R&B artist John Legend covered Marvin Gaye's masterpiece of socially conscious R&B, the 1971 album What's Going On, during a show last night at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. This concert has been planned for months, but in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting and subsequent response in Ferguson, Mo., Legend's choice of material was particularly resonant (if not flat out prescient). The show had a very what-we-need-right-now feel. Underneath his blazer, Legend wore a T-shirt that read "DON'T SHOOT."
Sienna Miller turns 28 today. Denzel Washington is turning 55. John Legend is 31. Gayle King turns 55. Saturday Night Live's Seth Meyers is turning 36. Judge Alvin Hellerstein is 76. Media tycoon Phil Anschutz is 70. Former AOL exec turned new media investor Bob Pittman is turning 56. Artist Robert Storr is 60. South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson is turning 63. And American Idol runner-up David Archuleta is 19 today.
• Billionaire publishing heir Robert Ziff has gone into contract to sell his condo at the Trump International. The three-bedroom pad on the 41st-floor, which Ziff bought for $5 million in 2001 and first listed for $13 million in July 2008, had been on the market most recently for $11.5 million. [Cityfile, Sotheby's]
• It's been a busy week for John Legend. Not only did he close on the purchase of a one-bedroom condo at 52 East 4th Street for $1.9 million, he also went into contract to sell his former apartment at 72 East 3rd Street. The two-bedroom condo had been listed for $1.195 million. [WSJ, PDE]
• The West Village duplex that Jude Law is currently renting is up for sale—and at a discounted price, too. The 3,498-square-foot apartment at 135 West 4th Street, which comes with 20' vaulted ceilings and a "floating staircase wrapped in chrome," can now be yours for $6.9 million. [Real Estalker, BHS]
• Late fashion designer Abbijane Schifrin's former townhouse on East 19th St. has been chopped in price. The five-story manse, which went on the market for $8.75 million in October, is now $7.995 million. [Curbed, Sotheby's]
Rihanna catching a flight at JFK ... Queen Rania of Jordan leaving Harry Cipriani on Fifth Avenue ... John Legend in SoHo eating lunch outside with girlfriend Chrissy Teigene ... Jessica Szohr hanging out on the Gossip Girl set downtown ... Jude Law signing autographs outside his Broadway show ... Kirsten Dunst walking around ... Tess Kartel filming scenes for The Other Guys in Midtown while Mark Wahlberg was shooting his own scenes nearby ... America Ferrera shooting scenes for Ugly Betty ... and Jennifer Aniston leaving Monkey Bar.
• John Legend has picked up a new apartment in the East Village. The Grammy-winning singer—who is still looking to unload his former pad on East 3rd Street—has reportedly gone into contract to buy a one-bedroom condo at 52 East 4th Street, where Moby owns an apartment, too. [WSJ]
• SNL's Kristen Wiig has paid $1.5 million for a director Alan Taylor's SoHo apartment. The loft at 476 Broadway had been listed for $1.75 million. [NYO]
Lou Dobbs, CNN's resident immigrant-hating xenophobe, has provoked a good deal of controversy in recent days for indulging those wacko conspiracy theorists who seem to believe that Barack Obama was not actually born in the United States, but instead came into this word at a fanatical madrassa in Indonesia or wherever. But is President Obama the black man that Dobbs should be most concerned about these days? We think not.
Jessica Simpson walking out of Dos Caminos yesterday with her dog Daisy in a carrier ... Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos and their two sons, Joaquin and Michael, walking in Soho ... John Legend outside the Late Show with David Letterman ... Robert Pattinson on the set of Remember Me ... Samuel L. Jackson walking around dressed in what appears to be a mailman's uniform ... Johnny Depp attending a Late Show taping before heading to dinner ... and Anne Hathaway walking her dog.
