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CELEBRITY SCHMOOZING

It was maybe the next best thing to being there.

Down the road from the Academy Awards, musicians and models found common schmoozing ground at the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Oscar viewing dinner in West Hollywood.

Lithe supermodel Naomi Campbell sat next to music mogul Quincy Jones then gripped hands and chatted with Steven Tyler and the party host himself, Elton John.

Bono, wearing his customary tinted shades, gleefully kissed Jones on the top of his head, then hugged statuesque model Petra Nemcova.

“Elton’s a warrior on the HIV, AIDS scourge, since before anyone can remember,” Bono told The Associated Press. “Like Bruce Springsteen is `the Boss’, Quincy is `the President.’ He is so unique. And Elton is both `the king’ AND `the queen.’”

_ Solvej Schou _ Twitter http://www.twitter.com/Solvej_Schou

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BASSEY HITS IT OUTTA THE PARK

For all the sparkling young starlets and the edgy new host, it was none other than Dame Shirley Bassey who truly set the joint on fire early in the Oscar telecast.

The 76-year-old singer’s rendition of the theme from “Goldfinger” _ or, as she sang so memorably, “GoldfinGAH” _ was a feel-good moment that won what was at the time the biggest ovation of the night.

Bassey, who recorded the song in the ‘60s to great acclaim, reprised it as part of the Academy’s 50th anniversary tribute to the James Bond franchise.

On social networks, as people were debating vigorously how the telecast was going, there was no question as to how Bassey did: She was an unqualified hit.

Minutes after the performance, the singer and her song were trending on Twitter.

_ Jocelyn Noveck _ Twitter http://twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP

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