Britney Spears wants publicity so badly, we will give to it to her.
On two new tracks that have been leaked on the Internet, Spears uses the F-word on one and the B-word on another.
The song that will cause the most uproar for the former teen role model is "Cold as Fire," a fairly standard pop dance tune produced by hip-hop artist T-Pain.
In it, Spears cautions the listener not to "f---" with her. OK, we won't, but radio programmers will have to if they want to comply with the FCC.
On another track, called "Gimme More," Spears announces, "It's Britney, b-tch." The former Mouseketeer is tough, you see.
What's clear is that Spears is looking for still more attention as she swings from custody battles to public bouts of drinking, breakdowns and other miscellaneous craziness.
The irony is that both tracks are pretty good, catchy and destined to be pop hits. "Gimme More" is said to be produced by Nate "Danja" Hills, a protégé of Timbaland, the man who's made Justin Timberlake a sensation. Indeed, Hills is said to be the architect of Timberlake's "SexyBack" and other recent hits.
How the rest of Britney's new album will sound is still a mystery. Hills, according to Remix magazine, uses a laptop, an Edirol MIDI controller, an Akai MPC4000, an Alesis Andromeda A6 synthesizer, a Korg Triton and a Yamaha Motif. Musical instruments are so yesterday.
The album is set for release Nov. 13. But one thing's for sure: Spears — now said to be guided by The Firm's Jeff Kwatinetz — is at least trying to do something interesting with her fifth album. No, she's not a great artist. But then again, she can't be so out of it to have participated in these two recordings.
Wouldn't it be funny if most of her shenanigans were simply staged to stoke the fires of a comeback? Stranger things have happened.
Spears, by the way, is not the only artist to use Internet "leaks" to kindle interest in new recordings. Alicia Keys' new song, "No One," can be found on zSHARE, while Bruce Springsteen's "Radio Nowhere" is also floating around — officially on iTunes and unofficially elsewhere. Each of them is a solid pop effort and seem to use actual instruments. How old-fashioned of them.
Sean "Diddy" Combs may be losing his touch when it comes to throwing bashes.
Remember the good ol' days when he could fill Cipriani's 55 Wall Street with peeps like Muhammad Ali? Mariah Carey in a wedding dress? Bruce Willis, Naomi Campbell and Jay-Z? Those were the days.
But Diddy's down to C-list celebs if his Labor Day barbecue was any indication. The big gets? Mariah was there, sans the dress and on the down low. After that, things get pretty scary: Star Jones and husband Al Reynolds. Oh yeah, and Tommy Lee, the overly tattooed, untalented ex-husband of Pamela Anderson.
In fact, the list of celebrities who had their pictures taken by WireImage is so threadbare that it includes lower-tier publicist Jonathan Cheban. Not exactly Muhammad Ali. Poor Mariah must have wondered what happened. Of course, she is been busy making her new album.
Designer Donna Karan was there, but she lives next door. I will never forget one of the original Combs Fourth of July bashes years ago, when Karan and I got a personal tour of the Combs house by our host. Karan commented that Combs should get some art on his walls.
At this year's party, I'm told, Combs stayed on his terrace all day and watched the proceedings from a distance. Maybe this was to keep away from Kim Porter, the mother of three of his children who is currently involved in a major palimony-custody-child support situation. Yes, she was there, sources tell me, as were Russell Simmons and Andre Harrell, former Diddy employers.
One report says that Katie Lee Joel, Billy Joel's young wife, was turned away because she wore cream instead of white. Nice.
What is unclear is whether or not any Warner Music types were on the scene. They paid Combs millions a couple of years ago to have his Bad Boy Entertainment in their company. So far, the partnership has yielded little in the way of hits but much in the way of red ink.
Combs is more interested in his perfume and clothing lines, which are yielding more profits but for other people.
In the meantime, there's some question about what has happened to Diddy's non-profit charitable foundation, Daddy's House, which used to organize summer camps for poor kids.
According to the most recent federal tax filing, Combs only put $188,000 into Daddy's House in 2005. How times have changed. In 2004, he parked over $600,000 in the charity, and in 2003 it was over $2 million. Talk about signs of the times. Diddy's largest donation was a big one, too. In 2003, he gave the New York City schools $1 million.
Alas, in 2005, Daddy's House social programs showed a loss of $38,000. The non-profit had $26,000 in legal fees, and paid executive director Lisa Williamson, aka Sister Souljah, a salary of $75,000. That relationship, however, appears to be finito.
On Sister Souljah's bio on her Web site, she says she "was" the executive director from 1995 to 2007. That party is over.
Labor Day weekend brought one surprise hit at the box office: A new "Halloween" movie from the Weinstein Company's Dimension division was No. 1. The Rob Zombie-directed horror fest made $31 million in four days. Pretty cool.
But Nicole Kidman's "Invasion" completed its total tanking, with just $14 million all told. "The Invasion" didn't even make the top dozen listings. And "Evan Almighty" is pretty much gone and forgotten, another $100 million write-off for a major studio. Luckily, Universal has "The Bourne Ultimatum," which just crossed the $200 million mark.