Britney Spears by Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Is the improbable comeback on track? Sidelining "subpoena this" and "custody battle that" talk for at least several minutes, Britney Spears on Thursday night premiered the first single off her new album at Z-100's website. "Gimme More" (which I gave a listen to in between reading stories to the moppets) kicks off with the pop tart snarling [Earmuffs!], "It's Britney, bitch," before launching into her famous breathy vocals and a techno, dance-friendly and very catchy beat.Spears' new album, says People, streets Nov. 13.
Aug 22, 2007 10:57 PM ET
- by Ken Fox
Cover photos: Zac Efron by Matthew Rolston for Rolling Stone; David Cassidy by Annie Leibovitz for Rolling Stone
It's really really hard for me to even fake the slightest bit of interest in High School Musical 2 and its unprecedented success. As TV Guide Channel's Nikki Boyer put it so succinctly the other night on Watch This!, if the record-breaking numbers prove anything, it's simply that kids love crap. But like a lot of people, I was struck by the recent cover of Rolling Stone and the magazine's positioning of HSM2's squeaky-clean "hunk" Zac Efron as "America's Latest Heart Throb." I realize a lot has changed over the years, and Rolling Stone is hardly the countercultural force it was in the early '70s, but the Efron cover and the toothless interview within immediately brought to my mind the staggeringly popular teen idol David Cassidy's appearance on the cover of the same magazine back in 1972.Already a huge star thanks to the runaway success of The Partridge Family and the grueling, nonstop touring schedule he endured over his weekends away from the set Cassid...
Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears by Denise Truscello/WireImage.com
Britney Spears bailed at the last minute on mixing a duet with red-hot former flame Justin Timberlake, robbing herself of a showstopping opener for the upcoming VMAs. Timbaland, who was producing the unlikely duet, "set aside a week out of his crazy schedule to do this and then, just before she was supposed to fly out, Britney abruptly canceled," a source tells the New York Post's Page Six. "It's crazy. She's looking for a comeback, and this would have not only been a huge hit, but something [that would have] really blown everyone away."Just how crazy is Brit? (Alleged hookups with Criss Angel aside?) "She needs help," another source tells the Post. "It's sad because what she's got we've heard it's like bipolar disorder can easily be treated with medication, but she won't do it."
Britney Spears by John Sciulli/WireImage.com
The latest and potentially most fruit-bearing subpoena served by Kevin Federline's lawyers in his brewing custody battle with ex-wife Britney Spears was served to the administrator of the Promises rehab center where Brit retreated to and supposedly got set straight following that whole head-shaving, umbrella-wielding meltdown. Though doctors and nurses who treated Spears are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality, it is believed that such insulation does not extend to the facility's manager.This represents the fourth subpoena issued by K-Fed's team, following the serving of Spears' former assistant Shannon Funk, bodyguard Daimon Shippen and cousin/confidante Alli Sims.O.J. shmojay. This is what live courtroom coverage was invented for.
Paris Hilton by Chris Weeks/WireImage.com
The edition of The Apprentice that most of us had already written off could shape up to be must-see TV if Donald Trump can close deals with the tabloids' unholy trinity. The Hair tells the New York Post's Page Six, "We're negotiating right now" to have Britney Spears on the series' upcoming celebrity edition, and that Paris Hilton "wants to be on, and we're thinking about it, but I don't know if we're going to do it." And getting a call from the Donald this week will be Lindsay Lohan, whom he affectionately dubs "another [bleep]ing mess."Other names being floated around for the show include Carmen Electra (of course), Joan Rivers, Naomi Judd, George Foreman, Apprentice 1 villainess Omarosa, Kimora Lee Simmons, Pete Rose (who I hear is already taking action on the outcome), Danica Patrick, Tony Hawk and Jeff Gordon.
Britney Spears by Chris Weeks/WireImage.com
Provided she can get her act together literally and figuratively in time for the Sept. 9 kudoscast, Britney Spears is planning a surprise performance at this year's MTV Video Music Awards, hopefully signaling her "comeback," the New York Daily News reports. Just don't expect more girl-on-girl action... at least not on the stage. Adding fuel to the fire as ex-husband Kevin Federline wages a custody battle, a new story in OK! posits that Spears has been having a torrid affair with longtime Gal Friday Shannon Funk. Will Funk kiss and tell? Maybe so, now that she is among the BFFs who have been subpoenaed to testify in the case, says People.A Sept. 14 hearing has been set for the Spears-Federline squabble.
Kevin Federline by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com
Britney Spears' assistant and cousin, Alli Sims, was subpoenaed on Sunday to make a statement "in connection with the Britney Spears/Kevin Federline issue," K-Fed's attorney tells the Associated Press. Sims was flagged as a person "believed to have relevant information," says the lawyer, who declined to discuss the specifics at hand. Subpoenaing Sims was not a matter to be taken lightly. According to the New York Daily News, Federline's peeps retained "security expert" Aaron Cohen (formerly of the Israeli army!) to track down and serve Sims at an early-am Hollywood Hills bash. "Kevin is very serious about the case," his lawyer tells TV's Extra. "[We] believe [Alli] has been around the environment where the kids are... and [is a] witness to many things." Including countless fashion don'ts.
Kevin Federline by Chris Weeks/WireImage.com
We've all said it here, but let's say it again: Who'd have thought Kevin Federline would one day be swooping in with a cape and a Superdaddy emblem on his chest? According to TMZ and the assorted glossies, Britney's ex has had it up to his fedora with her increasingly bizarre and not-conducive-to-proper-motherhood antics, and as such has filed for an increase in custody of the couple's kids, Sean Preston and Jayden James (or as Brit calls them, "Whatshisname and that one that cries a lot, y'all").Since the couple split, they have enjoyed equal custody, though Brit's definition of "enjoyed" is somewhat off the charts.
Britney Spears by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com
Britney Spears' latest (and simply sad) antics include a fender-bender, when on Monday her Mercedes dinged a parked station wagon in Los Angeles (embarrassing if only because of the slim odds of colliding into the one station wagon still in existence in L.A.). The pop tart then shrugged off the incident by shouting to the paparazzi, "I'm a brainiac!" The New York Post's Page Six also hears that because Spears flaked out on a photo shoot for her new fragrance, stylist Kylie Cavaco was grabbed to body double for Spears (whose head will be superimposed on the stand-in). "Kylie has the body Brit used to have," a source meows to the tab, "not the one she has now."Us, meanwhile, reports that Britney recently hooked up with an extra from her video shoot a 21-year-old college boy for a night of topless poolside tomfoolery, nonstop necking and (because this is junior high, after all) Truth or Dare.
Shop Boyz box art courtesy Republic
Which is hard, because, of course, technically, Spears and Lohan are already singers who are parodies. The Swedish group I'm from Barcelona has released a single called "Britney" that asks, quite reasonably, "Why did we care if good old Britney wants to shave her head?" And the Morning Zoo at 98.5 FM in Vegas has turned Shop Boyz hit "Party Like a RockStar" into "Party Like a Lohan," with digs like "a pocket full of blow and a point one two."