For music lovers, the hottest ticket in town during Fashion Week is Fashion Rocks, and I am there to capture all the excitement. The most surprising person on the red carpet is the affable 50 Cent. Nice guy – so friendly! When I ask him the most personal song on his new album Curtis (out Sept. 11), he is thrilled. “Really? I’ve been on a full promo tour around the Northeast and the West Coast, and you’re the first person who asked me what song is the most personal song. Probably … wow…Curtis 187. It’s about my experience growing up.”
Ashlee Simpson, who arrives with designer Max Azria, says she can’t wait to check out his new collection. What’s her fashion must-have? “For a woman, it’s very important to have a nice, beautiful, simple dress.”
Fergie’s publicist is selective with interviews, but the Glamorous singer refuses to move on without giving me a question. “Hi, how are you?” she asks. (We see each other everywhere! She’s always fabulous.) What is she most excited about tonight? “I want to see Aerosmith, and I’m performing Glamorous. It’s the perfect crowd for the song Glamorous.” The Chanel clad cutie says she her highlight of Fashion Week so far is the Calvin Klein party.
Also happier-than-happy to chat is Carmen Electra, who says she would become a teacher if she had to do it all again. What does she love about Fashion Rocks? “It’s fun,” she tells me. “It’s the merging of fashion and rock ‘n’ roll. I’m a rock ’n’ roll girl at heart. A lot of people don’t think clothes mean anything – and in a way, it can be really superficial, if you think about it – but style’s fun.”
Mary J. Blige, wearing Gaultier, tells me she loves meeting new friends and reacquainting with old pals during Fashion Week as Avril Lavigne slinks by. “I’m not wearing lipstick,” Av says. Jeremy Piven gives Mary a quick peck on the cheek while she does an interview with The Tyra Banks Show, stationed right beside me.
Sophia Bush is giggly about meeting her idol, Gwen Stefani, at the L.A.M.B. show. “She really is as cool as I thought she would be,” she tells me. “She’s down-to-earth, appreciative, so humble, and her priority is her family, but she’s so talented. To sit around and talk creativity with a woman like that? I had to pinch myself. I was like ‘what’s happening to me right now?’”
LeAnn Rimes, whose hubby Dean waits a few feet behind her, makes a pit stop to catch up. (She’s another fabulous girl I see all the time! Super-sweet, definitely a girl who would make a great friend.) Her most embarrassing moment? “I fell down a flight of stairs onstage. Thank God it was dark, so only the first four or five rows saw. I burst out laughing, and went on with it.”
Show-stealer Miri Ben Ari tells me she’s the only violinist to ever be a part of Fashion Rocks. “It’s really a big privilege. I don’t take it for granted.” She says she loved the Tommy Hilfiger party. “I think fashion is more than just clothing. I really appreciate stylists and fashion designers. They’re carrying it as a message.”
LL Cool J tells me he loves the excitement of Fashion Week. “Honestly, I’ve been working for five-and-a-half years trying to get my line launched. I’ve had a million stutter-steps. I’m happy that I’m able to survive and actually have a brand that’s going out there.”
Martina McBride, wearing BCBG, tells me she likes gloves for fall. “I think they’re really dramatic.” Ashanti tells me the best item she found this week is the skirt she’s wearing. “I love that it’s classy and it’s hot.” Mya tells me about her greatest fashion find. “At the Nicole Miller show, I saw a one-piece pantsuit in black, it was a jumper and it was very form-fitting. I loved the fabric, the way it was tapered to a woman’s body and I have to have it.”
Aerosmith’s Joe Perry shows up with 13-year-old son Tony, who is the lead guitarist for Boston-based act Tab The Band. “We’re psyched as hell to perform tonight,” Joe tells me. “We’re going to tear this place down. We’re performing with Fergie, which is going to be fun, and I’m doing a duet with Jennifer Hudson, which is going to be fun.”
Suzannne Vega confesses she can’t wait to see Maroon 5, and to find out what Fergie’s wearing. “I’m just here to hang out,” she tells me.
Time to take my seat!
Don’t miss the concert tonight airing on CBS at 9 p.m. EST. Hosted by Jeremy Piven, you’ll catch show-stopping performances from Aerosmith, Fergie, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lopez, Ludacris, Maroon 5, Martina McBride, Santana, Carrie Underwood and Usher. It’s the best two hours TV has to offer music fans!