For The Record: Quick News On Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, Snoop, White Stripes, Simon Cowell & More

Beyoncé sued over 'Baby Boy'; Duff co-hosting Teen Choice Awards; Stripes go with 'My Doorbell.'

Beyoncé is facing a lawsuit over her song "Baby Boy." A Minneapolis singer/songwriter by the name of Jennifer Armour claims in a suit filed Tuesday in Houston that the song's lyrics and musical hook were stolen from her song "Got a Little Bit of Love for You," which she says made its way into Beyoncé's hands when Armour shopped the track around in March 2003. A hearing in the copyright-infringement suit has been scheduled for October 28. ...

Tween queen Hilary Duff and funnyman Rob Schneider have been tapped to host the 2005 Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles on August 16, The Associated Press reports. Gwen Stefani, who will be presented with the Teen Choice Visionary Award, will kick off the show with a performance of her hit single "Hollaback Girl." ... Missed any of the episodes of Britney Spears' reality show? No worries — you can catch up when it comes out on DVD, on August 23. The "Britney and Kevin: Chaotic" collection will also include previously unseen footage and the video for her song "Someday (I Will Understand)." ...

The White Stripes have chosen "My Doorbell" as the second single off their Get Behind Me Satan album, according to their publicist. The tune features Jack White's previously unheralded piano playing and his ruminations on, well, people ringing his doorbell. The song is due to hit radio next month, and the Stripes will begin looking at treatments for a video over the next few weeks. ... Drug charges filed back in 2003 against Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland have been dropped, according to the Los Angeles Times. On Tuesday, a Pasadena court commissioner dismissed the offense after Weiland successfully completed a court-directed rehabilitation program. The rocker had been arrested for cocaine and heroin possession. ...

Wilmer Valderrama will be the host of this year's G-Phoria, the video game awards show airing on G4 (video game TV). The Black Eyed Peas, the Bravery and Tony Yayo are slated to perform. G-Phoria will take place July 27 at 7 p.m. at the Los Angeles Center Studios and will air on August 9 at 8 p.m. ET. ... Snoop Dogg is slated to headline a two-day charity event for members of the military and their families, in Hawaii on July 22-23. The rapper will perform for Bodog Salutes the Troops, which will benefit the military charity Fisher House Foundation. Comedians Wanda Sykes, Colin Quinn and Paul Rodriguez and singer Bif Naked will also take the stage that evening to entertain the troops. ...

Carrie Underwood is not just following in the footsteps of former "American Idol" winners, but also pop princesses Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, as she's just signed a deal to be the next Skechers girl. Underwood's ads will launch this fall and run through December 2006. "I've been wearing Skechers for years, so for me this is a really great project," Underwood said. ... "American Idol"'s caustic Simon Cowell has found a new set of dreamers to crush — budding businessmen. He's signed on for ABC's new reality show "The Million Dollar Idea" to help sort through the competition's hopeful entrepreneurs in search of the best business idea or product. The winner will get — like the title says — $1 million worth of business support, including cash, counsel and physical resources to turn the dream into a reality. "Right now, someone in America may be sitting on the best new idea in the world," Cowell said. "This show gives everyone the chance to fulfill that dream. I have no idea who or what is going to turn up, and that is the fun of this new series." ABC has ordered nine episodes of the series so far. ...

Tori Amos has posted the video for her latest single, "Sweet the Sting," from her album The Beekeeper, on her Web site. The clip provides a behind-the-scenes look at a live Tori performance, including her interaction with fellow musicians and backup singers during rehearsals. ... Queen, who postponed a gig in London's Hyde Park by a week due to the terrorist attacks, have announced that they will invite thousands of emergency services personnel to Friday's show to thank them for their work, according to The Associated Press. Paul Rodgers, currently filling the band's vocalist slot, said the group wants the concert to serve as a tribute to the "extraordinary response" of the police officers, firefighters and paramedics who aided the victims in last week's bombings. ...

On the same day that Nielsen SoundScan reported that album sales were off 7 percent from last year and sales of paid song downloads had tripled in the first half of the year, the Recording Industry Association of America issued its annual commercial piracy report, which brought some bad news. According to the RIAA report, "The illegal copying and trafficking of pirated music has become increasingly sophisticated in the past year." The report said music pirates are increasingly manufacturing and selling high-quality fakes that resemble legitimate CDs, even as "large criminal enterprises" become more involved in illegally burning huge numbers of CDs, some with ties to organized crime. The RIAA says it seized more than a million counterfeit CDs last year. ...

