For The Record: Quick News On 50 Cent, Cold, Hilary Duff, Usher, Missy Elliott, Dido, Beck, Madonna & More

He’ll still be in the house, but 50 Cent will not be performing at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards. He had been announced as a performer several weeks ago. … One of 50′s bodyguards has been charged in a shooting that occurred outside a Jersey City, New Jersey, hotel in September. Shots were fired outside the hotel’s lobby in what was initially believed to be a gunfight involving the rapper. But Hudson County prosecutors say that so far the evidence they have implicates only one gunman, William Floyd, who fired warning shots in the air. He’s being charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon with unlawful intent. …

Following guitarist Terry Balsamo‘s defection to Evanescence, Cold have tapped Eddie Rendini, formerly of Darwin’s Waiting Room, as his replacement. The band plans to begin work on its fourth album later this year. … Linkin Park canceled Friday’s (February 6) concert with P.O.D. and Hoobastank in Inglewood, California, after singer Chester Bennington was diagnosed with bronchitis and acute laryngitis and was advised by his doctor not to perform. The show has been rescheduled for March 15. Tuesday’s show in West Valley City, Utah, is still on. …

Hilary Duff, Ashanti, Usher, Will Smith and Fefe Dobson will join pro hoopsters LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and others for the NBA’s “Read to Achieve” special. The one-hour program will premiere February 14 at noon ET and will be simulcast on ABC, TNT, BET, Nick GAS, and NBA TV, as well as several online outlets. … Missy Elliott has signed on to be one of the new spokespeople for M.A.C. cosmetics. For the company’s upcoming Viva Glam campaign, Elliott joins Christina Aguilera, actress Chloë Sevigny, supermodel Linda Evangelista and pop icon Boy George. All proceeds from the cosmetic line’s Viva Glam V pink lipstick and lip gloss go to the M.A.C. AIDS Fund, which raises money for people living with HIV and AIDS. …

First comes Love, then comes marriage, or so Courtney Love figures, as she’s offering to perform a marriage ceremony for a lucky radio contest winner. Fourteen alternative rock stations throughout the country are participating, including WHFS-FM in Washington, D.C., and K-ROCK (WXRK-FM) in New York, according to the singer’s Web site. … The first two artists from crunkmaster Lil Jon‘s new record label, Black Market Entertainment, are joining forces for the label’s first album release. The LP, due February 24, has the unwieldy title The King of Crunk & BME Recordings Present Trillville & Lil Scrappy.

A year after Esquire printed a story about the Flaming Lips, in which Beck was called “a di–,” the musician has responded with a sarcastic letter to the magazine. The letter, printed in the February issue, states, “Your insights really brought to light the depths of my character and showed all the world who I truly am. … I have been given cause to reflect on what may be important in my life and what may be irrelevant. Like last week, when, during my shopping spree at Louis Vuitton, I started thinking about how cool it was when I was broke and drove that old Chevy with the brakes that didn’t work and had no money for food. … I am really going to turn things around and do something meaningful with my life now, like publish a magazine with Britney Spears‘ butt on the cover. That would probably be ‘keeping it real’ and leaving something noble behind for posterity. … Thanks, Esquire, for changing my life for the better.” …

The remixes are in for Madonna‘s next single, “Love Profusion.” The maxi single, out in March, will include six remixes, including a bonus mix of “Nothing Fails” by Peter Rauhofer, who has also left his touch on Madge’s most recent entries — her collabo with Britney, “Me Against the Music,” “American Life,” and her Gap commercial jingle with Missy Elliott, “Get Into the Hollywood Groove.” … Dido helped shut down a white power Web site after learning it was using two of her songs to promote its hateful messages. Owners of the site had misinterpreted the tracks “White Flag” and “This Land Is Mine” as racist and thought they represented their views. When she discovered this, Dido contacted her label, which called the British Photographic Industry. The site was then closed down. Dido is currently working on material for her next album. …

