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Buzz Briefs: Billy Joel, Kid Rock

Billy Joel
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Billy Joel Can't Pass Up Des Moines Beetle

Instead of Piano Man, how about Beetle Billy?

Billy Joel now is the proud owner of a classic Volkswagen Bug.

In town for a concert this week, Joel took a look around American Dream Machines, a downtown Des Moines business that specializes in vintage sports and muscle cars.

Owner Doug Klein said Joel spotted a burgundy 1973 VW Beetle.

"He noticed the Bug in the corner. He said, 'That's a neat car, I like the color,"' Klein said. "He said it'd be a great beach vehicle for him."

Klein thought Joel also may have been attracted by the car's year.

"He did mention that in 1973 he did the `Piano Man,"' Klein said, referring to one of Joel's biggest hits.

Klein wouldn't disclose what Joel paid but said: "It was the least expensive car in the shop."

The most expensive car: a 1970 Chevelle LS6, a muscle car that could go for $150,000.

There were some side benefits, however. Joel also gave the dealer eight second-row concert tickets and backstage passes.

Mechanic Jeremiah Johnson delivered the car to Wells Fargo Arena before the show, then accompanied Joel on a test drive.

"We kind of circled the city," Johnson said. "It was very, very cool. Who expects to go to work ... and to have Billy Joel come in? It's not something everybody expects to happen."

Testimony Underway In Kid Rock Civil Case

2Witnesses have started taking the stand in a civil lawsuit over a woman's claim that Kid Rock roughed her up outside his Clarkston recording studio.

A jury of four men and three women was selected, opening arguments were made and testimony started Friday in Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac.

Kelly Ann Kozlowski of Novi sued Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert James Ritchie, following a March 8, 2007 incident. Authorities in suburban Detroit investigated her claims, but no charges were brought.


Photos: Stars Behind Bars
Ritchie's lawyer has said the 37-year-old Detroit-area musician is ready to defend himself against the claims.

Kozlowski's emotional distress lawsuit seeks $25,000 in damages from Ritchie.

Tejano Singer Emilio Navaira To Be Removed From Intensive Care

3Grammy-winning Tejano singer Emilio Navaira, less than a month after being severely injured in a bus crash, is now able to stand and sit up, eat and talk with his family, his doctors said Friday.

His recovery has gone so well that he was expected to be moved out of intensive care Friday and could be released from the hospital in several weeks.

Although Navaira has made much progress, doctors at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center said his recovery once he goes home could take months or even longer.

"It's difficult to say how well he will do and how long it will take him to recover and how well he will recover," said Dr. Alex Valadka, Navaira's neurosurgeon. "The fact he has made a lot of progress in such a short time is encouraging."

The 45-year-old singer was behind the wheel of his tour bus on March 23 when it slammed into a collection of freeway barrels that mark the interchange of Interstate 610 and U.S. Highway 59 in Bellaire, a southwest Houston enclave.

He was thrown through the windshield and suffered severe injuries.

Doctors had to perform two brain surgeries on Navaira, who is known to his fans simply as Emilio.

More than a week after the accident, doctors had to also repair an aneurysm in his right lung that could have been fatal.

Navaira and his band have released more than a dozen albums, including "Acuerdate," which won the Grammy for best Tejano album in 2003.

"Idol" Winner Fantasia Barrino Takes On Grand Marshal Title

4An "American Idol" will serve as grand marshal of this year's Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival.

Festival officials announced that Fantasia Barrino, the winner of the third season of the Fox TV show, will be the celebrity marshal for the Grand Feature parade on May 3.

The 23-year-old Barrino has gone from high school dropout to a four-time Grammy nominee and Broadway actress.


Photos: Celebrity Circuit
Fantasia followed her 2004 "American Idol" win by releasing her first CD "Free Yourself," which has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide.

In April 2007, Fantasia debuted on Broadway, playing the lead role of Celie in the musical version of "The Color Purple." She will also star in the film version of the musical.

