For The Record: Quick News On Outkast, R. Kelly, Usher, ‘American Idol,’ Farnsworth Bentley, 3 Doors Down & More

Outkast have come under fire in the U.K. for a poster promoting their latest album, Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below. An image of Andre 3000 holding a smoking pink gun has been targeted by the U.K. advertising watchdog organization Advertising Standards Authority for being “irresponsible” and glorifying gun use. The image is also in the album’s CD booklet. Outkast’s U.K. record label, BMG, said the poster was meant to be ironic. …

Though R. Kelly was due back in court on child-pornography charges August 13, he got the date pushed back to September 27, so that he could go on tour. … First season “American Idol” finalist Tamyra Gray will join the third season’s singers as a special guest on the American Idols Live Tour. Gray, promoting her recently released debut album, The Dreamer, will hit 42 of the 49 cities with Fantasia and the gang. …

Farnsworth Bentley is finalizing the designs for his umbrella line, due in the fall, which he said will include a lot of fuchsia. “Fuchsia is the new pink. For those of you who have 64 crayons with the sharpener in the back, you know what I’m talking about.” … While he’s on tour in England, Usher will receive an honorary diploma from London’s Newham College of Further Education. On Thursday, the R&B star will be awarded for helping the school out with a program to aid troubled students find success in the music industry. …

Will the real dog-snatcher please stand up? A suspect in a dognapping incident in Trenton, New Jersey, has been described as an Eminem look-alike. A 6′ tall white male, with bleached-blond hair, tattoos and a T-shirt emblazoned with the word “Shady” (Eminem’s clothing company), walked into JP O’Neill’s kennel and snatched a Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix selling for $450. Police acknowledge that the suspect closely resembles the megastar rapper and hope that will help in his apprehension. … 3 Doors Down bassist Todd Harrell is starting his own label, Imprint Records, and he’s looking for a few good Southerners. So he’s holding a contest in six Southeastern states, and the final 11 bands will compete in a talent show for a record contract. The label will produce and coordinate distribution of the winning band’s album and will put the group on tour. The finals will take place in Gulfport, Mississippi, August 13 and 14. Interested bands should log onto www.3doorsdown.com for more information. …

Live footage of Staind, Shinedown and Sevendust will be included in a DVD of last year’s Locobazooka! festival, which comes out July 20. Proceeds will be donated to Home for Our Troops, which constructs handicapped-adjusted houses for severely disabled soldiers. Locobazooka! 2004 took place September 28 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, at the city’s Municipal Airport and drew 15,000 fans. The show also featured Smile Empty Soul, Powerman 5000, Lacuna Coil, Lo-Pro and others. … Songs by Kid Rock, Cypress Hill, Fu Manchu and Down will be featured on the soundtrack to the movie “Motorcycle Mania 3,” which comes out July 27. Jesse James, the CEO and chief designer for West Coast Choppers and the host of Discovery Channel’s “Monster Garage,” handpicked the tracks for the album, which also includes songs by Lou Rawls, Corrosion of Conformity, New Bomb Turks, the Supersuckers, Danzig and others. …

The final act has been booked for the Cure‘s Curiosa Festival. Joining second-stage acts Thursday, Muse, Cursive, Melissa Auf Der Maur, Cooper Temple Clause and Head Automatica will be Sympathy for the Record Industry act Scarling. The Curiosa Festival kicks off July 24 in West Palm Beach, Florida. … Paris Hilton isn’t going to have to worry about people trying to figure out which perfume in stores is her brand — it’ll simply be called “Paris Hilton.” Parlux Fragrances is planning a soft launch for the line in November, and will start promoting it soon after for an official Valentine’s Day release. …

The last time Ready for the World had a hit record out, kids were clamoring to watch “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends” on TV, the Mets were the baddest baseball team in New York and nobody would laugh at you if you sported a jheri curl. Well, get ready for some nostalgia. The Flint, Michigan, collective, which scored the hits “Oh Sheila” and “Love You Down” in the ’80s, is trying to come back and reclaim the spotlight with the July 20 release of She Said She Wants Some.Gavin Rossdale, Gwen Stefani‘s hubby and former frontman of ’90s rock band Bush, has formed a new group called Institute. Rossdale recorded 14 tracks with the band in Los Angeles, and plans to travel to New York in August to complete three more songs before releasing a full album. …

Brides of Destruction/ Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx says he will sue Dragonfly Clothing for breach of contract as the company has reneged on payments to Sixx for his clothing line. In a post on his Web site, Sixx said that the company grossed “millions of dollars in sales” on his clothing line, but has offered the rocker “hardly a dime.” … Although Hoobastank‘s original treatment for their second video for “Same Direction” had a guest-star spot for the mom of the fictional lost member of their band, Joan Jett‘s cameo in the clip was altered in the final version so that she’s now playing a sister, not a mother. …

07.06.04

This fall, Nick Lachey will be getting hot and heavy with Alyssa Milano, and Jessica Simpson doesn’t seem to mind. The “Newlyweds” star is joining the cast of the WB’s “Charmed” for six episodes, playing a ghost writer who fills in for Milano’s character, Phoebe, while she’s away. He of course eventually falls for her. …

G-Unit‘s Game is planning a fall release for his debut. “The album is pretty much done, I’m just waiting on the single,” he said. “Tuesday [July 6] I go to Miami to get with Timbaland, and then I come back and get with Dre and it’s a wrap.” Game has also recorded with his fellow G-Unit members, as well as with Eminem and D12. … “Fahrenheit 9/11″ filmmaker Michael Moore is in the process of directing a new video for Neil Young‘s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” the song used during the end credits of Moore’s politically charged movie. Moore’s clip, which will feature scenes from the movie as well as performance footage, will be included on the re-released version of the 1989 single, due in late August. …

