For The Record: Quick News On Fantasia Barrino, Britney Spears, Courtney Love, Outkast, Nick Lachey, Loon & More

Fantasia Barrino, who has been telling reporters she will launch her recording career under the name Fantasia, will release her debut single on June 22. The A-side will be “I Believe,” the Tamyra Gray-co-written song she performed during the “American Idol” finale, while the B-side is still being considered (with most bets on “Summertime”). … “Idol” runner-up Diana DeGarmo, meanwhile, will release her single the following week so as not to compete directly with Fantasia like Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken did a year ago. She is still deciding on both the A- and B-sides. …

Though most of Courtney Love‘s adventures lately have unfortunately revolved around drugs and the law, the one that will be available in comic-book stories starting next month is much more magical. Thanks to Japanese animation, Love gets a fresh start as Princess Ai, a mysterious young woman dropped from another planet in Tokyo, where she must piece together clues about who she is, why she’s on Earth, and the secret of the heart-shaped box she carries. Oh, and there are other Nirvana references via the blondish, punkish boy named Kent, who helps her on the way. “I have always loved the Japanese culture and people,” Love said in a statement. “Princess Ai is a great character, because she feels like my alter ego, but in a fantasy setting.” The first volume of Princess Ai is available July 6. …

  Click for photos from “Princess Ai”



Britney Spears has revised some of her upcoming North American tour dates — canceling some and adding others. Shows previously scheduled for Raleigh, North Carolina, on July 22; Charlotte, North Carolina, on July 24; and West Palm Beach, Florida, on July 27 have been canceled; refunds are available for ticket-holders. In the meantime, shows have been added for Atlanta at HiFi Buys Amphitheatre on July 21; Atlantic City, New Jersey, at Borgata Hotel Casino on July 23; and Greensboro, North Carolina, at Greensboro Coliseum on July 25. …

January 10 is the trial date that’s been set for Rosa Parks‘ lawsuit against Outkast and their label, Arista Records. The civil-rights icon claims Outkast violated her trademark rights and defamed her when they named a song from their 1998 album, Aquemini, after her. The group’s lawyers want to question Parks, 91, but so far her lawyers refuse to allow it, citing medical reasons. A July 13 hearing has been set to decide whether Parks can be compelled to give a deposition in the case. Meanwhile, Parks has filed a star-filled witness list that includes Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey. In December, the Supreme Court refused Outkast’s plea to dismiss the lawsuit. … An estimated 8,000 people attended the Ohio Hip-Hop Summit Thursday afternoon on the campus of Ohio State University for the latest event from Russell Simmons and his Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. The summit — which drew such artists as Kanye West, Loon and Petey Pablo — registered 2,000 new voters. …

Marilyn Manson‘s lawsuit against former bandmember Scott Putesky (a.k.a. Daisy Berkowitz) and Empire Musicwerks Records has been settled. In the suit, filed on April 28, Manson sought to stop the continued distribution of an album and DVD of material from his former band the Spooky Kids, as the cover made unauthorized use of the singer’s image. On June 4, Empire Musicwerks announced that it would remove all artwork with Manson’s likeness from the album and DVD. … The emo flagwavers at Absolutepunk.net are about to launch their first package tour. Featuring several bands slapped with the “next big thing” label, Audio Karate, Say Anything, MC Lars and Lance’s Hero, the 15-show trek begins June 17 in Sacramento, California. …

Nick Lachey is already a big brother to his former 98 Degrees bandmate Drew, and now the “Newlyweds” star is going to take on the role for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Lachey is headlining a ceremony celebrating the youth mentoring organization’s 100th anniversary, which will take place June 16 in New York’s Bryant Park. “It’s amazing to me how you can change a young person’s life by spending as little as one hour a week with them, sharing simple things like a pizza or an ice-cream cone. It’s really about being a friend,” Lachey said in a statement. “I hope my involvement can help drive matches in the more than 5,000 communities nationwide where Big Brothers Big Sisters has a presence.” … Although she’s on tour, Madonna‘s getting the next few installments in her children’s book series ready. The third book, “Yakov and the Seven Thieves,” is due out in stores on June 21, while the fourth book, “The Adventures of Abdi,” will come out November 8. Of the third book, Madonna said in a statement that it’s a story “about how all of us have the ability to unlock the gates of heaven, no matter how unworthy we are. For when we go against our selfish natures, we make miracles happen, in our lives and in the lives of others.” …

Fresh from his starring role in the HBO movie “Something the Lord Made,” Mos Def has independently released an untitled EP. The five-song record includes the new songs “Excellence,” “Summertime,” “Pornographic,” “Grown Man Business” and a Brooklyn-themed freestyle. … A hit record can take you a very long way — all the way to the bank and the boardroom. St. Louis’ Trackboyz, producers of J-Kwon‘s “Tipsy,” have inked a joint venture with Island/ Def Jam to form their own label, Trackboyz Entertainment. …

Pearl Jam are expected to begin recording their next album, the follow-up to 2002′s Riot Act, by the end of the year. The effort will be the band’s first since leaving longtime label Epic Records. … Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar has teamed up with country performer Toby Keith to work on new songs. One of the duo’s tunes, “What Happens in Cabo Stays in Cabo,” will appear on Keith’s next album, which is due out later this year. Last April, Keith performed at the launch of Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. … Fountains of Wayne will release an album of B-sides before the end of the year. The band begins a tour on June 16 in Charleston, South Carolina, and wraps things up July 25 in Pittsburgh. …

