LoHud Lowdown

Stalking Lower Hudson Valley Celebrities … So You Don't Have To


Archive for the ‘Scarsdale’

Beyonce demands Xbox for performance11.11.08

Right when I thought Beyonce couldn’t possibly be any hotter, I find out she plays Xbox 360.

The new Scarsdale resident apparently refused to fly to Monaco to the World Music Awards unless the organizers met her demands. According to a source, the demands were, a private jet with “14 seats, including two for herself. And staff were told to give her whatever she wanted – including an Xbox, PSP, Jacuzzi and a pizza.”

A jet with a jacuzzi in it? Spoken like a true diva.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Posted by: Aman Ali - Posted in Beyonce Knowles, Scarsdalewith 2 Comments →

Kara DioGuardi’s decision to drop law plans paved way for ‘Idol’ gig09.13.08

New Rochelle native Kara DioGuardi had just received a political science degree from Duke University, but she told me that career path burdened her as early as her junior year.
new-idol-panel.jpg

“I’d always heard melodies in my head, I’d always loved the theatre and I’d loved the arts, but I just didn’t know how to do that. I didn’t know how to break in.”

So although her father, former Congressman Joe DioGuardi, wasn’t thrilled to hear she was singing in an Ossining garage band called Gramma Trips instead of becoming a prosecuting attorney, he offered advice that wound up propelling her career in the music industry:

“You know what you do? You find the place that will help you to learn … tell them you’ll work for them for nothing. They’re probably going to pay you something. But just do it.”

From that moment on, Kara DioGuardi’s singing, songwriting and producing talents transcended the Lower Hudson Valley and Durham, N.C., to reach an international audience. And all that led to her recently being named as “American Idol’s” newest judge.

Find out more about her Westchester County upbringing and her path to stardom in my article appearing in today’s edition of The Journal News.

Posted by: Chris Serico - Posted in Dobbs Ferry, Kara DioGuardi, New Rochelle, Ossining, Scarsdalewith 1 Comment →

EXCLUSIVE: Kara DioGuardi picks favorite ‘Idol’ contestants, performance and judge (sort of)09.09.08

Just before Labor Day weekend, I had the pleasure of chatting up New Rochelle native and Grammy-nominated songwriter/producer Kara DioGuardi, who on Aug. 25 Fox announced as the fourth judge on “American Idol.”

new-idol-panel.jpgA true LoHudder, her connections to the region are seemingly endless. As a child, she attended Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Scarsdale, sang at the Larchmont Shore Club and provided the soundtrack at campaign stops throughout Westchester County for her father, former U.S. Congressman Joe DioGuardi. She later graduated from The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry. Despite graduating from Duke University with a degree in political science, she abandoned law to become a vocalist in an Ossining garage band called Gramma Trips.

After snagging multiple jobs at Billboard magazine for a five-year span, she got signed to a record deal. Although her singing career never took off, her songwriting and producing gigs did. She was partially or completely responsible for writing Gwen Stefani’s “Rich Girl,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Walk Away,” Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man” and dozens of other recent hits. No wonder she was named BMI’s 2006 Pop Songwriter of the Year.

My full story about DioGuardi is slated for the week ahead, but in the meantime, check out 10 questions and answers from my exclusive interview with “Idol’s” newest judge:

kara2.JPGWhat recent song do you most wish you’d written?
“Irreplaceable” by Beyoncé.

As a singer, how far do you think you would advance on “American Idol”?
“I would hope to the top 10.”

How long have you been watching “Idol”?
“Since the beginning.”

You’d said that you thought “Idol” would have hired someone more famous to fill the fourth judge’s chair. Had you heard of any famous names who were being considered?
“They kind of kept me in the dark. I hadn’t really heard anything.”

As of Aug. 28, who was the most famous person outside of the show to congratulate you for the “Idol” hire?
“Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics).”

From the first seven seasons, who have been your three favorite “Idol” alumni?
“I’d say Kelly Clarkson, (Chris) Daughtry and, hmm, I like Katharine McPhee.”

Who’s the most underrated “Idol” contestant of all time?
“Katharine McPhee.”

What’s your favorite “Idol” performance so far?
“I thought that ‘Billie Jean’ performance that David Cook did was ridiculous.” (In the good way.)

The perception among fans is that Simon Cowell’s the bad cop, Paula Abdul’s the good cop and Randy Jackson’s somewhere in between. With which judge have you sided the most through the years?
“Probably Simon. Sometimes he can be hard, but I also think at times he’s doing people a favor.”

