- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Scent-sational

Associated Press

Singer Enrique Iglesias, whose relationship with tennis player Anna Kournikova is constant tabloid fodder, has entered into another pairing: a professional one with Tommy Hilfiger.

Mr. Iglesias signed a multiyear deal to be the face of True Star Men, a new fragrance from Tommy Hilfiger Toiletries. It’s the male counterpart to Mr. Hilfiger’s True Star, which features Beyonce as its spokeswoman.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“Enrique is an extremely talented and passionate artist with an engaging, charismatic presence. People around the world are instinctively drawn to him and moved by his music,” Mr. Hilfiger, honorary chairman and principal designer of Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., said in a statement Tuesday.

“Creating a fragrance will be an exciting way to reach new fans while connecting with those people who already enjoy my music,” the 29-year-old singer said.

True Star Men will be in stores this fall.

Up for bids

Associated Press

Guest books signed by Johnny Carson’s famous visitors to “The Tonight Show” and rescued from the trash in the 1960s may turn into treasure for their owner.

The three books, containing the signatures of Groucho Marx, Paul Newman, William Saroyan, Arnold Palmer and other celebrities, are being auctioned online by Steve North, whose father, Jules, worked for NBC’s “Tonight” show.

From 1963-65, the books contain more than 400 signatures and notes and drawings some visitors made for Mr. Carson, Mr. North said. The book-signing tradition fell off in the third season.

As a youngster, Mr. North said, he became a familiar face collecting autographs backstage at “Tonight,” where his father was unit manager. When the guest books were about to be tossed out during a 1967 closet-cleaning, a program executive recalled the younger North’s interest and suggested he might like them.

“I was only 14 years old, and Carson was not yet a legend, but even then I knew that we had rescued a treasure from the trash,” Steve North said.

Mr. North, a TV news producer, also said his ownership of the books was challenged unsuccessfully by a lawyer for Mr. Carson in 1987. In 1992, Joan Rivers displayed the books on her talk show, specifically pointing out her signature for her debut “Tonight” appearance.

The E-Bay auction, which had drawn 28 bids as of midday Tuesday, ends at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, Mr. North said.

No ‘Music’ for Gere

San Francisco Chronicle

Richard Gere has turned down the lead role in the London revival of “The Sound of Music” — despite a personal invitation from music mogul Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The British composer, whose Really Useful Group will stage the production, has been desperate to land Mr. Gere, 55, for the role of Captain von Trapp for more than a year after seeing his impressive performance in the Oscar-winning film “Chicago.”

Accepting the offer would have been Mr. Gere’s first West End theater performance since appearing as the character Danny in the hit-musical “Grease” over 30 years ago.

Chesney on top

E! Online

Country music powerhouse Kenny Chesney’s timeout from the Nashville scene to challenge Jimmy Buffett’s beach-party monopoly has paid off.

“Be as You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair,” which features island-themed songs inspired by Mr. Chesney’s sojourns in the British Virgin Islands and will not be serviced to country radio, has just landed at No. 1.

Perhaps it’s the winter weather. Music buyers apparently were in a tropical mood as “Be as You Are” surfed its way to the top with sales of 311,000 for the week ending Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan numbers. Mr. Chesney kicks off the Cruzan Rum-sponsored Somewhere in the Sun tour this spring.

His previous album, “When the Sun Goes Down,” took the top spot on 550,000 first-week copies early last year. The album went on to sell more than 3 million copies for the year, making it the fourth-best-selling album of 2004. “Be As You Are” is the singer’s third straight No. 1 to debut on the charts.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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