For The Record: Quick News On Black Eyed Peas, Jessica Simpson, Mariah Carey, R. Kelly, Eminem, Common & More

Black Eyed Peas gearing up for solo projects, R. Kelly court date bumped again, Rush's Alex Lifeson cops a plea.

After the Black Eyed Peas release Monkey Business on June 7 and complete their tour behind it, the group will split off and work on solo records. "Fergie has her record, I have a Spanish record coming out and Apl has a Pilipino record coming out," Taboo said. "We decided to branch out and show the world that we as individuals could represent our own styles." Members of the group are also interested in pursuing acting and producing, but Taboo insisted the Peas will continue to make music together. ...

In case you were wondering what Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey would do to follow up their holiday-themed variety special, wonder no more. The no-longer newlyweds are shooting their performance this week at Rammstein Air Force Base in Germany for "Nick and Jessica's Tour of Duty," which will air May 23 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. ...

Move over, MadonnaMariah Carey's planning to give the Material Mom a run for her money with her own series of illustrated children's books, "Automatic Princess," which she started working on last summer. The project got slightly derailed since Carey was also recording her album at the same time, but she says it's time to revisit the idea. "The way I do things, I need to be involved. I wouldn't just be like, 'Here's a concept, go run with it,' " she said. "It's still something I really want to do, and I'm going to do, and I'm going to start getting that into production soon." The series would explore the journey of a biracial orphan girl who goes through what Carey experienced as a child. ...

R. Kelly, who was due in court Thursday (April 21), won't have to make an appearance until next week. The singer got a continuance for a pretrial hearing in his child-pornography case until April 29, according to the Cook County state attorney's office in Illinois. ... The judge in the Michael Jackson case denied a motion on Thursday to allow an expert on battered women's syndrome to testify, which the prosecution had hoped would explain much of the accuser's mother's bizarre demeanor on the witness stand. Judge Rodney Melville said that the JC Penney case the mother was involved in wasn't established to be a domestic-abuse matter. Melville also denied a motion to allow former Neverland guard Kassim Abdool to testify regarding an incident where he says he saw an "aroused" Jackson and the 1993 accuser in bed. But Melville will allow Abdool to corroborate an incident previously testified to by another former guard, about finding wet swimming trunks on the floor of the restroom near the Neverland Jacuzzi (Ralph Chacon had said that he observed Jackson molest the boy in that restroom). Meanwhile, a potential witness for the defense has been arrested on charges of having sex with a 14-year-old. Eighteen-year-old Ahmad Elatab, who used to visit Neverland and knew the current accuser, is being held on $25,000 bail on charges of sexual assault, criminal sexual contact and impairing the morals of a minor. ...

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and his son Justin, who had been facing two third-degree felony counts of battery stemming from a 2003 New Year's Eve altercation with law-enforcement officers, have accepted plea agreements to reduce the charges to a single misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest without violence, according to The Associated Press. The incident took place after security prevented the musician's son from joining the house band at Naples, Florida's Ritz-Carlton Hotel restaurant onstage to sing to his wife. The guitarist allegedly elbowed a cop in the face, pushed a female officer down a staircase and ripped an officer's radio from his uniform. Lifeson and his son agreed on Thursday to serve one year of probation and pay all court costs. ... Eminem, the White Stripes and Anita Baker were among the big winners at Wednesday night's Detroit Music Awards. Em won Outstanding National Major-Label Album for Encore, the Stripes won Outstanding Major-Budget Video for "Black Math" and Baker took Outstanding National Single for "You're My Everything." ...

XXL magazine held an appreciation party for Common and Kanye West Wednesday night at Club 17 in New York. Jay-Z, Jermaine Dupri, Kwamé and 7 Aurelius were among those in attendance. ... That same night, Kanye rocked clothing giant H&M's fashion show in Central Park. "I'm here to perform ... to rock the house," West proclaimed inside the 15,000 square-foot, four-story tent complex erected by the department store. The Grammy Award-winner then performed his hit single "Through the Wire" with Miri Ben-Ari and John Legend. ...

Dave Navarro, who documented his drug abuse and recovery in his book "Don't Try This at Home," is being honored by MusiCares for his devotion to helping other addicts with their own addiction and recovery processes. Tom Arnold will serve as host for the gala, which is being held May 20 at the Music Box in Hollywood, and will feature performances by Jerry Cantrell and Navarro's new band the Panic Channel (which also includes Stephen Perkins). All proceeds will benefit MusiCares' MAP Fund, which provides musicians with access to recovery treatment. ... Former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus has taken time away from his busy schedule of blogging about the NBA and creating nonsensical poems on his official site to key us in to the track list for his third solo album, Face the Truth (due May 24). According to a post on StephenMalkmus.com, the new album is 11 tracks long, and boasts song titles like "Murder at the Yoga Olympics," "Post Paint Boy" and "Pencil Rot." Malkmus also writes that he plans on touring the U.S. in early June, though no dates are available at the moment. ...