For your first day judging “Idol” contestants, you sat between Randy and Paula at the judges’ table. Where would you want to sit?
“You know at this point, I’m pretty much just like, ‘Where do you want me?’ I’m the new kid in school. I’m not going to cause waves right from the beginning.”

(AP Photo of Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson/Jason DeCrow; AP Photo of DioGuardi/Chris Pizzello)

Posted by: Chris Serico - Posted in American Idol, Christina Aguilera, Dobbs Ferry, Exclusive, Gwen Stefani, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Joe DioGuardi, Kara DioGuardi, Kelly Clarkson, Larchmont, New Rochelle, Ossining, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, Scarsdale, Simon Cowell, The Masters Schoolwith 2 Comments →

But will he bring back Scrabulous? Aaron Sorkin to pen Facebook flick08.30.08

With the intention to write a movie for Sony about Facebook, Scarsdale native Aaron Sorkin asked a colleague to set up a page on the social networking Web site for research purposes.

sorkin-farnsworth.jpgSorkin, who’s written everything from “A Few Good Men” to “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” said it was “more flattering than creepy” that people set up phony accounts in his name, according to the page. He also admits that his assistant, researcher Ian Reichbach, set up the page in his name “because my grandmother has more Internet savvy than I do and she’s been dead for 33 years.”

I’d be especially intrigued to see a movie with Sorkin’s chatty, elevated writing style if it delves into the most significant event in Facebook history. No, not when the site opened the floodgates from Ivy Leaguers to college students to everyone on the planet, or when it became the subject of controversy for releasing user information to third parties. I’m talking about the crushing blow that was the swift, heartless removal of Scrabulous, the Scrabble ripoff that was infinitely (and inexplicably) more user-friendly than the trademarked version. That move inspired me to play a few four-letter triple word scores.

Thanks to Suburbarazzi alumnus Ted Mann for the tip.

(AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Posted by: Chris Serico - Posted in Aaron Sorkin, Scarsdalewith 2 Comments →

Wanna be on national TV? It helps if you’re from Westchester. Just ask Kara DioGuardi and Bobby Moynihan.08.25.08

August has been a good month for Westchester natives who seek a national network TV audience.

kara2.JPGToday it was announced that Kara DioGuardi, who grew up in New Rochelle, was named the unprecedented fourth judge on “American Idol.”

I spoke this afternoon with her proud papa, Joe DioGuardi, an Ossining resident and former U.S. Congressman. He told me Kara was raised in the Wilmot Woods section of New Rochelle, attended the Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Scarsdale and graduated from The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry. He said his phone has been ringing off the hook today but was proud of and thrilled for his daughter.

It’ll be interesting to see with whom she most often sides on the panel. I’m guessing she’ll have the compassion of Paula but the ear of Simon, which in my mind is the ideal combination.

bobby.jpg

This was the second bit of exciting news for Westchester natives this month. As I reported last week for sister blog Remote Access, Eastchester’s Bobby Moynihan is joining the cast of “Saturday Night Live.”

I’m psyched not only because he’s a talented product of the Lower Hudson Valley and because I love the show, but also because I’ve been friends with him since we were in middle school. Call it full disclosure or name-dropping. Either way, I’m proud of him.

With a budding film career and tons of experience performing at the Upright Citizens Brigage Theatre in Manhattan, Moynihan’s an outstanding sketch and improv comedian and will quickly become an audience favorite.

Want some gossip about him? He really likes peach Snapple. Ooooh! Call the Enquirer!

(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello; Moynihan photo/Brendan McMullen)

Posted by: Chris Serico - Posted in Bobby Moynihan, Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Kara DioGuardi, New Rochelle, Scarsdalewith 4 Comments →

‘Razzi Rundown: Where alliteration lives, puns are fun and timeliness is optional08.01.08

Disclaimer: I’m an avid reader of BestWeekEver.tv, one of my favorite non-LoHud blogs out there these days. So if this quick-hitter format and source material looks familiar, it is, and I’m coming clean with that up-front. Plagiarism kills, kids!

jayz.jpgRINGDOM COME: New Scarsdale resident Jay-Z is finally wearing a wedding ring these days. You might have “the hottest chick in the game wearin’ (your) chain,” Shawn, but Beyoncé seems pretty intent on your wearing jewels of Hova matrimony. (Source: MollyGood via BestWeekEver.tv)

