For The Record: Quick News On Ludacris And Kanye West, Gwen Stefani, Destiny's Child, Blink-182, U2 & More

Ludacris may have to pay up for 'Stand Up,' Gwen's new L.A.M.B. hitting stores, Randy Jackson starts childhood obesity foundation.

Instead of "standing up," it looks like Ludacris may have to pay up. Judge Debra Freeman of the United States District Court Southern District of New York has scheduled a settlement conference for February 4 between Ludacris, producer Kanye West and aspiring rap group I.O.F. The New Jersey group filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit in April alleging that the two stole the hook for Ludacris' "Stand Up" from them. The group members say that they passed off four demo tapes to Cris and West on separate occasions, and that one of the records featured, "Straight Like That," was recorded in 2000 and has a chorus similar to that of "Stand Up." Ludacris' label, Def Jam, had no comment on the suit. ...

Medical records released Wednesday by a federal judge show that civil-rights icon Rosa Parks has suffered from progressive dementia since 2002. The records were requested by the Detroit Free Press, which quoted Rhea McCauley, Parks' niece and the family's spokesperson, saying, "I'm not a doctor, but I know, dementia or not, my Auntie would never, ever go to this length to hurt some young artists trying to make it in the world." A multibillion-dollar lawsuit was filed on Parks' behalf against several record and distribution companies alleging that the Outkast song "Rosa Parks" defamed her by using her name without permission. Outkast were dropped from the original 1999 suit, but lawyers filed a second suit in August, and several family members told the paper they don't think Parks would have approved had she understood the suit. ...

Gwen Stefani's spring line of L.A.M.B. fashions will include ruffle raincoats, art-deco-print cocktail dresses, nautical blouses, sailor pants, cashmere hoodies and twin-set cardigans, pleat-front trousers, and "Harlow" halter dresses, inspired by her "Aviator" role as Jean Harlow. Tanks, sweats and hoodies will include phrases like "Where did my lamb go?," "All over me" and "This love is serious." At the same time, Gwen's introducing a Japanese-inspired accessories line (thanks to her Harajuku Girls) called Harajuku Lovers, which will feature illustrations of the four members of her pint-sized posse, including a $250 decorated limited-edition digital camera she debuted at the Consumer Electronics Showcase earlier this month. "When I was going to make the record, I was thinking about the idea of putting out a regular merchandise line with the album," she said at the convention. "It seemed ridiculous. I was like, 'I can't just put a shirt out with my face on it.' You know what I mean? So I wanted to do an accessory line. And the idea of a camera that's actually very, very cute and very Japanese-inspired is what I wanted." She said she plans to release the camera — which has red hearts, Japanese characters and the words "Love, Angel, Music, Baby" on it — and other accessories in May, around the same time that she'll release her video for "Hollaback Girl." Gwen's also planning the next collection, which will introduce jewelry and shoes to the L.A.M.B. line for fall. ...

Nextel's Boost Mobile is now offering a special catalog of ringtones aimed at helping young people provide aid to tsunami victims. The catalog, which will be available for two months, will include selections from Destiny's Child, U2, R. Kelly and Christina Aguilera, among others. Approximately $1 per downloaded ringtone will support UNICEF's efforts to provide immediate relief to the estimated 1.5 million children affected by the disaster. ... The American Red Cross has unveiled its new National Celebrity Cabinet, a group of volunteers who, for one year, promote awareness of the Red Cross' services and activities across the country and encourage people to donate their time, blood and money. This year, 13 new members have been added, including Spike Lee, George Foreman, "Smallville" actress Kristin Kreuk, Julianne Moore and Patti LaBelle. ...

Blink-182's Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge have set a February 22 release date for the third installment of the Atticus Dragging the Lake compilation series. Blink, Taking Back Sunday, Death Cab for Cutie, MxPx, Rise Against and Piebald are among the artists featured on the 24-track LP. ... Scruffy Southern rockers Kings of Leon will release their second album, Aha Shake Heartbreak, on February 22. The follow-up to their 2003 debut, Youth & Young Manhood, the disc will feature 12 songs, including "King of the Rodeo," "Taper Jean Girl" and "Pistol of Fire." ...

