For The Record: Quick News On Jessica Simpson And Johnny Knoxville, Shaggy And Olivia, P. Diddy And Rev Run & More

Knoxville denies Simpson affair; Olivia guests on Shaggy single; Queen Latifah performs outside Wal-Mart.

“The Dukes of Hazzard” star Johnny Knoxville doesn’t care for being the subject of gossip-column fodder, but he realizes the rumors about him sleeping with his castmate Jessica Simpson could be worse, he says in GQ‘s August issue. (Click for photos .) “I’m not going to sit here and whine about it,” he said. He has nothing but praise for Simpson, calling her “nice and open and sweet,” but as far as rumors of a romance are concerned, “It’s not true,” Knoxville told GQ. “Jessica and I are just friends. She’s a great girl and all that, but all the rumors — I just kind of take it in stride. But it’s kind of hurtful to the families that are involved.” …

Shaggy‘s got Olivia on board for the first single from his forthcoming album, Clothes Drop, due out September 20. The only female member of the G-Unit shot the video for “Wild 2nite” with Shaggy in Brooklyn, New York, recently with X directing (Usher, Ying Yang Twins). Other tracks on the album include “Shut Up and Dance” (produced by and featuring the Black Eyed PeasWill.I.Am), “Would You Be” (featuring reggae singer Brian Gold), and “Back in the Dayz” (featuring Rayvon, who sang with Shaggy on his hit “Angel”). The album was recorded in Jamaica, the West Indies and New York, with producers Sly and Robbie, Scott Storch and others. …

Queen Latifah performed Thursday night in a Secaucus, New Jersey, Wal-Mart parking lot to launch her Curvation Project Confidence Awards, an offshoot of her VF Intimates Curvation brand of intimate apparel for curvaceous women. The Confidence Awards are a nationwide search for women who project confidence, and the winner will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support a program or project of her choice. To enter or nominate others, visit curvation.com. “I credit much of who I am today to the confidence I was given as a child,” Queen Latifah told the crowd. “Strong, independent women like my mother and grandmother showed me the power of believing in myself and now I want to pass this message on.” …

P. Diddy can’t get enough reality TV. He’s got another show in the works, this time, a hip-hop reality sitcom about the life and family of Reverend Run from Run-DMC, which will begin airing on MTV in October. “Run’s House” is a full house — he’s got five kids, ages 9 through 21 — so Diddy’s co-executive producer Russell Simmons calls it “Father Knows Best on Steroids.” “Rev. Run is a legend and one of the most interesting individuals I know,” Diddy said. “He’s destined to become America’s next biggest reality show star! He’s going to show the world what hip-hop family life is really like.” … Black Rebel Motorcycle Club‘s third album, Howl, will hit stores on August 23. The group’s 19-date U.S. trek in support of the LP will launch September 12 in San Francisco and end October 8 in Los Angeles. …

Sigur Rós have completed their new album, Takk (which translates as “thanks” in Icelandic), the follow-up to 2002′s (). Due September 12, the 11-track disc is sung in Icelandic; previously, the material was sung in the made-up language of “Hopelandish,” which singer Jon Thor Birgisson created. Takk‘s release will be preceded by the launch of a 23-date North American tour, which kicks off August 9 in Hawaii and ends October 5 in Los Angeles. … Five-piece indie pop outfit the Decemberists have unveiled all 36 dates on their upcoming Flight of the Mistle Thrushes Tour. The trek kicks off on September 11 in San Francisco, with Sons and Daughters and Petra Haden‘s Sell Out Choir opening. The tour hits Los Angeles, Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston, Washington, D.C., and New York, where the Decemberists will pick up a new support act, Cass McCombs; he finishes out the remainder of the tour, which stops in Boston, Cincinnati and Chicago before wrapping in Denver on October 23. …

