For The Record: Quick News On John Ritter, G-Unit, Beck, R. Kelly, Fannypack, NOFX, Bon Jovi & More

John Ritter, star of "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," died on Thursday evening after a coronary artery tore while he was on the set of the show. Ritter, who earned an Emmy for playing Jack Tripper on the sitcom "Three's Company," was 54. ...

The release date of the upcoming G-Unit album, Beg for Mercy, has been pushed back two weeks to November 18. But that's not the only alteration 50 Cent and company have made within the last few days. Don't call the first single from the LP "Teach You How to Stunt" anymore. The official title is now "Stunt 101." ... Beck hit the studio this week with longtime collaborators the Dust Brothers to begin recording the follow-up to 2002's Sea Change. The album is due next year, but in the meantime, fans can catch the singer in the new White Stripes video, "The Hardest Button to Button," and in the film "Southlander," featuring Beth Orton, Hank Williams III and Laura Prepon, due on DVD October 7. Steve Hanft, who directed the film, is also helming two new Beck videos for an upcoming DVD. ...

The new issue of Blender magazine features an interview with R. Kelly, who discusses how pending child-porn charges have destroyed his image. "Osama bin Laden is the only one who knows exactly what I'm going through," he said. ... Brazen dance music group Fannypack will follow up their smash single "Cameltoe" with "Things," which should surface at radio in early October. Both songs are from the quintet's debut album, So Stylistic, which dropped in July. ...

After playing a few radio festivals, Alien Ant Farm will begin a tour with reggae-influenced rap-metal band 311. The tour will begin October 15 in San Francisco and run at least through the middle of November. Alien Ant Farm's sophomore disc, truANT, came out August 19. 311's latest, Evolver, was released July 22. ... An eight-disc Black Sabbath box set featuring all of the band's material recorded with Ozzy Osbourne will hit shelves November 4. Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978) includes remastered versions of Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage, Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die! The set also features a DVD with previously unreleased footage. ...

The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, will play two shows at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater on November 21 and 22. The gigs will commemorate the 40th anniversary of his classic album Live at the Apollo. A host of celebrity guests will be announced at a press conference on Thursday. ... Mr. Biggs is planning on doing it way big — again. The Isley Brothers plan to put out a remix album early next year, according to their camp. The only name linked to the project so far is King Britt. His spokespeople say he's been enlisted to revamp "Footsteps in the Dark." ...

Bon Jovi have recorded an album's worth of acoustic versions of their greatest hits with producer Pat Leonard (Madonna). Due November 4, This Left Feels Right features "Wanted Dead or Alive," "Keep the Faith" and "It's My Life," among others, plus two new songs, "Last Man Standing" and "Thief of Hearts." ... Mark Lanegan, formerly of Screaming Trees and currently with Queens of the Stone Age, will release an eight-song EP November 4, about two months before his sixth full-length solo album, Bubblegum, is due. Here Comes the Weird Chill (Methamphetamine Blues, Extracts & Oddities) will feature unreleased older material. ...

Although they've been screwing up a lot longer, skate punks NOFX are scheduled to drop the DVD "Ten Years of F---ing Up" on October 7. The VHS version came out in 1994, so maybe next year we'll get the two-decade version from the band whose latest sardonic affair, The War on Errorism, was released in May. ... The Dandy Warhols are giving fans the chance to show off their film skills with a new contest. Use "We Used to Be Friends" and "You Were the Last High" in a video or short film and you could be flown to the Dandy Warhols' Odditorium in Portland, Oregon, to hang with the band. Details are available at www.ifilm.com or www.dandywarhols.com. ...

Ben Folds, the Indigo Girls and the Dixie Chicks will headline the Honor the Earth Foundation concert October 10 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Charlotte, North Carolina. ... Members of the bands Killswitch Engage, Unearth and the Acacia Strain are playing together in the side project Burn Your Wishes. There is no album information yet, but the group has shot a video for its song "Fall Away." ...

Newish metal groups Motograter and Mushroomhead will tour together starting in October. Motograter's self-titled debut came out May 27. Mushroomhead's next disc, XIII, will be released October 14. ... The Steve Miller Band will celebrate the Tuesday release of Young Hearts Complete Greatest Hits with a Saturday benefit performance for and at the Fender Museum of Music and the Arts, in Corona, California. The album features "The Joker," "Take the Money and Run" and other favorites. ...