Jimmy Griffin, guitarist for 1970s soft-rock band Bread, died on Tuesday of complications from cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 61. Griffin joined Bread in 1969, and, following the group's breakup in 1977, he recorded solo and with country groups Black Tie and the Remingtons. He also participated in Bread's 1997 reunion when the band embarked on a world tour. ... Celebrities including Shaggy, India.Arie, Danny Glover and Angelique Kidjo will head to Ethiopia in February to pay tribute to reggae legend Bob Marley, in celebration of what would have been his 60th birthday, according to Reuters. The monthlong celebration will include cultural events that will raise funds for charity, but, according to the managing director of the Bob Marley Foundation, will not include the reburial of Marley's remains. "No body is being exhumed," Desta Meghoo-Peddie told Reuters, refuting earlier reports that Marley's grave would be moved from Jamaica to Ethiopia. ...

Gavin DeGraw gets some action on this week's episode of "What I Like About You," when he gets to kiss the bride — and it turns into a make-out session. DeGraw plays himself, and as the musician hired to play the reception, he gives Val (played by Jennie Garth) a personal serenade — and a little extra. The episode airs Friday (January 14) at 8 p.m. ET on the WB. ... The New York-based Scratch DJ Academy is heading west. The school, which teaches aspiring DJs how to mix and blend, will open its second school on Saturday in Los Angeles. The new academy, based in L.A.'s Rehab Records, will feature such prominent L.A. DJs as Mr. Choc and Jurassic 5's Nu-Mark. ...

01.13.2005

Alicia Keys will perform "America the Beautiful" prior to this year's Super Bowl, which will mark only the third time in Super Bowl history the song has been sung (Ray Charles and Vikki Carr last had the honors). Keys will be accompanied by 150 students from St. Augustine-based Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, which Charles attended in 1937. The students will sign and sing along with Keys. "I'm very excited to be playing at the Super Bowl for the first time, especially because I will be singing a song made famous by an artist I admire, miss and respect," Keys said in a statement. Super Bowl XXXIX takes place at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, on February 6, and will be broadcast on FOX. ...

Snoop Dogg fans will soon be able to step out in style as the rapper and Pony International prepare to drop a new line of shoes like they're, well, you know. The Snoop Dogg Doggy Biscuitz footwear collection — named after Snoop's nickname for his shoes, "biscuits" — consists of four different designs, including the Snoopadoopa, "for active life and everyday wear"; Snoopafly, which is "athletic/basketball inspired"; Snoopalicious, a "casual shoe for business meetings and dressier occasions"; and "Snoopaslide," which features a bandana print for "kickin' it in the crib and lounging around the house." Jay Leno got a personalized pair of Snoopadoopas when the rapper appeared on his show in December, but the rest of us will have to wait until March to score the shoes, when the collection hits retail outlets worldwide. ... Meanwhile, Slipknot will soon have their own footwear line, care of Vision Street Wear. Fans of the masked rockers can preorder the kicks online since the shoes won't be available until April. Vision Street Wear, which already produces a line of Slipknot skateboard decks, will have five styles of sneakers available, including the "pentagram slip on" and two designs featuring images of the bandmembers' faces. ...

The Used have just finished their video for "All That I've Got," in which a boy visiting the Used Bookstore gets entranced in a storybook and ends up as part of the story, searching for the ending as he runs into various bandmembers who play themselves and assorted characters. The video, directed by Marc Webb, draws from "Alice in Wonderland," "A Clockwork Orange" and "The Neverending Story." See photos from The Used's "All That I've Got" ... "Because of Winn-Dixie," which features Dave Matthews playing a drifter, is finally going to hit the big screen after several delays. The movie — based on the children's book of the same name — also stars Jeff Daniels, Cicely Tyson and Eva Marie Saint, and will now open nationwide February 18. ...

