- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Diddy rocks the charts

To all the critics who think their snarky words fall on deaf ears, take heart: Diddy says that not only did he listen to past digs at his rap talent but the criticism helped him make his best album to date, “Press Play.”

The album debuted at the top of the charts this week with approximately 170,000 CDs sold, the first time Diddy has been at No. 1 in almost 10 years, Associated Press reports. The album boasts an all-star list of collaborators — including Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx and Nas — and features a variety of new musical sounds from Diddy. He even sings on one track.

“I would say I’m a great shower singer,” he joked about his vocal abilities.

Shower singer or not, “Press Play” has given the artist, born Sean Combs — and formerly known as Puffy, P. Diddy and Puff Daddy — perhaps the best reviews in his much-maligned rap career. Over the years, Diddy has become known more for his overall celebrity and his fashion forays instead of what first brought him fame — his music. However, his Bad Boy label has had a resurgence this year with successes from Cassie, Danity Kane, Yung Joc and now his own album.

“I just went in to try and make some great music and music that will stand the test of time so the album will just keep getting stronger and more intense as time goes by, which is rare in hip-hop,” he said.

Memories for sale

Fifty years after his first appearance on the show that became known as “American Bandstand,” Dick Clark is ready to let go of the microphone.

“America’s oldest teenager” is auctioning off a number of items from his personal collection of musical memorabilia, including the microphone he used on July 9, 1956 — his first day as host of the rock ‘n’ roll show that made him famous.

“It’s tough to part with that one,” Mr. Clark said of the microphone, which was valued by Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey’s auction house, at $10,000 to $100,000.

According to AP, other items to be sold include a bass guitar played by Paul McCartney when he was a Beatle, a beaded glove worn by Michael Jackson in his moonwalking phase and the harmonica Bob Dylan played in “The Last Waltz.”

The auction is planned for Dec. 5 and 6 at Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Much of the profits from the sale will go to the T.J. Martell Foundation, which was founded by the music industry to raise money for research on cancer and AIDS, Mr. Ettinger said.

Mr. Clark, 76, suffered a stroke in 2004.

Killer attack

The Killers’ frontman, Brandon Flowers, is verbally bashing Green Day for what he sees as the group’s calculated anti-Americanism, Drudgereport.com notes, citing a story originally published on NME.com.

At issue, the rocker says, is the band’s latest album, “American Idiot,” and the fact the band mates filmed their DVD “Bullet in a Bible,” which features the title song, in the United Kingdom.

“You have Green Day and ‘American Idiot.’ Where do they film their DVD? In England,” Mr. Flowers said. “A bunch of kids screaming, ‘I don’t want to be an American idiot.’ I saw it as a very negative thing toward Americans. It really lit a fire in me.”

Mr. Flowers said he believed his band’s new album, “Sam’s Town,” is a much better representation of America.

“People need to see that, really, there are the nicest people in the world here,” Mr. Flowers said. “I don’t know if our album makes you realize that. But I hope it’s from a more positive place.”

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

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