Jessica Alba Gets Engaged; Plus Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Madonna, Trey Songz, Brandy & More, In For The Record

Cyrus donates autographed b-ball jersey; Jay, 50 make list of biggest celebrity paydays; Madonna flick to premiere in February.

‘Tis the season to get engaged, apparently. A day after it was revealed that Fergie and Josh Duhamel are going to be wed comes news that Jessica Alba is engaged to producer Cash Warren, the father of the child the “Awake” actress is expecting. The couple are expecting their first child in late spring or early summer, although a wedding date has yet to be revealed. …

Miley Cyrus has donated a personalized, autographed Philadelphia 76ers jersey to an auction benefitting charities chosen by the NBA team. The singer/actress also known as Hannah Montana recently performed at Philadelphia’s Wachovia Center, the same arena where the Sixers play. At press time, bidding for the jersey was at $520. …

What do Jay-Z, Sammy Hagar, Mel Gibson, Hugh Grant and 50 Cent have in common? All five made the cut on Forbes‘ list of Biggest Celebrity Paydays of 2007. Fiddy came in second, thanks to the Vitamin Water deal that netted him $100 million, while Jay-Z made $82 million (before taxes) when he sold Rocawear to Iconix Brand Group. Hagar earned almost as much — $80 million — when Gruppo Campari bought his Cabo Wabo tequila brand. …

Madonna‘s directorial debut will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, which will take place in Germany on February 7-17. Madge’s short-form comedy “Filth and Wisdom” counts among its stars Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz, who also starred alongside Elijah Wood in “Everything Is Illuminated.” … In related news, there’s cause for Madonna and Green Day to celebrate: Amazon’s DRM-free downloads store began selling tunes from the Warner Music Group catalog starting Thursday (December 27), according to Billboard.biz. The development means all four major labels have now committed to eliminating DRM from their catalogs. WMG will also sell additional digital products, including album bundles with exclusive tracks, through Amazon. …

Don’t mess with Trey Songz. Videos circulating online show the R&B singer lashing out at a fan who apparently threw ice at him during a recent concert. As seen in the clips, Trey Songz tells the DJ to cut the music after the objects are thrown, and he then leaps into the crowd with his bodyguard to go after the fan. He is later seen apologizing to the women in the crowd for the disruption. …

Good news for Brandy: An unnamed California Highway Patrol source reportedly told TMZ.com that the woman who died in a 2006 car crash involving the singer may have actually caused the crash herself. As officials continue to consider filing vehicular manslaughter charges over the December 2006 accident that took the life of Awatef Aboudihaj, the source told TMZ that rather than being the cause of the accident, Brandy may have been a victim of the pileup. According to the sources, Aboudihaj struck the vehicle in front of her and then slammed on her brakes, which caused Brandy to hit the woman’s car. The city attorney has until the end of the day Friday to file criminal charges against Brandy in the incident. In the meantime, Brandy is still facing a $50 million wrongful-death suit from Aboudihaj’s family. …

Never afraid to take the unpopular position, TV physician Dr. Phil McGraw told People magazine that he thinks Lynne Spears is doing a great job raising her kids, despite the current controversy over 16-year-old Jamie Lynn‘s pregnancy. “We know the Spears family, particularly the parents,” he told the magazine. “An asset that Britney and Jamie Lynn both have is a great and dedicated mother.” McGraw admitted that his friend Lynne Spears is “troubled right now” but is “really looking for the positives in this.” The good doctor’s wife, Robin, said of the Spears clan, “They’re a very strong, close-knit family. … They’re relying on each other.” Just days later, Us Magazine reported that the father of the Spears girls, Jamie Spears, was still so “furious” with reports that his ex-wife arranged a $1 million deal with OK! Magazine for the story on Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy, that he didn’t spend Christmas with his ex-wife or daughter and instead stayed in Los Angeles and worked. …

It sounds like Rivers Cuomo may have a bigger vault than we thought. The Weezer frontman told Billboard that he would like to release a sequel to Alone — The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo, the solo demos disc that came out last week. “I would love to put out at least one more,” he told the magazine. “I’m talking with the record company [now] to figure out what’s the best way for me to get more of this stuff out, and if they’re gonna be involved or not. But it’s certainly my hope to put out as much of this stuff as I can.” Cuomo is also working on what he called a “deep and detailed” memoir covering the years from Weezer’s formation in 1992 to the release of their self-titled debut in 1994. He expects to spend another year working on the book before turning it in to the publisher. …

A man who adopted a rock-star alter ego pulled a gun at a Vancouver, Washington, convenience store on Christmas Eve, after several hours of harassing patrons in the quick stop and other local businesses. According to Portland, Oregon’s KPTV, the man — who has not been identified — called himself “Ozzy Osbourne” when he pulled out the gun and threatened to shoot a clerk at the convenience store. Paramedics transported the man to a nearby hospital. … Dredg have begun writing material for their next album. A statement from the band claims the recording should start before the end of winter, and the group will be on tour in the spring. Songs expected to make the final cut include “Gathering Pebbles,” “Mourning This Morning” and “McGuffin.” …

The Anti-Defamation League has come to the defense of actor Will Smith following comments he made about Adolf Hitler during a recent interview with a Scottish newspaper. Smith has claimed his words were twisted, and the ADL has accepted the actor’s explanation. “We welcome [his] statement that Hitler was a ‘vicious killer’ and that he did not mean for his remarks about the Nazi leader to be mistaken as praise,” the group said in a statement, according to multiple reports. The ADL also praised Smith for taking “immediate steps to clarify his words and condemn Hitler.”

