R&B Beat: Mary J. Blige, Woody, Rev. James Cleveland ...

Singer's superhero alter ego spins off into Internet series; ex–Dru Hill member signs for gospel project.

After teaming with comic book legend Stan Lee to create a cartoon that opens her set on her current tour, Mary J. Blige has announced plans to spin off the animated short into an Internet-based series, according to MTV News Online. In the clip, a highly stylized Blige battles criminals and miscreants around an inner-city neighborhood and demonstrates several superpowers, including the ability to fly. ...

Ex–Dru Hill member Woody, who left the group in 1998, his signed with GospoCentric Records for a gospel project, a GospoCentric representative said. The label would not confirm what guest artists are slated to appear on the album. ...

The Rev. James Cleveland's GMWA Mass Choir are scheduled to record their third album for Atlanta's MCG Records in mid-August, an MCG spokesperson said. This will be the choir's third release on MCG. As with last year's recording, the label will release a video and an album of the sessions. ...

Michael Jackson's representatives called the lawsuit filed against the pop superstar by David Orgell, a Beverly Hills, Calif., jewelry-store owner, "meritless." In a statement, Jackson's publicity firm said the store repeatedly had been told Jackson was making up his mind whether to buy the diamond watch he had been given and that the watch was returned "months ago." ...

D'Angelo will donate part of the proceeds of his Aug. 4 performance with Lucy Pearl at Los Angeles' Greek Theater to the Magic Johnson Foundation, according to D'Angelo's publicist. The funds will benefit Johnson's "A Midsummer Night's Magic" event, which is raising money to help send inner-city students to college. ...

Donna Summer will sing "The Power of One," the first single from the soundtrack for "Pokémon: The Movie 2000," due Tuesday (July 18), according to Atlantic Records. ...

R&B newcomer Pink's latest video, "Most Girls," was chosen by viewers of The Box Music Network's weeklong "Final Cut" promotion. The narrative-based clip, which makes its national debut this week, beat out a version showcasing mainly Pink's dancing, a Box representative said. (Sonicnet.com and The Box are both divisions of MTV Interactive.) ...

The O'Jays, Shirley Bassey, Blondie, Roy Orbison and Billy Ocean are among the artists with catalog songs appearing on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire: The Album. The soundtrack to the hit game show will be released Aug. 1, according to Buena Vista Records. ...

A U.S. District Court has given the green light to a lawsuit by five black-owned concert promoters against some of the nation's most prominent white-owned promoters and agents, alleging that concert bookings in the United States are racially tainted. Thirty-four companies — including SFX Entertainment, the William Morris Agency and CAA — attempted to quash the suit, which alleges they have a monopoly over major concert venues that amounts to a civil rights violation. Judge Robert Patterson wrote in his ruling, "That the booking agency defendants have not allowed plaintiffs to bid to promote concerts by any white performers or major black performers gives rise to a plausible inference of racially discriminatory intent." ...

The Temptations and the Jackson 5 are among this year's inductees into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and Museum. They'll be inducted into the hall Oct. 20 in a ceremony in Sharon, Pa., with 22 other acts, including the Four Tops, Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Coasters and the Spinners. ...

Destiny's Child have recorded the theme song for the upcoming "Charlie's Angels" movie, according to their manager, Matthew Knowles. "Independent Woman, Pt. 1" will be released as a single in September, and it will appear along with "Independent Woman, Pt. 2" on the vocal group's next album, tentatively set for a February release. ...

Soul artists D'Angelo, Mary J. Blige, Sisqó, Destiny's Child and Jagged Edge will vie for the R&B Artist of the Year honor at the Source Hip-Hop Music Awards 2000. The ceremony will be held Aug. 22 in Pasadena, Calif. ...

Friday's birthday (July 14): Tameka Cottle (Xscape), 25.

— sonicnet.com staff report