For The Record: Quick News On Ashlee Simpson, Mariah Carey, Clay Aiken, Lil’ Kim, Great White, Faith Evans & More

Ashlee getting ready for the road, Mariah shooting video, Great White's Jack Russell staying silent.

Ashlee Simpson will begin rehearsing on Tuesday for her first-ever tour, which launches next month. …

Mariah Carey is shooting the video for her new single, “It’s Like That,” this week with director Brett Ratner (“Rush Hour,” “Red Dragon”). “I don’t want to give it away yet,” Carey told MTV Radio recently, “because you know how things change, but it’s a Las Vegas casino scene. Brett is great at giving things a cinematic feel. We did the ‘Heartbreaker’ video together, and it had such a sense of humor to it, that I hope to have that for this video.” … Clay Aiken is bringing his squeaky-clean image to “Scrubs,” for an episode that was taped in front of a live audience. “Scrubs” usually shoots on a closed set, but Aiken’s episode, which airs February 15 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, makes fun of the laugh tracks associated with traditional sitcoms. …

Jack Russell, lead singer of Great White, said he will not respond to allegations in eight civil suits filed against him by families of the victims of the 2003 nightclub fire that started as a result of his band’s onstage pyrotechnics, according to The Associated Press. The singer’s lawyer said Russell could face criminal prosecution for his role in the West Warwick, Rhode Island, fire, and is therefore not willing to address the charges. … Lil’ Kim‘s manager Damion Butler pleaded guilty in a New York court on Friday to participating in a shooting and conspiring to obtain/traveling with a false passport, according to New York Newsday. Butler, who is currently incarcerated on an unrelated charge, could face up to 71 months in prison. The case stems from a 2001 shootout outside a New York radio station between Kim’s camp and that of Capone (of rap duo Capone-N-Noreaga). Kim is scheduled to stand trial on February 28 on charges of conspiracy, obstruction and perjury. …

The Neptunes, Jermaine Dupri and Mario Winans are among the producers who contributed to Faith Evans‘ fourth album, The First Lady, due March 29. Chris Robinson, who directed the clip for Evans and Twista‘s current hit, “Hope,” is helming the video for the first single, “Again.” …

Janet Jackson and her beau, Jermaine Dupri, are co-hosting a pre-Super Bowl party designed to raise money for scholarships. The Willie Gary Celebrity Scholarship Party — to which Magic Johnson, Bow Wow, Evander Holyfield, Oscar De La Hoya, and others have been invited — will be held Saturday at the Aetna Building in Jacksonville, Florida. …

Alanis Morissette will teach you how to be Canadian in a few easy steps when she appears in an upcoming episode of the Great White North’s teen soap opera “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” Morissette will make a cameo during a three-episode storyline in which Kevin Smith (as himself) visits Degrassi while doing research for a “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” sequel titled “Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh?,” according to The Ottawa Sun. The singer will play Degrassi’s principal in the story-within-a-story, and will spend the episode throwing out an obscene number of Canadian stereotypes, including references to the metric system and the notion that Canadians say “aboot” instead of “about.” The episode will air Stateside on the N channel during the next season of the show, which starts February 18. … Carmen Electra will voice a character on a preview episode of “American Dad,” the latest animated series from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane. Electra voices Lisa Ailver, the hottest girl in class whose heart is won by the power-mad class president, Steve, whose father just so happens to be a CIA agent. The episode airs Sunday at 10:30 p.m. ET on FOX. …

Rapper Chuck D and a host of others who played pivotal roles in the creation of Public Enemy‘s seminal album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back will assemble at New York University on February 25-26 for “The Making of Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.” The in-depth discussions will cover various aspects of the 1988 album, from its creation to its place in music history. In addition to panel discussions, there will be a screening of “Public Enemy: London Calling,” an in-progress documentary chronicling PE’s U.K. tours. … Jem, who returned to her DJing roots for the closing party of the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend, will release “24″ as the second single from her debut, Finally Woken. After shooting the video next month, Jem will hit the U.K. for a promotional tour and then return to the States for an outing with Gavin DeGraw. …

Trey Anastasio and John Medeski will join Moe at a benefit for tsunami survivors scheduled for February 10 at New York’s Roseland Ballroom. Dave Matthews Band are matching the proceeds from the event. … Lisa Marie Presley has set an April 5 release date for her second album, Now What. The first single is a cover of Don Henley‘s “Dirty Laundry.” … Lifehouse have just released the first single off their new self-titled album (March 29), the moody ballad “You and Me.” The “Hanging by a Moment” group’s third effort features the songs “Come Back Down,” “Blind,” “All and All,” “Better Luck,” “Days Go By,” “Into the Sun,” “Undone,” “We’ll Never Know,” “Walking Away,” “Chapter One” and “The End.” New bassist Bryce Soderberg will join the band when it hits the road in March. …

