Who is the fairest music mogul of them all?

So, how do you calculate “the top 12 most powerful musicians of today”? Well, according to MuchMusic.com, it’s a careful scientific formula based on album sales, clothing lines, fragrances, sold-out tours, charities, endorsement deals, and relevancy—whatever that means.

And based on their calculations, New Rochelle native P. Diddy — labeled “The Unstoppable Entrepreneur” — came in right at No. 4, thanks in large part to his extra currics: “Making the Band,” his Broadway shows, and Bad Boy Records.

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But soon enough, he won’t be Westchester’s lone representative on the list. If the rumor that Beyonce and Jay-Z are moving to Scarsdale comes true, we’ll have Nos. 7 and 2, respectively, in the hood, too.

Course, if we were ranking not just musicians but all-around music moguls, I’d be mobilizing to make the case for part-time Pound Ridger Clive Davis — the record producer behind everyone from Whitney Houston to the American Idol winners. No disrespect to Diddy, B, or Z, but when it comes to music biz heavy hitters, Clive trumps all.

“The Top 12 Most Powerful Musicians of Today” [MuchMusic.com]

(AP Photos — Beyonce: Evan Agostini; Diddy: Chris Pizzello; Jay-Z: Henny Ray Abrams)

Celebritize your bicep

Speaking of Susan Sarandon, I just can’t seem to get that image of her brand new back tattoos out of my head. Is it still a “tramp stamp” if it’s on your upper back? What’s the projected lifespan of a tat on a 61-year-old before it begins sagging? Will Tim Robbins get his own ink art to match?

I don’t have the answers to any of these, of course, but the topic remind me of something else: My colleague Audrey Green’s excellent story on Rockland County’s tattoo subculture. If you weren’t one of the lucky recipients of the May issue of Rockland Magazine, you probably didn’t get to read it. But, hey, lucky you, it’s still online. Be sure to check it out.

photo-10-celebrity-skin_-21-tattoos-of-famous-faces-photos-ewcom.jpgAnyway, back to celebrity tattoos. If you’re reading this blog, chances are that’s what you’re mainly interested in anyway. And while I don’t have anything quite as exhaustive as my 2006 index of former Sneden’s Landing resident Angelina Jolie’s body art, Friend of Sububarazzi Amy Vernon did point me to a different kind of celebrity tattoo. Not on celebs, but of them. As in, a permanent portrait of Stepinac grad Alan Alda (as MASH’s Hawkeye Pierce) or former Carmelite Judge Judy surrounded by the phrase “Only Judy Can Judge Me.”

Those are the two locals that made the Entertainment Weekly photo gallery of celebrity tattoos, but there are plenty of others—Napoleon Dynamite, Tony Danza, Bob Barker, Michael Moore—to keep you entertained. Enjoy.

“Celebrity Skin: 21 Tattoos of Famous Faces” [EW.com]

(Photo: Johnny Andres/New Addiction Tattoos)

Shocker: Susan Sarandon does not use Botox

At age 61, she’s one of an ever-shrinking circle of actresses who don’t use the face starch. tjndc5-5jswjl06cx51cchfdc4_layout.jpgPart-time Pound Ridger Susan Sarandon swears she’s never dabbled with Botox, which, when you think about it, is pretty self evident. As she told People, “I think it’s mostly my kids who keep me young.” She added, “You can see I haven’t had Botox [or] these things [frown lines] would be gone. I can’t afford to have my face not moving.”

The best part of not trying to hide her age:

“I’ll have an advantage of being the only one who looks 60. Everyone else looks so much younger. [I’ll] probably get all those parts!”

 (AP Photo/Nathan Strange)

Podcast: May 21

On the big show this week: Joe Girardi visits Fox Lane High School, Emeril jumps ship from the Food Network, and Diddy’s Foxwoods bash.

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Quiz: Leona Lewis, one of the hitmakers to be helmed by Pound Ridge resident Clive Davis, scored an international No. 1 with her hit “Bleeding Love.” Which singer with ties to the Lower Hudson Valley cowrote the song?

A. Mariah Carey, formerly of Bedford
B. Kimberley Locke, North Salem resident
C. Jesse McCartney, Ardsley native

The answer, as always, is at the end of the video or after the break. It’s also revealed in, uh, the next post down.

