It looks like Aretha Franklin won't be able to accept an invitation to perform live on June 3 for Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee Celebration in London. Despite her best efforts, the Queen of Soul hasn't been able to overcome her fear of flying. Franklin, who has turned down invitations from such notables as Prince Albert of Monaco and the Pope since she quit flying in 1983, has enrolled in Northwest Airlines' Wings program, a course designed to calm the nerves of anxious flyers. "I think it's going to be very successful," says Franklin. But alas, it may not be in time to see the Queen.
British actor Hugh Grant developed a new addiction during his three-month stay in a New York City hotel while shooting Two Weeks Notice
, a comedy with Sandra Bullock
. "The hotel staff must think I'm the saddest man in the world, because every time room service comes in, I'm watching the Golf Channel," says Grant. "It's on 24 hours!"
You know you're a superstar when you sit in a separate VIP area at your own party. That's where Janet Jackson
spent most of the night at her 36th-birthday bash, thrown by record producer pal Jermaine Dupri at Miami Beach's Kiss steak house on May 19. While guests including Ashanti and Missy Elliott feasted on a four-layer guitar-shaped cake on the main floor, Jackson and Dupri had plenty of entertainment in a private room upstairs: four dancers wearing little but body paint.
Jewel isn't letting a broken rib and collarbone stop her from touring Europe. Just three weeks after getting thrown off a colt on her rodeo star boyfriend Ty Murray's Texas ranch, the pop singer hit the road. The biggest problem? She can't play guitar or move around much onstage. "It's harder to get the crowd going at the bigger shows," she says from a stop near Cologne, Germany. Although she's still in pain, Jewel didn't want to miss the chance to capitalize on her growing European fan base. "I like winning," she says. "I was finally getting some momentum here and I didn't want to break it. Plus, I don't do very good at home sitting and stewing."
Jon Bon Jovi barely made it home to Monmouth County, N.J., in time to welcome his third child, Jacob Hurley, into the world on May 7. After playing a show in New Orleans on May 6, the rocker returned to his hotel room where he was so bombarded with calls from fans who had uncovered his whereabouts that he turned off his phone. When wife Dorothea called in the middle of the night to tell him that her water broke, Bon Jovi couldn't be reached. Eventually his tour manager broke into his room to give him the news, then rushed him to a private jet. Once airborne, the pilot got air traffic controllers to clear airspace so they could take the most direct route, and Bon Jovi made it to his wife's side with two hours to spare.