For The Record: Quick News On Britney And Pink, C-Murder, Beatles, Alicia Keys, P.O.D., Metallica & More

First Britney Spears paired up with Madonna and Christina Aguilera, and now she's got two other pop stars in tow for her next project. Britney, Beyoncé and Pink are heading to Rome next week to shoot a Pepsi commercial, which will take place at the Coliseum and have a gladiator theme, according to Pink's rep. Since the ad is designed for Pepsi's international campaign, it won't be airing in the U.S. ...

It took a little while for Alicia Keys to settle on a title for her upcoming album, the follow-up to Songs in A Minor, but the hip-hop pianist/singer has finally found one: The Diary of Alicia Keys. The album will be released sometime in December. ... Hovi's home and he's once again opening the door for hip-hop. Or should we say reopening it. Jay-Z announced on Thursday (September 18) that on November 25 he will headline the first hip-hop concert to hit New York's Madison Square Garden in many years. Jay's performance will be in celebration of the November 28 release of his Black Album and is in conjunction with Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. The event's proceeds will go to the Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund and HHSAN, a nonprofit organization. ...

Opening arguments began Wednesday in the C-Murder murder trial, where the rapper, whose real name is Corey Miller, is accused of shooting and killing a 16-year-old during an MC battle. Prosecutors told a Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, court that Steve Thomas had dreams of a rap career and was a devoted fan of his alleged killer, having decorated his bedroom with posters of the rapper. Prosecutors also said that C-Murder and five of his friends were "beating the tar" out of the victim when Miller pulled a gun and shot Thomas in the chest. The defense argued that investigators never found a murder weapon and had no evidence tying the rapper to the crime, save for what they deemed one unreliable witness. Miller faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted. The trial is expected to last about three weeks. ...

Bad Boy ain't goin' nowhere, but Sean John could be coming to a town near you. P. Diddy reportedly plans to open at least 10 Sean John stores nationwide next year, following the launch of his flagship store in New York, scheduled to open in spring. The expansion is made possible by a $10 million investment from California moneybags Ron Burkle. ... P.O.D. shot a video for "Will You" on Wednesday with director Marc Webb, who has recently worked with Cold and Disturbed. P.O.D.'s new album, Payable on Death, will hit shelves November 4. ...

It's not unplugged, it's naked. The Beatles will release an alternate version of their album Let It Be on November 17, titled Let It Be ... Naked, according to Apple Corps., the Beatles' record company. This version strips away the extravagant production effects of producer Phil Spector and returns the record to its original, raw state. Let It Be was originally recorded in 1969 for a film project but was left unfinished because the foursome were on the verge of breaking up. It was remixed by Spector and released a year later. Naked will include an extra song, "Don't Let Me Down," and will remove some of the background dialogue found between songs. ...

Fabolous has pushed the release of his Street Dreams: The Mixtape Album back to November 4. Always hard at work, Fabo recently completed a remix for Joe Budden's "Fire." ... Metallica frontman James Hetfield will be auctioning off his 1967 Chevrolet Camaro on eBay starting Monday. The car, which he has driven for the past three years, was used in the band's "I Disappear" video. Proceeds will be donated to school music programs. ...

Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain, who was arrested in July for allegedly driving into a parking-lot attendant before a gig at the Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York, has been given a new court appearance date of October 7. ... The original drummer for Molly Hatchet, Bruce Crump, has been diagnosed with oral cancer. Crump is undergoing treatment at the Medical College of Virginia. His current band, Daddy Oh, will play a benefit show on November 2 in Richmond, Virginia, to help cover Crump's medical costs. ...

Former Spice Girl Mel C tore three ligaments in her knee during a judo match last week with Miss World, Azra Akin, which was being filmed for the British TV show "The Games." Mel C was operated on last Friday and is currently on crutches. ... Adema have been invited to open for Godsmack on 25 dates, starting September 28 in Seattle. Shows run through November 8 in Chicago. In addition to the Godsmack shows, Adema will play four headlining concerts on off-nights. ...