Continue reading

Without a No. 1 hit of his own (yet), Jesse McCartney gives Leona Lewis international chart-topper

You probably know by now that British singing sensation Leona Lewis, one of the hitmakers helmed by Pound Ridge resident Clive Davis, scored an international No. 1 with her song, “Bleeding Love.”

Z100's Zootopia 2008 - Press RoomBut did you know that Ardsley native Jesse McCartney cowrote the track with OneRepublic lead singer Ryan Tedder and, after opting not to include it on McCartney’s own album, gave it to her?

MTV recently scored an interview with McCartney, who elaborated on the creative process behind the single that “some people didn’t hear (as a hit) at first”:

I recorded it and decided it probably wasn’t right for my album. So we just kind of swept it under the rug, and somehow Clive Davis heard it — I think Ryan played it for Clive — and he fell in love with it and called and said, ‘I really want this song for Leona.’ And we did not expect it was going to be the biggest song in Europe of ’07.

Using the ever-popular third-person point of view, he insisted that he was not upset that he did not include his version of the song on his own album:

A hit for Leona Lewis may not necessarily mean a hit for Jesse McCartney.

Don’t feel too bad for McCartney, though. Despite the fact that he has yet to chart a No. 1 single as a singer, his latest track — the Justin Timberlakesque “Leavin'” — is soaring up the charts and could soon give him his first chart-topper on lead vocals. As of this post’s publication, it was the seventh-most downloaded song on iTunes. LoHud power!

Check out MTV’s full video interview with McCartney after the break. Continue reading

Susan Sarandon gets a gothic-letter tattoo at age 61

I’m all for gothic typefaces and equally enthusiastic about neck and wrist tattoos. But the two together, and on a senior citizen, and one that’s never had a tat before? That, I’m not so cool with. 52d56d76964645458a34f700cfe5e113.jpgBut that’s just what Pound Ridge resident Susan Sarandon did when she had the letters M, E, and J (her kids initials) carved into her backside, and the letters E and A into her wrist (for daughter Eva Amurri). See a photo of the back on the Daily Mail’s site.

Sort of like 46-year-old Tom Chiarella’s article on “Learning to Smoke” (for the first time) in the March Esquire, if you ask me. What’s the point?

Sarandon’s response when asked why she’s chosen to deface her body at 61:

“Why not? I turned 60 [last year] and after a while you think, ‘Well I’ve only got my body for a few more years anyway’. … I have a young husband, I have young kids. I don’t smoke, I have lots of water, do a fair amount of activity and have good genes.”

What is it with these old people? Why is it always an either-or between smoking and tattooing? Oh how I miss the days of early bird specials, matinée movies, and shuffleboard.

[via Fametastic]

(AP Photo/Peter Kramer)

Jake Gyllenhaal to follow in Richard Gere’s restaurateuring footsteps

Celebrity restaurants are nothing new. But celebrity organic restaurants, now they’re all the rage. tjndc5-5b5eietogkwywerpezi_layout.jpgNow that Pound Ridge’s Richard Gere’s has unveiled phase one of his Bedford Post dining destination, and Sandra Bullock showed Oprah biodegradable utensils and sugar-cane take-out containers at her restaurant (Austin’s Bess Bistro), it looks like Jake Gyllenhaal is ready to get on the organic express, too. According to Ecorazzi (hey, clever name!), the 27-year-old is teaming with chef Chris Fischer, a childhood friend, to open their own place in L.A. Also, the story adds that Gyllenhaal might be planning a cycling trip to Tuscany with girlfriend Reese Witherspoon to help develop ideas for the menu.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Podcast: April 30

On the podcast this week: Mariah’s newest Empire; Paul Shaffer and Matisyahu prepare to rock out for Israel’s 60th birthday; and Chevy Chase chills with Captain Planet.

<a href=”http://www.lohud.com/assets/mov/042908_suburbarazzi_lohud.mp4″ title=”Anarchy Media Player – Right click to download file” class=”noimg”><em>Podcast file:</em></a>

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At the end of the video and after the break is the answer to this week’s quiz: “Speed Racer” opens in theaters nationwide next Friday. Which actor with ties to the Lower Hudson Valley is NOT in the cast?

A. Palisades native Hayden Panettiere
B. New Rochelle native Richard Roundtree
C. Pound Ridge resident Susan Sarandon Continue reading

Tim Robbins: The Edward R. Murrow of 2008?

