For The Record: Quick News On Kid Rock, White Stripes, R. Kelly, Dream, ‘Powerpuff Girls,’ Talib Kweli & More

Kid Rock was among those who performed for the troops Wednesday night at Camp Doha in Kuwait as part of the kickoff show of the USO’s Project Salute 2003, the first large-scale entertainment tour in the Persian Gulf since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. A second show is scheduled for later this week at an undisclosed location. Others onboard for the tour include Bubba Sparxxx, Nappy Roots and Wayne Newton, athletes Ervin Johnson and Duce Staley and actress Alyssa Milano. …

The White Stripes have chosen “The Hardest Button to Button” as the second single from their fourth album, Elephant. A video for the track will be shot next month, but the band has not yet decided on a director. …

R. Kelly will be staking his claim to greatness this fall when he releases The R. in R&B, a collection of his greatest hits and remixes of some of his biggest singles. There will be at least one new song included on the album, and according to Kelly’s spokesperson, the track will be released in the beginning of July. Kelly’s label is withholding the name of the song for now, but they say Kells will shoot a video for it in mid-July. … P. Diddy visited a Hollywood soundstage Tuesday for the filming of Dream‘s new video, “Crazy,” with director Matthew Rolston (Mary J. Blige). The song is the first single from the group’s second album, Reality, due August 12. …

The annual Farm Aid benefit show is set for September 7 at the Germain Amphitheater in Columbus, Ohio. Founders Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp, along with Dave Matthews, are the only acts confirmed thus far for the show, which raises awareness and money for family-owned farms. … Even when Madonna doesn’t actively court controversy, it still seems to blow her way. Recently, the former material girl signed on to be a host for a benefit on Sunday for Bony Pony, a Malibu animal reserve and children’s camp. But PETA, the watchdog for four-legged creatures the globe over, has intervened and pointed out to Madonna that the organization is not an animal sanctuary, it’s an exotic animal rental business with what PETA referred to as a “troubling history.” …

The canceled Concert for Nelson Mandela, originally scheduled for February, has been recast for November 30. Bono and the surviving members of Queen are the only artists confirmed thus far for the event, which will take place in Capetown, South Africa. … Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup rock, as all fans of “The Powerpuff Girls” know, and on August 12 they’ll do so to the tunes of Vitamin C, Sahara Hotnights and Shonen Knife. Powerpuff Girls: Power Pop is the third album to be inspired by the Cartoon Network series. …

LL Cool J has joined the cast of “Slow Burn,” a crime thriller featuring Ray Liotta that begins shooting next month in Montreal. The rapper will play a stranger who manipulates a district attorney going after a powerful gang leader. … Talib Kweli had a bunch of his friends with him Wednesday night at New York’s S.O.B.’s. Mos Def, Common, Kanye West, Skillz and Pharoahe Monch joined him onstage at his show. …

Kevin Richardson is opening a music-industry school in Louisville, Kentucky, in August. Called Music Workshop, the Backstreet Boy‘s venture will include a recording studio. … Jessica Simpson, who just shot photos for an anti-smoking campaign by Circle of Friends, will sign copies of her new book, “I Do: Achieving Your Dream Wedding,” Tuesday at Planet Hollywood in New York from 4:30-6 p.m. The Virgin Megastore across the street will be selling copies one day before it is available elsewhere. … Hoobastank performed new material from their forthcoming second album for the first time at the Roxy in Los Angeles Wednesday. The as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2001’s self-titled debut is due September 30. …

Joe Jackson will return to the U.S. for three weeks of shows to support his latest record, Volume 4, his first album with the Joe Jackson Band in 23 years. The first show is in Hartford, Connecticut, on August 9 and the tour ends in West Hollywood, California, on August 28. … Bill Callahan will take his (Smog) persona on the road for the second time in support of his latest album, Supper, which was released in late March. The six-week trek begins June 27 in Iowa City, Iowa, and wraps up August 9 in Chicago. …

06.18.03

Pink is writing material for her new album with Rancid‘s Tim Armstrong. “They wrote like nine or 10 songs and they’re all ridiculously good,” Rob Aston, the rapper in Armstrong’s side project the Transplants, said backstage at Saturday’s KROQ Weenie Roast. When asked about the collaboration, Pink said, “I don’t tell who I’m working with yet. We’re friends.” …

Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro joined Christina Aguilera at Los Angeles’ Staples Center Tuesday for their Stripped collaboration, “Fighter.” After the shirtless rocker left the stage, Aguilera gushed, segueing into the next song, “Speaking of what a girl wants, Dave Navarro is so hot. I used to sleep with his Rolling Stone cover underneath my pillow.” … Jennifer Lopez leads the list of contenders for the 2003 Teen Choice Awards with 12 nominations, followed by 50 Cent with eight. Justin Timberlake and Eminem will vie for seven awards each at the Los Angeles ceremony, which will be broadcast live on August 8. …

