Hard Love...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Guccio Gucci


Gucci, or the House of Gucci, is an Italian fashion and leather goods label. It was founded by Guccio Gucci (1881-1953) in Florence in 1921.

History of the Gucci house

Like many other high-fashion companies, Gucci began as a small, family-owned saddlery and leather goods store. Guccio Gucci was the son of an Italian merchant from the country’s northern manufacturing region. As a young man, he quickly built a reputation for quality, hiring the best craftsmen he could find to work in his atelier. In 1938, Gucci expanded and a boutique was opened in Rome. Guccio was responsible for designing many of the company's most notable products. In 1947, Gucci introduced the bamboo handle handbag, which is still a company mainstay. During the 1950s, Gucci also developed the trademark striped webbing, which was derived from the saddle girth, and the suede moccasin with a metal bit.

Guccio and his wife Aida Calvelli had a large family, six children in all, though only his sons—Vasco, Aldo, Ugo, and Rodolfo—would play a role in leading the company. After Guccio's death in 1953, Aldo helped lead the company to a position of international prominence, opening the company’s first boutiques in London, Paris and New York. Even in Gucci’s fledgling years, the family was notorious for its ferocious infighting. Disputes regarding inheritances, stock holdings, and day-to-day operations of the stores often divided the family and led to alliances. As Gucci expanded overseas, board meetings about the company’s future often ended with tempers flaring and luggage and purses flying. Gucci targeted the Far East for further expansion in the late 1960s, opening stores in Hong Kong and Tokyo. At that time, the company also developed its famous GG logo (Guccio Gucci's initials), the Flora silk scarf (worn prominently by Hollywood actress Grace Kelly), and the Jackie O shoulder bag, made famous by Jackie Kennedy, the wife of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.


Gucci's London boutique.

Gucci remained one of the premier luxury goods establishments in the world until the late 1970s, when a series of disastrous business decisions and family quarrels brought the company to the verge of bankruptcy. At the time, brothers Aldo and Rodolfo controlled equal 50% shares of the company, though Aldo felt that his brother contributed less to the company than he and his sons did. In 1979, Aldo developed the Gucci Accessories Collection, or GAC, intended to bolster the sales for the Gucci Parfums sector, which his sons controlled. GAC consisted of small accessories, such as cosmetic bags, lighters, and pens, which were priced at considerably lower points than the other items in the company’s accessories catalogue. Aldo relegated control of Parfums to his son Roberto in an effort to weaken Rodolfo’s control of the overall operations of the company.

Though the Gucci Accessories Collection was well received, it proved to be the destabilizing force that brought the Gucci dynasty crashing down. Within a few years, the Parfums division began outselling the Accessories division. The newly-founded wholesaling business had brought the once-exclusive brand to over a thousand stores in the United States alone with the GAC line, deteriorating the brand’s standing with fashionable customers. "In the 1960s and 1970s," writes Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, "Gucci had been at the pinnacle of chic, thanks to icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Jacqueline Onassis. But by the 1980s, Gucci had lost its appeal, becoming a tacky airport brand."

It didn’t take long before counterfeiters ravaged the company’s pomp by flooding the market with cheap knockoffs, further tarnishing the Gucci name. Meanwhile, infighting was taking its toll on the operations of the company back in Italy: Rodolfo and Aldo squabbled over the Parfums division, of which Rodolfo controlled a meager 20% stake. By the mid-1980s, when Aldo was convicted of tax evasion in the United States by the testimony of his own son, the outrageous headlines of gossip magazines generated as much publicity for Gucci and its designs.

Rodolfo’s death in 1983 caused a major shakeup in the company when he left his 50% stake in Gucci to his son, Maurizio Gucci. Maurizio allied with Aldo’s son Paolo to gain control of the Board of Directors and established the Gucci Licensing division in the Netherlands for tax purposes. (This action would later have a drastic impact on the outcome of the company’s dispute with the world’s largest luxury goods company, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.) Following the decision, the rest of the family left the company and, for the first time in years, one man was at the helm of Gucci. Maurizio sought to bury the fighting that had torn the company and his family apart and turned to talent outside of the company for Gucci’s future.

Corporate Gucci

A turnaround of the company devised in the late 1980s made Gucci one of the world's most influential fashion houses and a highly profitable business operation. In October of 1995 Gucci went public and had its first initial public offering on the AEX and NYSE for $22 per share. November of 1997 also proved to be a successful year as Gucci acquired a watch licensee, Severin-Montres, and renamed it Gucci Timepieces. Gucci watches have become some of the most beautiful and most sought after timepieces in the world and sell internationally. The Gucci brand is considered one of the most frequently mentioned brands. The firm was named "European Company of the Year 1998" by the European Business Press Federation for its economic and financial performance, strategic vision as well as management quality.

New Management

In 1989, Maurizio managed to persuade Dawn Mello, whose revival of New York's Bergdorf Goodman in the 1970s made her a star in the retail business, to join the newly formed Gucci Group as creative director. At the helm of Gucci America was Domenico De Sole, a former lawyer who helped oversee Maurizio’s takeover of the company and the purchase of the company’s remaining shares by Investcorp, a Bahrain-based holding company between 1987 and 1989. The last addition to the creative team, which already included designers from Geoffrey Beene and Calvin Klein, was a young designer named Tom Ford. Raised in Texas and New Mexico, he had been interested in fashion since his early teens but only decided to pursue a career as a designer after dropping out of Parsons School of Design in 1986 as an architecture major. Dawn Mello hired Ford in 1990 at the urging of his partner, writer and editor Richard Buckley.

In the early 1990s, Gucci underwent what is now recognized as the poorest time in the company's history. Maurizio riled distributors, Investcorp shareholders, and executives at Gucci America by drastically reining in on the sales of the Gucci Accessories Collection, which in the United States alone generated $110 million in revenue every year. The company’s new accessories failed to pick up the slack, and for the next three years the company experienced heavy losses and teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. Maurizio was a charming man who passionately loved his family's business, but after four years most of the company's senior managers agreed that he was incapable of running the company. His management had had an adverse effect on the desirability of the brand, product quality, and distribution control. He was forced to sell his shares in the company to Investcorp in August of 1993. Dawn Mello returned to her job at Bergdorf Goodman less than a year after Maurizio’s departure, and the position of creative director went to Tom Ford, then just 32 years old. Ford had worked for years under the uninspiring direction of Maurizio and Mello and wanted to take the company’s image in a new direction. De Sole, who had been elevated to CEO, realized that if Gucci was to become a profitable company, it would require a new image, and so he agreed to pursue Ford’s vision.

Tom Ford

Tom Ford had long been an avid follower of two of America’s top designers, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. Klein, much like Ford, was a "superstar designer," the exemplar of his own brand: stylish, suave, and modern. His scandalous advertisements made the brand synonymous with eternal youth and the mystery of adolescent sexuality. Lauren, as Ford described, was "the only designer to really create an entire world… you know exactly what his people look like, what their houses look like, what kind of cars they drive," a mantra he would adopt at Gucci years later. But where Ralph Lauren embodied the WASP culture of New England, Ford created a lifestyle brand for the hedonistic, urban-dwelling fashionistas who emblemized the brand in years past.

Ford's 1995 ready-to-wear line for Gucci dazzled fashion critics. The collection was reminiscent of the Studio 54 jet-set clientele that created a buzz around the label in the 1970s, with its unbuttoned silk shirts and tight velvet hip-huggers. "It was hot! It was sex!" Joan Kaner, fashion director for Neiman Marcus, exclaimed. "The girls looked like they had just stepped off someone’s private jet. You just knew that wearing those clothes would make you look like you were living on the edge—doing it and having it all!"

While Ford’s 1995 ready-to-wear line was met with rave reviews by industry insiders, it was the celebrity following that would propel Gucci back to the top of the industry. In 1995, Madonna appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards to collect an award for "Take A Bow" in head-to-toe Gucci. Soon thereafter, Gwyneth Paltrow graced the red carpet in the season's signature look, a red velvet tuxedo with an unbuttoned blue dress shirt, and British actress Elizabeth Hurley donned that season’s patent leather spiked boots to a movie premiere. Celebrities, fashion models, and wealthy young patrons around the world were clamoring for pieces from the new collection. In the years that would follow, nearly every major celebrity in Hollywood came to Ford for formalwear on awards night, and celebrity sightings once again became commonplace in the company’s boutiques.

