes. He also argues that Céline’s music is essentially aspirational, like rap: ?Her voice itself is nouveau riche??it’s ?a luxury item, and Céline wants to share its abundance with her audience.? One of the book’s fun surprises is the odd way in which this abundance has distributed itself across the globe. Her French work is allegedly nuanced, understated, and literary; she’s beloved by the cabdrivers of Ghana and the ruffians of Jamaica; and she unknowingly endorses questionable products in the market stalls of Afghanistan (?Titanic Making Love Ecstasy Perfume Body Spray?). Even in the U.S., Céline has won the admiration of an improbably large roster of music-industry visionaries, from Rick Rubin to Phil Spector to Timbaland to Prince (who reportedly saw her Vegas show three times).

Wilson’s real obsession here is not Céline but the thorny philosophical problem on which her reputation has been impaled: the nature of taste itself. What motivates aesthetic judgment? Is our love or hatred of ?My Heart Will Go On? the result of a universal, disinterested instinct for beauty-assessment, as Kant would argue? Or is it something less exalted? Wilson tends to side with the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, who argues that taste is never disinterested: It’s a form of social currency, or ?cultural capital,? that we use to stockpile prestige. Hating Céline is therefore not just an aesthetic choice, but an ethical one, a way to elevate yourself above her fans?who, according to market research, tend to be disproportionately poor adult women living in flyover states and shopping at big-box stores. (As Wilson puts it, ?It’s hard to imagine an audience that could confer less cool on a musician.?)

Although Wilson never grows to love Dion’s music, he’s also no longer comfortable with his former scorn. He acknowledges the merits of her work: ?It deals with problems that don’t require leaps of imagination but require other efforts, like patience, or compromise?; although it is ?lousy music to make aesthetic judgments to,? it ?might be excellent for having a first kiss, or burying your grandma, or breaking down in tears.? And he ends the book with a Céline-inspired plea for a new species of ?democratic? criticism: ?not a limp open-mindedness? but a refusal to indulge in our baser cultural-capitalist instincts. Céline, he says, ?stinks of democracy,? and his effort to understand her has taught him to ?relish the plenitude of tastes, to admire a well-put-together taste set that’s alien to our own.? After all, every genre, no matter how hip, is subject to criticism. Early in the book, after a concise history of schmaltz (which he defines elegantly as ?an unprivate portrait of how private feeling is currently conceived?), Wilson turns the notion back on its critics. ?You could say that punk rock,? he writes, ?is anger’s schmaltz.?

• Macy's is shutting down five units in the next two months. Industry experts predict a wave of closings this year, saying there could be up to 10,000 store closings in malls. ][

• The in the ads has been identified as Rasa Zukauskaite. ][

• Speaking of headless models, they also appear in the spring campaign. ][

• will cover red-carpet fashion for Entertainment Tonight Canada at the Grammys this month. ][

• Lindsay Lohan is accused of knocking off a design for her 6126 clothing-line expansion. ][




Magnet Releasing

Release Date

Mar 29, 2011

But the crowd was all there for Mariah, who, whatever she says, was clearly enjoying her glorious post-baby return. "I wanted to bring them here tonight, but Monroe is shy," she told us. "Miss Monroe, she needs a moment to warm up." Mariah, of course, does not, and like Celine, she was very happy to give the audience exactly what it wanted: preening and solid hits. Her styling team came out at one point for a shoe change and some blotting; throughout the show, she kept asking why everyone feels the need to record everything on their phone. The answer is probably because if you're going to stand in a large purple-lit room and get lectured by Scary Spice, then you want a permanent memory of exactly why you did it, and this crowd did it to see Mariah slay "Always Be My Baby." "Touch My Body," "We Belong Together," and "Obsessed" all made it in, too, and by the time Mariah got to "I'll Be There," the audience was hugging each other and swaying along junior-high style. (Or maybe that was just the two guys next to me.) What else was there to do, then, but sing "Hero" for the encore? Not that you could really hear her over the crowd. When Mariah Carey trots back out onstage for "Hero," you put the camera phone down, and you sing along.

Project Runway's tenth season starts this Thursday on Lifetime, and it's . But while the designers aren't new faces, the judges, host, and mentor all are — designers and , model , and Marie Claire editor Joanna Coles, respectively. And while Michael, Nina, and Heidi (along with her auf's) will be missed, it's arguably Tim Gunn who we'll all shed the most tears over. Which leaves Joanna Coles stepping into the toughest spot, taking on the role of the designers' mentor. We spoke with Coles about her time in the Runway workroom, what we can look forward to on the show's upcoming episodes, and how the experience changed her personal style.

How did your role as the All-Stars’ mentor come about?
Oh, well I’m sure several other people must have turned them down first because it came up rather at the last minute — I had about twenty minutes to decide. So I thought, "Why not? What fun." It was only halfway through filming that I realized, "Oh, goodness, what am I doing? Tim Gunn is really the star of the ]Project Runway[ world. What on Earth would make me think that I could replace him?"

• Despite the tough economy, Mary Kay added 165,000 independent beauty consultants in April, the largest such monthly hire in 10 years. ][

• Good Morning America profiles real-life makeup hoarder Jennifer Bourgoyne, 45, who claims her condition stems from her mother being the pretty one and she the "ugly duckling." While cosmetics were being removed from her home, the reporter took Bourgoyne to CVS to buy $70 worth of .... replacement makeup. ][

• appears in the ads for 's first fragrance from its new licensing deal with Puig called Valentina.][

Full disclosure: Twenty-six-year-old newcomer might be our favorite new face this fall 2012 season. The Parisian has a severe, arresting beauty and charming intellect that makes us one of her biggest fans — and we’re not the only ones who are smitten. In the span of her six-month career, Piovesan has already booked face time with Paolo Roversi, Karl Templer, Craig McDean, and Marie-Amélie Sauvé. As one the current faces of Céline (she shares the campaign with ), she recently came off a stellar fall 2012 showing, during which she opened for Rick Owens, closed for Louis Vuitton, and appeared on the runways for YSL, Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Versace. We recently sat down with rising star to chat about , collapsing after fashion week, and her love for Jesus and Mary Chain and Hole.




Sarah Omndale, Vera Aronow, Roger Grange

Release Date

Sep 29, 2010

Official Website

• A British poll found that gentlemen actually prefer brunettes. The majority of the 1,500 men polled thought that brunettes were better at conversation and kissing, though 36 percent did think blondes were the most wild in bed (compared to 31 percent for brunettes). What say ye, blondes? ][

• To create the super-tight, textured curls for the models in the show, hairstylist Hirofumi Kera wrapped small sections of hair around long, thin hairpins. Except for a short blast of heat to set the curl, he let the hair air dry and then removed the pins just before the models walked the runway. ][

Fifteen years ago, Chanel came out with a polish called Night Sky. It was the deepest, richest navy, packed with tiny flecks of silver shimmer (like a starry sky, get it?). Sadly, the lacquer is no longer available — unless you feel like — so when I recently spotted a new crop of dark blue polishesmy heart completely soared. Even better, these offerings are shimmer-free (as an adult, I just can't be bothered to remove shimmer). It's a way to do black polish without feeling too goth about it — and it makes you feel really put together in that sexy-chic kinda way.

New resort is here! In addition to the gauzy layers and animal patterns at , the newest cruise collections include statement prints at Prabal Gurung, breezy separates at Chloé, and Ashley Olsen's billowing silk from the Row. See these looks and more in our .

• •

Juergen Teller shot Polaroids of for 's fall campaign, while and look glamorous and wind-blown in 's ads, lensed by Mario Sorrenti. Plus, see the latest campaigns from Undercolors of Benetton (the brand's underwear line), Antonio Croce, (starring ), and more in our .

Bill Gaytten took his second bow at Paris Fashion Week today, sending even more sheer skirts down the runway at than , as well as ruffled gauzy dresses and boater hats. Meanwhile, 's all-star model cast showed textured black minidresses, sculptural silver pantsuits, and cream blouses. See the full collections, plus , , , and more in our runway galleries.


To a resounding , mixed geometric prints and lacy trim with carefully measured grace. In other shows, Clare Waight Keller debuted her first collection for — loosely tailored stripes and pleats, all in pastels — and Stefano Pilati's latest line for showcased bold colors and clean lines, broken up just so by distinctive ruffles. See the full collections, plus , , , and more in our runway galleries.


Paris Fashion Week soldiers on! And today, made us all feel lazy by sending yet down a European runway (she two weeks ago, too). showed coats, pants, and sweaters in a mix of warm pastels and deep autumn colors, while 's collection was black, white, and red all over, and Stefano Pilati for — sculptural separates covered with beautiful O'Keeffe-esque orchid prints. Check out these shows and lots of new details in our .


Here they are: the weekend's Paris shows! Check out 's gold jackets and figure-hugging dresses, 's colorful ponchos, and 's trailing silk hemlines. Happy Monday!

Resort shows are almost over, but the last ones are still trickling in. showed floral prints and roomy trousers, presented chocolate leather pieces, and 's candy-colored gowns looked almost like they'd been spun from sugar. Check out more resort shows than you could possibly ever look at in one sitting in our .

There's no stopping resort 2011, which is shaping up to be a real-deal season. Dozens of designers have presented, and some of the collections are huge (the Kaiser alone showed !). Click below to see the latest and greatest — and prepare to drool like crazy over relative newcomer 's wild tribal prints.

In just a few days Paris Fashion Week and the fall 2010 season will come to a close. Check out the latest collections in our new runway slideshows, and click "full screen" for the full effect.

It was a fruitful weekend over in Paris, and between 's tassel-fringed tops and 's enormously puffy sleeves, there are tons of runway shots ripe for the clicking. In addition to , 's collection featured spiky mullets, mesh bustiers, and frilly corsets. Today, layered sheer tulle skirts over bloomers, while 's models milled around on a grass lawn in petal-printed pumps. Click ahead to browse all of those collections and more.

Compatible Cover-upsWhat to wear when it’s cold out, if your house of worship frowns on bare skin, or if you’re still hiding that tattoo from the in-laws.

A gown this voluminous needs a delicate, monochromatic bolero ($480 at Morgane Le Fay, 746 Madison Ave.; 212-879-9700).

Though she's best known for her roles as the fashion director of Marie Claire and judge on , Nina Garcia is also the author of three books on style. Today, the Colombian-born fashion guru releases her fourth tome, Nina Garcia's Look Book: What to Wear for Every Occasion, a 300-page guide to situational dressing illustrated by Ruben Toledo. The style advice ranges from common wardrobe dilemmas — job interviews, first dates, casual weddings — to super-specific events, like jury duty, an office Halloween party, or a Netflix night in with a guy. Now she wishes she'd had time to add another timely chapter: "What do you wear to rehab? What do you wear to go to trial?" she asks, laughing. "What if you're Lindsay Lohan or Naomi Campbell?" We caught up with the multitasking (and pregnant!) editor to discuss her sartorial nightmares, favorite fast-fashion spots, and this season's "fragile" Project Runway cast.

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival slashes its lineup from last year’s 120 films to just 86. Instead of booking publicity blitzes for blockbusters like Mission: Impossible III or Spider-Man 3, as in years past, it opens on April 22 with Woody Allen’s more modest Whatever Works. Allen’s first New York film in five years stars Larry David as an aging, Woodyish ?genius? who beds an impressionable young girl (Evan Rachel Wood)?partly by impressing her with great movies. After watching 51 of the festival’s films, we came up with sixteen sure ways to impress your date.

By Barbara Brancaccio and Joshua Zeman
In Staten Island, kids fear the bogeyman Cropsey because he kills kids with his hook. Or ax. Or hands. In this fascinating documentary, we get the nightmarish story behind an urban myth?a series of child murders in the eighties that traumatized the borough, leaving some residents so obsessed that, more than twenty years later, they’re still digging for missing kids. ?L.H.

By Marshall Curry
We’ve been waiting for Curry’s follow-up to his stunning 2005 political documentary Street Fight. Now he trains his lens on three young kids competing in the national go-kart circuit and dreaming of nascar stardom. The result is an exciting, poignant tale of growing up fast with adult ambitions. ?B.E.

By Asghar Farhadi
In this sharp, panic-riddled examination of pretense, a group of young Iranians are weekending in a beach house when Elly, a relative outsider, suddenly disappears into the sea. The camaraderie sours; the squabbling intensifies; and the friends’ guilty discomfort fills the space like a stench. ?M.S.

By Stephan Elliott
How do you update Noël Coward’s fizzy 1924 masterpiece of class conflict for the 21st century? You don’t. Elliott’s lovely take on Coward’s female American race-car driver marrying into an upper-crust British family is terrifically acted by Colin Firth, Kristin Scott Thomas, and (surprise!) Jessica Biel. ?B.E.

By José Padilha
Stark in the extreme, this documentary about starving Brazilian families could have felt manipulative, even exploitive (at one point the filmmaker shoots as children devour rock-hard beans). Instead, it’s profoundly moving, thanks to Padilha’s even tone and stunning camera work. ?M.S.

By Rune Denstad Langlo, April 24
Derailed by depression, a retired Norwegian skier snowmobiles north in order to visit a son he’s never met. But this is no dirge: Along with seriocomic disasters, a bluegrass soundtrack, and lovely snowy tracking shots, there is an accretion of revelations, each a step stumbling toward self-discovery. ?B.K.

By Hirokazu Kore-eda
The novelistic Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda (Nobody Knows) has a subtle grasp of the everyday madness of families. Here, he explores how the death of an eldest son continues to reverberate years later. ?L.H.

By Eric Bana
Celebrity documentaries can be vain affairs, but Bana’s earnest, winning story about his 1974 Ford Falcon Coupe is as much about his home as it is about himself. A mix of memory and interviews, it’s a portrait of the Australia few tourists see, the Melbourne suburbs: a life of mates and muscle cars. ?E.P.

By Celine Danhier
New York’s cocky, explosive No-Wave scene gets its due in this work-in-progress documentary overbooked with a stellar downtown guest list: Jim Jarmusch, Debbie Harry, Lydia Lunch, Nick Zedd, Steve Buscemi, and many others. ?L.H.

By Lucía Puenzo
Puenzo’s white-knuckle follow-up to XXY reunites her with Inés Efron. The rising star moves on from playing a hermaphrodite to embodying a suburban Argentine girl who falls in love with her family’s maid, triggering a headlong, intense thriller. ?B.E.

By Michael Sládek
Eighties artist turned pariah Mark Kostabi (the guy who famously pranced around in a suit made of money) is pretty much a footnote these days, despite his egregious self-promotion. He does, however, make for an entertaining boom-era fable about the commodification of fine art. ?E.P.

By Yojiro Takita
Don’t you hate it when the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film is given to a movie you can’t see? Now’s your chance to view this year’s, in which a disillusioned cellist becomes an undertaker. Sounds almost alienatingly quirky, but in fact Departures is an enormously affecting, even haunting film with a superb lead performance by Masahiro Motoki. ?B.E.

By Ian Olds
In this riveting documentary, Olds uses the Taliban’s 2007 kidnapping and murder of Ajmal Naqshbandi, who helped visiting reporters navigate Afghanistan, to explore the invisible line separating foreigners and locals in international war journalism. Naqshbandi’s fellow captive, an Italian, was released thanks to his government’s intervention. ?B.E.

, $4,545
The ultimate in sporty glamour, but it’s made from silk taffeta and stuffed with polyester?delicate and expensive materials to make water-resistant(3 W. 57th St.; 212-355-5050).

, $2,200
This sparkling-white, fur-trimmed parka is wind- and waterproof, but the astronomical dry-cleaning bill might keep you indoors (667 Madison Ave., near 61st St.; 212-486-9700).

Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons, $1,020
Avant-garde poncho style and down stuffing make this polyester taffeta jacket so hot, you might not care it isn’t water- or stainproof. (At .)

Andrew Marc, $398
This quilted, polyamide bomber with raccoon-fur-trimmed hood scores style points, but your midsection may feel a breeze when it rides up, despite the goose-down stuffing. (At .)

Perry Ellis Women’s, $268
With a belted waist, a sleek, non-quilted look, and a thick faux-fur hood, Patrick Robinson’s design is runway- and element-ready. (At .)

Ralph Lauren Blue Label, $225
This festive frontal zip-up isn’t water- or stain-resistant, but does have hidden zipper compartments and a chin guard in case you take a spill on the slopes. (At .)

Esprit, $149
Eighty percent down stuffing (the rest is feathers) keeps this parka extremely warm without a Michelin Man puff?and it’s water-resistant, too (110 Fifth Ave., at 16th St.; 212-651-2121).

L.L.Bean, $109
True outdoorsmen will stay warm at ?5 degrees Fahrenheit?and there’s a water-resistant finish and multi-zip pockets for lip balm and other winter necessities (800-809-7057; ).

Old Navy, $68
The down filling and faux-shearling hood keep you cozy, but like some of its more expensive cousins, this coat’s not waterproof. Haven’t they heard of snow? (At Stores and .)

Phoebe Philo stepped in to in September, but now the Daily is reporting she's clashing with the label's new CEO. Philo's first show for the house is scheduled for March in Paris, and a spokesperson for the label said it will go on as planned. However, a source tells the Daily a "team" is working on the collection. ][

The designer explains that she's "disciplined" about her workday. "We're just organised. Everybody in this building knows when I arrive and when I leave and the important things are done within those hours. That's just the way it is. And it works." Having children actually helps her manage her time, she says: "It's much easier having children, because that creates a natural limit. If I have a good time with them before they go to sleep, it's worth everything to me." ][

• The Swedish Fashion Council, the Icelandic Fashion Council, Oslo Fashion Week, Helsinki Design Week, and the Danish Fashion Institute are forming the Nordic Fashion Association. They want to emphasize their commitment to "healthy living" and "sustainable energy." Good for them. ][

Yesterday Phoebe Philo presented her first major collection for . And to say the critics could hardly stand it (in a good way) would be an understatement. Celine has had four designers since 1997, and Philo has been off the fashion scene to spend time with her family for the past four years (she last designed for ). Cathy Horyn that the runway photos don't do the clothes justice, adding "they put out a mature, confident, sexy vibe." She was relieved to see sportswear on the runway as opposed to those embellished crusty pieces that designers have become obsessed with as of late. The sleeveless trench dress was a universal favorite.

