For The Record: Quick News On Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, R. Kelly, Cassidy, Staind, Thrice & More

Kanye won't talk politics at NFL concert; Cassidy to be re-arrested; Clarkson scraps a few shows.

Don’t expect Kanye West to say anything remotely political at Thursday’s NFL kickoff concert. At a news conference on Tuesday, his first public appearance since criticizing President Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina during last week’s “A Concert for Hurricane Relief,” the rapper said, “I don’t want to detract from the show at all, because it’s entertainment, and a lot of times, in a time of need, we need entertainment to lift people’s spirits.” Green Day, Santana and Maroon 5 will also perform as part of the season opener. …

Perhaps it was all the cold water dumped on her at the MTV Video Music Awards, as Kelly Clarkson has been diagnosed with bronchitis and had to postpone concerts this past Monday in Santa Barbara, California, and Wednesday (September 7) in Irvine, California. Rescheduled dates will be announced shortly. … R. Kelly popped into court on Friday, but not to make sure that his upcoming trial on child-pornography charges moves forward. This time, the R&B singer had a different legal matter on his mind, since he spent his time in the Chicago court asking for permission to travel to New York next week so that he could deal with another case instead — the lawsuit he filed last November against Jay-Z, for bumping him off the Best of Both Worlds tour. Against the prosecution’s objections, the judge granted Kelly permission to go to the Big Apple between September 11 and 16 so that he can give a deposition in that case. Kelly is due back in court for the criminal charges on October 7. …

Cassidy is about to be re-arrested on first-degree murder charges. The rapper has been incarcerated in a Philadelphia prison ever since turning himself over to police on June 17; he was charged with the first-degree murder of 22-year-old Desmond Hawkins and the attempted murders of two other men, both charges stemming from an April 15 shooting incident. On August 16, Municipal Court Judge Marsha Neifield reduced Cassidy’s first-degree murder count to murder in the third after ballistics evidence indicated bullets came from both sides during the shooting; police alleged Cassidy and two others fired shots on three unarmed men, killing one of them — Hawkins. Now Cassidy’s case will go before Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner, according to the rapper’s defense attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr. A preliminary hearing could take place as early as next week. “We’ll have a final answer as to whether this thing’s going to go to trial or not, what the [official] charges will be and what the bail status will be,” Perri said of the hearing. …

Nick Cannon has yet to set a release date for his second album, Stages, but he’s already picked the second single and follow-up to “Can I Live?” The track is called “My Wife” and was produced by Kanye West. “It’s a song for the ladies,” said Cannon, who also worked with Scott Storch on the album. “Kanye gave me a hot track and then blessed it with a hook.” … Russell Simmons, Juelz Santana and Remy Ma will be on hand when the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network’s 2005 Financial Empowerment National Tour hits Kansas City, Missouri, on Friday. …

You knew this was coming. FOX has greenlit a celeb-pro pairs skating competition show, “Skating With Celebrities.” The series will be hosted by Scott Hamilton and judged by Dorothy Hamill, both Olympic gold medalists, and feature six celeb-pro figure skating teams: “Full House” star Dave Coulier with Nancy Kerrigan, gold-medal-winning decathlete Bruce Jenner with Tai Babilonia, “Diff’rent Strokes” actor Todd Bridges with Jenni Meno, original Buffy from the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” movie Kristy Swanson with Lloyd Eisler, weather forecaster Jillian Barberie with John Zimmerman, and singer Deborah Gibson with Kurt Browning. The network said there’s no air date set yet. … A DualDisc version of Fiona Apple’s long-awaited Extraordinary Machine is set for the same October 4 release date. The expanded version of the disc will feature the entire album in an enhanced LPCM format, videos for “Not About Love” and “Parting Gift” (live) and a performance of five songs filmed during producer Jon Brion’s weekly residency at club Largo in Los Angeles, including “Fast As You Can” and “Paper Bag.” …

Staind have canned their monthlong European trek that was set to kick off September 19 in Dublin, Ireland, due to “U.S. promotional commitments,” according to their publicist. “We love touring overseas and are incredibly thankful to our European fans. Unfortunately at this time, circumstances prevent us from coming over to perform live,” the band said in a statement issued this week. “We apologize for this inconvenience to our fans and look forward to seeing everyone in the future.” The dates will be rescheduled for March. … A fragment from “Image of the Invisible,” the first single from Thrice’s forthcoming album, Vheissu (October 18), can be downloaded at the band’s Web site. As soon as 100,000 people visit the Thrice site and click on the “Download Now” option, though, the song will become available for a full download. This weekend, the band will shoot a video for the track with Jay Martin (Burning Brides, Eagles of Death Metal); frontman Dustin Kensrue concocted the clip’s treatment with help from My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way. …

British-born, New York-based singer/songwriter Antony Hegarty topped a field that included Coldplay, the the Kaiser Chiefs and Bloc Party to win the Mercury Prize on Tuesday. Hegarty’s I Am a Bird Now — recorded under his pseudonym Antony and the Johnsons — took home the prize, awarded to the U.K.’s album of the year, along with a check for £20,000. … The Ska Is Dead Tour, featuring such acts as the Toasters, Mustard Plug, the Planet Smashers and, on a variety of dates, Catch 22, Buck-O-Nine and others, kicks off Wednesday (September 7) in Buffalo, New York. The 43-date trek will wrap up on October 22 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. …

