For The Record: Quick News On Ashlee Simpson, Notorious B.I.G., Linkin Park, Alicia Keys, Will.I.Am, Jewel & More

Notorious B.I.G. suit going to trial in June, Ashlee and Jewel team up for show, Chester Bennington doing solo set.

Notorious B.I.G.‘s mother, Voletta Wallace, is making progress with her lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department for the wrongful death of her son. Though it was initially supposed to go to trial this April, the case was continued because of the unavailability of a key witness, and is now scheduled to go to trial on June 14. Meanwhile, Wallace has signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster. …

Ashlee Simpson — who worked with Candie’s last fall to encourage people to vote — is teaming up with the shoe company once again for a different cause: to raise awareness about teen pregnancy. Simpson will be performing at “The Event to Prevent,” a concert the Candie’s Foundation is holding May 3 at New York’s Gotham Hall. The event will also feature Jewel and will honor Katie Couric and Jane Fonda. … Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington is going solo — at least for one show. On May 21 he’ll headline the 10-year-anniversary celebration of Tempe, Arizona’s Club Tattoo, a venue founded by his former Grey Daze bandmate Sean Dowdell. Members of Orgy, T.S.O.L. and others will also perform, and a silent auction benefiting the Tsunami Victims Relief Fund will be held that night as well. …

Alicia Keys has settled the lawsuit filed last year by her former literary agent Noah Lukeman when she signed a deal with one book publisher (Bantam) and then, having second thoughts, teamed up with a second agent for a different deal elsewhere (Putnam). Lukeman’s lawyer, who, due to a non-disclosure agreement, couldn’t provide details, did confirm that the dispute has been settled. … Meanwhile, Keys is slated to be honored by the Songwriters Hall of Fame with the Starlight Award, a prize given to gifted young songwriters making a significant impact in the music industry, it was announced Wednesday. Keys will be the second Starlight Award recipient after Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, who was given the inaugural award last year. Inductees for the 2005 Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony — which takes place June 9 in New York — include Isaac Hayes, Steve Cropper, John Fogerty, David Porter and Bill Withers. …

Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas recently remixed Bob Marley‘s “Africa Unite.” Not only was Will asked by Marley’s widow, Rita, to remix the song, she also sang on the record along with Will and Marley’s background singers, the I-Threes. The track will be released Friday on the Internet. Portions of the proceeds from the downloads of the song will be split between the Bob Marley Foundation, the Rita Marley Foundation and the Will.I.Am Foundation. … Pam Anderson is the latest face for M.A.C.’s Viva Glam campaign, which raises awareness and money for people living with HIV/AIDS via the sales of its lipstick and lipglass line. “I feel privileged and empowered to help raise funds and awareness of the importance of getting tested,” Anderson said in a statement Wednesday. “After being diagnosed with Hepatitis C, I knew the importance of knowing your status. Only then can you make informed and wise decisions for your health and life.” Past Viva Glam faces include Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott. …

Former Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has recruited the master of mope, the Cure‘s Robert Smith, to sing vocals on his upcoming solo album, TheFutureEmbrace. Smith lends his voice to Corgan’s cover of The Bee Gees‘ “To Love Somebody.” TheFutureEmbrace is due in stores on June 21. … Björk is making an army of her most popular song, “Army of Me” — she’s releasing a collection of cover versions and remixes of the track, from country to electro-clash to extreme metal, with all the proceeds going to UNICEF. Army of Me — the album — previously slated for February, is now due out May 31. …

03.30.2005

The Backstreet Boys — who launched their comeback tour last week — have stressed that they never really broke up in the first place, just merely took a break. That point is also being made in the title for their forthcoming album, which they’ve just decided to call Never Gone, also the name of one of the songs on the LP, due in June. …

Mariah Carey will shut down the streets of New York’s Times Square on April 12 to celebrate the release of her new album, The Emancipation of Mimi. The singer will perform five songs for ABC’s “Good Morning America,” according to Reuters. Her set will include the singles “We Belong Together” and “It’s Like That.” … No Doubt are giving up their guitars — for a good cause. The band is donating two signed guitars for charity auctions, the first of which takes place Wednesday (March 30) in Venice Beach, California, at a benefit for the Surfers Healing Foundation. Sugar Ray are slated to play the event. The second chance to win a No Doubt guitar comes courtesy of Rock the Cure for breast-cancer research. That auction will take place by invitation only on May 3 at the Los Angeles Hard Rock, but online bidding open to the general public starts April 24 at www.juliensauctions.com. …

Master P and his brother Silkk the Shocker pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of carrying loaded, unregistered weapons, The Associated Press reports. The two were arrested January 27 at UCLA after being stopped by campus police for not having a license plate on their car. Police said they found two guns in the vehicle. Both are currently free on bail. … Russell Simmons, the Reverend Run, Nicole Wray, and Jim Jones and Juelz Santana of the Diplomats will visit Perth Amboy High School in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, on Tuesday for the official launch of the state’s Be Powerful, Be Heard youth-voter initiative. The group will introduce a spoken-word contest about the importance of voting; the winner will be announced at the New Jersey Hip-Hop Summit in September. … Trina announced on Wednesday that she is launching a perfume called the Diamond Princess this summer, which is also when her long-delayed Glamorous Life LP should drop as well. …

Pixies leader Frank Black will release his first solo album in nearly a decade, Honeycomb, on July 19. The rootsy album was recorded in four days in April 2004, just days before Black hit the road with the Pixies for their reunion tour. Among the legendary session players on the disc are guitarists Steve Cropper (Booker T. and the M.G.s), Buddy Miller (Emmylou Harris) and Reggie Young (Elvis Presley), as well as drummer Anton Fig (Bob Dylan) and keyboardist Spooner Oldham (Aretha Franklin). Among the songs on the disc are “Atom in my Heart,” “Another Velvet Nightmare” and “Find Your Saint,” as well as a cover of the soul classic “Dark End of the Street.” … Meanwhile, the Pixies will return to the stage this summer, but only for a few weeks. The band is freeing up time for Kim Deal to make another Breeders album. …

Nine Inch NailsTrent Reznor recently sold the gothic New Orleans mansion he’s lived in for the past decade. According to The Associated Press, Reznor unloaded the 4,900-square-foot, four-bedroom home for $1.8 million. Reznor moved to Los Angeles last year, leaving behind the home, which has an outdoor pool with sound system and what’s been described as “gothic/Victorian decor” with a “medieval edge.” … Rick Rubin, the producer who revived Johnny Cash‘s career with the American Recordings series, is working with Neil Diamond on the singer’s first album in five years. Rubin worked with Cash on a cover of Diamond’s “Solitary Man.” …

Jermaine Dupri will be presented the Golden Note Award at the 22nd annual American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Pop Music Awards on May 16 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. P. Diddy, Elton John and Stevie Wonder are among the past recipients of the award. Neil Young is also being honored at the gala. … Irish singer and controversy magnet Sinéad O’Connor is in the studio working on her next project — a reggae album. And she’s even recording the new effort in the genre’s home of Kingston, Jamaica, for added authenticity. According to an Associated Press report, O’Connor’s album will be rife with covers of irie protest songs — Bob Marley‘s “War,” Peter Tosh‘s “Downpressor Man” and Burning Spear‘s “Marcus Garvey,” among others. …