Diddy did it twice over the weekend in the Hamptons, the vacation destination for New York’s rich and famous. On Sunday he hosted his white party, where such celebrities as Paris Hilton, Nick Carter, LL Cool J, Reverend Al Sharpton, Russell Simmons, Mary J. Blige, Robert Iler and Jay-Z attended. However, the function ended prematurely without explanation. P. Diddy did keep the party going on, though — he quickly got on the mic and told everyone that they were “moving the sexy” to the nearby Star Room. Ashanti, Irv Gotti and Tyson Beckford were among those who attended the later festivities. …

Paris Hilton celebrated the launch of her record label, Heiress Records, with a party in the Hamptons on Friday, with Nick Carter, Rachel Hunter and Lizzie Grubman all in attendance. Though her own album, Paris Is Burning, has yet to be completed, the hotel heiress told reporters that it sounds like “a combination of Blondie and Madonna with a little bit of hip-hop thrown in.” … Meanwhile, her sister, Nicky, is promoting her handbag line for the Samantha Thavasa label at the SoHo location of Bloomingdale’s in New York on Thursday. … Besides partying to support Paris, Nick Carter had his own cause to celebrate — finishing the Backstreet Boys album. A.J. McLean‘s mother, Denise, posted an update on her Web site, BackstreetMom.com, revealing that the group had completed the task and is enjoying some time off. “Now comes the hard part of putting a tour together and rehearsing to get it all perfected,” she wrote. “All the boys have been working hard with personal trainers to get back into tip-top shape for the upcoming rigorous schedule.” …

New Edition say their new LP will have “the Bad Boy bounce” but still maintain that same New Edition smooth style. Fresh from a two-day video shoot in New Mexico for the track “Hot 2 Nite,” Ralph, Ronnie, Mike, Johnny and Ricky performed this past weekend at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. The group revealed its new album’s title, One Love, and its due date, September 25. … Macy Gray took it all off for charity Monday night in London. The singer made good on a promise to wear nothing but a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes at an event to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation. After the lights went out following her regular set, the stage was re-illuminated to reveal a stark naked Gray sitting in a chair with her back to the crowd. …

Scott Weiland pleaded no contest to driving under the influence of drugs, a misdemeanor, during his hearing in Los Angeles on Friday. His sentencing is set for Thursday. … Enough people donated to Courtney Love‘s Web site to pay the server bill and save the site. Kittyradio.com will be back online on Friday. … After pleading guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon at his hearing in New York State Supreme Court on Friday, folk rocker David Crosby was fined $5,000 and told not to get arrested again. The penalty stems from an incident in March, when a loaded pistol and an ounce of marijuana were found in luggage Crosby left in his hotel room. The drug charge was dismissed. …

To mark the 20th anniversary of the film “Purple Rain,” Prince reunited with a few old pals Friday to kick off the three-day Essence Music Festival, held in New Orleans. Joining the Purple One onstage were the film’s co-star Morris Day and his band the Time, guitarist Wendy Melvoin of Prince’s former band the Revolution, and percussionist Sheila E. … The Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ performance at London’s Hyde Park last month was recorded for the California funksters’ first official live album. The two-disc Live in Hyde Park, due July 26, will only be available as an import. …

System of a Down are taking a frugal approach to recording their next album. Instead of recording dozens of songs they think might make it onto their fourth album — more than 30 tunes were tracked for 2001′s ToxicitySerj Tankian and company will only track those destined to make the cut. The band is currently wrapping up pre-production and has moved from a North Hollywood rehearsal space to a home studio in Hollywood. A release date has yet to be set for the effort. … Burning Brides will promote their recently released Leave No Ashes with a headlining club tour that kicks off July 15 in their hometown of Philadelphia. The Explosion are also on the trek, which wraps August 31 in Atlanta. …

Lil Jon associate Lil Scrappy is developing a line of shoes for Fila and planning his second album, for release in December. Meanwhile, he just released “No Problem” as the second single from his debut LP. “It’s a crunk country song,” he said. “You telling everybody you don’t want no drama in the street, you don’t want ‘No Problem.’ ” … Along with moving into “The Surreal Life” house, Public Enemy‘s clock-toting rapper Flavor Flav has been recording a solo album, due in the fall. P.E. are also planning an album for a late 2004 release. …

Slick Rick has signed with Def Jam for his first album since spending 17 months in a federal detention center. “It’s gonna cater to the mature audience,” he said, adding he hopes to collaborate with Elephant Man. … Speaking of the dancehall star, Elephant Man will release “Cock Up Your Bumper” with Big Tigger and Sasha as the next single from his breakthrough Good 2 Go album. He also revealed he just finished a track with Will Smith. …

Ex-Megadeth drummer Nick Menza has rejoined the recently reunited group. While studio veteran Vinnie Colaiuta drummed on the band’s upcoming comeback disc, The System Has Failed (out September 14), Menza will be behind the kit for the group’s next tour. The System Has Failed features guest work by the band’s former guitarist Chris Poland, who was fired before the group recorded its third album, 1988′s So Far, So Good … So What!.Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill slipped and jammed his left wrist on Saturday at the Roskilde festival near Copenhagen, Denmark. The injury forced the band to cancel a show in Serbia, but the group has been given the all-clear to play on July 10 and 11 at Scotland’s T in the Park and Ireland’s Oxygen festival. …