Aaaand she's back! British designer and fashion-world darling Phoebe Philo has been appointed creative director of LVMH-owned . Philo has been on hiatus — and missed — since she resigned from her post as head designer of in January 2006. The 35-year-old mother of two will officially start at Celine in October on her fall 2009 collection, which she'll present in March of next year.

• Phoebe Philo's first collection for Celine will be resort 2009, before her spring 2010 October runway show, which was originally thought to be her debut season. The sooner the better, lady! ][

• At Paris Fashion Week, Kate Moss only went to Karl Lagerfeld–related events: the Chanel show, the Chanel party and the Fendi party. Might she be the next face of one of those labels? ][

• When asked what the biggest challenge about his move into fashion was, Outkast's André Benjamin said being an African-American, because of the perception that "hip-hop stars will just throw their names on anything." He also said, "I'm not a gay man." ][

• Virigina Bates: "Leaving the ]Dior[ show I was set upon by a crowd I thought were after my Poiret coat. Having been showered with sand — and shouted at — I realised they were anti-fur demonstrators intent on ruining the musquash collar on my Twenties coat. Musquash, by the way, is a rodent..." ][

• You'll be glad to know that Lindsay Lohan settled that lawsuit filed by a woman who accused her of swiping her $11,000 fur coat at 1Oak. Terms have not been disclosed. ][

• Phoebe Philo's first designs for will bow in June for pre-spring and cruise lines, while her first runway show has been pushed back from March to October. She says she wanted to "give the brand a bit of a break," rather than rush things. ][

• Swarovski will cut 150 jobs at its plant in Austria. This is the third wave of cuts in 18 months. ][

• Husband-and-wife design duo Swaim and Christina Hutson's new label is called Hutson. Their old label, , lost funding and last month. ][

• A trade show for discount goods in Las Vegas is expecting 30 percent more retailers shopping the event for the first time. Even rich people want cheap things these days. ][

• is on the cover of the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, which for some reason was unveiled last night on The Late Show With David Letterman. ][

Can you tell me what sort of literature affected you when you were growing up in Hawthorne, California?
• The Act of Creation, by Arthur Koestler, and it turned me on to some very special things. It explains that people attach their egos to their sense of humor before anything else. After I read it, I saw that trait in many people.

It made you look at people differently?
• Yes. The book’s about the logic of laughter, and I noticed that people are very self-conscious about being funny. They sort of watch themselves as they’re being funny, and there’s even a competition?it’s ]affects tone of mock horror[ ?You’re funnier than me?!" I think ]seeing[ a sense of humor is important to understanding what kind of person someone is. Studying metaphysics was also crucial, but Koestler’s book really was the big one for me.

How about other media?did any movies have a similar impact on you, for example?
• House of Wax scared me to death. That affected me a lot.

Did it turn you on to horror movies?
• No! After that one I realized that horror movies are not for me.

I know you were heavily influenced by black vocal groups of the fifties, but I’m curious to hear what singers moved you.
• Rosemary Clooney, Chuck Berry, Perry Como, and early-sixties record producers. And ?You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.? That was a great record, and I think it always will be a great record.

Was there a ?see the light? record that changed everything for you?
• When I heard Phil Spector’s productions, I realized, ?A-ha! I see?you can use echoes on the drums, and you can combine three guitars together to get one sound, add pianos to that, and you can get one big wall of sound!? I just loved that kick drum, that BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-POW! BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-POW! That’s the trademark of Phil. He influenced me, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, and Motown?quite a lot of people.

I’ve heard that you were particularly obsessed with ?Be My Baby.?
• Yeah, I played that song when I woke up every morning.

For how long?
• For about four years. ]Laughs.[

I liked the way Beautiful Dreamer, the documentary about you that’s included with the DVD of your Smile performance in L.A., dealt with your psychedelic experiences. Can you talk about the drugs behind your albums?
• Pet Sounds was marijuana. The Van Dyke Parks songs ]on Smile[ was Benzedrine. Psychedelics put you in a vocal mood. They make you want to sing. It’s like when a bird lands on a wire.

Were you really involved in the psychedelic movement?
• No, but I liked the whole idea of flower power, and I thought that the ?be-ins? in San Francisco were great things.

In the new documentary, you use the phrase ?rock opera? a lot to describe Smile?do you have a favorite classical composer?
• Bach. He was an innovator.

After Smile fell apart in the late sixties, you had a long period of isolation. Did you manage to stay connected to culture?
• I was snorting cocaine, which I shouldn’t have gotten into. It messed up my mind, and it unplugged me from music. I just remember reading magazines. I would say, ?Get me a Playboy! Get me a Penthouse!?

When you came out of that dark phase in the eighties, what were you listening to?
• David Lee Roth. I thought that his version of ?California Girls? was really, really good.

When you were putting together Smile, was there any new technology that impressed you?
• Pro Tools! Smile was sequenced with Pro Tools?I got somewhat familiar with it, but mostly I got off on other people’s ability with the program. I’d like to learn how to use it now.

You’ve done rock operas and pop. Is there any music left for you to tackle?
• Christmas songs! I have a Christmas album coming out on Arista for the holidays.

Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with? Or is there anything from your back catalogue, like Smile, that you’d like to finish?
• Celine Dion. She has nice legs, and she’s a great singer. And yes, there’s plenty of stuff in the vault. Let’s just say that we’re well stocked.

Dior speculation continues this morning — and not because of or a frenzied race in the fashion blogosphere to announce the winner of Galliano's old job before LVMH can. WWD reports Marc Jacobs is in "serious" talks to succeed Galliano. His contract at Louis Vuitton is ending and, before renewing, LVMH is said to be vetting him for the Dior job. If he goes, his business partner Robert Duffy, who works with him at his namesake label and Vuitton, would go with him. The vacancy at Vuitton would then possibly be filled by Céline's Pheobe Philo.

Jacobs's name hasn't been tossed around that much in the reports of who would take over at Dior. When asked if he was gunning for Galliano's job at Dior at his last Vuitton show (the one where a cigarette ZOMG ZOMG), he , "I haven't been asked." Meaning ... but if they did, he'd be into it? Sources told WWD Jacobs was in the running for the Dior job in the nineties as a successor to Gianfranco Ferré, but he ended up at Vuitton because Dior's then-president wanted Galliano.

Long coats in a myriad of fabrics and styles have been turning up on the runways, but in Paris, they took a dressier turn in the form of long but lightweight satin opera coats. At Miu Miu today, they were worn with crop tops and midi-length skirts, while Céline's long, silk, trenchlike coat, worn with sandals and slip dresses,had a decidedly haphazard,nineties demeanor. And at Rochas, a dramatic chrysanthemum-print opera coat was paired with a matching high-waisted silk bikini and white wrestling boots.


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We captured countless fashion week attendees— or rather, their well-shod feet— tottering between shows at Milk Studios over the past few days. See if you can spot those Prada raffia oxfords, Phillip Lim ankle booties, Ann Demeulemeester sandals, Preen for Aldo Rise slingbacks, Miu Miu wedges, and many more in our video. (Plus several pairs of chic, comfortable-looking slippers, whose wise wearers probably feel much better than we do right now.)

It's tempting to wrap things up with a bow at the end of a fashion week (It's all about purple! Hemlines are rising!), but the message from Paris was more dazzlingly diverse: long skirts, short skirts, something in between. If anything, there emerged a very wearable (which is not to say dull) version of fashion; from 's tunic-trouser combinations to 's smart day dresses worn with flats to Bianca Jagger suits everywhere you turned, it felt that designers were really thinking about the needs of the women who will wear their clothes. In 's lavish spectacle at the Grand Palais, Carmen Kass wowed in a dress made entirely of peach marabou, but it was the simple knit dresses that lingered in the mind afterward as a completely wonderful way to dress. Click ahead to see a slideshow of my top seventeen looks from Paris Fashion Week.


Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, executive producers on Smashas well as a slew of movie musicals like Chicago, 1999's Annie, and , are developing another hour-long musical series for NBC. The untitled project will be about "a 30-something songwriter who has written the most epic love songs of our time, despite, or perhaps due to the fact that she is painfully unlucky in love," . The show will feature the music of Diane Warren, who has written some of the most epic love songs of our time (Celine Dion’s "Because You Loved Me," Toni Braxton’s "Un-Break My Heart,"Aerosmith’s "I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing") and, while perhaps not unluckyin love, has indeed never married. Warren's songs will be integrated in a more organic, less stop-everything-and-sing-and-dance fashion than Smash.

Sofia Coppola wore a top and skirt with blue sequined stripes from 's resort 2013 collection to the amfAR Inspiration Night in Paris yesterday. She completed the look with a matching clutch and black sandals.

Do you like the director's playful outfit? Or do you think it's a jarring departure from her normally refined style?

's flagship boutique in Paris is now covered in , courtesy of graffiti artist Kidult. It apparently signifies his displeasure at Céline's use of skateboards in a recent ad campaign. Or maybe he did like the ads, and this spontaneous bout of artistry is meant as a compliment?

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The Trench AdaptsIn its current iteration, the classic coat is cropped at Dior, ruched at Burberry, and is the whole outfit at Céline.Spring's Big IdeasFrom basics to the all-the-difference details.

Photographs by Jeff Mermelstein

Photojournalist Jeff Mermelstein finds his inspiration on the streets?and not typically on the streets outside of fashion shows. His interest is in the unscripted, which is exactly why we sent him out to photograph fashion month in New York, Milan, and Paris, when everything is so carefully planned.

The Scarf (l’écharpe). Not the classic carré Hermès silk scarf, though that may be seen tied around a purse strap. Rather, these are ?big chunky wool scarves you wear even into spring.? Many scarf hounds have been buying them from, whose online army of actual French mamies (grandmas) will custom-knit the pythonlike scarf of your Madame Defarge dreams (for a not-cheap 175-plus euros). The Celine Box Bag ?C’est le ?must-have’ de la saison!? says stylist Philippe Uter, who also nominates loafers without socks or with very discreet ones (?Basic Tod’s, but the big one right now is blue velvet with the gold buckle?) and Dries Van Noten ?snow-washed? jeans. Very popular with cool young guys at the moment: tattoos. (If in doubt, head to Kustom Tattoo in the 11th.) But ?the thing is, French guys have scrawny bodies, so there’s not a lot of room to put the tattoos.?

There, there. The Cut knows you're upset that New York Fashion Week is over ... so, here's a Friday afternoon pick-me-up: the second installment of this season's street-style pattern recognition! We continued to lurk outside Milk Studios (the home of MADE Fashion Week), where we photographed trends worn by the People, like statement necklaces, colorful fur, sheer shirts, and oh-so-much Céline. Perpetual sigh. Click ahead to see these themes and more.

Tina Chai originally intended to be a lawyer. But after slogging through an uninspiring stint as a paralegal, she traded contract filing for photo shoots, landing a job at Glamour, which paved the way to Vogue's hallowed halls, where she worked for nearly five years. After a decade as a freelance stylist, Chai has cultivated an array of clients, working for glossies like i-D, styling shows ranging from to , and consulting for such retail brands as and .

But it's the industry's wide scope that she loves most. "One of the really amazing things about fashion is that it allows you to act out your fantasies," she says. "I can be all the things I'm not: I can dress like a sailor, even though I get horribly sick at sea; I can wear something really sporty, even though I'm the most uncoordinated person on the planet." In other words, she may not be a lawyer as she had once planned, but she can still dress the part (albeit in green Mary Janes). We talked to Chai about her tomboy style, Fashion Week favorites, and admittedly packed closet.

It used to be that wearing sneakers in public meant one of two things— you were headed to the gym or you were running errands in comfort. Those who wore kicks as a fashion statement were generally the die-hard sneakerheads who wait at midnight for the latest releases. But as Tommy Ton noted, the most of 2011 was the resurgence of sneakers among the fashion set, between s Phobe Philo taking her post-show bow in white trainers and Tamu McPherson of running around Fashion Week in brightly colored Nikes.Designers are taking notice in their collections as well— from to the ever-popular ,tricked-out kicks are sitting side-by-side with sky-high heels in the stores. Looking to get in on the trend? Our latest has 100 sneakers, from limited-edition collaborations to workout-friendly pairs that look equally good on your off days. So swap out those heels and don't be surprised if you'll be seeing some of these kicks on the street style blogs come Fashion Week.

After checking out the for next spring, it's time to take a look at the most covetable accessories. Because, while everyone may not be able to wear head-to-toe pastels, it's hard to pass up a sexy heel or a sumptuous new carryall. Designers didn't disappoint this season, showing a bevy of enticing bags, both big and small, and an array of shoes ranging from spindly stilettos to chunky platforms. To wit, introduced a gorgeous new two-toned tote that rivals last season's Pashli, and offered up a colorful take on its signature envelope bag. And for those obsessed with fall's glittery booties, you'll love the high-octane shine of 's mirrored loafers. Click ahead to see these pieces and more, then put your name on a wait list (or three) and start saving those pennies.


A lonely, smokin’-hot female mercenary returns from Iraq and inexplicably kidnaps a popular, fresh-faced 14-year-old boy in this ludicrous and predictable low-budget drama, which often feels like a teenager’s wet dream rather than a psychosexual thriller. Horrendous production values and an on-the-nose script don’t help much, either.

Over the past month, we quizzed 97 New York culture mavens (and some visiting luminaries) on the best movies, tweets, and other artistic artifacts they’ve encountered this year. The tallies were anything but scientific, but they nonetheless surfaced a few conspicuous crowd-pleasers?plus, as expected, quite a number of ardent endorsements of everything from Ellen Barkin’s Twitter profanity to DIY architecture at Zuccotti Park.

78% of respondents were glad when Adele’s 21 was on repeat.
22% needed it to stop.

?You want to send Adele’s album to every guy who screwed you over. So I’ve sent out about 4,700 of them, and I’m just waiting for responses and apologies.? ?Kathy Griffin, comedienne

?One of the great albums of the decade, if not the century.? ?Adam Walker, publicist, Film Forum

?I can’t get Justin Bieber’s Christmas album out of my head. His rap of ?Little Drummer Boy’? I’ll be singing it on the subway going home tonight.? ?John Waters, director

?Every time I confess this I’m convinced a lightning bolt is going to strike me down, but I adore Coldplay’s ?Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.’ ? ?Nico Muhly, composer

?Adam Levine must be tried at the Hague for ?Moves Like Jagger.’ ? ?Darrell M. McNeill, assoc. producer, BAM

The Descendants
?I cried because it’s so rare to see a movie in which everyone, especially men, behave decently.? ?Richard Peña, program director, Film Society of Lincoln Center

Margin Call
?It reminded me of how much money I lost this year.? ?Bob Balaban, actor

Friends With Benefits
?I think I cried some tears. I was laughing my arse off.? ?Elizabeth Olsen, actress

Being Elmo
?Not crying. Bawling.? ?Solange Knowles, musician

?When I laugh, I cry, because I’m that emotionally screwed up.? ?Mike Albo, author

The Help
?Four times.? ?Russell Simmons, cofounder, Def Jam Records

Hanna ?Alex Timbers, director
Bill Cunningham New York ?Colum McCann, author
The Descendants ?Penelope Ann Miller, actress
The Score of Contagion ?Nico Muhly
Moneyball ?Celine Rattray, film producer (?The lessons in Moneyball for film producers are very, very interesting. Do you hire the expensive person? Or do you make a bet on someone undervalued??)
Weekend ?Tod Lippy, editor Esopus
Martha Marcy May Marlene ?Massimiliano Gioni, assoc. director, New Museum
Battle for Brooklyn ?Darrell M. McNeill

Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
?She’s not only an incredible comedic actress, but she can play tragedy. I think she will win an Oscar, and I bet you it will be for something serious.? ?Andy Cohen, V.P. and host, Bravo

?I could watch Ryan Gosling in anything. He’s got a real mix of vulnerability and menace.? ?Gary Oldman, actor

?Michael Shannon is a knockout. He bust me out in tears and applause, alone in my living room.? ?Melissa Leo, actress

?Joseph Gordon-Levitt was beeeaauuutiful in 50/50. He’s just really open and really relaxed.? ?Tilda Swinton, actress

?Jessica Chastain has 34 films out this year. Not quite that many, but seems in the double digits. Could they create an Oscar for Most Valuable Player?? ?Celia Weston, actress

?Bill Cunningham owned 2011. Softer than soft, harder than hard, Bill is the realest New Yorker alive. And Occupy? Bill had it down in 1988: ?Money is cheap. Freedom is expensive.’ Never take the money.? ?Sasha Frere-Jones, critic


Nominated by Christopher Bollen, author.
• On Melancholia: Lars von Trier is that weird rarity: one of the world’s greatest filmmakers who has never made a great film.
• Legitimate question: just walked out on L.A. screening of The Artist and wondered: am I a Grinch or is it just an unbearably cute flyspeck?
• The Skin I Live In is basically Pedro Almodóvar’s chic version of The Human Centipede. But I prefer Dieter Laser over Antonio Banderas ?
• Steve McQueen’s Shame would have been so much more disturbing if Brandon had actually enjoyed the sex.

Nominated by Amanda Stern, reading-series curator, Joe’s Pub.
• Wait??Twilight? is about vampires?
• I only wrote a ?genre novel? so you’d have another example for your trend piece.
• ?Empire State of Mind? is a great song! Is there a version available without the Jay-Z parts?
• Will I be able to follow the plot if I see The Help before I see Bagger Vance, Driving Miss Daisy & The Blind Side?

