For The Record: Quick News On Lindsay Lohan, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, J. Lo, Nickelback & More

Lindsay Lohan to act alongside Meryl Streep, Britney talks kabbalah, Snoop to voice a flying cat.

Lindsay Lohan is going to have to brush up on her twang as she tries to upgrade from teen queen to serious actress. She’s part of a star-studded ensemble in director Robert Altman’s adaptation of Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and most of her scenes are with none other than Meryl Streep, who plays her mom. The film’s a look at what goes on backstage at a radio show, where Lyle Lovett, Tom Waits and Streep are all country singers. Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Kline and Lily Tomlin also star in the project, which is tentatively slated to start shooting next month. …

On day five of the Michael Jackson trial, the accuser’s older sister cried on the witness stand as she continued her testimony about how her brother had changed once he spent alone time with the singer. Under cross-examination, she said she had accused her own father of molesting her, and that her father had admitted doing so. The sister also testified that the rebuttal video Jackson’s associates made in response to the Martin Bashir documentary — in which her family is heard praising the singer — was staged and scripted by the singer’s camp. The unedited rebuttal video, in which the family kept repeating similar phrases, was played for the jury. Jackson’s mother, Katherine, wept during the proceedings. …

Britney Spears wrote a new posting on Friday (March 4) on her paid Web site explaining her commitment to kabbalah, which she says Madonna introduced her to at a time she really needed it. “There came a point where not even my family or my advisors had the answers I needed,” she wrote. “Through kabbalah, I was able to look within myself, clear all the negative energy, and turn my life around. Now that the chaos has subsided, I finally feel as though I have the control I’ve wanted over my own destiny.” … Snoop Dogg is joining Madonna in the voice cast of the big-budget computer-animated “Arthur,” based on a series of children’s books written by Luc Besson, who is also directing. The project, due out next year, follows a 10-year-old who goes in search of treasure hidden in the land of the Minimoys, tiny people living in harmony with nature. “I play a character where I’m like a flying cat, a cool cat, you know what I’m saying?” Snoop told MTV Europe. …

Jennifer Lopez is one of the producers behind an hour-long dramatic series in development at the UPN Network titled “South Beach,” according to the channel. The show, which has not yet been cast, centers on a group of young professionals living in Miami. … Nickelback are drummerless no longer. On Friday, the Canadian dude-core heavyweights announced that Daniel Adair will now be sitting behind the kit, replacing longtime drummer Ryan Vikedal, who left earlier this year. Adair had most recently served as the studio and touring drummer for 3 Doors Down. Nickelback are currently working on the follow-up to their 2003 album, The Long Road. …

After launching the S. Carter, the S. Carter II and the S. Carter Tennis, Jay-Z is dropping yet another shoe, the S. Carter Basketball Mid, on the market on Friday. It’s available in leather with nubuck detailing, and also features a herringbone, high-abrasion outsole for traction, a sculpted midsole, and ankle strap closure for support. The shoe will be worn on court by several NBA players, including the New York Knicks’ Jamal Crawford and the Denver Nuggets’ Kenyon Martin. … Kelly Clarkson, Joss Stone and Gavin DeGraw are among the performers who will take the stage at the third annual Dasani festival, to be held on April 3. The free concert will take place at the Gateway mall in St. Louis and is part of the weekend festivities surrounding the gambler’s fever-dream that is the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in the Lou. …

The Backstreet Boys have added four more tour dates to their itinerary: April 4 in Columbus, Ohio, April 5 in Detroit, April 8 in Milwaukee and April 10 in St. Louis. … The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will celebrate its 10th anniversary from April 29-May 1 with a series of shows there by Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails, Bon Jovi and DJ Paul Oakenfold. …

A recording engineer credited on Ray Charles’ Grammy-winning album Genius Loves Company was released from jail Thursday after being arrested for allegedly stealing 300 original master recordings by the late musician. Terry Howard was taken into custody four days after the Grammy wins and was released after posting $100,000 bail. Police say Howard slowly squirreled away the tapes, including such invaluable songs as “Georgia on My Mind,” over the course of a year. Howard’s lawyer refuted these allegations and told Reuters that the tapes are not originals but copies used to work on the material in his home studio. A hearing is scheduled for March 28. … Usher and the B-52′s, among others, are being honored by the Atlanta chapter of the Recording Academy, at a Heroes Awards Gala. The event takes place April 21 in downtown Atlanta, with proceeds going toward professional arts-education programs and MusiCares, the Academy’s health and human services charity. …

Slash’s top hat — which went missing, presumed stolen at the Grammys — has been found, but is now being held hostage. A man claiming to have the hat won’t hand it over until he gets a better reward, even though BC Ethics, the company that does Slash’s T-shirt line, is now offering $5,000 for the hat’s return. The hat was part of a marketing campaign where it was to be replicated and personally signed, for display with the release of the Slash line, a 15-piece collection of tees, knit tops and hats. “I’ve worn that hat for 12 years,” Slash said in a statement. “It’s my lucky hat and I want it back.” … Alanis Morissette is celebrating the 10th anniversary of her breakthrough album, Jagged Little Pill, by re-recording it acoustically. Morissette has reteamed with Jagged producer Glen Ballard for the project, which is slated for release on June 13, exactly 10 years to the day after the original’s street date. The stripped-down version of the 30-million-selling original will include video footage as well as the bonus song “Your House.” The LP will be available only at Starbucks for the first six weeks after it’s released. Morissette will mount her first-ever unplugged tour in support of the album in June. …