• Leona Helmsley's former estate in Greenwich is now available at a discount. Priced at $125 million when it first went on the market last year, the 40-acre manor-style property known as Dunnellen Hall is now just $75 million. [GT, DO&A]
• Investor Paul Cejas has put his two-bedroom, fifth-floor apartment at 834 Fifth—the building that's home to Rupert Murdoch, Woody Johnson, and socialite Carroll Petrie—on the market for $18.5 million. [NYO, BHS]
• John Legend has cut the price of his apartment at 72 East 3rd Street, which he purchased in 2005 and originally listed for $1.245 million last December. The two-bedroom condo is now priced at $1.195 million. [NYM, PDE]
• There were bound to be a few dramatic moments at the inaugural parties last night: Sheryl Crow had an awkward run in with her ex, Kid Rock, in the lobby of Donovan House. John Legend was forced to make a last-minute stop at Bloomingdale's because his girlfriend didn't have a gown. Susan Sarandon got a reporter kicked out an event for daring to ask a question. And Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony showed up so late to the Neighborhood Ball, they almost didn't get in. [P6, WP, Politico]
• One possible explanation for Lopez's late arrival: She was spotted at the Scientology Center in LA yesterday morning, trying to sneak out of the building without being noticed. [NYDN]
• Another headache for John Travolta and Kelly Preston: A politician in the Bahamas may have been part of a plot to extort money from the couple following the death of Jett Travolta. [OK!]
Author/humorist David Sedaris turns 52 today. Jared Leto is 37. CNN's Candy Crowley is 60. AOL chief Randy Falco is 55. Senator Evan Bayh is 53. America's Most Wanted's John Walsh is 63. Chris Daughtry is 29. And record producer (and possible murderer) Phil Spector celebrates his 68th today. Weekend birthdays after the jump.
Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson getting on the subway at Spring Street ... Kate Beckinsale smoking on the sidewalk in SoHo ... Naomi Watts shopping at Whole Foods on Houston Street ... Naomi Campbell leaving her hotel ... John Legend walking around town ... Beyonce talking on her phone at JFK ... Penn Badgley and Blake Lively under an umbrella on the set of Gossip Girl ... Christina Aguilera getting into an SUV with son Max ... Joshua Jackson on the set of Fringe ... Aretha Franklin arriving at her Midtown hotel ... The Who's Roger Daltrey going for a walk ... Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet crossing the street ... Katie Holmes coming back at her East Village apartment after a matinee performance on Broadway ... and Sarah Jessica Parker taking son James to school.
♦ Following reports in July that Tory Burch was offering a 30 percent stake in her hugely successful womenswear and accessories label, she now says that the company is not for sale. Also, she says the economy has had an impact on her designs: "I don't think women want to be over-the-top anymore. They want something that's chic and elegant, but not such a big statement." [WWD]
♦ If you've noticed slightly fewer giraffe-like teens with unplaceable accents on the streets of Manhattan, it's because in a sobering indicator of just how bad things are, Elite has slashed 60 models from its roster. [Fashionista]
This edition of Hollywood PrivacyWatch brings a very special Stallion sighting, an especially social Office star, a veritable galaxy of airport celebrity and other high-wattage fruits of your spying labors. Remember, each and every PrivacyWatch relies on your restless, roving eyes, so keep those tips coming with either "Sightings" or "PrivacyWatch" in the subject line. We appreciate all of your surveillance and couldn't contemplate leaving any of it behind. Among those observed in this installment: Owen Wilson, John Krasinski, Amy Adams, Ryan Phillippe, Neil Patrick Harris, Jared Leto, John Legend, Jonah Hill, Martin Landau, Chloe Sevigny, William Fichtner, Ron Livingston, Mekhi Phifer and more.SATURDAY, SEPT. 20 Went to see The Women (the play, not the movie) in a theater near downtown, when I saw MARTIN LANDAU (looking dapper for 77) talking with JACK STEHLIN from Weeds. I was going to list some Martin Landau credits but imdb has 155 of them and I didn't know what to pick. Loved him in Ed Wood, though. THURSDAY, SEPT. 25 Sept. 25 [At the] Aloud event at the LA Central Library, I spotted ERIC IDLE and a companion enjoying the battling accents of ARIANNA HUFFINGTON and BERNARD HENRI-LEVY. Looked like ALAIN GIRAUD may have been there as well, but I can't be sure. Idle and the Giraud lookalike repaired to Cafe Pinot for a post-talk meal, I expect to be