Nominated by Adam Walker.
• This twitter shit is the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Never had so many friends in my life. I’m never leaving my house.
• Uh oh PR intervention!! My peeps just told me 2 limit my fuks to 1 fuk a day. What da fuk shud I do? What da fuk wud I say? help me my frenz!
• O no,now these muthafuckin assholes r hijacking my fuckin T-fuckin-V. These debates r a full season of a mediocre reality show w vampires!
• OMFG?I just realized Callista Gingrich has my exact fuckin haircut. Fuck. 1st thing tmrw, shave it all off or head full of extensions. Fuck
• Fuck u all, I like my real frenz better. Bunch of fuckin celebrity snobs? You all know who you are ?

?The Book of Mormon is the musical that every one of us in the comedy industry wishes we had made.? ?Paul Feig, actor-director
?The theatrical part of Sleep No More was a little forced, but oh, man?the details were fantastic.? ?Jim Jarmusch, director

?Tent City was like performance art, placing the Third World in the middle of the financial district. It was a DIY monument to our communal angst.? ?Vikram Gandhi, documentary filmmaker

Ashton Kutcher
Kim Kardashian
Hurricane Irene
Will and Kate
Charlie Sheen #winning
James Franco
Whitney Cummings
The Supercommittee

2011 SURVEY RESPONDENTS: Waris Ahluwalia, Mike Albo, Jon Robin Baitz, Bob Balaban, Molly Barnett, Felix Barrett, Natasha Bedingfield, Bérénice Bejo, Lake Bell, Andrew Berman, Christopher Bollen, Ashley Bouder, Maureen Bray, Bebe Buell, Tory Burch, Jennifer Carpenter, Cliff Chiang, Bill Clegg, Andy Cohen, Karen Cooper, Sam Corbett, Alan Cumming, Julie Danni, Anthony DeCurtis, Drake Doremus, Maxine Doyle, Paul Feig, Richard Flood, Sasha Frere-Jones, J. Michael Friedman, Cary Fukunaga, Vikram Gandhi, Alex Gansa, Massimiliano Gioni, Rebecca Gold, Kathy Griffin, Alyssa Hart, Michel Hazanavicius, Jonathan Hochwald, Paul Jackson, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Jarmusch, Felicity Jones, Geoff Kloske, Solange Knowles, Karl Lagerfeld, Matt Lauer, Ang Lee, Melissa Leo, Tod Lippy, Natasha Lyonne, Colum McCann, Ryan McGinley, Darrell M. McNeill, Aaron Meier, Kenny Mellman, Laura Miller, Penelope Ann Miller, Jennifer Missoni, Honor Moore, Nico Muhly, Kirsten Munro, Gary Oldman, Elizabeth Olsen, Patton Oswalt, Richard Peña, Renée Price, Celine Rattray, Jacques Renault, Nathaniel Rich, Elisabeth Robinson, Melissa Rosenberg, Jane Rosenthal, Tom Rothman, Rajendra Roy, Andrew Saffir, Brian Selznick, David Shields, Russell Simmons, Alex Smith, Gavin Smith, Scott Snyder, Olivier Staphylas, Amanda Stern, Darin Strauss, Sarah Suzuki, Tilda Swinton, Marlo Thomas, Uma Thurman, Alex Timbers, Adam Walker, John Waters, Randy Weiner, Celia Weston, Olivia Wilde, Max Winkler, Susan Yung

After dresses styled over pants started appearing on red carpets and spring runways, the Cut broke into debate: Is this look flattering? Practical? Attractive? Here is our thought process; tell us yours in the comments.

Sally: So this originally came up because Emma Watson did thething at aPerks of Being a Wallflowerscreening in London. How does that make you FEEL?
Veronica: I FEEL like she's somehow more comfy in an otherwise dressy outfit. Maybe it's because I grew up in Seattle where it just isn't a good idea to be barelegged most of the time — it seems like an easy solution, matching pants under short dress.
Sally: But then why not pants and a blazer? Or tights? She looks dowdy.
Veronica: She's hitting masculine and feminine at the same time. Tights are the usual suspect with a dress, so the slight crease in that trouser, I think makes her look sharper.
Sally: Besides,a torso two-times the length of Emma's?

Deep breath. That was just the ending! What about the beginning? Well, as last week’s episode proved, The Killing can be enjoyable when the focus is kept on Linden and Holder, and we weren’t immune to their improved chemistry this time out — their banter over dating, say, or the sweetly protective way Holder physically intruded on Linden’s awkward if pointless showdown with her babydaddy. Also, Bones-haters, the pace of the investigation was better this week but then again it had to be — there’s only one episode left! The thing that kept us scratching our head was lice what prompted all this newfound purpose: the revelation that the entire murder hinges on Beau Soleil, a secretive escort website that simply didn’t exist for the first eleven hours of the season. Of course, once it was revealed (thanks to Holder’s skanky ex-partner, the to , if you will), it all came tumbling out: Beau Soleil is a discreet service run out of a knockoff shoe e-store in Chinatown. (For people saying this was just like , please stop. We’ll believe it when Sterling ties a cherry stem into a knot with her teeth and Belko gets abducted by the .) Not only was Rosie a vendor on said website — allowing her to amass more than $7000 in deposits in casino ATMs north of the border (do those things even have deposit functions?) — she learned about it from her sketchy Aunt Terry, who finally was given something more to do. It seems that Terry, when not making pasta for her nephews, turns tricks online (which explains why she was so freaked at the sight of Jasper’s apparently whore-mongering dad) and lent her niece her I.D. so she could hook have more fun than her mom allowed.

A former seventeenth-century bakery redesigned by Christian Lacroix, the (from $220) has become the epicenter of the trendy north Marais neighborhood. The seventeen rooms are small but make a huge visual impact, mixing polka dots, fuchsia florals, heart-shaped Venetian mirrors, and scenes from outer space. Lacroix himself covered Room 204's walls with his own collages and sketches.

As one of the Left Bank's most chic hideaways (from $450) is a popular choice with visiting fashion editors, who get their pick from 56 recently renovated rooms. Since the hotel's located directly next door to gastro hot spot , you can put your name on the endless waiting list and then take a nap before dinner.

A cheaper, though still stylish, Left Bank alternative is the (from $336), which has standard (i.e., teeny) rooms decorated in browns and crisp white linens. Request something on an upper floor to escape a dawn wake-up call from noisy garbage trucks.

Though now over a decade old, (from $400) is still the city's main haunt for models and celebrities. The 82 rooms are done in haute-bordello style, with red brocade walls and black and gold lacquered antique furniture.

Leroy reveals that his sleeve tattoo is just a couple of years old; he got it when he decided to pursue singing full-time. “Can’t wear short sleeves and get a normal job with this tattoo!” Leroy’s face is that of a 20-year-old and so are his decision-making processes. His version of “We’ve Got Tonight” is just fine, though it doesn’t really contradict LA’s prediction that he’ll be boring. The judges actually judge his performance, which is a refreshing change, but the audience savagely boos every critical remark. Paula says, “There needs to be more of a connection,” and the crowd cries for her head. “THAT IS UNFAIR, BECAUSE WE TOTALLY FEEL THE CONNECTION,” they say (in Boo-ish). Simon asks Nicole point-blank whether she thinks Leroy can win, and she says: “Of course I would hold that possibility.” What they are taking forever to say is that it’s great that he looks so young, but his days are numbered. Steve Jones asks Leroy what he thinks of “those horrible, horrible comments,” which is artless and hilarious. Also I think Simon calls Leroy “Lori.”

First it was the cult luggage a few years ago with their undulating scroll trim that launched a thousand phone calls to get on their wait list. Then it was the sculptural S-curved hemlines and lapels at . Now, the curve is back in a big way for Spring 2013. We've already spotted them at Cushnie et Ochs as an eye-catching frame for a model's décolletage; at in the form of some especially ; and at as a red scroll detail on a white neoprene pullover.

• Thinspo site Skinny Gossip panned Kate Upton for "confidently lumbering up a runway like there's a buffet at the end of it," adding, "She looks thick, vulgar, almost pornographic – and she is a solid 30 lbs too heavy for this outfit." ] via [

• In happier Kate Upton news, the model is rumored to be dating Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. ][

• Kati Nescher covers Vogue China's August 2012 issue, photographed by Josh Olins, in a sweater. But it's from Céline's fall collection, so we're okay with it. ][

• A new fashion magazine called Document, by Nick Vogelson and James Valeri, will be on sale in September. ][

• PETA is not pleased with Alessandra Ambrosio for dyeing her dog pink and purple: "What most people don’t know is that dyeing a companion animal's fur can cause the animal stress and can lead to complications or allergic reactions that endanger the animal's health ... Our dogs and cats love us regardless of how we look; why not extend the same kindness to them?" Ambrosio is moments away nasty nickname. ][

Ethan Hawke, you cagey so-and-so. Mere days after a third Before Sunrise movie was "not really worth talking about" since it was still gestating, Richard Linklater has apparently wrapped filming. The movie is called Before Midnight and is set in Greece, . Hawke and Julie Delpy of course reprise their roles as Jessie and Celine, who are together again, now eighteen years or so after their first encounter. Ugh, let's all just make homemade tapenade and watch this movie and think about love and travel and romance and being elegant in our 40s.

Leather shopper totes have been a staple for many handbag brands; Goyard, , and, most recently, have all made covetable versions. Combining simple details with a structured silhouette, these roomy bags fit more than just the essentials and still look polished enough to carry into the office. And there's no need to invest in the trend either: American Apparel, Forever 21, and ASOS each sell options for less than $100 that can double as sleek gym bags. While classic black totes abound, there's no shortage of colorful renditions (think neon yellow, kelly green, and lipstick red). But with such agenerousinterior, keeping your bag organized using smaller pouches is key to avoiding the bottomless-pit effect. Click ahead to see 35 leather totes at all prices.

When received a "Designer Brand of the Year" nomination for last year's British Fashion Awards, industry veterans got huffy that such a relative newcomer — and a celebrity designer at that — be put in the same category as titans like , , and . Mulberry won in the end, but Victoria Beckham is back in the nominee pool this year for the same category, this time competing against , , and Burberry again.

Meanwhile, royal wedding hero Sarah Burton is an obvious front-runner for "Designer of the Year," and 19-year-old Georgia Jagger will duke it out with seasoned pros Stella Tennant and Kristen McMenamy for the title of best model.

See the complete list of nominees:


Sarah Burton for
Last year's winner: Pheobe Philo for

• Receive a free 2 oz. sample with the purchase of an 8 oz. Quick Curls styling product at Miss Jessie's salon. Enter a raffle for giveaways between noon and two o'clock, and check out demonstrations between five and seven. Refreshments will be served. 441 Broadway, nr. Grand St., Ste. 2 (212-966-5600); 11–7.

• Marc by Marc Jacobs shoes start at $80, Catherine Malandrino dresses start at $108, and Pucci and Celine rain boots start at $95 at AvaMaria. Through 10/1. 107 Crosby St., nr. Prince St. (212-966-0909); daily (11:30–7:30).

• All spring/summer merchandise is up to 80 percent off at Scoop's warehouse sale. Through 9/29. 875 Washington St., at 14th St.; 9–7.

• Italian home furnishings by Cassina, Poltrona Frau, and Cappellini are 20 percent off. Through 10/5. Cassina, 151 Wooster St., nr. Houston St. (212-228-8186); M–F (11–7), S–Su (noon–6). Poltrona Frau, 145 Wooster St., nr. Houston St. (212-777-7592); M–F (11–7), S–Su (noon–6). Cappellini, 152 Wooster St., nr. Houston St. (212-966-0669); M–F (11–7), Su (noon–6).

• Leonidas Fresh Belgian Chocolates are $22/lb. (originally $38/lb.) at the storewide anniversary sale. Through 10/6. 485 Madison Ave., nr. 51st St. (212-980-2608); M–F (9–7), S (10–7), Su (noon–6).


Discover the similarities between two famous Italian designers and admire some of their most iconic ensembles at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" exhibit. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., at 82nd St. (212-879-5500); T–Th (9:30–5:15), F–Sa (9:30–8:45), Su (9:30–5:15). Through 8/19.

• Jewelry is marked down by 50 to 70 percent at the spring sample sale. Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave., nr. 15th St., second fl.; (212-243-6930), daily (10–7). Through 5/20.

• Find up to 90 percent off retail prices at OMEN's one-day sample sale, featuring designers such as Lars Andersson, Amyclaire, FACTORY By Erik Hart, and more. 5 Crosby St., nr. Howard St., ste. 6H.; Th (12–8).

Just four days into the spring 2011 season, and trends are already starting to emerge. Among them: next-to-nude faces (, ); long, see-through skirts (; ); watercolor florals of varying intensity (, ); and even faux septum piercings (, ). But what are the pros thinking? We checked in with , youth-market editor for trend-forecasting agency , to get her take on the shows to date.

What trends are jumping out at you so far for spring 2011?
A few common points have emerged, even this early on. In particular, color trends seem strong — a beautiful, light lime has popped up at both and , while a vibrant cobalt was featured at and Nomia. Sleek leathers seem to be a favorite material, often reminiscent of 's last two collections. At , featherweight leather featured slits or was draped alongside chiffon, while Frank Tell added subtle texture to his minimal silhouettes via croc-embossed lambskin. Cushnie et Ochs's thin leather kilts also used contrast, with peekaboo chiffon panels. Overall, skins are definitely a dominant material, especially combined with lighter, sheer fabrics.

Shopping for a new or a is certainly fun, but nothing compares to the thrill of buying a new pair of shoes. And, come fall, it's going to be very hard to pick just one. , , and showed sleek black ankle boots that can easily transition an outfit from day to night. , , and put on their dancing shoes with shimmery and sparkly heels. And thanks to the cyclical nature of fashion, square toes are making a comeback, as seen at . Meanwhile, Phoebe Philo at has single-handedly revamped the white heel. Click ahead to see all these styles, plus many more glorious options.

Watch the Video for Lil B’s ‘3 Stacks,’ Featuring an Instrumental Celine Dion Sample

Somehow, the Internet is still going. In fact, we’re pretty sure that since Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” finally topped the chart this week, and she controls the entire Internet, everything was reenergized from the inside out. Needless to say, the blogosphere was alive and well with hearty heapings of pop-cultural nuggets you may have missed, and we’re happy to bring them to you today!

This week, Celine Dion gave Adele a run for her money, The Avengers’ Tom Hiddleston let us in on his not-so-hidden talent (impressions), and Tay “Chocolate Rain” Zonday reemerged to serenade us with his own personal cover of — what else? — “Call Me Maybe.”

Phoebe Philo's outstanding debut collection for hits stores on November 16. Chic and beautifully constructed, these pieces are also totally wearable. Here are five reasons we love her clothes:

1. This resort collection thankfully isn't for the beach. It's buy now, wear now. What a concept!
2. Get in on the khaki military trend early.
3. These aren't flash-in-the-pan items. The pieces are meant to last in your wardrobe.
4. Good old separates finally return as mix-and-match — which is how we really dress.
5. Even the dresses are "normal," and not silly evening gowns.

$350 to $5,000 at , 660 Madison Ave., at 61st St. (212-826-8900); M?F (10?8), S (10?7), Su (11?6).

Although it seems obvious that the fashion industry — which, after all, caters largely to women — would be open to something so commonplace as maternity leave, Philo is actually the first major designer to have taken it (in 2005, while she was at Chloé),according to theFT's Vanessa Friedman. Moreover, Friedman suggests that LVMH's unusual sensitivity to Philo's personal needs this season might have something to do with last year's. This is an interesting thought: It takes a major public meltdown from Galliano for fashion executives to realize they should be respectful of their employees' basic maternity needs?

This is just an abbreviated photo gallery of celebrities who attended a game at the Garden this year. Keep in mind that this was during a season when the Knicks went 29-53. In Cleveland, you pretty much have one superfan?Usher. Do you think he’d still show up if the Cavs lost 50 games?


Céline Dion, Michael Imperioli, Chris Rock, Jay-Z, Brooke Shields, William Hurt, Mary J. Blige, John Mcenroe, Tracy Morgan, Shaun White, Kim Kardashian, Jessica Stam, Lou Reed, Woody Allen, Rosie Perez, Dustin Hoffman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rihanna, Howard Stern, Mark Wahlberg, Chloë Sevigny, Spike Lee, Hugh Jackman, Ethan Hawke.



“Phoebe Philo at Céline creates a collection each season that is about building a wardrobe rather than focusing on throwaway trends. I think, as a working woman (and mum), she really has that ability to resonate with what women want to wear.”—Katie Bain, 29, show manager at the British Fashion Council

“Phoebe Philo has never made a bad move, including her decision to take time off at the height of her success to dedicate herself to work that to many of us women is much more important than anything else: maternity. At Céline, it didn’t take long for her to seduce women with her work, for she is one of us.”—Vanessa Caputo, 41,editor-in-chief of Petits Luxes Magazine

“I'm seduced by the sense of it being the vision of a strong woman who has created a fashion moment, who wonderfully negotiated working from London because that’s where her family is and who has decided not to do a runway show this season because of her pregnancy.”—Agata Belcen, 28, the fashion editor at Another Magazine

Well, V magazine, you did the impossible: You made us understand what goes on inside Rene Angelil's head.

Phoebe Philo at Celine is generally credited with first promulgating these notions, and as the week goes on, the Celine-ification is in full swing: At Stella McCartney, which is held in the Paris Opera House under a gilded mosaic ceiling so exquisite that nothing in a century of fashion could possibly rival it, begins with a recording of Tiger Woods (well, we think it’s Tiger, though it might be an actor) urging a paramour to please, please remove her number form his phone, or some such. It is not apparent why this is being played (though it is mordantly amusing) since it is not followed by clothes particularly suited for a golf course or a dirty tryst. Instead, the first looks are schoolgirl coats with little V-shaped cutouts in the front, followed by parkas with hoods, and tiny short dresses covered by sheer panels, which, come to think of it, Tiger might actually enjoy very much.