Gucci’s warm reception among the glitterati had an unintended side effect: the elevation of Tom Ford from designer to sex symbol. Practically overnight, Ford became one of the most celebrated new stars in entertainment. He graced the pages of entertainment and fashion magazines alongside advertisements that featured his company’s sexy new look. People Magazine called him one of the 50 most beautiful people of the year. The defining characteristic of Ford’s work was what came to be known as the "Gucci sex factor." His spring 1996 collection, which was reminiscent of the flower child fashions of the early and mid-1970s, continued Ford’s signature trend of sky-high hemlines and plunging necklines. By his third collection, it became clear that the highly suggestive advertisements and scanty clothing were not passing fads at the generations-old fashion house, but rather the attribute that would set Gucci apart from its competitors.

Gucci Group became a publicly traded company in 1995, incorporated in the Netherlands, and listing on the New York and Amsterdam Stock Exchanges. It issued further shares in 1996.

LVMH Takeover Attempt

In the late 1990s, Gucci became mired in a standoff with one of fashion's biggest conglomerates, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Just before Gucci Group’s IPO in 1995, Investcorp approached LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault with a proposition to sell him the entire Gucci brand, including its lucrative watch and fragrance divisions. Arnault balked at the $500 million price tag and was unsure that Gucci could ever be revived. Four years later, he sorely regretted that decision. Prada, in an effort to replicate LVMH's success at consolidation, had purchased a sizeable stake in Gucci Group in an ill-fated attempt to take over the company. Realizing that his company didn't have the assets to execute the takeover, Prada’s Patrizio Bertelli offered to sell the shares to someone who could: Arnault. Arnault jumped at the chance. In 1999, LVMH staged an effort to acquire Gucci Group through a creeping takeover, purchasing 34.4% of the company’s stock. Domenico De Sole was incensed by the news and declined Arnault’s request for a spot on the board of directors, where he would have access to Gucci’s confidential earnings reports, strategy meetings, and design concepts. De Sole reacted by issuing new shares of stock in an effort to dilute the value of Arnault’s holdings. He also approached French holding company Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR) about the possibility of forming a strategic alliance. Francois Pinault, the company’s founder, agreed to the idea and purchased 37 million shares in the company, or a 40% stake. Arnault’s share was diluted to a paltry 20%, and a legal battle ensued to challenge the legitimacy of the new Gucci-PPR partnership, with the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom representing Gucci. Courts in the Netherlands ultimately upheld the PPR deal, as it did not violate that country's business laws. PPR now owns 68% of the group. The second largest shareholder is Crédit Lyonnais with 11%. As of September 2001 a settlement agreement was put into place between Gucci Group, LVMH, and PPR. 2001 was also an incredible year for the Gucci Group as it acquired percentages of Bottega Venetta, Di Modolo, Balenciaga, and formed a partnership with Stella McCartney. Ford Leaves Gucci After a failed attempt at contract renewal with PPR in 2003, Tom Ford and Domenico de Sole decided to take their leave from Gucci Group. Ford’s last show for Gucci returned to the roots of his first successful collection: the culture of celebrity. Print advertisements featured models in sleek, simple gowns inspired by the glamour of 1920s silent film stars. Ford priced up the ready-to-wear and used exotic fabrics like alligator and boar hide. His collection for Yves Saint Laurent followed the lead of the previous season’s Gucci women’s wear, with form fitting kimonos and Asian patterned dresses, while the menswear collection featured classic-looking tuxedos and smoking jackets. The announcement of his departure led to a complete presale of many items in New York department stores, and waitlists for his last accessories formed just days after the collection showed in Milan. In 2005, Tom Ford began designing a line of cosmetics for Estee Lauder, and planned to launch his own line of ready-to-wear and accessories under a Tom Ford label.

Current Creative Team

Following Ford's departure, Gucci Group retained three designers to continue the success of the company's flagship label: Alessandra Facchinetti, Frida Giannini and John Ray, all of whom had worked under Ford's creative direction. Facchinetti was elevated to Creative Director of Womenswear in 2004 and designed for two seasons before leaving the company after a management dispute. Ray served as Creative Director of Menswear for three years before resigning in January 2006, citing his inability to create a consistent image for Gucci during his time as head designer. 32-year-old Giannini, who had been responsible for designing men's and women's accessories, currently serves as Creative Director for the entire brand. Giannini's Spring 2006 collection was lauded for its color and energy, recreating the buzz around the company's ready-to-wear that was first heard after Ford's 1995 season.

TOM FORD : Limited Edition Black Orchid Perfume


A luxurious and sensual fragrance, Tom Ford Black Orchid with its rich dark accords and alluring potion of black orchids and spice is new and timeless.

The centerpiece of the collection is a limited-edition pure black crystal bottle created exclusively for The Tom Ford Fragrance Collection by Lalique. Each signed and numbered bottle is a collector's piece and comes with a certificate of authenticity. The bottle arrives empty, accompanied by a 0.5 oz. glass vial filled with perfume and a gold funnel to pour the fragrance into the bottle. The vial is perfect for travel. A black velvet pouch completes the presentation.

Sensuous top notes of Black Truffle and Ylang mingled with fresh Bergamot and delectable Black Currant.
Dramatic middle notes of dark, tempting Florals and rich Fruit Accords. The heart is deepened with the intoxicating Lotus Wood.
Decadent base notes of Patchouli, Incense and Vetiver. Vanilla Tears add a fluid creaminess to warm Balsam and smooth Sandalwood.

Tom Ford
Limited Edition Black Orchid Perfume
Price: $600.00

TOM FORD

Tom Ford (born August 27, 1961) is an American fashion designer. He is well known within the fashion industry for his legendary turnaround of Gucci, one of the most influential fashion houses in the world.

Ford was born in Austin, Texas. After graduating from the Parsons School of Design in 1986, initially having studied architecture, he took design jobs with Cathy Hardwick and Perry Ellis. In 1990, Gucci's creative director Dawn Mello recruited him to design women's ready-to-wear, and Ford later moved on to become the chief director for Gucci. Ford called french editor Carine Roitfeld and peruvian photgrapher Mario Testino and asked them to help him revamp the old fashioned house. By 1999, Ford had helped propel Gucci into a fashion power worth over $4 billion. When Gucci acquired the house of Yves Saint Laurent, Ford was named the creative director of that label as well.

In 2004, Ford stepped down or was asked to step down from both of his positions, amid rumours he wished to direct films.

In May 2005, Ford was awarded the André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Savannah College of Art and Design.


Scarlett Johansson, Tom Ford and Keira Knightley on the February 2006 cover of Vanity Fair (Ford was superimposed into the photograph)

In early 2006, Ford was asked to be the guest editor and creative director for the February 2006 Hollywood edition of Vanity Fair. Originally planned to showcase three of Hollywood's most promising young actresses on the cover in the nude -- Keira Knightley, Scarlett Johansson, and Rachel McAdams -- McAdams was excluded from the cover shot after refusing to appear nude. Ford's edition underwent heavy criticism after it hit stands, where McAdams was replaced with a clothed Ford. Many claimed his edition further perpetuated the need for Hollywood actresses to be sexual icons since the edition featured no nude actors inside the magazine while featuring several nude actresses, including Angelina Jolie.

John Galliano

John Galliano CBE (born November 28, 1960, in Gibraltar) is a British - Gibraltarian fashion designer.

Early life and CareerJohn Galliano moved to London from Gibraltar as a child and attended Wilson's School in Wallington. In 1984, he graduated in Fashion design from the St. Martin's School of Arts, with a collection inspired by the French Revolution called Les Incroyables, that received positive reviews fact and was bought in its entirity and sold in the London fashion boutique Browns fact. Following that, he started his own label under his own name and began his career as a fashion designer. He was awarded British Designer of the Year in 1987, 1994 and 1995. In 1997, he shared the award with Alexander McQueen, his successor at Givenchy

Career
In the 1990s, Galliano relocated to Paris in search of financial backing and a strong client base. In 1995, he was appointed as the designer of Givenchy by Bernard Arnault owner of luxury goods congolmerate LVMH becoming the first British designer to head a French couture house. Less than two years later, on 14 October 1996, LVMH moved Galliano to Christian Dior. His first couture show for Dior coincided with the label's 50th anniversary, 20 January 1997.

He has been quoted as identifying his love of theatre and feminity as central to his creations - "my role is to seduce" he has said. Galliano has reputedly cited Charlize Theron as a muse{fact}} and has been creating haute couture dresses for her to wear to red carpet events such as the 2006 Oscars/the Academy Awards and the 2005 Golden Globes. She is also part of the ad campaign for Dior's J'adore perfume, while Riley Keough grand-daughter of Elvis Presley fronts his Miss Dior Cherie perfume, and Kate Moss photographed by Nick Knight his ready to wear campaigns. Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman have also worn dresses created by him to the Oscars in the past.

