For The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, Pharrell, R. Kelly, Creed, Aaliyah, Kid Rock, Pink Floyd & More

Britney Spears is already a star — but now she has a bronze one on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to prove it. Before almost 2,000 screaming fans, the singer got her star added to the famed sidewalk on Monday, a day before the release of her latest album, In the Zone. “I’m seriously speechless right now,” she told the crowd. “This is something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little girl, and I can’t believe I’m actually here with all of you amazing fans. I’m really honored.” Spears is the 2,242nd performer to receive the honor. …

The pathologist who performed Aaliyah‘s autopsy testified Monday at the opening of a coroner’s inquest that the singer died of severe burns and a blow to the head after her plane crashed in the Bahamas in 2001, according to wire services. Dr. Giovander Raju also said Aaliyah had a weak heart and “went into such a state of shock, even if she had survived the crash, recovery would have been near impossible.” Investigators who are examining the crash and the deaths of Aaliyah and the other passengers believe the plane was 700 pounds overloaded. Aaliyah’s parents reached an undisclosed settlement in a negligence lawsuit against the airline in September. …

Pharrell Williams, Evanescence‘s Amy Lee, Jason Mraz, Stacie Orrico, Moby and Dido are among the artists who will be on hand at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on December 4 to announce the nominations for the 46th annual Grammy Awards. The ceremony will take place on February 8. … R. Kelly as well as 50 Cent with G-Unit have been added to the list of performers for the Vibe Awards, taping Thursday in Santa Monica, California, and airing Friday on UPN. Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Russell Simmons, Quincy Jones, Ashton Kutcher and the cast of “Girlfriends” will appear at the event, while Monica, Musiq, Kelis, Free and Nona Gaye have been added as presenters. …

A Christina Aguilera concert shot at London’s Wembley Arena recently will air November 30 on the WB. Titled “Stripped … Live in the U.K.,” the special will be released January 13 on DVD. … Justin Timberlake‘s upcoming TV special, “Down Home in Memphis,” was scheduled for broadcast November 25, though NBC has now bumped its premiere to November 28, a day after Thanksgiving. In the one-hour program, Timberlake gives viewers a tour of his hometown and performs “Rock Your Body” and “Cry Me a River” from Justified, as well as a duet with the Rev. Al Green on his classic 1971 hit “Let’s Stay Together.” …

Creed are ramping up for a big 2004, promising to release a collection of hits, unreleased material and new recordings as well as solo projects from frontman Scott Stapp and guitarist Mark Tremonti. No timetable has been set for the releases. … Months of touring have not stopped 3 Doors Down from writing material for their next album, which they plan to record early next year. “We stay busy on the road, we write every day,” guitarist Matt Roberts said. …

Big-boned rocker Meat Loaf, touring to support his eighth album, Couldn’t Have Said It Better, collapsed on a London stage Monday night and was taken to a hospital for observation. Loaf’s spokesperson cited exhaustion due to a prolonged, non-life-threatening viral infection as the cause. He remained hospitalized Tuesday and canceled his show that night, per doctor’s orders. … Wu-Tang Clan‘s RZA has been forced to cancel the 21 remaining dates on his national tour due to exhaustion, a problem that landed him in the hospital for a few days last week. The producer/rapper, who just released a solo album, Birth of a Prince, is resting for a couple of weeks and will not reschedule the dates. …

Another brick in the wall … another rock music action figure. Six of the memorable characters, hallucinations and icons from Pink Floyd‘s 1982 movie, “The Wall,” are now available as part of a toy statuette box set. Each figure — Scorpion & Pink, the teacher, marching hammers, the judge, megaphone hammer and eagle warplane — is 6-8 inches tall and comes attached to its own piece of “the wall.” The figures are available from thewalldirect.com. … A lawsuit filed by P. Diddy‘s former business associate Kirk Burrowes against the hip-hop mogul was thrown out of federal court Tuesday because the complaint failed to meet the requirements to continue at a federal level. A determined Burrowes now plans to take his case to state court. …

Kid Rock is checking in with fans before determining the next single from his just-released self-titled album, but he knows what he would like to get on the radio. “I’d love to get some of that rock and roll blues stuff from the record,” said Rock, who played an unexpected show Friday at the Malibu Inn along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. “We went into the club to have a drink and then there was a band playing and they said, ‘Hey, would you guys like to play?’ We said, ‘Of course, we’d love to,’ and they made a big production out of it. The owner did a sneak move and went and put our name on the marquee.” … Rock attended Sunday’s American Music Awards with on-again, off-again girlfriend Pamela Anderson, who said she is launching a clothing line in February. “Pamouflage?” Rock asked. “No, that’s just one thing,” she answered. “Damn, I like that name,” Rock responded. …