DJs Grandmaster Flash, Funkmaster Flex, DJ Premier and Kid Capri will lead an all-star tribute to Jam Master Jay at Tuesday’s BET Awards, which will be broadcast live from Hollywood. 50 Cent, Beyoncé Knowles, Missy Elliott, Ashanti, R. Kelly, Snoop Dogg and Lil’ Kim are also performing. … In other Grandmaster Flash news, the DJ is co-writing an autobiography and has signed up to be a spokesperson for American Eagle Outfitters and Pro-Keds footwear. …

Mourn not for AC/DC guitarist Angus Young. A report on the daily music newsletter Unlimited Media that Young died last Thursday is most inaccurate. It’s unclear where the rumor came from, but the group is on the road and scheduled to play shows in Germany on Friday and Sunday. … Before the first bomb bursts in air, Kelly Clarkson will kick off the telecast portion of the annual Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks spectacular, to air on NBC at 9 p.m. ET. Sheryl Crow, John Mellencamp and Beyoncé Knowles will also perform at the event, which will be hosted by Carson Daly. …

Westsiiide! Activision has tapped Ice Cube, Mack 10, E-40 and others to lay tracks for the new game “True Crime: Streets of L.A.” Described as a California-flavored version of “Grand Theft Auto,” the game features a replica of all 250 square miles of Los Angeles, through which players have to fight, drive and shoot. … Mariah Carey has something precious she’d like to share with a young fan: the gift of music. Last Thursday, the singer donated an autographed microphone with the words “Love Always, Mariah” emblazoned on it to VH1’s Save the Music auction. The auction, underway now on eBay.com, is designed to raise money to help schools continue to create music programs and music education. …

Nas and Jagged Edge will appear in a PSA campaign to get guns off the streets of Connecticut as part of the Bush administration’s Project Safe Neighborhoods. Billboards on transit buses ask people to call 211 if they have questions about firearms. … Goodie Mob‘s Big Gipp will release his solo debut, Mutant Mind Frame, on July 22. Guests on the album include E-40 and Outkast‘s Big Boi on “Ham Sandwiches and Coupe De Villes,” 8Ball and MJG on “All Over Your Body” and Sleepy Brown on the first single, “Steppin’ Out.” …

3LW will be the official spokesmodels for a new clothing line called Southpole Juniors. Meanwhile, the girls have been requested by the South African Board of Tourism to perform in the country, which they will do once finished touring with LL Cool J in August. … It looks like Prince has had a little too much time to think between the December 2001 release of his last album, The Rainbow Children, and now. On Thursday, the purple crusader will release the new studio concept album N.E.W.S. through his NPG Music Club Web site. The multi-directional album features four 14-minute songs, “North,” “South,” “East” and “West.” …

To commemorate their 20th anniversary, Christian hair-metal band Stryper are reuniting for a summer tour. Meanwhile singer/guitarist Michael Sweet plans to release two solo records: one of rock songs and the other filled with hymns. … Sum 41‘s Deryck Whibley was onboard to catch a first listen of labelmate Andrew W.K.‘s new LP, due September 9, on a boat cruise around New York Tuesday. Also digging the “party till you puke” vibe — doubly nauseous thanks to the turbulent waters — were Zwan guitarist Matt Sweeney and indie-rock funnyman David Cross. … Weezer have covered Green Day’s “Worry Rock,” off 1997’s Nimrod, for an audio homage to the Bay Area trio. A Different Shade of Green, which also features contributions from underground rockers Knockout, Inspection 12 and Rudiger, will be available July 22 at Hot Topic stores, and in other retail outlets shortly thereafter. …

After seven years, electronic chill-out trio Morcheeba will release their first greatest-hits set, Parts of the Process, July 1. The 18-track LP includes two new songs, “Can’t Stand It” and the single “What’s Your Name,” featuring Big Daddy Kane. … Electronica has always perceived itself as a futuristic medium, but DJ Paul Oakenfold has been looking for inspiration by going back in time. The techno artist has remixed the Elvis Presley song “Rubberneckin’,” which was originally featured in his 1969 movie “Change of Habit.” The track was later released as the B-side to the 1970 single “Don’t Cry Daddy.” The computer-fueled “Rubberneckin’ ” will come out in September. …

Early MTV staple Dexy’s Midnight Runners, best known for their #1 1983 hit, “Come On Eileen,” are reuniting 17 years after breaking up. A tour of the U.K. set for October and November promises hits as well as new songs plucked from a greatest-hits album they plan on releasing there in September. … Los Angeles rockers H Is Orange are auctioning off a personalized song on eBay. The highest bidder will have a song about him or her on the band’s next album. … Crash Radio will perform on the BMX Movie Tour this summer, a trek that will feature the premiere of the BMX film “Reincarnation.” The outing begins July 21 in New York and ends August 3 in Portland, Oregon. …