It doesn't look like we'll be seeing Andre 3000 lighting a guitar on fire anytime soon. The Hughes Brothers' much-talked about Jimi Hendrix biopic that Dre had been linked to is currently a no-go. According to Allen Hughes, "The estate does not want anyone to make the film, so at this point the project is on hold." Janie Hendrix, president and CEO of Experience Hendrix, the organization that manages the guitarist's estate, said last week that the company is not currently working with anyone on a Hendrix biopic nor is it licensing music to any film at this time. ... M.O.P. and Remy Martin performed at Joe's Pub Wednesday night in New York as part of the Relief and Recovery! concert. The proceeds went to the American Red Cross International Response Fund. Rem and M.O.P. decided to get together in response to the tsunami disaster. ...

Styles P of the LOX has settled on Time Is Money as the title for his upcoming solo album, due in March. ... Martika, the Cuban-American singer who originally had a pop hit in 1989 with "Toy Soldiers," says that she's pleased with Eminem's sample of her vocal in "Like Toy Soldiers," and hopes he can do for her what he did for Dido. "I'm actually surprised he used my voice so much," she said. "And I like what he did with the military drum roll. It's tight." Martika is relaunching her career with a duo called Oppera, which she calls a "new Eurythmics" — sort of classical music, Led Zeppelin and Pat Benatar all rolled into one. "Eminem's using the song really helps our career," she said, "because the next logical question is, 'What's she doing now?' " Oppera's first single is called "So," and their debut album is due out in April. ...

Afroman's lawyers have slapped a cease-and-desist order on an impersonator named Dol Ré, who has been booking performances as Afroman and pretending to be the rapper for several weeks. In a statement, Afroman said he would have tried to prevent Dol Ré from swindling concert promoters long ago, but he didn't "because he got high." ... Goth-metal band Otep will head up the Alliance of Defiance Tour, which will also feature American Head Charge, Candiria and the Autumn Offering. The trek kicks off January 25 in Reno, Nevada, and wraps up on March 19 in Los Angeles. The band is still touring on the strength of its sophomore album, House of Secrets. ...

Thanks to a gag order, it took just about a week for Michael Jackson's lawyer to get the court to approve his response to grand jury testimony that leaked last week. Noting that the defense team strongly objects to the leak of testimony that had been ordered sealed, Thomas Mesereau pointed out that "the witnesses who testified before the grand jury were never subjected to cross-examination or impeachment by the defense. ... By law, no judge or defense lawyer was allowed to be present in the grand jury room," Mesereau said. "Furthermore, the defense had no opportunity to call its own witnesses to refute or criticize this one-sided proceeding. This case will be won in the courtroom and not through 'leaks' in the media." ...

Jefferson Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden died of stomach cancer at his California home on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. He was 66. Dryden, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 for his work with Jefferson Airplane, left the band in 1970 and joined the New Riders of the Purple Sage from 1971-1978. After playing with a number of other bands for years, Dryden retired from performing 10 years ago. Dryden is survived by his three sons. Plans for a memorial concert are reportedly pending. ... Strawberry Fields, an orphanage in Liverpool, England, and the inspiration for the 1967 Beatles tune "Strawberry Fields Forever," will be closed down by the Salvation Army due to the changing demands of child welfare, according to Reuters. "It is now preferable for children to be cared for within a foster family or in a small group home, rather than within large residential institutions," the Salvation Army said in a statement on Wednesday. ...

Art Alexakis has filed for bankruptcy. According to The Oregonian, the Everclear frontman owes the IRS, the Oregon Department of Revenue and various credit-card companies just over $3 million. Alexakis complained to the newspaper that he's lost 40 pounds due to stress. ... Mighty Mighty Bosstones singer Dicky Barrett, who is also the announcer on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," has signed on to host the morning show for Southern California's Indie 103.1, which already features shows hosted by the Crystal Method and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols. "The Mighty Morning Show" debuts January 31. ... Boston trio Guster are in Nashville this week recording the follow-up to their 2003 release, Keep It Together. The new album is due out this summer. ...