For The Record: Quick News On Jay-Z, Nas, Young Buck, Ryan Seacrest, JC Chasez, Ashanti, Madonna & More

Jay-Z releasing watch collection, Nas mounting college tour, Ryan Seacrest getting his star.

Jay-Z has teamed up with Swiss watch designer Audemars Piguet to release a limited-edition, upscale watch collection. According to Jay’s publicist, only 100 of the watches, which celebrate the MC’s 10th year in the music industry, are being made: 50 in stainless steel, 30 in rose gold and 20 in platinum. The timepieces can be found in Audemars Piguet shops; prices range from $24,000 to $100,000. Each watch comes with an iPod with all of Jay’s albums already uploaded. …

Young Buck‘s Monday court date in Los Angeles in connection with the melee at last fall’s Vibe Awards was continued to May 13. The G-Unit rapper has already pleaded not guilty to assault with a deadly weapon. … Nas is staging a brief college tour to promote his Street’s Disciple album. The five-date jaunt will kick off on Saturday at the University of Connecticut’s Storrs campus and wrap on May 21 at the University of Chicago. The rapper is planning a larger tour for the summer. …

After leaving the Queens of the Stone Age tour earlier this month, Mark Lanegan returned to the stage for the last show on this leg of their outing. About half an hour into the band’s set at the Music Box at the Fonda in Los Angeles Monday night, Lanegan emerged onstage without a word of explanation and proceeded to sing several songs. The other surprise of the night came during the first encore, when the band came out with ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons. They performed the 1973 ZZ Top song “Precious and Grace” as well as the Lullabies to Paralyze track on which Gibbons appears, “Burn the Witch.” … Along with working with the same producers he used on Schizophrenic, JC Chasez has been spending time in the studio with James Harry (Britney Spears) and David Maurice (Jay-Z) for the follow-up. “I’m concentrated not so much on the production but the songwriting, so it’s gonna be an album of great songs,” Chasez said. …

“Rush Hour” star Chris Tucker was arrested Sunday for reckless driving and fleeing when police in Warren County, Georgia, tried to pull him over for going 109 mph on Interstate 20, according to the Smoking Gun Web site. The actor, driving a 2005 Bentley, reportedly did not immediately stop for authorities. … Michael Jackson‘s lawyers finished grilling the accuser’s mother on Tuesday, finishing up her five days on the stand by calling into question photographs showing the bruises she claimed came from an altercation with JC Penney security guards. Jackson’s attorney Thomas Mesereau tried to establish that the abuse could have been at the hands of her husband, and that she conned the department store into paying a $150,000 settlement. In a mug shot taken immediately after the incident, she testified, she doesn’t have bruises because they took time to turn dark and she was wearing makeup. Mesereau also tried to establish that the mother spent money raised for her son’s cancer costs, asking about a car she looked into buying and asking how she paid for plastic surgery. “I used a credit card,” she said. She said the donations were used to make a room sterile for her son at her parents’ home during his chemotherapy. Meanwhile, the prosecution is expected to wrap its case by the end of next week. …

Lovebirds and “One Tree Hill” castmates Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush were married over the weekend in Santa Monica, California. The vows were exchanged at the Hotel Casa del Mar overlooking the ocean and in front of almost 200 guests, including Bethany Joy Lenz and Tyler Hilton, according to Bush’s publicist. The couple, who met in 2003, were engaged last July when Murray popped the question on the Australian set of his upcoming movie, “House of Wax.” … A New York judge has issued a warrant for Natasha Lyonne‘s arrest. The “American Pie” and “Slums of Beverly Hills” actress was a no-show Monday morning for a scheduled court appearance, according to Reuters. She was due in court to answer charges filed back in December in the wake of her arrest on criminal-mischief, harassment and trespassing charges. Police were called to the star’s apartment building when a neighbor complained she forced her way into their apartment, broke a mirror and then allegedly threatened to sexually assault their dog. …

Come Wednesday, Ryan Seacrest will be immortalized — sort of. The “American Idol” host is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Merv Griffin and Larry King are slated to speak at the ceremony. … Ashanti‘s making two stops on TV for sweeps month. Besides her starring role as Dorothy in “The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz” (airing May 20 at 8 p.m. on ABC), the singer is also guest-starring as herself on “Las Vegas” as the new girlfriend of Jon Lovitz‘s colorful billionaire character, Fred Puterbaugh. The episode, called “Magic. Carpet. Fred.,” airs May 9 at 9 p.m. on NBC. …

Since when does P. Diddy skip out on his own party? That was Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman‘s reaction when the rap boss failed to appear at the Aladdin Resort & Casino on Friday — deemed Diddy Day, no less — for a special press conference. The hip-hop mogul was supposedly going to announce some new business ventures he’s been working on, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, including a new restaurant and a nightclub. Those plans are now reported to be on hold. … Is Madonna planning on doing a musical? She certainly hints as much in her latest letter to fans in ICON magazine. “I have been back in the studio writing new songs for several different projects,” she wrote. “Should I do a musical? Should I record another album?” The singer also mentioned that she’s just finished designing the fall line for her English Roses collection and that her upcoming tour documentary is more than what she intended it to be. “It starts out being a film about me and my life on tour and ends up being a story about humanity,” she wrote. “I am very excited about it and hope to premiere it at the Cannes Film Festival.” …