Currently, between his own label and Dior, Galliano produces six couture and ready-to-wear collections a year and a new mid-season range under his own name.
Personal life
Galliano claims to follow a rigorous exercise regime which sees him rise at 6am each morning to complete a gruelling, 40-minute aerobic session with his personal trainer, before embarking on a 10-minute stretch, 150 push-ups and a six-mile jog along the banks of the Seine. "Working flat out, it was a necessary step to take," he once said. "It helps to concentrate the mind and I find that I have so much more energy and focus." In 2000, he went as far as to claim that he also had found his inspiration for the couture collection of boho-meets-hobo chic he unveiled that January during his jogging sessions, as he ran past les clochards, the homeless people, lining the river, adding that he hoped to expose the pure decadence of the couture by "turning it inside out".

Christian Dior

Christian Dior (January 21, 1905 – October 24, 1957), was an influential French fashion designer. He was born in Granville, Normandy, France, heir to a fertilizer fortune

Dior attended the Catholic school College Stanislas, and then the Paris Institute of Political Studies (better known as Sciences Po), after which he established his main house of couture in Paris in 1946 with the backing of textile magnate Marcel Boussac. In twelve years he expanded his business to 15 countries and employed over 2,000 people.
Dior is known mainly for the 1947 "New Look" which employed narrow shoulders, a constricted waist, an emphasized bust, and long, wide skirt, all in striking contrast to the severity of wartime fashions. His designs represented consistent classic elegance, stressing the feminine look. The New Look revolutionized women's dress and reestablished Paris as the center of the fashion world after World War II. Dior spread his fashions around the world when he and his partner, Jacques Rouet, started franchises in the fashion industry. In 1953 Yves Saint-Laurent became Dior's assistant and was destined to be his successor but was reluctantly forced to leave when the time came for his military service. On returning, after trouble with his temporary replacement Marc Bohan, Saint-Laurent soon opened his own maison de couture once his military obligations were over.

Dior was continually feuding with his elder brother Raymond Dior. One of Christian's earliest memories was of Raymond locking him in the dark cellar of the house in Granville whenever he had the opportunity, then search the garden for live animals or insects to push under the door. Once Christian had made his fortune he attempted to repurchase the house where he was born but the new owner (Granville town council) rejected his offers. Dior refused to set foot in the town of Granville for the rest of his life. However, when Jean Cocteau bought the small château at Milly-la-Forêt (Essonne) and Christian Dior shortly afterwards bought a disused water-mill in the same village, he persuaded his brother Raymond to buy a fermette in the village of Noisy-sur-École (Seine-et-Marne) only four kilometers away. On the rare occasions when they found themselves together it usually ended in dispute with Raymond calling his brother "filthy queer" while Christian replied with "impotent drunk".

Towards the end of his life Christian's life was a hectic round of injections to wake up in the morning, injections for his appetite, and further injections to sleep. His niece, Françoise Dior, who had once been his favourite (at her marriage with Count Robert-Henri de Caumont la Force it was Christian who gave the bride away at the ceremony while Raymond sat drinking in a local bar) but she held Nazi sympathies. She openly blamed Christian's Jewish manageress who procured his medications, along with a collection of young men, of being part of a Jewish plot forcing him towards his death. For once Raymond agreed with his rebel daughter, while discounting the Jewish plot theory. Normally under French inheritance law, having no children or parents, Raymond should have been Christian's successor but the rift provoked by Françoise caused Christian to disinherit his close family totally.

The plump Dior, who suffered from heart trouble, reportedly died of a heart attack while undergoing a weight-loss cure at the spa in Montecatini, Italy, in an effort to make himself more desirable to his young North African lover, singer Jacques Benita; the death reportedly occurred in the lobby of the Hotel Pace after an after-dinner canasta game. Alexis: The Memoirs of the Baron de Redé, the 2005 memoirs of Paris socialite Alexis von Rosenberg, Baron de Redé, however, suggests that the fashion designer actually died of a heart attack after a too strenuous evening spent with two young men.

Although his death was the big story in the French press it was quickly forgotten, overshadowed by the launching of the first Soviet Sputnik three days later.

At the time of his death, Dior salons had been opened in 24 countries. The Dior firm—successively led by designers Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferre, John Galliano and Hedi Slimane—continued to be a fashion leader and was associated with a much wider range of merchandise, including menswear, household linens, and such fragrances as the critical and popular success Eau Savage, widely considered a classic scent.

Friday, September 29, 2006

iPod Hi-Fi

Fill your home with sound, not stereo components. Keep your music collection at your fingertips, not in countless CD cases. Change the way you experience digital music. For $349, iPod Hi-Fi delivers crystal-clear, high-quality sound in a clean, compact design. Hear, hear.



Where did the stereo go?

Just slide your iPod(1) into the built-in Universal Dock to turn on and tune in to digital music as you’ve never heard it before. From pumping bass to bright treble, iPod Hi-Fi delivers natural, room-filling sound. Close your eyes and you’d think you were listening to a huge stack of speakers. But iPod Hi-Fi measures just 17.0" x 6.6" x 6.9."

Virtuoso performance


As versatile as it is compact, iPod Hi-Fi incorporates thoughtful touches that make playing your music pure pleasure. Use the included Apple Remote to control music playback from anywhere in the room. Charge your iPod through the iPod Hi-Fi dock while you play music. Or take your show on the road courtesy of D-cell battery(2) power. All that makes iPod Hi-Fi pretty extraordinary. Just like iPod.

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani (born October 3, 1969) is an American singer, fashion designer, actress, and is the frontwoman of the pop/ska/rock band No Doubt.

She first experienced mainstream success with the release of No Doubt's 1995 album Tragic Kingdom, which shipped over 10 million copies in the US and spawned the hit singles "Just a Girl", "Spiderwebs", and "Don't Speak."
In 2004, Stefani wrote and recorded her first solo album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. The album contained pop music and dance tracks, and included hip hop and R&B-influences. Its third single "Hollaback Girl" became the first U.S. digital single to exceed sales of one million.

Stefani is currently working on a second solo album due for release in late 2006. She married Bush front man Gavin Rossdale in 2002 and gave birth to her son, Kingston James McGregor Rossdale, in 2006.

Y por eso el mundo es un lugar mas feliz para vivir

Britney Jean Spears - BIO


Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981) is a Grammy Award-winning artist and an American pop singer, dancer, and occasional actress, author, and songwriter. She is best known for her studio albums, music videos, and pop songs such as "...Baby One More Time", "Oops!...I Did It Again" and "Toxic".

Spears has sold over seventy-six million records worldwide according to TIME magazine. Having thirty-one million RIAA-certified albums sold in the U.S., Spears ranks as the eighth best-selling female artist in American music history and the best-selling artist in her label Jive Records.


Spears first came to fame as a member of the The New Mickey Mouse Club in the early 1990s, after which she took a five-year break from entertainment. She subsequently emerged at the forefront of the pop music scene in late 1998, thanks to her chart-topping debut album, ...Baby One More Time, which was crafted by producer-songwriter Max Martin. Her second album, Oops!...I Did It Again, which was released the following year, was a similarly huge hit.

In the early 2000s, Spears' success as a singer led her way to high-profile advertising deals, most notably for Pepsi, as well as forays into other forms of media, including film and reality television. Along with her highly-publicized relationship with *NSYNC's Justin Timberlake, her third and fourth albums were released during this era and included more artistic input from Spears, but yielded lower sales. In 2004, she married dancer and aspiring rap artist Kevin Federline and the following year she gave birth to their son, Sean Preston. On September 12, 2006, she gave birth to her second son, Sutton Pierce Federline.

Biography
Childhood and discovery
Spears
was born and raised Southern Baptist in Kentwood, Louisiana. Her parents are James Parnell Spears, a building contractor, and Lynne Irene Bridges (born 1956), a former grade school teacher. Spears's brother, Bryan (born 1977), is one of her managers, and her sister, Jamie-Lynn (born 1991), is an actress and singer. Her maternal grandmother, Lillian Woolmoore (1924–1993), was an English war-bride, who met Spears's maternal grandfather, Barnett O'Field Bridges (1919–1978), in England during WWII, and subsequently moved with him to the U.S. Her paternal grandparents were June Austin Spears (born 1930) and Emma Jean Forbes (1934–1966); Spears claims to have some Native American heritage.

