Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ashlee Simpson, Pete Wentz Wed in California

Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz are now reportedly man and wife.

The pop-star little sis of Jessica Simpson and the "Fall Out Boy" bassist wed Saturday in a private ceremony at the Encino, Calif., home of Ashlee's parents, according to People magazine.

The service had an "Alice in Wonderland" theme. Joe Simpson performed a non-denominational ceremony for his 23-year-old daughter and her 28-year-old groom, the magazine reported.

Ashlee's sister, Jessica, attended the event with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, though tabloids have claimed the pair split.

Ashlee's mother, Tina Simpson, was also among the 150 people who watched the pair get married.

The "Pieces of Me" singer donned an ivory lace wedding gown by Monique Lhuillier accessorized with a diamond necklace and earrings by Neil Lane, People magazine reported.

Pete's English bulldog, Hemingway, was the ring-bearer, and the reception featured a wedding cake by Sam Godfrey of Perfect Endings featuring a top hat, tea pot, stop watch and a pot of flowers on top, the magazine reported.

The paparazzi staked out the wedding location and began gathering before 3 p.m. White shuttle vans with deeply tinted windows were streaming through the gates, as were several delivery vehicles.

Drivers of a few expensive cars who arrived at the guard tower were told to park elsewhere and take a shuttle. One was a well-dressed woman who arrived in an Audi packed with red boxes.

The wedding followed an intimate rehearsal dinner Friday.

On Thursday, the Simpson women threw a bachelorette bash for the youngest member of their clan at Tina and Joe's home, according to E! News. Meanwhile, Pete skipped a raucous bachelor party to dine with his pals and his now-father-in-law at hot spot Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills.

Ashlee and Pete, who began dating in fall 2006, announced their engagement April 9. Tabloid reports, blog rumors and "baby bump" photos have fueled speculation that Ashlee is pregnant, but the couple has long denied its expecting a child.

The wedding may help generate more buzz for Ashlee's new album "Bittersweet World," which she released last month. The record peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 in its first week and the tracks have logged more than 19 million plays on her MySpace page.

German band Tokio Hotel a hit in two languages

Growing in popularity, German rock band Tokio Hotel is new to North American fans but all the rage back home.

So when the foursome decided to break into the difficult North American market with its English debut album Scream, the group translated and then performed all of its German songs in English, something that took some time but was worth the work.

"The biggest challenge was to sing for the first time in English because as you can tell my English is not so good," singer Bill Kaulitz says inside a Toronto restaurant. "This is really the first trip that we've spoken English in interviews because we just know some words."

Tokio Hotel, playing the Sound Academy tonight, says translating each song "word by word" was trying.

"I'm a perfectionist, I really wanted to sound natural like I was a native speaker," he says. "That was really, really hard but I hope the fans like it."

"And then they (the words) have to rhyme and still have the same meaning," twin brother and guitarist Tom Kaulitz adds. "We wanted everyone to have a chance to understand what we are saying which was really important."

The band, rounded out by drummer Gustav Schafer and bassist Georg Listing, has made a lot of inroads in a short period of time with singles such as Monsoon and Don't Jump, which deals with suicide, a topic mentioned in some of the fan letters the band received from teens.

But both brothers say the single Ready Set Go! describes how the band members, who got together in 2001, found success at the mere age of 15.

"It was our first single in Germany and it was during our vacation in the summer holidays," Bill says. "It went directly to Number One and after that our whole life changed completely. It was a new life and that was our dream, our dream come true."

The resulting success caused a frenzy that some concert promoters in Germany weren't quite prepared for.

"We were playing a village party, a small festival and there were only 100 or 200 people expected," Tom Kaulitz says. "It was booked six months in advance and we released our first single Monsoon in Germany and we came to that festival."

"There were so many fans and thousands of people, the security was absolutely not ready for that," Bill says. "It was then we knew we had fans. Before it was always five or 10 people in a club just drinking beer and not looking at us."

The toughest thing a new band often has to do is learn how to say no to growing demands. A grueling touring schedule earlier this year left Bill Kaulitz unable to speak for 10 days following surgery to remove a cyst from a vocal chord.

"I was really afraid," he says. "We only played 10 concerts and had to cancel 16 (including a Toronto gig). I was in my hotel room and I looked (at the clock) and I was thinking at this time normally I'm on stage so it was really, really hard."

However, like so many identical twins, Bill had Tom nearby to act as his almost telepathic speaker.

"It's a very cool connection and a very special connection," Bill says of being a twin. "I think nobody else has a connection like that. I had a book and wrote things down (after surgery) but there were some things where I just looked at Tom."

"I always know what Bill is thinking in different situations because I think the same," Tom says without missing a beat. "I had to speak for him for 10 days, it wasn't a great time."

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