For The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, R. Kelly, Static-X, Hilary Duff, Tweet, Def Leppard & More

Britney admits marriage was rocky at first, R. Kelly loses a round in court, Debbie Rowe puts the Jacko ring up for auction.

In the April issue of Allure magazine, Britney Spears admits that she let herself go in recent months and that the beginning of her marriage to Kevin Federline has been somewhat rocky. The singer said that she was grateful that paparazzi shots revealed she was gaining more pounds than usual because “it made me see that I needed to lose weight.” Pointing to her stomach, she told the magazine, “As you can see, I still have the honeymoon aftereffect … I was just lounging around and eating and laying out and just didn’t have a care in the world.” That didn’t help the honeymoon transition into a successful marriage, she said, because “hardcore” reality set in after the first three weeks. “Before we got married, we were on tour, and we were like kids, ordering room service, saying, ‘Let’s go out tonight.’ And then all of a sudden, you have the kids,” she told the magazine, referring to Federline’s children, Kori and Kaleb, “you have the diapers, get the dogs to the vet. It’s this whole reality, you know. But we handled it fine, and now things are starting to go really smooth.” However, she’s no longer hoping to have a child of her own in the immediate future. “I’m not pregnant,” she said. “It’s not something I’ve striving for.” … (See photos of Britney Spears in April’s Allure.)

R. Kelly lost another round in court on Friday, when a Chicago judge rejected his bid to declare the Illinois child-pornography statute unconstitutional (and thereby dismiss the charges against him). Kelly’s defense tried to make the argument that if it’s not illegal to have sex with a 17-year-old, since that’s the age of consent, it shouldn’t be illegal to take pictures of a 17-year-old engaging in a sex act. Cook County Assistant State Attorney Shauna Boliker, however, successfully argued that the state lawmakers broadened the scope of the pornography statute and that the charges should stand. Kelly is due back in court on April 21. … The diamond wedding ring Michael Jackson gave to ex-wife Debbie Rowe is on the block on eBay with a starting bid of $50,000. “This beautiful ring was given to Debbie and she would love someone to have it who appreciates the beauty and intention in which it was given,” reads a note on the auction site. The bidding on the platinum ring — which has a two-carat, center-cut diamond surrounded by 14 brilliant-cut diamonds — is being sold on a reserve basis, which means the buyer must meet an unspecified target price. There were four early bids, but as of Tuesday (March 8), no legitimate bids had been made for the sale, which ends Thursday. …

A week after confirming their split with guitarist Tripp Eisen — who was recently arrested on charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child — Static-X leader Wayne Static announced on the band’s Web site on Monday that former guitarist Koichi Fukuda has rejoined the group. Fukuda played on the band’s debut, Wisconsin Death Trip, and toured with the group for two years before leaving to spend more time with his family. Fukuda has been recording with Static-X since October and will perform live with them at the Galaxy in Santa Ana, California, on March 25. … Hilary Duff, poet? Well, at least for one night, when she guest stars on “George Lopez” as a feminist named Kenzie who enters a poetry slam. Her episode airs Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC. …

Tweet has just finished shooting a video for the theme song to the updated version of “Kojak,” which premieres March 25 on USA. Ving Rhames plays the title role. The clip for “When I Need a Man” was directed by Antti J. Jokinen (Kelly Clarkson‘s “A Moment Like This”). “What I wanted to do was give Kojak a great intro,” Tweet said in a statement. “I wanted to make a statement with this song — ‘Don’t mess with Kojak.’ ” The track will also appear on Tweet’s album It’s Me Again, out March 22. … Carmen Electra is going to be a sex slave — for her new role on the Sci Fi Channel’s half-hour animated series “Tripping the Rift.” Electra is joining the voice cast for the second season, which debuts in July, as “Six,” a sexy android whose function is to serve the carnal needs of a stumpy purple alien named Chode. She has the added value of being brainy as well, and acts as the unheeded voice of reason on Chode’s smuggling vessel. …

Several celebs are donating the clothes off their backs to benefit the Children’s Defense Fund, Cure Autism Now, and the UNICEF Tsunami Relief Fund. The “Clothes Off Our Back” auction at www.clothesoffourback.org features clothing and accessories worn during the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Golden Globes, and movies such as “Be Cool,” including Tyra Banks‘ Elie Saab gown, Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Prada tuxedo, Mark McGrath‘s Holland ESQ suit, Cate Blanchett‘s Judith Leiber handbag, Jimmy Jam‘s Stetson hat and Sarah Jessica Parker‘s Vivienne Westwood pants. … The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers slapped an Illinois watering hole with a copyright-infringement lawsuit on Monday, after it was learned that the Led Zeppelin classic “Whole Lotta Love” was performed there by a cover band back in October. Each year, ASCAP files an average of 200 lawsuits against businesses that “present musical entertainment” to the public without permission, an attorney representing the organization said. ASCAP has issued licenses to more than 100,000 music venues nationwide; one is required if a bar or club wants to bring in a cover band or DJ to perform, for example. The bar in question, 602 North in Glendale Heights, could not be reached for comment. …

