Pop Beat: *NSync, Billy Joel, Scott Weiland ...

Boy band to hit court; Piano Man jams with President Clinton.

*NSync will test their skills on the basketball court at Challenge for the Children II, a July 29 children's charity event at St. John's University in New York, according to Ethiopia Habtermariam, publicist for the event. NBA stars Kobe Bryant, Isiah Thomas and Chris Webber, who played last year, have been invited back to this year's fund-raiser, Habtermariam said. ...

Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland has recorded about 10 songs that may land on another solo album someday, but it won't be anytime soon. "I've sort of stockpiled them ... but I don't see [a solo record] as anything that's in the near future because all my musical energy is focused on STP," the singer said recently. Weiland released his solo debut, 12 Bar Blues, in 1998, while STP were on hiatus. ...

President Bill Clinton played saxophone onstage with singers Billy Joel and Brian McKnight at a "Save the Music" event Friday (June 16) at Joseph Lanzetta School in East Harlem, N.Y., according to the White House. "I might not have been president if it hadn't been for school music," Clinton said afterward. ...

Pop-rockers Fastball will release "You're an Ocean" as the first single from their upcoming third album, The Harsh Light of Day (Sept. 19), according to their Hollywood Records publicist. The track listing for the album, which follows their 1998 breakthrough, All the Pain Money Can Buy, is: "This Is Not My Life," "You're an Ocean," "Goodbye," "Love Is Expensive and Free," "Vampires," "Wind Me Up," "Morning Star," "Time," "Dark Street," "Funny How It Fades Away," "Don't Give Up On Me" and "Whatever Gets You On." ...

Paying heed to urban legend, Capitol Records and the Turner Classic Movies cable TV channel will simulcast psychedelic-rock veterans Pink Floyd's 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon with an airing of the classic film "The Wizard of Oz." Rumors that the album was recorded to synchronize with the film — charges that members of Pink Floyd have repeatedly denied — have circulated widely, fueled by several apparently coincidental moments when the music and lyrics on the record eerily reflect the scene onscreen. The simulcast, set for 11 p.m. EDT July 3, will use an SAP audio channel, normally used for descriptive video programming for the visually impaired, to broadcast Dark Side of the Moon. Viewers without SAP can press the CD play button at the MGM lion's third roar. ...

Embattled MP3 file-sharing software company Napster has enlisted the legal help of noted attorney David Boies, who has argued the federal government's prosecution of software giant Microsoft. In a statement released Friday (June 16), Boies said the Recording Industry Association of America's copyright infringement case against Napster — as well as those brought by hard-rockers Metallica and veteran rapper Dr. Dre — "raises important questions of how the copyright laws are to be applied to this new medium." Boies also alluded to a general acceptance of small-scale home recordings, such as dubbed and mixtapes, as a possible precedent to explore in Napster's defense. ...

Singer/actress Grace Jones is planning to release her first studio album since 1993 later this year, according to a Wednesday (June 14) announcement from MCY.com, a German media company that will produce the album and distribute it both on- and offline. ...

Christian music singer Michael English, 38, gave himself up to the police on Friday (June 16), three days after his indictment on drug charges, according to the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department. The singer, who is free after posting a $2,500 bond, faces 12 counts of illegally obtaining the drug hydrocodone, a prescription sedative similar to codeine. ...

Janet Jackson and her production mainstays, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, plan to wrap up work on the pop star's follow-up to 1997's The Velvet Rope before the end of the year. The team has recorded four songs for the LP with hip-hop producer Rockwilder, including the ballad "Feels So Right" and "Who." "We kept joking that ['Who'] reminds us of an old Eddie Kendricks kind of record, like a 'Keep on Truckin" kind of record," Jimmy Jam said, referring to the late soul singer. ...

