For The Record: Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Ludacris, Aaron Carter, Ice-T, Dave Matthews & More

New evidence in molestation trial, Pied Piper gets travel OK, Luda writes 'Bling' book intro.

The prosecution had hoped to go out with a bang in wrapping up its case against Michael Jackson, but ex-wife Debbie Rowe's testimony proved to be more like a whimper, so the district attorney's office is presenting a few last-minute pieces of evidence they hope will stick with the jury more than Rowe's rather inconclusive testimony. On Friday (April 29), prosecutors introduced two books, seized from Jackson during a 1993 molestation investigation, called "Boys Will Be Boys" and "The Boy: A Photographic Essay," which contain nude or partially unclothed pictures of adolescent males, in an effort to establish that Jackson could be a pedophile. Meanwhile, an audio expert, Harry Koons, also testified about possible explanations for the 34 gaps in a taped conversation between the accuser's mother and a Jackson associate, saying that the gaps could have been caused by someone pushing pause or mute, rather than by editing. ...

R. Kelly appeared in a Chicago court Friday to ask a judge if he could leave his jurisdiction and go to Miami and shoot a video for the song "Players Only" from his upcoming album. Judge Vincent Gaughan granted permission. Though he's due back in court on May 13, Kelly's scheduled to leave town that same day and will be back in Chicago May 20. ... Hip-hop's crown jewels are on display in the upcoming book "Bling Bling," by former MTV News writer Minya Oh (a.k.a. Hot 97's "Miss Info"). Ludacris wrote the introduction for "Bling Bling," which features Jay-Z, P. Diddy, Lil' Kim, Slick Rick, Mary J. Blige, Run-DMC, Fat Joe and Ghostface talking about the history and culture of rap-star jewelry and never-before-seen photos of hip-hop's original kings of bling, including DJ Kool Herc, the Sugar Hill Gang, LL Cool J and Afrika Bambaataa. The book is due in August. ...

Aaron Carter, Corey Feldman and LeAnn Rimes appear on Friday's "20/20" to talk about how early success led to family friction. Carter, for instance, is outspoken about his fallout with his mother and former manager, Jane Carter. "It was all about money," he told the show. "And the funny thing was, every time I went to my mom and I asked her, 'Hey, mom, you know, do I make money? Because you never really told me that.' And she would get mad at me about that. And she would ground me. I don't talk to her because she not my ... she's not like a mother anymore." He said the price of fame for his family was "self-destructing, completely being torn up ... like a tornado just came through our house and our family got tossed everywhere." Jane Carter, who denies mismanaging Aaron's money, told "20/20" that she learned "all the material things in the world are not important compared to the amount of time that you can spend with your children." The show airs on ABC at 10 p.m. ET/PT. ...

On Wednesday, Ice-T had a "T-Party," a Tupperware party to raise awareness for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The rapper/actor was joined by his "Law and Order" co-star Mariska Hargitay and other celebrities at New York's KOS (a Bowery lounge co-owned by Lenny Kravitz and Denzel Washington, a big supporter of the charity). The event raised some $30,000. ... A double-DVD set from last year's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival is due May 17. "Live from Bonnaroo 2004" will feature performances from 30 artists, including Dave Matthews and friends, the Dead, Trey Anastasio, Kings of Leon, Guster and Damien Rice. ... Seether have set a May 24 release date for their second album, Karma and Effect. Dean Karr (Queens of the Stone Age's "No One Knows") recently directed a video for the first single, "Remedy." ... Good news, Depeche Mode fans. The electro-pop band's back in the studio, according to the group's Web site, and has begun work on the follow-up to 2001's Exciter. The new album, which hasn't yet been named, is expected to hit stores this fall, and the band's said to be co-producing the disc with Ben Hiller (Doves, Blur). ...

04.28.2005

Jay-Z is premiering a remake of his song "The Takeover" featuring the Young Gunz at Thursday's Nets vs. Heat NBA playoff game. The rapper, who is part owner of the New Jersey Nets, recorded the remake last week as the Nets' playoffs anthem, and it will be available as a download on www.njnets.com. ... Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are more than a Hollywood power couple — they're also the co-hosts of this year's BET Awards, taking place June 28. The ceremony will be held at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre and air live starting at 8 p.m. on BET. Nominations will be announced May 16. ...

