For The Record: Quick News On Notorious B.I.G., Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie, The Doobie Brothers, Warrant & More

Jay-Z finishes what Biggie started, Nicole Richie gets engaged, Jessica Simpson gives us Treats.

Brooklyn Mint, a clothing line the Notorious B.I.G. started almost a decade ago, will finally come to life this year. T-shirts from the collection will debut at the Magic Fashion convention on Monday in Las Vegas and hit stores on March 9, the anniversary of Big's murder. The late MC's mother and managers are now spearheading the project and received help from Jay-Z to get the company off the ground. Jay and Big will appear together on a Brooklyn Mint tee called "Brooklyn's Finest." ...

Ever the entrepreneur, Jessica Simpson launched yet another fragrance product line on Wednesday in New York, what she calls the "fun and flirty kid sister" of her Dessert line. "Treats" are more affordable, simpler, single-note scents, coming in six varieties: bubble gum, lollipop, creamsicle, cotton candy, butterscotch toffee, and Jess' favorite, banana split. Her husband, Nick Lachey, was on hand to test out the "kissability" of the lip gloss, which, like the body lotions, shimmers, mists and creams, will be available at drugstores and Sephora. ... Nicole Richie is partnering up with someone other than Paris Hilton for her next reality role: Richie will star alongside DJ Adam Goldstein (a.k.a. DJ AM) in her upcoming gig as ... a wife. The pair, who have been dating for a year, have gotten engaged, according to The Associated Press. A wedding date has not been announced. ...

Longtime Doobie Brothers drummer Keith Knudsen died of pneumonia on Tuesday at age 56, according to a band spokesperson. Knudsen, who played on such Doobie hits as "Takin' It to the Streets" and "Black Water," joined the band in 1974 and played with the group on its 1982 farewell tour. He rejoined in 1993 after releasing four albums with his side project, Southern Pacific. ... Nas has teamed with filmmaker Spike Lee for his latest endeavor, "Miracle's Boys." Nas wrote and performed the theme song for the miniseries, which will premiere on the N on February 18. The six-part series chronicles the lives of three biracial orphaned teenage brothers living in New York's Harlem neighborhood. ...

In celebration of Black History Month, rapper Cormega will take over teaching duties for a "Black Culture/ Hip-Hop" class at Philadelphia's Temple University. The class, taking place February 18, will also mark the kickoff of Cormega's brief promo tour in support of his upcoming album, The Testament. ... Given the triumphant return of leg warmers and Mötley Crüe, it was only a matter of time before more '80s staples came out of hiding. Enter Warrant, who have announced that they began recording a new album on Friday with producer/engineer Pat Regan (Kiss, Mr. Big). The band hopes to release the album in the summer and tour behind it later this year. Good news for Warrant fans hoping to hear another "Cherry Pie": The band says on its Web site that the album will have "the classic hard rockin' Warrant sound that we all want to hear." ...

Ex-Libertines frontman Pete Doherty finally made bail on Tuesday after spending the weekend in jail on charges of robbery and blackmail, according to The Associated Press. His manager lent a hand by paying $185,000 of the $280,000 bond that Doherty had been unable to produce. The singer's label had already given the court the rest of the bond money. Doherty, arrested on February 2 after he reportedly fought with a man in a London hotel, was jailed on Friday. Now that he's out, Doherty has to attend drug rehabilitation, follow a 10 p.m. curfew, and be accompanied by a security escort whenever he leaves his home. He is scheduled to appear in court on February 21. ... As they prepare for the final weeks of shooting on their long-awaited feature-film debut, "Christmas on Mars" (due, naturally, at Christmas), the Flaming Lips are also gearing up to film the first video for their upcoming album, At War With the Mystics. The clip will be for the song "Mr. Ambulance Driver." Speaking of outer space, the band's bassist/guitarist, Michael Ivins, longtime Lips manager Scott Booker and Booker's wife have all snagged cameos in an upcoming episode of the soon-to-be-canceled "Star Trek: Enterprise." Booker, a huge "Star Trek" fan, said the trio will play miners. ...

The San Diego Padres may have finished six games out of first place in the National League West last season, but they're determined to at least have the best theme music in the Majors. So they launched "Rock the Padres," a call to musicians to pen the official theme for the 2005 season. Fans can go to Padres.com and choose from more than 120 submissions, from acts like the Buckos, Atomic Groove Featuring Carrie Weiland and, um, Gary Hoey (who scored an actual radio hit in 1993 with the song "Hocus Pocus"). Voting ends on Sunday. ... Apparently there's only room for one Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame in Cleveland filed suit against the online Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday alleging that the Web site, due to launch in March, infringes on the Rock Hall's name, according to The Associated Press. The suit — which comes one month after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the Jewish Hall's application for a name trademark — asks the Jewish Hall to cease using its name and asks for unspecified damages. ...

The Beastie Boys are joining Al Sharpton's call for KFC to enact reforms, and have sent a letter to the fast-food chain asking that it make its suppliers improve the lives of the chickens they raise for slaughter. "You need to require that your suppliers stop chopping off the beaks of birds and require that they stop breeding and drugging chickens to grow so big that they can't even walk," the letter reads. The rappers suggest that if KFC does as they ask, it will improve its business in the process, calling it a "win-win situation." ... Elton John's been called the "Rocket Man," but now, it's more like the "Jet Man." A colorful rendering of the singer sporting his trademark glasses adorns about 20 of AirTran Airways' planes as part of a promotion to demonstrate that those Boeing 717s feature complimentary XM Satellite Radio service on certain flights. ...

02.08.2005

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. ...