Celebrity news

November 20, 2004

Outkast wins music awards In Europe

ROME (AP) - OutKast topped the winners list at the MTV Europe Music Awards, picking up three prizes, including best group.

The hip-hop stars from Atlanta also won best video and song for "Hey Ya!"

"I hope you don't get tired of us. We only do what we do," said OutKast's Andre 3000 while thanking the crowd of about 6,000 Thursday at the Tor di Valle hippodrome.

Winners also included Usher, best album for "Confessions" and best male; Alicia Keys, best R&B; Britney Spears, best female; Black Eyed Peas, best pop; and Linkin Park, best rock.

The ceremony featured performances by Usher and Keys, Eminem, Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand, Swedish punk band The Hives and Gwen Stefani.


Eminem kicked off the show with "Just Lose It," from his new album, "Encore." The Detroit rapper appeared against a backdrop of a camouflaged tank, drummer boys and children dressed as soldiers.

Stefani was lowered onto the stage under a giant red clock in an Alice in Wonderland costume where she danced on top of a table at a set of the Mad Hatter's tea party.

Clay Aiken all set for holiday concert

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Clay Aiken has fond memories of holidays at home - driving 40 minutes back from Durham with a fake Christmas tree sticking through the back windows of his packed car because his family waited too long to buy a real tree.

"Most of America is accustomed to things going wrong" around the holidays, Aiken said. "Those are the memories I think are the funniest."

One thing the self-described "skinny, redheaded, geeky little dork from the South" hopes goes off without a hitch this holiday season is his Joyful Noise tour, set to begin Nov. 26 in Costa Mesa, Calif.

"This is a different kind of concert," Aiken said. "It's not meant to be a show where fans bring signs and scream. The goal is to be more intimate, almost semiformal. The crew will be dressed up in their Sunday best and I hope the audiences will do the same."

Aiken - plus a conductor and 20-piece orchestra - will perform a holiday-only repertoire from his "Merry Christmas With Love" album, which features standards such as "Winter Wonderland" and "Silent Night."

The 25-year-old singer has been named a spokesman for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign, so Marines will be collecting toys at each stop on the tour.

Aiken will be among the performers on NBC's "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" special to air Nov. 30, and will star in "A Clay Aiken Christmas" Dec. 8, also on NBC.

Kreskin offers his skills to New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Who'd a-thunk it?

The Amazing Kreskin, who bills himself as "the world's foremost mentalist," wants to help his home state of New Jersey stem the tide of shady practices in government, a problem U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie has called widespread.

Kreskin sent a letter to acting Gov. Richard J. Codey offering his nonpartisan services to help ferret out those who come to government with ulterior motives.

Kreskin, who lives in northern New Jersey, said he would monitor government meetings with a mind's eye toward keeping things above board.

"If a person is coming in with a strong hidden agenda, they're thinking about it. They're focusing on it," he said Wednesday in a phone interview. "I could get a ... strong sense (of that)."

Kreskin said he sent his letter to Codey's office Monday, signing it, "ESPecially, Kreskin." A spokeswoman for Codey, Kelley Heck, wasn't sure the letter had been received.

Fans get free radios from Howard Stern

NEW YORK (AP) - Howard Stern, surrounded by strippers and cheered by thousands of fans, began promoting his switch to satellite radio Thursday at a rally where he handed out free boom boxes and satellite subscriptions.

"Down with the FCC!" the shock jock told a legion of sign-waving backers. "They have ruined commercial broadcasting."

The fans agreed, screaming "Howard rules!" as their hero addressed the overflow crowd. Stern supporters spilled into the streets surrounding Manhattan's Union Square, stopping noontime traffic throughout the neighborhood.

"Most people think it, but don't say it," said Stern fan Peter Frankel, the 50-year-old president of a suburban janitorial company, as he walked off with a free Sirius boom box. "Howard Stern says it. It's healthy for society."

Across the square on Fifth Avenue, the culture war took on another slant, with fans of the rival satellite radio XM staging their own rally, hoisting placards touting the shock jock antics of its "Opie & Anthony" radio team.

Stern will be able to say anything he wants once he starts at Sirius Satellite Radio, which is free of Federal Communications Commission restrictions. Stern has battled for years with the FCC over the content of his salacious show.

Last month, Stern announced he was leaving traditional radio for Sirius - even though his current syndicated show is scheduled to run through December 2005.

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