September 26, 2005 06:00 AM

Backstage before Marc Anthony’s recent show at Cipriani Wall Street, he got a special request from the night’s biggest VIP, wife Jennifer Lopez: She asked him to open with her favorite song, “You Sang to Me,” a source tells us. The doting husband agreed, plucked a flower out of an arrangement and put it behind her ear, kissed her and said, “I love you.”

Then, Lopez – wearing a body-hugging chiffon Rochas gown with her hair smoothed into a bun – took to the stage at the New York City hot spot to introduce her husband, saying he’s “a very talented man who is as accomplished and diverse in his music as anybody on this earth.” During his performance, Anthony – sporting a black velvet suit with a white button-down shirt – joked to the audience that he’s “better known as Mr. Lopez.” Throughout the set, J.Lo was on her feet clapping, snapping and even throwing some jazz hands as he sang hits including “I Need to Know.”

Afterward, the nuzzling couple left hand-in-hand as they exited to a waiting car.

Sweet Success
Don’t call it a comeback. “I’ve never gone away,” says Mariah Carey about the success of her smash-hit double-platinum album The Emancipation of Mimi. And the singer credits her tough times (like her 2001 breakdown) with helping her to get back to the top of the charts. “You have to be put through the wringer in order to be able to succeed sometimes. You have to go through something in order to get back in touch with your creative roots as a songwriter, as an artist, in every way.”

And what about reports that the songstress and Eddie Murphy became an item at the MTV Video Music Awards in August? “We were hanging out. I’m a huge Eddie Murphy fan,” she told us at the re-launch party for the Versace store on London’s Sloane Street, where she was in true diva form in a slinky white dress by the designer with gold straps and diamanté-festooned stilettos. “Maybe they could just tell that, and that’s why they made a big drama. But there is nothing going on. That’s the last time I saw him.”

Caught in the Act
Ashley Olsen, smoking cigarettes with a group of friends at New York City club Bungalow 8.

Colin Farrell, partying at Miami club Pawn Shop. The Miami Vice actor spent time in the trailer park-themed VIP section. After chatting with a group of guys and girls, he left the club alone. “He probably left to go skinny dipping at the Mandarin,” joked one clubgoer.

Tara Reid, dancing up a storm at New York City club Pink Elephant. The actress and Taradise host, who wore a revealing ensemble, was there for DJ VanJee’s birthday celebration. Her wild antics had an army of admirers chanting her on.

• By BROOKE STACHYRA, MONIQUE JESSEN, JOCELYN JEFFERY, JON WARECH and JOANNE FOWLER

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