Since her alluring US television debut on Saturday Night Live in February, British pop star du jour Lily Allen has shown a mastery of time-honored Brit-rock traditions: catching ears and stirring up trouble. Allen’s infectious debut album Alright, Still and current single Smile are red-hot in the States (or at least in our humble circles) after topping the British charts in 2006. Meanwhile, in the showbiz realm of “all press is good press,” Allen continues to stoke the music and celebrity gossips, offering her trademark cheeky putdowns to everyone from Kate Moss (her fashion-line rival) to Britain’s NME magazine (reportedly because they nixed a planned cover photo). But Allen’s season of sass probably culminated last week with a demonstration of kung fu on London paparazzi. Photos from that outing include a shot of Lily’s shoe flying toward the camera, as seen at thesun.co.uk.
A talented 21-year-old artist thrust into the grinder of fame is hardly new. Nor is it when a celebrity, annoyed at the glare of popping flashbulbs, acts out at the operators of said flashbulbs. But it is remarkable to see these two things combust together—just as a star of Allen’s brilliance begins to truly take off. You have to wonder, is that star going to flame out on us?