Spears was an accomplished gymnast, attending gymnastics classes until age nine and competing in state-level competitions. She performed in local dance revues and her local Baptist church choirs, and was auditioning for the Disney Channel's The New Mickey Mouse Club by the time she was eight. Although she was considered too young to join the series at the time, a producer on the show introduced her to a New York agent. Spears subsequently spent three summers at NYC's Professional Performing Arts School and also appeared in a number of off-Broadway productions, including 1991's Ruthless!. In 1992, she landed a spot on Star Search, and though she won the first round, she lost in the second (her opponent would later appear on a 2001 episode of the game show I've Got a Secret with his "secret" being the win against Spears). Spears then returned to the Disney Channel for a spot on the New Mickey Mouse Club and was accepted. She was featured in the 1993–1994 seasons from the ages of 11–13. She performed several backflips for the New Mickey Mouse Club, which she would later repeat for the "...Baby One More Time" video. Other performers on the show included Justin Timberlake, future boyfriend of Spears, and Joshua Chasez (both of whom later became members of the pop group 'N Sync), Keri Russell (star of the TV show Felicity), fellow pop singer Christina Aguilera, and actor Ryan Gosling. A few years later, Spears recorded a demo, which landed in the hands of a Jive Records executive. She was signed to their label and began touring American venues for a series of concerts sponsored by American teen magazines, before joining *NSYNC and becoming their opening act.

1998–2000: Early commercial success
Towards
the end of 1998, Spears' debut single "...Baby One More Time" began to appear on radio stations and music television networks. Led by a music video that featured the 1.63 m (5 ft 4 in) brown-eyed bottle blonde in a schoolgirl outfit, the song became an international success, earning platinum sales and going to number one in both the U.S. and UK, among several other countries. Released in early 1999, her debut album ...Baby One More Time topped the charts in several countries, including the U.S. (where it is certified 14x Platinum).

Spears was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in April 1999. The photo shoot triggered widespread speculation (denied by her representatives) that the still-seventeen-year-old had opted to have breast implants. That summer, she kicked off her first headlining tour, the ...Baby One More Time Tour. By late 1999, Spears had become one of the year's biggest stars, a claim backed-up by the amount of award nominations she received that season. In December, she took home four Billboard Music Awards including one for Female Artist of the Year, and the next month won for Favorite Pop/Rock New Artist at the American Music Awards. At the Grammy Awards, held in February 2000, Spears received two nominations, including one for Best New Artist, losing out to Christina Aguilera.

Following the short-lived Crazy 2K Tour, the lead single from Spears' second album, "Oops!... I Did It Again", was released. The song broke a record for most radio station adds in a single day and quickly became a U.S. top ten hit and number one single in other countries. Released in May 2000, the album Oops!... I Did It Again debuted at number one in the U.S., where it sold over 1.3 million units during its first week (breaking the record for biggest first-week sales of an album by a female artist). Concerning both musical content and sales, the album was very similar to Spears' debut, although it fared better with critics. "Oops..." also had input from country queen Shania Twain, who penned the track Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know with husband Mutt Lange. Twain, arguably the most successful female in terms of album sales and exposure in the late 90s, contributed her adult-40 brand of country-crossover infusion to the record. The lyrics of the song also pay homage to fellow blonde superstar Madonna, as in "come on baby, come on darling," an obvious ode to Madonna's "Borderline."

Spears kicked off her first world tour (titled the Oops!... I Did It Again World Tour) in the summer of 2000, and co-wrote the book Britney Spears' Heart-to-Heart with her mother, Lynne. During a performance at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, she ripped off a black suit to reveal a provocative nude-colored and crystal-adorned outfit that generated controversy due to her young age. In late 2000, she won two Billboard Music Awards, and in early 2001, she was nominated for two American Music Awards. At the Grammys, one of her two nominations was for Oops!... I Did It Again in the category of Best Pop Vocal Album, but again she did not win.

2001–2003: Career development
In early 2001, Spears struck a USD$7–8 million promotional deal with the soft drink giant Pepsi. In September of the same year, she performed at the MTV Video Music Awards, and in addition to criticism for being scantily clad, she angered animal rights organization PETA for the use of animals, including an albino python, in her performance.

In November, she released her third album Britney. It debuted at number one on both the U.S. and Canadian charts, selling over 740,000 units during its first week in the U.S. The success of this album made Spears the only female artist in SoundScan history to have her first three albums debut at number one. Although four million copies of the record have been sold in the U.S. it was a decline from the sales of her first two albums, and the lead single "I'm a Slave 4 U" was the album's only hit in the U.S. Britney was the first album on which Spears assumed some creative control; she co-wrote five of the album's tracks. To help promote the album, Spears embarked on the Dream Within a Dream Tour during the same year.

In 2001, Fort Worth, Texas KEGL-FM DJs Kramer and Twitch on created a panic for her fans when they falsely reported that she and her then-boyfriend, 'NSYNC's Justin Timberlake, were in a car accident involving a pretzel truck and that she had died in the crash. In reality, they were both alive and well and had not been in any car wreck. Later, in October 2001, a website spoofing CNN also stated that she had been killed in a car crash.

In February 2002, Spears had her first starring role in the film, Crossroads. The next month, Spears' four-year relationship with Justin Timberlake ended. The break-up was publicized, with rumors circulating that Spears had been unfaithful. Timberlake himself left the impression that she had cheated on him through his song "Cry Me a River", and its subsequent music video. In response to this, Spears later said, "I'm not technically saying he's wrong, but I'm not technically saying he's right, either. "Afterward, despite Spears' claims that she had remained a virgin ― and wished to remain one until marriage ― Timberlake insisted they had sex during their relationship. Spears later acknowledged this to be true, saying, "It was two years into my relationship with Justin, and I thought he was the one. But I was wrong!"

In June 2002, Spears branched out as a restaurateur with the opening of a New York City eatery, NYLA, which was named for its mix of New York and Louisiana cuisine. It was not a success and closed the following year. Soon after these failures, Spears took a break from the spotlight, and in 2003 many music industry critics speculated her career was in decline. That same year, Forbes named Spears the most powerful celebrity in the world.

Spears returned to the spotlight in August 2003 when she performed at the MTV Video Music Awards with her idol Madonna, pop singer Christina Aguilera and rapper Missy Elliott. Spears and Aguilera performed Madonna's song "Like a Virgin", danced suggestively and each locked lips with Madonna (see Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards). Spears' kiss with Madonna attracted publicity that lasted several months, while Aguilera's kiss with Madonna attracted less publicity.

In 2003, Britney Spears began studying Jewish mysticism, also called Kabbalah, and became a member of the Kabbalah Centre after having been introduced to Jewish mysticism by friend and mentor Madonna. Soon after joining, Britney's mother Lynne became a member, and Britney had a Hebrew tattoo inked onto her neck (מהש) representing one of the seventy-two names of God in Kabbalah. Britney previously had a Kabbalah-inspired Hebrew tattoo inked onto her neck that was proved to be meaningless in an incident that was her second tattoo-related mishap; in the first, she had Japanese characters inked onto her leg that she thought to mean "mysterious" - it actually said "strange."

November 2003 saw the release of Spears' fourth studio album, In the Zone. Jettisoning the Max Martin-produced synthpop of her earlier releases, the album took in lesser-known producers such as RedZone and big names including Moby and R. Kelly. Spears co-wrote nine of the album's thirteen songs and co-produced some of her material for the first time. In the Zone went to the top of the U.S. charts in its debut week, selling over 609,000 copies. This made Spears the only female in music history to have her first four albums debut at number one. The album spawned the international number one and U.S. top ten hit, "Toxic", which won Spears her first Grammy in the category of Best Dance Recording.

On January 3, 2004, Spears married her childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at The Little White Wedding Chapel on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. Spears wore jeans and a baseball cap and the bellhop walked her down the aisle. An annulment was promptly arranged (at the behest of manager Larry Rudolph and her family) and was granted on January 5, ending their fifty-five hour marriage. The annulment request stated that Spears "lacked understanding of her actions to the extent that she was incapable of agreeing to marriage because before entering into the marriage the Plaintiff and Defendant did not know each others likes and dislikes, each others desires to have or not have children, and each others desires as to State of residency." Spears later explained, "Honestly, I really wanted to see what it was like to be married."

