For The Record: Quick News On Kanye West, Jay-Z And Beyonce, Hilary Duff, Fantasia, 3 Doors Down & More

Kanye and John Legend throw a party, Hilary Duff taking classes at Harvard?

Kanye West and John Legend teamed up Monday night to host a party at Duvet in New York. Legend performed his current single, “Ordinary People,” and two other songs from his debut album, Get Lifted, to a packed house that included Missy Elliott, L.A. Reid and hip-hop power couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé. …

Hilary Duff has begun taking classes online from Harvard University. The singer is not a student at Harvard proper, nor has she gone through the school’s notoriously difficult undergraduate admissions process, but she is auditing courses through the Harvard Extension School, a continuing-education program that allows the singer to take a few classes online, including sociology, so that she can cram some book-learning in between her music and movie projects. Her sister Haylie will also be taking at least one class with her. … Fantasia, who was just tapped to co-host the 19th annual Soul Train Awards on March 12 with Brian McKnight, Nick Cannon and Nicole Richie, is deciding between “Baby Mama” and “Free Yourself” as the next single from her debut album, Free Yourself. Meanwhile, the LP was just certified platinum. …

Stay with us here: Nickelback drummer Ryan Vikedal recently split with the multiplatinum Canadian rock group. Not long after, 3 Doors Down drummer Daniel Adair bolted to join Nickelback — at least that’s what 3 Doors Down singer Brad Arnold told Howard Stern on Tuesday morning; Nickelback’s representatives would not confirm the defection. To confuse matters further, Puddle of Mudd drummer Greg Upchurch took leave from his band to play with 3 Doors Down on their current tour. A Puddle of Mudd spokesperson said Upchurch is just filling in temporarily while the rest of POM continue work on their next album. So how did all this inter-band shuffling come about? All three groups share a management company, though Arnold told Stern there is no love lost between his band and Nickelback. …

With five nominations, including Artist of the Year, Avril Lavigne leads this year’s pack of nominees for the Juno Awards, Canada’s answer to the Grammys. Jazz songstress Diana Krall follows with four nods, while rapper k-os, Shania Twain, Simple Plan and Billy Talent all got three nominations. Since it just wouldn’t be an awards show without a nomination for Usher, Mr. Entertainment will compete in the only category he was eligible for: International Album of the Year. He’ll duke it out with Eminem, Green Day, Norah Jones and U2 for the award. The Juno ceremony takes place on April 3. … The release date for Beanie Sigel‘s The B. Coming has been moved to April 12. Previously slated for December 14, the album is led by Beans’ current single, “Feel It in the Air.” Sigel, serving a year in prison for a gun charge, has filmed several videos for the album. …

Lenny Kravitz has announced the dates for his Electric Church: One Night Only Tour. The 27-city North American trek — which will take Kravitz to smaller theaters around the U.S. and Canada — kicks off April 5 in Dallas. … Kings of Leon have pulled out of a Japanese tour scheduled for later in the month due to a chronic injury in Caleb Followill‘s hand. The singer/guitarist is expected to be healed in time to perform February 21 on “Late Show With David Letterman” in support of the band’s second album, Aha Shake Heartbreak, due the following day. …

Oasis will play four North American shows this summer, with opening act Jet, in support of their as-yet-untitled sixth studio album, due in late May. The shows are June 18 in Detroit, June 20 in Chicago, June 22 in New York and June 25 in Philadelphia. An Epic Records spokesperson said it’s possible a few more dates may be added. … Never one to half-step, Ryan Adams has announced plans to release three albums this year. Cold Roses, a double album, is slated for release on April 19 and is credited to Adams and his group the Cardinals. A pair of solo albums, Jacksonville (July 19) and 29 (November 1), will follow, accompanied by spring and summer U.S. tour dates. …

02.07.2005

While in rehearsals for her upcoming tour, launching later this month, Ashlee Simpson has been working on adding a few cover songs to her set. Fans can expect to hear her renditions of Madonna‘s “Burning Up,” Blondie‘s “Call Me” and the Pretenders‘ “Brass in Pocket” at the shows, the singer/actress announced on “TRL” on Monday (February 7). …

Nelly will headline the music festivities at the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo in Austin on March 23. It’s the first time a hip-hop artist will perform at the rodeo in its 68-year history. Maroon 5 will join the St. Louis rapper on the bill. …