After getting a two-grand credit from the music-download Web site www.musicrebellion.com, a lobbying group is offering to pay 12-year-old Brianna LaHara's settlement with the RIAA. LaHara's mother was one of 261 people to receive copyright-infringement lawsuits from the recording industry. She was the first to pay her way out of a court appearance. ...

9.11.2003

Although other release dates have been bandied about, this one's official — Britney Spears' upcoming fourth album is slated to hit stores November 18. The album may include such tracks as "Early Mornin' " (produced by Moby), "The Answer" (P. Diddy), "Shadow" (The Matrix), "Outrageous" (R. Kelly), "Me Against the Music" (RedZone), "Brave New Girl" (previously called "Brave Girl"), "Touch of My Hand" and "Every Time," though a track list has yet to be determined. ...

Kirk Hammett doesn't play a double-necked guitar ... except when he's doing his best Jimmy Page impersonation. Metallica dressed up like Led Zeppelin for an Esquire photo shoot in July for the magazine's 70th anniversary issue, which hits newsstands this week. ... Destiny's Child's Michelle Williams has finished her second gospel record. The as-yet-untitled album will be released in early December. ...

R.E.M. paid tribute to Warren Zevon at their Los Angeles performance on Wednesday night. Singer Michael Stipe dedicated the song "Find the River" to Zevon, who died in L.A. on Sunday from lung cancer. R.E.M. played with Zevon in the side project Hindu Love Gods, who released a self-titled album in 1990. R.E.M had worked with Zevon on his 1987 album, Sentimental Hygiene, as well, serving as Zevon's band on most of the album. ... Sparklehorse have signed on to open for R.E.M. on their tour, from September 23 in New Orleans to October 4 in New York. Afterwards, the band will resume recording its fourth album in singer Mark Linkous's North Carolina studio. ... Pete Yorn, who will pick up for Sparklehorse on the R.E.M. tour for two weeks, has booked a headlining trek for the rest of October. British pop-rockers Minibar will open on Yorn's tour, which begins October 14 in Nashville and ends October 28 in Syracuse, New York. ...

Def Jam hosted the first of its monthly DJ appreciation parties Wednesday night at the Big Apple's Club New York. Such spinners as Kid Capri and Red Alert ventured out to party. ... The previously unreleased Stone Temple Pilots song "All in the Suit That You Wear" will be included on the band's greatest-hits album, Thank You, which comes out November 4. The 16-track disc will also feature an acoustic version of "Plush." ...

Two Black Sabbath books that cumulatively cover the group's entire history will be rocking the shelves in time for Christmas. The first, "How Black Is Your Sabbath," chronicles Ozzy's years with the band, ending when he was kicked out. Graham Wright, who was drummer Bill Ward's assistant in the '70s, assembled the book. The other Sabbath tome, "Never Say Die!," was written by Garry Sharpe-Young, and documents the band's post-Ozzy years from 1979 to 1997. ... Rock and roll workhorses 3 Doors Down have extended their tour and look to stay busy throughout the end of the year. Newly confirmed dates begin October 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. ...

Sugar Ray and Elton John are among the performers slated for the annual Brian Wilson and Friends concert, taking place October 16. John will sing a duet with the Beach Boys mastermind. Proceeds will benefit the Carl Wilson Foundation, named for the Beach Boy who died of cancer in 1998. ... The folks that let Adam Ant out of a mental hospital earlier this summer might want to reconsider their decision. The '80s new waver plans to dress up like a gorilla and run around London on September 21. Ant hasn't exactly gone bananas, though. He's among those participating in the Great Gorilla Run, a public-awareness effort to draw attention to the endangered ape's plight. Ant also rerecorded his "Stand and Deliver" for the Save the Gorilla benefit album, the proceeds from which go toward the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. ...

The sued file-sharer who settled with the RIAA earlier this week is already reaping the benefits of celebrity. Twelve-year-old Briana LaHara, whose mother settled the copyright infringement suit for $2,000, has been given that amount's worth of free downloads by musicrebellion.com to show that legitimate download services exist. …