If the staff members lined up outside the show bearing baskets with ribbons soaked in Chloé’s new fragrance make you think the recession has really changed things — no free perfume samples waiting at your seat these days! — you will be disabused of this notion by the time the week ends. The Paris shows, as you will learn in a moment, will become more and more elaborate, even if the clothes, with a few notable exceptions, remain depressingly austere.

At Chloé, the show begins with the kind of neat trim coats we've been seeing with sad regularity since the spring 2011 shows began five weeks ago (though it seems like 500). Of course the credit (or blame) for all these stultifying clean lines, these solid blocks of conformity, is Phoebe Philo at , who doesn't offer any surprises on her own runway, unless you consider a boat neck blue denim gardening smock a leap into the unknown. The next morning, at the breathtaking Paris opera house (even Hitler was not immune to its architectural splendor), sends out still more plain pantsuits, and even has her own version of denim play clothes. I am happier when the oversized pineapple prints and taxicab yellow rain poncho emerge, a brief reminder that there is a world beyond vanilla blazers.

Céline's minimalist accessories have amassed a cult following, but for spring, Phoebe Philo took a step toward the surreal, with pumps resembling perfectly pedicured feet. Sure, trompe l'oeil shoes have popped up before— at Comme des Garçons and Maison Martin Margiela — but Céline's take on the idea was a playful counterpoint to the sharply tailored looks. Click to zoom in on the shoe, and start thinking about what color polish you can use to DIY.

For the most part, Kate Winslet has been handling her Titanic 3D: Reach Out and Touch the Iceberg (unofficial title) press tour with grace and charm, talking about how much she loves Leo and how exciting it is that a new generation will get to see her stand on her tippy-tippy-toes on the big screen. But there is one point on which Kate Winslet refuses to be kind, and that is the subject of Celine Dion's "love theme," "My Heart Will Go On." How does it make Kate feel? "Like throwing up." Ouch. Are you sure, Kate? What about the recorder, or that awesome key change? "No, I shouldn't say that … no, actually, I do feel like throwing up." , she hates it when people try to surprise her with the song, she will not sing it on talk shows, and generally she feels haunted by the song. Also, she can't really go boating anymore because people insist on making jokes. Titanic is the disaster that will not end.

Her elimination from American Idol was one of the most shocking moments on the show's history, but can reveal that Pia Toscano landed a record deal just one day after her premature ousting.

"Pia is being signed to a deal with Interscope Records who are rushing her into the studio to record an album ASAP," a source told who broke the story. Interscope is chaired by AI mentor Jimmy Iovine.

"Starting Thursday night after the show, Interscope told her they wanted her and first thing Friday morning Interscope brass started calling every top songwriter and producer in town to get an album together and rush release it. Papers are being finalized. It's basically a done deal. She's signing. They rushed everything but she's so excited."

Pia spoke to in a conference call the day after she was voted off the show and was excited about her future.

"So many doors are going to open for me," she said. "In fact they already have and I'm looking forward to going on tour and I'm excited to see what my future holds. I'm not upset, I'm positive."


You know TV's in trouble when it's not just doing awards shows and reality shows, but shows about awards show nominations!

But that's what we're getting tonight when CBS airs the Grammy nominations in prime time.

Taylor Swift (who will perform) and LL Cool J will host the show. Other performers included Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Celine Dion, Foo Fighters, and the legendary B.B. King.

The actual awards ceremony will air in February.

Celine Cawley, 46, who played a party girl in the James Bond film A View to Kill with Roger Moore, was beaten to death on the patio of her Dublin home Tuesday. She had apparently fought with someone who had entered the house.

According to the UK Daily Mail, her husband, Eamonn Lillis, had dropped their daughter at school and gone for a walk with the dog. He returned to find his wife alive but unconscious and chased a man whom he described as being in his 20s or 30s and of slight but powerful build.

Cawley gave up acting to pursue a career in advertising.

Kate Gosselin’s lawyer filed papers Monday morning at Montgomery County Court in Pennsylvania in a bid to get back the $230,000 taken from her account by estranged husband Jon.

In a statement to, Kate's Attorney Mark Momjian said: "We went to court this morning to protect her rights. The judge hasn't ruled yet, but is expected to at anytime. We are seeking sanctions against Jon Gosselin and we want the money returned, now."

A heartbroken Kate told the Today Show Monday that she only had $1,000 left in her account and could not pay her bills after Jon’s shock bank raid.
“He took $230,000 of the $231,000 we had,” she told Meredith Vieira in New York. was the first to break the news that Jon had gone into the joint account and taken the cash without her knowledge.

He appeared on Larry King Live last week saying he wanted the couple to mediate so that they could become friends. But at the same time, he had secretly withdrawn almost all the money out of the account she uses to pay the family bills.

This was days after TLC announced it was limited his role on Jon & Kate Plus 8 and renaming the show Kate Plus 8. Jon has demanded the show not film his children and taping has been suspended. has learned that early in the divorce Kate removed $100,000 from their bank account after she became concerned Jon was wasting money on "toys" like an expensive car and a four-wheeler.

But when arbitration started she acknowledged that she had removed the cash but had given Jon half of it.

Jon Gosselin’s lawyer Mark Heller says that according to his client’s recollection since receiving monetary compensation from TLC for the past four and a half years “he has not withdrawn any money for his own re-numeration with exception of the past several months wherein he believes he only withdrew approximately $175,000 which is less than 10 per cent of the gross revenues paid the Gosselins.”

Kate Gosselin’s law firm made the claim – according to Heller’s statement that Jon "withdrew the money in secret".

Heller argues it’s not a secret because Jon’s sudden yanking of cash out of the account is reflected on the bank sataemments which Kate has sole access to.

Kate hired Los Angele’s top attorney, Marty Singer, who sent Heller a blistering letter last week and is now seeking, with Kate’s east coast lawyer, contempt charges against Jon.

Heller finally responded and says that when all the money is accounted for "Jon will be awarded substantial additional funds.”

Heller gave a statement to Entertainment Tonight, counter attacking and offering justification for Jon’s actions. His full statement reads:

“Regrettably, right after Jon Gosselin expressed his sincere desire to mediate at a table with Kate and both of their respective attorneys, while temporarily suspending legal proceedings in order to resolve numerous issues and open up lines of communication, (since Kate has not only refused counseling but has refused to communicate with Jon other than through texting), Kate unfortunately has chosen to “lawyer up” by teaming up three separate law firms to declare war in response to Jon’s request for a Peace Summit.

In the past approximate four and a half year period when “Jon & Kate plus 8” has been airing, approximately $2,250,000 in revenue is believed to have been paid to the Gosselins, however, Jon is not certain of the specific amount of revenue paid, since Kate has, upon information and belief, violated the Arbitrator’s Order which directed that she “sign any documents necessary to give Husband internet access to the following bank accounts…” (four bank accounts were identified).

In addition, upon information and belief, Kate further violated the Arbitrator’s Order since she has not provided “a written explanation for the disposition of the withdrawal on 10/23/08 in the amount of $332,943.” In addition, Kate has not provided “a written explanation for the disposition for all withdrawals… the first such withdrawal… on 3/24/08 in the amount of $125,000,” as well as a withdrawal “dated 3/28/08 in the amount of $3,000,” nor has she provided “the disposition of the withdrawal on 4/14/08 in the amount of $8,534.89.”

Jon has always left the bookkeeping and accounting in Kate’s hands and in light of the litigation, he sought an accounting which he has not received.

It should also be noted that in a communication directed from Kate’s third law firm addressing the issue of the purported withdrawals by Jon, the lawyer’s letter surprisingly stated “neither party shall withdraw funds…without the prior consent of the other party…” but the lawyer’s letter failed to include the directive “which consent shall not unreasonably be withheld by either party.” (underline added).

Furthermore, the contention in said communication from Kate’s third law firm that Jon “withdrew the money in secret” flies in the face of the fact that all withdrawals would have been reflected in bank statements and online account information that Kate monitored and controlled and failed to access Jon to. Although Jon has been unable to reach the Bank today, Sunday, to confirm the withdrawals purportedly made, his recollection is that for the past 4 1/2 years that TLC has been paying the Gosselins for their participation in the program, he has not withdrawn any money for his own remuneration with the exception of the past several months wherein he believes he only withdrew approximately $175,000 which is less than ten percent of the gross revenues paid the Gosselins and certainly no one would deem it unreasonable that Jon waited a little over four years to take any “paycheck” for his 4 1/2 years of services and is clearly a de minimis sum compared to the $2,250,000 in revenue for which he is still awaiting an accounting from Kate. Jon certainly did not withdraw “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in the past week, contrary to the implications that have been made.

Certainly, if Kate would, as Jon requested, open up lines of communication privately, rather than in Court, to facilitate a better parenting partnership, a further benefit to Kate might result now that Kate has opened up this issue of bank withdrawals by avoiding her public embarrassment should it be determined that she took more money for herself than was appropriate. Maybe, this is why Kate refused Jon’s extension of the “olive branch” and instead of accepting the peace offer she chose to build up her legal team to include three separate law firms and to divert what very well might become her embarrassment by attempting to embarrass Jon’s attorney by focusing attention away from the true issues relevant to Jon and Kate and their eight children.

It is not unlikely when the Arbitrator and/or the Court receive a full accounting of all of the proceeds which have been under the control of Kate and take into consideration any withdrawals made by both parties, that Jon will be awarded substantial additional funds.

By the way, Kate, please let your three separate law firms, that now represent you, know that Jon is still hopeful that you will agree to suspend the Divorce Proceedings and sit down at the table with him to open up lines of communication, straighten out all issues, such as the financing, and most importantly, join him as a partner in parenting your eight beautiful children.”

Talk about passing along your genes! Rene Angelil was presented with the National Order of Quebec June 17, and standing at proud attention alongside the 67-year-old were his superstar wife Celine Dion and their son Rene-Charles.  It was the eight-year-old who drew much of the crowd's attention though.  As he gets older, Rene-Charles is such a dead-ringer for his mom that he is sometimes mistaken for a girl; although the natty suit he wore on the podium made him a manly boy for the occasion.

Music manager and professional gambler Rene was hospitalized for a routine medical procedure last month, but he's obviously doing well now. And he couldn't have been happier to be honored in his native Quebec.

(Photo: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)

Celine Dion and her new twin boys headed home from the hospital on Wednesday night.

"Céline and the twins went home last night," her rep told on Thursday.

"Everyone's doing great. They are happy to be home."

Dion had given birth on Saturday in a Florida hospital via a C-section.

She and husband Rene Angelil also have a nine year old son Rene-Charles.

Currently, the singer is getting some extra mommy backup from three of her sisters and her mom, according to the rep.


There will be a whole lot of blue being sent Celine Dion’s way. The singer announced that the twins she and husband Rene Angelil are expecting are boys!

The singer first announced her pregnancy in May but said they wouldn’t know the genders of the twins until June.

“Celine first announced the upcoming new additions to the Angélil-Dion family back in May, and now she just revealed that she is expecting twin boys!” her announced. “Congratulations to the happy family!”

Dion underwent in vitro fertilization to conceive. The couple also has a nine-year-old son Rene Charles.

Grammy award winning singer Celine Dion is pregnant with her second child.

Her publicist told Tuesday morning: "Yes, we can confirm that Celine is pregnant and she and Renee are very very happy. She is just a few days pregnant and the baby is due in May."

Dion is 41. Her husband husband Rene Angelil is 67.

The singer -- who is the youngest of 14 children -- has made no secret that she wanted to have more kids.

The couple already have a son, 8-year-old Rene Charles.

Angélil also has three other children from two previous marriages.

Grammy-winning singer Celine Dion was hospitalized Sunday in Florida in an effort to prevent the early birth of the twin boys she's expecting, has learned.

The singer is at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, her rep told the AP, adding that she's there just to make sure doctors are on hand for all events up until the birth. Dion is in the third trimester of her pregnancy.

The hospital said in a statement that Dion checking in early "is a fairly common clinical practice for mothers of twins.

“This is done to ensure the patient can be in close contact with their doctors and clinical resources, leading up to their birth," according to the hospital.

Dion, 42, and her husband René Angélil, 68, have a 9-year-old son, Rene Charles, who was conceived by in vitro fertilization.



Celine Dion and her husband René Angélil have named their twin boys Eddy and Nelson, has learned.

Eddy was named for Dion's first producer Eddy Marnay, Dion's rep told People, while Nelson was named for leader Nelson Mandela, who the couple met in 2008 while Dion was performing in South Africa.

"René said that in just the few minutes they were able to spend with him, they were impressed by the human being he is," the rep told the magazine. They chose those names because they "want their children to be inspired by their names, because they were so inspired by these men.”

The Grammy-winning singer gave birth to the newborns Saturday at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Dion, 42, and Angélil, 68, also have a 9-year-old son, Rene Charles, who was conceived by in-vitro fertilization.



Grammy-winning singer Celine Dion is not pregnant now, but will keep trying, her husband, René Angélil, told a Canadian newspaper.

Angélil told the Journal de Montreal that Dion's in vitro fertilization this past summer was unsuccessful; at first  the couple did believe it took.

"We are living the reality of the majority of couples who have to use ]IVF[," he told the paper. "But today, we are full of confidence -- Celine is more determined than ever."

The singer, who is the youngest of 14 children, has talked passionately about wanting to have more children.

As previously reported, Dion, 41, announced in August that she was expecting a baby due in May.

The My Heart Will Go On singer and Angélil, 67, have an 8-year-old son, Rene-Charles, who was conceived by in vitro fertilization after six years of trying. While trying to conceive her first child, she had her embryos frozen in liquid nitrogen. When she finished her concert run in Las Vegas in 2007, she consulted a New York fertility doctor about trying to conceive again.

Angélil explained the misunderstanding: "Dr. Zev Rosenwaks believed that the procedure/pregnancy took, but that wasn't the case," he said. "We found out some days later. We were shocked. But you know Céline. She doesn't let go."

Angélil, whose battle with cancer had raised doubts that the couple could conceive again, has three other children from two previous marriages.

"I admire all the women who go through such a tough process. Since April, she has undergone numerous examinations, multiple hormone injections and blood tests," he said. "Céline and I didn't get discouraged ... we put our faith in life and in the stars."


Celine Dion, who gave birth to twin boys last week, told a Canadian news outlet she was originally pregnant with triplets but lost one of the babies, has learned.

"He chose to let go to give space to his brothers to grow," the My Heart Will Go On singer told Quebec TV.

The five-time Grammy-winning singer her husband René Angélil welcomed their twin boys, Eddy and Nelson, into the world Saturday at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Eddy was named after Dion's first producer Eddy Marnay, Dion’s rep told People, while Nelson was named for leader Nelson Mandela, who the couple met in 2008 while Dion was touring in South Africa.

Dion, 42, and Angélil, 68, also have a 9-year-old son, Rene Charles, who was conceived by in-vitro fertilization.

A rep for Dion confirmed to that the story is in fact true.



Proud new mom Celine Dion showed off her twin boys Eddy and Nelson for the first time, and has a sneak peak at the superstar’s beautiful babies.

The Canadian-born songbird  -- who had struggled to conceive --  proudly posed with her new sons on the cover of the brand new issue of Canadian OK! Magazine.

The pair were born on Saturday, October 23, to join Celine’s husband Rene Angelil and their 9-year-old son Rene Charles.

Dion, 42, has been very open about her fertility struggles, and she conceived the twins on her sixth in vitro attempt over the course of a year.

“It was a very emotional moment, and even though we didn’t speak to each other, we were both thinking about the time it took,” Angelil said. “We are very lucky, very priviledged and very fortunate to have these boys.”

Rene said the twins’ birth has also been an exciting time for their 9-year-old son Rene-Charles.

“He was very, very happy that it was boys,” he said.

“I remember a few months ago when mom told him the day we were going to know if it was a boy or a girl or two boys or two girls…his reaction pointing to his mom’s belly he said, ‘I hope there’s not too many girls in there.’”

The name "Eddy" comes from Eddy Marnay, who produced the singer's first five records while Nelson is named after Nelson Mandela,  whom Celine met two years ago while kicking off her world tour in South Africa.

Following their birth the twins big brother, according to Angelil, Rene-Charles told him, “One looks like dad, and the other looks like mom.”
Celine Dion Pregnant With Twins 

She may be a mom of three now, but to slow Dion’s career down. The singer will return to the Las Vegas stage.

“We know she’s going to start rehearsing Jan. 17,” says her husband. “It gives her three months to recoup and she thinks she can do it.”



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On Saturday morning, Celine Dion was brought into a Florida operating room where she delivered her twins!

According to Jose Live column in The Palm Beach Post, the Canadian Singer was brought to the St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach to undergo a C-section. The babies arrived at 11:11 a.m. and 11:12 a.m.

Dion was hospitalized last Sunday after displaying signs of early child birth. Her rep told the AP that is was simply a precaution to ensure doctors were on hand for any potential events that could occur. The hospital said checking in early "is a fairly common clinical practice for mothers of twins."

Dion was ecstatic when announcing her growing family. “Celine first announced the upcoming new additions to the Angélil-Dion family back in May, and now she just revealed that she is expecting twin boys!” her website announced over the summer. “Congratulations to the happy family!”

Dion and her husband Rene Angelil also have a 9-year old son Rene Charles who was also conceived through in vitro fertilization.


Is superstar singer Celine Dion about to swap the big stage for the ice rink ? The Canadian songbird is being linked as one of  ten prospective buyers for The Montreal Canadiens ice hockey team.

And news that the Titanic crooner - who is worth over $300 million - could become The Habs new “Ice Queen” has received a mixed reaction from their fanatical supporters.

Some posts on the clubs website:

BiVolt wrote: I wonder if Celine will sing the national anthem.

