SEE THE VIDEO
C.J. chats with Olivia Newton-John and her husband, John Easterling, on startribune.com/video.
Lip-syncing and Twittering are two things we aren't likely to find Grammy winner Olivia Newton-John doing, although she's very much enjoys kissing her new husband.
In a world gone increasingly tacky and wacky, Britney Spears -- and more astoundingly the fans who thought her Minneapolis show was such a phenomenal production that it didn't matter she mostly wasn't singing -- was at the top of my mind Monday when I caught up with Newton-John. She was in the metro with her husband, John Easterling, founder of Amazon Herb Co., who came to promote Zamu, a certified organic beverage made from ingredients in the rain forest.
Easterling's presentation for drinkzamu.com at the Airport Marriott attracted a standing-room-only crowd. Not having just fallen off a coconut truck, Easterling knew most of those people were there to see his internationally famous wife and pop icon.
In a quick interview, I asked Newton-John about these singers thinking that actually singing is not part of the concert job. "It's just a different era," said Newton-John, who can be viewed at startribune.com/video. "I haven't seen many shows where they lip-sync, but I think it's kind of accepted nowadays. We didn't do lip-syncing when I was touring. You sang everything live. If you [did] television sometimes, and the set was large and you had to dance, sometimes, you'd pre-record or sing to your record, but not on stage."
For sure, Spears and her supporters would claim that the complicated staging and rigorous dancing justified her lip-syncing.
Of course, I believe the real reason Spears lip-syncs is that she's not a good singer. Spears' vocal instrument has always been flimsily compared to Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé and my favorite, Patti Austin, all of whom are tremendous singers.
Could Newton-John imagine Ella Fitzgerald lip-syncing? "Of course not," she said.
Anybody else remember Fitzgerald's performance at St. Paul's Ordway the night an announcement was made for a doctor in house? Fitzgerald wasn't well and she wasn't lip-syncing.
We've come a long, sorry way since all that outrage over Milli Vanilli.She's anti-Twitter
Don't expect to follow Olivia Newton-John on Twitter.
"I try to escape people following me," she said.
She could do what some celebrities are obviously doing, something I call a "fake tweety." Newton-John has already got followers, as I learned after giving her a giggle while informing her that TMZ.com ran a clip of her being asked if she still gets physical. "Let's get physical" was the hook in one of ONJ's biggest hits.
Newton-John and Amazon John, as he's known, are still in that very kissy phase of their relationship; I saw them kiss four times in 20 minutes. Newton-John seemed perplexed by the attention of TMZ but said those cameras are always following her.
Yet another reason ONJ doesn't need to tweet.Please, no more guests Word has it that Mint Condition singer Stokley Williams is trying to keep his upcoming marriage to a woman whose name is pronounced Sylvia on the down-low because the guest list is getting out of hand.
Puhleeze. Groupies need to be notified of when a performer is off the market!
Between Williams' celebrity and his dad, civil rights activist Mahmoud El-Kati, knowing everybody, lots of people may want to witness this marriage. But the reality is that times are tight, so lots of people might appreciate not having to shell out money for a gift, if the couple is even seeking them.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or email@example.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.