September 9th, 2009
08:23 PM ET

Celebs and their weird baby names

Sparrow Jack Midnight Madden.

That's the name Nicole Richie and rocker Joel Madden have chosen for their baby boy, born Wednesday morning.

Sparrow?  What, were Egret and Albatross taken?

Nicole-Joel are the latest celeb couple to adopt a strange name for their offspring.  Contending for the oddest is Bronx Mowgli Wentz, born last year to Ashlee Simpson and rocker Pete Wentz.   Okay, the kid does have the cool initials BMW. 

Usher and his estranged wife Tameka Foster named their second child Naviyd.  Superman-obsessed actor Nicolas Cage named his son Kal-el.  Zuma Rock is the moniker Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale affixed to their child.

Comedian Penn Jillette has kids named Moxie Crimefighter and Zolten.   Actor Jason Lee apparently rebelled against the ordinariness of his own name by dubbing his tot Pilot Inspektor. 

In the produce section, there's Apple Martin, born to Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, and Peaches Geldof (Bob Geldof's daughter).

The list goes on... Rumer Willis.  Scout Willis.  Suri Cruise.  Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt.   And, of course,  the Zappa kids, Diva, Moon Unit, Dweezil and Ahmet.  Okay, Ahmet is not particularly unusual, at least in Muslim countries.

Why do celebrities feel a necessity to choose such peculiar names for their children?  Is this a vanity thing?

September 9th, 2009
06:11 PM ET

Jon Gosselin: Ready to rumble

Jon Gosselin was on fire with ABC’s Chris Cuomo last night during the Primetime special, “Family Secrets,” and half the time I didn’t know whose side to believe. No, I am not talking about being on Jon or Kate’s side- I am talking about which side of Jon!

Was it me or did anyone else feel like they were watching two completely different people last night? They had two very distinct personalities- I am going to call them JBK and JAK. You will see why below.

JBK- or Jon before Kate launched her media offensive against him: I saw JBK as a loving, caring father. I wanted to cry when he talked about looking at old pictures of his twins and wondering if maybe he should have hugged and kissed them more. His face actually lit up when speaking about each of his kids; describing their personalities for Chris. I believe that his love for them is genuine. We all watched him care for those children while Kate was away on her book tours and making public appearances- there is no question that he is a devoted father that is worried about how this is affecting them.

Which brings us to the second Jon- because for a guy who is so concerned about his children’s well being, how in the world could he go on television and say some of the things that he said?

JAK- or Jon after Kate's years of verbal abuse. Look, Jon, I get it, you had it rough. She cut you off from your family; she lambasted you in public; she emasculated you in front of America. Enough is enough, it was time for the marriage to be over, clearly it was for the best. Obviously, judging by the vitriol you exhibited in that interview, being married to Kate would NOT HAVE BEEN in the best interest of the children so good for you for getting out. But Jon, Jon, Jon… she is the mother of your EIGHT children. Be careful what you say. I would not go on national television and say things like “I despise that woman” and “I love Hailey more than I ever loved Kate”; that just isn’t right in my book.

I am a little confused over who to cheer for. I have lost sight of who the real Jon Gosselin is- I am not sure that even he knows anymore. So please, will the real Jon please stand up?

September 9th, 2009
04:55 PM ET

A little bit country

Nominations for "The 43rd Annual CMA Awards" were announced this morning, and not surprisingly, there were multiple nods for Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, George Strait and Kenny Chesney.  All four men will vie for "Entertainer of the Year" with 19-year-old country cutie/singer-songwriter phenom Taylor Swift, who becomes the first solo female artist to be nominated in the top category since Faith Hill in 2000.

taylor swift

"I am jumping up and down surrounded by dogs and my mom screaming like it's Christmas morning," Swift twittered shortly after the announcement.  "I'll never forget this."  The young chart-topper notched four nominations - tying Urban, Strait, Zac Brown and Jamey Johnson.  Only Paisley earned more, with six.

Darius Rucker - who gained fame as the frontman for the roots rock band Hootie and the Blowfish before launching a solo career in country music - becomes the first African-American to be nominated for "Male Vocalist of the Year" since Charley Pride took the honor in 1972.  The South Carolina native was also acknowledged as a nominee for "New Artist of the Year," along with Johnson, the Zac Brown Band, Randy Houser and Jake Owen.  "Everything with this record has been really wild, and this really caps the year we've had with these two nominations," Rucker said in a statement.

