Stop The Presses!

Sept. 15-22: Good News & Bad News

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

This week was marred by the deaths of two legends--starting with Pink Floyd founder and keyboardist Richard Wright, who succumbed to cancer on Monday, followed by Motown veteran Norman Whitfield, who died Wednesday at age 67 after a long battle with diabetes. They both will always be missed, and their huge contributions to music will never go unappreciated.

In much, MUCH lighter news, Britney Spears solidified a certain, different type of legendary status herself, when she was declared "The Most Searched Person On The Internet" in the new 2009 Guinness Book Of World Records--reclaiming the title from last year's most-searchable record-holder, Paris Hilton.

Is this as admirable or legendary an accomplishment as playing keyboards on Pink Floyd's pioneering recording of "Interstellar Overdrive" (Wright) or co-writing the Temptations' "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone" (Whitfield)? Well, um, NO. Of course not. But it was another bit of good post-VMAs news for the oft-troubled Britney's oft-troubled career...especially since it came the same week it was announced that Britney's new "comeback" album, Circus, is being rush-released on December 2 (Brit's 27th birthday). It was also revealed this week that Madonna's upcoming directorial-debut movie, Filth & Wisdom, features a pivotal scene inspired by Britney's classic "Baby One More Time" video. Now that's the stuff of legend, right there.

Britney is usually the one causing a underwear-less scandal these days, but this week it was Ciara who had her (removed-by-airbrushing) panties in a knot, so to speak. Ciara understandably expressed outrage over the fact that the editors at Vibe magazine allegedly digitally underdressed her without her consent. The R&B starlet claims she posed for the mag's October cover photo with her clothes on, but that an intrepid Photoshopper stripped her down so that she appears to be nude in the published pic. Now sources say Ciara is taking Vibe to court. Wow, the Vibe folks should have known better than to mess with Ciara. Didn't they listen to her when she said her goodies stay in the jar?

American-Idol-turned-Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson is no stranger to Photoshop scandals herself--just a couple months ago, the "digital diet" she appeared to have undergone in her slimmed-down album cover caused a major public outcry. But it was all good news for J.Hud this week, as she announced her engagement to hunky lawyer David Otunga--whom some readers may recognize as rebuked suitor "Punk" from VH1's I Love New York 2. Yes, only about a year ago, Punk was getting his heart broken on basic-cable TV by loudmouthed "Celebreality" D-lister Tiffany "New York" Pollard, and now he's officially betrothed to an Oscar-winning actress and American Idol alum--a woman who's about to release her major-label debut album AND hit the big screen in The Secret Life Of Bees alongside Alicia Keys and Queen Latifah. Yep, that's definitely an upgrade. Looks like Punk got his dreamgirl after all.

Meanwhile, another reality-TV also-ran, aspiring country singer Justin Gaston of Nashville Star, has been romantically linked in the tabloids with Miley Cyrus this week. Miley and Justin reportedly met when her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, hosted Nashville Star earlier this year. But a Cyrus family spokesperson assures People that Justin is "just a friend from Nashville." Well, we HOPE he's "just a friend"--Justin is 20, and Miley is only 15!  But maybe it is just an innocent friendship--so far, their public outings have involved wholesome activities like going to church and Disney's Concert For Hope, which isn't really very scandalous at all.

In other "it girl" news, Carla Bruni, aka the First Lady of France and a former model/rock star girlfriend, made her U.K television debut this week when she sang live on the BBC's Later With Jools Holland alongside fellow musical guests Metallica and Kings Of Leon.

She crooned her new tune "Tu Es Ma Came"--which translates as "You're my junk, you're my type, you're my cup of tea"--and revealed in an on-air interview with host Jools that the song is about being addicted to someone in a "toxic way, and in a lovely way." Jools then asked Carla if she'd actually been in that situation, to which she answered, "Yes, indeed. Have you?" (That Nicolas Sarkozy is one lucky guy.) Sales of Carla's third album, Comme Si De Rien N'Etait, have of course skyrocketed in Britain since Carla's Jools appearance.

And finally, we will sign off by wishing Nate Dogg a speedy recovery from his recent stroke. It was revealed this week that he was hospitalized on September 5 after suffering his second stroke in less than a year--and that at one point the 39-year-old rapper was on life support with a feeding tube in his mouth. "He has suffered another stroke from his bad eating habits and unhealthy lifestyle," said Nate's rapping cousin, Donald "Lil' Half Dead" Smith.

"All we can do now is pray for him."

And on that downer note, thus concludes another week in news. Come back next Friday, and until then, goodnight and good music.



1) Wish You Were Still Here - Pink Floyd founder Richard Wright dies.

2) Motown's Loss (And Ours) - Motown records legend Norman Witfield passes away.

3) Ciara's Bad Vibe - She claims a magazine airbrushed off all her clothes.

4) Nate Dogged By Health Problems - Nate Dogg is hospitalized for his second stroke.

5) Jennifer Hudson Gets Punk'd - She's engaged to a former I Love New York reality star.

6) Search For Me Baby, One More Time - Britney Spears is the most-searched-for person on the Web, according to the Guinness Book Of World Records.

7) Total Request Dead - MTV's TRL is finally going off the air.

8) Miley's New Man? - Tween superstar Cyrus is romantically linked with a 20-year-old Nashville Star runner-up.

9) Carla Bruni's Crown Jools - The First Lady of France makes her U.K. television singing debut on Later With Jools Holland.

10) Madonna's Movie (Strip)teaser - Madonna's new film features a strip-club scene inspired by Britney Spears.

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