For The Record: Chingy, Omarion, Ludacris, Nelly, System Of A Down, DJ Shadow, Le Tigre & More

Ching-A-Ling, O and Luda to appear on UPN shows during sweeps month.

UPN's May sweeps strategy seems to be "Bring on the music guest stars!" Chingy pops in for some "One on One" on May 2 at 8 p.m., Omarion appears on "Cuts" on May 16 at 8:30 p.m., and Toni Braxton fights city hall to keep her Harlem hair salon on two episodes of "Kevin Hill" airing May 4 and 11 at 9 p.m. For the season finales of "All of Us" and "Eve," Damon Dash and Ludacris appear on the back-to-back episodes, airing May 24 at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. ... Nelly is holding a fundraiser for his inner-city youth program 4Sho4Kids on May 5 at Judith Leiber's new flagship store in New York. The rapper will play auctioneer for one-of-a-kind items, such as a diamond-encrusted Hello Kitty evening bag co-designed by Leiber and Kimora Lee Simmons, as well as VIP backstage tickets to Nelly's tour. "What I am trying to do with 4Sho4Kids and children nationwide, is to encourage them to use their minds and provide them with a positive environment," Nelly said in a statement. "Not only is this is an exciting joint venture for both Judith Leiber and myself, but an event for a good cause." ...

System of a Down will be taking experimental prog-noise merchants the Mars Volta out for a two-month road trek that'll cross these United States, bringing with it marathon guitar solos, wildly unpredictable wailing and lots of hair. Though the tour is slated to kick off in early August, there is no confirmed itinerary yet, a System spokesperson said. ... DJ Shadow is reissuing his seminal 1996 album, Endtroducing, in a two-disc deluxe edition. The second disc will include demos, a live track recorded in 1997 and previously unreleased remixes. Also included in the packaging are new liner notes from Shadow himself, and excerpts from an upcoming book about the album's impact. The expanded edition of Endtroducing is due June 7. ...

Le Tigre's most well-known issue is feminism, but the activist punk-electronica band is also taking on animal rights in a PSA the trio just shot for PETA. With the slogan "Don't let your honey wear a bunny," the band poses with its own pet bunny, Karen. During the photo shoot, Kathleen Hanna explained to MTV News that while they prefer this sort of "softer, gentler" anti-fur approach, methods like throwing fake blood on people seems to yield more results. "A lot of models won't wear fur because they don't want to be embarrassed publicly," she said. Le Tigre are up against the Scissor Sisters, Melissa Etheridge, Rufus Wainwright and George Michael for Outstanding Music Artist at the 16th annual GLAAD Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles. ... This year may have seen the re-release of Pavement's seminal Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, but ex-Pave singer Stephen Malkmus thinks the releases should end there. "I don't really have a voting power in that [decision]," Malkmus said. "But if the [label and the rest of the band] said they wanted to do it, I'd just go, 'OK.' There's some extra songs, but [the next disc in line, 1995's] Wowee Zowee is already a long enough album. It doesn't need it. There has to be enough songs to warrant it, you know? And I don't know if there are." ...

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey are purchasing a condo in Las Vegas at George Maloof's new high rise, Palms Place, which won't open for another two years. "George is going to have a two-story basketball suite which is down the hall from a multimillion-dollar state-of-the-art recording studio there ... so I'm there," Lachey said in a statement. Prices range from $500,000 to $7 million for the fully furnished condos. ... R&B group Xscape will release Unchained, their first album in seven years, in the fall. In the meantime, the group (with Kiesha Miles replacing Kandi Burruss) just released the single "What's Up," which samples Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock." ... Celine Dion will donate the proceeds from her special Mother's Day performance to UNICEF's Tsunami Recovery Fund, The Associated Press reports. The Canadian songstress said she hopes the May 8 show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas will bring in at least $1 million for the cause. ...

There was more jamming than award presenting at Tuesday night's fifth annual Jammy Awards. Disbanded jam gods Phish won tour of the year, the Dead got best download, Dead member Phil Lesh took home best live show, Umphrey's McGee's "In the Kitchen" was named song of the year, Gov't Mule won best studio album, Keller Williams snagged best live album, and Buddy Guy was given a lifetime achievement award. Among those taking the stage of the Theater at Madison Square Garden was the unlikely trio of Huey Lewis, gospel great Mavis Staples and the recently unretired Sinead O'Connor. Blues great Guy also jammed alongside John Mayer with the Roots' ?uestlove on drums and Lesh on bass. ...