No Doubt, Lit and Black Eyed Peas will join the Vans Warped Tour at the July 11 stop in Minneapolis for a special performance at Hubert Humphrey Metrodome Lot. All three are veterans of the skater-punk trek, which is headlined this year by San Francisco Bay Area punks Green Day. Weezer also have been confirmed for the first eight dates of the tour, from the June 23 kickoff in Fresno, Calif., to July 1 in San Francisco. ... Hole drummer Samantha Maloney is rehearsing with Mötley Crüe while regular drummer Randy Castillo recovers from the stomach surgery he underwent June 10, according to Ashley Smith at Beyond Records. After assessing Castillo's condition Monday (June 19), the band will decide if Maloney will be needed for the band's June 24 tour opener with Anthrax and Megadeth. ...

Veteran rockers Cheap Trick will kick off a 29-date summer tour in Saratoga, Calif., on June 30, according to Wes Kidd, at the band's management office. ... The MTV Video Music Awards will return to New York City's Radio City Music Hall on Sept. 7, according to Elena Diaz, a publicist at MTV. Nominees and performers have not been announced for the live-broadcast show. (Sonicnet.com's parent company, Viacom, also owns MTV.) ... The Backstreet Boys, Kid Rock, Jewel, Alanis Morissette, Matchbox Twenty, Dave Matthews Band and P.J. Harvey are a few of the three dozen artists who have donated items to an online auction benefiting the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). Items ranging from Tori Amos' baby grand piano to Shania Twain's custom-made white crop top can be bid on until June 25 at Yahoo! Charity Auctions. ...

Bob Rolontz, a reporter, editor, producer and record executive who designated the platinum album to signify the sale of 1 million records — for the 1968 Cream album Wheels of Fire — died on Wednesday (June 14) at 79, of complications from Parkinson's disease. Rolontz, who produced Mickey and Sylvia's 1957 hit "Love Is Strange," was vice president of publicity and advertising at Atlantic Records in the late 1960s, where he worked with the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin and Yes. He also wrote and edited for Billboard magazine. ... New York hip-hop label 75 Ark, whose lineup includes Automator and Anti Pop Consortium, entered an agreement with MP3-trading software company Napster, according to an announcement Thursday (June 15) by the two companies. The agreement, Napster's first with a record label, includes plans for exclusive monthly downloads of unreleased songs. ... James Brown and Paul McCartney shared a microphone during a version of "Stand by Me" at the conclusion of the induction ceremony for the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York on Thursday (June 15). They were joined onstage by James Taylor, Brian Wilson, Hanson, Ben E. King and other inductees and guests. ... "Thong Song" singer Sisqó makes his television-commercial debut this week in an ad for Pepsi in which he's singing at a party aboard a spaceship. ...

Enrique Iglesias' "Be With You," the latest single from the double-platinum Enrique, has hit #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and the magazine's singles sales charts. ... More than 500 million pirated CDs are sold annually, and 25 million pirated files are available online, according to a report released Wednesday (June 14) by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. ... A 37-year-old woman died of cardiac arrest Tuesday (June 13), following the appearance of a Britney Spears look-alike at a radio station in Endwell, N.Y., the Associated Press reported. WMRV-FM had staged a fake interview with Spears as a publicity stunt, and when the imposter left the station, a woman in the crowd of 100 people outside collapsed, dying the following day at a hospital. ... The real Britney Spears became a major shareholder in Sweet16.com, an enterprise that will include a monthly magazine, network radio show, TV show and Web site. The project will launch July 31 with a daylong webcast of Spears' concert at the Hollywood Bowl, according to an announcement from the company. Spears also will play a large role for Youtopia.com, a planned Web site for teens, according to the Wall Street Journal. ...

Monday's birthdays (June 19): Tommy DeVito (Four Seasons), 64; Shirley Goodman (Shirley and Company), 64; Al Wilson, 61; Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane (Spanky and Our Gang), 58; Ann Wilson (Heart), 50; Larry Dunn (Earth, Wind and Fire), 47; Mark DeBarge (DeBarge), 41; and Paula Abdul, 38.

— sonicnet.com staff report