NefCanuck wrote: If she buys the Habs hell really will have frozen over.

According to local reports the Bank Of Montreal has signed a confidentiality agreement with 10 potential suitors who have until 5pm today (Thursday) to submit formal bids to the team’s majority owner George Gillett. Gillett - who also owns Richard Petty Motorsports and Liverpool soccer club – reportedly bought the Montreal Canadiens for $275 million in 2001. Due to the economic downturn the current value is unknown.

Quebec-born Dion has become an international star despite being born into a poverty stricken home where she was one of 14 children. Under the guidance of her husband and manager Rene Angeli she has become one of the wealthiest female entertainers in the world.

Founded in 1909 The Montreal Canadiens is the oldest continuously playing professional ice hockey team and they have won 24 Stanley Cups in that time. Any successful bidder would also acquire The Bell Center in Montreal as part of the deal – other interested parties include Cirque Du Soleil Founder Guy Laliberte and Quebec cable giant Quebecor Media.

Story developing…

Gowns shimmering under the Paris stars, spiked shoes with summer dresses and goggle-like glasses – Best and Worst Wednesday has it all!

Style queen and Oscar winner Julia Roberts proved that she still has what it takes to turn heads all over the globe in a Dries Van Noten multi-colored floral print dress and green Celine suede wedges at the Tokyo premiere of Eat, Pray, Love.

Funny guy Michael Cera always makes us laugh – even when he doesn’t mean too. The Scott Pilgrim Vs The World star was the definition of geek in thick glasses as he visited a book store in London. We hope he was fooling around but something tells us he may think this is stylish.

Always a red carpet winner, Angelina Jolie shone like the star she is in a Pamela Roland ivory silk lame dress and silver heeled pumps at the Salt premiere in Paris. The actress’ arm tattoos provided the perfect edgy accessory to her sparkling gown.

Even edgier were the fabulous S&M-inspired Ruthie Davis Spike shoes that reality star Whitney Port wore with her Blue Moon Summer Lovin’ dress to the shoe designer’s event at Kitson Melrose.

Check out all the fashion hits and misses in our style gallery!

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Singer Céline Dion is pregnant again -- with twins -- at age 42, has confirmed.

The, Grammy-winning singer conceived after undergoing her sixth in-vetro fertilization treatment. She is 14 weeks pregnant and will find out the babies' genders next month.

"We're ecstatic," Dion's husband, René Angelil, 68, told .

"Céline is just hoping for a healthy pregnancy. She was hoping for one baby and the news that we are having two is a double blessing."

Dion and Angelil, who is also her manager, have a nine-year-old son, René-Charles.


Though he hasn't performed for over 30 years, Elvis Presley was again at the top of Forbes magazine's list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities, raking in $52 million last year.

In contrast, living megastar rapper 50 Cent made $33 million, and Celine Dion earned $45 million over the same period. Yet even with the distinct disadvantage of being deceased and not actually being able to shake his moneymaker, Elvis still managed to outearn many contemporary artists.

Sales of Elvis merchandise got a boost last year because of the 30th anniversary of his death. His estate's earnings were also enhanced by a number of new licensing deals.

A judge has ruled that TLC can depose Jon Gosselin’s ex fling Kate Major, has learned exclusively.

Williams & Connolly, the law firm representing TLC, filed a motion requesting to serve her with a subpoena in order to take her deposition.

Court papers obtained exclusively by show that the judge granted the motion.

Kate quit her job as a reporter at Star magazine while having a romantic relationship with Jon, who has since denied that they were romantically involved. That denial incensed Kate and sources tell that she is very much looking forward to testifying against Jon in the breach of contract lawsuit. Kate has given several interviews since her breakup with the Jon & Kate Plus 8 star and she has repeatedly blasted him.

Meanwhile, as reported exclusively on Monday, Jon is preparing to countersue TLC. He will allege that the network’s contract is overly restrictive and prevents him from earning a living.

In a previous court filing TLC noted that Jon is free to go back to his Information Technologies job to earn a living.

Major is a resident of the state of Illinois according to the new papers obtained by

So far TLC has received court permission to depose Major, Jon’s bodyguard Thomas Meinelt, Mike Heller, Mark Heller, Hailey Glassman, Matthew Kirschner and Michael Lohan.

Fergie is on the verge of leaving the Black Eyed Peas permanently as tension in the band has become intolerable for her, has learned exclusively.

The band has a full tour schedule for the summer and is planning a tour for early 2011. But Fergie won’t commit for that part of the tour, we learned, and the reason is she’s talking about leaving the band for good.

Fergie can’t stand Will.I.Am and that is one of the main reasons she wants to leave the band, a source close to them told exclusively. The other reason is she’s decided she wants to have a baby!

“Fergie is saying she wants out of the band and the second half of the tour isn’t confirmed for early next year,” the source said.

“Things have gotten really bad with Will.i.Am. And it’s not just Fergie who is clashing with him. So is the rest of the band. His ego is out of control.

“Fergie just wants to get away from the whole thing.”

Fergie has kept the news so secret that very few people know and she is not ready to make the announcement right now, the source told


“I don’t know if she’ll admit or deny it when it leaks out, but I do know that it’s 100 percent true, she’s got everything planned out and she says she can’t be convinced to change her mind,” the source told

“And she really wants a baby with Josh,” the source said, referring to Fergie’s husband Josh Duhamel.  “Between that and the bad blood with Will, it looks like the 2011 tour is in big trouble and she’s saying she’s going to split for good.”

The Black Eyed Peas are currently in the midst of a world-wide tour that includes stops in France, Greece, Ireland, Canada, and the United States this summer.

The group formed in Los Angeles in 1995. It's composed of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Will.I.Am and vocalists Apl.De.Ap, Taboo, and Fergie.

Fergie’s real name is Stacy Ferguson.

The group scored their first worldwide hit with Where Is the Love? in 2003. Another single was the European hit Shut Up. Their album Monkey Business was another worldwide hit, certified 3x Platinum in the U.S., spawning two hit singles My Humps and Don't Phunk With My Heart.

In 2009, the group became one of only eleven artists to have ever held the number one and two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time with their singles Boom Boom Pow and I Gotta Feeling, from the album The E.N.D., and the singles also topped the chart for an unprecedented 26 consecutive weeks combined in 2009.

The album later produced a third Hot 100 number one with Imma Be, making them one of the few groups to ever place three number ones on the chart from the same album. The album also includes singles such as Meet Me Halfway and Rock That Body.

The group has sold an estimated 35 million albums worldwide and 41 million singles, and 76 million copies with both sales combined.

Jon Gosselin -- a wordsmith?

It’s true. After his ex-wife Kate penned a series of best-selling books, the former reality television star is attempting to strike gold with an upcoming tome A Slice Of Life: Jon Gosselin’s Story.

Jon and his life-coach, Sylvia Lafair, are currently writing the new book, has exclusively learned.

It will tell Jon’s journey from being a relative unknown to reality TV patriarch and regular tabloid fodder.

Co-author Lafair, who takes Jon on into the mountains of Pennsylvania for $10,000, tells “The book is about having eight kids all at once when he was under the age of 30.”


She says, “It includes some of the lessons that Jon has been learning with helpful hints on how he is working to reframe his relationship with his family including his two brothers and his mother.

“It also explores how the death of his father affected him."

Jon is working hard to re-invent himself. As , he got an enormous dragon tattooed on his back to symbolize his rebirth.

Sylvia has been working as Jon’s life coach for more than one year, but it wasn’t until five months ago, that he got serious about the quest.

He told her, “I’m really ready to do some work.”

Sylvia says she suggested the reality television father join her six-month leadership program high above Pennsylvania.

“It provides life-changing results,” she says.

“Jon called because his life was not working... I think sometimes people have to get to their worst place to find out what they need in order to climb out of it.

“This past year has been like that for Jon.”

But, now Sylvia says, Jon is considered a work in progress.

“Watching him is like a vaccination that’s taking effect,” she tells us.

"I hear it in his voice... He has a more thoughtful way of stopping and asking questions.”

He especially wants to do this for his children, Jon’s mentor says.

“He wants to be the most effective father,” Sylvia says.

“He wants to find a way to speak for his generation in terms of getting married, divorced and raising kids and finding a better way to live his life.”

Kim Kardashian is making the most of turning 30 with coast-to-coast bashes being thrown in her honor for the past week.

On Saturday night, Kim and crew holed up in the VIP section of GLO nightclub in New York. According to an onlooker, the reality star beauty kept things innocent.

"A waiter delivered a bucket of bottled water to their table," the onlooker said.

"No alcohol. Kim and her friends were very calm, almost felt like a sweet sixteen."

The brunette bombshell was joined by her sister Kourtney, pal Jonathan Cheban, and a gaggle of girlfriends. The group was kept away from prying eyes.

"Security was impeccable. No one could get close to Kim."

As for the festivities, no table dancing there!

"All Kim did was sit at her table and text on her phone. She and her friends were taking pictures if each other the whole night, laughing and giggling."

Earlier in the week, Kim requested the cancellation of a diamond-encrusted cake (worth over a million dollars!) made by Manhattan restaurateur Nino Selimaj.

"Her people contacted Nino... thanked him for his efforts and explained they couldn't accept,” GLO's Danielle Orsino told exclusively.


A remake of the 80s classic We Are The World was , as a star-studded cast of more than 100 entertainers -- highlighted by Barbara Streisand, Pink and Kanye West -- united at the same Hollywood recording studio the original was recorded at 25 years ago, with the proceeds from the new song's downloads earmarked for the ongoing Haitian relief efforts. has the just-released photos of the celebrity-studded marathon recording session, which included, among others, Wyclef Jean, Carlos Santana,, Jamie Foxx, Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dogg, Celine Dion, Keith Urban, Jeff Bridges, Vince Vaughn, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Natalie Cole, Akon, T-Pain, Lil Wayne, Toni Braxton, Josh Groban, Zac Brown, Gladys Knight, Justin Bieber, Harry Connick Jr., LL Cool J, Robin Thicke, Rob Thomas, Jordin Sparks, Good Charlotte's Madden brothers, Keri Hilson, Tyrese, Katharine McPhee, Sean Garrett, Melanie Fiona and all three Jonas Brothers. has exclusively learned that Nicole Richie's daughter Harlow Winter Madden took part in the filming of the legendary music video, which was co-produced by grandaddy Lionel Richie. Keeping it in the family Joel and Benji Madden were also a part of the big day.

Janet Jackson was unable to make it to the performance and instead taped her part in Atlanta. Carlos Santana came out to perform a guitar solo early in the afternoon while Nick Jonas was one of the last to tape his solo. Jennifer Hudson also taped a solo and left the soundstage after midnight.

Ashlee Wiliss, an aspiring singer who was backstage getting Fender guitars signed for charity, told that the mood on-set was up-beat. "Pink was there with her husband Carey Hart, they were drinking coconut water and goofing around backstage. Nicole was there with Harlow and they took part in the video. Harlow was singing along and was so cute!  She is really musical."

Eva Longoria wasn't part of the shoot but her restaurant Beso supplied the stars with lots of good food and we hear the delicious gaucemole was a big hit!

The original We Are the World, recorded in 1985, brought together artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner and Cyndi Lauper to aid famine victims in Africa.

The remake, which took more than 16 hours to complete Monday, was organized by the original song's producers, Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie. Although Richie sang in the original version, he did not sing in the remake. In fact, none of the entertainers in the original version reportedly sang in the new project.

Jean, who has been a notable fundraising figure in the aftermath of the deadly 7.0 tremor that struck Haiti January 12, compared himself to "a kid in a candy shop" when surveying the incredible list of actors, musicians and singers the effort drew, just a day after the Grammys passed through Southern California.

"I just want to thank everyone," Jean told the LA Times. "Haiti thanks you. The world thanks you."

The performance was also filmed in 3-D and the music video will debut February 12 on NBC during the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.

Singer Natasha Bedingfield has a heart-felt new album out this fall, and spoke exclusively with her about a fun project she’s working on for the summer. 

Watch the video on

She spoke about her inspiration for her third album, with the first song Touch recently released on iTunes.  “I wanted my album to really reflect human emotions and things that we go through and really be about connecting,” Natasha said.

Natasha is delving into the judging world (watch out Simon!) helping Hotel Indigo with their where she’s looking to learn secrets of neighborhoods all over the country.  Lucky winners will be judged in a live contest and receive awesome trips to stay at the Hotel Indigo NYC Chelsea.

Check out the video where Natasha dishes on her favorite spot, the phenomenon that was The Hills and what her hubby does to make her feel real!


by Radar Staff Reporter

Move over, Elvis: Elton John and his million dollar piano are coming to Las Vegas.

The Rocket Man singer will headline 16 shows in Sin City this fall at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, beginning a 3-year residency at the lavish venue he calls the "perfect, idyllic place to play."

Elton's not the only Grammy-winner to ply his craft at Caesars, as My Heart Will Go On singer Celine Dion returned to the venue last month to begin her second residency there.

And locals are “thrilled” that these two mega-stars are returning to their home town which has been hit hard by the recession in recent times.

“Las Vegas is thrilled to welcome Elton John back to the city again,” Cara Roberts, spokesperson for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce tells RadarOnline.

“He’s an amazing performer with a huge international draw. It’s another positive indication that Vegas is well on it’s way back from the recession.

“Coupled with Celine Dion coming back we are very excited about the future and the business they will bring in.”

Never one to disappoint, Elton’s bringing a little something even extra special this time around.

"I'm going to have a fabulous piano that Yamaha has been working on for four years, and that's the reason why the show is called ‘The Million Dollar Piano,'" the legendary musician said.

This will be Elton’s second time performing in Sin City, and at Caesars -- he previously performed over a three year period from 2004 in a show, entitled The Red Piano.

April 25 at 10 am PT.


Ronald Reagan had Bruce Springsteen. Bill Clinton had Fleetwood Mac. Now Hillary Clinton has ... Celine Dion?

After holding a to let supporters pick her campaign song, Clinton announced the winner this morning on her website: Dion's "You and I." (Sample lyric: "You and I / were meant to fly / Higher than the clouds / We'll sail across the sky.")

Clinton unveiled the track with a parodying the final scene of The Sopranos. In the clip, Clinton takes a booth in a diner and starts flipping through the selections on the boombox. She's soon joined by her husband, who notifies her that Chelsea is parking the car. The video even includes a segment from an actual Sopranos character (albeit one who died of cancer before the show's actual finale): John "Johnny Sack" Sacramoni, played by actor Vince Curatola.

Still, Clinton gets points for cultural relevancy with the timely parody—and then loses those points for having a campaign song by Celine Dion.

Watch the video after the jump!

Jose Lambiet was RadarOnline’s executive editor in spring 2011.

In his 25 years in the news business, he covered topics as eclectic as bear-maulings in Fairbanks, Alaska, as well as the Rudy Giuliani administration’s war on crime in the 1990s in New York City.

In 2001, he embarked on a career in gossip/entertainment news when he created a column for the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sun-Sentinel. He moved on to Star magazine in 2001.

After three years at the magazine, he returned to newspapers and started another gossip column in Florida, at the Palm Beach Post. There, he covered ’s 2005 wedding in addition to the foibles of local politicians and sports superstars. His coverage of a Palm Beach County commissioner’s divorce in 2005 led to an extensive investigation by the newspaper. In time, the commissioner pleaded guilty to a corruption-related charge.

While at the Post, Lambiet also created, a web-based off-shoot of his newspaper column. The site routinely broke news pertaining to golfer ’ fall from grace, singer ’s delivery of twins and the arrival in South Florida of basketball superstar .

Lambiet is married and has two children.

Attention friends of Dorothy: Judy's back! In "," technology brings us one step closer to the apocalypse by resurrecting The Wizard of Oz star and Liza Minnelli-birther to sing 27 of her biggest hits with... the Boston Pops.

The show blends original video of Garland with live accompaniment of the Pops' 70 instruments, and at a technical rehearsal in Manhattan yesterday, there she was: all four-feet-eleven-inches of Judy, tip-toeing across three massive projection screens. Looking a bit like a bobblehead with doe eyes, tiny and frenetic, Judy shimmies around, flinging the mic cord over her shoulder and belting out tune after familiar tune. She sings, she dances, she cracks wise! Also, she's dead! Remember when Celine Dion sang a duet with ? It's kind of like that, only in 2D. Remember, also, how it made you intrigued, mesmerized, confused? It's like that too.

Reality TV ratings powerhouse Kate Gosselin smiled brightly for photographers at The Discovery Channel's 2010-11 upfront presentation in New York Thursday, and has all the pictures for you.

Gosselin was there, in part, to promote her two new shows TLC has added to their future plans. One of the shows is called Twist of Kate, and will showcase Gosselin meeting everyday women who are inspired by her.

"In each episode, she'll walk a mile in someone else's shoes -- meeting real families in the middle of their own extraordinary challenges," the network said in a statement Thursday. "She'll try out their jobs, see how their home life runs, see what they're up against and find out what they do to let off steam. Each family will have some unique circumstance that is a story in itself. As Kate gets to know them, she'll roll up her sleeves and see what she can do to help."

The other show is Kate Plus 8, which will have the familiar format of Jon & Kate Plus 8, though neither show has any plans on using Jon Gosselin.

In the meantime, you can see Kate on Dancing With The Stars airing Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC.

Has being married to a much older man aged Katie Holmes’ sense of style?

While other stars her age are strutting down red carpets in Herve Leger bandage dresses and Preen cutout minis, Tom Cruise’s leading lady is always covering up her body in unflattering, potato sack frocks. With a world of designer’s dying to dress the A-list actress, why does The Extra Man star always choose Granny over Glam?

When Tom and Katie began their whirlwind romance, we had a slight moment of excitement. The gorgeous brunette was quickly exposed to the first hand glamour of Giorgio Armani, who had been dressing her haute hubby for years.

