Plus: Minogue set for treatment, Star Wars fans happy, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
May 19, 2005 08:00 AM

RECORDED: Jessica Simpson has recorded a cover version of the ’60s Nancy Sinatra hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” with her Dukes of Hazzard costar Willie Nelson. “Loretta Lynn also did a version, so we took elements of both (Lynn and Sinatra’s) and funk-defied it a little bit,” producer Jimmy Jam tells MTV News. “And Jessica wrote a whole new set of lyrics that put her in the Daisy Duke character in the movie.” Next week, Simpson will shoot the video for the single, which reportedly will feature her as a waitress at the Boar’s Nest, a bar where Nelson is quietly drinking. The premise includes her accidentally inciting a bar fight that evolves into a choreographed hoe-down. In between, says MTV, there will be shots of a bikini-clad Simpson washing the car, the General Lee.

TREATED: Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue, 36, is undergoing medical tests in preparation for breast cancer surgery later this week. “Kylie is currently undergoing tests at a first class medical facility in Melbourne in preparation for an operation this week by one of Australia’s leading surgeons,” her management said in a statement on Thursday. “Thankfully, tests so far have confirmed the earlier diagnosis that the cancer appears to be confined to the breast.” In her own brief statement, Minogue assured fans that her boyfriend, French actor Olivier Martinez, and her family in Melbourne were taking care of her. “My heartfelt thanks to the incredible number of people who have sent messages of love and support over the last two days,” she said.

DONATED: Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille, have made a $600,000 gift to North Carolina’s Bennett College for Women, giving the historically black school a bit of good news after weeks of turmoil, reports the Associated Press. Over the past month, Bennett president Johnnetta Cole announced a 10 percent cut in the school’s work force, resigned as president and then changed her mind and decided to stay. Wednesday, as she stood in front of the school’s chapel to announce the Cosby gift, a smiling Cole told the crowd of about 150 students, staff and faculty, “Bennett is fine and I am fine with Bennett.” In all, Cole said, the Cosbys have given the college $800,000 this fiscal year, some of which she said will be used to start a “Cosby Scholars” program.

SATISFIED: The sixth and final Star Wars adventure, Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, opened at midnight Thursday morning, and by dawn some fans had already seen the George Lucas epic twice. Early reports of audience reaction, as well as movie reviews, have been positive. “This is a big event for all of us,” student Russ Rolle, 23, tells the Associated Press as he waited outside Edwards Big Newport, one of the largest theaters in Southern California. He’d been taking turns with friends since May 8 saving a spot in line to make sure they catch the first showing. His wristband identified him as No. 7 in line for one of the 1,200 seats to the sold-out 12:01 showing. John St. Clair, of Hopatcong, N.J., recalled going to the first Star Wars in 1977. He saw the film five weeks after it opened, then saw it about 10 times. And his reaction to the latest? “After the first three, you had a lot of questions of how everything came to pass, and this answered all those questions,” he said.

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