A Florida couple were married Wednesday night before thousands of Mötley Crüe fans after winning a local radio station's "Mötley Matrimony" contest. Duane Trump and Michelle McGee exchanged vows on the stage of Jacksonville's Veterans Memorial Arena, just before the Crüe's thunderous set, according to Floridian NBC affiliate WTLV. The new Mrs. Trump said the couple were excited about the ceremony, saying it's "definitely a story to tell." ...

04.20.2005

50 Cent's controversial Reebok "I am what I am" ads have been pulled in the U.K., according to BBC News. In response to protests from the group Mothers Against Guns, who previously called for a Reebok boycott, the shoe company discontinued its inflammatory ads that featured 50 counting the number of times he'd been shot. "We are pleased Reebok has shown it is socially responsible — it is the right decision," Michelle Forbes, vice-chairman of Mothers Against Guns, told the BBC. "We know how brave it was for Reebok to do this and we appreciate it." Reebok issued a statement saying, "A small number of the general public found it offensive. Therefore Reebok took the decision to immediately and indefinitely stop broadcasting the 50 Cent spot." ...

A former Neverland security guard testified on Wednesday (April 20) that the security staff was ordered to not allow Michael Jackson's accuser to leave the property, a directive that came around the same time the prosecution alleges that the family was held against their will. However, Brian Barron also told the court that it was policy to not allow children to leave the ranch if they weren't accompanied by their parents, and it seemed like the family wanted to be there. Barron noted that after leaving Neverland as a part-time employee, he was approached by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department to go back to work there and act as an informant, but he refused. ...

Taylor Hanson has a new reason to sing "Penny & Me." The 22-year-old Hanson member and his wife, Natalie, welcomed their second child, a daughter named Penelope, into the world on Tuesday. Their son, Jordan Ezra, was born in October 2002. Baby and mom are both doing fine. ...LCD Soundsystem's next single, "Disco Infiltrator," will be released on May 23, and remixes are being arranged at the moment. Meanwhile, Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor has recruited LCD frontman James Murphy (under his DFA production moniker) to remix "The Hand That Feeds," off the upcoming NIN LP With Teeth. On the NIN Web site, Reznor writes that the DFA and their record label are "doing the most interesting production work out there." Drum'n'bass producer Photek has also been tapped to tweak Teeth. ...

Something Corporate singer Andrew McMahon's side project, Jack's Mannequin, will release their debut, Everything in Transit, on July 12. In the meantime, the band is launching a tour April 27 in Berkeley, California, which wraps June 9 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. ...Jim Verraros, a finalist from the first season of "American Idol," will release his second album — and first on a major label — on Tuesday. Rollercoaster features a guest appearance from fellow contestant Angela Peel. Meanwhile, Verraros' movie debut, "Eating Out," was released April 8. ... Juliette Lewis' band, Juliette and the Licks, have just finished their debut album, the follow-up to their EP, Like a Bolt of Lightning. You're Speaking My Language includes such tracks as "I Never Got to Tell You What I Wanted To," "Pray for the Band Latoya" and "American Boy Vol. 2," and is due out May 17. ...

Natalie Cole is slated to perform at the 12th annual Race to Erase MS benefit, called Rock and Royalty to Erase MS, taking place Friday in Los Angeles at the Westin Century Plaza Hotel and Spa. Randy Jackson, Drea de Matteo and Jamie-Lynn DiScala will be presenters at the gala, which will include a fashion show by Tommy Hilfiger, while Tony Danza, Tom Arnold and Bill Maher will emcee the live auction. Proceeds go to the Center Without Walls, a research program to find a cure for multiple sclerosis. Last year's event raised more than $2 million. ... Want to see Mötley Crüe but don't want to get off your couch? The band is taking care of that excuse by filming its April 27 show in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the Van Andel Arena for a DVD to come out in the fall. The "Red, White, & Crüe" DVD will be directed by Hamish Hamilton, who's previously shot concerts such as Britney Spears' "Live From Miami" Showtime special. "This will give our fans a chance to see this f---ing incredible show from the safety of their living rooms," Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx said in a statement. ...

The creators of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival are launching a new multistage tour this summer with Trey Anastasio and Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals headlining. Starting on June 16, the Zooma Tour will stop at 28 amphitheaters around the country before wrapping at the end of July. A complete list of dates and the 20-plus rotating acts who will perform will be available soon. ... Jason Mraz will head out with Alanis Morissette for some unplugged performances on her Jagged Little Pill acoustic tour. The outing begins June 7 in Toronto. ... The Hot Snakes, the last band to record a session for BBC DJ John Peel before he died, are releasing those recordings on Tuesday. The EP features all four tracks from the October 11 session. ...