Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International


The Dixie Chicks shed their feathers and posed naked for the cover of next week's issue of Entertainment Weekly.


Members of the Grammy Award-winning country band say they decided to wear only slogans like "Saddam's Angels," "Proud Americans" and "Patriot" painted on their skin to defend themselves against criticism they received for stating at a London concert they were ashamed President Bush is from Texas.

Made just before the start of the war in Iraq and seen by many as unpatriotic, Natalie Maines' Bush-bashing caused the band's record sales to plummet and radio stations in the South to ban their songs.

"We wanted to show the absurdity of the extreme names people have been calling us," Martie Maguire is quoted in the New York Post as saying. "How do you look at the three of us and think, 'Those are 'Saddam's Angels?' We don't want people to think that we're being provocative. It's not about the nakedness. It's that the clothes got in the way of the labels. We're not defined by who we are anymore -- other people are doing that for us."


Although Maines since has admitted she wishes she had chosen her words a little better so as not to appear disrespectful toward Bush, she maintains she still has a lot of questions she'd like to ask the president.


Bob Costas launches the third season of his HBO show by inviting Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins to discuss whatever is on their minds.

The season premiere of "On the Record with Bob Costas," set to air May 2, will feature a roundtable session with Sarandon, Robbins, Robert Wuhl and writer-director Ron Shelton, says HBO.

The guests will revisit the classic baseball film about life in the minor leagues.

The guests originally were scheduled to appear at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown this weekend to commemorate the movie's 15th anniversary, but the invitation was revoked by the president of the Hall of Fame after Sarandon and Robbins criticized President Bush and loudly protested the U.S.-led war with Iraq.


Yet another television special was set to offer a look into Michael Jackson's home life Thursday night.


Fox's unscripted special, "Michael Jackson: Private Home Movies" features footage of the bizarre pop star from his boyhood years to the present. Memorable scenes include Jackson playing with McCauley Culkin and Elizabeth Taylor dressed in a bathrobe surprising him on Christmas morning.

"It's very compelling to see Michael in a way we've never seen him before -- interacting with family members and friends in a very casual manner," says Brad Lachman, who produced the special. "There's one clip of him playing in his backyard, having a waterfight with (sister) Janet and McCauley Culkin and getting thrown into a swimming pool with his clothes on. That's one side of him you don't get to see."

The television special is the third to explore Jackson's life in less than three months.


Angelina Jolie just got that gigantic "Billy Bob" tattoo removed but reports say she's added another to her collection.

Word from the British news Web site is the "Tomb Raider" star had a black tattoo with five vertical lines of ancient Cambodian script etched on her back during a trip to Thailand last week.


The tattoo is said to ward off bad luck, notes, and was drawn by well-known local artist Noo Kamphai, in Pathum Thani, about 16 miles north of Bangkok.

"I like it a lot. It looks very sacred. I think I'll have a new tattoo the next time I come to Thailand," the actress tells the Nation newspaper.

Jolie has numerous tattoos, but recently underwent laser surgery to remove a large "Billy Bob" marking from her arm after she and Billy Bob Thornton split up.

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