The Italian icon designed Katie’s wedding gown, and we figured he would be in charge for her daily duds from that point on.

Katie even has her own collaborated clothing collection with stylist Jeanne Yang, though we rarely see her modeling the uber-expensive duds! Instead her daily wardrobe consists of oversized plaid shirts, wide leg jeans, baggy leggings (which she wears under oversized dresses!) and floorlength car coats, which drown her youthful figure.

When we saw Katie on Tom’s arm at the National Movie Awards in London looking sassy in a striped summer dress from her Holmes & Yang collection, we were delightfully surprised to see her finally dressing her age, but the success was short feted. A few weeks later she hit the NYC premiere of her latest flick The Extra Man, opting for a striped Celine mini. Only problem?

She had to sport not-so-sexy buckled pumps with the youthful number!

Do you think Katie is a grunge granny or a glam girl? Check out the gallery in Style and let us know!

So Forbes is out with their annual the moderately accurate, purportedly scientific but still somewhat arbitrary list of the world's "most powerful—and best paid" celebrities. At the top of the heap are the usual suspects—Oprah, Tiger Woods, Angelina Jolie, Beyonce Knowles, and David Beckham round out the top five—but there are a number of curious selections. David Letterman is really the 15th most powerful celebrity? Roger Federer is number 23? (We'd argue that Maria Sharapova, down at 61, is far more powerful, as well as infinitely more recognizable.) How is 50 Cent above Kanye West? Celine Dion(28) is ranked above Tom Cruise (31) and Leonardo DiCaprio (44)? And what the hell is doing on there? (More galling is that fact that he evidently made $14 million last year.)

Perhaps the most depressing inclusion, however, is Hills gal , who squeaks in at no. 97. (We ) Sadly, she actually places ahead of poor Tina Fey, ranked 99th.) Forbes guestimates her income at $1.5 million; yesterday, Extra : $25,000 an episode, $50,000 for other appearances, as well as endorsement deals with Avon and Linea Pelle and whatever revenue she reaps from her clothing line and handbag collection.

We've said it before, but it bears repeating: maybe these people aren't as dumb as they look. Except Audrina.

By Jose Lambiet
Radar Executive Editor

Sometime in mid-June, scandal-scarred golfer Tiger Woods is scheduled to leave the Orlando, Fla., home where his 2009 fender-bender kicked off a chain reaction that cost him his family, reputation and, some say, his career.

He’s moving three hours south into custom-built oceanfront digs outside Palm Beach, Fla.

A few miles in-land is another brand-new crib that the golfer built for his mom, 66-year-old Tida Woods, and his two toddlers.

Combined, the two houses may have cost Woods as much $100 million!

And now, reveals never-published details about both mansions in this exclusive tour!

On the edges of the posh town of Jupiter, Tida Woods recently settled down in a $10 million, 22,000-square-foot place built on five perfectly manicured acres.

And it’s as much a shrine to the golfer as a residence.

In addition to the dozens of photos of Woods at various times of his career and trophies displayed throughout the house, every one of the dozens of windows, according to a contractor who worked on Tiger’s two houses, bears Woods initials, TW.

The same initials were also blown into the stained glass above the front door, and they are in the marble tiles in the foyer.

Built in a classic style with elements from Tida’s native Thailand, including a tea house in a garden, the home features several rooms covered with fine lacquered teak and mahogany.

What jumps out at visitors, however, is that much of the house has been designed for Woods’ two children, 3-year-old Sam and 2-year-old Charlie:



Any chance to see Playboy-style action in the grotto?


Tida’s house is also where the former world’s No. 1 golfer himself will hang out when he gets the kids.

And there’s a good reason for that, RadarOnline is told by someone familiar with his divorce agreement.

“Both Tiger and (ex-wife) Elin Nordegren agreed in their divorce (last year) that whatever boyfriend or girlfriend spends the night with them in the same location as the kids will be background-checked by the other party’s lawyers,” the well-placed informant said.

“So, Tiger will be at his mom’s house when the children are around, and there’ll be no girl there because he doesn’t want Elin’s people to start snooping on him. He’s keeping the other house as his party palace!”




We warn you: these numbers are gonna blow you away.

Her last album was only the 50th bestseller of the year, she placed # 14 on the list of digital downloads, yet Madonna was the biggest touring act of the past year earning $242,176,466.00.

Yes. That's a quarter of a billion dollars.

The runners-up didn't do too bad either: Bon Jovi took in $157,177,766, Bruce Springsteen $156,327,964, The Police $109,976,894, Celine Dion $99,171,237, Kenny Chesney $90,823,990, Neil Diamond $82,174,000, Rascall Flatts $63,522,160, The Jonas Brothers $62,638,814, and Coldplay $62,175,555.

Fan fave Miley Cyrus was # 15, behind Michael Buble.

• : A Mexican judge rules that slur-happy Duane "Dog" Chapman won't be prosecuted on kidnapping charges after doing his bounty hunting shtick south of the border.

• : Madonna tops Forbes' list of the richest women in the music industry. Babs Streisand comes in second, followed by Celine Dion and her golden pipes of cheese.

• : Grandpa Rossdale confirms that Gwen Stefani and that dude from Bush are expecting a second trendy tot.

• : Attorney General Michael Mukasey refuses to define waterboarding as torture.

• : Repent! German beer sales hit a 15-year low.

• : Philip Morris is coming up with all kinds of kooky new products to keep the world smoking, including a shorter, more potent cancer stick called Marlboro Intense.

• : Hillary Clinton is still waiting for Barack Obama to shake her hand after her gesture of "friendship and unity" at the State of the Union address was deftly dodged by her rival.

Sunday's Grammy Awards are going to be an emotion–charged event because Michael Jackson concert footage will be shown in 3-D.

Neil Portnow, the man in charge of music's biggest night spoke to at Friday's Music Cares Benefit in Los Angeles and said he expects the 3-D tribute to the King of Pop will be a fitting tribute.

"It's going to be very special, it's going to be very emotional,” said Portnow, the President of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

“We've been able to get the film footage that Michael had created for the tour he was going to do.

“He created this film because it has a message and it's his message.  

“So now, we can get that message to millions and millions of people all around the world, and in this country it's going to be done in 3-D."

So, what is the late King of Pop’s message? “We need to take care of our planet. It is a very environmental piece," said Portnow.

Superstars including Usher, Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson will all perform alongside the footage.

And as for rumors that MJ's kids - Prince, Paris and Blanket - will make an appearance, as their father is posthumously honoured? According to the man in charge, "Anything is possible."

An emotional and powerful tribute to Michael Jackson, followed by two of his children taking the stage, created one of the most memorable moments of the 52nd annual Grammy awards.

It was a night that featured many collaborations – some far better than others – and showed that talent from several generations is still thriving and was on the scene to bring you all the highlights and misses from music’s top awards event.

The Grammys lacked controversy but did deliver some record-breaking moments, including 20-year-old Taylor Swift becoming the youngest artist to win Album of the Year. She took home four awards while Beyonce won six, the most ever won by a woman in one night.

There’s no doubt the emotional core of the night was Smokey Robinson, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Celine Dion and Carrie Underwood singing along to Michael Jackson’s 1995 track “Earth Song.”

This portion of the show was broadcast in 3-D and even the star-filled audience donned the goofy cardboard glasses. When Michael’s voice, clear and sharp, filled the theater it was a stark reminder of what the music industry lost with his passing.

Dion was first to step on stage and sang a flawless verse. Underwood showed surprising vocal depth on the track, Hudson was pitch-perfect and Smokey Robinson displayed a silky, powerful voice that defies time.

“Michael Jackson was gone too soon,” Smokey said before introducing two of Michael’s children. Prince and Paris, wearing red armbands, took the stage after the performance to accept a lifetime achievement award for their father. Prince did most of the talking, moving the crowd when he said about his father: ”through all his songs his message was simple: love.”

The night got off to a good start with Lady Gaga and Elton John teaming up for an opening medley. Not all collaborations went as smoothly but there were no Kanye West-microphone-grabbing moments to taint (or enliven?) the evening.

Pink got everyone’s attention when she stripped to a barely-there flesh-colored body suit before spinning high above the crowd while performing, in keeping with her Circus tour.

The Black Eyed Peas though also turned in a memorable performance. Rocking black and silver futuristic costumes the band not only entertained as they were joined on staged by silver robot aliens, but they also proved it’s not all about Fergie. Their version of “I Gotta Feeling” showed the group’s cohesiveness and made their lyric, “I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night,”  seem clairvoyant.

America’s hottest band, Kings of Leon, took home Record of the Year with the infectious “Use Somebody.”  Lead singer and guitarist Nathan Followill made the crowd laugh when he accepted and said,” I’m not gonna lie, we’re a little drunk.”

But that’s about as controversial as the night got. It was simply, and fittingly, the music that took the spotlight, with an eclectic mix of talent performing.

Beyonce left no doubt why she’s reached superstar status with a razor-sharp performance early in the show. Later she took home the Grammy for best female pop vocal performance for “Halo” and was surprisingly nervous accepting the award. Still,  she didn’t forget to thank husband Jay-Z, telling him from the stage, “I love you.”

The worst collaboration of the night featured one of the night’s biggest winners: Swift. She closed the show with a surprise victory in the Album of the Year category for Fearless but earlier she struggled on stage.

After she performed her new hit “Today Was a Fairy Tale,” Swift was suddenly joined on stage by Stevie Nicks. The eras didn’t mix well as their version of Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon proved, with Swift badly off key and Nicks holding back. Mercifully, they sang an abbreviated version before Swift took the lead and regained her footing with an on-key but unspectacular version of You Belong With Me while Nicks sang back up.

A far better musical pairing followed the Michael Jackson segment of the show when Bon Jovi brought out Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles for a studio-sharp version of “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.”

The gimmick of the night was the audience voting on what else Bon Jovi would play and not surprisingly Living On a Prayer was the choice. Nettles stayed on stage and supplied a more-than-capable backing vocal as Bon Jovi knocked out the stadium anthem to cheers.

Collaborations seemed to be the theme of the evening as Green Day performed early in the night with the cast of their soon-to-open on Broadway musical based on American Idiot. Later the band won Rock Album of the Year and the punk rockers-turned-mainstream darlings bounded to the stage. Lead singer Billie Jo Armstrong did the usual thank yous before adding, “and now I’m going to do shots with Kings of Leon.”

Later, Wyclef Jean thanked America for its support of earthquake-ravaged Haiti and while urging the crowd to buy a song using iTunes, he told the audience: “The music industry is still alive even though ain’t no more record companies.”

Despite the changing nature of music distribution, the evening left no doubt that talent is in plentiful supply. That talent, however, didn’t always jell.

A perfect example: Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige teamed up on Simon & Garfunkle’s Bridge Over Troubled Water and it was a strange performance that failed to inspire but was used to urge the audience to donate to Haiti relief by texting.

Dr. Dre, Eminem and Lil’  Wayne helped the audience recover with their performance but by then the audience seemed played out and the final surprising note was Swift beating out Beyonce and Lady Gaga for Album of the Year.

Having documented the Gosselins and their eight children in Jon and Kate Plus 8, TLC is launching a new reality television show, this time following the trials and tribulations of a couple and their sextuplets, has learned.

It will be called Sextuplets Take New York.

The show will follow Victor and Digna Carpio as they raise their seven babies, plus their nine-year-old son. "The Carpio sextuplets, America’s first Latino sextuplets, are ready for their close-up, if they can sit still for that long!" the network revealed in a press release.

"Now 22 months old, these four boys and two girls have just mastered the art of walking and will soon be talking - in two languages."

The show will hit the air on September 14 and is set to keep viewers, and the parents, on their toes.

"From 50 diaper changes to three homemade hot meals a day, to balancing doctor's appointments, tennis practice, tutoring, and homework, Victor and Digna certainly have their hands full," the press release continued.

"Born weighing less than two pounds each and given little to no chance for survival, the Carpio sextuplets are six little miracles."

The show will take the 10pm ET/PT slot and TLC have already bought eight episodes.

Natalie Portman and choreographer Benjamin Millepied are happily engaged and expecting their first child, her rep confirms to .

The pair met during production of Black Swan, reports who broke the story.

2011 will be some year for Portman!  In addition to becoming a new mom, her stellar performance in Black Swan has earned her nominations for Golden Globe, Spirit and Screen Actors Guild Awards. 


Celine: Through the Eyes of the World (Not Rated):

Say what you will about Céline Dion, but there’ no denying that the woman is a force of nature. Most people know her as the lady who sang that interminable theme song from Titanic, but this behind-the-scenes look at the Canadian diva at work reveals her global popularity, crazy stamina and love of what she does. Through the Eyes of the World takes fans and neophytes alike along with her and her family on her 2008-2009 world tour. (Céline Dion ]herself[, René Angelil ]himself[)

Daybreakers (R):

In a world where vampires rule and the remaining humans are farmed for blood, a covert type of blood-sucker seeks out a sexy researcher to come up with a synthetic food supply. But if you’re thinking about HBO and that handy packaged drink, think again. The gritty urban landscape of Daybreakers is no “good times” town like True Blood’s Bon Temps. Instead, real people are on the run and Ethan Hawke is their only hope. (Ethan Hawke ]Edward Dalton[, Willem Dafoe ]Lionel “Elvis” Cormac[, Caudia Karvan ]Audrey Bennett[)

Edge of Darkness (R):

Bad guys, beware. Mel Gibson is back in action and loaded for bear with big guns, a burning vendetta and a bad Boston accent. Mel channels his inner crime-fighter as Thomas Craven, a detective who begins to unravel when his activist daughter is mysteriously killed. As he digs for answers, he discovers that there’s much more to her murder than he ever imagined -- including her secret past, a cover-up and government intrigue. (Mel Gibson ]Thomas Craven[, Bojana Novakovic ]Emma Craven[, Ray Winstone ]Jedburgh[)

Legion (R):

Hollywood has said it before, and it’s saying it again: Humans must behave well, or else. Earthlings get another smack-down in this latest take on the apocalypse and survival when so-called angels descend upon the planet and start raising hell, to to speak. True to form, the only woman with protected status is pregnant with the world’s future savior, but even that might not be enough to save her and the local folk from the doom and destruction that befalls them. (Paul Bettany ]Michael[, Tyrese Gibson ]Kyle Williams[, Adrianne Palicki ]Charlie[)

Kourtney Kardashian is one proud new mama!

The eldest of the Kardashian brood, Kourtney ushered in her newborn son Mason Dash Disick into the family business with a photo shoot introducing him to the world.

The reality star looked stunning as she smiled glowingly at the camera while cradling Mason in her arms.

Mason was born on December 14th and is the first child for Kardashian and boyfriend Scott Disick.

One thing is for sure: that will be one well-dressed baby!

• : Right-leaning former Dick Armitage Robert Novak crawls out of his Capitol Hill manhole to plant gossip about Hillary having dirt on Barack to divide and conquer Democratic candidates. Naturally, it's working.

• : Italy—y'know, the country that once elected a —bans gossip that's just gossip for gossip's sake in attempts to improve Italian television.

• : For a bunch of people striking for a cut of online video revenues, WGA types sure are creating a lot of free YouTube clips.

• : Non-lethal acoustic devices are planned for use by riot squads. Japanese noise bands scramble to get their hands on said weapons.

• : Ladies of The View ask Walters: If you were were a tree, what kind of orgasms would you have?

• : If we were a sixth grade substitute teacher, we'd confiscate the farewell note left for Bush by his outgoing homeland security adviser and read it aloud to the rest of the Administration while he and Fran Townsend both blushed.

Who knew Obama was such a good showman? First he whipped Oprah out of his sleeve. Next up? Lip synching, Bollywood-style, and showing off his dance moves against a montage of pink elephants in a new video called What's more, the Indian press approves of the clip that's been circulating the Web this past week, with one calling it: "]A[ last ditch effort to woo the influential Indian American community," and praising the presidential hopeful's rendition of the Hindi hits: "Aaja Aaja Aaja Aaja Aaja, Chori chori ham dono pyaar karenge, and Maahiya, Maahiya, jaldi se le jaa Maahiya Maahiya Maahiya doli mein le ja sun mahiya."

Campaign song, perhaps? At least he can't do worse than Hill's Celine Dion selection.

Celine Dion's husband Rene Angelil is back at home following an undisclosed medical procedure, has learned exclusively.  The Palm Beach Post had written that the 67-year-old businessman was in the hospital due to his pre-existing heart ailments.

"Mr. Angelil was in the hospital for a procedure which had been planned for months....not heart surgery.  Today, he's back at home," his spokeswoman Kim Jakwerth said. Angelil was kept at the hospital overnight.

The couple has been staying at Jack Nicklaus' The Bear Club on Jupiter Island while building a new mansion nearby.  With her long-running Las Vegas show now finished, Dion, 41, her husband and their son Rene-Charles have decided to make south Florida home.

Angelil had what he described as a near-fatal heart attack when he was 50. The couple has been married for 14 years, and Dion recently discussed their desire to have a second child.

(Photo: Retna)

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Proving you're never too old -- or too young -- to hit the Vegas strip, Celine Dion and hubby/manager Rene Angelil took their 4-month-old baby
twins to Caesar's Palace on Wednesday, and has the adorable pics.

It marked the Grammy Award winning singer's trimphant return to Caesar's Palace for the first time since the birth of little Eddy and Nelson last

Dion is beginning rehearsals for her new stage show which debuts on March 15 at The Colosseum.

As Dion posed for photographers and greeted fans, she and Angelil cradled the fraternal twins, who wore matching blue baby gowns and white

The couple's first child, 9-year-old Rene-Charles Angelil, was also on hand for Dion's return to the strip.

As has previously reported, Dion, 42, had been expecting triplets, but miscarried one of the babies early in her pregnancy. 

According to Sony Music Entertainment, Dion has sold more than 200 million albums worldwide.



