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Diddy flies commercial

Fuel prices have grounded an unexpected frequent-flyer: Diddy.

Sean “Diddy” Combs complained about the “too high” price of gas and pleaded for free oil from his “Saudi Arabia brothers and sisters” in a YouTube video posted last week. The hip-hop mogul said he is now flying on commercial airlines instead of in private jets, which Combs said had previously cost him $200,000 and up for a round trip between New York and Los Angeles.

“I'm actually flying commercial,” Diddy said before walking onto an airplane to a first-class seat and flashing his boarding pass. “That's how high gas prices are. I'm at the gate right now. This is really happening, proof gas prices are too high. Tell whoever the next president is we need to bring gas prices down.”

Associated Press

O'Dell hosts MDA Telethon

Myrtle Beach native Nancy O'Dell, the host of “Access Hollywood,” will host the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon from Las Vegas from 9 p.m. today to 6:30 p.m. Monday. The show will feature Celine Dion, Billy Bob Thornton and Ludacris. Philadelphia Inquirer

Walhberg dishes on NKOTB

After igniting a fan frenzy with the announcement of their long-awaited reunion this spring, the New Kids on the Block are excited to finally have new music to talk about.

“The Block,” out Tuesday, is full of sex appeal, wistfulness and plenty of designer beats as the group blends its youthful proclivity for harmony-laden odes to the ladies with considerably more mature songs that move from the beach to the dance floor to the bedroom.

We recently caught up with Donnie Wahlberg by phone from Los Angeles, where he was busy prepping for the band's upcoming tour. Although harried, he was elated to talk music – he co-wrote nine of the album's 13 tracks – and humbled by the fan reaction.

On being the leader of the band: “I don't want to say I'm the guy. As much work as I put into the album, it all could be for naught if it's not all five of us. I'm smart enough to know that.”

On teaming up with R&B star Ne-Yo for the new radio hit “Single”: “There was just a certain song we all felt was missing from the album. It was something that could play in the clubs but was not braggadocio. It was something that was elegant and mature and yet very contemporary and had a little street swagger to it. … I didn't know that Ne-Yo would be willing to share it with us, but he was really excited to do it.” Boston Globe

Simpson: Romo answer to prayer

“The choices we make in life bring upon a lot of sadness, and a lot of hurt, and a lot of pain.”

So says Jessica Simpson, whose sagacity knows no bounds now that she has acquired the kind of wisdom that comes with being dumped by rock star John Mayer.

Yet Simpson, who shares of herself with People magazine, knows wisdom doesn't come just with pain. Like the Dalai Lama, she knows we all need love — which the pop star has found with post-Mayer boyfriend Tony Romo, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback.

“That moment you finally feel as if you've persevered, you're so grateful for the color it added to your character. … I don't regret one single day,” says Simpson.

“He's a prayer that has been answered,” she says of Romo. “I just told him today, ‘You're the love of my life.'” Philadelphia Inquirer

Birthdays

Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, 73. Singer Van Morrison, 63. Actor Richard Gere, 59. Singer-composer Deborah Gibson, 38. Actor Chris Tucker, 36.

This day in history Aug. 31

1886: An earthquake rocked Charleston, killing 60 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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