For The Record: Quick News On Ashanti, Kelly Clarkson And Justin Guarini, Linkin Park, Metallica, Jay-Z & More

Having wrapped up her Murder Inc. tour in Australia, Ashanti is now in Miami finishing up her next album, Chapter 2, which is due for release on July 1. The first single, "Rock With You (Aww Baby)" will come in late April. ... Meanwhile, she's slated to appear at this Sunday's WWE Wrestlemania XIX, singing a rendition of "America the Beautiful" to kick off the pay-per-view event. The addition comes as the WWE announced that Fabolous, who was to have performed, has dropped out. ...

"From Justin to Kelly," the upcoming musical staring "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini, has been pushed back from April 25 to June 13. Guarini's album will be released around the time of the movie, while Clarkson's self-titled debut is due April 15. ... Linkin Park fans can now buy limited-edition Linkin Park DC Shoes, but only if they first buy the band's new album, Meteora. To take advantage of the promotion, consumers insert the disc into their computer and access a hidden link that allows them to buy the shoes for $59.95. ...

Avril Lavigne recorded a cover of Bob Dylan's classic "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" for Peace Songs, a various-artists compilation to benefit War Child Canada, an extension of the War Child organization, which helps children affected by war. The album, also featuring contributions from Michelle Branch, Moby, and Our Lady Peace, as well as an exclusive track from Paul McCartney, is due April 15 in Canada. A U.S. release date is being planned for May. ...

Though Robert Trujillo came onboard too late to play on the new album, Metallica fans will have a chance to see the group's new bassist in action when St. Anger hits stores this summer. Director Wayne Isham, who has collaborated with the metal giants on several videos, will capture Metallica playing all 11 album tracks live in their rehearsal space for a DVD that will be packaged with the new CD. "Wayne and his crew captured the awesome vibe and [six of the] thunderous new tunes," reads a statement on the band's Web site. "The next five songs for the DVD will be shot soon." ... "Minerva," the first single from the Deftones' eponymous new album, due May 20, is expected to surface at radio beginning April 22. A video will be shot in the California desert on Tuesday. ...

The Roc was in the building! Jay-Z, Dame Dash, Freeway and Chris of the Young Guns held an autograph-signing session in New York's Bloomingdale's on Thursday to promote Rocawear's new spring line. Meanwhile, Roc-A-Fella family member Memphis Bleek just released the first single from his upcoming album, M.A.D.E., to radio. The track is called "Everything's a Go" and features the Jiggaman. ... Beyoncé Knowles, Busta Rhymes, Queen Latifah, Foxy Brown and Stevie Wonder make guest appearances on the new record from Luther Vandross, due June 17. Vandross will promote the self-produced album, titled Dance With My Father, with a four-night stint at the Westbury Music Fair in Long Island, New York. ... LL Cool J was honored as one of the Entertainers of the Year Thursday night in Washington, D.C. by the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB). Other honorees included Diana Ross and Muhammad Ali, who both received Lifetime Achievement Awards. ...

Neil Young has completed work on a new studio album that features Crazy Horse bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina. A publicist at Warner Bros. said the record will be out before the end of the year, but there's no scheduled release date. In addition, Young will tour with Crazy Horse this summer starting June 8 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Four dates have been scheduled, including the Bonnaroo Festival, which takes place June 13 to 15 in Manchester, Tennessee. ... Next week, Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde will perform the national anthem at an L.A. Kings hockey game with his band Black Label Society, who will drop their next album, The Blessed Hellride, on April 22. Zakk will make an appearance on the April 16th episode of the WB "Buffy" spin-off series "Angel," according to the bearded axeman's Web site. ...

The band that can't get no satisfaction is hoping they won't get the deadly mystery flu, either. The Rolling Stones have canceled two scheduled appearances in China, one in Shanghai on April 1 and another in Beijing on April 4, due to concern about the recent SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in Asia. "We are very sad and disappointed not to be able to do these concerts," Mick Jagger said in a statement. "We have been looking forward to the shows in China for so long and will reschedule them as soon as possible." ... Iced Earth guitarist Larry Tarnowski has quit the band to go back to school. Various undetermined players will guest for the solos on the band's new record Glorious Burden, which is tentatively scheduled for release this fall. ...

