For The Record: Quick News On Ray Charles, 50 Cent, Fantasia Barrino, T-Boz, Incubus & More

Ray Charles fans wishing to pay their final respects to the legendary musician will be able to do so on Thursday. A public memorial and viewing for Charles is scheduled to take place in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Clint Eastwood and Stevie Wonder will be among Charles’ friends who will come out to honor him at the two-hour ceremony. On Friday, there will be an invitation-only funeral at the First AME Church on Harvard Boulevard in Los Angeles, after which the funeral procession will pass by Charles’ studios, recently designated a city historical landmark. The cortege will then drive to the cemetery where Charles, who passed away last Thursday of complications resulting from liver disease, will be buried. …

When he’s not rolling across the globe with 50 Cent, DJ Whoo Kid is planning on putting together a special mixtape. According to his spokesperson, the Queens street rep is working with Rap the Vote to put out a street CD promoting voting. So far, according to Whoo Kid’s people, 50, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Talib Kweli and Dead Prez are donating records, while the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, LeBron James, will be hosting the mixtape. There is no street date for the project yet. … “American Idol” runner-up Diana DeGarmo will release her version of “I Believe,” the song Tamyra Gray co-wrote for the “American Idol” finale that will be Fantasia‘s first single, as the B-side to her debut single, a double A-side featuring two Desmond Child-produced songs, “Dreams” and “Don’t Cry Out Loud.” DeGarmo’s single drops June 29, a week after Fantasia’s single, which will include a studio version of her much-lauded “Summertime” cover as the B-side. …

C-Murder‘s second murder trial will start September 13. The rapper was convicted last September for the shooting death of a 16-year-old in 2002, but a new trial was ordered earlier this year after a judge determined the prosecution withheld evidence from the defense. … Alanis Morissette and “Van Wilder” star Ryan Reynolds are engaged. “It was very simple, pure and sweet — and shocking,” Morissette told Us Weekly of the proposal, which came with a 2.5 carat platinum ring. …

TLC‘s T-Boz has filed for divorce from her husband, rapper Mack 10. According to The Associated Press, court documents filed by T-Boz allege that Mack 10 committed adultery and threatened to kill her. The singer reportedly seeks full custody of their 3-year-old daughter, Chase Anela. T-Boz filed the divorce papers, as well as a temporary restraining order against her husband, on June 8. Mack 10 denied the allegations and has been ordered to appear in court on June 22. A spokesperson for T-Boz declined to comment. … Sparta have stepped in to replace the Vines as the opening act on Incubus‘ North American tour, which runs from June 24 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to August 18 in Los Angeles. The opening slot for Incubus, however, prevents Sparta from performing on the Lollapalooza tour, for which they had been scheduled. While on the road, Sparta will release their second LP, Porcelain (July 13). The Vines withdrew from the Incubus tour last week, citing exhaustion. …

The Polyphonic Spree, Gomez and the Thrills will tour together on off nights during Lollapalooza. The outing, which begins July 16 in Vancouver, will feature the Spree trading in their white robes for a Technicolor look. … James Brown has decided not to contest domestic-violence charges made by his wife in an effort to avoid a trial and keep his family life private. The Godfather of Soul was arrested in Columbia, South Carolina, in January after his wife, Tommie Rae Brown, called police, saying she feared for her life. When cops arrived, they found scratches and bruises on her right arm and lacerations on her hip. Tommie Rae said her husband had thrown her to the floor, then threatened her with a wrought-iron chair. Brown and his wife are currently in Ireland. …

Damon Dash and his Team Roc athletic-clothing line are sponsoring the Kingdome Basketball Classic, a 10-week summer basketball league to be held in New York’s Harlem neighborhood. Kingdome kicks off June 19 with a special concert featuring Roc-A-Fella artists. Dash has renovated the courts and provided all the teams with new uniforms. … PlayStation 2 has hopped on board Russell Simmons‘ voter-registration drive through his Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. The video-game company will ferry each summit’s guest panelists in a PlayStation 2 private jet, supply video games to those guests and provide giveaways for fans who come to each event. Upcoming summits are set for New Orleans (June 17), Boston (July 26) and St. Louis (August 21). …

An 18-year-old Californian has won David Bowie‘s Mash Up Remix Contest. David Choi was selected from thousands of entries by a panel of judges that included Bowie himself for his remix “Big Shaken Car,” a creative hybrid of “She’ll Drive the Big Car,” from Bowie’s 2003 album, Reality, and “Shake It,” from 1983′s Let’s Dance. Choi, who finished high school last week, is celebrating his graduation with his grand prize, a 2004 Audi TT Coupe. … Icelandic pop icon Björk has announced a late August release date for her next album, Medulla. Following a greatest-hits compilation in 2002 and Vespertine, released the year before, the LP features the electronic experimental duo Matmos, who opened for and backed Björk on her Vespertine tour. …

On their current European tour, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have indulged in retro musical flashbacks with covers of popular ’70s songs. Looking Glass‘ “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl),” Cat Stevens‘ “Hard Headed Woman” and Donna Summer‘s “I Feel Love” (which first appeared in the band’s set during the last tour) have so far been given the Chili treatment. …. Swedish rock import Sahara Hotnights will release their third album (the first on a major U.S. label), Kiss & Tell, on July 27. The first single, “Hot Night Crash,” will hit radio at the end of June and the accompanying Cinco de Mayo-themed video will be out soon. Sahara Hotnights will play a few Scandinavian festivals before opening for country mates the Hives on the band’s U.S. tour, which kicks off July 20 in Washington, D.C. …