The Eagles join Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts and the Zac Brown Band as contenders for "Vocal Group of the Year," marking the legendary country-rock band's first CMA nod in 32 years.  And although Sugarland snatched the trophy for "Vocal Duo of the Year" from Brooks and Dunn in 2007 and 2008, B and D are going to be tough to beat this year - especially on the heels of the announcement that they're calling it quits after a two decade musical partnership.  If they win, it'll be their 15th walk to the podium to accept the CMA award for "Duo."

Indie rock fans will be tickled to learn that Jack White and his band, The Raconteurs, are also up for a prize...this one for "Musical Event of the Year" for their collaboration with newcomer Ashley Monroe and bluegrass icon Ricky Skaggs on a track called "Old Enough."

Hosted by Paisley and Carrie Underwood (who's a double nominee this year), "The 43rd Annual CMA Awards" will air live from the Sommet Center in Nashville on November 11.  Black tie and cowboy hats optional.

September 9th, 2009
03:20 PM ET

Perry to Chris Brown: Let's talk 'man to man'

Madea’s alter ego, Tyler Perry, was in New York today doing press interviews for his new film, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself." During my time with Perry I asked him what advice he would give to Chris Brown.

tyler perry

Without hesitation he told me. “I would love to have a conversation with Chris. A real conversation on television where he sits and he talks because I think…people want to forgive him. People want Chris Brown to be better, but the only way he’s going to get there is to admit everything that he did, put it all out there judge it for himself and feel bad for it - for himself really truly have animosity about it.

And then I think people will be able to move on. But as long as there’s this: 'I don’t remember’ and there’s this being ambiguous about a lot of things or not sure or not clear hmmm (shakes head no). But if he and I talked on television one-on-one, man to man, I think that a lot of people would understand.”

Perry was so calm and certain in his answer. I asked him why he would be the right person to speak with Brown.

“Because of my father... His mother was in an abusive relationship and my mother is too. She’s still married to the - I almost said something really awful but he is my father so I respect him. I had to make a choice early on because I know what it’s like to be so angry and then to love so passionately and to love so hard to be angry that you feel out of control but that when there is a moment when you can cross that line where you have to grab everything that’s in you and have to pull yourself back. So I think we would be able to relate on that level sure. I’ve never hit a woman. I’ve never hit anyone for that matter, but I understand being that angry and that frustrated and ready to go."

Would you like to see Tyler Perry speak with Chris Brown?

September 9th, 2009
03:00 PM ET

Lindsay Lohan gets a job

It seemed for awhile that people were loathe to hire Lindsay Lohan. Her exploits have been well documented. In this business, if you can't complete the job you were hired to do, then people move on, no matter how popular you may have been. 

There's no doubt, Lohan was on a hot streak for awhile. Her first film role was 1998's "The Parent Trap," she was lauded for her role in "Mean Girls," and also starred in "Freaky Friday" and "Herbie: Fully Loaded." Several years ago, "fully loaded" took on a whole different meaning when she was busted for DUIs and subsequently hit rehab.

But perhaps Lindsay Lohan isn't quite finished. Today, there's news that she's been hired. A position has been created for her at the House of Ungaro. The title?  Artistic advisor. You may wonder what exactly an artistic advisor does. According to Ungaro,  Lohan is "collaborating on the Spring/Summer 2010 runway collection unveiling on October 4, 2009 during Paris Fashion Week."  She'll be working with newly named Chief Designer Estrella Archs.

Mounir Moufarrige, the President of Emanuel Ungaro worldwide, says  “Mr. Ungaro’s success was based on his genius for design and his controversial eye to whom his consumer was.  Lindsay is a world consumer with a clear eye for fashion.” 

Lohan is no stranger to fashion, having launched a line of leggings, but do you think she's ready for the fashion big time?

September 9th, 2009
02:34 PM ET

Your pop culture cheat sheet

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

  • reports that Janet Jackson will make an appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday, in a tribute to her late brother.
  • The drawn-out lawsuit between the Tolkein Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema appears to be over, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The dispute was over profits for the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Terms of the settlement (called "one of the biggest profit participation settlements in Hollywood history" by the paper) are confidential, but the long-planned "The Hobbit" film, to be directed by Guillermo del Toro, should be able to go forward now.
  • Halle Berry is set to star in "Dark Tide," an action thriller from the producers of "Twilight," according to Variety.
  • At the end of last season, it appeared that "Saturday Night Live's" Darrell Hammond, best known for his impressions of Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney and Sean Connery (not to mention the longest-serving cast member in the show's history) was moving on. Now Variety reports that he is negotiating a return for his 15th season.
  • Variety reports that its well-known columnist "Army" Archerd has died at the age of 87. He was a beloved figure in Hollywood and the "official greeter" of the Academy Awards for 47 years.
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