joined by BHL and AH, since they were chatting on stage after the event. FRIDAY, SEPT. 26 It was a transatlantic Dundler-Mifflin meetup on Friday (9/26) at the Magic Castle as JOHN KRASINSKI was hanging with STEPHEN MERCHANT (from The Office UK and Extras). The former looked way hotter and less goofy in person and the latter is a good seven feet tall and was chatting up AIMEE MANN. I was dancing up a storm during the MSTRKRFT show at the Henry Fonda Theater when a guy walks right up and blocks my view. He turns around to face me and starts to mess around with his phone. I’m just about to call him out for being in my ‘personal space bubble’ (the dance floor was pretty empty by that time) when I realize that it’s JARED LETO! He looked a little rough: hair slicked back into a pony tail, scruffy facial hair, black army boots and red flannel shirt tight around his waste. '90s style flashback. I felt kind of sorry for him; Jared seemed a kind of bummed about not getting any celeb-like attention. SATURDAY, SEPT. 27 A day earlier on Sept. 27, we saw RON LIVINGSTON and MEKHI PHIFER at the Shane Mosley-Ricardo Mayorga fight in Carson. They weren't together, dammit; Ron had his usual stubble and a third-row seat, while Mekhi was up on the concourse chatting with former fringe NBA player CHRIS MILLS before the main event. SUNDAY, SEPT. 28 After watching my best friend perform an acoustic set at Level 5, someone commented "Hey, there's Jim from The Office." Sure enough, I turn around and there's JOHN KRASINSKI chatting it up with a very cute redhead and an equally cute blonde. OWEN WILSON at The Other Room during the Abbot Kinney Festival. Fairly inconspicuous. He sat and texted the whole time, probably an hour two. I never saw him look up once. My trashed friend asked him what was going on with all the texting. Owen didn't understand the question. I think he left before the guy was killed outside. I saw that happen, pretty messed up. Saw JONAH HILL at the Abbot Kinney Festival on Sunday the 28th. He was in the line for Sausage Masters but didn't seem to purchase anything. He must be on a diet as he's looking a little more svelte than usual. He was very sweet... Saw BRENDAN SEXTON III at Sabor y Cultura cafe in Hollywood today. It was kind of dorky/endearing, there was a group of middle-aged gamers there and he went right over and was totally into it. He was with a tiny blond who was then forced to observe the gaming as well. I don't think anyone else knew who he was, I was just really into Welcome to the Dollhouse back in the day... It feels like cheating to submit sightings from the A terminal at the Burbank airport, since celebs and plebes alike have to walk down that same narrow hall to exit the sad old barn, but what the hell. On Sunday night around 9 p.m., the following people walked by separately in a 4-minute span, presumably all coming off the late JetBlue flight from JFK: WILLIAM FICHTNER of Prison Break, wearing athletic-type clothes and walking so fast his hairline receded; NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, looking awesome in a black T-shirt and gaily chatting with some dude; CHLOE SEVIGNY, mousy-haired and depressingly dressed like a normal person; and finally AMY ADAMS, toting her own overstuffed Louis Vuitton bag and staring grimly ahead while marching with an entourage of at least two other chicks. No smile, no eye contact, still smoking hot. Just got off AA115 from LHR to JFK. JOHN LEGEND was traveling in first class. A wee bit shorter then I anticipated. Saw everyone’s favorite ex-lazy postman WAYNE KNIGHT at the Vendome Liquors in Toluca Lake on Sunday evening. Would have liked to say hi, but he was busy getting advice on red wine from one of the employees. Oh well. MONDAY, SEPT. 29 RYAN PHILLIPPE with BFF and business partner BRECKIN MEYER at Nate 'n Al's in BH on Saturday morning.
» Zac Posen showed the kind of pretty dresses that made him famous. What has also made him famous, of course, is his dazzling knack for networking, which was in full effect with a starry audience of Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy, Marisa Tomei, Leighton Meester, Venus and Serena Williams, Anna Wintour, André Leon Talley, Bernadette Peters, Diddy, Julian Schnabel, Bette Midler, Juliette Lewis, Kate Mara, Jada Pinkett Smith, Veronica Webb, Joy Bryant, Rachel Zoe, Ingrid Sischy, and Fern Mallis. [WSJ, Wireimage]
Here's a clip of John Legend creeping out Today Show fourth-hour co-host Hoda Kotb. Just because. Skip to the end (1:00 mark), when Hoda awkwardly pseudo-grinds with Legend and then he simulates going down on her. It's fun for the whole family, or at least the unemployed members.