The Chemical Brothers, Paul Oakenfold, Paul van Dyk, Sasha and John Digweed are headlining the sixth annual Ultra Music Festival, scheduled for March 6 at Bayfront Park in Miami. Perry Farrell, Goldie, Tiesto, Erick Morillo and Richie Hawtin are also among the big names DJing, while the Rapture, Junkie XL and Miss Kittin are among several acts performing live sets. … Billy Talent singer Ben Kowalewicz is likely to look twice before tossing another broken mic stand with wild abandon. After he did just that at a show Tuesday in Edmonton, Alberta, while performing the single “Try Honesty,” the stand conked drummer Aaron Solowoniuk in the head, leaving him unconscious and in need of 18 stitches. The show was stopped and Solowoniuk was taken to a hospital. Billy Talent’s two-week trek with MxPx and Simple Plan, beginning February 13 in St. Petersburg, Florida, has not been affected by the accident. …

After being photographed by a British newspaper walking along a train track in Cornwall, Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher has been questioned by British Transport police for trespassing on a railway line. Gallagher admitted breaking the law and officials are deciding whether or not to prosecute. Oasis are currently in Cornwall working on their next studio album. … The parent company of record chain Tower Records will likely file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, reported the San Diego Union Tribune. The move would involve a debt-for-equity trade in which the current owners of the company, the Solomon family, would give up the chain to the company’s bondholders, Reuters reported. …

02.05.2004

Britney Spears is in the throes of boot-camp-like rehearsals in Los Angeles for her upcoming tour, but she’s also keeping an eye on future movie projects. Besides recently signing on to star in and produce “Door to Door,” the singer initiated a meeting last week with the producer of the James Bond film franchise, Barbara Broccoli, about the possibility of appearing as a Bond girl in the next installment. A rep for MGM described the meeting as “very cursory” since there is yet no treatment, no script and, consequently, no roles set for Bond 21, production for which is scheduled to start in London in January 2005. …

Following her breast-baring performance at Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show, Janet Jackson will not be attending this weekend’s Grammy Awards. Janet had been scheduled to present a special Grammy to Luther Vandross, who has been recuperating from a stroke for the past 10 months. … R. Kelly got a breather in the case against him in Polk County, Florida, as a judge on Thursday (February 5) granted a continuance to address the defense’s request to throw out digital pictures of a nude underage girl found at his Florida residence in his child-pornography trial in that state (he’s also facing trial in Illinois on the same charge). The new court date to deal with the suppression of evidence is March 11. …

P. Diddy, Nelly, Sean Paul, Nick Cannon, Ashton Kutcher, Paris Hilton and Nick Carter are among the stars slated for the NBA’s All-Star Celebrity Game, set for February 13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Viewers at home hoping to catch the action, or at least see what Hilton will be wearing while serving as an assistant coach, can watch the game live on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET. … The Roots will celebrate their Grammy nomination (for Best Rap Album) this weekend in Los Angeles with a secret jam-session show that’s expected to attract a host of other musicians, including Norah Jones, John Mayer and Outkast‘s Andre 3000. …

Scott Weiland got a start date of February 18 for his DUI trial at a hearing Thursday (February 5) in Los Angeles. His attorney and doctor, meanwhile, released statements that the singer had not changed rehab facilities in the last month in defiance of the court order, but rather at the suggestion of his recovery counselors. “We were under the impression that Scott’s move was not against the court’s wishes,” his attorney Michael Nasatir said. Weiland’s primary recovery specialist, Dr. Drew Pinsky, said that the rehab move to a non-lockdown facility was made after detox to help Weiland “get back to the basics of sobriety while he pursued other treatment, which is a long treatment … but that does not require a hospital.” The joint statements also claimed that Weiland was addressing mental-health issues that “have an organic neuropsychological basis and are pharmacologically treatable.” Weiland’s rep could not elaborate on what the singer’s mental-health issues are. …

Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor is in Los Angeles writing songs for his next record, the follow-up to his 1999 double album, The Fragile. Veteran producer Rick Rubin will likely work with Reznor on the record. No release date has been scheduled. … Authorities in California have put the kibosh on Beck‘s plans to give his pet rabbit, Rocket, to the lucky winner of an essay contest. Turns out awarding certain animals to contest winners is a violation of a state penal code. So the iconoclastic artist has decided to put Rocket up for adoption at an animal shelter run by the Pasadena Humane Society. That probably means an end to the rodent’s acting career — his last role was as a rabbit in Beck’s Sea Change DVD. … Ryan Adams is home recovering from surgery to repair his left wrist, which he broke in Liverpool, England, after falling off the stage during a show. Doctors have placed his arm in a cast and expect it to take between six weeks and two months for the bones to heal. Even then, it’s likely that Adams will only gain 80 percent of the mobility in his wrist. It is unknown how the injury will affect his guitar-playing in the future. …

A 32-year-old club promoter was forced to listen to two and a half hours of opera music last week in Florida as punishment for playing 50 Cent‘s music too loud. Michael Carreras was ticketed for violating Miami Beach’s noise-ordinance law and was given an option by the police officer: Pay a $500 fine or listen to opera. He chose the latter and visited Judge Jeffrey Swartz’s chambers to serve out his punishment. The selection? “La Traviata.” … The Beastie Boys are nearly finished with their first album in six years. The as-yet-untitled follow-up to 1998′s Hello Nasty is in the mixing stage and is expected to drop this summer. …

Jeff Tweedy is set to publish his first book, “Adult Head.” The lyricist for Uncle Tupelo and Wilco has collected a series of poems for Zoo Press’ first run of its Nightingale Editions series, due out in March. A sample, from “Singing Combat”: “I believe your sorrow was sunshine/ Murdered for longing, your broken package/ A crushed open can of a pure bug’s beauty/ Crawling up lip and lash on your face/ Before afternoon smiled for climbed stairs/ All because your laugh suggested combat.” … Ben Kweller‘s third solo album, On My Way, will hit shelves April 6. The LP, which was produced by Ethan Johns, will feature the songs “I Need You Back,” “The Rules” and “Here Me Out.” Kweller will tour with Death Cab for Cutie starting March 24 in Omaha, Nebraska. Dates are scheduled through May 15 in Anaheim, California. …

Master P appeared in federal court in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Thursday to plead guilty to failing to file a corporate tax return seven years ago for his company Bout It Incorporated, the Associated Press reports. P, born Percy Miller, could receive a combination of probation and fines at his sentencing hearing, which has not yet been set. On Thursday morning a man unsuccessfully attempted to serve the rapper with papers relating to another matter, going so far as trying to block him from passing through the courthouse’s metal detector. …

Recording just one album would be too easy for Robert Pollard. The Guided by Voices frontman has tracked 15 songs for his band’s next album, the follow-up to last year’s Earthquake Glue, while also working on his next solo album, Fiction Man. Matador is expected to release the GBV LP this summer, while the solo effort is in line for Pollard’s Fading Captain series, due next month. Meanwhile, seven shows that were recently postponed after Pollard hurt his back have been rescheduled to begin March 5. … Stereolab have announced a batch of U.S. tour dates in support of their new album, Margerine Eclipse. It will be the band’s first Stateside visit since the death of keyboardist Mary Hansen. The trek will kick off March 28 in Costa Mesa, California, and wind down April 20 in Washington, D.C. …

Swedish garage rockers the Division of Laura Lee will follow their 2002 debut, Black City, with Das Not Compute on May 11. The LP, recorded in their native country with Kalle Gustafsson and Don Alstherberg, includes the songs “Sneaking Up on Mr. Prez,” “We Are Numbers” and “There Is a Last Time for Everything.” … A series of underground pop and garage music compilations along the lines of the much-touted Nuggets collections will be released through Rhinohandmade.com. The first pair of releases, Come to the Sunshine: Soft Pop Nuggets From the WEA Vaults and Hallucinations: Psychedelic Pop Nuggets from the WEA Vaults, came out Tuesday, and editions devoted to folk rock and garage rock will be released later this year. There are only 7,500 copies of each edition available. …