People Staff
July 02, 2004 09:00 AM

HITCHED: Singer Michelle Branch, who turns 21 today, married her bassist, Teddy Landau. The tuneful birthday girl, who first picked up a guitar at age 14 and made her debut with the hit “Everywhere,” has been touring with Landau since 2003. Branch recently signed on as a guest creator for Estee Lauder’s new cosmetics line Flirt!, and the songstress is designing a line of nail polish and matching lip color, with shades named after song titles from her 2003 Hotel Paper album.

PLEADED: Musician David Crosby, 62, pleaded guilty to a gun charge – attempted possession of a criminal weapon in the third degree – and was fined $5,000 on Friday in a New York City court, the Associated Press reports. The Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young rocker accepted a plea deal, avoiding the maximum penalty of four years in prison, stemming from his March 6 arrest. Police say Crosby left luggage containing a Colt .45-cal. handgun, three clips of .45-cal. ammunition and two knives at a Manhattan hotel, and had an ounce of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

SIGNED: It’s about time Nick Lachey started catching up with his bubbly wife, Jessica Simpson. The 30-year-old former boy-band singer and Newlyweds reality-TV costar has gotten his first major acting commitment, the Hollywood Reporter notes, with a six-episode gig on The WB show Charmed. Meanwhile, onetime Austin Powers sidekick Heather Graham, 34, is in talks for a regular role as a therapist on NBC’s Scrubs, the Reporter adds.

TOPPED: The first single from “American Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino has landed in the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart. The fast-selling entry, “I Believe,” ends the 19-week dominance by Usher and becomes the first No. 1 debut since Clay Aiken‘s “This Is the Night” last year – also a product of the American Idol juggernaut. The good news is moderated slightly by the fact that Barrino’s sales failed to reach even half the number Aiken’s did a year ago, MTV News reports.

STAGED: Mary J. Blige is intensifying her romance with Broadway. After her Tony Awards show revival of A Chorus Line hit “What I Did for Love,” Variety notes, the R&B star is negotiating for a Great White Way debut in the new musical Brooklyn, described as “an urban fairy tale” set under the outer borough’s eponymous bridge. The show is set to open in October, after a month of previews.

LOBBIED: TV host Montel Williams was in the U.S. capital Thursday urging lawmakers to support a bill that would make it harder for the feds to preempt state medical marijuana laws, the Associated Press reports. Nine states allow medical marijuana use, but the state laws have conflicted with federal drug enforcement. Williams, 48, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, takes marijuana for pain relief, the AP notes.

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