For The Record: Quick News On Backstreet Boys, 'American Idol,' Twista, Irv Gotti, Coldplay, Linkin Park & More

Backstreet Boys finalize track list, Clive Davis to serve as guest judge on 'Idol,' John Legend sings for a senator.

The Backstreet Boys have finalized the track list for their upcoming album Never Gone, due out June 14. Besides first single "Incomplete," the boy band is including songs written and produced by Max Martin, Billy Mann, Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik and John Shanks. Titles include "Just Want You to Know," "Crawling Back to You," "Lose It All," "Safest Place to Hide" and "Siberia." ...

J Records honcho Clive Davis will serve as a guest judge on Tuesday's "American Idol." Davis also guested on an episode last year, telling eventual winner Fantasia Barrino, "If this weren't a national competition and I saw you in a basement in Kansas City ... I would sign you straight away." ... John Legend is working to re-elect New York Senator Hillary Clinton by performing at a fundraising event in her honor at New York's Capitale on May 20. Tickets (at $100 a pop) are available at friendsofhillary.com/fridaynightlive. ...

Twista's new album is almost done. He's calling it The Day After and plans to release it in September. The first single, "Girl Tonight," is due out in July. Producers Kanye West, Scott Storch, Timbaland and the Neptunes all worked on the project. ... On Friday (May 13), a Brooklyn, New York, federal court judge set Thursday as the new date for Irv and Chris Gotti to request a severance from their eight codefendants, including Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff. The brothers are charged with money-laundering, while their counterparts, including convicted drug lord McGriff, are facing more serious charges, including murder. The Gottis filed their separation motion through lawyer Gerald Shargel on April 25, arguing that their trial would be tainted in light of their codefendants. Attorney Carolyn Pokorny opposed the severance motion, saying the Gottis garnered funds and safety from McGriff. "Indeed, far from being harmed by McGriff's murderous reputation, the Lorenzos' alignment with McGriff afforded a level of protection," she wrote in her opposition answer. "Would-be robbers and criminals who extort those in the music industry knew that if they targeted Murder Inc., its employees or executives, they would suffer retribution from the McGriff enterprise." Shargel will argue the severance motion next week; if it isn't granted, the trial will take place October 17. ...

It's prom season around the country, and not being one to miss a party, Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland threw a prom of his own on Wednesday night at Los Angeles' Sportsmen's Lodge. The "Pretty in Pink"-themed soiree was actually for Weiland's wife Mary's 30th birthday, and the Weilands were crowned king and queen of the prom. Guests, including Charlize Theron, Anthony Kiedis and Tony Kanal, were decked out in their Day-Glo best, danced to '80s tunes and munched on cupcakes. ... Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington will perform with other musicians on May 21 in his home city of Phoenix at the 10th annual celebration of his three upscale tattoo parlors in the city, each called Club Tattoo. Alien Ant Farm will also perform at the festival, which will be held in the parking lot outside the Hard Rock Cafe in Phoenix. ...

Coldplay, Radiohead and Death Cab for Cutie are among the artists on the new soundtrack to the HBO series "Six Feet Under," called "Six Feet Under: Everything Ends." Due out June 21, the soundtrack includes exclusive tracks created for the upcoming fifth and final season, including Interpol's "Direction," Caesars' cover of "(Don't Fear) the Reaper," Jem's "Amazing Life" and the Arcade Fire's "Cold Wind." ... Emo boys now have a comic hero to cry for. "Emo Boy," coming out in June, is about a tortured and bullied outsider who dances awkwardly, gets thrown out of his favorite band's fan club, ineptly attempts suicide and loses at dodgeball. "It's about being alienated and alienating yourself," creator Steve Emond said, "about silly stories and first loves (and a lack thereof) and finding yourself and growing up and all that good stuff." In the first issue, Emo Boy is recruited by fellow classmates to write a song for their band, but the cute blonde singing his words screws him up. A preview is available on www.slgpublishing.com. ...

Fans of Ozzfest mainstage madman Zakk Wylde can log onto 357customs.com, the online home of 357 Choppers, to win the latest in the Zakk Wylde series of motorcycles, the Sawblade. Priced at $70,000, the custom-made bike features the "Halloween Nightmare Buzzsaw" design of Wylde's Gibson Les Paul; the tank is painted with the custom black-and-orange sawblade pattern and the Black Label Society skull logo. ... Oak Hill, West Virginia, has announced plans to erect a monument on the spot where country legend Hank Williams died in 1953. According to The Associated Press, the town wants to build a Williams museum on the former site of the Pure Oil gas station. Williams was found dead of a drug overdose in the station's parking lot by the chauffeur of his baby-blue Cadillac. ...

The Pretenders plan to put out a career retrospective DVD that will include not only their music videos but also a documentary that originally aired in the U.K. called "No Turn Left Unstoned." The program includes the history of the band as told through the memories of members of Devo, the New York Dolls, Motörhead, the Damned, the B-52's, U2 and the Pretenders themselves. "The Pretenders Greatest Hits," which includes the clips for "Brass in Pocket," "Back on the Chain Gang" and "I'll Stand by You," is due out June 7. ...