Ja Rule‘s new movie “Back in the Day” is set to premiere on television. Ja plays Reggie Cooper, a young man from the wrong side of the tracks who struggles to avoid the gang life but becomes embroiled in it when his paroled friend (played by Ving Rhames) gets him involved in the murder of a local preacher. The urban drama also stars Pam Grier, Tatyana Ali, Frank Langella and Tia Carrere and will premiere May 13 on BET at 7:30 p.m. ET. The DVD will hit stores May 24. … Sisqó is planning to spend some time at the beach for his part in the upcoming campy teen comedy “Surf School,” a self-described “American Pie”-at-the-beach, which began production last week. The “Thong Song” singer plays rapper Mo, a member of a group of misfits that also includes the school virgin, a goth mute, a sex-crazed loudmouth and a Maryland transplant, who enter a surf contest together. School scenes take place in Laguna Beach, California, while the surf scenes are being shot in Costa Rica. …

The brothers GallagherNoel and Liam — aren’t exactly known for their calm demeanors. So they’re probably busting furniture over the news that tracks from Oasis‘ upcoming album, Don’t Believe the Truth, have been leaked to the Internet more than six weeks before the record is due in stores. Late Monday night, message boards on several Oasis fan sites began popping with transfers of songs like “The Meaning of Soul,” “Let There Be Love” and “Mucky Fingers.” No word on how the tracks made their way to the Web, but for fans who still want to buy the album, it’s out on May 31. … On Tuesday night (April 19), the nonprofit organization Dress for Success, which helps low-income women find clothes for joining the workforce, will host a star-studded gala at the Marriott Marquis in New York. Lorraine Bracco will host the event, where revelers can expect to see Star Jones Reynolds, Ashanti, Wyclef Jean and Harry Belafonte, who will be honored. …

Billy Idol is joining the Warped Tour for a few select dates. The punk idol will perform at the July 6, 7, 10, 16, 17, 20 and 24 shows. “I’m risking it all over again in the clinch, in the trenches, showing people the energy of Generation X, the rock of ‘Rebel Yell,’ ” he said in a statement. Also on the Warped lineup are the Offspring, My Chemical Romance, Transplants, Thrice, Fall Out Boy and Dropkick Murphys. …

04.18.2005

Lindsay Lohan has changed her mind about her next single/video. Instead of shooting “Speak” with Francis Lawrence, she’s now going to do a clip for “First,” which will also be the first single from the “Herbie: Fully Loaded” soundtrack, with director Jake Nava (who also helmed “Over”). They’re scheduled to shoot the first weekend of May in Los Angeles. …

Usher had $100,000 worth of luggage stolen while staying at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York on Friday. According to a hotel spokesperson, the singer brought all of his luggage up to his hotel room with the exception of one bag, which was to be picked up by a member of his posse. Unfortunately, a thief grabbed the bag instead, and when Usher found out, he called Donald Trump personally to complain. Trump issued a statement saying the missing bag was not the fault of his staff, but that he would reimburse Mr. Entertainment for his loss. … Can’t wait until June 7 to hear the White Stripes new album, Get Behind Me Satan? Well, you’re in luck. Because starting Monday (April 18), you can hear the first single off the album — the hard-rockin’ “Blue Orchid” — on iTunes. The song was recorded just two weeks ago, according to the band’s label, V2 Music. …

After facing off with her on Friday, Michael Jackson‘s lawyers continued to grill the accuser’s mother on Monday, the second of day of her cross-examination. She testified that her son never asked if he could sleep in Jackson’s bedroom, but she also never asked him where he was sleeping, saying she just assumed that “children sleep with children.” The mother also testified that she didn’t know about various fundraisers for her son’s cancer costs before they happened. Asked if any of the money went to her son, she said, “I think so.” She also claimed that the defense had planted false stories in the media about her, and that she knew nothing about an interview with her — praising Jackson — that appeared in the British tabloids in February 2003, saying that she only signed a statement that Jackson’s manager wrote. …

Rob Thomas is writing songs once again for Carlos Santana, for the guitarist’s forthcoming album All That I Am, due out June 21. One of those songs, Thomas said, is an electronic collaboration with Big Boi, whom he has yet to meet. “We just sent MP3s back and forth,” the Matchbox Twenty singer explained. “I put the melody and lyric in there, and he got it back to me with Mary J. Blige singing, though I haven’t met her either.” Thomas is also teaming up with Pink to write songs for her next record. The two wrote a few songs together that never made her last album, but he doesn’t want to revisit or rework that material. “I wouldn’t want to cheapen her by bringing something that didn’t work before,” he said. What will the new songs sound like? He wouldn’t say, other than “she’s so mixing it up.” … On Monday, New York radio station Z100 announced the lineup for its annual Zootopia concert, taking place at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on May 22. Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Clarkson, Black Eyed Peas, Rob Thomas, Simple Plan, Jesse McCartney, Gavin DeGraw and the Backstreet Boys will all perform. Akon, Natalie, Bowling for Soup and local act Last Week will take the stage for the free outdoor pre-show. …

While making a tour stop in Houston last week, British rapper Dizzee Rascal hooked up with Southern rap legend Bun B from the group UGK. Bun said he liked Dizzee’s “half-cockney, half-Southern” flow and that the collaboration would be a cut featured on an upcoming album from Bun’s new group, Middlefingaz. … Colin Powell apparently has a need for speed. The former secretary of state is going to be a pace-car driver and will lead the field at the start of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29. “It is a great American tradition, and I am honored to be a part of it,” Powell said in a statement. …

Blues legend B.B. King will be honored with a monument in the small town of Twist, Arkansas, The Associated Press reports. The town was first put on the map when King’s famed guitar, “Lucille,” was named there after a dancehall brawl. … Sinéad O’Connor will make her first concert appearance in New York in more than five years when she performs with Burning Spear at this year’s Jammys, to be held April 26 at Madison Square Garden. If that musical pairing seems, well, unusual, it just might have something to do with O’Connor’s studio sessions in Jamaica, where she’s currently recording an album of reggae covers, including Burning Spear’s “Marcus Garvey” and “Throw Down Your Arms.” …