This column is being written by Cristina Gibson while Ted Casablanca is on vacation.

Britney Spears

She's baaack:  Britney busted a brand-new move, just like I told ya she would. Plus, what's Hilary Duff saying about dignity in Tinseltown and her newly single status? Could Scarlett Johansson really be the next singing sensation? And what's got Adam Brody and Hugh Grant so down in the dumps?

Yesterday, I told ya all about the buzz surrounding Britney's rumored return to the concert stage, and darned if the wig-wearin' diva didn't make her semi-triumphant mini-comeback last night at the House of Blues in San Diego. 

Well, today I'm back with even more musical musings from the H'wood crowd.


Cameron Diaz

While celebs like Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lindsay Lohan checked out concerts in the desert at Coachella last weekend, others gave philanthropic performances of their own here in L.A.

Hilary Duff was just one of the perky performers at the Gift of Life event, which raised more than $1 million for the National Kidney Foundation. I talked to the younger Duff dame about Dignity, her new album and the title of one of her songs, and why more peeps here in Hollywood don’t seem to have any.

“You know, the song is kind of about living in L.A. and some of young Hollywood,” she said, cute and covered up in a black Vince frock. “I’m not making a judgment, but I just don’t want to be like that.

Hilary Duff

Mark Von Holden/

"Sometimes it's weird for me to see [celebs] that young people would be looking up to acting the way that they do, with not much dignity or respect for themselves," she continued. "And it's kind of scary, to be honest."

Now, to you jaded naysayers who might be thinking she should get off her high horse already, I say, Preach on, babe! Just an observation, but in the land of celeb gossip, it seems like the bar just gets lower and lower, and people will do anything for attention and headlines these days. It's kinda refreshing to hear a young starlet call out some of her peers' less than classy exploits, right? Next time, name names, babe. Makes for a much better catfight.

Another reporter asked Hil about a recent interview in which she supposedly said she didn't want to be in a relationship so she could be "selfish."


Hilary Duff, Joel Madden

Matthew D. Simmons/

“I was very happy, but it ended up not working. He’s a great person, and we’re friends, and everything’s good,” she said of her ex-boyf Joel Madden. “But what I [meant] is that it’s nice to be kind of empowered and to be alone and to be selfish and to make choices based on what’s good for you while you’re young,” she explained. 

Codependence is so yesterday, huh, Hil? I must confess, I’m liking her more and more.

Scarlett Johansson

John Shearer/

Dashing out to the desert to check in with another crooner—and an unexpected one, at that—Scarlett Johansson surprised Coachella-goers when she showed up to sing backup for the Jesus and Mary Chain this weekend.

Although a plethora of pics were snapped, as if she were the second coming of Stevie Nicks or somethin’, I hear her performance was really rather minor.

 “She sang one small part in a song,” says a warble witness. “And you couldn’t even hear her!” Oh well. Guess we’ll just have to wait for her album, which is supposedly due out soon, in which she covers Tom Waits songs. Weird, but whatevs.


Paris Hilton

Jeff Vespa/

Also making a cameo onstage was that notorious wallflower Paris Hilton. She hopped on to bust a move during Girl Talk’s performance. No word on how good (or bad) her dancing was, but she ran into some sucky luck later on in the fest. 

Paris was trying to get into the VIP section of the beer garden, where they had better beverages than just brewskies. But the bouncer wasn’t havin’ it, as she wasn’t sporting her VIP bracelet. “She was arguing with the bouncer and saying, 'But I’m Paris Hilton!' ” says a witness. Surprise, surprise. Seems even heiresses need to follow proper protocol outside of Hollywood, huh?

Adam Brody

George Pimentel/

Unhappy elsewhere at the fest was Adam Brody, or so say spies who spotted him at the Decemberists show. “He was with two other couples and looked forlorn,” says one onlooker. Hey, Adam, here’s a hint: Try not to play fifth wheel when you’re newly single, ‘kay? It’ll only bum you out, bro.

Hugh Grant


Speaking of bummed-out blokes, let’s check in on a beleagured chap across the pond, shall we? I’m sure you heard about the Hugh Grant baked beans incident. Seems Hughie got himself arrested after hurling a container of legumes at a pestering paparazzo. Well, a London neighbor wrote me to shed a little light on the sitch.  

“He lives a few blocks from me, on a reasonably quiet road in Chelsea,” says my seething source. Seems every time she drives by his street, pesky paps are waiting, oftentimes obstructing traffic and causing chaos. 

According to Desk Chelsea, who has seen Grant around the hood, he’s “always very low-key and polite,” while the paps are “taunting and rude, always trying to get a rise out of him...asking questions that are, at best, provocative and, at worst, bullying and outrageous.”

“The guy isn’t Lindsay Lohan. He’s not in rehab, he’s not trying to get in the press, he’s not even in a new movie—he’s just trying to live a normal life!” his neighbor insists.


Britney Spears

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Hmmm, maybe Hugh’s shutterbug beaning will start a trend...How long till Britney starts chucking ice-cream cones at the paps? Despite her newly rockin’ bod, I hear Brit’s been hittin’ up Baskin-Robbins all over L.A. lately. When she stopped by a scoop shop on Third Street recently, she got a double dip of pralines 'n' cream.

And hey, if you’re craving a creamy treat yourself, be sure to stop by your local Baskin-Robbins tonight from 5 to 10 p.m. They’re having 31 Cent Scoop Night to benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Hunky firefighters will be on hand to scoop whatever flavor tickles your taste buds. Sweet!


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