After taking a hiatus after the October birth of her twin sons Nelson and Eddy, Celine Dion returned to the stage in Las Vegas on Tuesday night, upping the glam factor to the max in a bevy of stylish and sexy designer dresses and gowns.

From a short and sexy gold sequined Balmain mini, which showed off her luscious legs to perfection, to long and luxurious Armani Prive gowns, the soulful singer dazzled the sold-out crowd at Caesars Palace Colosseum.

What was Celine’s best look of the night?  and let us know what you think!

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From the red carpet the edge of the catwalk, stars were dressed to rock and shock on Wednesday and has all the photos.

Diane Kruger knows a thing or two about white haute! The Unknown star hit the Los Angeles premiere of her latest movie, dressed to thrill in an uber-mini lace Dolce & Gabbana number, which was impeccably embellished in tiny silver beads. The beautiful blonde fabulously finished off the ensemble with nude Brian Atwood heels, scoring herself the best look of the day!

Vanessa Hudgens has been busy this week hitting all the fashion shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and , but that doesn't give her the leeway to wear pajamas to a runway show! The High School Musical star wore a hippie-dippy PJ like Anna Sui ensemble to the designers show, landing herself as the worst dressed star of the day.

Elisabetta Canalis sizzled up the Sanremo Festival in Italy, wearing a cutout Emilio Pucci gown, which showed off her tight curves and beautiful back, while Kelly Rutherford and Carolyn Murphy sophisticatedly dripped in Van Cleef & Arpels ice at the brand's opening gala in NYC.

Helena Bonham Carter brought her wacky fashion to Berlin, while Amanda Lepore was dressed to shock (in hardly anything) at Fashion Week.

OMGlee! It's the episode of Glee we've been waiting for - Britney Spears makes a special guest appearance Tuesday night on the hit Fox show.

But the Toxic singer isn't the only one getting major Glee buzz; Glee newcomers Charice Pempengco, Chord Overstreet and Dot Jones are also striking a chord with viewers.

Just 18-years-old, Charice Pempengco is the pint-sized Filipino powerhouse who belted her way into Gleek hearts last Tuesday night.

She's a singing sensation who has been featured on Oprah and performed a duet with Celine Dion. As Sunshine, the foreign exchange student, Charice has earned the evil eye from Lea Michele's Rachel.

Charice's YouTube videos have helped her skyrocket to fame, and has over 21 million views.

She's already been involved in her own Hollywood scandal - she's had Botox! Charice said the Botox was for jaw pain, which rings true because there is no way this young beauty has any wrinkles yet!

Coach Shannon Beiste just might be the breakout star of the season. Dot Jones, 46, a champion arm wrestler, reportedly saw Glee co-executive producer Brad Falchuk in a grocery store and told him she wanted to be on the show -  and much to her surprise, it happened!

As Sue Sylvester's new rival, Dot Jones will be going toe-to-toe with the cheerleading coach.


Glee's new resident hottie is Chord Overstreet, the hunky new football player who is dating... well, no one is sure yet but everyone is watching! The 21-year-old Nashville native plays the guitar too, so maybe he'll be showing off his musical skills on the show soon. The ripped actor recently told Vanity Fair that he does three hours at a time in the gym, and a hour just on abs. Jersey Shore's "The Situation" had better watch out, this guys' got a rocking set of abs!

Check out Glee on Fox Tuesday at 8pm for the Britney Spears episode!



Kate Gosselin cut a lonely figure this Memorial Day weekend -- one year after she split from husband Jon.

spotted Kate leaving a local nail salon in Reading, Pennsylvania.

It was clear she was marking the anniversary with some solo time: a little self-indulgence after a tough twelve months, in which her marriage meltdown was played out in the spotlight.

While her famous eight were being looked after by a nanny, Kate, 35, also did a little crafting outside her Wernersville home.

But as Kate admitted this week, she has had a tough time finding peace.

"I don't think I really know how to even relax anymore," she told People.

"Any little shred I had of that is gone."

Kate trades off custody of the kids with Jon, 33, at the family's home in Pennsylvania.

But life with Jon, says Kate, "feels like 10 years ago."

"I'm sorry to disappoint you, but it's not any calmer," she said.

"It just appears calmer on the surface. It's just I've had to internalize and keep quiet the rest of the stress. But it bubbles within me and it spills over, and sometimes ]the kids[ see it."

Oh, how quickly children grow up! Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's large brood did some sightseeing with Brad's parents recently and Shiloh once again stood out with her trademark style. With the extra helping hands, Brad was even able to steal away alone time to visit Angelina on set.

Clad in a striped, long-sleeved shirt and navy blazer and white slacks, Shiloh showed off her neutral style, shunning the more feminine fashion favored by sister Zahara (who was equally adorable in her metallic flats and matching Hello Kitty purse).

Maddox and Pax (who stuck close to grandpa, holding hands with him as the group strolled around Venice) also showed some flair. Pax kept warm with a stylish puffy vest and flannel shirt.

Maddox, wearing camouflage pants and a puffy jacket, clearly enjoyed theouting, at one point literally leaping for joy.

Meanwhile, Jolie and co-star Johnny Depp continue shooting The Tourist throughout the Italian city. One on particular evening, Angelina looked a bit tired, yawning between scenes. However, she got some company to keep her warm from the cool evening chill. Pitt stopped by and the two had a quiet moment on a boat chatting during a  break.

It was a dazzling day of fashion as stars hit the red carpet around the world, wearing smashing fashions hot off the runway.  Of course, there are always some dressing disasters when it comes to our famous friends. has all the photos in our daily fashion feature!

Elizabeth Banks was dressed to thrill at the NYC premiere of her latest flick The Next Three Days. Ditching the prison jumpsuit she sports in most of the film, the blonde babe was in bombshell style, hitting the red carpet in sexy-to-the-max cutout cocktail dress from the Versace Spring 2011 collection.  Olivia Wilde joined her costar on the carpet in a simply sophisticated Celine sleeved number, which she paired with Christian Louboutin pumps, a Jimmy Choo clutch and Stephen Russell jewels.

Over on the West Coast, Malin Akerman (who is usually a style star!) looked like she was on vacation at the 2011 People’s Choice Awards Nominations, wearing a Mariachi-style Prada frock from the Resort 2011 collection with Aldo pumps.

Halle Berry showed of her smoking hot bod at the AFI Film Fest, wearing a skintight Elie Saab number, which clung to her curves in all the right places, while Ali Larter flaunted her baby bump street side in Los Angeles, wearing all black duds.

Other style highlights?  Kerry Washington in a fab floral Oscar de la Renta frock at the Moves 2010 Power Women Awards, Victoria Beckham in one of her own designs in London and Tina Fey in Oscar de la Renta at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

See what other celebs rocked and shocked on the fashion front in’s daily feature.

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Country music's hottest stars along with Hollywood A-listers including headed over to Las Vegas on Sunday for the 46th Academy of Country Music Awards dressed to rock and shock in the best, worst & wackiest fashions--and has all the photos!

It's always a fashion face-off when Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood walk the same carpet, and tonight was no exception.  While TayTay opted for a stunning, mellow yellow Elie Saab embroidered gown and Neil Lane jewels, the former American Idol stepped out of her comfort zone by wearing a powerful purple Jean Fares Couture gown, which featured edgy embellished pockets and a super low-cut back.

As for the major la mode miss, Nicole Kidman wasn't exactly country strong with her L' Wren Scott look.  The bigscreen babe, who was there to support hubby Keith Urban, wore a skintight snaky dress with a furry shrug that didn't do her any justice.

And Shawna Thompson scored the wackiest look of the night, looking like she was headed to a gothic themed wedding, wearing a purple strapless thing with a totally crazy hairdo.

Fresh from her honeymoon, newlywed Reese Witherspoon skipped the red carpet and headed inside, ravishing in a sexy Marchesa black lace cocktail dress, which featured tulle overlay and an embroidered bodice. The bigscreen babe, who was sporting her dazzling William Goldberg engagement and wedding rings, was on hand to present an award with her Water For Elephants costar Robert Pattinson.

Julianne Hough brightened up the carpet in a fresh and fabulous fashion.  The beautiful Burlesque star and girlfriend of Ryan Seacrest stunned in a coral halter gown, which she paired with emerald and gold jewels and a crafty VBH clutch.

And the least likely attendee was none other than sassy songbird Rihanna, who was at the show to perform with Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles (who looked flawless in her cutout halter gown!). The sassy songbird opted for a white hot fringed cocktail dress, which was a subdued and sophisticated choice for the usually out-there fashionista.

Supermodel turned actress Brooklyn Decker had the same spring in her step, wearing a salmon skintight Victoria Beckham dress with slanted black heels, while Celine Dion opted for a dark and dramatic look, rocking a sequin Vivienne Westwood frock.

While metallic and embellished dresses had their usual place on the carpet, there was an abundance of color, as stars rocked deep shades of blue, purple and burgundy.

Who else rocked and shocked on the fashion front at the Academy of Country Music Awards? .




The glam-factor was at its' all time high on Sunday night, as Hollywood's hottest stars hit the 83rd Academy Awards dressed in what are sure to be, the biggest trends of the coming year.

While everyone assumed that royal blue would be replacing black as the hot hue of 2011 due to the impending royal nuptials, there was no denying that red was the official color of the evening. From Sandra Bullock's va-va-voom Vera Wang strapless gown to Winter's Bone babe Jennifer Lawrence's minimalist Calvin Klein halter, we were delighted to see the ravishing color dominate over black.

Purple also had a strong presence, as Black Swan babes Natalie Portman (in Rodarte) and Mila Kunis (in Elie Saab) both opted for different shades of the color, along with Cate Blanchett, in her offbeat pastel Givenchy Couture gown.

There are always lots of desperately gorgeous diamonds on the red carpet, but this year we saw some some rather unique colored bling. Natalie Portman matched her TIffany Rubellite Tassel diamond earrings to her plum colored dress, while Reese Witherspoon fulfilled her Old Hollywood glamour role to perfection with Neil Lane emeralds.

And sleek and sexy looks resulted in style scores for both Gwyneth Paltrow and Celine Dion, who both opted for sexy, body-skimming silhouettes.

What other trends dominated at the 83rd Academy Awards?

New England Patriots star Tom Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen are building a massive $20 million mansion and has photos of the current construction.

The enormous 22,000 square-foot home sprawls over 3.6 acres and touts itself as an eco-friendly eight-bedroom compound in the exclusive Brentwood Country Estates.

With a bridge connecting two parts of the house and a lagoon-shaped pool with a spa, the couple will be neighbors to Project Runway host Heidi Klum and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

on February 26, 2009 and on December 8, 2009 to their first child, Benjamin.


Celine Dion is taking no chances with her pregnancy, has learned.

The singer who is carrying twins thanks to a year-long effort via IVF, says she is doing absolutely everything her doctors advise to insure the birth of healthy babies.

"I do almost nothing," Celine told Le Journal de Montreal. "If you tell me I have to stay in bed, I will stay in bed until November, when the babies are born. To bring them into the world, there's nothing more important than that."

Celine and her husband Rene Angelil are already parents to a son, 9, but have been desperately trying to expand their family.

Speaking of her previous failed IVF treatments, Celine told Le Journal, "I feel like I've been pregnant more than a year. I never gave up.  But I can tell you that it was physically and emotionally exhausting."

Celine is allowing herself just about four months off after her twins are born before going back to work in March with a new Las Vegas show.

What with all the Ugly Bettification of fashion, it's tempting to see it all as one big, campy caricature. But for those in flyover states with big Prada dreams, Friday's Red Dress Collection show at the Tents oozed reassuring familiarity, proving that style doesn't always come with a side of Miranda Priestly inflected frostiness.

If you stumbled upon the scene you would be forgiven for thinking you had accidentally landed at an afternoon matinee of Mamma Mia. Celine Dion blared from the speakers, and in the rows of folding chairs, out-of-towners (including a wide-eyed Laura Bush) rallied for some emotive standing ovations as stars in a parade of womanly Americana strutted their stuff on the runway. There was healthy American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee, chat-queen Kelly Ripa, a hard-bodied Paula Zahn, and Everygirl Rachael Ray, who patted her stomach apologetically at the end of the catwalk as is if to say, "Sorry, one too many 30 Minute Meals!" Even Claire Huxtable showed up! Phylicia Rashad gathered a rousing wave of applause as she glided down the runway.

• : After being blasted by rival Rudy Guiliani for using curiously accented workers to tend to his private tennis court and surrounding estate, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney fires his landscaping service for still employing illegal immigrants.

• : Foxy anchor Brian Williams pulls ahead of Charlie Gibson in the nightly news race, while Katie Couric's overall audience is down a million compared with last November. Couric, however, leads with the coveted "high school gym teacher" demographic.

• : Skin care company Hydroderm sues Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher for allegedly breaking her exclusive contract with them by using another brand to plump her lips. The facialists seek $2.4 million in the case, and may also demand that Hatcher try aging gracefully.

• : Dennis Quaid sues the makers of the drug that nearly killed his newborn twins, claiming the company was negligent by not distinctly packaging the different doses of the drug.

• : In the smartest political move they've made in weeks, the Clinton campaign ditches the Celine Dion theme song.

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Angelina Jolie reigned the red carpet this week, promoting her latest flick in the fabbest of fashions. The brunette bombshell hit the Los Angeles premiere of Salt on Monday, showing off her banging bod in a miniscule Emporio Armani strapless number. As if that look wasn't drool-worthy enough, she popped up at the Comic Con convention on Thursday, wearing a gorgeously constructed Versace leather jacket with a Dolce & Gabbana skirt and Ferragamo peep-toes.

Other memorable moments a la mode? We were green with envy when we spotted Elisabeth Moss at the Mad Men Season 4 premiere in Hollywood, wearing a gorgeous, one-shouldered Oscar de la Renta cocktail dress and we were definitely inspired by AnnaLynne McCord's Herve Ledger look at the Do Something! Awards. Vanessa Hudgens was Charlie St. Cloud gorgeous in Reem Acra, while Cameron Diaz showed off those SoCal legs in Stella McCartney at the UK premiere of Knight and Day.

Tila Tequila wasn't looking so EuroChic in London, wearing a boob-baring lace mini, while Damian Marley sported floor length dreads. Someone definitely needs to explain to Amy Winehouse the difference between a shirt and a dress, which is a conversation that Taylor Momsen could listen in on
as well. The Pretty Reckless Gossip Girl was not looking so 'sweet 16' while onstage during the Vans Warped Tour!

What A-List actress was not looking super sassy in Celine stripes? Check out the gallery in Style to find out.

Susan Boyle could be getting ready to follow in Cher and Celine Dion footsteps by playing in Las Vegas.

The Internet singing sensation is being lined-up to play at Planet Hollywood by American Idol guru Simon Cowell.

Cowell – who is a close friend of the casino’s owner Robert Earl – believes that Boyle would be a sensation on the world famous Vegas Strip and rake in millions of dollars in the process.

A source told the Evening Standard newspaper in the UK: “Simon is confident that Susan will be a huge success in America. She is already a household name despite the coming second on the show, and she is now being lined-up to play a number of dates in Las Vegas.  The Planet Hollywood bigwigs have been following Susan since she burst on to the scene and are keen to give her a run at the hotel.”

The singer is preparing to play at The Britain’s Got Talent tour in Edinburgh, Scotland, as her management team go into overdrive about planning her schedule.

Cowell has revealed that he is going to record an album with Boyle reportedly of Broadway hits with an orchestra in the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, Boyle seems to have recovered following her stay at The Priory Clinic in London after receiving a standing ovation when she sang in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday night on the BGT tour.

Multi-millionaire Cowell hit back at claims that he exploited the fragile Scottish performer by exposing her on Britain’s Got Talent.

He said on British television show GMTV: “No one ever put a gun to her head and said you’ve got to enter the show.  I sat down with her and said: Look, if this is getting too much for you, you don’t have to go into the final. No-one’s going to force you – you do whatever you want .  And she looked me in the eye and said, No, I want to win this competition.”

(Photo: Splash News)

Celine Dion’s husband Rene Angelil is overjoyed at the birth of their twin boys.

According to Canadian entertainment show etalk, Rene described the emotional moments following the twin’s birth.

“When Saturday at 11:11, they showed us the first baby that was crying, we were crying,” Angelil said.

Dion, 42, has been very open about her fertility struggles and conceived the twins on her sixth in vitro attempt over the course of a year.

“It was a very emotional moment, and even though we didn’t speak to each other, we were both thinking about the time it took,” Angelil said. “We are very lucky, very priviledged and very fortunate to have these boys.”

Rene said the twins’ birth has also been an exciting time for their 9-year-old son Rene-Charles.

“He was very, very happy that it was boys,” he said.

“I remember a few months ago when mom told him the day we were going to know if it was a boy or a girl or two boys or two girls…his reaction pointing to his mom’s belly he said, ‘I hope there’s not too many girls in there.’”

The couple have not released the fraternal twins’ names yet but say they both have dark hair and different looks.

According to Angelil, Rene-Charles told him, “One looks like dad, and the other looks like mom.”

She may be a mom of three now, but don’t expect motherhood to slow Dion’s career down. The singer will return to the Las Vegas stage.

“We know she’s going to start rehearsing Jan. 17,” says her husband. “It gives her three months to recoup and she thinks she can do it.”


• : After five years and 717 shows, International symbol of French Canadianism Celine Dion sings her final power ballad in Las Vegas. Hearts of superfans, including one woman who estimates having spent $20k on shows, $3,400 on a Celine-themed clutch from the gift shop, and commemorative Dion tattoo, struggle to go on.

• : Movie monster Harvey Weinstein weds Georgina Chapman, proving the point that, with enough cash and clout, you can still rock a neck beard and get a hot chick.

• : Nicolas Sarkozy takes singer and former supermodel Carla Bruni on a date to Disneyland Paris. Do they not have Chuck E. Cheese's?

