Illness Updates: Amy Winehouse, Shirley Bassey

To Mandela or not to Mandela: that is the question for two of the greatest female singers of pop music. Amy Winehouse ‘s father says his daughter will perform at both Glastonbury and Nelson Mandela‘s 90th birthday concert – in spite of the fact she has been diagnosed with emphysema and was said to be seriously ill. (What, has she been taking breaks from crack smoking to work the coal mines?) Mitch Winehouse has been on quite the press tour this weekend, talking about Amy’s health in quite grave terms. He told the Sunday Mirror: “After lots of tests they found a lump in Amy’s chest. A scan has shown it’s not cancerous and there are no traces of cancer in her blood. But they might need to double check. There is a chance she might need a biopsy. If they need to cut the lump out then that will mean a massive and painful operation and a lot of recuperation.”

But apparently she’s doing well enough to take the stage again. Well let’s hope so. Reportedly, she’ll have medics on hand while she’s on stage.

Conversely, Dame Shirley Bassey has decided not to perform for Nelson Mandela this week. To be more specific, her doctors advised the 71-year-old not to travel after a stomach operation she had undergone last month. She’s said to be “disappointed.” As my mom would say, Dame Shirley needs to get somewhere and sit down. While her talent is beyond formidable, she’s not the 30-year-old ingenue anymore.

Coldplay could be set to top the albums and singles charts on both sides of the Atlantic this week, which could be a first if I’m not mistaken. Meanwhile, Ne-Yo is a step “Closer” to No. 1; it would be his second after 2006′s “So Sick.” And Jordin Sparks is the first American Idol since Kelly Clarkson to claim a UK top 10 hit. She enters the chart with her duet with Chris Brown, “No Air,” which peaked at No. 3 here in the U.S.

1. Coldplay – Viva La Vida
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Coldplay - Viva la Vida - Viva la Vida Download Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”

2. Ne-Yo – Closer
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Ne-Yo - Closer - Single - Closer Download Ne-Yo’s “Closer”

3. Rihanna – Take A Bow
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Rihanna - Take a Bow - Single - Take a Bow Download Rihanna’s “Take A Bow”

4. Sara Bareilles – Love Song
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Sara Bareilles - Little Voice - Love Song Download Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song”

5. Chris Brown – Forever
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Chris Brown - Forever - Single - Forever Download Chris Brown’s “Forever”

6. Gabriella Cilmi – Sweet About Me
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7. The Ting Tings – That’s Not My Name
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The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing - That's Not My Name Download The Ting Tings’ “That’s Not My Name”

8. Mint Royale – Singin’ in the Rain
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Mint Royale - See You In the Morning - Singin' In the Rain Download Mint Royale’s “Singin’ in the Rain”

9. Duffy – Warwick Avenue
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Duffy - Rockferry - Warwick Avenue Download Duffy’s “Warwick Avenue”

10. Jordin Sparks ft. Chris Brown – No Air
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Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown - Jordin Sparks - No Air Download Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown’s “No Air”

In other news:

  • Dannii Minogue finally lets her hate flag fly about Sharon Osbourne, saying that X Factor is so much better without her. “It’s just a dream. It’s a very different set. No more eyes down during commercial breaks trying not to look tense. It wasn’t the sort of environment I wanted to be in.” (The Sun)
  • Prince William “looked more hip-op than hip-hop” as he danced the night away on his 26th birthday.(Mirror)
  • Naomi Campbell claims she went ballistic on that British Airways after she was referred to as “that gollywog supermodel” by a member of staff. (Gollywogs are those horrendous blackface rag-dolls you may have seen in old cartoons, and yes, it would be extremely offensive to call someone that.) (Scotsman)
  • Jamie Hince of The Kills lists all of the made-up stories about him and his girlfriend, model Kate Moss. “I’m engaged, I’m married, I’m divorced, I hate [the Mighty Boosh comedian] Noel Fielding – where the f*** has that come from? I bought Kate a Fabergé egg, I wrote a song for her and put it in a frame and gave it to her for her birthday, we danced on Jim Morrison‘s grave, we had a massive orgy at the Dorchester and the soundtrack was No Wow [the Kills' second album] …”(Guardian)
  • Lily Allen gets political on her new song titled “Guess Who Batman?”(Mirror)
  • Dan Gillespie Sells, lead singer of The Feeling, is quite the fashion icon. In today’s Daily Telegraph, the Clark Kent-esque frontman admits shopping for lady’s jeans and wearing a jacket for a documentary shoot that made him look “a bit like Joan Collins.”
  • Purple is in: Dan Gillespie Gills is shown in lavender shorts in the above article; Just Jared has photos of a jaunty-looking Jude Law in wine-colored trousers.
  • See, sending those X-rated webcam stills of yourself to that hot former boybander on his Myspace page might get you somewhere: 20-year-old Samantha Miller emailed some sexy photos of herself to Lee Ryan, former member of British boy band Blue. Flash forward a few months: Samantha’s knocked up with his child, and the pair is planning a wedding. Well done, Sammy! Except for the ugly fact that your future ex-husband is currently on trial for attacking a taxi driver.
  • A member of Babyshambles who is not Pete Doherty is releasing a solo album in September.(NME)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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