This may come to you as good news or bad news depending on your inclinations: country superstar Kenny Chesney is not gay.
Last year, much of the media speculated that Chesney might have been “that way” (not that there’s anything wrong with it) because Renee Zellweger had cited fraud in her annulment papers.
Chesney, you may recall, stayed mum on the subject, released an album and sold millions of copies.
Well, now, the jig is up for Kenny, thanks to Paula Jackson. The Southwest Airlines flight attendant, age 47, announced to a plane load of people last week that she had been Chesney’s lover for 10 years before he met and married Zellweger.
“I taught him everything he knows,” the charming Jackson told her passengers, one of whom was yours truly. “Renee should have called me, I would have told her, there’s no way he should be married.”
Jackson — who is a decade older than the singer — described Chesney as a capable lover who also had a full head of hair in the days she went with him. The lovely lass also has a terrific voice for country music, and showed it off on the plane several times.
By the way, in case you wondered, the sleeveless Chesney’s middle name is Arnold.
Maybe you saw Jamie Foxx’s TV special last night on NBC. But you probably didn’t, since it was broadcast at 8 p.m. opposite powerhouse “American Idol.”
There are some who are now saying that NBC purposely slotted the Foxx special against “Idol” because they had no hopes of it succeeding in the ratings. Strangely, a second airdate —tomorrow evening — has been scheduled for the special. As we all know, it’s rare that the same show gets two airings in the same week.
The mystery won’t be solved, but it was added to yesterday by an e-mail that spread like wildfire throughout the black show biz community. It said, to wit, that NBC had asked Foxx to include one or two white acts in the show to increase its demographic appeal.
Foxx, the memo claimed, said no thanks. His guests were Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Angie Stone and rappers Snoop Dogg, the Game and Common.
The e-mail then urged all recipients to watch the Foxx special and record “American Idol” so that Foxx would get high ratings despite NBC’s decision.
The idea, read the e-mail, was so that NBC would never have to do a special again featuring a black personality and an all-black cast because the ratings would be so low.
As it was, the Foxx special was not so great, having been made on the fly a few weeks ago in Los Angeles right after a Grammy Jam special that honored Wonder.
“Basically, whoever was around for Grammy Jam got on the show,” a source told me. “That’s why they didn’t have Kanye West or Ludacris,” each of whom was integral to Foxx’s current hit album.
But the special did feature the three rappers, not exactly mainstream performers and certainly not seen at 8 p.m. on a broadcast network.
Did NBC really dump the show? An NBC spokesperson who knew about the show pointed out that Foxx appeared on the "Tonight" show on Tuesday night, and also did a raft of satellite radio shows in order to promote the special. NBC’s official statement was that it didn’t comment on baseless rumors.
Still, it does seem odd that the network would put a special by the maker of the current No. 1 album and the past year’s Best Actor in a place where it would absolutely get trounced.
Also, one would think that said special would be saved for “sweeps” and not played off before the ratings period began. And that second showing on Friday certainly has the feel of a “make up” outing.
As long as we’re on the subject of Foxx and his music, another question lingers out there: whatever happened to the guy who produced and assembled Foxx’s “Unpredictable” album, Breyon Prescott? His name is on the album as executive producer, but Prescott has been hard to find since “Unpredictable” turned into such a monster hit.
The only big scandal to emerge from the Sundance Film Festival has to do with a missing scene from the movie “Thank You for Smoking.”
The Jason Reitman-directed movie is based on a novel by Christopher Buckley. It was a big hit at the Toronto Film Festival and went over well at Sundance.
But as previously reported in the New York Post, when the film was screened at Sundance a few days ago, a 12 second sex scene between stars Katie Holmes and Aaron Eckhart, which shows Katie in a revealing way, was missing. It had been intact at Toronto.
Director Reitman was said to be surprised, and a quickly offered explanation didn’t make any sense.
Since then, insiders have speculated that Holmes’s fiancé, Tom Cruise, considered a micro-manager and a megalomaniac, was behind the deed.
So what’s the deal? A “Smoking” source would only tell me: “Dark forces are at work, my friend. Watch your back. Trust no one.”
Remember David Gest? Michael Jackson’s best friend? Liza Minnelli’s husband for a minute?
He’s trying to make a comeback tonight in Hollywood, producing a 45th anniversary show for legendary Dionne Warwick at the Kodak Theater.
Dozens of famous musical acts and stars are being touted as guests. The event will be taped in hopes that it can be sold to television or as a DVD. If Gest makes the night a success, he’ll be back in business after a couple of rocky years.
Following the show, guests are going to a very expensive dinner at the Hollywood Palladium, with proceeds going to the Starkey Hearing Foundation of Minnesota. Starkey says it supplies indigent deaf people with $4 million worth of hearing aids. They sound like a good group.
Apparently, the Starkey people also really like baseball, the national pastime. They certainly don’t turn a deaf ear to it. According to their 2004-2005 federal tax filing, the Foundation gave $100,000 to the Professional Baseball Scout Foundation; $10,000 to the RBI Hall of Fame; $5,000 to the Bob Feller Field of Dreams Legacy; and $15,000 to the Whitey Herzog Youth Foundation.
The Starkeys are also very concerned about hearing issues in Palm Springs, Calif., where apparently the indigent deaf are in abundance. They donated $30,000 to the Palm Springs Charities Foundation, which is a good thing since the executive director of that group, according to its own filing, makes $136,000 a year.
The Starkeys also fulfilled their mission by donating $10,000 to the Palm Springs Air Museum, which boasts the largest collection of World War II aircraft in the U.S.
The Starkey Hearing Foundation also gave $51,000 to Adopt-A-Minefield, and $120,000 to Michael Bolton Charities, a foundation run by the '90s pop star.