In advance of Velvet Revolver's upcoming debut album, drummer Matt Sorum is releasing a solo LP, on which he also sings and plays guitar and piano. The first 1,000 copies of the as-yet-untitled album will be signed, and will be available at limited retail as well as at MattSorum.com by the first week of October. ... Primus are launching a reunion tour with their original lineup — bassist and vocalist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander. It will be the band's first show since 2000, and Alexander's first stint with Primus in seven years. The tour, which launches October 14 in Davis, California, is being called Tour de Fromage, a reference to their 1991 album, Sailing the Seas of Cheese. Dates are scheduled through November 23 in Toronto. ...

Wu-Tang's Raekwon the Chef is heading out on the road in October, in anticipation of his new album, The Lexx Diamond Story, which is due out later that month. The tour starts October 1 in Boulder, Colorado, and finishes up November 4 in his hometown of New York. Definitive Jux hip-hop artist C-Rayz Walz is slotted as the opening act. ... Nine months after being diagnosed with breast cancer, pop singer Anastacia has launched the Anastacia Fund, a part of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, to help fund more research on breast cancer in younger women. Anastacia will also serve as the official spokesperson for Lifetime Television's awareness campaign, "Our Lifetime Commitment: Stop Breast Cancer for Life." ... Avenged Sevenfold will launch a tour on October 10 in Petaluma, California. Dates run through November 23 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The band will be supporting its Waking the Fallen album, which came out August 26. ...

9.17.2003

David Bowie is launching his first major world tour in nearly a decade — his first U.S. tour in five years — and he's bringing Macy Gray along to keep him company. The eccentric soul singer was tapped as the opener for the Stateside portion of Bowie's A Reality Tour, set to kick off December 6 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Dandy Warhols will open on the European leg, which runs October 7 through November 28. ...

You can add Don King, Donald Trump and Julius "Dr. J" Erving to the list of celebs who can be linked to Kevin Bacon in one way or another. Bacon and company were among the folks who came to the Hudson Theater at the Millennium Hotel in New York for Wyclef Jean's album-listening party. Not only did Clef play selections from his Preacher's Son LP (due October 28), including “Baby Daddy” with Redman and “Party to Damascus” featuring Missy Elliott, he performed “I Am Your Doctor” with Wayne Wonder and Elephant Man and "Celebrate" with Patti LaBelle. ... Erykah Badu partied up Tuesday night at New York hotspot Lobby. Dead Prez, Mos Def, 3LW and Raekwon all came down to help Badu launch her new LP, Worldwide Underground. ...

Ryan Malcolm, a 23-year-old waiter from Kingston, Ontario, was crowned the first "Canadian Idol" Tuesday during what was reportedly the most watched television program in Canadian history. Ruben Studdard also performed on the show. ... A DVD of U2's September 2001 performance from Ireland's Slane Castle will come out November 18. Titled "U2 Go Home," the disc will feature 19 songs including "Beautiful Day," "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "With or Without You." The show marked the 20th anniversary of the band's first appearance at Slane. In 1984, U2 recorded their fourth album, The Unforgettable Fire, at the castle. The "U2 Go Home" DVD includes a documentary of the making of that LP. ...

"Three Days," a warts-and-all documentary on Jane's Addiction shot during the band's last attempt at a comeback in 1997, is scheduled for release on DVD October 7. ... On Tuesday, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals questioned lawyers on both sides of Verizon Communications Inc.'s appeal on the legality of RIAA subpoenas that order ISPs to identify suspected file-sharers. Such subpoenas allowed the recording industry to hit more than 260 online pirates with copyright-infringement lawsuits. The panel is expected to decide on the appeal this fall. ...

"Hedwig and the Angry Inch" creator John Cameron Mitchell is working on staging a performance in New York featuring the bands that will appear on the "Hedwig" tribute album, Wig in a Box, the proceeds from which will benefit the Harvey Milk School in New York. The album, which drops October 21, includes contributions from the Breeders, the Bens, Yoko Ono and Yo La Tengo, Spoon, and They Might Be Giants and Rufus Wainwright. ... Mike Smith, lead singer for the '60s British group the Dave Clark Five, was in critical condition after sustaining a spinal injury when he fell in his home in Spain on Saturday. Organizers of a nostalgia tour to mark the 40th anniversary of the British Invasion next year are confident that Smith will be aboard. ...