When we last left the U2 Internet presale debacle, drummer Larry Mullen had single-handedly pledged to rectify the situation for U2.com subscribers who lost out on tickets to the band’s tour because scalpers had leapfrogged them in line. While Mullen sorts out the situation, he is now offering subscribers a full refund of their $40 membership fee. More patient members are encouraged to wait for the second leg of the band’s tour, when they will be given priority for tickets. … A jubilant Jamie Foxx was named Best Actor for his portrayal of Ray Charles in “Ray,” and Hilary Swank walked away with the Best Actress award for “Million Dollar Baby” at the 11th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, held on Saturday at the Shrine Expo Center in Los Angeles. Other winners include Morgan Freeman, who nabbed Best Supporting Actor for his turn in “Million Dollar Baby,” Cate Blanchett for Best Supporting Actress in “The Aviator,” and “Sideways,” which took home the evening’s top award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. …

More dates and opening acts have been announced for the Subliminal Verses Tour, headlined by Slipknot and featuring Lamb of God and Shadows Fall. The Bled will take on support duties from March 20 in Pensacola, Florida, through March 26 in Houston; Devildriver will pick up the slack on March 28 in Oklahoma City, touring through April 2 in Grand Prairie, Texas; Trivium will rock audiences from April 4 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, through April 8 in San Diego; From Autumn to Ashes will join the caravan from April 9 in Los Angeles through April 17 in Spokane, Washington; Dillinger Escape Plan will play from April 19 in Salt Lake City through April 24 in St. Paul, Minnesota; and Otep will close out the tour from April 26 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, through April 30 in Madison, Wisconsin. …

Beck played his third in a string of “secret” shows in the L.A. area Saturday night at Hollywood club 1650. Har Mar Superstar opened before Beck came out backed by five other musicians, assaulting the audience with “E-Pro,” the leadoff track from his upcoming Guero. Sticking mostly to new material while at the same time returning to his old-school sound, Beck added record scratches between guitar riffs and was joined by a lasciviously dancing Har Mar during an extended jam that followed the new track “Rental Car.” Guero is due March 29. …

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michelle Branch, the Backstreet Boys and ?uestlove from the Roots are among the artists scheduled to honor Brian Wilson at the MusiCares dinner and concert Friday at the Palladium in Hollywood. Jon Lovitz is hosting the event, which will also feature Barenaked Ladies, Jamie Cullum, Jeff Beck, India.Arie, Darlene Love, Shelby Lynne, Michael McDonald, Richie Sambora, Neil Young and Earth, Wind & Fire. … Take Two Interactive, the producer of the wildly popular/socially reprehensible “Grand Theft Auto” series of video games, has acquired the rights to publish video games based on FOX’s canceled/un-canceled cult cartoon “Family Guy.” It’s unclear on which platforms the game will be available, though it’s tentatively scheduled to hit stores in 2006. …

Country music stalwart Merle Kilgore, who managed Hank Williams Jr. and co-wrote the classic “Ring of Fire” with June Carter Cash, died Sunday in Mexico of congestive heart failure related to his treatment for cancer, according to Reuters. He was 70 years old. He is survived by his wife, Judy, and five children. … The lineup for the 2005 edition of the Bonnaroo festival just got a little larger. The Black Crowes and Jurassic 5 have been added to the bill. Bonnaroo takes place June 10-12 in Manchester, Tennessee. …

Sleater-Kinney have wrapped up recording on their seventh record. Due May 24, The Woods, produced by Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips), will be the trio’s first album for Sup Pop Records (early home to Nirvana, Soundgarden). The group will play several dates in March, including a show at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, on the 16th. A full tour schedule is expected in June. … Bob Dylan has announced the first set of dates for his upcoming tour, called the Bob Dylan Show. Joining Dylan on the tour — which kicks off March 7 in Seattle — is country hell-raiser Merle Haggard and his band the Strangers. So far, the trek runs until April 9 in Milwaukee, but more dates are expected to be announced shortly. … Danzig is heading out on the road, kicking off a 19-date tour on February 18 in St. Louis and wrapping up on March 15 in Anaheim, California. The trek will feature Type O Negative‘s Johnny Kelly on drums. …