Columbia Records Signs Nickelodeon's "iCarly"

5TV tween star Miranda Cosgrove is coming out with an album.

Columbia Records said Friday it has signed the star of the Nickelodeon hit "iCarly" as a recording artist. The 14-year-old Cosgrove will sing four songs on "iCarly iPlaylist," including the series theme. The rest of the album, which debuts on June 10, features songs inspired by the series from artists such as Avril Lavigne.

The signing falls under a deal between Columbia owner Sony Music Label Group and Nickelodeon.

Cosgrove stars on "iCarly" as Carly Shay, a teenager who makes webcasts from a makeshift studio. The show allows viewers to send in their own video clips to the official Web site.

Heidi Klum, Nicky Hilton, Eve Among Us Weekly Revelers

German model Heidi Klum and socialite Nicky Hilton were among the beautiful people who turned out for Us Weekly magazine's "Hot Hollywood" party.

The annual celebration of young Hollywood style, held Thursday at actress Eva Longoria's new Beso restaurant in Hollywood, also drew famous faces from MTV's "The Hills" and ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

Lauren Conrad, from "The Hills," chatted up the press on the red carpet outside as Ian Ziering, formerly of "Beverly Hills 90210" and more recently a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars," shimmied across the dance floor under crystal chandeliers.

Klum, who also hosts the popular television reality show "Project Runway," shared a table with friends as Cheryl Burke, Ziering's partner from "Dancing With the Stars," stole a smoke outside.

Meanwhile, actress Marlee Matlin and actor Cristian de la Fuente commanded a corner in the upstairs VIP room, which was all red vinyl booths and velvet wallpaper.

Though will.i.am, of The Black Eyed Peas, disappeared into the crowd shortly after his arrival, his presence was loudly felt as DJ Steve Aoki spun his tunes over the club's bass-heavy system.

Despite a capacity crowd, pop artist Eve talked her way into the VIP area: "I'm sure it will be OK," she assured a security guard. Rumer Willis, daughter of actors Demi Moore and Bruce Willis,
wearing long hair extensions, didn't have the same success and fled with pals when the doorman turned her away.

Hasselhoff To Pay $25,000 A Month To Ex-Wife, Daughters

David Hasselhoff has agreed to pay $25,000 a month to support his ex-wife and children. Court documents show his divorce settlement calls for him to pay $21,000 a month to ex-wife
Pamela Bach and another $4,000 to support their daughters, 17-year-old Taylor, and 15-year-old Hayley.

Hasselhoff and Bach have joint custody of the girls. They've also agreed to joint ownership of their home and will divide the family's cars, bank accounts and Hasselhoff's pensions from acting and directing guilds. Bach and Hasselhoff divorced in 2006 after more than 16 years of marriage.

Marilyn Manson Gets The Green Light On Lawsuit

Marilyn Manson can proceed with a breach-of-contract lawsuit against an ex-bandmate.

A judge in Los Angeles on Thursday threw out one claim but ruled most of the suit can move forward to trial.

Manson was not in court for the ruling.

Former keyboardist Stephen Bier sued the shock rocker last year, claiming Manson owes him more than $20 million in shared profits.

Manson countersued, claiming Bier breached obligations involving band recordings, concerts and promotions.

Bier's lawyers unsuccessfully sought to have the countersuit dismissed on grounds that it was too vague.

Criss Angel's Vegas Show Pays Homage To The Great Houdini

The long-hyped Cirque du Soleil-Criss Angel production now has a name.

Producers say "Criss Angel Believe" will open Sept. 12 at the Luxor hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Previews begin Sept. 1.

Tickets went on sale Thursday for casino VIPs and Angel fan club members.

Producers say the show takes its name from a Harry Houdini legend. The magician and escape artist is said to have designated a code word for communicating with him after his death. The word was "believe."

Producers say Angel will star in the show as a "surreal, enigmatic Victorian noble." The 40-year-old magician and illusionist is best known for his A&E series "Mindfreak."