5.12.2005

Jessica Simpson is teaming up with her "Dukes of Hazzard" co-star Willie Nelson for her next variety show, "Nick & Jessica's Tour of Duty," airing May 23 at 9 p.m. on ABC. ([article id="1501583"]Click for photos from the show.[/article]) In the couple's third variety special, Nick Lachey and Simpson perform for more than 6,000 service men and women at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, starting by exiting a C-130 aircraft and singing "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." The concert also includes Simpson and Lachey paying homage to Bob Hope with "Thanks for the Memories," Lachey's duet with Brian McKnight on "Superstition," Nelson's duet with Simpson on "These Boots Were Made for Walkin' " from the "Hazzard" soundtrack," Big & Rich's performance of "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)," and an all-star finale of "America the Beautiful." Nick and Jessica also take a few lessons while they're on the German base, as Nick learns to fly an F-16 fighter jet and Jessica goes to the rifle range before heading to the U.S. Army base in Tikrit, Iraq, to surprise the troops there. ...

Eminem is auctioning off 30 gold-painted autographed bricks to help give new life to 8 Mile Road, the highway he made famous in his 2002 film. The bricks, covered with a clear sealant bearing the rapper's signature, were retrieved from the recently demolished Detroit Artillery Armory on 8 Mile in Oak Park, Michigan, and will be auctioned off on eBay within the next month, The Associated Press reports. Winning bidders will also receive a copy of the "8 Mile" DVD. Proceeds from the auctions will be split between Em's charity, the Marshall Mathers Foundation, which helps at-risk youths, and the Eight Mile Boulevard Association. ... Avril Lavigne continues to pencil in more dates for her Bonez Tour 2005. The Canadian rocker will kick off the new North American leg in Hamilton, Ontario, on July 12 and wrap things up September 3 in Montreal. Fourteen dates have been added to the itinerary, which now totals 39 cities. ...

"American Idol" might be down to only three contestants, but it doesn't mean that's the end of Anthony Fedorov or Scott Savol. The 12 finalists for the show's fourth season contribute to an album coming out Tuesday called American Idol 4: The Showstoppers, including just-voted-off Fedorov's cover of Hall & Oates' "Every Time You Go Away," Savol's version of Phil Collins' "Against All Odds (Take a Look At Me Now)," Constantine Maroulis' take on "My Funny Valentine," Vonzell Solomon's rendition of the Emotions' "Best of My Love" and more ... The creators of "American Idol" aren't stopping at singing, though — they're extending the format to dance with their new show "So You Think You Can Dance," a 12-week competition to air on FOX. Open casting calls started Thursday in Chicago and will continue on May 19 at New York's Manhattan Center Studios and June 3 at Los Angeles' Orpheum Theatre. Contestants have to be between the ages of 18 and 30. ...

Dr. Dre will hit the studio in July to work on his next solo album, Detox. His producer Focus said that he's submitted "close to 50 beats" for the album, and anticipates that they'll be in a Los Angeles studio for about seven months to work on the project. ... Ice Cube is executive producing a new Showtime half-hour comedy series based on the movie "Barbershop," which will premiere on August 10 at 10 p.m. Omar Gooding heads the ensemble cast as Calvin, who runs the Chicago barbershop he inherited from his father. The single-camera, 10-episode series is currently in production in Los Angeles. ...

Mötley Crüe are teaming up with "America's Most Wanted" to try to find a missing fan, who hasn't been seen since she left her home to attend the band's March 6 concert in Washington, D.C. The band is offering a $10,000 reward to try to find the missing Baltimore woman, on the episode airing Saturday at 9 p.m. on FOX. ... Kid Rock and country duo Big & Rich performed an unannounced medley of "Cowboy" and "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" on Tuesday night at a benefit for the Nashville Songwriters Association International. Gretchen Wilson, who sang "Redneck Woman" and Heart's "Straight On," the MuzikMafia, Shooter Jennings (son of Waylon) and Jessi Colter (Shooter's mom) also took the stage at Nashville's Cannery. ...

Ex-Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan will embark on an 18-date North American tour on June 22, the day after his first solo album, the electronica-tinged TheFutureEmbrace, is due to hit stores. The trek will kick off in Atlanta and end in Vancouver, British Columbia, on July 19. ... The lineup for the Patti Smith-curated Meltdown Festival in London taking place June 11-26 is full of reunions, girl power and strange bedfellows. Punk legends Television will play two shows, the Brian Jonestown Massacre will perform on a bill with Ed Harcourt, and punk godfather Richard Hell will read from his new novel, "Godlike." Also performing are the Eels, Billy Bragg, Steve Earle (with Smith) and the Coral (featuring My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields, Cat Power and Smith). Tori Amos, Marianne Faithfull, Yoko Ono, Beth Orton, Sinéad O'Connor and Kristin Hersh will join Smith for a night entitled Songs of Innocence: Protest Song and Lullabies on June 18, while the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea and John Frusciante will perform at a Jimi Hendrix tribute to close the festival on June 26. The Peppers and former Velvet Underground member John Cale will also join Smith as she performs her landmark Horses album in its entirety on June 25. ...