In 2004, Spears embarked on her fourth world tour, The Onyx Hotel Tour. The tour grossed over US$34 million and was seen by over 600,000 fans in North America and Europe, but the remaining dates were cancelled in June, after Spears injured her knee during the filming of the video for the single "Outrageous". She was taken to an undisclosed hospital, where she received an MRI that showed floating cartilage in her knee. The following thirty-seven stops on the tour were canceled, costing Spears US$750,000 to US$1,000,000 a night in guaranteed fees from concert promoters.

In July 2004, Spears announced her engagement to dancer Kevin Federline, three months after they met at a club in Hollywood. Their whirlwind romance sparked criticism due to the fact that Federline had very recently been in a relationship with actress Shar Jackson, who was still pregnant with their second child. On the night of September 18, 2004, Spears married Federline before twenty-seven guests in a surprise, non-denominational ceremony at a residence in Studio City, California. The legitimacy of the marriage was initially questioned, but on November 18, 2004, a representative of the Los Angeles County registrar's office confirmed Spears and Federline had successfully filed their marriage license with the county within ten days of their ceremony, and were therefore legally married. Initially, Spears refused to sign a prenuptial agreement with Federline but her family and manager Larry Rudolph forced her to sign the prenup. A short time after the wedding, Spears fired Rudolph for allegedly interfering with her maritial affairs. After initially spending their honeymoon in Spears' hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears wrote on her official site that, "Unfortunately, we couldn't take our honeymoon right after the wedding because of the closing on our new house." In October 2004, they flew to Fiji.

2004–present: Career hiatus and family
During
the latter half of 2004, Spears announced she would be taking another career break in order to start a family. Immediately after her marriage to Federline, she had told People, "I want to be a young mom. Next year, at 23, I'm so there." Although she made few public appearances, the 'Britney Spears industry' continued to run itself.

Spears publicly declared her trust in President George W. Bush, as reported in an interview on Crossfire and featured in the film Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore: "Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens. "However, news leaked in the press that top U.S. politicians banned her from appearing at the Republican Convention in August 2004 stating "We are a serious political party, and really don't need the likes of Britney to promote us. Besides, with the headlines she's been recently attracting, we think she'd do more harm than good. We don't get what Britney has to offer our cause."

In September 2004, Spears released her first fragrance, "Curious", for which she earned a reported US$12 million. After one year of sales, the product netted more than US$100 million. Following the success of "Curious", Spears released her next Elizabeth Arden fragrance, "Fantasy", in September 2005.

"Someday (I Will Understand)" (2005)
"Someday" was written by Britney two weeks before she found she was pregnant with her first child, Sean Preston Federline. A piano ballad, the track was produced by Guy Sigsworth ("Everytime"), Britney also plays the piano in the track.


Spears' first hits collection, Greatest Hits: My Prerogative, was released in late 2004. The album debuted at number four on the U.S. charts. In addition to her biggest hits, it featured three new songs, including "My Prerogative" and "Do Somethin'". During the spring of 2005, Spears' reality show with husband Kevin Federline, Britney and Kevin: Chaotic, premiered on UPN in the U.S. The five-episode series credited Spears and Federline as executive producers. Chaotic was panned by most critics, and ratings were not as high as expected. The series was later released on DVD in September. The DVD included a bonus music disc which featured her newest single and music video at that point in her career, "Someday (I Will Understand)".

Spears announced her pregnancy via her official website in April 2005. That month she was rushed to a hospital in Destin, Florida, where she spent forty-eight hours under a doctor's surveillance. Spears later told People, "There was just a little bit of bleeding, but we went there, and everything was fine." Despite her eagerness to have a baby, she admitted to ELLE magazine that, "I have a feeling I'm going to have an operation. I don't know why. But I hope so. I don't want to go through the pain." On September 14, 2005, 6 lb. 11oz. baby boy Sean Preston Federline was born in the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California, by a scheduled caesarean section. Two days later, Spears and her son were released from the hospital and back at home in their 9,000-sq.-ft. Malibu, California mansion.

The birth of Spears' son was the inspiration behind a statue by Daniel Edwards, Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston, which was unveiled in March 2006. The statue features an idealised Spears giving birth in a provocative pose while hunched on all fours and clutching a bearskin rug. Controversy was further stoked by it being partly supported by the Manhattan Right to Life Committee. The statue has in no way been recognized by Spears and is therefore unofficial. It has also sparked controversy as Spears gave birth by caesarean section, unlike the natural birth depicted in the statue.

Since the birth of her first child, Spears' career had remained relatively low-profile. In late 2005, Jive released a remix album entitled B in the Mix: The Remixes. It lacked promotion of any kind in the U.S. and debuted outside the top one hundred, with less than 15,000 copies sold in its first week of release. The remix album spawned the international and U.S. Hot Dance Airplay hit single, "And Then We Kiss", and a remix of Spears' most recent single "Someday (I Will Understand)".

Spears made a guest appearance on Will & Grace in March 2006. In May 2006, she announced her second pregnancy with a surprise appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.
Spears appeared on Dateline NBC in June 2006 to discuss tabloid rumors about an impending divorce from her husband, future career plans, her emotional state and motherhood. In response to the controversy over her driving with her infant son unrestrained in her lap, Spears told The Today Show's Matt Lauer that, "I did it with my dad. I'd sit on his lap and I drive. We're country." She also addressed the concerns over her parenting skills, saying, "I know I'm a good mom." It was confirmed in the interview that she will not release a studio album for at least another year, saying that she would like to wait until her children get older. She also confirmed a new baby clothes line, entitled "Baby's All Rock 'n' Roll".

Following Dateline NBC, Spears posed nude for the August 2006 cover of Harper's Bazaar. In the interview with the magazine, Spears stated that she is not ready to retire from performing, saying, "I can't wait to do that again." Spears also plans to get back in shape after the birth of her second child, saying, "After this baby, I'm going to get really intense with it." In the August 28, 2006 issue of People, Spears confirmed that her next studio album is due in 2007 and described it as "cooler than ever—fun, upbeat, and sexy." then she also recorded cover version of Crystal Waters' classic dance hits "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)" (1991), "100% Pure Love" (1994) and Stevie V's house/dance classic song "Dirty Cash (Money Talks)" (1990) however, In the article Spears had also commented that her impending childbirth, a second scheduled caesarean section, "[would] be a piece of cake." On August 20, 2006, Spears introduced her husband, Kevin Federline, at the Teen Choice Awards. This was her first appearance at an awards show in almost two years. Britney will also release a new fragrance in late fall or early winter; it will be her fourth fragrance in all. Britney and her husband Kevin Federline also appeared via satellite at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards that were held in New York to present the award for Best R&B Video. They performed a quick skit kicking back at what the media portray them as, even as far as pretending to misplace their child. This however was not seen to be in good humour, as the UK's Daily Mirror commented on September 2 that their joke went down like a lead balloon. In fact, in subsesquent replays of the VMA's on MTV, the skit is completely edited out and goes right from Jack Black introducing Spears and Federline to them announcing the nominees. Spears has also been confirmed by Dionne Warwick on her website, that she will appear on Warwick's upcoming 2007 album of duets to celebrate Warwick's 45th year in music. Spears has also been announced to appear on her husband, Kevin Federline's upcoming album, Playing With Fire. The track she is featured on is entitled "Crazy".

On September 12, 2006, just two days before the first birthday of Sean, Britney gave birth to their second son just before 2 a.m. at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, again by a scheduled caesarean section. People magazine has reported that the couple has named the baby boy, "Sutton Pierce Federline."

On September 15, 2006, three days after the birth of her second son, Britney's official website was taken down and replaced by a flash opening that features a tiger's picture, a growling noise, and heavy breathing. "BRITNEY SPEARS: New Official Website Coming Soon" appears upon entrance. This almost confirms Britney's next album will be named "Tiger" or themed after the beasts.

Acting career
In February 2002, Spears starred in a film, Crossroads, which reached number two on the box-office charts in its first weekend, but quickly dropped out of the top ten. Songs from the album Britney appeared in the film. The movie, along with Spears' performance in it, was poorly received by critics and she netted herself a Razzie Award for Worst Actress. The film won the Razzie for the Worst Original Song "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman".

Spears has made cameo appearances on the films Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) as herself, and Longshot (2000) as a Flight Attendant. She also appeared on a Documentary titled Guest List Only which focused on the Los Angeles Club Scene.

For the film Chicago, producer Harvey Weinstein wanted Spears for the role that eventually went to Lucy Liu. She was considered for the part of Allie Hamilton in The Notebook, but was beat out by Rachel McAdams. She auditioned for the role in I ♥ Huckabees that went to Naomi Watts. Spears initially expressed interest in the role of Daisy Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard but lost interest in playing the character following her marriage and plans for a family. The role went to fellow pop singer and reality television star Jessica Simpson.

