HOLLYWOOD — With her new collection Most Wanted still high on the Billboard albums chart, it's hard to believe that Hilary Duff would have expected anything less. But now the megastar is admitting that she worried about how her new music would be received by fans.
"I felt a little nervous when the album was coming out because I did it with Joel and Benji [Madden], and you never really know [what's going to happen]," Duff said recently. "It was the first time where all the responsibility was on me, because I went into the studio without my label or my manager saying, 'Work with this person' or 'Do this' or 'Sing about this.'
"But it was cool to actually feel like you're making music, and then to have the album be #1 for two weeks in a row (see "Hilary Duff Still Most Wanted As LP Holds At #1") and to see so many fans go out and buy it, I feel very supported and lucky," Duff said.
The actress-turned-singer, who recently confirmed her relationship with Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden (see "Hilary Duff, Joel Madden Go Public With Lovestyle Of The Rich And Famous"), recruited Joel and twin brother Benji to produce three tracks on her Most Wanted greatest-hits LP, including the current single, "Wake Up." The album scored Duff her first Billboard #1, selling more than 200,000 copies its first week out.
Duff and Madden arrived side-by-side at the Us Weekly Young Hollywood Hot 20 bash held at DJ AM's new club, LAX, in Hollywood (see "Joel And Benji Madden Record 'Clash Meets N.W.A' Track With Game"). The event celebrated some of the brightest young talent in Tinseltown, including Paris Hilton, "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria, Ashlee Simpson, Christina Aguilera and, of course, Miss Duff.
The blonde pop tart attributes much of her album's success to the work of the Dead Executives (the Maddens' production team) and says she wants to work with them again, as long as they'll have her.
"[Those guys] are so much fun to be around. I did not feel like I was working, and I felt 100 percent comfortable," she said. "I [would love] to do a whole album with them."
For now Duff is sifting through video treatments for her second single, "Beat of My Heart," which she'll shoot at the end of the month. Don't look for any cameos by those Madden brothers — "not this time around" at least, according to Duff.
Soon the singer will embark on the international leg of her Still Most Wanted Tour (see "Hilary Duff Launches Tour Amid Sea Of Glow Sticks, In [Gasp!] Only One Outfit"), trekking around Europe in October and hitting Japan and Australia after taking a short break in November.
And with a milestone birthday fast approaching (the singer turns 18 on September 28), Duff says she's heard murmurs of a surprise bash being planned in her honor.
"I've heard some stuff around my household about some party being thrown, but I don't think I'm supposed to know anything about that," she laughed.
Duff has also been reading through a mound of scripts in search of her next acting role, but she says she hasn't fallen in love with any particular project yet.
"If I find a project that I really like, then I'll take time off to do a movie," she said. "But for now I'm just focusing on my music."