04.26.2005

The prosecution is wrapping up its case against Michael Jackson in what's expected to be the last week of testimony against him. The singer's lawyers argued in and out of court on Monday, trying to convince the judge not to allow the testimony of Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe (they lost that one), and fighting with each other outside of court. Neither Thomas Mesereau nor Brian Oxman would comment on their argument, but it was later learned that Oxman would no longer be on the defense team as of Thursday. In the meantime, another one of the "Neverland 5" — former employees who claim they witnessed Jackson molesting various boys and lost their jobs after testifying before a grand jury — took the stand. Kassim Abdool testified that he witnessed Jackson kissing the 1993 accuser. ...

An airborne bottle cut rock band Kasabian's set short Friday night at the Academy in Glasgow, Scotland, after an audience member pitched the projectile at guitarist Sergio Pizzorno's head, leaving him with a sizable gash that required six sutures. In a statement, Pizzorno said it was "a shame the actions of one person put an end to our best gig all year" and recommended that those who see the band live in the future, should they feel the urge to throw anything, "throw bras and knickers from now on." ...

For Shakira's new video for the dancehall-flavored "La Tortura," she worked with director Michael Haussman (Kanye West, Madonna) to create a combative moment in a couple's relationship. Filmed in an art deco building, her significant other, played by Alejandro Sanz, sings about his "transgressions" en Español while Shakira fires back that she won't forgive him. The clip debuts Tuesday at 6 p.m. on MTV, while her album, Fijacion Oral Part 1, is due June 7. ... Ricky Martin, moved by his visit to the tsunami-ravaged villages of Southeast Asia, is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to help build and restore 224 houses in Thailand's Pang Nga province. A donation from the Ricky Martin Foundation will help more than 1,000 people move out of temporary shelters and overcrowded camps. Work is expected to begin this month and be completed in March 2007. The singer's spokesperson said Martin will make another trip to lend a hand in the rebuilding process. ...

You Hear It First band and Fred Durst protégés Ringside will open for Weezer from April 26 in Vancouver to May 14 in Atlanta. The tour marks the first outing for the duo of singer/songwriter Scott Thomas and producer/actor Balthazar Getty. ... Claymates can now show their admiration for Clay Aiken every time they make a purchase. MasterCard affiliate Myplash (short for "my plastic cash") just released an Aiken debit card, as well as a Simple Plan edition, and will continue putting music celebrities on their cards. ...

Two months after 32-year-old Tracey Gardner-Tetso failed to meet up with friends at a Mötley Crüe concert in Washington, D.C., the band is stepping up to match the $10,000 reward put up by the Victims' Rights Foundation. "We hope our involvement helps brings more attention to this case and anyone with information will step forward," bassist Nikki Sixx said in a statement. Tetso is white, 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 130 pounds and has long blond hair and blue eyes. She was last seen driving a 1996 black Pontiac Trans Am with tinted windows and Maryland plates LRN 534. The car was found March 17th in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Anyone with information should call police at (410) 407-2020. ... Tupac's mom, Afeni Shakur, is happy that T.I. and Lil' Flip have resolved their beef and said it's a "wonderful lesson" for the rest of the rap community. "It's been nearly 10 years since everything between Tupac and Biggie, and rappers today are paying a lot of lip service to the lessons they learned from that tragedy," she said in a statement, "but how many of them are actually showing it in their actions? I'm proud of the way T.I. and Lil' Flip have settled their differences." ...

Get ready to call Lance Bass' bluff — the 'NSYNC singer is going to put on his game face during a no-limit round of Texas hold 'em on "Poker Royale: Celebrities Vs. Poker Pros." Also playing for a chance at a $50,000 prize are actresses such as Jennifer Tilly and Mimi Rogers and poker champs such as Scott Fischman and Kenna James. The seven-episode series debuts May 6 at 9 p.m. ET on GSN. ... Faith Evans' songs from her album The First Lady are now available as ring tones on Virgin Mobile. The ring tone for her first single, "Again," will be exclusive for one month, while the "Goin' Out" and "Tru Love" will be exclusive for two months. ... Fantasia will be the opening act for soul singer Kem for three weeks beginning June 8 in St. Louis and wrapping up July 1 in Atlanta. The "American Idol" winner's new single, "Free Yourself," was the most added song at urban mainstream radio last week. ...

Patti Smith, Nellie McKay and Huey Lewis are joining the Jammys lineup, which already includes Sinead O'Connor with Burning Spear. Mavis Staples and Phish bassist Mike Gordon have also been added to the bill. The jam-music awards show takes place Tuesday at New York's Madison Square Garden. ... Dark Star Orchestra co-founder Scott Larned, 37, died Sunday from heart failure, the band announced on its Web site. As keyboardist for the world's preeminent Grateful Dead cover band, who specialized in re-creating entire Dead shows onstage down to the smallest musical detail, Larned's demise eerily follows that of three actual Grateful Dead keyboardists: Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (1945-73) and Brent Mydland (1952-90), who died while they were still members of the group, and Keith Godchaux, who left the band in 1979 and died in 1980. ...