MUNCH SINGS!: My friend and comedienne extraordinaire Abbi Crutchfield caught comedian Richard Belzer’s recent act at Comix, where he was lauded by Robert Klein of Briarcliff Manor from the crowd and backed by Bedford’s Paul Shaffer and the Belzonics on stage. No word on if Ice-T offered similar musical collaboration, which surely would have been accompanied by the echoey “Law & Order” gavel. (Source: The Apiary)

PANETTIERE IS FRENCH FOR ‘PARKING ANYWHERE’: “Heroes” star and Palisades native Hayden Penettiere appears to have been busted for a parking violation. It’s unknown if similar fines are pending for a subpar second season. (Source: I’m Not Obsessed via BestWeekEver.tv)

BA-ED NEWS, GOO-ED NEWS: Ed McMahon, whose family once lived in Bronxville, is being sued for money he allegedly owes his daughter’s divorce attorney. At least his new gig helping out Jimmy Kimmel will help Ed pay off his McMahon-sion. Hiyo! (Source: E!)

VIEIRON MAIDEN: With Irvington resident Meredith Vieira on lead vocals, former Yorktown resident Al Roker on drums and former Chappaqua-Ardsley-Hartsdale resident Matt Lauer on “guitar,” the Today Show’s attempt to play Rock Band is almost as bizarre as the Willard Scott ditty that follows it. (Source: BestWeekEver.tv.)

(AP Photo/Darryl Dyck,THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Posted by: Chris Serico - Posted in Al Roker, Ardsley, Bedford, Beyoncé, Briarcliff Manor, Bronxville, Chappaqua, Ed McMahon, Hartsdale, Hayden Panettiere, Irvington, Jay-Z, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Palisades, Paul Shaffer, Richard Belzer, Robert Klein, Scarsdale, Yorktownwith Comments Off on ‘Razzi Rundown: Where alliteration lives, puns are fun and timeliness is optional

Who is the fairest music mogul of them all?06.06.08

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.

beyonce-diddy-z.jpg

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)

Posted by: Ted Mann - Posted in Beyoncé, Clive Davis, Jay-Z, MuchMusic, New Rochelle, P. Diddy, Pound Ridge, Scarsdalewith Comments Off on Who is the fairest music mogul of them all?

Podcast: June 406.04.08

On tap this week: Bill Murray’s not-so-funny divorce, Zeyonce’s new Scarsdale mansion, and the “True Colors 2008″ tour.

<a href=”http://www.lohud.com/assets/mov/060308_suburbarazzi_lohud.mp4″ title=”Anarchy Media Player – Right click to download file” class=”noimg”><em>Podcast file</em></a>

<a href=”http://www.lohud.com/assets/mov/060308_suburbarazzi_lohud.flv” title=”Anarchy Media Player – Right click to download file”><em>Flash video</em></a>

The quiz this week — which I’m very happy to say stumped Stacy-Ann (woohoo!) …

A lot of Lower Hudson Valley celebrities have been rumored to be romantically involved with Cameron Diaz in recent months. Can you guess which of these stars has NOT been linked to her in the tabloids?

A. Matt Dillon, of Mamaroneck
B. P. Diddy, of New Rochelle
C. John Mayer, of Bridgeport
D. Jason Bateman, or Rye

The answer, as always, is at the end of the video and after the break.

(more…)

Posted by: Ted Mann - Posted in Beyoncé, Bill Murray, Cameron Diaz, Jason Bateman, Jay-Z, John Mayer, Matt Dillon, P. Diddy, podcast, Rosie O'Donnell, Scarsdale, Sneden's Landing, True Colorswith Comments Off on Podcast: June 4

Are Jay-Z and Beyoncé moving to Scarsdale?05.28.08

When Jay-Z named his recent album “Kingdom Come,” did he have Scarsdale in mind?

jb.jpgHe and Beyoncé Knowles are rumored to be making the move to Scarsdale, where the power couple secured a marriage license last month. Late last week, TMZ reported that the newlyweds own a 15,000 square-foot modern colonial on property that spans 2 acres.

The house, replacing another that had been razed on that site, reportedly has been under construction for six months, according to the gossip site.

Thanks to Journal News reporter Aman Ali for the heads-up on this item.

(AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin)

Posted by: Chris Serico - Posted in Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Scarsdalewith 1 Comment →

Podcast: April 904.09.08

On the podcast this week: the Beyoncé-Jay-Z wedding, Mariah Carey’s chart-topper, and Denzel’s next movie.

