NEW YORK — Kate Middleton finds herself in the company of Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy on top of Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s mix of high and low looks — designer fashion one day, jeans the next — and a “whirlwind year of fashion successes” earned her a spot on the 72-year-old list, according to a statement from the magazine. She had appeared once before, in 2008.

Other royals who caught the eye of the designers, retailers, editors, socialites, photographers and entertainers who submit ballots include Princess Alexandra of Greece, Princess Charlene of Monaco, Italian Countess Matilde Borromeo and Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser of Qatar.

Obama, a four-year veteran of the list, was named for the first time as part of a best-dressed couple, although President Barack Obama had been named on his own to the list once in 2009. Bruni-Sarkozy is another repeat.

First-timers include Justin Timberlake, Colin Firth, Armie Hammer and Christine Lagarde, chief of the International Monetary Fund. Carey Mulligan and Tilda Swinton have each made it twice. News anchor Brian Williams was named to the hall of fame.

Lady Gaga, Janelle Monae, the King of Bhutan and Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp fill the “fashion originals” group.

Royalties suit disappoints Queen of Soul

DETROIT — Aretha Franklin said she’s “extremely disappointed” over a lawsuit filed by her longtime songwriting partner over song royalties from her latest CD and copyright infringement.

Norman West of Lansing filed the suit July 15 against the Queen of Soul’s publishing company in Detroit federal court.

The suit claims Springtime Publishing Inc. failed to sign a royalty agreement for “Put It Back Together Again.” The song is on Franklin’s “Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love” CD, released in May.

The suit also claims copyright infringement over “Watch My Back.”

CSI Danson: ‘They still won’t give me a gun’ 

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — It was just three weeks ago that Ted Danson was announced as the new star of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” and he’s already in production – and a bit dazed by the suddenness of it all.

“My jaw is kind of hanging down,” he said.

Danson plays the new supervisor for the Las Vegas CSI team. He steps into the position most recently filled by Laurence Fishburne, who had been on the long-running CBS drama since its 2008-09 season.

Danson first found TV stardom nearly 30 years ago playing Boston bar owner Sam Malone on “Cheers.” While he has had a variety of roles since then, he said he had never played a crime-buster before.

But even now, he said, “They still won’t give me a gun.”

“CSI” will begin its 12th season on Sept. 21.

Complaint against Palin dismissed  

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska officials have dismissed an ethics complaint filed against former Gov. Sarah Palin that alleged she violated state law because the TLC docu-series “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” took advantage of a film production incentives program she signed into law.

Malia Litman of Dallas filed the complaint in June with Alaska Attorney General John Burns. Litman also alleged Palin benefited from the production of the eight-part series in violation of a two-year moratorium that bars former officials from being compensated for assisting others in dealing with the state.