Earlier this month, Pound Ridge resident Tim Robbins delivered the keynote speech at the 2008 National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas. He began by explaining that he’d been asked *not* to give the speech he wrote — and then went on to give it anyway (thanks, in part, to cheers of “speech! speech!” from the audience).

tjndc5-5c3xf4cr8ufsuq5oeqz_layout.jpgThe nut of Robbins’ sarcastically soaked remarks, which came towards the end:

“I’m here to tell you that we don’t need to look at the car crash. We don’t need to live off the pain and humiliation of the unfortunate. We don’t need to celebrate our pornographic obsession with celebrity culture. We are better than that.”

Broadcasting & Cable’s David Bianculli, who moderated part of the event and urged Robbins to deliver his talk, echoed those sentiments in his assessment of the speech. He added that Robbins’ speech was like a nod to the same talk Edward R. Murrow gave 50 years ago at the same event. Said Murrow: “This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it is just lights and wires in a box.”

While the vast majority of Robbins’ ranting was reserved for the Bush-FoxNews-Republican axis of truthiness, but there was still plenty to go around for mainstream media outlets. Given that I write a celebrity blog (even if it’s a pretty soft-core one), it did manage to make me feel kind of guilty. For a minute. Until I had to get back to work.

What do you think? Take a listen to the audio of Robbins’ speech and judge for yourself.

Audio of NAB Convention

All work and no play makes Richard Gere a fairly interesting boy

You’d think between launching a new restaurant in Bedford — no, make that two restaurants — and campaigning to raise awareness about the China-Tibet problem, Pound Ridge’s Richard Gere wouldn’t have time to be making movies. Well, you’d be wrong. Very wrong.

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In fact, Gere is about as busy as we’ve ever seen him. He just signed on to star in two new films, according to Variety. The first is “Amelia,” an Amelia Earhart biopic starring Hilary Swank in the title role (Gere will play Earhart’s husband, publisher George Putnam) and directed by Mira Nair. That one begins filming later this month in Toronto, Nova Scotia, and South Africa.

The second film is cop drama “Brooklyn’s Finest,” is about three Brooklyn cops whose lives are following very divergent paths, yet all three end up at the scene of the same deadly location. Gere’s costars will be Don Cheadle and Ethan Hawke.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Variety also mentions that Gere is currently shooting “Hachiko,” with director Lasse Halstrom, a neighbor of Gere’s who live in Bedford and has collaborated with the actor before. Boy, that man is busy, busy, busy. I’m winded just recounting all this!

(Gere speaking at a pro-Tibet rally on Tuesday, April 8, 2008, in San Francisco: AP Photo/Noah Berger)

More trailer trash: ‘The Incredible Hulk’ and ‘Speed Racer’

After reading Entertainment Weekly’s Summer Movie Preview issue this weekend, I got a little trailer obsessed.

I’ve already shared my thoughts on “Indy 4” (oh, hell yeah) and “Righteous Kill” (eh, not so righteous looking). But I wanted to take a minute out to look at two more of the summer’s biggest expected blockbusters — “The Incredible Hulk” and “Speed Racer” — both of which, by the way, have LoHud connections. Tenuous LoHud connections, but still enough for me to post the trailers.

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Watch the video and join the debate after the break.

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Good fences make good neighbors … unless those neighbors include Richard Gere

Pound Ridge resident Richard Gere’s plan to open a dynamic duo of upscale restaurants in Bedford appeared to be cruising along. Restaurant No. 1, Barn at the Bedford Post, launched earlier this year and, as I gushed on RNN a couple weeks ago, it’s phenomenal — creative dishes, cozy horse-country ambiance, locally-grown ingredients. Which is to say, not your typical celebrity-restaurant ploy. (See the menu, which I scanned for my colleague Liz Johnson’s blog, here.)

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Then on Monday the Daily News broke the story that phase two — the larger, more upscale, main Bedford Post restaurant — had hit a snag: The town of Beford said that Gere had erected a 180-foot-long, 5-foot-high cedar fence that was a foot taller than local ordinances permit. Hazel Nourse, head of Bedford’s zoning board, told the DN, “It’s a lovely building, but the fence sticks out like a sore thumb.”

Continue reading