03.27.03

Avril Lavigne has donated a signed drum used in her performance at this year's Brit Awards to an auction raising money for a 5-year-old British boy fighting cancer. The Barnet & Potters Bar Times newspaper (www.barnettimes.co.uk) is organizing the auction. ...

Want to get your hands on an unreleased Nick Carter song? You might have to sift through a lot of cereal to find "Don't Walk Away" — it's on one of four CDs included in boxes of General Mills brands such as Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs, Trix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms. As part of Nickelodeon's upcoming Kids Choice 2003 Awards (airing April 12), the cereal brand — a title sponsor of the awards — is offering a four-CD collection of pop hits from such past performers as the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, 'NSYNC, and Nick and Aaron Carter. Look for the specially marked boxes to hit grocery stores soon. ...

The White Stripes have announced the opening acts for their upcoming U.S. tour. Not so unexpected are the Whirlwind Heat, signed to Jack White's label Third Man Records, but warranting a "say WHAT?" is the warm-up act for the April 19 New York show: legendary country singer Loretta Lynn. ... Before Dashboard Confessional's A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar hits stores in July, Chris Carrabba's group will re-release its 2000 debut, The Swiss Army Romance, with two bonus tracks: "Hold On" and "This Is a Forgery." Dashboard will promote the re-release, due April 22, with 10 New York and Los Angeles shows beginning May 14 at S.O.B.'s in the Big Apple. ...

Zwan are planning a return to the studio in the fall to record some of Billy Corgan's acoustic songs for an album due early next year under the moniker Djali Zwan. The sessions will be documented for a DVD. ... Tommy Lee will play a kingpin on the April 4 episode of the Fox series "Fastlane." Supermodel Naomi Campbell will play a porn distributor in the same show. ...

"None more black" is how much darker an upcoming Danzig-led multi-band tour can get. The Blackest of the Black Tour, which also features Opeth, Superjoint Ritual, Behemoth, Nile and Lacuna Coil, has only two confirmed dates — May 2 in Phoenix and May 3 in Los Angeles — though additional shows are promised. When Danzig take the stage for their headlining slot, they'll be with a new bassist. Howie Pyro, (formerly of D Generation) has been replaced by Jerry Montano. ... CKY have canceled the 10 remaining dates of a headlining tour after guitarist Chad I Ginsburg broke his tailbone on Tuesday and was ordered to rest for four weeks. Ginsburg was about to sign autographs for fans when he slipped down stairs at the House of Blues in Chicago. ...

Joey Fatone is not the only Jive Records artist recording a comedy album: Weird Al Yankovic has signed with the label and will release the follow-up to 1999's Running With Scissors on May 20. Meanwhile, the singer of such classics as "Amish Paradise" and "It's All About the Pentiums" will appear on the April 6 episode of "The Simpsons." ... Ministry drummer Tia Sprocket has left the band and been replaced by Rey Washam, who played on the last three Ministry studio albums and the band's last two tours, but who originally didn't want to tour this year. Ministry's trek will begin March 28 in Tucson, Arizona, and will finish up May 25 in Somerset, Wisconsin. ...

The Birmingham, Alabama, city council has denied Widespread Panic a permit to perform two concerts there in May. Authorities arrested hundreds (mostly on drug charges) and one fan overdosed on ecstasy when the jam band performed near the city a year ago. ... Television producer Chuck Barris, whose 1982 memoir was made into the movie "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," will fulfill his lifelong dream of releasing an album when Confessions of a Dangerous Singer is released on April 8. Barris, whose first success in entertainment was writing the 1962 Freddy Cannon hit "Palisades Park," recorded standards and his own songs for the album. ......