Usher has described his CD Confessions as some of his most personal work yet. Why? "Well, one of the topics that I chose, not just, you know, specifically talking about my situation [breakup with girlfriend Chili of TLC], but I feel like these are things that people can identify with. Very serious issues dealing with infidelity and dealing with the truth that we all have to accept ourselves, you know, letting go of great relationships, walking away."
What does Usher think about his success? "It's a blessing. It is what I've always wanted. What I prayed for as a young kid. What I really wanted my mother to help me create. And, you know, now that it's happened, I'm just thankful and I'm looking for that next step that God chooses to take me in. It may be music, it may be acting, it may be producing."
Nicole was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease in March 2004 and underwent chemotherapy and radiation. When she started losing her hair, she was afraid of what the other kids would say and think about her. But she was overwhelmed by their response.
"My school was great. There's not enough words to describe how touched I am by just the care that they've given me," she wrote. Her best friend created lavender ribbons that everyone could wear to show support and former track teammates made their motto: "We run for Nicole." After being diagnosed, her friends and teachers encouraged her to continue running for student body president...and she was elected!
"I want to thank everyone with something really special. I would love to surprise my school with a concert by Avril Lavigne. Everyone here loves her music." Nicole explains, "She's a 19-year-old who talks about real issues and, here I am, a 17-year-old who has a pretty real issue to talk about."
Nicole's wish is our command.
To make Nicole's dream happen, The Oprah Show tracked down one of the hottest singing stars around. At age 17, Avril Lavigne's first album sold 15 million copies and had a host of Grammy nominations, but when the busy rocker heard about Nicole's wish, she signed up for an elaborate surprise: a private concert for Nicole and her classmates in their high school gym.
Only Nicole's high school principal was in on the secret. He covered up windows and posted signs to keep everyone out of the gym. Meanwhile, Avril snuck in the back door of the school...and Nicole and 780 classmates got the surprise of their lives.
Avril thanked all of Nicole's friends by singing "Complicated," "My Happy Ending" and "Skater Boy."
The fun didn't end with the surprise concert—Nicole and Avril both came to The Oprah Show! Avril also brought Nicole a personalized gift—a signed, acoustic guitar.
What was it like for Nicole to have her dream come true? "Oh, my gosh...I had no idea what was going on," Nicole says, "and when I walked up on that stage, I couldn't hear anything. And I saw Avril come out and I just started crying. I couldn't say anything. I was amazed."
"It was so cool for me to be able to do that, you know, to be able to use what I do, singing, to build up," Avril says. "That makes me happy."
Avril sheds some light on living out her own wildest dream.
Oprah: You always believed that you would be where you are today or some form of it?
Avril: Yeah. It's really funny. When I was younger, I would stand on my bed and I had two sliding door closet mirrors and would sing and pretend that there were, like, thousands of people and it was always just going through my mind, you know, like this is what I wanted. I wanted to be able to play my own shows... When I first did my tour, I couldn't believe it. I was just, like, 'I'm here?' You know? It happened really fast.
College freshman Elli Walker sent in this next wish: to lose her "nerdy" high school look and set herself apart from her identical twin sister. "I've looked like someone else my whole life and it's time for a change. ... My ultimate goal would be the hip, trendy, smart girl. Help me make fashion sense for college. I would like to hear, 'Wow, she looks cute!' for once."
The Oprah Show hatched a plan with Elli's identical twin sister, Allie, to surprise Elli on campus with news of a makeover.
It was off to L.A. to shop with The O.C. star and reigning red carpet fashionista Mischa Barton!
Elli and Allie jump into Mischa's limo to hit the streets of L.A. for some power shopping! Mischa's mission: to help the twins pull together their own unique looks that will set them apart.
After a full day of shopping, the girls head to Prive Salon in West Hollywood, where Mischa's makeover team, Rob Talty and Nick Barose, is ready to work their magic.
Because Elli says she feels like the nerdier version of her sister, "I think we can do something to make her look really sexy and, Nick, maybe bring out her features a little more." requests Mischa. For Allie, a deeper, richer color with a more classic cut.
Did Mischa achieve her mission?
Wow! Look at Elli and Allie now!Mischa:
Guys, I really think we did it. I think we found some amazing looks for both of you. You guys definitely look like sisters, but you won't be confused as twins anymore!Elli:
I mean, I feel sexy for the first time in my life—come and get it! ... I'm still living in a dream right now.Allie:
I absolutely love my brown hair. I don't think I'll be blonde again.Oprah:
Love it! Love the outfits. So cute.Get all the details on their great new looks!
Mischa's sharp eye for style has landed her on the top pages of magazines.
Oprah: What do you do with all your clothes? You have so many clothes and you're in something new and—I mean, listen, the paparazzi lives for you.
Mischa: Yeah, I know. It's kind of ridiculous. ... They start pointing out all kinds of things. Even if I go to the store, they sensationalize things. They make everything sound fascinating. I think I'm way more interesting in the press. Everybody thinks I live the most fascinating life. It's really not—they make stories up and you read the most insane things and it's kind of fun to see them talk about your clothes, too, because that's something they picked up on which I never thought that they would. But the show's [The O.C.] become a great platform for clothing and style icons and every character has their own style.
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