Saturday, July 5, 2008

Winehouse sings in Spain, glass of wine in hand

By VICTOR CAIVANO, Associated Press Writer

Amy Winehousered wineRock in Rio music festival southeastMadrid

Then, as tens of thousands cheered, she threw off a pair of high stiletto heels in favor of white moccasins, donned a white electric guitar and settled into an intense rendition of some of her best known songs, including "Rehab."

Winehouse delivered a strong vocal performance accompanied by her octet plus two male backing vocalists.

There was no hint of the controversy that saw the Grammy-winning singer scuffle with a fan at the Glastonbury festival in Britain and show up an hour late looking the worse for wear last May in Portugal.

The singer won five Grammy Awards, including best record, best song and best new artist, in early February, but her musical success has been overshadowed by her tumultuous private life and public struggles with drugs and alcohol.

Last month, her father said she developed emphysema from smoking cigarettes and crack cocaine, although her spokeswoman has said Winehouse only has pre-emphysema symptoms.

Once finished at Rock in Rio, she did not stay for an encore and left the outdoor concert venue by helicopter.

Winehouse's manager, Michael Jobson, told national broadcaster RTVE that the singer had looked forward to singing in Madrid after appearances in Portugal and Hyde Park, London.

English band Jamiroquai followed Winehouse on stage, with Colombian pop singer Shakira topping the bill.

The Police, Bob Dylan, Lenny Kravitz, Alejandro Sanz and Franz Ferdinand were all due to perform over the weekend.

Organizers said around 350,000 people were expected to have enjoyed music at the newly inaugurated concert site by the end of the festival.

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Spitzer call girl drops 'Girls Gone Wild' lawsuit

New YorkGone WildJoe Francis

Ashley Dupre voluntarily dismissed the $10 million federal lawsuit, according to court documents filed Thursday. She said she was only 17 when she signed a binding contract giving permission to appear in the "Girls Gone Wild" video.

Telephone calls and e-mails to Dupre's lawyer and publicist were not immediately returned Friday.

Francis said in a statement issued late Friday night that "the truth invariably comes out, as I knew it would in this case. I am happy to, once again, be completely vindicated."

In her lawsuit, Dupre said she was on spring break in Miami Beach in 2003 when she was approached by "Girls Gone Wild" producers, given alcoholic drinks and then signed a release agreeing to appear. The series depicts women in provocative poses or topless, often in such party locations as Mardi Gras or spring break beach towns.

Francis has said Dupre was on the "Girls Gone Wild" bus for a week and made seven full-length videos.

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Francis released a video where Dupre appears covered by a terry cloth towel and gives her name as Amber Arpaio. An unseen questioner asks if she is 18 and if the footage can be used on "Girls Gone Wild." She says yes to both questions.

The video also displays a New Jersey driver's license with the Amber Arpaio name and a birth date that would have made her appear to be in her 20s.

Dupre rocketed to fame in March when she surfaced as a high-priced call girl in the Emperors Club VIP prostitution ring that involved then-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned soon after the scandal broke. Dupre, going by the name "Kristen," met "Client 9" — later identified as Spitzer — at least once at a swanky Washington hotel, according to court documents.

After the Spitzer scandal, Francis made a public $1 million offer for Dupre to appear in one of his videos and go on a promotional tour. But he rescinded the offer after realizing he already had footage of her.

Francis has other legal problems, including federal tax evasion charges pending in California and lawsuits by filed by women in Panama City, Fla., claiming they were victims of underage exploitation. Francis spent a year in jail and was released in March after pleading no contest to child abuse and prostitution charges for filming underage girls in that Panhandle beach town.

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'Love Connection' producer Eric Lieber dies at 71

Lieber died Wednesday of leukemia at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said his wife, Peggy.

Lieber created "Love Connection" in 1983 after decades producing other game shows, as well as the talk shows of Dick Cavett, Sammy Davis Jr. and Mike Douglas.

"Love Connection," hosted by Chuck Woolery, aired until 1995. Lieber also was executive producer of the 1998-1999 reprise of the series, hosted by Pat Bullard.

On the program, contestants watched videos of three prospective blind dates, chose one to go out with and returned to the show to talk about the experience.

Lieber attributed the show's success to the real-life drama audiences got to observe.

"The show succeeds because we believe in honest emotions," he told the Chicago Sun-Times in 1992. "And, admit it: We're all a little voyeuristic and enjoy peeking into someone else's life."

Lieber was born April 7, 1937, in Vienna and came to the United States as a baby. He grew up in New Jersey and launched his TV career in New York City in the 1950s.

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Crikey! 'Crocodile Hunter' daughter gets own doll

2 hours, 46 minutes ago

The 10-inch Bindi Irwin doll sports khakis, puffy pigtails and hiking boots, and comes with binoculars, a camera and other outback gear, as well as a cockatoo, wombat and python.

A talking version of the Bindi doll uses such phrases as, "Crikey! Let's go help wildlife," and "You can make the world a better place."

The rubber dolls will cost $15 to $20, with a portion going to help fund efforts to breed endangered species and rescue animals. They are expected to be in stores in September.

Wild Republic, a division of K&M International Inc., based in Twinsburg, Ohio, is developing the doll. The company marketed a Steve Irwin doll several months after the Australian TV show host died in September 2006 from a stingray barb that pierced his chest.

Bindi Irwin's career began with appearances on her father's shows and later expanded to live music performances and child-fitness DVDs.

"Bindi the Jungle Girl," a child-friendly version of her father's show, began in June 2007 on the Discovery Channel. Bindi, 9, won a Daytime Emmy last month for the show and also a Logie, an Australian TV award, in May for most popular new female talent.

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TV's 'The Bachelor' weds in California

37 minutes ago

The BachelorABC-TVIvana Bozilovic

"We're so happy right now, we can hardly stand it," the couple said in a statement to Usmagazine, which first reported the nuptials.

Firestone and Bozilovic wed at St. Mark's in the Valley Episcopal Church in Los Olivos, the central coast town where Firestone's family winery is based.

Firestone's 2003 proposal to Jen Schefft on the third season of "The Bachelor" was watched by millions and led to months of tabloid chatter afterward until the couple's breakup.

His engagement to Bozilovic was announced in October.

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