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Red Sox opener attracts a crowd

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davis_soxopenpre9_spts.jpg                           Caption: Keri Hilson, top, and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler.


The foe from New York, a dramatic first pitch by Pedro Martinez, and a warm breeze helped make for a stellar Opening Night at Fenway Park.

Among the recognizable faces in the crowd were Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, who was with his kids Taj and Chelsea and girlfriend Erin Brady. (The sinuous screamer was on hand to perform "God Bless America.") A bigger surprise was seeing Neil Diamond lounging in the EMC Club before entertaining fans with an eighth-inning version of his signature song "Sweet Caroline," and pioneering hip-hop producer Dr. Dre taking batting practice before the game. (Dre, who was at the TD Garden hours earlier to see LeBron James get beaten by the Celtics, was at the ballpark with music industry exec Jimmy Iovine to hawk his new Red Sox Beats headphones. Retail price: $400.)

Georgia-bred singer Keri Hilson, best known for her pop tune "Knock You Down," was enlisted to sing the national anthem, and she managed to make it through unscathed. (Hilson forgot the words at last week's Hawks-Lakers game in Atlanta.) Tweeting to her fans before the game, Hilson said she'd been on the same flight to Boston as Tyler, and the 61-year-old singer "looks great!"

The night was good practice for Tyler, who'll be gigging at Fenway in August with Aerosmith and the J. Geils Band (and maybe the Stompers.) Also enjoying an evening of baseball were actor Mike O'Malley of "Parenthood" and "Glee," "Hot Tub Time Machine" actor Rob Corddry, "Arrested Development" dude David Cross, Hot Stove, Cool Music man Michael Creamer, rocker Bill Janovitz, Nada Surf manager Ben Weber, Celts owner Wyc Grousbeck, coach Doc Rivers, Mayor Tom Menino, the aforementioned King James with teammate Mo Williams, nightclub owner Ed Kane, Reebok's Uli Becker and Paul Foster, Longwood Events exec Jim Apteker, Union Oyster House owner Joe Milano, restaurateur Todd English, nightlife nabob Patrick Lyons, InterContinental Real Estate CEO Peter Palandjian, Republican consultants Peter Flaherty and Eric Fehrnstrom, and young Joshua Sacco, who became an Internet sensation after his performance of Herb Brooks's "Miracle" peech found its way onto YouTube. Sacco, who's from Tennessee, performed an adapted version of the speech for Sox fans before last night's game.

We spied Sox owner John Henry chatting before the game with recently retired Nomar Garciaparra. Henry was all smiles, and why wouldn't he be? The team won and, we're told, his wife, Linda Pizzuti Henry, is expecting the couple's first child this fall. (The owner also has a daughter from a previous marriage.) The big no-show of the night was Yankee fan Jay-Z, who was expected at the Celtics and Sox games but never made an appearance. Then again, Jay had a good reason to stay away - yesterday was his wedding anniversary with Beyoncé. The power couple were still in an Empire State of mind Saturday night as they checked out Beyoncé's pal Michelle Williams perform in "Chicago" on Broadway.

Red Sox opener.jpg


About this blog

This blog features the latest local and national celebrity news from The Boston Globe's Names column team. Check back for the latest updates.
Mark Shanahan joined The Boston Globe in 2003, having worked previously at the Portland Press Herald, where he covered City Hall, and the Lewiston Sun-Journal, where he was the education reporter. A Northampton native and graduate of Bates College, Shanahan enjoys the usual - books, music, movies, etc. - as well as the unusual.
shanahan@globe.com
Follow on Twitter: @GlobeNames, @MarkAShanahan
Meredith Goldstein has worked for the Globe since 2003, covering everything from nightlife to New Kids. She keeps her eyes peeled for celebrity juice, and also writes Love Letters, a Boston.com blog for hopeful (and hopeless) romantics. Meredith chats about love problems every Wednesday at 1 p.m. If you see Justin Timberlake or someone like him at a local eatery, please e-mail her immediately. mgoldstein@globe.com
Follow on Twitter: @GlobeNames, @MeredithGoldste

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