• : Brit-throb Rupert Everett tears into An American Heartthrob. "Clooney thinks that, provided he does films which are politically committed, he's allowed to do Ocean's 11, 12, and 13," Everett says. "But the Ocean's movies are a cancer to world culture. They're destroying us." This from a man who got his big break in My Best Friend's Wedding?

• : Reminding us why Russian politics are way more interesting (and horrifying), a rival of president Vladimir Putin is locked up in a mental hospital, days before he planned to protest against the government.

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There's never a dull moment in the world of celebrities, scandal and controversy and what better way to see what happened this week in Tinseltown than through photos on !

Lady Gaga made an entrance as only she could to the Grammy Awards last Sunday - in an egg. The 24-year old was carried across the red carpet in an and then "hatched" on stage to perform her new single, Born This Way.

Gaga later claimed she incubated in the egg for 72 hours prior to the Grammy show, but she only had 30 minutes of oxygen in the tank!

"The tank at the Grammy's only had 30 minutes worth of oxygen in it so Gaga's full of it for saying she was in that egg for hours!" a source close to the singer told exclusively.

High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens was by famous tattoo artist BangBang.

The 22-year-old ex-girlfriend of heartthrob Zac Efron got a beautiful butterfly done on the back of her neck.

Lindsay Lohan was caught sneaking around with ex-girlfriend Samantha Ronson on Valentine's Day and .

The on-again-off-again couple lives directly next door to each other in Venice, California, but instead of using the sidewalk, Lohan snuck through the bushes after leaving Ronson's home.

late Thursday night at their old stomping ground: Teddy's in the Roosevelt Hotel.

Two and a Half Men has been on since Charlie Sheen was rushed to the hospital after an exhausting 36-hour bender filled with booze, cocaine and porn stars - but some are still willing to poke fun at the troubled actor.

Creator of the hit CBS show, Chuck Lorre, directed at the 45-year-old saying:

"I exercise regularly. I eat moderate amounts of healthy food. I make sure to get plenty of rest. I see my doctor once a year and my dentist twice a year. I floss every night. I've had chest x-rays, cardio stress tests, EKG's and colonoscopies. I see a psychologist and have a variety of hobbies to reduce stress. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't do drugs. I don't have crazy, reckless sex with strangers."

"If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I'm gonna be really pissed."

It's not news if it doesn't involve everyone's favorite tween, and this week Justin Bieber didn't disappoint when he , dissing his usual shag for a spikier hair do.

"I don't think you should have sex with anyone unless you love them ... I think you should just wait for the person you're in love with," said the multimedia superstar, who's been seen holding hands with Disney diva Selena Gomez in recent months.

The Real Housewives of Miami hasn't even aired yet, but of cast member Marysol Patton and her mother after they were both arrested for a DUI.

Marysol, 44, was arrested by Miami Police in January 2010 for DUI but pled guilty to a lesser charge of Reckless Driving and escaped with a $1000 fine, plus $581 in court costs - while her mother, Elsa Carreras Patton, 76, was also arrested by Miami Police in October 2010 for DUI as well as driving without a valid license.

Oprah Winfrey's beau of nearly 26 years, Stedman Graham, appeared in an advertisement for Ford automobiles with her ex-lover, Reginald Chevalier .

The print ad appeared in Ebony magazine's 1986 Spring issue - and according to Chevalier, his working relationship with Stedman ended after Stedman pursued Oprah while he was dating her.

Socialite Paris Hilton celebrated a milestone birthday this week when she turned 30-years-old, and no one knows how to like a Hilton!

Perhaps most unexpected was the Cy Waits presented to her - but not to worry, Hilton told Ryan Seacrest on his radio show the next morning that the yellow car was just a joke and Waits actually got her a white one.

The much-anticipated cover of the 2011 Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated came out this week and Russian stunner Irina Shayk in a barely-there sting bikini.

"Nobody knows until the last minute who the cover will be," a beaming Shayk, 25, told the AP following the announcement. "And then I saw it, and I couldn't believe it."

Wedding Crashers star Owen Wilson had his first child this week when his girlfriend, Jade Duell, gave birth to a baby boy in Hawaii. bring you your , pictured with his mother in Malibu, California.

Ted Williams - known as The Man with the Golden Voice - might also be known now for the Oreo-packed shake he in West Hollywood.

Looking dapper in a neat grey suit, the once homeless man said, "To Mr. President Barack Obama," he said. "I'm hoping to get an invitation to The White House... to let the world know, and President Obama know, that America is still the land of opportunity and second chances."

Rapper Waka Flocka was involved in a gun battle this week when shots were fired at his tour bus while in Charlotte, North Carolina.

, the rapper's bus is surrounded by crime tape, although police said Waka was inside a store asking about getting a stereo installed when the shots were fired.

In more baby news, actress Cynthia Nixon while singer Celine Dion took her four-month-old to Las Vegas.

Nixon's fiancée, Christine Marinoni gave birth to a healthy baby boy, named Max Ellington Nixon-Marinoni on February 7.

Dion and her husband Rene Angelil have a nine-year-old son together and gave birth to the twins with the help of in vitro fertilization - a process in which Dion said gave her triplets, but she sadly miscarried one.

Finally, the always curvaceous Coco left little to the imagination this week when she account rocking a white-hot skintight, zip-up top.

"A quick Titty Tuesday shot...I'm freezing my a** off in NYC," the busty blonde tweeted.


One-time Playboy cover girl was snapped basking in the warm sun of South Beach, showing off her sexy bikini body in a black two-piece she paired with a black fedora and aviator sunglasses. Jim Carrey’s ex was joined on the beach by her new love, sports agent Paul Krepelka.

getting in a fracas with diva Michelle McCool and her heel cohorts.  Pop culture’s favorite party girl, in a special six-man tag team match at WrestleMania 27, will attempt to become the greatest -- or at least most-popular -- Italian-American grappler in the WWE since the legendary Bruno Sammartino. 

Saturday night, and pal Kim Kardashian shared the event with her Twitter followers, tweeting a photo of herself dressed to the nines with bright red lipstick. "All glammed up for a fun 1920s themed party!" She tweeted.

Just days after confirming her break-up from and about looking unaffected by the split. The A-Team beauty headed out to Hollywood's newest hotspot, Cafe Entourage, on Saturday night, where she threw an intimate birthday dinner for her brother Justin.

Britney Spears, her ex-husband Kevin Federline, and her current boyfriend Jason Trawick were all of Brit and Kevin’s son Sean Preston on Saturday. The sandlot game marked the first time the Gimme More singer and her ex-husband were photographed together since their 2006 split.

On the day after Mel Gibson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge, . Oksana told us in a statement she’s content with the legal outcome of the aforementioned case, as her baby’s father was sentenced to three years probation, 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling, 16 hours of community service and a small fine in connection with his January 2010 attack on her.

for her twin sons with Charlie Sheen, Max & Bob, who turned 2-years-old this week. Brooke's good friend, Paris' mom Kathy Hilton, opened up her estate for the party Sunday, which was attended by Nicky Hilton and her boyfriend David Katzenberg, among others.

: New Orleans cast members were arrested over the weekend after an altercation with a Panama City Beach, Florida nightclub bouncer where Carroll claims a bouncer gave her a black eye. She tweeted, “went 2 jail Bc a security guy punched me black eye from a grown a** man yet the police arrest me This is y women are to scared 2 go 2 cops.”

This week, we learned that former Two And A Half Men star -- right next door to Paris Hilton. We’re sure the mega-rich Paris can lend her new neighbor a cup of sugar now and again!

Jersey Shore’s , hosting a bash to kick off spring break at LAX nightclub inside the Luxor Resort Hotel and Casino. The petite star, who's real name is Nicole Polizzi, hung out in the club’s VIP area above the dance floor with her boyfriend Jionni LaValle, and her father Andy.

After taking a hiatus following the October birth of her twin sons Nelson and Eddy, on Tuesday night, looking resplendent in a bevy of stylish and sexy designer dresses and gowns. From a short and sexy gold sequined Balmain mini, which showed off her luscious legs to perfection, to long and luxurious Armani Prive gowns, the soulful singer dazzled the sold-out crowd at Caesars Palace.

were unveiled Tuesday at Madame Tussaud’s wax museums in New York, Amsterdam and London. Bieber -- who's currently on tour in the UK -- personally attended the London unveiling and said it was "incredible to see" his person emblazoned in wax. 

Punk’d hunk on the Times Square set of their upcoming film New Year's Eve Wednesday. The movie is Michele’s first.

Mel Gibson’s comeback flick at the 2011 SXSW Festival in Austin Texas Wednesday, though the embattled star was not in attendance -- on the same evening, Gibson quietly in Southern California to have his picture taken and fingerprints collected, as part of his sentence for a misdemeanor battery conviction for his attack on Grigorieva.
finished a private investigator course at top of her class on Thursday after completing the intense, 10-week regimen. "I PASSED. 97 percentile on the Exam.. Graduated top of the class.. So thrilled," she tweeted.

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by Radar Staff

William and Kate aren't the only people having a lavish wedding next weekend. Las Vegas hotel king Steve Wynn is marrying Brit beauty Andrea Hissom during a three-day blow-out with an estimated price tag of well over $1 million.

Wynn -- think the Mirage, Bellagio, Wynn and Encore resorts -- is flying in many of his famous friends, according to . Garth Brooks, Donald Trump, Hugh Jackman, Sly Stallone and Vegas local Celine Dion are all expected

High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, who was also the director for Michael Jackson's ill-fated final tour, will be orchestrating Saturday night's Grand Celebration for 1,000 guests.

Wynn married and divorced first wife Elaine twice. Her 2009 settlement was a reported $741 million, believed to be one of the world's biggest.  Wynn and Hissom met while vacationing on the French Riviera in 2008.


By Radar Staff

Las Vegas royalty said "I do" in a lavish ceremony which saw him walk down the aisle with his British bride Andrea Hissom.

The hotel-owning billionaire is the man behind numerous luxury resorts including the Wynn and Encore resorts.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal it was a star studded affair with Clint Eastwood playing best man and Garth Brooks breaking out some tunes.

The pair tied the knot at noon on Saturday at a private ceremony in the Wynn Las Vegas Chapel in front of 500 guests including Lionel Richie, Sylvester Stallone and Celine Dion.

They then celebrated becoming husband and wife with an old Hollywood themed party in the Encore ballroom.

Wynn and Hissom hit headlines earlier this week after releasing a video of themselves mocking their big day with a faux ceremony with the hotelier dressed as Elvis Presley.


The 25th-anniversary remake of 'We Are The World' debuted Friday night during coverage of the opening ceremony of the XXI Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The glimpse of version 2.0 came before the full seven-minute version of the music video is to be aired simultaneously on 53 domestic and international channels later Saturday.

The worldwide simulcast is set for 2 p.m. Eastern.

The video, filmed by Oscar winner Paul Haggis, shows some of the 85 artists who gathered in Los Angeles this month to re-record the charity anthem.

In the teaser released, tween heartthrob Bieber opens the song, which also features Barbara Streisand, Cyrus, Fergie, Jennifer Hudson, Nicole Scherzinger, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, Céline Dion, Josh Groban, LL Cool J, Nick Jonas, Lil Wayne, Jeff Bridges, Kanye West and Wyclef Jean.

And while he may no longer with us in life, original 'We Are the World' co-writer and executive producer Michael Jackson was featured, singing alongside sister Janet.

Fans can download the song online. All proceeds will benefit earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti. Donations can be made at .

Making her record setting 27th appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show on Monday, Celine Dion showed off her baby twins Nelson and Eddie to the audience and explained that she doesn't take care of the babies all by herself.

"I'm extremely fortunate.  I have a lot, lot, lot, lot, lot of help," Celine admitted. Oprah showed a video of Celine with the babies in her "dream home"

The 42-year old mother of the twins, born in October 2010, told Oprah that her mother and sister help her take care of the babies.

She also explained their names.

"We didn't agree on names to start with," Celine said. "At the hospital it was Baby A and Baby B."

Celine and Rene ultimately settled on Nelson and Eddie.

"We had the opportunity to meet Nelson Mandela," the singer explained.  "He's got the heart of a child, the soul of a man," so they named Baby A Nelson.

Baby B is named Eddie, after her long-time friend Eddie Marnay who Celine said "wrote my first five French albums."

To the delight of the crowds, which was filled with twins to honor Celine's babies, they were each given two tickets to Celine's newest show Celine at Caesars's Palace which opens on March 15, 2011.


Craig Ferguson says yes, it's true;  He's  expecting  a baby with wife Megan Wallace Cunningham, and he joked about it in his opening monologue on The Late Late Show Wednesday night.

Watch the video on

The funny Scotsman said of his bundle-of-joy-to-be: “Guess what -- my wife’s pregnant!” to a rousing ovation from his studio audience.

He then joked that he gave himself the same applause after conceiving the child. He said that he initially Tweeted about it  earlier Wednesday  to avoid it leaking in the tabloids, so that he wouldn’t be associated with Mel Gibson.

“My wife’s pregnant, she might be pregnant for sometime, all the way to the birth,” he joked. “Its probably best if you don’t ask for news all the time; I’ll tell you if anybody’s born.”

The Drew Carey show alum has one child, son Milo, from a previous marriage.

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson airs weeknights on CBS at 12:35 am/11:35c.

After the devastating news that Giuliana Rancic had miscarried their baby, she and husband Bill have a heart to heart talk where she reveals "feeling guilty" about losing the baby. In the upcoming episode of their reality show, Giuliana says she isn't ready to try to get pregnant again.

In a sneak peek of Giuliana & Bill the couple discuss their feelings after another meeting with the doctor.

"I'm glad he came," Giuliana says to Bill.  "I was feeling guilty and I thought maybe you thought I did something."

He shoots down her doubts: "That's absurd."

Giuliana, a successful television host on E!, wonders if Bill "feels like maybe he should have married somebody in their 20s?  Who isn't as career-minded as me?"

Bill reassures her that he wants to keep trying.  "If we're going to do it in our lives we're going to do it now.  We're not getting any younger."

Giuliana worries that the experience would be too much for her. "I'm emotionally not ready now.  I'm not ready to go through it again."

Check out Giuliana and Bill on the Style network Monday nights at 8 pm and 11 pm.

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Janet Jackson unsuccessfully attempted an intervention on her brother Michael Jackson, only to be turned away by the Thriller singer's security team, according to a new report Thursday.

Janet visited her brother Michael two years ago, after he moved to Las Vegas in hopes of reviving his career with a standing show, a la Celine Dion. The Pleasure Principal singer, according to CNN, was horrified by the gaunt appearance of her brother Michael in February 2007 (the same month Anna Nicole Smith fatally overdosed).

Janet then brought two of her brothers back to Jackson's barren Las Vegas mansion to attempt an intervention, but was turned away by Michael's security team. Michael also, according to CNN, refused to take phone calls from his concerned mother Katherine regarding his condition.

In addition, a People magazine story from that year detailing the alleged intervention was addressed by the Jackson family in a statement -- sans Janet's signature -- that read the clan was "categorically denying ever planning, participation in or having knowledge of any kind of intervention whatsoever."

Justin Bieber swept the American Music Awards in Los Angeles Sunday night, and was backstage after the show, where Bieber fever infected everyone, including his fellow winners.

Watch the video on

Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist winner Michael Buble praised fellow Canadian Justin Bieber (even though the two haven't met yet), and had some playful words of warning in the press room.

“There’s something happening here that you guys don’t talk about, that’s ‘cause you don’t know. But I’ll break it to you. While you Americans are sitting getting fat, us Canadians are ready to take over! You know it! We’ve got Bieber, Celine, me, Alanis…you’re absolutely f***ed when we come!”

Check out the video to also hear Usher gush about his protégé Justin, and how he actually cried when Bieber won the artist of the year award. 


Pia Toscano and Casey Abrams set themselves apart from the pack on Wednesday's edition of American Idol, as each delivered rousing performances on a night the show's 13 remaining contestants battled for another week in the limelight.

Toscano wowed with a sterling rendition of Celine Dion's All By Myself, showing her range by hitting all the high notes, on the heels of her breakout performance of the Pretenders' I'll Stand By You last week.

"We love you Pia, I mean... I think a lot of people were wondering what you were going to do to top last week, and that was it," judge Jennifer Lopez told Toscano.

The scruffy Abrams held nothing back in his performance of The Beatles-turned-Joe Cocker classic, With A Little Help From My Friends (also the theme from The Wonder Years), getting high marks from judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Lopez.

"Dude, you were so unbelievable and so exciting," Jackson told Abrams. "You make listening to you sing fun."

Tyler called Abrams "a rainbow of talent" and “plethora of passion,” while Lopez claimed the bearded crooner's performance "blew me away."

Watch the video on

The other remaining contestants include boys Scotty McCreery, James Durbin, Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone and Paul McDonald; and girls Lauren Alaina, Karen Rodriguez, Thia Megia, Ashthon Jones, Naima Adedapo and Haley Reinhart.

The show's producers caught some criticism this week when it was revealed that the segments that aired Wednesday had actually been taped Tuesday  night , as editing was required to consolidate all 13 performances into the broadcast. Also of note, was that each song was cut down to 1:40, which, as Tyler pointed out, was less than half the time of a normal radio track, hence the jagged bridges in between tunes.

Someone's going home when American Idol returns Thursday on Fox at 8/7c; we'll keep you up-to-date on all the happenings right here on .



LL Cool J was a teenager in 1985 when We Are The World was first released and twenty five years later, the rapper/actor talked about the honor of being part of the star-studded group remaking the song on Monday night in Los Angeles.

"I remember being a teenager ]when the song was first recorded[ and here I am now all these years later and here I am participating in it," he said outside the recording studio. "We weren’t allowed to really comment on who was going to be there cause no one really knew who was confirmed."

When asked to reflect more on the evening and the potential aid it will generate for Haiti, LL Cool J told