- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Babs skipping bash

Israeli officials say Barbra Streisand has pulled out of a celebration of the country’s 60th anniversary next month, Associated Press reports.

Miss Streisand was among the celebrities set to appear at a Jerusalem convention hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres beginning May 13. Phone messages left yesterday with the singer’s publicist and agent weren’t immediately returned.

Miss Streisand, who turns 66 tomorrow, was to perform a rendition of the Hebrew prayer Avinu Malkeinu, or “Our Father Our King.” She gave no reason for the cancellation, Mr. Peres’ office said.

Say it isn’t so

Is that Miley Cyrus flashing some skin?

Less-than-wholesome photos of a girl bearing a close resemblance to the 15-year-old superstar are making the rounds on the Internet.

According to AP, one photo shows the Miley look-alike tugging at her white tank top to reveal a green bra. In another shot, she flaunts her bare midriff while draped over a young man, who rests his hand on her hip. Another shot shows her cuddling up to the same guy.

This isn’t the first time risque photos of someone resembling Miley have circulated online. In recent months, shots have surfaced of a girl posing in her underwear and bikini.

Miley, star of TV’s “Hannah Montana” and role model for countless young girls, is one of the biggest — and most G-rated — acts in the country. Her Best of Both Worlds tour sold out arenas, and her successful 3-D concert film collected $31.3 million in its opening weekend in February.

Meanwhile, Miley, the daughter of country music star Billy Ray Cyrus, has signed a book deal to tell the story of her young life, AP says. It’s set to be published under the Disney-Hyperion Books imprint.

With this ring

Eligible bachelor and former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr. is being taken off the market on Saturday. The dashing Democrat, 37, plans to marry Emily Threlkeld in Miami, the New York Post reports. Miss Threlkeld, 26, is a fashion designer and stepdaughter of former Morgan Stanley Chairman Anson Beard.

According to the newspaper, the couple invited 300 guests to the wedding. A rep for Mr. Ford confirmed the nuptials.

The son also rises

Following in his famous parents’ footsteps, Connor Cruise will make his film debut in the upcoming Will Smith drama “Seven Pounds,” People.com reports.

Connor, 13, the son of Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, will play a young version of Mr. Smith in a very minor role. The film, still in production, also co-stars Woody Harrelson and Rosario Dawson.

Briefly

• Richie Sambora yesterday struck a deal with prosecutors just hours after they filed drunken driving charges against him, pleading no contest to one misdemeanor count of driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit, AP reports. In turn, the district attorney agreed to drop a second charge — driving under the influence of alcohol — against the Bon Jovi guitarist, said Farrah Emami, a district attorney spokeswoman.

• Jordin Sparks, last season’s “American Idol” winner, has scrapped shows with Alicia Keys for the rest of the month because of vocal problems, the Chicago Tribune said. TMZ.com also reports that a Sparks representative said the 18-year-old singer’s condition is “serious” but that she will be back on the road in May. The tour is scheduled to stop at the District’s Verizon Center on June 13.

• The union between singer-actress Beyonce Knowles and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z is official — the couple have filed marriage papers, a town clerk in Scarsdale Village, a New York City suburb, said yesterday. The twosome held a lavish private celebration in Manhattan on April 4 but have been mum about their wedding, notes Reuters news agency. Miss Knowles and Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, have been linked romantically since September 2002.

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

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