For The Record: Quick News On 50 Cent, R. Kelly, Justin Timberlake, Axl Rose, Enrique Iglesias, Paula Abdul & More

Bart Simpson sneaks out to see 50 Cent, R. Kelly's team gets the sex tape, Enrique Iglesias reps for Tommy Hilfiger.

50 Cent will bring his game to Springfield when he guest stars on “The Simpsons.” In an episode called “Pranksta Rap,” Bart sneaks out of the house to attend a 50 concert and then fakes his own kidnapping to avoid being grounded. The episode airs February 13 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. …

Though R. Kelly‘s lawyer wasn’t feeling well enough during Friday’s scheduled hearing in Chicago to proceed, the prosecution gave him a get-well gift of sorts when they finally handed over a crucial piece of evidence in the singer’s upcoming child-pornography trial — their original copy of the alleged sex tape. The tape should have been handed over during discovery months ago, Kelly’s attorney Ed Genson said on Wednesday (February 2). “I honest to God don’t know why [it wasn’t handed over earlier],” he said. “All I care about is that it’s not my fault.” Genson predicts that a lot of trial issues will be sorted out at the next hearing on February 18, such as possible sentencing parameters. …

Though filming had supposedly wrapped long ago, Justin Timberlake shot a final few scenes for his upcoming film “Edison” late last week in Los Angeles. With co-star LL Cool J, the two actors pulled a “dead” body down a flight of stairs. There’s no release date yet for the film, according to Timberlake’s rep. … Axl Rose is about to become an even richer man thanks to a multimillion-dollar publishing deal he recently signed with the Sanctuary Group. The deal covers Guns N’ Roses‘ back catalog as well as any future material Rose might put out (think the long-awaited album Chinese Democracy), according to The Associated Press. A lawyer for Duff McKagan — who, along with fellow former GN’R member Slash sued Rose last year to determine who controls the rights to the old Guns songs — told the AP he was surprised by the deal, given that “neither Sanctuary nor Axl Rose have provided the remaining partners with a copy of that agreement.” …

Anna Kournikova‘s man, Enrique Iglesias, has started a new relationship — with Tommy Hilfiger. The singer has signed on to be the spokesperson for Hilfiger’s new fragrance, True Star Men, the men’s cologne counterpart to the women’s perfume True Star Women, which was inspired by Beyoncé. The scent is set to hit stores worldwide in the fall. … The lawsuits keep piling up for Courtney Love. The latest one — another for non-payment for services — was filed Thursday in New York federal court by the studio in France where she recorded much of her solo album, America’s Sweetheart. Studio Miraval claims that the singer has not paid the balance of her bill from spring 2003, despite its “numerous attempts” to get her to do so. …

Paula Abdul gets to dabble in the art world in her upcoming guest spot on “Less Than Perfect.” In an episode called “Distractions,” the “American Idol” judge plays Kathleen, the girlfriend of Will Butler (played by Eric Roberts) who owns a prominent New York art gallery displaying photographs taken by Owen Kronsky (Andy Dick). The episode airs Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET on ABC. … Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis may be more well-known for their producing skills than their acting, but they’re going to give it a go. The production duo share a guest spot as themselves on “Half & Half,” airing February 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET on UPN. …

Continuing his flirtation with country living, Uncle Kracker has signed on for a spring tour with Kenny Chesney and Gretchen Wilson. The trek, Kracker’s second outing with “Last Night, Again” duet partner Chesney, kicks off on March 9 in Houston and wraps on May 15 in Oklahoma City. Kracker will return to the studio after the tour to record his fourth album, due out in the fall. … The second annual Kokua Festival in Oahu, Hawaii, will feature sets from Jack Johnson, Jackson Browne, G. Love & Special Sauce and Ozomatli. All proceeds from the April 16 event will go to the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, a nonprofit funding environmental education programs in Hawaii. …

Fountains of Wayne will play the Hollies on the March 20 episode of NBC’s “American Dreams.” The band will perform “Bus Stop” on the show’s version of “American Bandstand.” … The String Cheese Incident are mounting a tour of ski towns called the Spring Ski Incidents. The outing, which will include afternoon shows at the bottom of ski hills, begins March 24 in Denver and hits Lake Tahoe, Nevada; Boise, Idaho; Park City, Utah; and other towns before wrapping April 9 in Vancouver, British Columbia. … Ash are hitting the road with the Bravery, starting March 9 in Philadelphia, the day after Ash’s new album, Meltdown, hits stores. Their 21-date trek will wind up April 13 in Toronto. …

02.01.2005

In what comes as no surprise, Usher is among the top nominees for this year’s Soul Train Awards. The singer scored four nominations, including Best R&B/Soul, Male for “Confessions Part II,” Best R&B/Soul Album, Male for Confessions and best R&B/Soul or Rap Dance Cut for “Yeah!” The video for “Yeah!” also earned Usher a nod for the Michael Jackson Award for best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video. Fellow ATL native and R&B ingénue Ciara also scored four nominations, including Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist, Best R&B/Soul, Female for “Goodies” and Best R&B/Soul Album, Female for Goodies. Other multiple nominees include Alicia Keys, Prince, Jill Scott and Beyoncé, who is nominated both as a solo artist and as part of Destiny’s Child. The Soul Train Awards will be held February 28 at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. …