When Chevelle return to the studio in March, the Chicago trio hope to score the assistance of a big-name producer. “I want Dave Grohl, actually,” singer/guitarist Pete Loeffler said. As for the direction of the album, drummer Sam Loeffler added, “We’re a heavy rock band, so we’re gonna stay with that, heavy and melodic. We’ve got some ideas of things to make it just bigger, more double-kick [drum] stuff and things like that.” … Indie-rock bastions Pavement haven’t been a band for four years, but Spiral Stairs‘ solo career keeps climbing. Guitarist Scott Kannberg‘s post-Pavement venture, Preston Schools of Industry, is gearing up for its second album, Monsoon, due in January. The follow-up to 2001′s All This Sounds Gas features Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy on a track called “Get Your Crayons Out.” Meanwhile, Kannberg is looking through his archives for a deluxe, expanded reissue of Pavement’s breakthrough classic, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, originally released in 1994. …

Without a TV show on the air, Tom Green is staying busy writing an album to follow up his infamous “The Bum Bum Song.” Among the subjects the comedian is tackling with his lyrics are the Grand Canyon, monkeys and vegetarianism. “It’s gonna be really positive,” he said. “Not a lot of the sex stuff that’s in music these days, that’s really kinda corrupting our youth.” … One of the country’s largest CD-bootlegging operations, believed to have illegally manufactured more than $50 million worth of CDs by artists such as Ja Rule, Ludacris, Britney Spears and Eminem, was busted earlier this month in Atlanta, police announced last week. A raid resulted in the confiscation of more than 127,000 CDs and brought multiple counts of conspiracy and pirating-of-copyrighted-material charges against six alleged ringleaders. …

11.17.03

One hundred signed copies of Jay-Z‘s The Black Album, which dropped Friday, are being auctioned off on eBay. In one of the copies will be tickets to Jay’s November 25 benefit concert in New York. …

Though Scott Weiland was due to have his arraignment on a DUI charge on Monday (November 17), the case was continued until December 3. The former Stone Temple Pilots frontman/current Velvet Revolver singer is completing his court-ordered stay at a residential rehab facility, and will not have to appear at the next court hearing, as his lawyer can enter a plea for him since it’s a misdemeanor charge. Meanwhile, Weiland’s former STP bandmates confirmed in an interview with Guitar One that the band is officially over. Lead guitarist Dean DeLeo told the magazine, “Along with the beauty of STP there was a dark trail that went right along with it … There’s not much I can look back on and say I really enjoyed, without wondering if the floor was going to drop from under us.” The DeLeo brothers, having just produced Alien Ant Farm, are now focusing on producing the new band Monterey. …

Ashanti will join country star Kenny Chesney, soul singer Joss Stone and operatic soprano Renée Fleming for “Christmas in Washington,” a TNT television special scheduled to air December 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. President Bush and the first lady are expected to be among the guests for the holiday concert, now in its 22nd year. … Stacie Orrico will perform her song “(There’s Gotta Be) More to Life” at this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 27, which will also feature appearances by Clay Aiken, Aaron Carter, Hilary Duff and Ruben Studdard. Then on December 3, Orrico will continue to spread holiday cheer through New York by helping to light the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. …

Archetype, Fear Factory‘s follow-up to 2001′s Digimortal, will feature a cover of Nirvana‘s “School,” off their 1989 album, Bleach, as a bonus track. Archetype is due in April. … New York public-school students will get first crack at the final cinematic chapter in the “Lord of the Rings” saga. Contest winners from 17 participating schools who penned 200-word essays on the theme of the wizard Gandalf’s quote, “All you have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to you,” get to attend advance screenings of “The Return of the King” on December 1. Meanwhile, New Line is donating a grant to be divided amongst the participating schools, to be applied to the purchase of new books for the schools’ libraries. …

It may not be the Blues Brothers, but Dan Aykroyd is working on a blues album. The “Saturday Night Live” vet showed up at New York’s La Rambla to pay his respects — and talk up his new musical venture — at the “SNL” afterparty on Saturday. He was joined by the likes of show host Alec Baldwin, conservative pundit Ann Coulter, Coulter’s political nemesis Al Franken, and current “SNL” players Tina Fey and Will Forte. … Joseph “Amp” Fiddler, keyboardist in ’70s funk-rock outfit Funkadelic, is in the final stages of recording a new solo album, to be released in January. Waltz of the Ghetto Fly features songs written with Raphael Saddiq, Jay Dee and former bandmate George Clinton. …

Two major manufacturing sites for CD bootlegs were busted last week after a year-and-a-half-long investigation by the RIAA and the New York Police Department. Nearly 56,100 counterfeit CDs were taken from one location in midtown Manhattan and one in the Bronx, where 34 CD-R burners and 20 DVD burners were also discovered. … SoundScan isn’t just for record stores anymore — the sales tracking system, which added iTunes and other digital-download services this summer, has expanded to include Napster, BuyMusic, Musicmatch and Musicnow. Last week, SoundScan reported more than 1 million tracks downloaded for the first time since it began tracking downloads in June. The main authority for retail music-sales information, SoundScan’s data provides the basis of the weekly Billboard music charts. …