If it’s good enough for Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, it’s good enough for, um, Def Leppard and Bryan Adams? The British metal act and Canadian rocker will join forces this summer for the Rock ‘N Roll Double-Header Tour, in which they’ll play shows at 26 minor-league baseball stadiums. The tour is scheduled to kick off with a June 1 date in Portland, Oregon, at PGE Park (home of the Beavers), and end on August 10 in Lansing, Michigan, at Oldsmobile Park (home of the Lugnuts), according to a Def Lep spokesperson. The stage will be setup in the outfield and fans will be encouraged to sit on blankets on the field or watch from the stands. … British buzz band Aqualung have the first single from the soundtrack to the upcoming Ashton Kutcher/ Amanda Peet romantic comedy, “A Lot Like Love.” The band’s “Brighter Than Sunshine” will be heard in trailers for the film, which traces the lives of a would-be couple as they keep running into each other over the course of seven years. Other artists featured on the soundtrack are Jet, the Cure, Travis, Butch Walker and Hooverphonic. The film hits theaters April 22, the soundtrack is in stores April 12, and Aqualung’s first U.S. album, Strange and Beautiful, drops March 22. …

Mandy Moore will soon add another stamp on her passport when she plays host for a series of events benefiting UNICEF in Japan. Moore, who has already been tapped to be the face of Coach’s international spring advertising campaign, will travel to the land of the rising sun next month to cut the ribbon at the handbag and accessory brand’s flagship store in Nagoya. The limited-edition Coach Scribble Signature wristbands will serve as a ticket to the charity concert at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on April 9, which will feature Moore as well as N.E.R.D.

03.07.2005

After months of speculation, there’s finally substantive information on Weezer‘s upcoming fifth studio album. Namely, the name: Make Believe. The band confirmed the title in a post on Weezer.com, adding that the artwork for the LP was also very close to being completed. The group stopped short of giving up all the info, though; there’s still no confirmed release date. …

Foxy Brown turned herself in to New York City police late Monday evening (March 7) to face assault charges stemming from an incident at a nail salon in August. Details are scarce, but Foxy was issued an appearance ticket and released without bail, according to an NYPD spokesperson. …

The Velvet Teddy Bear, Ruben Studdard, is involved in a not-so-cuddly lawsuit with his godfather/former business adviser. A lawyer for the “American Idol” crooner has slapped Ronald Edwards with a suit alleging that Edwards withdrew checks that add up to $90,000 from Studdard’s account, ran up big charges on his credit cards and misused $246,000 without getting Studdard’s permission. The suit is asking for unspecified damages. Edwards’ attorney says that his client came to the aid of Studdard when the “Idol” contest starting heating up and had power of attorney to help Studdard by paying his rent and cell-phone bills as well as his accountant. The next step for Edwards in the battle against his godson will come in the form of a counterclaim, which his attorney says will be filed next week. …

Snoop Dogg‘s Puff Puff Pass Tour is dropping like it’s hot — on DVD. The two-disc set, featuring live performances of such hits as “Gin & Juice” and “Murder Was the Case,” is due out March 22. The second disc features behind-the-scenes footage as well as the rapper’s thoughts on the war in Iraq, Al Sharpton and George W. Bush. … Snoop, Twista and WC are among the guests on Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rapper Layzie Bone‘s debut solo album, It’s Not a Game, due May 31. Krayzie Bone and the Outlawz also make appearances on Layzie’s first recording since the 2001 side project Mo Thugs Family Presents Thug by Nature.

The cost for expediting the visa process for U.K. bands coming to perform in the U.S. has some rockers’ knickers in a twist. In the ramp-up to South by Southwest — which starts at the end of the week — many British bands are complaining that getting temporary visas has become increasingly difficult. With a 15-day express fee running more than $1,000 per visa request, some British advocacy groups, like the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, are grousing that U.K. bands will lose money by hauling themselves across the pond. The London Times has said that bands like Coldplay and Franz Ferdinand, who are well established in the States, may be awarded travel grants to ease the difficulty of entering the U.S. … British rockers Muse will headline this year’s Campus Invasion Tour. Razorlight will open on the trek, which begins April 8 at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, and ends April 28 at Kent State University in Cleveland. …

Last week a few tracks trickled out to the Internet via Seattle radio station the End 107.7, and now the entirety of Fiona Apple‘s Extraordinary Machine has leaked online. The album, which has been in label limbo for more than two years, features such tracks as “Oh Sailor,” “Red Red Red” and “Window.” Sony still has yet to set a release date for the album. … The same day the traditional version hits stores, Bruce Springsteen‘s upcoming album Devils & Dust (April 26) will also be released in DualDisc format. The two-sided disc will have the full album on one side, and live acoustic performances of the title track, “Long Time Comin’,” “Reno,” “All I’m Thinkin’ About” and “Matamoras Banks” on the DVD side, with spoken introductions from the Boss. …

Oasis have titled their sixth studio album Don’t Believe the Truth. The record, due May 31, includes “Lyla,” which recently hit the singles charts in the U.K. … Scottish alt-rockers Teenage Fanclub will drop their latest effort, Man-Made, in May, via their own PeMa label. Fans anxious for the Fanclub’s new material will get their chance to hear it in late March, but will need to cross the Atlantic to get it: a pair of shows has been set, the first in London at the Scala on March 29 and the second at Glasgow’s Mitchell Theatre on March 31. Man-Made will be the band’s first studio album since 2000′s Howdy!

Hoboken, New Jersey’s Yo La Tengo are officially an institution. The indie rockers will release the career-spanning retrospective Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs, 1985-2003 on March 22. The collection will be available in two versions: a two-disc “best-of” set and a three-disc anthology with a disc of 16 rarities and outtakes. The trio also recently completed soundtracks for the Sundance films “Game 6″ and “Junebug,” and they have a DVD slated to drop later in the year. … Finch and Vendetta Red are pairing up for a spring tour that kicks off April 14 in West Hollywood, California, and wraps up April 30 at the Bamboozle festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Vendetta Red, who are playing several dates near their hometown of Seattle beforehand, will be previewing songs from their next album, Sisters of the Red Death, due this summer. …