<a href=”http://www.lohud.com/assets/mov/040808_suburbarazzi_lohud.mp4″ title=”Anarchy Media Player – Right click to download file” class=”noimg”><em>Podcast file:</em></a>

<a href=”http://www.lohud.com/assets/mov/040808_suburbarazzi_lohud.flv” title=”Anarchy Media Player – Right click to download file”><em>Flash video:</em></a>

At the end of the video and after the break is the answer to this week’s quiz: Behind champ Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken, new North Salem resident Kimberley Locke finished third on season two of “American Idol.” Who finished fourth that season?

A) Joshua Gracin
B) Carmen Rasmusen
C) Trenyce

(more…)

Posted by: Chris Serico - Posted in American Idol, Bedford, Beyoncé, Beyonce Knowles, Carmen Rasmusen, Clay Aiken, Denzel Washington, Jay-Z, Joshua Gracin, Kimberley Locke, Mariah Carey, Mount Vernon, North Salem, podcast, RNN, Ruben Studdard, Scarsdale, Shawn Carter, Suburbarazzi Week in Review, Trenycewith Comments Off on Podcast: April 9

So much for Scarsdale; Beyonce & Jay-Z get hitched in TriBeCa04.05.08

Hard evidence is hard to come by, but the rumor mill is churning at full tilt with the news that Beyonce and Jay-Z got married last night, Friday, April 4, at Z’s downtown NYC apartment. People Mag reports, “Though there is no official confirmation, [a] friend says, ‘It happened earlier this evening. Jay wanted it to be a really private affair – close friends and family.'”

0528289600.jpg

People, of course, was the same source for the news that the couple got their marriage license in Scarsdale, of all places, on Tuesday, setting off a week’s worth of rabid speculation. And, I’ll admit it, even getting me to submit a FOIL request to the Scarsdale Village Clerk to see a copy of the marriage license for one Shawn Corey Carter (aka Jay-Z).

Since they have five days to respond, I never did get confirmation (or a copy of the document) during the work week. ap_david_stern_070724_mn.jpgBut, like so many celebrity-enamored suburbanites, I was hoping that maybe the Scarsdale story would be (a) not an April fool’s prank and (b) evidence that the wedding was taking place here in Westchester. My favorite theory, courtesy of Gothamist, was that the wedding was taking place at NBA commissioner David Stern’s Scarsdale home.

Or not.

Turns out the festivities took place in that slightly larger city to the south. A media storm descended on Jay-Z’s TriBeCa apartment yesterday, around the same time that candelabras and flowers started arriving. In addition to every media outlet in the known universe, the invited guests apparently included: Beyonce’s mother Tina Knowles, her father and manager Mathew, her sister Solange, Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, and friend Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured here arriving at Jay-Z’s apartment building).

37525315.jpg

tjndc5-5jg753q9vrs15zlx52ru_layout.jpg

Another source told People that the post-wedding party was Thai themed, and that Amy’s Orchids was hired to provide 50,000 to 60,000 white orchid blooms.

And hey, if that’s not enough evidence to convince you that Zeyonce tied the knot, check out Beyonce’s Wikipedia page, in which her name has already been updated. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter.

UPDATE: The “Carter” has since been dropped from the Wikipedia page.

(AP Photos)

Posted by: Ted Mann - Posted in Beyoncé, David Stern, Jay-Z, People Magazine, Pete Seeger, Scarsdalewith Comments Off on So much for Scarsdale; Beyonce & Jay-Z get hitched in TriBeCa

Hova matrimony? Jay-Z and Beyoncé reportedly nab marriage license in Scarsdale04.02.08

jayzbeyonce.jpgAre “Crazy In Love” power couple Jay-Z (born Shawn Carter) and Beyoncé Knowles heading toward the bonds of H-to-the-izzo, L-to-the-izzy matrimony?

The news broke on April Fool’s Day, so take it with a grain of salt (for now), but People magazine nonetheless reported that the duo secured a marriage license in Scarsdale yesterday morning. The document’s valid for 60 days, which is roughly equivalent to the number of days Jay-Z was “retired” from the music industry.

The mag couldn’t land a comment from the couple’s spokespeople, which probably means the scoop is either dead-on or way off.

Notes People:

<blockquote><div>

Beyoncé, 26, and Jay-Z, 38, have been dating since 2002, though the couple have stood reluctant to discuss their relationship publicly.

</div></blockquote>

So why start now?

(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Posted by: Chris Serico - Posted in Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Scarsdale, Shawn Carterwith 1 Comment →