Green Lantern resigned Wednesday from his position at Shady Records as Eminem's official tour DJ and Shade 45 radio host. According to the DJ, he was recorded without his knowledge on a DVD that Jadakiss was filming, where he was talking to Jada about his upcoming verse against 50 Cent. "I was recorded without my knowledge, speaking with Jadakiss about his music, his response record," he explained. "And it looks really crazy. And there's a rumor going around saying that I'm filling Jada in on what 50 was gonna do, and that's absolutely false." ...

Mariah Carey hopes to translate having a hit album into having a hit Broadway musical. The singer is writing a story around the songs on her 1994 album, Merry Christmas, plus two new songs she's planning to write. "I'm such a festive person, and I love Christmas. I'm so over the top with it that this is a bit much, but it's perfect for me," Carey said. "I get a chance to live out my Christmastime fantasies vicariously through the show. I think it's going to be fun and something families can go to see." ... Halle Berry is auctioning the clothes off her back to fund a field trip for her former high school. The Oscar-winning actress has donated two of her designer gowns to Bedford High School in Ohio to be auctioned off at the school's annual prom fashion show, The Associated Press reports. Proceeds will be put toward a student trip to the Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. ...

Despite talking about her album for what seems like ages, Paris Hilton is still trying to get her songs together. She recently approached feminist punk-electronica band Le Tigre to contribute, according to their rep, "but that's as far as it's gotten." And she's definitely out of luck with the Black Eyed Peas. Even though she said last summer that she'd be working with the group, Will.I.Am told MTV News that the session isn't going to happen. ... William Hung and Mikalah Gordon fans out there might want to check out votefortheworst.com. The Web site is encouraging fans of the show to vote for the worst remaining contestants every week to make the talent search more interesting. In case you're wondering, Scott Savol is the site's pick for this season's bottom of the barrel. ...

Wal-Mart is getting into the mix CD business. The mega-retailer announced this week that visitors to its Web site can now choose songs from among its 400,000-song library to burn onto a disc, which will then be mailed out within 3-4 days. Customers can choose the title of the mix CD and pick from a number of cover art options. A three-song custom CD will cost $4.62, plus 88 cents for each additional song and $1.97 for shipping. ... Radio giant Infinity Broadcasting is getting into the podcasting business. On May 16, the company (which, like MTV, is owned by Viacom) will switch its poorly performing KYCY-AM talk-radio station in San Francisco into an all-podcast station. The station will run material submitted by amateur podcasters and listeners but has not promised how long it will stick with the new format. ...

Epitaph will release the 10th volume of its bargain-priced Punk-O-Rama compilation series on June 7. Among the bands offering previously unreleased material are the Offspring, Hot Water Music, Bad Religion, Bouncing Souls and the Special Goodness. The album will also feature songs from Rancid, Pennywise, Motion City Soundtrack, Matchbook Romance, Millencolin, Dropkick Murphys, NOFX and Tiger Army. ... The Meat Puppets' Curt Kirkwood will embark on a solo career this fall with the release of the tentatively titled Snow, according to his label, Little Dog Records. The disc is said to include watered-down rock tracks that'll accentuate his vocals and guitar work. ...

Beck, Marilyn Manson, the Strokes, the Vines, Kings of Leon and the Distillers are among the rockers captured by Amanda de Cadenet's lens for her upcoming photo book, "Rare Birds," due in September. The 10-year-retrospective presents the personalities of musicians, actors, models and more in unconventional poses and moments. "I have always liked the imperfections of a person," de Cadenet said. "This is the reality of being human and it's beautiful to me. What I look for in my own life and with the people I photograph is the truth of who they really are." Also included are shots of a disheveled Keanu Reeves, Tobey Maguire, Benicio Del Toro, Orlando Bloom, Rose McGowan and Amanda Peet. ...