ROLL CALL: Justin’s Madonna Work & Kelly’s ‘Idol’ Return?

Your Daily Dispatch of Celebrity Shenanigans by Tommy Vergason

June 21, 2007

MAN AT WORK: While traveling around the globe promoting “Shrek the Third” and playing sold-out shows on his “FutureSex/LoveShow” tour, the perpetually busy Justin Timberlake spared some time to call ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, filling them in on his other projects --including an update on his and Timbaland’s work with Madonna for her new album. “The records that we’ve done so far are really exciting,” he reportedly said of the collaboration. “There are some dance records, there are some mid-tempo ballads, there’s all types of different stuff. But I don’t want to gas it too much. People might like it or people might not. I don’t want to say, like, ‘It’s going to change the world!,’ You know what I mean? But we like it.” On top of writing and producing for Madonna, Timberlake has also had the opportunity to work with one of his favorite bands, Duran Duran. A modest Timberlake reportedly said of the work, “It’s crazy to be sitting in a room with people that you admired as such a young kid. And now they’re looking to you for answers and suggestions and opinions. Literally, I’m just a fan.”

Next: News of the Princes’ Concert for Diana!

A ROYAL PAIN FOR JOSS STONE: Bluesy British songstress Joss Stone is joining Duran Duran (and other acts) as a performer for the upcoming tribute concert to Princess Diana, organized by Princes William and Harry --but Joss wants to dispel a published report by the U.K’s DAILY MIRROR that William has been “secretly calling” her and that they’ve become close friends. Stone’s rep, Dave Woolf, reportedly tells PEOPLE, “They talked about what songs she is going to sing at the concert and that gets translated into a story about how William has been bombarding her with calls.” According to Woolf, Stone will sing her song “You Had Me” as well as a cover of Queen’s “Under Pressure” and a Tina Turner song that the prince’s late mother particularly liked. “She is really pleased to be involved in the event and was anxious that she do something that would have meant something to the princess, as opposed to singing any old three songs,” Woolf reportedly explained. “She wanted to get direct input about what [the princes] wanted her to do.”

The princes recently spoke about news reports in general, in an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer that aired just this week. “What I do in my private life is really between me and myself,” said William. “I don’t listen to newspapers…[We] just let them write what they want to write, because at the end of the day, you can’t stop it.”

ANOTHER ‘MOMENT LIKE THIS’ FOR KELLY?:A report posted on the music industry Web site GENO’S WORLD claims that Kelly Clarkson has been offered a “special cameo” appearance on this summer’s “American Idol” tour. The report says that Kelly’s response to the offer is “still up in the air,” but Clarkson’s rep tells Access Hollywood that the report is “not true.” Furthermore, a Publicist for the “Idol” tour tells Access that this is the first she has heard of this, and that she has no idea where it is coming from. The “Idol” tour rumor comes on the heels of Kelly’s announcement last week that her own summer tour has been canceled, with plans to embark on another tour in the future in a more “intimate concert environment.” While the “American Idol” tour may not be considered “intimate,” Clarkson herself recently told Access that she does not wish to distance herself from the show that initially made her a star. “Everybody always thinks I try and separate myself [from “Idol”], she said. “I’m not at all — I love very much where I came from.”

CAMPING WITH THE GIRLS: Hunter Cross may not yet be a star, but the former Abercrombie & Fitch model recently spent some quality time hobnobbing with two big celebrities --Paris Hilton & Nicole Richie — on the E! show, “The Simple Life Goes to Camp.” Cross plays a camp counselor on the show (and potential love interest for Paris). The handsome Maryland native told USMAGAZINE.COM how Paris & Nicole opened his eyes to the Hollywood lifestyle while shooting. “Paris didn’t have her BlackBerry or cell phone,” Cross reportedly explained with a chuckle. “She and Nicole would try to get service, and it was funny to watch them run through the woods with their BlackBerry up in the air trying to find some sort of signal. Every once in a while they would get one little signal and they would be like “I got one!’”According to US,Hilton and Cross became fast friends who still keep in touch via text messages and once-a-week emails. The last time Cross saw the heiress in person was at her Memorial Day bash, and he continues to support her while she’s behind bars. “I sent her flowers after Memorial Day telling her that people love her,” he reportedly said. “She is an amazing, smart woman and she’ll be stronger after this.”

VH1 ADDS SOME SEASONING: Female rap group Salt-N-Pepa were huge stars in their heyday, with hits such as “Push It” and “Shoop” — and now the pair are about to be thrust into the spotlight again. THE NY DAILY NEWS reports that VH1 has ordered 10 episodes of “The Salt-n-Pepa Show,” which will follow the rap duo as they try to reunite after 2002’s tumultuous breakup. “The dynamics between both of them are very tentative, very tense,” MTV Networks group president Brian Graden reportedly said of the two performers in the pilot. “There’s all this history not discussed. … How will it play out?” There is no mention of the possible involvement of Spinderella, who served as Salt-N-Pepa’s DJ (and occasional vocalist) throughout their career. The show will potentially debut later this year, according to the report.

BROOKE’S ‘SMART’ PARTY: And finally: another retro throwback, courtesy of Brooke Shields. USA TODAY reports that Brooke threw a good old-fashioned Tupperware party on Tuesday, in a friend’s back yard in Beverly Hills.The party, thrown to raise money for the SMART Girls Chain of Confidence campaign, drew celebrities such as Joely Fisher, Mimi Rogers and two Desperate Housewives: Brenda Strong and Marcia Cross. USA TODAY spoke with Cross and Strong about their co-star Eva Longoria’supcoming wedding in France, and Cross said she was “still undecided” about whether she would attend, due to recently giving birth to twins. Strong, who narrates “Housewives” as the deceased Mary Alice Young,reportedly said she will be at the wedding, and already has selected a gift — a secret piece to be inscribed with the vows Longoria will recite to her fiancé, San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker. No Tupperware for Longoria, Strong joked: “I have a feeling Eva and Tony have about everything they could ever wish for right about now.”

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