- The Washington Times - Monday, December 11, 2006

Capital holiday

President Bush enjoyed a lively set of Christmas music Sunday night, swaying and bobbing his head as music stars like Taylor Hicks and Gretchen Wilson belted out classic carols.

TV host “Dr. Phil” McGraw and his wife, Robin, were masters of ceremony at the annual “Christmas in Washington” concert at the National Building Museum. The event benefited the Children’s National Medical Center.

“Since this event began a quarter of a century ago, ‘Christmas in Washington’ has become one of the most cherished holiday traditions here in our nation’s capital,” Mr. Bush said.

As Americans gather with their families over the holidays, Mr. Bush added, U.S. troops abroad “must know that our nation is grateful for your service.”

Mr. Hicks, an “American Idol” winner, led off the show with “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” Country singer Miss Wilson performed “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” while 12-year-old “America’s Got Talent” champ Bianca Ryan sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Pop-opera quartet Il Divo performed “White Christmas.” The lineup also included soul singers Chris Brown and Corinne Bailey Rae.

The president and first lady Laura Bush joined all the performers onstage for the finale, including “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.”

The event will air tomorrow at 10 p.m. on Turner Network Television.

Super act

Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and now Prince.

For the third year in a row, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame act will headline the Super Bowl halftime entertainment. This time it’s Prince.

The Purple One, winner of six Grammy Awards and nominated for five more this year, will play at the game in Miami on Feb. 4.

The Super Bowl, which will be televised by CBS, is annually television’s highest rated show. An estimated 141 million people watched last year’s game between Pittsburgh and Seattle.

The Rolling Stones headlined the halftime show for that Super Bowl, and two years ago it was Mr. McCartney.

The NFL has tended to take a more cautious approach since Janet Jackson’s widely criticized “wardrobe malfunction” at halftime of the 2004 game. That game also was televised by CBS.

Last year, Mr. Jagger’s microphone was silenced as he sang sexually suggestive lyrics in a couple of songs the Stones performed.

Prince gained attention early in his career with raunchy lyrics and racy performances, but has toned down his act somewhat in recent years.

Royal renegade

She is already considered the Royal Rebel, with a pierced navel and colorful past. Now Zara Phillips — granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and world-champion equestrian — is raising eyebrows by appearing in an advertisement.

The 25-year-old daughter of Princess Anne posed for automaker Land Rover — one of her sponsors — in a white evening gown with a mud-spattered hem. The photograph for the ad was taken by Mary McCartney, daughter of former Beatle Paul McCartney.

The Mail on Sunday, a British newspaper which keeps particularly close tabs on the aristocracy, said in an editorial that “She will get away with it because of who she is, and because she has already shown that if you break the rules with panache, your admirers will outnumber your critics. As she shows in her new pose, she can even manage to look good splattered with off-road mud.”

Miss Phillips, who is 11th in line to the throne, was named sports personality of the year Sunday by the British Broadcasting Corp.

On her horse, Toytown, Miss Phillips took the individual title in the three-day eventing at the World Equestrian Games this summer in Germany. She also helped Britain win a team silver medal in the competition.

Her mother won the BBC sports trophy in 1971.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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