For The Record: Quick News On Ruben Studdard And Clay Aiken, Mary J. Blige, Wes Borland, Eve, Michelle Branch & More

Mary J. Blige and Usher have been added to the list of presenters for Tuesday's BET Awards, airing live at 8 p.m. ET from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. Mo'Nique, star of the UPN comedy "The Parkers," is hosting the show, which will include performances by 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Nelly and others. On the eve of the BET Awards, Da Brat will headline a party for Smooth magazine at Hollywood hotspot Club A.D. ...

Ruben Studdard, who will also appear at the BET Awards, and Clay Aiken are now set to release their debut albums on the same date: August 19. Aiken's single outsold Studdard's when they were released simultaneously last week. ... And in other "American Idol" news, creator Simon Fuller is planning to make "World Idol," which will feature winners from different "Idol" shows from around the globe competing against each other for the "World Idol" title. ...

Wes Borland is recording four songs with frequent Nine Inch Nails collaborator Danny Lohner for the forthcoming Kate Beckinsale vampires-versus-werewolves movie, "Underworld," and is also working with the Crystal Method and Filter's Richard Patrick on material that may turn up elsewhere. The former Limp Bizkit axeman recently returned from London, where he met with several potential vocalists for the still singer-less Eat the Day. "We have it narrowed down to a short list of U.K. vocalists," Borland wrote on the band's Web site, "and we'll be flying them out one a time over the next few weeks." ...

A fetish for fashion inspired Eve to found a clothing company. Fetish by Eve, a clothing line for juniors and women, is expected to launch in select stores this fall. ... Actress and Janis Joplin fan Renée Zellweger has been tapped to portray the late rock singer in the biopic "Piece of My Heart." Filming is scheduled to begin early next year after Zellweger, who will also co-produce the flick, wraps the sequel to "Bridget Jones's Diary." Others who were reportedly contending for the part include Brittany Murphy and Melissa Etheridge. ...

Michelle Branch covers "Strange" and Norah Jones offers a rendition of "Why Can't He Be You" for Remembering Patsy Cline, an 11-track tribute to the country legend due September 9. Others paying homage to the singer, who died in a plane crash 40 years ago, include Amy Grant, k.d. lang and Diana Krall, who covers Cline's most well-known song, "Crazy," which was written by Willie Nelson. ... Dido has set a September 9 release date for her second album, Life for Rent. "White Flag" is the first single. ...

SWV's Tamara "Taj" Johnson and Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George have announced that they will be married in the summer of 2004. ...

The Mars Volta will embark on a U.S. headlining tour starting at the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles on July 1 in support of their Rick Rubin-produced full-length debut, De-Loused in the Comatorium, which features contributions from Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. The band, which includes former At the Drive-In members Omar Rodriquez and Cedric Bixler, previously pulled out of a tour with the Chili Peppers and Snoop Dogg following the death of friend, frequent collaborator and former De Facto member, Jeremy Ward. ... The debut album by Slipknot percussionist Shawn Crahan's side project To My Surprise is slated for an October release on Roadrunner Records. Produced by Rick Rubin, the LP was recorded in Los Angeles earlier this year. ...

The Rolling Stones will headline a free outdoor concert July 30 in Toronto aimed at repairing the city's economy in the wake of a SARS outbreak there earlier in the year. The show will be held in the docklands area of the city and will feature several opening acts. ... Politically conscious melodic hardcore band Boy Sets Fire have parted ways with bassist Rob Avery, replacing him with former guitar tech/ My Hero Died Today member Robert Ehrenbrand. The long-running Delaware group will resume touring in support of Tomorrow Come Today, their first album for the Wind-Up label, later this month. ...

06.20.03

The new Mary J. Blige track "Love @ 1st Sight" is available to stream on her Web site, www.mjblige.com. The song, featuring Method Man, will appear on Blige's upcoming record, Love & Life. Due August 26, the LP was produced by Blige and P. Diddy and includes guest performances by 50 Cent, Eve and Jay-Z. ...

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown are in talks to star in their first film together, "Beffy and Charlie," according to People magazine. The article reports that Houston and Brown will play the title characters — musicians who moonlight as gangsters. No word yet on who else is attached to the project or when it will be hitting theaters. ...

The new Korn single, "Did My Time," will be available for download on the band's Web site, www.korn.com, starting Tuesday. The track, which hits radio the day before, will be included in the film "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" and will also be featured on the next Korn album. ... Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley suffered a concussion from a bad spill in his home, an injury that kept him from serving as a counselor at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, which began this week. His doctors are taking a "wait and see" approach to whether the axeman will be able to join the Who's Roger Daltrey and Grand Funk Railroad's Mark Farner at the camp for aspiring rockers. ...

The first two albums from Seattle punk band the Gits are back thanks to San Francisco indie label Broken Rekids. Frenching the Bully, released in 1992 and out of print since '94, was re-released June 9, and 1994's Enter: The Conquering Chicken is set for October 6. Both include bonus material. The group disbanded after singer Mia Zapata was murdered in 1993, spurring benefit albums and concerts. The man believed to be responsible for the crime was arrested in January. ... Before his wife, actress Kate Hudson, gives birth to their first child early next year, ex-Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson will hit the road with Elvis Costello. Dates begin July 9 in Philadelphia and end July 19 in Berkeley, California. Robinson and Hudson got married in December 2000. ...

The former bass guitarist for the Norwegian black metal band Svartahrid has been arrested after bringing a severed human head to a party and showing it off to the guests. The 26-year-old musician, who goes by the name Illvastar, pleaded guilty to raiding a morgue and desecrating a dead body, claiming he did so because he was under the influence of drugs, the Swedish newspaper Dagbladet reported. Illvastar was booted from Svartahrid after playing on the group's second record, As the Sunrise Flickers. ... British rock group the Libertines have been having problems with guitarist Pete Doherty, who is sitting out their current European tour. He has been replaced by the band's guitar tech but has not been booted from the band. In a press statement, the bandmembers said, "Pete is unwell, and we are very concerned for his well-being." ...