October 14th, 2009
02:50 PM ET

The new troika: Paula Abdul, Adam Lambert and Snoop

Paula Abdul sported a black church lady hat and Adam Lambert rocked a skinny bow tie, but it was Snoop Dogg who elicited catcalls from the media when he strolled into the Beverly Hills press conference to announce nominees for the 2009 American Music Awards. The rapper had traded in his signature football jersey and braids for a vest, a velvet blazer, a slicked-back ponytail and a pair of nerd glasses. "This is about me stepping up and becoming a bigger, better person and becoming a business," he confided after the presser. "I'm the new President/Creative Director of Priority Records." Does this mean the iconic hip-hop star has turned over a new leaf, so to speak? Well, judge for yourself. When we asked him if marijuana should be legalized, he had this to say: "You know how I stand. I stand very high on that!"

Lambert tells us he's been buried in a studio, working on his new album - which he described as "glam rock packaged in a pop sensibility." He gave a thumbs-up to the gay rights rally that took place in D.C. over the weekend, saying "I think it's great. I think it's a civil rights issue, and I think people deserve to be heard on it. I believe in equal rights for everybody." He said his Rolling Stone cover story was liberating. "To really sit down with a reporter and talk about me from the ground up was really, really great, and I feel like we got a lot of stuff out of the closet - literally cleaned out that closet - so hopefully people can focus on the music." His debut CD hits stores November 24th - two days after he performs on the AMAs.

As for Ms. Paula Abdul... she gave us this Sarah Palin-esque answer when we asked if a show in Vegas was in the cards as part of her post-"Idol" life. "I have many different opportunities in Las Vegas, which I've been offered for years, but the timing is right because I have TV projects that I'm doing - a lot of different things that are very exciting that I get to continue to live my dream now."

However, she was much more succinct when discussing frustration that the "Idol" women have been pitted against each other in the media. "No one ever said anything about the guys, and I know for a fact there was jealousy going around with the guys - bigger dressing rooms, trailers, someone buys a house for X amount of millions, and the other one says, 'Well, I bought the whole land.' And then somebody got J. Lo's interior designer. 'Well, I bought J. Lo!' That's how it would work, you know."

October 14th, 2009
01:48 PM ET

Stars and a different kind of 'drinking problem'

Except for the air we breathe, there probably isn't anything most of us take for granted more than water. We make our morning coffee, shower, brush our teeth, and think nothing of it. Yet one in eight people on this planet don't have access to safe, clean drinking water, and an estimated 1.5 million people die every year due to inadequate or unsafe water - mostly children aged five and under. Unthinkable.

matt damon

Matt Damon has made this his signature issue, crusading with H2O Africa and water.org, and other celebrities are joining the cause.  Jessica Biel is among those planning to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness and money towards the cause, and this week, she and musician Pete Wentz joined the Live Earth Organization to announce the Dow Run for Water, April 18, in various cities around the globe.  Participants will cover six kilometers, a little under four miles.  Why the odd distance?  According to Live Earth, that's the average distance some women and girls have to walk each day to get water - something to think about the next time you casually stroll to the watercooler or fridge for a drink.

"Water simply is a necessity," says Wentz, "and you don't really stop and think about it until you're in a place like Uganda or in a place where you realize that people can't get clean water and don't have access to safe water."  As for Biel, she "just loved what these guys were doing, and I love an athletic element, getting people together, challenging everyone, doing a run/walk, globally ... it just made sense to me."

October 14th, 2009
01:28 PM ET

Britney Spears stokes controversy (again)

Britney Spears is back on top. Or maybe, considering the song, she’s in different position.

Billboard reports that Spears’ new single, “3,” will debut at the top of its Hot 100 pop chart on Thursday. Amazingly, it’s only her third No. 1, after “… Baby One More Time” and last year’s “Womanizer.” (Yep, “Oops! … I Did It Again,” “Toxic” and “I’m a Slave 4 U,” among others, didn’t hit No. 1 on the Hot 100, the primary pop chart in America.)

But it’s the topic of the song that might garner Spears more attention that simply hitting No. 1.

“3,” co-produced and co-written by Swedish hook master Max Martin, is about a sexual threesome. “If it’s all right/ What do you say?/ Are you in/ Livin’ in sin is the new thing,” she sings in a heavily processed, robotic voice.

Though countless songs have been written about love triangles, songs about menages a trois aren’t quite as common. David Crosby left the Byrds over his song “Triad,” which the group decided not to include on “The Notorious Byrd Brothers.” (It was later recorded by the Jefferson Airplane; the Byrds' version finally appeared on CD re-release.) More recently, the rapper Baby Bash recorded a song called “Menage a Trois.” However, neither of those came close to No. 1.

Even debuting at No. 1 is becoming something of a rarity. Since 1998, the only songs to debut in the top position have been connected with “American Idol,” which – by exposing new singles to 30 million people at a time – certainly smooths the way to No. 1. The last non-“Idol” song to pull off the trick, according to Billboard, was Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing).”

What do you think of Britney’s new hit?

October 14th, 2009
12:58 PM ET

Your pop culture cheat sheet

Here's what's going on in the world of entertainment today:

Matthew Perry

It didn't take long for ABC to snatch up Matthew Perry's upcoming comedy series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That would potentially make him the second "Friends" alum on the network after Courteney Cox.

Chris Pine is looking to add a second iconic character to his resume. After his star-making turn in "Star Trek" as Captain Kirk, Variety reports that he is negotiating to play Jack Ryan in a new movie (or movies) based on the Tom Clancy novels.

The character has previously been played by Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck.

There seems to be no love lost between Tracy Morgan and some of his fellow former "Saturday Night Live" cast members. EW.com takes a look at his upcoming book and reports that he has some pretty harsh (and profane) words for Chris Kattan and Cheri Oteri, essentially asking "Where are they now?" (Kattan has most recently been seen on the new ABC series "The Middle," Oteri had a regular voice role on the now-canceled Fox series "Sit Down, Shut Up.")

"Glee" creator Ryan Murphy responds to EW.com about a decision, reportedly at the request of NBC, to pull his show's cast from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: “I completely understand NBC’s position and look forward to seeing a Jay Leno float."

The Washington Post reports that ratings for the DJ AM reality show "Gone Too Far" were only a fraction of those for MTV's hit series "The Hills" this time last year, leaving some to wonder if the show's remaining episodes will air as planned.

Tommy Lee Jones is in talks to direct and co-star in "The Lincoln Lawyer," with Matthew McConaughey, The Hollywood Reporter says. The title is quite literal, based on a book about a "wheeler-dealer" attorney whose office is his Lincoln car.

Singer Al Martino died on Tuesday at his home in Springfield, Pennsylvania, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He is best known as playing Johnny Fontane in "The Godfather." He was 82.

October 14th, 2009
08:35 AM ET

Brinkley and ex-hubby reach settlement

From Jon Gosselin's money troubles to Christy Brinkley's divorce proceedings, CNN's Douglas Hyde has today's buzz:


Filed under: Celebrities • movies
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