- The Washington Times - Friday, December 11, 2009

World-famous diva Mariah Carey was in an unusual position Wednesday night: backup for her husband, Nick Cannon. But she still managed to get her fair share of the spotlight.

The hip-hop power couple was in town for a reception and screening at the Newseum of the “TeenNick Halo Awards,” an hourlong show airing Friday on Nickelodeon’s companion network, TeenNick, which offers programs for and about teenagers.

Mr. Cannon, the 29-year-old rapper, TV personality and TeenNick chairman — who married Miss Carey, 39, last year — is the producer, creator and host of the show, which profiles the four Halo Awards recipients, young people who have made extraordinary contributions in their communities.

“This award deals with so many different social issues, everything from health and wellness to the environment to HIV and AIDS,” Mr. Cannon explained to G2.

Before the screening began, Mr. Cannon, looking dapper in a tailored suit, thanked the crowd for coming out and gave a shout-out to Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson, who volunteered that he’s such a fan of Miss Carey’s that he’s seen her 2001 film flop “Glitter” at least 10 times.

The moment the crowd had been waiting for came when Miss Carey joined Mr. Cannon onstage in a form-fitting red strapless gown, with her trademark big hair.

Miss Carey offered an apology for the late start of the screening, allowing that a flight delay from their home base in New York was the cause of their tardiness.

We have a feeling getting the glamorous songbird ready may have contributed to the lateness, too.

After the screening, the couple posed for photographs, with Miss Carey draping her arms around her hubby while gamely posing for the flashing lights.

Asked whom she was wearing, Miss Carey purred, “Dolce,” referring to the Italian designing duo Dolce & Gabbana.

Leah Stoltz, one of the Halo Award recipients, who started a support group for young women with scoliosis called Curvy Girls of Long Island, offered Miss Carey a T-shirt from her organization.

“I love your name,” the curvaceous Miss Carey exclaimed, warmly accepting the gift.

Go-go guy

Virginia’s freshly minted Gov.-elect Robert F. McDonnell has already started celebrating in style on this side of the Potomac. He was a guest of honor at the posh Willard InterContinental Washington hotel Wednesday night for a soiree hosted by GOPAC. Founded in 1979, the organization trains young Republican leaders, according to Executive Director David Avella.

Mr. McDonnell, who will be sworn in next month, was joined at the event by the Old Dominion’s Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli and Republican members of Congress including Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, Rep. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Mr. Avella confirms.

We’re told that the group was especially jubilant about the Republican Party’s prospects in next year’s midterm elections. We wonder if the open bar or President Obama’s tumbling approval ratings had something to do with their high spirits.

For his part, Mr. McDonnell was humble and waxed somewhat emotional despite his new gubernatorial stature.

“I am now so pleased to be the 71st governor of Virginia. I never thought a middle-class kid like me from Fairfax County would grow up to follow the footsteps of Jefferson or Henry,” he told the group, according to Mr. Avella.

We’re thinking that after the inauguration, he’ll continue the populist tone by staying rooted in Virginia soil, as his constituents may get testy about their leaders cavorting too much in the District.

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected]

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