12.27.07

Josh Duhamel is about to “transform” into Fergie‘s husband — the couple are engaged, according to TMZ.com. The actor reportedly popped the question recently to the singer. … Radiohead and Al Gore, a match made in heaven? The band has taped an hour-long performance of In Rainbows and other material that will air Tuesday exclusively in the U.S. on Current TV, which was co-created by the Nobel Peace Prize winner. The pre-recorded performance will air commercial-free at midnight, 1 a.m., 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., with Current.com also broadcasting it at 12 a.m. …

With a not-so-subtle message, My Chemical Romance appear to have pulled the plug on their alter-ego band, the Black Parade. The Web site for the fictional group, which MCR toured as in support of the album of the same name, now depicts a ghostly flat-line on a heart monitor, the phrase “00 BMP” and the word “Flatline” in the title bar of the page. MCR do not reference the cryptic message on their own site, and a spokesperson could not be reached for comment at press time. The medical terminology on the Black Parade site ties in with the album’s iconography and story line, which revolve around a central character called “the Patient” who dies during the course of the album. …

Paris Hilton has voiced a desire to participate in philanthropic efforts, but charity might be coming in the way of her potential inheritance, Reuters reports. The hotel heiress’ grandfather Barron Hilton is reportedly planning to put 97 percent of his $2.3 billion fortune into a charitable trust. …

Lindsay Lohan insists she did not drink before the 2005 car crash for which she is being sued. According to The Associated Press, the starlet said in a mid-December declaration that she “did not consume an alcoholic beverage or any type of medication or drug” before or during her visit to the Ivy, a restaurant located in West Hollywood, California. Upon leaving the location, Lohan hit a parked van owned by Raymundo Ortega, who later accused her of negligence and drinking. Attorneys for the restaurant filed Lohan’s declaration Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, and they also filed a declaration by Adam Novicki, the waiter who served her that night and has claimed Lohan — who was underage at the time — didn’t order alcohol. Ortega is seeking $200,000, while Lohan is asking more than $75,000 in a countersuit she filed in October. …

Hinder frontman Austin John Winkler was arrested in Jonesboro, Arkansas, last week on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, according to the Jonesboro Sun. The 26-year-old singer was stopped by police on Friday after his SUV was spotted driving late at night with no headlights. Police reportedly smelled a strong odor of intoxicants coming from the vehicle, and Winkler told them he had drank two glasses of wine. He later confessed to consuming four glasses of wine in a four-hour period and was booked. He’s scheduled to appear in Craighead County District Court on January 2 to answer to the charge. …

Though she’s no star, Chicago native Jean Johnson also had a recent run-in with police — she spent Christmas in jail after being busted for using her cell phone to snap photos of of R. Kelly in the courtroom last week. AP reports that the 49-year-old pleaded guilty to contempt of court on Monday, after landing in jail over the holiday weekend, and though a judge sentenced her to five days in jail, she was released and given credit for time served. The judge also ordered that the self-described “biggest fan” of the singer destroy the cell phone she used to take the pictures. “I feel stupid,” Johnson said. “I just got carried away. I’m a big fan of R. Kelly. I wanted it so that every time my phone rang, I could open it up and he’d be right there.” Johnson said she didn’t realize cameras weren’t allowed in courtrooms. …

Even with high-profile (and high-priced) reunion tours by the Police, Van Halen and Genesis that brought in big bucks, the North American concert business had its worst year since 2004. Preliminary data from Pollstar reports that the top 20 tours rang up $996 million, which was down more than 15 percent from 2006. Ranking fourth on Pollstar‘s list of top-grossing tours of all time, the outing by the Police topped the 2007 chart with tickets sales of $131.9 million, followed by Kenny Chesney with $71.1 million and Justin Timberlake with $70.6 million. Pollstar editors credited the dip to a combination of some major acts setting conservative ticket prices and the fact that only two acts (the Police and Chesney) sold more than 1 million tickets in 2007, versus four hitting that mark in 2006. And though it got the most press, the impossible-to-get-tickets-for tour by Miley Cyrus came in at #15 on the year-end chart, at $36 million, with Pollstar suggesting that tickets were possibly underpriced at an average of $54 a piece. Frantic parents who paid scalpers five or six times that much per ticket might disagree. …

Toby Keith and members of his family have been awarded $2.8 million in damages over the vehicle crash that claimed the life of his father, H.K. Covel, in 2001. The chartered bus that hit Covel’s truck was in urgent need of brake repairs, and its owners had been advised of the problem, the lawyer who represented Keith’s family had argued, according to AP. … Actor Will Smith has gone on the defensive following recent comments he made about Adolf Hitler. The “I Am Legend” actor was quoted in Scottish newspaper the Daily Record as saying, “Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘Let me do the most evil thing I can do today.’ I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good.’ ” The comments were preceded by the sentence, “Remarkably, Will believes everyone is basically good.” Smith claims his words were misinterpreted and has issued a statement, saying, “It is an awful and disgusting lie. It speaks to the dangerous power of an ignorant person with a pen. I am incensed and infuriated to have to respond to such ludicrous misinterpretation. Adolf Hitler was a vile, heinous, vicious killer responsible for one of the greatest acts of evil committed on this planet.” …

Chuck Norris is not amused. The tough guy actor and booster of Republican Mike Huckabee’s bid for the White House filed suit against Penguin Books on Friday over the satirical book “The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 Facts About the World’s Greatest Human.” The book contains such “facts” as “Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried,” and “Chuck Norris is the only person on the planet who can kick you in the back of the face.” According to Reuters, the lawsuit claims that the book — which was released in November and is based on a popular list that’s been bouncing around the Internet since 2005 — unfairly exploits the born-again action star’s famous name and that some of the facts are “racist, lewd or portray Mr. Norris as engaged in illegal activities.” The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages for trademark infringement, unjust enrichment and privacy rights.