As for theatre, in her youth Spears had a role in the off-Broadway play, Ruthless!, in which Natalie Portman was an understudy. In 2005 she was offered the title role in the Broadway musical Sweet Charity. Producers of the musical began eyeing Spears for the role of the unlucky-in-love dancer Charity after Christina Applegate announced she would no longer be returning as the character. Spears seriously considered taking that part, but decided that she did not want to move her family to New York City to appear in the musical.

She was asked to appear in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "I Was Made to Love You," but turned down the role due to scheduling conflicts This is similar to what happened in her scheduled guesting for the show Dawson's Creek.

In March 30, 2006, Spears was a guest-star on an episode of NBC's television show Will & Grace titled "Buy, Buy Baby". Britney played "Amber-Louis", a closeted democrat lesbian posing as a conservative Christian and right wing-republican who is to cohost with Jack McFarland on his talk show "JackTalk" after a large corporation takes over "OutTv", the shows network. This marked her debut on a scripted primetime television show playing someone other than herself. NBC received criticism from conservative Christian groups for the episode.

In addition, she has appeared on Saturday Night Live twice as host and musical guest: once on May 13, 2000, then again on February 2, 2002. On October 18, 2003, she appeared as musical guest with Halle Berry as host. At 18, she was the youngest person in SNL History to host and musical guest the same time. Spears is also the only female to host and perform in the same episode more than once. She was set to host a third time in December 18, 2004 but cancelled due to her knee injury.

Britney Spears was listed by IMDB to play Drew Heart in the movie In The Pink which has had a status of "Pre-Production" since 2005. In the summer of 2006, she dropped out due to her second pregnancy and was replaced with Queen Latifah who had long been attached to the film.

Public image
Britney Spears' personal life has attracted considerable media attention. Some people feel that she has courted it by cultivating, in her early years at least, a chaste, God-fearing and "wholesome" image. It was somewhat at odds, not only with the traditional pressures, temptations and opportunities of "pop 'n' roll," but with the increasingly sexualized content of her own image and songs. Spears' kiss with Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards received much media attention, as have her romantic relationships.

It began in April 1999 when a then 17 year-old Spears was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in a sexually suggestive Lolita-themed photo shoot which triggered widespread speculation (denied by her representatives) that the singer had opted to have breast implants.
In August 2003 the artist reached more controversy with a photoshoot by photographer Michael Thompson which appeared on W Magazine. The photos display Britney in a heavy dominatrix inspired shoot, and sexually suggestive poses. In the interview by Rob Haskell which accompanied the photos, Spears admitted to having lost her virginity to Justin Timberlake two years into their relationship. She also stated that she in fact smokes, and she did kiss Colin Farrell but had no relationship with him.

The sexualized public image of Spears once again became a topic of debate as a result of her November 2003 semi-nude photo spread for the men's magazine, Esquire. Prompted by this, Playboy reportedly offered the star over one million USD to pose nude for their magazine, but Spears publicly declined. In an interview with Diane Sawyer, she was asked if she had ever gone further than she wished she had with the sexualized photo shoots. Spears responded, "No, I don't think so, no." After the Esquire photos were held up in front of her, she said, "Okay. Now those are a little much. Yeah, those are a little much. That's one picture, I must say, that I felt kind of weird about, yeah."

The 2004 Onyx Hotel Tour brought new criticism. While Spears and her on-stage dancers performed her songs "Touch of My Hand" and "Breathe on Me", they were seemingly nude and were performing routines simulating gay sex, orgies and masturbation. As there were underage fans in the audience, there was some outrage at the alleged lack of decency of the performances, as well as reports of adult chaperones angrily storming out with children they brought to the concert. Spears has responded to parents' concerns by stating she is "not their babysitter. It's the parents' responsibility. If you don't like it, turn the TV off. The only person I want to be a role model to is my sister, Jamie Lynn." (From ABC's Primetime interview with Diane Sawyer)
In December 2005, Spears sued US Weekly for a story the magazine published in the column "HOTstuff" of their October 2005 publication. The column, with the headline "Brit & Kev: Secret Sex Tape? New parents have a new worry: racy footage from 2004." claimed that Spears and her husband had made a sex video and feared it would be distributed. Spears denies the existence of any such tape while the magazine claims to have a credible source, which they failed to mention in the article.

On June 28, 2006, after her televized Dateline interview a pregnant (and brunette) Spears posed nude for the August 2006 cover of Harper's Bazaar, in a photo similar to Demi Moore's September 1991 cover of Vanity Fair. In one photo, Spears is shown with only a g-string and open fur coat, and in another she is completely nude with her hands covering her breasts. Her son, Sean, is also featured in the photospread.

In August 2006, a video of Britney began circulating the internet. In the 3-minute video, Britney is seen having a conversation with her husband Kevin, who is filming Spears as she is sitting at a table eating. In the video, Spears seems very disoriented and confused. She also casually burps throughout the clip. The video begins with Spears making random comments about herself before she instructs Kevin to put the camera down and to "stop acting like a cameraman". She then begins to ask to go to the movie theatre to see a film which, according to Kevin, has already been out on DVD for 4 months and has already been played "on the bus". Spears then begins to claim that she is "missing out on life" and that she is generally behind everyone else. Kevin tells her it is because of all the partying, to which Spears strongly disagrees with and begins to bang the table. Britney then begins to try and legitimately convince Kevin that the concept of time travel that is portrayed in the Back to the Future series is real. Kevin says that if its possible, that the people responsible wouldn't tell anyone.

In Pop Culture
Britney is the highest selling female artist of the 2000's, with over 85 million records sold worldwide. Spears was ranked number 20 out of the 200 top pop culture icons of all time by VH1 and People. She topped FHM magazine's 2004 "FHM-U.S.'s 100 Sexiest Women 2004" and "FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2004" polls for sexiest woman. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Spears was a notable trend-setter within the U.S. and the world, inspiring several fashion crazes and fads, such as the use of low-rise jeans lower back tattoos, navel piercings, and the whale tail among young women.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Justin Randall Timberlake


Justin Randall Timberlake (born January 31, 1981) is a two-time Grammy Award-winning American pop and R&B singer and aspiring actor. He came to fame as the frontman of pop boy band 'N Sync. In 2002, he released his debut solo album, Justified, which went on to sell over seven million copies worldwide. Timberlake's second solo release, FutureSex/LoveSounds, was released on September 12, 2006 including a hit song Sexyback

Timberlake dated fellow pop singer Britney Spears for several years. The two appeared on the New Mickey Mouse Club together and broke up in 2002, amid rumors of Spears's infidelity. Timberlake has since dated actress-singer Alyssa Milano (between August and September of 2002). Timberlake is currently dating actress Cameron Diaz. In June 2006, several tabloids reported that the couple had broken up, citing the age difference between them and Justin's apparent desire to 'sow his wild oats' when he embarks on a world tour in the near future (dates unknown). A representative for the couple says that the two are still together.


Justin Timberlake was given "Sexiest Man" titles by Teen People and Cosmopolitan magazines.

Kimora Lee Simmons

Kimora Lee Simmons (born Kimora Perkins on May 3, 1975 in St. Louis, Missouri) is a former fashion model and the head of design for Baby Phat.

