Mariah Carey, Nikki Blonsky, and Malia and Sasha Obama were in the news this week

By EW Staff
Updated November 28, 2008 at 05:00 AM EST

Songwriter-producer and R&B chart-topper Ne-Yo will soon head into the studio with Marilyn Manson. How did this — oh, let’s just say it — completely and utterly bizarre coupling come about? ”In a few interviews, I talked about taking pride in my diversity — being able to work with a Mary J. Blige, then a Michael Bolton, and then a Marilyn Manson,” Ne-Yo told EW on the red carpet at the American Music Awards. ”[Manson’s] people were like, ‘Put your money where your mouth is,’ so now we’re in the process of getting those sessions together.”… Elsewhere on the collaboration front, Mariah Carey says having husband Nick Cannon direct the video for her latest, ”I Stay in Love,” made the shoot her easiest ever. ”I was actually under budget and on time, which are two rarities for me,” Carey said backstage at the AMAs. ”We saw it through from conception to completion, but something about the way Nick organized the video just worked much better.”… All the single ladies were also bonding at the AMAs. Following her moving duet with Pink on the song ”Angel,” Sarah McLachlan noted that the two are ”both freshly single!” Perhaps there’s a future studio pairing in store? ”If the song is right, I’m game,” said McLachlan. ”I don’t know why more people don’t ask me, because I’m a total whore in that way — I’ll sing with anybody as long as it feels good.”… Paris Hilton may not be feeling good since breaking up with rocker Benji Madden, but that’s fine: She has music on her mind. The celebutante says she’s finished her second album, featuring production by Mike Green (Paramore, the Matches), and is deciding what to do next now that she’s no longer at Warner Bros. Records. ”I wrote all the songs,” Hilton beamed. ”It’s very dance, like Kylie Minogue.” — Shirley Halperin

Pouf up your pompadours and put on your dancing shoes: Last year’s musical hit Hairspray is one bop closer toward a sequel. ”We just got an outline and some ideas from John Waters, and now we’re going out to writers,” director Adam Shankman tells EW. The story will follow Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) and her pals as they navigate the ”next era of music,” the late ’60s. ”That period was superpolitical,” Shankman adds. ”It was a time of serious change.” No kidding: According to the filmmaker, heartthrob Link (Zac Efron) will channel his inner Austin Powers and become steeped in the British Invasion. ”We’re trying to track, in a comedic way, the historical elements.” — Lindsay Soll

Forget all the mystery surrounding Barack Obama’s potential Cabinet picks. Are daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, going to make a cameo on Hannah Montana or what? ”The word is they’re going to come on the show and do some stuff,” Hannah star Mitchell Musso, who plays Oliver, tells EW exclusively. ”But I don’t really want to spoil anything.” (A Disney Channel spokeswoman maintains that there’s still no word on whether the girls will accept Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus’ offer made earlier this month on Access Hollywood.)…Party of Five‘s Neve Campbell is in talks to join the cast of The Philanthropist, NBC’s midseason drama that stars James Purefoy (Rome) as a renegade bazillionaire who goes all Robin Hood with his money. For her first regular starring television role in almost a decade, Campbell will need her passport: The series, to be executive-produced by David Eick (Battlestar Galactica), will shoot on location in London. — Lynette Rice with additional reporting by Shirley Halperin