Originally created 12/16/05

People in the News

NEW YORK - Britney Spears didn't release an album of new material this year, but the new mom is still No. 1 on Yahoo's annual list of the most-searched for terms on the Internet.

Spears, who has topped the list for three of the last four years, lost out to "American Idol" in 2004.

Although the 24-year-old pop star released an album of remixes, "B in the Mix, The Remixes," in November, it was the birth of her son, Sean Preston Federline, on Sept. 14 that brought her the most attention, Yahoo said Thursday.

Following Spears were, in order, 50 Cent, the Cartoon Network, Mariah Carey, Green Day, Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, Eminem, Ciara and Lindsay Lohan.

The list of overall top searches, all of which were entertainment related, "shows us that people are fixated on the activities of pop culture icons," Yahoo "Buzz Index guru" Erik Gunther said in a statement.

Yahoo Inc. has claimed that its search index spans more than 20 billion Web documents and images, though that figure is virtually impossible to verify because there is no official auditing system.

Of the top news searches, "tsunami" led all other stories, followed by "Iraq" and "Michael Jackson trial."


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NEW YORK - Master P will fill the dancing shoes of his teen rapper son, Romeo, who has dropped out of ABC's reality competition "Dancing With the Stars" because of a basketball injury.

The hip-hop mogul, whose real name is Percy Robert Miller, is CEO of No Limit Records. In recent years, he has tried out for different NBA teams, including the Sacramento Kings and the Denver Nuggets.

He will be paired with professional dancer Ashly DelGrosso for the competition, the network announced Wednesday.

The second season of "Dancing With the Stars" premieres Jan. 5 (8 p.m. EST). Other contestants include Tatum O'Neal, Drew Lachey, Tia Carrere and NFL great Jerry Rice.

In the hit summer series, Kelly Monaco (ABC's "General Hospital") and her partner beat John O'Hurley ("Seinfeld") and his partner in the finals.

However, O'Hurley won the September dance-off rematch.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Lawyers allowed juror Fantasia Barrino, the 2004 "American Idol" winner, to leave a case in mid-deliberations after learning the singer had to attend a benefit concert in New York.

Barrino, a High Point native who now owns a home in southeast Charlotte, was chosen Wednesday to serve on a Mecklenburg County Superior Court jury in a motor vehicle negligence case.

"People recognized her right away," said Charles Keller, a court system administrator. "Jurors started coming up to her taking pictures with their camera phones and getting autographs."

Testimony took less than a day, and Judge W. David Lee sent jurors out to deliberate late Wednesday, Keller said. But when it became apparent that deliberations would continue into Thursday, lawyers agreed that Barrino was free to go.

Keller said he was among the court employees who had their picture snapped with the celebrity juror.

"She's just really nice, down to earth," he said. "Not at all what you'd expect."

Barrino, 21, was to attend the benefit concert on Thursday.

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LUCERNE, Switzerland - Iggy Pop plays music too loud, according to officials in this Swiss city.

The 58-year-old punk rocker reached a decibel level of 102.5 while performing at July's Blue Balls Festival, criminal investigation authorities in Lucerne said Wednesday.

That exceeded the maximum volume allowed of 100 decibels, which had been raised as an exception for the concert from the normal limit of 93 decibels, authorities said in a statement.

A fine of $1,155 was slapped on the producers of the music festival.

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Paul Giamatti was surprised to get a Golden Globe bid for his role as a boxer's manager in "Cinderella Man," but he just can't envision picking up the trophy.

"What do I think of my chances?" Giamatti said with a burst of laughter. "Oh God, I mean, I don't, I, I, I don't see it happening, so I would say my chances would be - I wouldn't give myself any chances.... I don't see myself actually winning anything."

A year ago, Giamatti received a Globe nomination as best actor in a movie comedy or musical for his role as a wine snob in "Sideways," but lost to Jamie Foxx of "Ray," and then was snubbed altogether in the Oscar nominations. This time he's up as a supporting actor.

The 38-year-old Giamatti has also starred in "American Splendor" as comic book writer Harvey Pekar and co-starred in "Paycheck" and "Saving Private Ryan."

Russell Crowe of "Cinderella Man" also received a Golden Globe nomination for best actor.

The 63rd annual Golden Globes will air Jan. 16 (8 p.m. EST) on NBC.

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - "Match Point" star Scarlett Johansson is glad that Woody Allen emphasizes words, not action.

"He just really rarely requires that his actors go to the gym, which was a plus for me. And I didn't have to hang from a 50-foot building," Johansson said after earning a Golden Globe supporting actress nomination.

She starred as an on-the-run human clone in the Michael Bay-directed summer action flop "The Island" after filming "Match Point," and before working with Allen again on "Scoop."

"I think Woody's dialogue helped me to bring out one of the better sides of my acting," she added. "The dialogue is so fantastic, that you think if I screw this up, I'll really be a putz."

Johansson, 21, has previously been nominated by the Globes for her work in "A Love Song for Bobby Long," "Girl With a Pearl Earring" and "Lost in Translation."

"Match Point" received four Golden Globe nominations Tuesday, including best picture for a drama, best director and best screenplay, which Allen wrote.

The 63rd annual Golden Globes will air Jan. 16 (8 p.m. EST) on NBC.

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