Want to join TLC? The group is holding open-call auditions, starting Saturday in New York at the Hilton and continuing through the rest of the month in Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Miami. Camera-shy singers need not apply, as they’re shooting the auditions for their upcoming reality show for UPN, “R U the Girl with T-Boz and Chilli.” … Seattle radio station 96.5 K-Rock has assembled a lineup of Seattle’s finest (circa mid-1990s) for its “Tsunami Continued Care Relief Concert” on February 18. Topping the bill are the re-formed Alice in ChainsJerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney and Mike Inez — who will perform together for the first time in more than eight years. There is no word yet on who will front the band, whose lead singer, Layne Staley, died in 2002 from a drug overdose. Also scheduled to perform are former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and Sea-town booty enthusiast Sir Mix-A-Lot. Tickets for the event are $40, and go on sale February 10 on K-ROCK’s Web site, www.965KRock.com . …

Fans of Radio 4 got a big surprise last weekend when Beck and his band played a surprise set opening for the New York rockers at the Echo in Los Angeles. It was the second unannounced set the singer played at the club last month, and served as a warm-up for the touring that will follow the March release of his new LP, Guero. … Ever wonder what inspires artists like Björk, Yo La Tengo, Tortoise and Sonic Youth‘s Thurston Moore? Check out Thrill Jockey’s “Looking for a Thrill: An Anthology of Inspiration” DVD (February 22), which collects personal stories from more than 100 musicians about the concerts, records and artists that have motivated them. Others interviewed for the movie — the proceeds from which benefit Greenpeace — include Mike Watt, Jon Spencer, Vic Chesnutt, Steve Albini, Mark Arm (Mudhoney), Ian MacKaye (Fugazi) and Carl Craig. …

Despite being behind bars, C-Murder will release his new album, The Truest **** I Ever Said, on March 22 via Koch Records. The album features guest appearances from the late Soulja Slim, Akon and Capone, among others. C-Murder’s first single, “Y’all Heard,” features B.G. A video for the single, shot in prison and in New Orleans, will be available later this month. C-Murder is currently in jail on second-degree murder charges. … Warren G, Talib Kweli and Fantasia are all upcoming guest stars on the UPN show “All of Us” (which airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET). Warren G plays a warrant officer on February 8, while Kweli and Fantasia both appear as themselves on the March 1 episode. …

NBA players Alonzo Mourning and Carmelo Anthony will host “Zo & Melo’s 8-Ball Challenge” on February 17 at Denver’s Wynkoop Brewing Company. A host of celebrities and athletes including Ludacris, Fabolous, Philadelphia EaglesTerrell Owens, New Jersey NetsVince Carter and members of the WWE are scheduled to be on hand to showcase their billiard skills and compete for an exotic all-expenses-paid vacation and NBA All-Star Game tickets. The event will be hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, and will also include a silent auction featuring items from Michael Jordan, Jason Kidd, Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, and LeBron James as well as Anthony and Mourning. The net proceeds raised will benefit charities supported by Alonzo Mourning Charities, Inc. and the Carmelo Anthony Foundation Fund. … While Courtney Love has been resolving some of her criminal matters, she’s still facing legal problems of a financial sort. Saturday is the deadline for her to resolve non-payment of legal fees in one civil case, while another company is now also claiming non-payment, according to a complaint filed recently in Olympia, Washington. WMC Mortgage Corp. is seeking foreclosure on a 13-acre property which Love bought in 1997 for Kurt Cobain‘s family, which would mean that the home would be put up for bid at a public auction. Love owes about $318,000, and the company says she hasn’t paid the bills in over a year. …

Sharon Warren, who won rave reviews playing Ray Charles‘ mother in “Ray,” spent a lot of time on the set talking music with Jamie Foxx, as she too is releasing an album. Warren, who has written for Lenny Kravitz, will debut in the spring with the single “There.” … Cher is threatening — or promising, depending on how you feel about her — that her current tour will be her last. Though she’s intimated that about past tours, she’s now saying that this trek, called the Farewell Never Can Say Goodbye Tour, will end April 30 at the Hollywood Bowl with her last live performance ever. …

For the price of a T-shirt and a hat, Megadeth‘s Dave Mustaine will personally tear your demo tape to bits. Fans who purchase a shirt/hat combo from Mustaine’s merchandising company, BandMerch.com, can enter a contest to have their demo critiqued by the singer. As if chiding and derision from a rock star weren’t enough of a prize, the winner will also receive an ESP Dave Mustaine Guitar and Line 6 Guitarport. The deadline for the contest is February 11. … Canadian rockers Hot Hot Heat will hit the road for a trek across the U.S. prior to the release of their major-label debut, Elevator, in early April. Beginning February 21 in Seattle, the band will hit 14 cities across the country, ending up in Dallas on March 15. …

Ben Folds‘ second solo studio LP, Songs for Silverman, has been pushed back from February to April 26. Folds recorded his follow-up to Rockin’ the Suburbs with bassist Jared Reynolds and drummer Lindsay Jamieson, making it his first album with a band since Ben Folds Five‘s final LP in 1999. Songs for Silverman includes the first single, “Landed,” as well as a tribute to Elliott Smith called “Late.” …