News Article

June 2006

EW reminds us of the events of June 2006 -- Jay-Z celebrates, Boy George pays, Britney's toxic year and more

JUNE 8TH
It's Hip to be Shakira
After climbing steadily following a March performance on American Idol, Shakira's ''Hips Don't Lie'' hits No. 1 on June 8 and becomes the song of the summer. The infectious tune had been belatedly added to a reissue of her fading 2005 album, Oral Fixation Vol. 2, which had stalled out at 507,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The jump-started CD goes on to sell 1.5 million, and the single itself is also a multiplatform monster, selling 1.9 million ringtones and 1.3 million downloads. Meanwhile, the hypnotic video — with its thrilling exhibition of the singer's dislocatable pelvic region — hip-checks millions of preteen male MTV viewers straight into puberty.

JUNE 15TH
Britney's Toxic Year: She's here, she's there, but where's her underwear?
Once upon a time, she was a hotsie-totsie pop star. But when a pregnant Britney Spears talked to Matt Lauer on the June 15 episode of Dateline, she was sporting a less glamorous look: smudged mascara, unkempt hair, and breasts that seemed intent on escaping from their bra. ''[The paparazzi] have to realize we're people,'' she pleaded on behalf of herself and her then husband, Kevin Federline, in between smacks of chewing gum. ''And we just need privacy and our respect.'' This televised entreaty followed a turbulent few months in which photographers caught Spears in a time-lapse photo album of bad parenting, which included shots of her driving with 5-month-old son Sean Preston in her lap on Feb. 6, then putting him in a baby seat facing the wrong way on May 15.

Britney's request for privacy was futile. With Federline reportedly leaving his pregnant wife home while he partied, there was too much for the tabs to write about — especially when his rap CD, Playing With Fire, was released on Halloween. (It sold only 6,500 copies in its first week.) After a year of defending her husband — and praising his ''simplicity'' to Lauer — Spears had the epiphany that maybe a simple husband wasn't the best building block for a strong marriage. On Nov. 7, eight weeks after the birth of second son Jayden James, she filed for divorce.

The singer celebrated her newfound singlehood by partying with Paris Hilton, who apparently taught her just how lame ''privacy'' is: Spears was repeatedly photographed wearing short skirts but no underwear. Thankfully, Brit pulled back, posting a penitent letter on her website saying she'd taken her ''newfound freedom a little too far,'' and that she ''looked forward to a new year, new music, and a new me.'' And, hopefully, new panties.

JUNE 25TH
Jay-Z'S Radio Day
Jay-Z ducks out of the Def Jam office for a Radio City Music Hall concert at which he celebrates the 10th anniversary of his debut CD, Reasonable Doubt, by performing it in its entirety. The label president comes all the way out of retirement on Nov. 21 with the release of his comeback CD, Kingdom Come. It sells a blazing 680,000 copies in its first week—the third-highest debut of the year — but plummets to 140,000 in week 2. With the steep dip, the head of Def Jam has to seriously consider taking back the congratulatory fruit basket he sent himself.

JUNE 26TH
Boy Meets Trash
Three months after reporting a false robbery and subsequently getting caught with cocaine, Boy George is ordered to complete his community-service sentence with five days of street sweeping in New York City. George's lawyer had argued the public chores would ''turn into a circus'' — and everyone knows how drag queens loathe spectacles.

JUNE 27TH
Axl Mouths Off
Axl Rose is arrested in Sweden for biting a hotel security guard's leg, one month after getting into a fistfight with Tommy Hilfiger. These are just training rounds for the reclusive singer as he plans his inevitable winner-take-all rematch with Mötley Crüe's Vince Neil on The Surreal Life 11.

JUNE 29TH
David Hasselhoff: Sink or Swim?
On June 29, David Hasselhoff severs a tendon in his arm, claiming it happened when he bumped his head on a hotel chandelier and was cut by falling glass. It's all part of a turbulent summer for the Hoff, whose highs and lows can be measured in Baywatch buoys.

5/24
'Idol' Tears
Is seen weeping at the American Idol finale. Pathetic? Hardly. The angels did the same thing when the Hoff sang at the Berlin Wall.

6/21
Brandy Whine
America's Got Talent debuts. Hoff clashes with fellow judge Brandy, who is clearly rattled by his track record: The man discovered Chokachi!

6/23
Hoff the Charts
The Hoff appears in No. 1 movie Click; he could have handled Adam Sandler's lead role, but his charisma would have melted screens.

7/3
Hoff Key
The Hoff's campy video for ''Jump in My Car'' hits the Web; MTV ignores it, incapable of grasping its complex Knight Rider subtext.

7/26
Gate Crasher
British tabloids say he was kept off of a plane because he was drunk. He denies it, but booze would help explain ''Jump in My Car.''

Originally posted Dec 22, 2006 Published in issue #913-914 Dec 29, 2006 Order article reprints
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