Simmons is the daughter of a Japanese mother, Kyoko Lee, aka: Joanne Perkins, and an African American father, Vernon Whitlock, Jr.
Kimora began her modeling career at age 13.By the age of 10, she had grown to a height of 5 feet and 10 inches. And by age 14, she had grown to a height of six feet and become a self-professed muse for The House of Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld. As a child she was very self-conscious about being biracial. Working as a model, however, it made her stand out from the other children. Throughout her career, she has referred to herself as being African-American, Asian, or a multi-cultural woman.
She is a graduate of Lutheran North High School in St. Louis County, Missouri.
On December 20, 1998, she married hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. The Simmons' have two daughters --Ming Lee Simmons born on Jan. 21, 2000, and Aoki Lee Simmons, born Aug, 16, 2002, both of whom model for Baby Phat Kids Collection.
Contrary to popular belief, Kimora Lee Simmons is not the founder of the Baby Phat brand. Her husband Russell actually founded the company himself as a counterpart to his already fledling Phat Farm clothing line and put his wife Kimora as creative director for the line.
She was cast as one of the celebrity judges on the reality series America's Next Top Model. A feud with Janice Dickinson forced her to leave the show after one season.
On July 29, 2004, Simmons was arrested outside her estate in Upper Saddle River, NJ and charged with: possession of marijuana under 50 grams, eluding police, careless and imprudent driving, and driving with a broken brake light. This arrest was made after a two-mile chase that began near the Saddle River Police Station.
Her first and only book, Fabulosity, published by Judith Regan of Simon & Shuster's Regan Books, was released on February 21, 2006. Recently, Simmons has designed a new line of jewelry, called the Hello Kitty Collection. Simmons used the Sanrio Logo of Hello Kitty on the face of all of these new accessories.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Motorola: MOTORAZR V3i Dolce & Gabbana

The MOTORAZR V3i Dolce & Gabbana is fully loaded* – seamlessly marrying style with rich functionality. Modeled after the MOTORAZR V3, the MOTORAZR V3i Dolce & Gabbana has a luxurious gold and silver finish, with an engraved Dolce & Gabbana logo, offering consumers a large internal color screen, quad-band technology and Bluetooth® wireless technology. Designed for an enhanced imaging experience, this sleek handset comes complete with an integrated 1.23 megapixel digital camera with a full screen view-finder, zoom, and video capture and playback. Add cutting-edge music capabilities and you have the complete mobile multimedia package. Now when you grab your mobile, you’re also are grabbing your camera and MP3 player. Stylish, smart, and sophisticated – the MOTORAZR V3i Dolce & Gabbana.

Fully Loaded
Don’t say it … show it! Capture beautiful images during global travels with the MOTORAZR V3i Dolce & Gabbana’s 1.23 megapixel digital camera. Share those images via email* or Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)* or save them to the MicroSD removable memory card to print when you are back at home. But when a still image just won’t do, video capabilities promise to capture all your action-packed experiences.

Accessorize…
Exclusive matching accessories for the MOTORAZR V3i Dolce &Gabbana can be purchased separately. These include a personalised Motorola H700 Bluetooth headset, a wired stereo headset for listening to MP3 music files and a luxury gold leather phone case.

Cut Loose
No more limitations. Quad-band technology allows you to roam seamlessly across countries and continents*. Combined with Bluetooth technology and speaker independent name and digit dialing and you have hands-free capabilities to juggle work and play. Screening calls while lounging in the French Riviera? Use the brilliant external display to see who is calling you with picture caller ID.

SUMMARY OF FEATURES:
• 1.23 megapixel digital camera with 8x digital zoom, video capture and full screen viewfinder
• Motorola’s Digital Audio Music Player with mini-USB stereo headset
• Airplane mode
• Hot swappable MicroSD™ memory card
• 262K color wallpapers & screensavers on internal display
• 65K color support on external display
• Speaker independent name & digit dialing
• Dedicated browser and messaging keys
• Integrated Class 1 Bluetooth technology with imaging, printing, peer to peer gaming profiles
• Rich, pre-loaded or downloaded J2ME™ games, screen savers and MP3 ringtones

The beautiful new MOTORAZR V3i Dolce & Gabbana makes a clear modern day style statement, and will be available worldwide from June 1st 2006, at selected Dolce & Gabbana boutiques and selected regional Motorola retailers. For more information regarding pricing and product availability in your region, please check with your local Motorola representative.

MOTOROLA and the Stylized M Logo are registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office. The Bluetooth trademarks are owned by their proprietor and used by Motorola, Inc. under license. Java and all other Java-based marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. © Motorola, Inc. 2006. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Pussycat Dolls: Bio


1993–2003: Dance troupe beginnings
Some sources claim that Antin first began exploring the idea of a modern burlesque troupe in 1993 with her friend Christina Applegate; the troupe's first performance was in 1995. During this period they performed with numerous guest vocalists (see list below), with a repertoire of '50s and '60s pop standards, performed in lingerie and/or old-fashioned pin-up costumes. Antin reportedly drew inspiration from the choreography of Bob Fosse (Sweet Charity, Cabaret, Chicago).

They secured a Thursday night residency at Los Angeles nightclub The Viper Room, where they stayed from 1995–2001. In June 1999 Playboy ran a Pussycat Dolls pictorial, featuring at least contemporary members Kasey Campbell, Kiva Dawson, Erica Gudis and Lindsley Allen. In 2002 they moved to The Roxy. The group became internationally popular and was featured in magazines, television specials for MTV and VH1, ad campaigns, and movies. Carmen Electra was the group's lead performer for many of their shows. She said "I was part of the Dolls for two years and did every show with them...but financially, I couldn't become part of their new music project...It was a financial sacrifice I couldn't make."
With the involvement of music producers Jimmy Iovine and Ron Fair, the troupe was re-cast, transformed into an pop/R&B recording group, and signed up as employees of Iovine's label Interscope Records.
Meghan Grim is the most recent member of the Pussycat Dolls.
2003-present: Music career
In 2003, Nicole Scherzinger, a former member of Popstars winners Eden's Crush, became the group's lead singer. The present members of the group are Scherzinger; Carmit Bachar (who joined in 1995); Kimberly Wyatt, Ashley Roberts (who joined in 2001); Jessica Sutta (who joined in 2002); and Melody Thornton, (who joined in 2003). They opened the MTV Asia Awards 2004.


The Pussycat Dolls on the cover of their 2005 debut album, PCD. Listen to "Buttons' audio sample
In 2005, The Pussycat Dolls released their debut album
PCD. The album debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200, selling about 100,000 copies. It has produced six singles. "Sway" was their first single, released from the Shall We Dance soundtrack, then later included on thir debut album, but it was "Don't Cha" (featuring Busta Rhymes, originally recorded by Tori Alamaze) that became their first major hit. The follow-up, "Stickwitu", became the group's first U.S. # 1 Billboard Pop Radio hit,it went on to sell over a million digital downloads in the world and became their second #1 single in the UK. The third single, "Beep," featured Black Eyed Peas lead rapper will.i.am. They recently released their latest single, "Buttons," featuring Snoop Dogg which followed in the success of the previous singles and went straight into the top 3 on the UK singles chart, #3. The group's final single has been confirmed as the high tempo, club track "Wait A Minute" and is set for release on August 2006, in the United States,"I Don't Need a Man" will be released in Canada (The video was premiered on MuchOnDemand September 14th, 2006) , the UK and Ireland and "Sway" will be released as the 5th single in Continental Europe. The 5th single in Australia and New Zealand hasn't been confirmed yet.
The Pussycat Dolls are proving to be a recognised female group as MTV Hits (UK) marks them as #1 in Top 10 Female Groups (July 2006) beating #2 Destiny's Child and #7 Spice Girls. Furthermore, securing #1 in VH1's (UK) 'Top 20 Sexiest' and #2 in TMF's Ultimate 20 Women in Pop (August 2006).
The group won a Billboard Music Award for "Don't Cha" as Top Hot/Dance Club Play Single of the Year. The song was also nominated for Top-Selling Single of the Year and Top-Selling Dance Single of the Year.
At the SXSW music conference in 2006, Interscope lawyer Darryl Franklin said, during a panel discussion, that the contract with the group is unique in that its members are actually salaried employees of the record label and, by design, completely interchangeable. This means that in addition to CD sales, the label also controls merchandise, web sites and all other commercial aspects of the group and their income, excluding song publishing.
In 2006, San Francisco-based company Doppelganger (along with Interscope Records) launched the PCD Music Lounge, an interactive website.
On June 30th's VSpot Top 20 Countdown, host Matt Pinfield announced that lead singer Nicole Scherzinger has written 12 new songs for the follow-up album to 2005's PCD.
Touring
In 2006 The Pussycat Dolls have been performing live shows as support for Black Eyed Peas, and as headliners in the UK, Europe and Malaysia. (Even though the Black Eyed Peas performed in Israel, The Pussycat Dolls didn't open the show.)

On August 8, 2006, after a Dolls concert in Kuala Lumpur, their concert promoter, Absolute Entertainment, was charged with flouting Malaysian decency laws. The Malay Mail quoted Culture Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Rahman as saying: "I believe the way the Pussycat Dolls behaved onstage amounted to gross indecency". The charge was settled by paying a fine of RM5000 (US$1358 ).
In November 2006 the Dolls will be touring with special guest Rihanna.

