SINCE THERE'S not much going on in the world of celebs behaving badly - they're probably all out shopping for gifts or campaigning for presidential candidates - Tattle is getting into the spirit of Christmas.
With Pat Boone.
The 73-year-old singer has recorded "The True Spirit of Christmas," his first holiday album in decades, and it's not just rehashes of "Winter Wonderland" and "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
"I think I have sung and recorded more Christmas songs than just about anybody," Pat says.
Boone got back in the studio when he heard demos of new yuletide songs written by 85-year-old Paul Alter.
"A musical genius," Boone said of Alter. "He's even inked a song about fruitcake."
That's a song you re-gift.
Will Smith building an 'Empire'
Overbrook's Will Smith is looking to re-team with his "Ali" director, Michael Mann, on "Empire." Nothing's definite, but he will likely play a contemporary media mogul. "Gladiator" scribe John Logan is lined up to write the script, assuming Hollywood producers ever decide they want the writers' strike to end.
"Richard III is the model that
we're working off of in that media world," Smith said during an L.A. publicity event for his latest film, "I Am Legend." "There's not a lot of details yet. It's just something we've been considering."
Smith credits Mann for putting his film career on a fast track that he thinks will reach new highs over the next few years.
"My cinematic education really reached critical mass in working with Michael Mann. Something happened, something clicked . . . and I feel like over the next 10 years I'll actually make the best movies of my career," he said. "I feel like an athlete and I just caught my prime. I'm in the best physical condition of my life. I'm mentally prepared and I love what I do, so I feel like this is truly the time for me to make my artistic sprint in my career."
Busy Chanel Ryan breaking out
Also on a career-high is Allentown native-model-actress Chanel Ryan, whom we profiled awhile back.
Chanel has been touring the world over the past year for a variety of modeling gigs, but she has also shot a movie ("Hobgoblins 2" should be available on DVD any second), two episodes of "Alien Files" (coming to cable next year) and is heading to Costa Rica in January to work on a TV pilot for comedy show she created and to host a Carnivale event, allegedly with Snoop Dogg, Chingy, 50 Cent and Bow Wow. Soon you'll be seeing her on Bud-Lite posters and she's also working on two books on various aspects of modeling.
Chanel has been so busy, she was going to cancel the 2008 version of her popular swimsuit calendar, then decided to fund the whole project herself at the last minute. Too late for conventional distribution, this year's calendar is available only through chanelryan.com (or visit myspace.com/chanelryan). Chanel promises it will be ready for Christmas delivery.
* One of Liza Minnelli's crew mem-
bers was detained by police in Stockholm late Saturday on suspicion of beating up a photographer who was filming the singer's performance, police said.
Minnelli was performing at "A Classic Christmas Night" alongside a string of Swedish artists.
* Albany, Ga., unveiled a revolving,
lighted bronze statue of Ray Charles on Friday in the middle of a new downtown plaza that bears the R&B legend's name.
Family members attended the musical ceremony honoring the city's most famous native son, born there in 1930.
"I can't tell you how overwhelming it is for me to experience the love that you have for my father," Sheila Raye Charles told the crowd of hundreds gathered at the $2 million plaza.
* Sir Elton John has received a spe-
cially made bird-feather cloak for his many visits to New Zealand's Maori communities.
"It's the Maori equivalent to an Academy Award" and means Elton is an honored member of the Ngati Te Whiti sub-tribe, group chairman Peter Love said Friday in a statement.
John was given the Korowai cloak at a concert Thursday night before 15,000 people in the regional city of New Plymouth, the traditional home of the Ngati Te Whiti.
The traditional cloak has bird feathers woven into a fine flax mat and is held across the shoulders with a drawstring. Not only beautiful, it also gives Sir Elton '70s flashbacks.
* Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough wed his longtime girlfriend Saturday in his hometown of Orlando, Fla., the band's attorney said.
Fellow Backstreet Boys were in attendance as Dorough married Leigh Boniello at St. James Cathedral in a traditional Catholic ceremony. People and OK! mag Web sites reported it first.
On his honeymoon, Howie is rumored to have serenaded Leigh with "I Want It That Way." *
Daily News wire services and Laura Randall contributed to this report.
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