For The Record: Quick News On P. Diddy, Pitbull, Gwen Stefani, Luther Vandross, Backstreet Boys, 311, Disturbed & More

McDonald's talking to Puffy about uniforms; rapper added to Anger Management; No Doubt singer in studio.

First it was fresh fruit on the menu and a track suit for Ronald, but now McDonald’s is looking to give its employees a makeover too. According to AdAge.com, the burger chain has been in preliminary talks with P. Diddy, Russell Simmons and Tommy Hilfiger about having their respective fashion houses spearhead an $80 million makeover aimed at turning the chain’s bland uniforms into hip street gear young employees would be proud to wear. Other firms McDonald’s is reportedly eyeing include Abercrombie & Fitch, FUBU and Rocawear. …

Anger Management 3 just got a bit angrier. Pitbull has joined the roster of the 39-city tour, headlined by Eminem and 50 Cent and scheduled to kick off Thursday in Indianapolis. The dog’s first major U.S. outing will find him performing alongside TVT labelmate Lil Jon as well as Ludacris, D12 and G-Unit. … Gwen Stefani is making good on her promise to go back and work on a sequel to her solo album. The No Doubt singer was in the studio last week with bandmate Tony Kanal and wrote a new song with him, and she’s due to work with Pharrell Williams this week, according to her label rep. …

Funeral services for Luther Vandross will be held at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel in New York on Wednesday and Thursday, with public viewings on both days from 4 to 9 p.m. A memorial service will be held Friday. … Original Four Tops member Obie Benson, 69, died in Detroit on Friday of lung cancer. Best known for writing the Marvin Gaye song “What’s Going On,” bass singer Benson formed the group in high school in 1954 with pals Levi Stubbs, Abdul Fakir and Lawrence Payton. They performed together for 43 years, scoring such hits as “Baby, I Need Your Loving,” “Standing in the Shadows of Love” and “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch).” …

The Backstreet Boys just want you to know that “Just Want You to Know” is their next single. A snippet of the song can be heard on the boy band’s Web site. … Don’t Tread on Me, 311‘s forthcoming new disc, is now slated to drop on August 16; the album will feature a dozen fresh cuts, including “Frolic Room,” “Thank Your Lucky Stars,” “Whiskey and Wine” and “There’s Always an Excuse.” … Disturbed, who’ll be releasing their third disc, Ten Thousand Fists, on September 20, have lined up a 29-date North American tour, which kicks off August 3 in Ventura, California, and wraps up on September 17 in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. …

Arthur magazine — a publication dedicated to “high quality writing and artwork by some of the nation’s finest scribes, cartoonists and photographers” — has confirmed the lineup for “ArthurFest,” a two-day festival featuring music by some of the nation’s finest indie rockers (but sadly no scribes). Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney and Cat Power are amongst the acts lined up for the event, which will take place on September 4 and 5 at the Barnscale Art Park in Los Angeles. Two-day passes for the event are $70; for more information, visit ArthurMag.com. …

07.01.2005

Less than 24 hours before Saturday’s Live 8 global concerts, Kanye West has been added to the Philadelphia bill. The rapper will be gracing the same stage as such previously announced performers as Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and Destiny’s Child. …

The second Waxploitation Sudan Charity Auction will launch July 12 on eBay, with rare and signed items donated by a range of stars, including Angelina Jolie, Radiohead, Bam Margera, Outkast, Björk, Kanye West, Serena Williams, Trent Reznor, Beastie Boys, System of a Down, Nelly, Ciara, Red Hot Chili Peppers, David Banner, Sum 41, Foo Fighters and John Legend. The items can be bid on at eBay.com/the_wax_trust. The auction will assist victims of the deadly ethnic cleansing in Sudan. … R. Kelly appeared in a Chicago court Friday (July 1) only to get — you guessed it — another postponement in the pretrial process for his upcoming child-pornography trial, which insiders were suggesting would start “soon.” At the next hearing, set for July 20, the judge is expected to rule on a number of issues, including whether or not the prosecution has to limit the scope of time for when it says the alleged sex tape was made, since the defense says the time frame is too broad. Also, expect haggling over the forensic pediatrics methods used to determine if the girl on the tape in question was underage. After those two issues are resolved, a trial date can be set. …

Back in April, Nine Inch NailsTrent Reznor called on his fans to remix “The Hand That Feeds.” The result? “Hundreds of remixes [that] I’ve enjoyed and cringed at,” Reznor wrote on his Web site; the most impressive was a cross-hatch that involved Ray Parker Jr.‘s “Ghostbusters.” Now, Reznor wants fans to “remix, reinterpret and ruin” NIN’s new single, “Only.” Those interested can download the song’s master multi-tracks from nin.com, and use one of four software programs to remix the track as they see fit. “There is no agenda here other than for you to explore, experiment and have fun with it,” Reznor wrote. “I’m looking forward to hearing what you come up with.” … Chevelle‘s bassist, Joe Loeffler, will not be taking the stage during the band’s upcoming summer tour with Taproot and 30 Seconds to Mars, according to the Chicago rockers’ Web site. “After three years of nonstop touring and recording, Joe is taking a break to be home with family,” reads the band’s statement. “We’ll miss having him on the road with us, but as his brothers and bandmates, we respect his decision and are looking forward to getting out there and playing for the fans.” Chevelle have recruited former Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo to fill in. …

Remember Robin Thicke? Also known simply as Thicke? The former You Hear It First artist (alum of 2002 class) is at it again, and this time, he’s got some help. Thicke has teamed up with Pharrell Williams for his next single, “Wanna Love You Girl,” for which he’s just shot a video with director Paul Hunter. You can hear the song at startrakmusic.com/web/. … On Thursday, Apple reported more than 1 million Podcast subscriptions in just the first two days of its new iTunes Podcast Directory. The latest version of iTunes (4.9) makes it easier to subscribe to podcasts, with bookmarking of ‘casts and the ability to display podcast artwork in color. …

Blues Traveler have set a September 12 release date for their eighth studio album, ¬°Bastardos! Ex-Wilco multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett produced the record. … With their fourth album expected in the fall, Sigur Rós are launching a world tour this month that will hit North America in September. The Stateside trek kicks off September 6 in Atlanta and wraps up October 6 in Las Vegas. …