For The Record: Quick News On Ludacris, Staind, Avril Lavigne, Nelly, LL Cool J, Coldplay & More

Before his third solo album, Chicken & Beer, drops later this year, we’ll hear Ludacris on the majority of the “2 Fast 2 Furious” soundtrack, due May 20. The mouth of the South has the lead single, “Act a Fool,” and will shoot the “Cannonball Run”-themed video for it next week. …

Staind will play a handful of free shows to coincide with the release of their fourth album, 14 Shades of Grey. Performances are slated for Boston (May 15), New York (May 17), Los Angeles (May 20) and Chicago (May 23). Meanwhile, the LP’s first single, “Price to Play,” surfaced at radio over the weekend, and a video has been shot with directors the Brothers Strause. … Avril Lavigne was the big winner at Sunday’s Juno Awards (the Canadian version of the Grammys), taking home four trophies: Best Album and Best Pop Album for Let Go, Best Single for “Complicated” and Best New Artist. Shania Twain won three awards, while Sum 41, Alanis Morissette, Remy Shand, Our Lady Peace, Theory of a Dead Man and Eminem (Best International Album) each won one. …

Maybe he should switch his name to Cool J LL. As much as the ladies are enamored with him, James Todd Smith obviously loves the women right back. First there was Amerie, then J. Lo. Now LL Cool J‘s collaboration with newcomer Kandice Love, “Amazin’,” will see release as his next single. … Ashanti‘s follow-up to her self-titled debut is set for a July 1 release, according to her label. There is no title yet. …

In one of the stranger billings of late, Kiss will join Nelly, Christina Aguilera, Michelle Branch, JC Chasez and others at the KIIS-FM’s Wango Tango festival on May 17 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Santana, Lisa Marie Presley, Daniel Bedingfield, O-Town, Sugar Ray, Craig David, Sting, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Bowling for Soup, Tyrese and Amanda Perez are also on the bill. … Forget Miami, New York or Los Angeles: 112 are once again recording in the real hotbed for musicmaking — Nashville. The foursome have been holed up in the studio knocking out tracks for their latest LP, which will be released later this year as a joint venture between Def Jam and Bad Boy. …
 
Def Jam is planning a Def Jam Vendetta Tour, set to kick off soon. Keith Murray, who will release his He’s Keith Murray LP on April 29, is the first act announced for the outing. … The Ying Yang Twins have their sights set on July to release their new LP, Me and My Brother. The first single is called “Naggin,” but they’ve already dropped the white-label buzz starter “Get Low,” featuring Lil Jon, in the South. … After a couple of years of appearing on albums by everyone from R. Kelly to Fat Joe to Ja Rule to the Big Tymers, Boo & Gotti are finally putting out their debut LP, Perfect Time, on May 6. The first single is called “Ain’t It Man” and features fellow Cash Money family member Lil’ Wayne. …

Ron Sexsmith has signed on to open for Coldplay on their upcoming U.S. tour, beginning May 24 in George, Washington. In conjunction, the singer/songwriter is releasing “Gold in Them Hills,” a duet with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, as the next video and single from his 2002 album, Cobblestone Runway.Atomic Kitten, the group behind four top five single in the U.K. last year, will release their self-titled U.S. debut on April 22. The group’s first single is a cover of Blondie‘s “Tide Is High,” which is also featured in the upcoming “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.” … Spymob, the Minneapolis band that served as N.E.R.D.‘s backing musicians on their album and tour, will release their debut, Sitting Around Keeping Score, on the Neptunes‘ Star Track label on July 22. Stephen Lironi (Hanson) produced most of the album, which includes the single “It Gets Me Going,” told from a dog’s perspective. …

04.04.03

Incubus have hired ex-guitarist for the Roots Ben Kenney as their new bassist. Kenney will replace Dirk Lance, who was recently released from duty after 12 years with the band. In a press statement, frontman Brandon Boyd said the band decided to let Lance go after Incubus finished touring for Morning View. …

Bad Boy P. Diddy is among the nominees for the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards. Sean Combs will compete against the likes of Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors when the awards are presented June 2 at the New York Public Library. … John Mayer and the Counting Crows have teamed up for a two-month co-headlining jaunt, beginning July 7 in Englewood, Colorado. In the meantime, Mayer is working on his new album, the follow-up to 2001′s Room for Squares, some of which he’ll premiere on the road. …

After years of dating, Liv Tyler and Royston Langdon of Spacehog wed March 25 in a Caribbean villa. It’s the first marriage for both the 25-year-old daughter of Aerosmith‘s Steven Tyler and the 30-year-old musician best known for the 1996 hit “In the Meantime.” … The Man in Black, Johnny Cash, was released from a hospital in Nashville on Tuesday, following a lengthy battle with pneumonia. Cash, 71, was admitted to Baptist Hospital on March 10. …

Sneering Skid Row frontman turned Broadway thespian Sebastian Bach, who has starred as Jesus for the past six months in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” has been replaced following a conflict with the show’s producers. The friction surfaced last week after the director wanted to change the ending of the show to make the curtain call appear less “rock and roll,” Bach wrote on his Web site. In protest, the singer boycotted the next two shows, but planned to return on April 1 in Atlanta. He was told not to bother and his understudy is now playing his part. … David Lee Roth will release his new solo album, Diamond Dave, on July 8. The record will feature the former Van Halen frontman screaming some originals as well as covers of songs by Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Beatles, the Steve Miller Band and Savoy Brown. …

A man who had been impersonating Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy was arrested in New York on Wednesday. Before he was caught, the man used Portnoy’s identity to ingratiate himself in rocker circles, then steal their credit cards, cell phones, wallets and house keys, according to Dream Theater’s official Web site. The man even called drum manufacturers and used Portnoy’s name to get free equipment. Recently, he landed a jam session with Savatage guitarist Chris Caffery, who figured out something was amiss: “He was still hammered, but he was not a good drummer,” Caffery posted. …