For The Record: Quick News On 50 Cent, Bobby Brown, Hilary Duff, Beastie Boys, Notorious B.I.G., Cave In & More

50 Cent handing out scholarships; Bobby Brown crashes Brian McKnight's set; Hilary Duff plans video shoot.

While 50 Cent never pursued a college degree, that doesn’t mean he wants his fans to follow in his footsteps. In fact, 50 would rather see young people further their education, and to that end, he’s awarding 10 scholarships — together totaling more than $31,000 — to Bayside, New York’s Queensborough Community College. Eight students from 50′s alma matter, now called Campus Magnet High Schools, and one student each from nearby Springfield Gardens and Hillcrest High Schools will win the scholarships, being offered through 50′s G-Unity Foundation. Students don’t need the best of grades, either — all it takes is a C, or 70, average. Interested students have been asked to submit 500-word essays and two teacher recommendations by the June 24 deadline. The winners will be announced on July 15. …

Bobby Brown joined his old group, New Edition, onstage for a special performance of “Mr. Telephone Man” Friday night at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. During the concert, which also featured Gerald LeVert and headliner Brian McKnight, special guest Brown told the audience that if he only had 10 more minutes of performance time, he would tear their collective “asses” up. Later in the night, Brown tried to sneak in a couple more minutes. He came out — uninvited — during McKnight’s set and took the mic out of McKnight’s hands and began singing. Brown was escorted offstage shortly after, and McKnight finished up his set without further incident. … Hilary Duff is planning to shoot a video in Toronto for her track “Wake Up,” which she worked on with Good Charlotte‘s Joel and Benji Madden. Marc Webb — who helmed both the “Helena” and “The Ghost of You” videos for My Chemical Romance — has signed on to direct. …

On Friday, a week after a Los Angeles Times story questioned a conspiracy theory in the 1997 murder of Notorious B.I.G. that was reportedly based on questionable information from a mentally ill informant, Biggie’s family dropped two people from their wrongful-death civil suit — former LAPD officer David Mack and accused gunman Amir Muhammad. According to The Associated Press, the City of Los Angeles remains the sole defendant in the case. … The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday (June 13) refused to consider whether the 1992 Beastie Boys classic “Pass the Mic” infringed on the copyright of jazz flutist James W. Newton‘s “Choir,” according to The Associated Press. Newton filed suit against the group more than five years ago, claiming the rappers sampled his song without his full permission. While the Boys did pay a licensing fee for the six-second sample, they never paid additional fees to license the underlying composition. In its ruling, the court explained that the short song portion in “Pass the Mic” was not “distinctive enough to be considered Newton’s work.” …

The rift between over-the-top Brit rockers the Darkness and mustachioed former bassist Frankie Poullain appears to have gotten larger. Last week, Poullain told reporters in the U.K. that he had not left the band, but rather that he was fired. On Monday the band fired back, releasing a statement saying all the bass tracks on its upcoming album are being recorded by guitarist Dan Hawkins, because Poullain “had yet to participate in the recording of the album when his exit from the band was announced, so no re-recording of bass parts will be necessary.” The Darkness also announced on their Web site, TheDarknessRock.com, that going forward, former touring guitar tech Richie Edwards will be assuming Poullain’s role in the band. … Cave In‘s forthcoming album Perfect Pitch Black will hit stores on September 13 through Hydra Head Records — the band’s original label home. The disc will feature a total of nine tracks, including “World Is in Your Way,” “Ataraxia,” “Screaming in Your Sleep” and “Tension in the Ranks.” …

Kevin “Beez” Beesley-Hammond, bassist for garage-punk band the Smugglers, suffered a heart attack last week after playing in a hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia. Beesley-Hammond was rushed to a local hospital, where an angiograph showed he had a “100 percent blockage” to one of his arteries, according to the band’s Web site. He underwent surgery to remove the blockage and a stent was inserted to keep the artery open. Doctors expect he’ll make a full recovery. … Swedish fuzz-pop band the Concretes, whose song “Say Something New” is currently featured in a series of Target ads, are releasing a collection of rare singles and B-sides called Layourbattleaxedown. A cover of the Rolling Stones‘ “Miss You” is included in the set, which hits stores July 26. …

06.10.2005

Some of the world’s most gorgeous women are getting naked for a very worthwhile cause. Paris and Nicky Hilton, Christina Aguilera, Rebecca Romijn, Elle MacPherson, Heidi Klum and Kimora Lee Simmons are among the 44 beauties exposed in a new coffee-table book titled “4 Inches,” which will feature the ladies donning no more than Cartier jewels and Jimmy Choo shoes. Proceeds from the book, hitting stores Thursday, will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation and its effort to help women and children in Africa who are suffering from AIDS. …

Even computer hackers are getting in on the Michael Jackson trial action. British anti-virus firm Sophos reported on Friday (June 10) that hackers have hit computers across the globe with a Trojan virus disguised as an e-mail about an alleged Jackson suicide attempt. The typo-filled spam e-mail with the subject heading “Re: Suicidal aattempt” links to a bogus suicide note as it downloads malicious software onto the user’s computer. … Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme has pleaded no contest to assaulting Dwarves singer Blag Dahlia during an altercation at Los Angeles’ Dragonfly club in November 2004. On May 23, Homme was put on probation for 36 months, and was ordered to do community service with the Hollywood Beautification Team, enter a 60-day residential drug/alcohol rehabilitation program, complete a level three anger-management class, foot all of Dahlia’s legal and medical bills, and stay 100 yards away from the singer, according to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Superior Court. …

Staind frontman Aaron Lewis‘ wife, Vanessa, gave birth on Thursday to the couple’s second child, daughter Nyla Rae. They already have a 3-year-old daughter named Zoe Jane. According to a band spokesperson, both mom and baby are doing fine. Staind’s forthcoming album, Chapter V, hits stores August 9. … The Deftones, A Perfect Circle, Cave In, Poison the Well and Melissa Auf Der Maur will contribute songs to the forthcoming tribute album to influential 1990s transcendent rock icons Failure. The album should see release sometime this fall through Renfield Records. …

Finch and Head Automatica will be touring together this fall. No concrete dates for the trek have been set yet, but according to a spokesperson for Finch, the tour should last a few weeks, and both the RX Bandits and Buck 65 have been confirmed as openers. … It’s been more than five years since we’ve heard anything from New York blues rockers the Spin Doctors, but that all changes Friday night (June 10). The band, best known for its 1992-’93 hits “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” and “Two Princes,” will kick off a 24-date tour in Richmond, Virginia, that’s set to wrap up on September 17 in Oklahoma City. The group’s also got a new record on the way: Look for the Matt Wallace-produced Nice Talking to Me to hit stores in September. …

A week after slapping three Florida sheriff’s deputies with a lawsuit for allegedly using excessive force when arresting him during a 2003 New Year’s Eve altercation, Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson is speaking out about the incident yet again. “The legal action we are embarking on now will hopefully bring attention to the fact that people cannot and should not be treated this way,” he said in a statement released Thursday. “If some good is to come of this, then let it be that the actions of a tiny minority of aggressive Taser-wielding police officers don’t tarnish the reputation of the vast majority of officers who proudly serve their communities with honor and sacrifice.” …