Eric Clapton is selling some of his favorite guitars, the ones he calls the “cream of my collection,” via auction house Christie’s New York on June 24. One of the highlights of the lot is “Blackie,” a composite Fender Stratocaster that Slowhand played throughout the ’70s until the mid-’80s, and which is expected to bring in between $100,000 and $150,000. Some of the guitarist’s friends, including the Who‘s Pete Townshend, have contributed instruments to the auction as well. All proceeds from the sale will go to Clapton’s Crossroads Centre in Antigua, founded in 1997 “for the treatment of alcohol, drugs and other addictive disorders.” Interested buyers should check out www.christies.com for details. …

06.14.04

Happy birthday to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen! The teen twins turned a long-awaited 18 on Sunday, which means they can now do a whole assortment of things with grown-ups without any legal repercussions … like vote and play Lotto! …

Usher vs. R. Kelly: It’s going down at the 2004 BET Awards on June 29 in Los Angeles. The two are up for Best Male R&B Artist, along with Anthony Hamilton, Ruben Studdard and Luther Vandross. Usher and the R. will also square off in the Viewers Choice category — “Step in the Name of Love” and “Yeah!” are up against Beyoncé‘s “Crazy in Love,” Lil Jon‘s “Get Low,” Kanye West‘s “All Falls Down” and Outkast‘s “Hey Ya!” and “The Way You Move.” … After announcing her plans to develop a perfume in March, Britney Spears is getting closer to releasing her own line via Elizabeth Arden. She’s calling the scent Curious, and it has a white floral overtone accented with Louisiana magnolia with an underlying vanilla musk. It’ll come in an azure-blue glass bottle with heart-shaped charms. The line, which will hit stores in September, will also include a body soufflé, a shower gel and a perfumed shimmer stick. …

The Pixies have recorded a new song, “Bam Thwok,” their first original track in 13 years. The song is being released exclusively through Apple’s iTunes Music Store starting Tuesday at midnight. The song features Kim Deal singing lyrics from a discarded children’s art book she found on the street many years ago: “Bosses in offices on automatic drip/ They got the keys to the city/ But we got a lotta shaking in our hips.” The Pixies recorded “Bam Thwok” in Los Angeles in March while the band was practicing for its recent reunion tour. … Nothing says “Happy Father’s Day!” like getting your old man a lunch date with Avril Lavigne or Nick Lachey — at least that’s the thinking by the folks organizing a charity auction to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Winning bidders on “Because You Love Him,” a special eBay auction, can also purchase slightly more appropriate gifts, like an afternoon with golf pro Arnold Palmer, lunch with boxing promoter Don King, and two hours with Magic Johnson. …

Michael Jackson will not be getting any money back from the court system anytime soon. A California judge ruled on Friday that the singer will not be allowed to reduce his $3 million bail, since he originally posted it “without objection or apparent difficulty.” Without evidence to prove financial hardship, the financial incentive to make his court dates remains in place, Judge Rodney Melville wrote in his decision. … Modest Mouse‘s longtime drummer Jeremiah Green, who left 14 months ago because of conflicts in the studio, has returned and will tour with the band this summer. Green had been temporarily replaced by Helio Sequence‘s Benjamin Weikel, who played on the latest Modest Mouse disc, Good News for People Who Love Bad News, and has also toured with the group. …

P. Diddy was forced to leave the Saturday afternoon performance of the Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” in the middle of the show. According to his spokesperson, the rapper/actor, who plays Walter Lee Younger in the production, arrived at the theater feeling ill but insisted on going on. By intermission, however, he was so sick that his stage manager instructed him to go home. Diddy’s understudy, Billy Eugene Jones, filled in for him for the remainder of the Saturday matinee show, and went on in his place for the Saturday evening and Sunday performances. Diddy will return to the stage on Tuesday. … Former Saves the Day bassist Sean McGrath lost his two-year battle with intestinal cancer on Friday. He was 28. A veteran of the New York hardcore scene, McGrath played on STD’s 1998 debut, Can’t Slow Down, as well as in bands Hands Tied, Mouthpiece and the Alps. He was at home with friends and family when he died. …

DMX has been sued by pet-goods manufacturer Amusing Diversions for breach of contract and fraud because he agreed to promote a line of designer wear for dogs even though he was found guilty of animal cruelty. Amusing Diversions is concerned that the rapper’s 2002 conviction for caging and neglecting 13 pit-bull terriers at his home in Teaneck, New Jersey, will cause chain stores such as PETCO to boycott his products. The DMX line includes animal bubble jackets, raincoats and jerseys. … Smokey Robinson, who uses the slogan “The soul is in the bowl” for his Louisiana line of foods, is being sued by a Louisiana chef who claims he trademarked the expression “Soul in Yo Bowl” in 1997, a decade after he started using it. Johnny “Jambalaya” Percle filed suit last week in federal court, claiming Robinson has infringed on his trademark, causing confusion among his customers. …

Sleepy Brown‘s upcoming solo album, which he recently re-titled Only for the Grown and Sexy, has been pushed back from June to a fall release. The Outkast affiliate has also changed the first single from the Big Boi-produced “Dooley Wop” to the Pharrell Williams collaboration “Margarita.” … Meanwhile, Outkast have pushed back the shooting of their HBO musical to late summer. “We’re trying to finish up some of the songs that we have to shoot scenes for,” Big Boi explained. … Boyz II Men, minus the recently retired Michael McCary, are putting the finishing touches on Throwback, a collection of R&B covers. Due August 24, the album will feature Michael Jackson‘s “Human Nature,” Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together” and Bobby Caldwell‘s “What You Won’t Do for Love” featuring MC Lyte, which will be the first single. …