07.12.2005

50 Cent had a working birthday last week. The rapper turned 30 on Wednesday and was serenaded by cast and crewmembers on the Bronx, New York, set of his debut film, "Get Rich or Die Tryin'." (They opted for the traditional "Happy Birthday" instead of the "it's your birthday" line from "In Da Club.") Director Jim Sheridan presented 50 with his birthday cake (complete with candles in the shape of the numerals "5" and "0"). ...

Luther Vandross' peers continue to pay homage to him. On Monday night in New York's Harlem neighborhood, radio station Kiss-FM hosted an all-star musical tribute to the late R&B singer at the Abyssinian Baptist Church. Whitney Houston's mother, Cissy Houston, Jaheim, Erykah Badu, Freddie Jackson and Jill Scott were among those who performed. ... Random House and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs have "amicably" settled a lawsuit filed by the publisher back in February. The suit alleged that Combs failed to return a $300,000 advance Random House paid him to write his memoirs, which he never completed. Due to a confidentiality agreement, details of the settlement — including whether or not Combs was forced to return the cash — were not revealed by Random House, though a spokesperson did make it clear that the company wouldn't be publishing any books by Diddy in the near future. Calls to Diddy's publicist were not returned by press time. ...

Jermaine Dupri, Yellowcard, Fat Joe, the Roots and Pete Yorn have signed on for the upcoming Fusion Flash Concerts (fusionflashconcerts.com), a series of free, spontaneous flashmob shows. The performances will take place in secret locations announced at the last minute via text message, and will kick off in New York with the Roots, followed by Dupri in Atlanta in a few weeks. ... According to Tool's Web site, a special double vinyl edition of the band's 2001 album, Lateralus, should hit stores on August 23 — but then again, there could be a "slight delay," which "hopefully [will be] no more than a week." The band is in Los Angeles at the moment, working on its next album; no release date has yet been announced. ...

This Halloween, make sure that no matter which soiree you attend, you're assured a win for best costume. How, you wonder? By scoring yourself one of those sweet uniforms worn by the festering zombie army featured in System of a Down's "B.Y.O.B." video. The uniform is comprised of a black jumpsuit, black leather gloves, black military-style leather boots, a head rag, and special headgear, with visor, festooned with the word "BUY" across the front. Right now, System fans can log onto eBay to bid on the rock and roll fatigues; the highest bidder will also get an autographed band photo. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Veterans Hospital in West Los Angeles. The auction runs for seven days only. ... The members of Chevelle cannot tell a lie: bassist Joe Loeffler didn't leave the band — he was shown the door. On Monday, in a joint statement, the Loefflers — brothers Joe, frontman and guitarist Pete and drummer Sam — came clean about the band's situation. "We've spent 10 great years building Chevelle, but irreconcilable differences have led to an unfortunate parting of ways between Joe and the band," the statement reads. "Chevelle will return to the road for a string of summer shows, to be followed by writing sessions for a new album. Thanks to all of our fans, friends and family for their continued love and support." ...

Ludacris was on hand for a screening of his movie "Crash" — which examines the complexities of racial tolerance — at the NAACP national convention in Milwaukee on Sunday. He and his co-star Michael Pena as well as the film's director, Paul Haggis, participated in a panel discussion following the screening. " 'Crash' has ignited a public debate that our nation needs to have," Haggis said, calling the film a "relevant starting point to discuss race relations in this country." ... Going to Comic-Con in San Diego this weekend? You might run into Charlize Theron, who'll be there on Saturday to lead a panel following a first look at her upcoming flick "Aeon Flux." The panel will also include co-star Marton Csokas, director Karyn Kusama, producers Gale Anne Hurd and David Gale, "Aeon Flux" creator Peter Chung and "War of the Worlds" visual-effects supervisor Pable Helman. ...

It took 10 years for Willie Nelson to complete his new reggae album, Countryman, which might be why his label is not taking any chances when it eventually hits store shelves. The cover depicts a pot leaf on a red-and-yellow background, making it look like a pack of rolling papers; but fans buying the CD at Wal-Mart will find the weed substituted by a palm tree, a pre-emptive measure to avoid a ban from the huge retailer. "They're covering all the bases," Nelson, 72, told The Associated Press. ... Patti Smith is back in the studio, but she's not working on any new material. The punk poetess is actually recording her first full album of cover songs, according to her label rep. One possible song that she's been performing live that might make the cut: George Michael's "Father Figure." ...