September 16, 2008

Britney Spears Set for Her Comeback From Her Comeback

By Tony Hicks

Britney Spears' comeback from her failed comeback, from which we're not sure from what she was coming back, is nevertheless in full swing.

Just call her the "Comeback From a Comeback Kid.

She's due to release new album "Circus" on Dec. 2, her 27th birthday, a little more than a year after she released "Blackout," which was perhaps her most critically acclaimed CD but came during her infamous year of erratic behavior, rehab, custody battles and at least one hospitalization. She barely promoted it, and the album -- although certified platinum -- was one of her least successful.

Lately Spears has been in the spotlight and hasn't shaved her head even once. She won three MTV Video Music Awards for her clip "Piece of Me" (which appeared on her first comeback record, from which she's now coming back) and appeared on the Sept. 7 awards show looking fit, a reversal of her disheveled, widely panned appearance in 2007. She also drew praise for her guest appearances on CBS' "How I Met Your Mother." Which, if you think about it, was a comeback of sorts.

Spears' life has rebounded since her father, James Spears, took control of her personal and professional life as her conservator. She also resolved her custody battle with former husband Kevin Federline, with Federline retaining custody of their two young sons and Spears receiving visitation rights.

The first single, "Womanizer," will be released to radio Monday, her record label, Jive/Zomba, announced Monday.

IT MUST'VE BEEN 'SILLY LOVE SONGS': Paul McCartney is playing at Israel's 60th anniversary, which has angered some Islamic folks in the region.

A militant Muslim leader is threatening the ex-Beatle with a suicide bombing if he doesn't cancel his Sept. 25 gig in Tel Aviv, according to the Sunday Express. Omar Bakri, a preacher, says, "He will not be safe there. The sacrifice operatives will be waiting for them."

McCartney has said he won't bend to thug pressure. But then his divorce became final. Thanks, we'll be here all week.

SULU MARRIES "... AND IT'S NOT CHEKHOV: George Takei and his partner, Brad Altman, have agreed to live long and prosper together. We were legally required to use that play on words, as was every other media outlet on the planet.

Takei, 71, and Altman, 54, were married Sunday in a multicultural ceremony at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles that featured a Buddhist priest, American Indian wedding bands, a Japanese koto harp and a bagpipe procession. Yes, the only thing missing were Trekkies dressed as Klingons, who couldn't make it as they're already in line for the next "Star Trek" film.

The couple, together for 21 years, wrote their own vows. "Star Trek" stars Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols served as best man and best lady.

NOW FOR SOME SERIOUS NEWS: Lindsay Lohan reportedly scuffled with a photographer outside a New York hotel, after accusing the man of tripping her.

The "Mean Girls" star is said to have fallen over a metal barricade as she entered the exclusive Bowery Hotel on Sunday night. According to, Lohan turned and punched a photographer on the nose, thinking he deliberately caused her to fall. She was then reportedly heard telling someone on her cell phone, "Oh my God! I just hit a paparazzi!"

Police were called but, allegedly, just said OMG LOL! and left the scene. No charges were filed.

BRANGELINA RULES: Angelina Jolie has been named "Most Powerful Actress" in the 2009 edition of the Guinness World Records. Brad Pitt has nabbed "Most Powerful Actor."

Britney Spears was named "Most Searched Person on the Internet." Miley Cyrus set the record for "Highest Grossing Movie of a Music Tour" ($53.4 million in two weeks). Oprah Winfrey earned the title of "Highest Annual Earnings by a TV Talk Show Host," with $225 million. Fox's "American Idol" claimed "Most Watched Current TV Show in the USA," while NBC's "Heroes" set the record for "Most Downloaded TV Show," with 2,439,154 downloads.

Today's People Column was compiled by Tony Hicks from news service reports. Comments? Write to us c/o the Times, P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596-8099. Or call 925-943-8262, fax 925-943- 8265, or e-mail [email protected]

Birthdays: Actress Lauren Bacall (84), blues guitarist-singer B.B. King (83), clergyman-author the Rev. Robert H. Schuller (82), actor Peter Falk (81), R&B singer Betty Kelly of Martha & the Vandellas (64), drummer Kenney Jones of Small Faces, Faces and the Who, (60), rock musician Ron Blair of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (60), actor Ed Begley Jr. (59), country singer David Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers (58), singer Frank Reed of the Chi- Lites (54), actor Mickey Rourke (52), magician David Copperfield (52), country singer-songwriter Terry McBride (50), actress Jennifer Tilly (50), baseball pitcher Orel Hershiser (50), singer Richard Marx (45), comedian Molly Shannon (44), singer Marc Anthony (40), comedian Amy Poehler (37), singer Musiq (31), actress Alexis Bledel (27), rock singer Teddy Geiger (20), rock singer-musician Nick Jonas the Jonas Brothers (16).

Originally published by Tony Hicks, Contra Costa Times.

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