Repertoire

The Dolls' repertoire includes both contemporary pop/R&B and cover versions of pop standards. The contemporary works are mostly written by professional songwriters and/or producers; Scherzinger is the only group member to have co-written any tracks. The covers often fit within the traditions of burlesque, cabaret and drag shows; featuring musical vamps and flirtatious choreography.
Their recorded cover versions include: "Sway" (Dean Martin); "Santa Baby" (Eartha Kitt); "Feelin' Good" (Nina Simone); "Tainted Love" (Gloria Jones/Soft Cell); "Where Did Our Love Go" (The Supremes/Soft Cell); a mash-up of Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" with Siobhan Fahey's "Bitter Pill"; "Right Now" (Mel Torme); and "Don't Cha" (Tori Alamaze).
Their live cover versions have included: "Big Spender" (Chita Rivera/Shirley Bassey); "Fever" (Peggy Lee); "The Pink Panther Theme" (Henry Mancini); and "These Boots Are Made For Walking" (Nancy Sinatra).

Vocalists

The Dolls have been accused of being a group where only one member sings (Scherzinger), and the rest are just eye candy. However, Thornton and Bachar both have solo spots on many tracks: Thornton: "Beep", "Bite The Dust", "Buttons", "I Don't Need A Man", "Hot Stuff (I Want You Back)", "Sway", "Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go"," "Stickwitu", "Flirt", "Obesity", and "Santa Baby". Bachar: "Beep", "We Went As Far As We Felt Like Going", "Hot Stuff (I Want You Back)", "Right Now","Tainted Love", "Bite The Dust" and "Santa Baby". Roberts and Sutta also sing on the "Stickwitu" B-side "Santa Baby".

Other endeavors

Television series

In April 2006 The New York Times reported that Interscope executives are working to produce their own reality TV series overseen by the producers of America's Next Top Model and McG, the director of Charlie's Angels and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Entitled The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll, the show will search for the new member of the troupe.
In August 2006, it was announced that the show would be picked up by the CW, the new network being formed from the merger of UPN and the WB.


Merchandise

In a merchandising agreement with Interscope, in 2006 toy manufacturer Hasbro had plans for a line of dolls modeled after The Pussycat Dolls, and reportedly aimed at six- to nine-year-olds. The groups "Dads and Daughters" and the "Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood" successfully lobbied the company to scrap the plan because they felt that the dolls would have been inappropriate for children, due to the overtly sexual nature of The Pussycat Dolls' songs, videos and live shows.
Interscope also negotiated a deal with Estée Lauder for a Pussycat Dolls line of cosmetics under the Stila brand.

Computer games

In September 2006 it was reported that the Pussycat Dolls had re-recorded "Don't Cha" in Simlish for inclusion in the computer game The Sims 2 Pets.

The Pussycat Dolls: Nicole Scherzinger


Nicole Elikolani Prescovia Scherzinger (born June 29, 1978), also known Nicole Kea, is an American singer-songwriter and dancer best known for her work as the lead vocalist for The Pussycat Dolls.

Scherzinger was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to a Filipino father and a Hawaiian/Russian mother. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky with stepfather Gary Scherzinger, mother Rosemary and sister Ke'ala. She began her life as a performer in Louisville, attending the Youth Performing Arts School at duPont Manual High School and performing with Actors Theatre of Louisville. Scherzinger majored in theater arts at Wright State University, but put her studies on hold in 1999 to sing backing vocals for the rock band Days of the New.

In 2001, she competed in the premiere season of The WB's television show Popstars, on which she earned a spot in the all-girl pop group Eden's Crush. The group's 2001 single "Get Over Yourself" peaked at #1 in sales and hit the top five on Billboard Hot 100. "Love This Way" was the second single chosen from the Popstars album; however, their record company, London Sire, folded and the group disbanded. Songwriter Kara DioGuardi contributed one track to the album, and later went on to co-write with Scherzinger for PCD.

The Pussycat Dolls: Jessica Sutta


Jessica Sutta (b. 15 May 1982) is an American dancer, singer and actress. She is best known as a member of the successful pop group The Pussycat Dolls.
Sutta was born in Miami, Florida to a Jewish father of Russian/Polish origin and a mother of Irish descent. She started dance classes at the age of three. She went to the New World School of the Arts at age fourteen to study dance. She suffered an injury to both knees and switched to theater studies, before finally returning to dance. She joined the Miami Heat dance team in 1999 and became captain in 2001. She also acted in the Swedish TV soap opera Ocean Ave., which is shot in Florida.
In 2002 Sutta moved to Los Angeles, and as a freelance dancer appeared in music videos for Will Smith, Beyoncé ("Crazy in Love"), Craig David and Gloria Estefan, among others. She came to the attention of choreographer Robin Antin who cast her in the re-vamped Pussycat Dolls in 2002. As with all the other Dolls, Sutta is a salaried employee of Interscope Records.Her doll name is : Pinn up Doll !

The Pussycat Dolls: Ashley Roberts


Ashley Roberts (born 14 September 1981) is an American singer/dancer in the modern burlesque troupe The Pussycat Dolls, and a glamour model. She was born in Phoenix, Arizona.

She began dancing at the age of three, and singing at the age of eight. Her father was a drummer who played for the Mamas and the Papas. He later became a car dealer. Her mother was a Pilates instructor.

During high school summer breaks she had travelled to the West Coast to study modern dance. After high school she moved permanently to Los Angeles. She appeared in TV commercials and a Counting Crows video. Within six months of her move she was also a Pussycat Doll. Her nickname in the band was "barbie doll", but realizing that there already was a "barbie doll", changed it to "angel doll".

The Pussycat Dolls: Melody Thornton


Melody Thornton (born September 28, 1984) is an American singer/dancer and the second lead vocalist of The Pussycat Dolls after lead vocalist Nicole Scherzinger in the modern burlesque R&B group The Pussycat Dolls. She is the youngest of all the current members.
Melody was born in Phoenix, Arizona to a Mexican mother and African American father. Her talent was first discovered at an elementary school talent show when she sang "Without You".
She left high school and saw the Pussycat Dolls on MTV and heard they were auditioning for a new band member. Melody went to the audition and was welcomed aboard in December 2003. As with the other Dolls, she is a salaried employee of Interscope Records.Her doll name is: Baby Doll! (Because she's the youngest)


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The Pussycat Dolls: Kimberly Wyatt

Kimberly Wyatt (born February 4, 1982) is an American singer/dancer and member of the modern burlesque pop group The Pussycat Dolls

Wyatt was born in Warrenburg Missouri, a small town near Kansas city. Her father is a trucker and her mother travels with him. Having danced since she was seven, by the time Wyatt was fourteen she was earning scholarships to study in New York each summer, with the Joffrey Ballet and the Broadway Dance Center. Graduating high school at seventeen, she promptly flew to Las Vegas to audition for cruise ship and casino shows. She worked in a revue on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas, then the largest cruise ship in the world, she was able to visit most of Southern Europe.
In 2001, she moved toL.A.despite an offer from the Hubbard St. Dance Co. in Chicago, and pursued her dance career.
In 2003, Robin Antin met Wyatt while she was the choreograper for a music video for Nick LaChey's solo album. Antin asked her that night to join The Pussycat dolls. As with the other Dolls, she is a salaried employee of Interscope Records.
According to Antin, Wyatt is "the sexiest dancer I have ever seen in my life."
The Pussycat Dolls have become a multi-million selling RnB/Hip hop group. As of 2006 Wyatt is touring Europe and the USA with the group.Her Doll name is : Freaky Doll or Punky Doll !


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The Pussycat Dolls: Carmit Bachar



Carmit Bachar (bornSeptember 4, 1974) is an American singer/dancer of the modern burlesque pop group, The Pussycat Dolls. She is the oldest of all the current Pussycat Dolls.

Born with a cleft lip/palate, she is of Israeli and Dutch/Indonesian descent and comes from a family of entertainers. Her mother was a dance teacher and her father danced and even once worked with the renowned Marcel Marceau. This background did not inhibit her as a child; she competed internationally as a rhythmic gymnast for 10 years, and placed 5th in the Olympic trials in 1992, she even went on to compete in the World Championships. During her career competing on the National Team, she attended Hamilton Academy of Music in Los Angeles, studying music, dance, and also piano and viola.
She joined The Pussycat Dolls in 1995. She has been a member of the Dolls longer than any other performer. Most of the current members, including lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, were cast by Antin in 2002 or 2003, when the group was being transformed into pop recording artists.
In 2006, she is touring with the Dolls in support of their multi-million selling album PCD. Her doll name is : Foxy Doll !


Copyright © 2006 Privacy Policy .:: The Pussycat Dolls ::.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

No es Hermoso?

who wants it?

This Monday, September 25, 2006 Abraham The King: It Opens Transmissions

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