01.28.2005

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are going to be busier than ever — the teen entrepreneurs are taking over management of their Dualstar company, for which they’re already co-presidents. “We are very thankful that we are able to enjoy our college experience, run a business, and live our lives,” Mary-Kate said in a statement. …

R. Kelly was due in court on Friday (January 28), when prosecutors in his child-pornography case planned to file a motion asking the judge to reconsider a previous ruling on allowing a forensic pediatric expert’s testimony without a separate hearing questioning the expert’s validity. But Kelly’s lawyer Ed Genson wasn’t feeling well, so the hearing was postponed until February 18. … Chingy is apparently a huge proponent of women in lingerie. Especially when they happen to be playing football. The St. Louis rapper will perform at “Lingerie Bowl 2005,” a two-hour pay-per-view event that airs opposite the Super Bowl on February 6. …

Fantasia, Ruben Studdard, Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams and Angie Stone were among the performers at BET’s Celebration of Gospel on Saturday. The show will air on the network February 24. … Black Eyed Peas, John Legend and Paul Oakenfold are among the artists slated to perform at the Recording Academy’s post-Grammy party February 13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. BT, Deborah Cox and Chic featuring Nile Rodgers with Musiq are also on the bill. …

New York radio station Hot 97′s DJ Enuff celebrated his birthday Thursday night in the Big Apple at club Exit. Amerie, Cassidy, Mike Jones and Paul Wall all performed at the party. Meanwhile, not too far from the club at Table 50, Just Blaze played DJ for the night and spun a body-moving Nice & Smooth set. … Mötley Crüe have added 25 more dates to their Red, White & Crüe reunion tour, but a stop at “Last Call With Carson Daly” won’t be on the itinerary. Following singer Vince Neil‘s dropping of the f-bomb on Jay Leno‘s live New Year’s Eve show, NBC/ Universal president Jeff Zucker said last week that the Crüe are banned from the network. The band’s management said it had been booked on Daly’s program, but a spokesperson for “Last Call” denied that the appearance was ever confirmed. The new dates run from a March 27 gig in Las Vegas to a May 1 show in Fort Collins, Colorado. The band is expected to announce plans for a major multi-act summer tour on March 3 in New York. …

My Chemical Romance are asking fans to help them design their next T-shirt, which would be available for purchase with all proceeds going to help fight breast cancer. The band recently released an exclusive design via the Shirts for a Cure Project (http://www.shirtsforacure.com/sample.php?id=11). Send a jpg, gif or psd to info@syrentha.org before February 8 to enter a design. The winner will also get to choose between tickets to the band’s upcoming tour or a signed CD or poster. … Franz Ferdinand, Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie and Interpol are among the 30 artists contributing music to a two-disc compilation to raise money for UNICEF’s Tsunami Relief Fund. The comp features 26 tracks of unreleased songs, B-sides and exclusive remixes, and will be available in Urban Outfitters stores and on its Web site on February 28. …

Jim Capaldi, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and drummer for the late ’60s/early ’70s band Traffic, died on Friday (January 28) from stomach cancer, according to Reuters. The musician, 60, died in his sleep at the London Clinic. Capaldi was diagnosed with terminal cancer just months after being inducted into the Hall of Fame in March 2004. … Two former Phish members have been added to the lineup for this year’s Bonnaroo festival (June 10-12). Guitarist/singer Trey Anastasio will perform a late-night set with his solo band, and bassist Mike Gordon will play with the improvisational Benevento/Russo duo. Mouse on Mars and Old Crow Medicine Show have also been added to the bill, which already includes Modest Mouse, the Dave Matthews Band, Joss Stone and more than 20 other roots, jazz, rock and folk acts. Tickets for the festival go on sale Saturday. …

P.O.D. are hard at work on the follow-up to 2003′s Payable on Death. The band announced on Thursday that it has begun pre-production on its forthcoming album with producer Greg Fidelman (Slipknot, System of a Down). Once P.O.D. hit the studio, their official Web site promises to provide clips of the sessions. … On March 8, a five-song “bonus disc” will be available as a free download to anyone who’s purchased Wilco‘s A Ghost Is Born. The new songs, which can be found on the band’s Web site www.wilcoworld.net, include tracks from the Ghost sessions (“Panthers,” “Kicking Television”) and three live tracks. Wilco’s relentless tour schedule will now include 16 more U.S. dates in February and early March. … Having recently finished recording their as-yet-untitled second album, tentatively slated for a summer release, Chicago pop-rock outfit OK Go will take off on a monthlong U.S. tour. The trek will kick off on February 18 in Madison, Wisconsin, and end on March 18 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. …