Martin Denny, whose unique blend of island rhythms and nature sounds created “exotica” in the ’50s and found a new audience with the lounge revival of the ’90s, has passed away at the age of 93, according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The Hawaiian Denny forged a sound from Polynesian, Asian, African and Latin influences and smoothed them into the type of cocktail soundtrack found on albums like Quiet Village, Forbidden Island and Primitiva. … Joe Carter, a member of country music’s Carter Family, died of cancer Wednesday at his home in Maces Springs, Virginia, according to the family’s Web site. He was 78. Carter, who was the last remaining family member present at a legendary 1927 recording session by his parents, A.P. and Sara Carter, was active in the preservation of traditional country music through his work with the Carter Family Folds, a Hiltons, Virginia, venue that presents weekly country and bluegrass concerts. …

Napster founder Shawn Fanning’s new company added a major feather to its cap on Thursday. Snocap, whose technology allows labels to collect royalties on music traded on peer-to-peer networks, signed a deal that will make Sony BMG’s music available for legitimate sale online through P2P networks that use Snocap’s technology. Fanning’s company signed a deal in November with the music industry’s biggest label conglomerate, Universal Music Group. …

03.03.2005

Snoop Dogg will release “Signs,” his pop-infused effort featuring Justin Timberlake, as the third single off his latest album, R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece. Snoop told MTV Europe that “it’s only right” to release the single, noting that it’s time to “mix worlds.” … On day four of the Michael Jackson trial, the accuser’s older sister testified that her brother seemed more “hyper” and “playful” after spending time alone with the star, possibly indicating intoxication. She claimed she saw Jackson and her brothers whispering and passing around a can of Diet Coke (which the prosecution alleges held wine, not soda), but she didn’t take a drink from it. She also claimed that she once followed Jackson and her two brothers into a room at Neverland, where the singer poured wine for everybody, including herself. The sister also said Jackson’s handlers made preparations for the family to go to Brazil, claiming that there were death threats against them. …

At Usher‘s live performance in Puerto Rico this coming Saturday, “One Night One Star Usher Live,” which will be televised by Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Mr. Entertainment will be joined by several special guests, including Beyoncé, Lil Jon, Ludacris, Fat Joe and Tom Cruise, according to sources close to the production. … It turns out that “American Idol” contestant Constantine Maroulis‘ television debut was not on the hit FOX TV show, but rather on “Elimidate,” the late-night guilty pleasure in which four guys compete for a date with one lucky lady, and visa-versa. “Elimidate” producers dug into their archives to find the episode, which was shot a few years ago when Maroulis, now 29, was a student at the Boston Conservatory. On the show, which re-aired Wednesday night, Maroulis sings for his supper at a trendy Boston eatery and even licks his date’s arm, behavior that somehow led to him winning the competition. …

Demand for the Dimebag Darrell Memorial Bracelet — available through www.DimeTribute.com — has been so high that PayPal, the online payment provider in charge of handling orders for the black bands, has been forced to halt service to the site. The memorial bracelets can still be ordered through the mail, and the Web site has posted a statement assuring those who have already placed orders through PayPal that the site is “working with a new provider to remedy this problem.” All of the proceeds from the sale of the bracelets will go to the Dimebag Darrell Memorial Fund. … Denise Richards filed for divorce from Charlie Sheen on Wednesday, citing irreconcilable differences. Richards and Sheen have one daughter, Sam, who is 1 year old. Richards, who is six months pregnant with their second child, is seeking full custody of the children and is asking that Sheen be granted visitation rights. The marriage was Sheen’s second and Richards’ first. …

The latest spate of commercials in the $28 million “Radio. You Hear It Here First” campaign features a number of new artists touting the importance of terrestrial radio. Among the acts are R&B singer Brooke Valentine, country singer Julie Roberts, rockers Blue Merle, the Bravery and the Ditty Bops. Joining the fresh faces are veterans Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hall & Oates. Previous spots have featured Nelly, Ludacris, Avril Lavigne, Ashanti and Alicia Keys. … British rapper Dizzee Rascal was arrested in London on Wednesday for allegedly carrying pepper spray, according to BBC News. A spokesperson for Rascal’s U.S. label had no comment on the arrest. The unnamed 34-year-old driver of the car Rascal was riding in was reportedly arrested for possession of pepper spray, a baton and pot. Rascal is slated to start a U.S. tour on March 31 in Portland, Oregon. …

Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy will participate in a discussion about downloading and file-sharing at the main branch of the New York Public Library (Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street) on April 7. Tweedy, who openly supports music downloading, will discuss issues involving the artistic, commercial and legal aspects of the controversial subject. “A piece of art is not a loaf of bread,” Tweedy said in a statement. “When someone steals a loaf of bread from the store, that’s it. The loaf of bread is gone. When someone downloads a piece of music, it’s just data until the listener puts that music back together with their own ears, their mind, their subjective experience.”… Powerhouse singer Nikka Costa will join Lenny Kravitz on his spring tour, which kicks off April 5 in Grand Prairie, Texas. The L.A. native will be supporting her new album, Can’tneverdidnothin’, which hits stores on May 24. The first single will be “Till I Get You.” …