Music mogul Jay-Z's war with a French champagne giant continues to bubble.
A year and a half after Jay-Z called for a boycott of Cristal, the luxury brand produced by maker Louis Roederer, "I guarantee they got what they wanted," he said.
The rap megastar told Vegas Confidential on Sunday that Cristal's business in the rap and hip-hop community "is definitely not where it was. Drastically. They really don't want our business."
Cristal, which has a cult following in the celebrity world, sells for $700 to $1,000 at many clubs in Las Vegas.
Stung by what he considered racism, Jay-Z has replaced Cristal in his three upscale 40/40 Clubs with Armand de Brignac's Ace of Spades, Dom Pérignon and Krug.
Jay-Z, who was in town to watch the Super Bowl at 40/40 Las Vegas with his girlfriend Beyoncé, called for the boycott in June 2006 after Roederer's new managing director, Frédéric Rouzaud, told a British magazine, The Economist, that Cristal's popularity in the hip-hop community brought "unwelcome attention."
Rouzaud said the champagne producer viewed Cristal's association with rap "with curiosity and serenity."
When the newspaper asked whether he thought the association would harm the brand, he replied, 'that's a good question, but what can we do? We can't forbid people from buying it. I'm sure Dom Pérignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business."
CHER'S BIG NEWS
Expect an announcement this week that Cher's deal with Caesars Palace will premiere on May 6, according to a Web site report. A news conference is likely on Thursday, according to a report that surfaced Sunday on zomgblog.blogspot.com. Cher will share the Colosseum stage with Bette Midler, whose show premieres Feb. 20, with dress rehearsals on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18.
New York Yankees star Derek Jeter, watching the Super Bowl at the Playboy Club (Palms) with friends. He turned up at LAX nightclub (Luxor) and The Bank (Bellagio) on Saturday. Also there: country star George Strait. ... At Pure (Caesars Palace) on Saturday: "Superman" Brandon Routh, and big leaguers Brad Penny and Ryan Klesko. Also there: new interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Nogueira, Dan Henderson and others. ... Former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, joining Sammy Hagar onstage Saturday at The Pearl (Palms) for a three-song encore with guitarist Joe Satriani and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. While walking off stage, Hagar stopped to autograph an actual 55 mph road sign that was carried in by a fan of Hagar's hit "I Can't Drive 55." In the crowd: Alizma, a group of three blonde triplets who play electric violins. ... Oscar winner Philip SeymourHoffman, declining a photo with Bunnies at the Playboy Club (Palms) out of respect to his girlfriend. ... Earlier Hoffman dined at T-Bones chophouse at Red Rock Resort, where he was staying. ... UFC legend Randy Couture at Jet (Mirage) on Saturday. ... Jay-Z and poker star Phil Ivey, celebrating Ivey's 32nd birthday with champagne at the 40/40 Club on Friday. Ivey ordered a massive amount of Ace of Spades champagne and had it distributed it to the patrons, without taking credit for it.
THE PUNCH LINE
"'Lost' is back on TV. But I will not watch it. If I want an hour of incomprehensible gibberish, I will watch Paula Abdul." -- Craig Ferguson