07.14.2005

Don’t believe the hype. Christina Aguilera‘s rep has denied reports that the singer was slashed in a Paris bar fight with a drunken fan earlier this month. “She’s fine, she got cut at home with a piece of glass. It had nothing to do with a fan,” publicist Jill Fritzo said. Though the injury — sliced tendons — has put Aguilera’s right arm in a cast and a sling while she recovers, Fritzo said it didn’t stop the singer from attending the recent European fashion shows or continuing work on her new album, which is slated for an early 2006 release. …

Usher dropped by for the first day of the new summer program he recently launched for minority youth in his hometown of Atlanta. Camp New Look will be home to 150 campers (ages 8-18) for the next two weeks as these prodigies-in-training hone their skills — whether it be singing, dancing or basketball — and learn the ins and outs of the business side of sports and entertainment, according to The Associated Press. “This truly is about learning the business side,” the singer said Monday. “You’re not going to learn it all overnight, but maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn enough to change your life.” The kids will put what they’ve learned to the test July 23 when they will have to coordinate a celebrity basketball game and headline its halftime show. … Pearl Jam have signed on to headline an August 29 benefit for U.S. Senate candidate Jon Tester in Missoula, Montana. The show at the Adams Event Center in bassist Jeff Ament‘s native state will help raise money for the Montana Senate president’s campaign. “I have known Jeff Ament for years and I think it is wonderful that Pearl Jam want to come out and lend their support and help me raise awareness about my campaign and to help raise the money I will need to defeat a sitting U.S. senator,” Tester said. …

Eminem, Talib Kweli and Motörhead axeman Phil Campbell will pop up on Detroit rapper Hush‘s forthcoming Geffen debut, Bulletproof. The album’s slated for an August 23 release. … The Roots, Redman, Common, Lyrics Born and Little Brother are some of the artists featured on the upcoming soundtrack to the video game “NBA 2K6 Basketball,” titled The Tracks. Those artists will also be featured celebrity characters in the video game itself. The Tracks hits stores on October 4. … Already embracing his Southern roots with next month’s “Dukes of Hazzard” movie, Johnny Knoxville will be taking it one step further on July 26, when his cousin’s country album hits stores with the former “Jackass” acting as producer. All Likkered Up marks the recording debut of Roger Alan Wade, the quirky singer/songwriter whose songs include such Howard Stern favorites as “My Baby Loves Malt Liquor” and “Fryin’ Bacon Nekkid.” The album shines the spotlight for the first time on Wade, whose two-decade musical career has seen him pen hits for the likes of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and his cousin’s “Hazzard” co-star Willie Nelson. …

Juliette Lewis‘ forthcoming video for her Licks song “Got Love to Kill” takes its inspiration from Flock of Seagulls‘ “I Ran” and Blondie‘s “Heart of Glass” clips — with a feminine ’80s disco aesthetic, according to director Alex Smith. “It’s a girl’s answer to the tomboy punk video we made previously,” Smith said. … Did you know that one of the Foo Fighters is making his debut in a major motion picture? It’s bassist Nate Mendel, and the movie is actually a recently released straight-to-DVD release. The flick, called “Our Burden Is Light,” features Mendel in a supporting role and an original score that he wrote. “Burden” also includes music from the Dave Matthews Band and David Gray. …

Fresh from hosting “Rock Star: INXS,” Dave Navarro already has his next gig lined up — as a card shark in the second annual Vegas Rock Star Poker Tournament. He’ll play alongside KissGene Simmons and former Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell, as well as sweepstakes winners and their guests, at the Palms Casino Resort during the weekend of August 25-27. To enter to play, visit vegasrockstarpoker.com through August 15. The top prize is $10,000. … Not only are INXS opening up their singer search to the world on their current reality show on CBS, but they’re also opening up in another way — by writing their first autobiography. “INXS: Story to Story” is due out this fall, to coincide with the band’s 25th anniversary. “A number of books have been written about us over the years, most of them in the wake of Michael Hutchence‘s tragic death, but none of them has been authorized by us or is in any way reflective of our point of view,” INXS’s Kirk Pengilly said. “This book is the band’s history whilst Michael was alive … It’s our self-portrait and a true and honest account of our lives.” …