R. Kelly takes a sick day
R. Kelly alarmed fans Wednesday when he canceled a slew of appearances hours before he was to appear at a New York book launch party for his memoir Soula Coaster. He went home to Chicago to see a doctor; seems the singer is suffering complications from throat surgery he had last year. Kelly's new CD, Write Me Back, came out Tuesday, his book is due Thursday.
The book, which has been excerpted by Rolling Stone, contains astounding displays of ego. It also mounts a defense of Kelly's many displays of his awesome sexual prowess.
"I never considered my music sinful," he writes. "For the most part, what people see onstage — R. Kelly bumping and grinding, dropping my pants, seducing women — that's all show business. What I do onstage doesn't mean I jump off the stage and continue my act in real life."
Belieb me: Bieber's ‘Believe' sells big
Sweet teenage squeeze-doll Justin Bieber takes the Billboard album chart's top spot this week with Believe, which sold 374,000 units in its debut week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It's the year's biggest debut. Kenny Chesney's Welcome to the Fishbowl debuted at No. 2 with 193,000, while Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel, her first LP in seven years, debuted at No. 3 with 72,000.
Tidbits 'n' pieces
Paris Hilton was unscathed (thank heavens!) after she was knocked about during a scuffle Tuesday night between a member of her entourage and a photog outside the new Lalaland Bootsy Bellows nightclub, says TMZ. … Ke$ha has tweeted a photo of her new tattoo: two words stenciled on the inside of her lower lip (ouch!): "Suck it!"
This week in celeb coupling
True Blood's most beloved married couple, Anna Paquin, 29, and Stephen Moyer, 42, aren't just expecting one vampire child, they're having twins, says Us Weekly.
Meanwhile, Life & Style Weekly says Blood-lust hottie Alexander Skarsgård, 35, whose pops, Stellan Skarsgård, embodies the ultimate in Scandinavian cool, is seeing Anne Vyalitsyna. The stunning Victoria's Secret model sure didn't waste time: She began seeing Alexander, like, five minutes after breaking up with The Voice's resident egomaniac, Adam Levine.
First, Johnny Depp bought her a pony (what is she, like 12?) and now his alleged post-Vanessa Paradis lover, Amber Heard, has apparently shown her gratitude. In Touch Weekly says the bisexual Amber, 28, has broken up with her gf of four years, photog Tasya van Ree.
Election 2012: The cookie issue
Family Circle has launched the 2012 Presidential Cookie Bake-Off, which will have first lady Michelle Obama go head-to-head with Ann Romney, wife of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. They'll post cookie recipes, the public is asked to make and taste them, then vote for a favorite at www.familycircle.com/cookievote.
It's raining Andrew Garfield!
Amazing Spider-Man's Andrew Garfield and his Spidey-gal Emma Stone are everywhere! They talked to kids at the Madison Boys & Girls Club in Brooklyn Tuesday about the importance of volunteer work. Hours later, Garfield was honored for his charity work at a do for the Worldwide Orphans Foundation. Wednesday, he did his most directly Spidey-p.r. move: USA Today says Garfield delivered a live Chilean rose tarantula (they're supposed to be special) to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Movers 'n' shakers in showbiz
Oprah, who has been airing a 987-part interview with the entire Kardashian Kabal, will appear as a guest star on a coming episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
Two Tony-winning thesps, Nathan Lane and Kristin Chenoweth, have been added to the regular cast of Julianna Margulies' CBS drama, The Good Wife.
Brit band Muse says on its website that its song "Survival" has been chosen as the "main official song for the London 2012 Olympic Games."
Chicago comes to Atlantic City
Chicago, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, will tour with the Doobie Brothers this summer. They'll hit the Borgata in Atlantic City on Aug. 4. Info: www.chicagotheband.com.
This article contains information from Inquirer wire services. Contact "SideShow" at firstname.lastname@example.org.