July 30, 2008 — -- She's been called a girlfriend, a gal pal, a sober buddy and a scene-maker.
But who exactly is Samantha Ronson?
Ronson, 30, has been linked to Lindsay Lohan, 22, for more than a year. First, she appeared to be nothing more than the troubled starlet's new BFF, an antidote to the hard-partying socialites Lohan tried to get away from after her 2007 DUI arrests and rehab stint.
Then came the snapshots of Lohan and Ronson holding hands. Then the reports that Lohan created a Facebook profile under the name "Lindsay Ronson." Then the photographs of the couple seemingly kissing on P. Diddy's yacht in the South of France.
The latest news: Earlier this month, the girlfriend of Ronson's older brother, Mark, all but outed the couple to UK's Mirror.
"Sam is an amazing girl. The four of us had a brilliant time -- a real laugh," Daisy Lowe told the paper. "Lindsay is really down to earth. Her and Sam make a lovely couple -- they seem really happy. Their relationship is totally genuine. And they're just so sweet together. Mark totally approves."
While the buzz may distract from Lohan's mission to make it big on the big screen, it couldn't be better for Ronson. Reports and rumors about their supposed relationship have helped raise Ronson's status from quirky hipster to A-list DJ.
To be sure, Ronson was always cool: Born in London, she was raised by her socialite mother Ann Dexter-Jones, her one-time band manager father Laurence Ronson, and after they divorced, her stepfather, Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones.
Her siblings rule the music and fashion worlds. Her 32-year-old brother, Mark, is a DJ-turned-Grammy-award-winning producer widely credited with making Amy Winehouse a household name (he mixed her debut album, "Back to Black"). Ronson's twin sister, Charlotte, heads up her own clothing line known for its casual, chic, trend-setting styles.
Ronson started down the path of her brother and step-dad, exploring a career in music. Her Web site boasts that she spent her childhood "going on tour with Foreigner for family vacations and cutting class at her stepfather's studio," but that she didn't discover her singing, spinning and guitar-playing skills until the age of 20.
Her first major gig was DJ-ing live for MTV's New Year's Eve 2001 show. In 2003, she became the first rock act to be signed to rapper Jay-Z's label, Roc-A-Fella Records.
She released a handful of songs with Roc-A-Fella (one of which was, interestingly, featured in Lohan's 2004 movie "Mean Girls") but parted ways with the label in 2008 to focus on DJ-ing.
But her current passion seems to be partying. Ronson spins records and sells out clubs, though not necessarily because of her talents on the turntables.
"She's not a particularly good DJ. When you see her DJ, she really looks asleep at the wheel. She'll smoke cigarettes and just click through the songs on her laptop," said Ian Drew, Us magazine's editor at large. "She's like the friend with a bunch of records that you had come over when you had house parties in your parents' basement. The more drunk or high you get, the better she sounds."
Her draw? She's friends with the cool kids -- like Lohan, Nicole Richie and Richie's ex-boyfriend, DJ AM. She can create a crowd, cachet and free press at the drop of her signature fedora hat.
"When you book Samantha Ronson for a party, you're not booking her because she's a great DJ," Drew said. "You're booking her because you know she's going to draw a crowd and get your club in the press. That's how she can charge the highest fees. They know if they book Samantha, Lindsay's going to come."
Indeed, last week, Lohan left the Hollywood Hills and the New York nightlife scene for quaint-by-comparison New England, where Ronson had back-to-back gigs at The Estate in Boston and Shrine at the MGM Grand at Connecticut's Foxwoods resort. Randy Greenstein, a partner in the mega-clubs, paid Ronson $20,000 for the two-night booking. He said it was worth every penny.
"The response was off the charts. We got a ton of press," Greenstein said. "We got very lucky that Lindsay came with her. We booked her two months ago, right before the news broke that they were sort of together, and even then, there were nine other offers for her for the same date."
Ronson's crowd-drawing power is her street cred. DJs and club owners respect her for that, if not for her spinning skills.
"Samantha, she wouldn't be considered a DJ's DJ. She's not very technical," said DJ Chachi, who spins at Shrine every Friday and has regular gigs at New York's Tenjune and Las Vegas' Borgata. "But in terms of throwing a party, she definitely does a good job of that. She plays the right music to make people have a good time. Celebrities are comfortable with her and they know who she is, so that's a plus."
So, the girl knows how to throw a party. In terms of her relationship with Lohan, Drew said not to expect the DJ or the actress to officially declare their love for one another anytime soon.
"In that hipster world that they're in, they don't need to define themselves," he said. "It would be sort of passé and uncool of them to come out and say, 'I'm gay' and wear a pride T-shirt."
But whatever their relationship might be, it appears Ronson and Lohan are each other's No. 1 priorities right now. And it seems they intend to keep things that way.
"We offered them $50,000 to show up for our New Year's Eve party, but they said no," Greenstein said. "They said they would not be working on New Year's Eve."