Jac Chebatoris

Newsmakers: Nick Lachey

Seven Things* I'd Rather Talk About Than ... Jessica Simpson By Nick Lachey 1 That's assuming that there are things that I'd rather talk about. 2 My new album, "What's Left of Me." Every album is a labor of love, but this one was the most painful to make.

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"I figured out early on what I wanted to do," says T Bone Burnett. "I got out of high school, bought a recording studio and started operating it as an engineer and a producer.

One From the Heart

British singer-songwriter Beth Orton has feelings just like anyone else. Where "X marks the spot," however, is in her talent at assembling those feelings into songs that almost anyone else can relate to.

For Ryan Out Loud

I hope you're hungry," singer-songwriter Ryan Adams calls out, by way of a welcome to his West Village apartment in New York City. A rose-covered teapot and cups soon appear, followed by steaming mugs of warm chicken-noodle soup.

Melody Riot

At age 38, Jay Farrar may seem too young to be a grandfather, but musically speaking that's just what he is. Farrar, along with former Uncle Tupelo bandmate Jeff Tweedy, is credited with starting the alt-country movement in the early 1990s.


Q&A: CHRIS ROCKChris Rock owns this Friday. He's Marty the zebra in "Madagascar" and he's costarring in "The Longest Yard." He talked with NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.So when are you having lunch with Sean Penn?You know, I have no beef with Sean Penn.

A Musical Legacy

The woman who sang "You Light Up My Life"--the biggest hit of 1977, which sold in excess of 4 million copies--says she never made a dime off the record. But Debby Boone is not bitter. "Because of that song, a career opened up and I was able to make money in performance," she says.Boone's latest album, "Reflections of Rosemary," is a loving tribute to her legendary mother-in-law, Rosemary. (Only two years after her Grammy win in 1977, Boone married Gabriel Ferrer, the son of Clooney and actor...

The Brits Invade ... Again

We've lost count of how many British Invasions there have been since the Beatles hit American charts four decades ago. But this year's cutting-edge South By Southwest conference, says Geoff Mayfield, director of charts for Billboard Magazine, had "the largest presence ever of U.K.


Q&A: John StamosJohn Stamos has had quite a career on the small screen. Rebel soap star Blackie, rockin' Uncle Jesse on "Full House," and now he's a New York City publicist on "Jake in Progress." He spoke with NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.I watched a couple of episodes of the show.


For the first time in their 47-year history, the Grammys have created a category for Hawaiian music. If you're picturing women in grass skirts, here are some top albums to get you better acquainted with the genre.

Kicking It With the Rockettes

"Remember, you're in a fat suit!" the instructor yells out. Those aren't the typical words of encouragement you would hear during a workout at a swank New York City gym, but then neither is the background music blasting from the speakers: "Here Comes Santa Claus.""When we kick, we've gotta use those abs!" the class leader commands.


Q&A: Robert Downey Jr. For years, Robert Downey Jr. was in the news for his problems with drugs and his stays in jail. Now he's healthy and happy, and has a new CD out called "The Futurist." He talked with NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.When did you decide to do an album?I probably decided when I was 9, but it took me a while to figure out how to play and sing and compose and all that.Do you find it hard to write songs?I don't.


Q&A: Liam NeesonHe's played a holocaust hero and a Jedi knight. Now Liam Neeson is tackling an even more delicate role: sex researcher. In "Kinsey" he plays that famous doctor who wrote that famous report.


Q&A: Colin FirthHe's got the girl, but can he keep her? Does he want to? Colin Firth is back as the surly but smoldering Mark Darcy in "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason." He spoke with NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin about the perils of being dreamy.Can you believe you're in a sequel?We're denying that.


Q&A: Nicollette SheridanIt's been 18 years since Nicollette Sheridan, 41, arrived as the devious Paige Matheson on "Knots Landing." Now she's heating up our TV dinners again as the local strumpet in ABC's "Desperate Housewives." She spoke to NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.So you play the neighborhood slut.If you must put it like that.


The Killers were the hottest ticket in New York City last week: surely David Bowie doesn't come check out every young band from Las Vegas. The group plays glossy, clever pop songs with dance-club beats and retro synthesizer riffs that call to mind Duran Duran.


Olsen Twins: Yes, We Want Fries With ThatMary-Kate and Ashley Olsen recently began their first semester at New York University, but they obviously haven't covered irony yet in freshman composition.


AutobiographyAshlee SimpsonIf Avril is the anti-Britney, then the younger Simpson sister is the anti-Jessica. While her blond big sis is all sweetness and light, the brunette and brooding Ashlee, 19, declares her aggressive edge right on the title track of her debut CD. "I'm a simple girl in a complex world/A nasty girl/You wanna get with me/You wanna mess with me/Got stains on my t-shirt." With all this attitude and her Courtney Love caterwaul, Simpson's clearly out to prove she's more than...

Beyond 'Before' and 'After'

Courtney Rubin, 29, isn't the first person to write a book about weight loss. And as someone whose efforts at slimming down ended somewhat short of her goal, she may not immediately be considered the best authority.


Q&A: KATE HUDSONEffervescent new mom Kate Hudson plays, well, the effervescent new mom to three orphaned kids in "Raising Helen," which opens at the end of the month.


A Bumpy Night--Amid all the air-kissing at this weekend's Grammy parties, there could be some uncomfortable moments as music execs make nice with their rivals--and try to figure out who their rivals are anymore. "It does have people a bit uneasy," says one honcho, who (a bit uneasy himself) asked not to be named.