Guitarist Robert Quine — whose three-decade career included work with Lou Reed, Matthew Sweet, Tom Waits, John Zorn and Richard Hell — died on May 31, apparently of an intentional heroin overdose. Quine’s body was found last weekend by his friend Rick Kelly, who became concerned when phone calls weren’t returned. According to Kelly, the guitarist left a suicide note. Kelly said that Quine, 61, had fallen into substance abuse (which had not previously been a problem) after his wife of many years died of cardiac arrest last year. Quine apparently attempted suicide about a month ago as well. … Aerosmith canceled a Sunday concert near Birmingham, Alabama, hours before the band was to take the stage as one of the bandmembers — the group’s reps wouldn’t say which one — was ill. The show has been rescheduled for June 30. …

Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes will release a solo album, Gibby Haynes & His Problem, on August 31. The disc will feature 11 songs including “Kaiser” and “Redneck Sex.” Buttholes member Paul Leary guests on keyboards and mixed half the tracks. … While Finch put the finishing touches on their second album in a Los Angeles studio, the band is gearing up for a summer tour to show fans what they can expect. Beginning Saturday with the first three dates of the roving Rolling Rock Town Fair festival, which kicks off in Boston, the band will stay on the road for two dozen dates through mid-September. The as-yet-untitled album is expected out before the end of the year. …

6.4. 2004

On New York radio station Hot 97 on Friday (June 4), Shyne spoke out for the first time since going to prison in 2001. Among the revelations he disclosed to radio host Angie Martinez is that he thinks he’ll be out of jail in early 2005 and Jay-Z has talked to him about forming an all-Brooklyn supergroup consisting of Jay, Shyne and Foxy Brown. …

We’re not sure whether “Blue Hawaii” or “Viva Las Vegas” is the theme song to Josey Scott‘s honeymoon, but we do know that the Saliva frontman wed Kendra Lynnett Edney last weekend (May 29) at Elvis Presley‘s former estate, Graceland. Before you think about exchanging vows where the King once gorged himself on fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, know that not everyone can marry at Graceland. Scott, a Memphis, Tennessee, native who also owns one of Elvis’ old limos, knows someone on the inside. … Here’s your chance to say, “I’m with the band,” and really mean it. New Found Glory are offering six fans the opportunity to be a roadie for a day. Fans choose from six different prize packages like trips to New Zealand and the Triple Crown Surfing event in Hawaii, a PT Cruiser, Fender guitars, and of course, the opportunity to see the band in concert and party with the members backstage. The contest runs until August 1. To enter, go to www.pacsun.com. …

R. Kelly tops the list of nominees for the 2004 Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards with eight nods, followed by Jay-Z, who has seven. The event is set for August 6 in Miami, immediately following the three-day Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Conference. Beyoncé, Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz, Alicia Keys, Chingy and Outkast are also among the artists with multiple nominations. … While on tour with No Doubt, guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young will step out on Saturday to guest with San Francisco musician Bing Ji Ling and play some of his blue-eyed soul at New York’s Knitting Factory. …

Slipknot have booked a couple of “Off-fest” dates of their own in between Ozzfest performances. July 11 finds the band, along with Slayer, Hatebreed and God Forbid, in Augusta, Maine; while on August 29, the band will play in Virginia Beach, Virginia. … Lindsay Lohan‘s father has been accused of assaulting a relative at a party at the Lohans’ Long Island, New York, home. He was arraigned on Thursday in First District Court in Hempstead on charges of second-degree assault and aggravated harassment for allegedly assaulting his brother-in-law Matt Sullivan on May 23. Lindsay’s father reportedly said Sullivan showed up at the family gathering drunk and was responsible for the fight. Lohan is due to appear in court on June 8. …

The first new Helmet album in more than six years, Size Matters, will come out on September 14. The band currently features frontman Page Hamilton, guitarist Chris Traynor, bassist Frank Bello (ex-Anthrax) and drummer John Tempesta (ex-White Zombie). … Extreme metal band the Dillinger Escape Plan will headline a monthlong North American tour, which will also feature a host of unknowns including the Bronx, Planes Mistaken for Stars, Decehedron and others. The multi-act tour will be called F—ing With the Lights On and will launch July 18 in Baltimore. Dates are scheduled through August 17 in New York. Dillinger Escape Plan’s new album, Miss Machine, is slated for release July 20. …

NBC is planning a 12-hour series about the history of Motown Records and its creator, Berry Gordy. “Berry Gordy’s Motown” is expected to air in the 2005-2006 season. … Guitar amplifiers autographed by Led Zeppelin‘s Jimmy Page will be included in the Rock Legends auction, which takes place on June 16. Proceeds will go to the ABC Trust charity, which was founded by Page’s wife, Jimena Gomez-Paratcha, in 1998. Commission/absentee bids will be accepted on www.cooperowen.com up to 24 hours before the sale. …

Kittie nearly took a bath while shooting the video for their new single, “Into the Darkness,” when an acrylic pool on the set exploded and 600 gallons of water poured over the soundstage. Guitarist and singer Morgan Lander grabbed her guitar and bolted when she heard the explosion. All other bandmembers were off the set. When drummer Mercedes Lander returned to the set, her kit was sitting in two inches of water. After cleaning up, director Greg Kaplan and Rafaela Monfradini completed the performance-based video shoot. …