Rod Stewart must pay back a $2 million advance plus interest to Las Vegas’ Rio Hotel Casino for a show he canceled there in December 2000, The Associated Press reports. A U.S. District Court jury decided the case on Wednesday without the 60-year-old singer present. Stewart has said he was unable to perform because he was recovering from throat surgery and that he wanted to reschedule the show but the casino would not. His lawyers said he plans to appeal. …

09.06.2005

Suge Knight was released from Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami late last week after being shot in the leg at a party before the MTV Video Music Awards. The investigation has continued with no new developments, according to a spokesperson for the Miami Police Department. …

Beyoncé says it’s hard not talking about Jay-Z publicly, but that’s the only way she knows to keep things going. The singer told Essence magazine for its October issue that “even in school,” she “never talked about relationships.” “I only talk about them in my songwriting,” she told the magazine. “Otherwise, things get too messy. It has worked because now nobody expects me to talk about them. But it’s hard, too. You fall in love and you want to tell everybody. But that’s a place I just don’t go.” Beyoncé also said that it has taken her years to learn to ignore the tabloids. “How else am I going to survive? If you’re sensitive, it’s gonna drive you crazy.” … Recently retired seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and rocker Sheryl Crow have gotten engaged, according to the cyclist’s spokesperson. The couple is planning a spring wedding. Crow’s fifth album, Wildflower, will hit stores later this month. …

On Monday, the recording industry scored another legal victory in its battle to curb online music piracy. An Australian judge ruled that the users of the Internet file-sharing network Kazaa violated the country’s copyright laws by using the site to illegally download music files. The ruling didn’t find that Kazaa’s owners acted illegally, but did fault the site for failing to utilize the latest technology to prohibit illegal downloads, facilitated through its network, Reuters reports. As part of the ruling, Kazaa’s owners must make various revisions to their software that would prevent illegal file-sharing in the future. Numerous Australian record companies are expected to seek damages in the wake of this week’s decision, for the millions of illicit music downloads the site enabled. Meanwhile, Kazaa’s owners intend to appeal the ruling. …

Can Michael Jackson recapture the magic of “We Are the World”? He’s going to try, with a new song called “From the Bottom of My Heart,” a superstar charity single he’s planning to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. Since Jackson’s been camped out in the Arabian Gulf in the aftermath of his child-molestation trial, and since he plans to release the song on a label owned by a prince in Bahrain, he’s calling the project “From the Gulf to the Gulf.” Jackson said in a statement that he hopes this song will “bring relief and hope to those resilient people who have lost everything.” He plans to reach out to other recording artists in the next 24 hours to sing along. Jackson’s last superstar charity single, “What More Can I Give,” which was to benefit 9/11 victims, never officially saw the light of day. … U2, Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, Green Day and Destiny’s Child are among the artists featured on an upcoming Live 8 DVD compilation, set for release November 8. The four-disc set will contain three discs of live footage showcasing every artist who took the stage at London’s Hyde Park and Philadelphia’s Museum of Art on July 2, along with an additional disc highlighting performances from the seven other events staged across the world, a backstage documentary from Hyde Park, Pink Floyd’s Live 8 reunion rehearsal and more. Single-disc sets for the Paris, Berlin, Rome and Toronto Live 8 shows will also be released. A portion of the DVDs’ proceeds will go toward the Band Aid Trust for the relief of hunger and poverty in Africa. …

Britney Spears has reconsidered having a natural birth, now that she’s talked to her mother. The singer told Elle magazine for its October issue that her pregnancy has been therapeutic, since “all the secrets from your family come out of the closet for some reason.” One of those secrets, though, was her mother’s revelation that “giving birth was the most excruciating thing she’s ever gone through in her life.” Now, Spears tells the mag, she’d prefer to have a Caesarean, and if that’s not an option, “I’ll be like, ’Epidural, please!’ … I don’t want to go through the pain.” … Electronic Arts announced on Tuesday (September 6) that the Dave Matthews Band will be making their video game soundtrack debut with this fall’s “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06.” This year’s installment of the golf franchise will feature “Stand Up,” the lead track from the band’s spring album of the same name. The soundtrack will also include tracks from the Supreme Beings of Leisure, Thievery Corporation and David Holmes. …

Warped Tour veterans Rocket From the Crypt have decided to call it a day. The San Diego rockers have scheduled one last gig at the Westin Horton Plaza Grand Ballroom in their hometown for Halloween night. “After 16 years of scars and ear damage, all in the name of spreading goodwill and the rock and roll doctrine, we will take the stage for the last time on our favorite day of the year,” a statement released by the group reads. “We know that it is very difficult for those around the world to be with us for this celebration, but we invite all that have been a part of this awesome ride to come out one more time and give it up for the band.” … The White Stripes are planning a live webcast from their show September 27 in Columbia, Maryland. NPR’s “All Songs Considered Live Online Concert Series” will broadcast the show, which will be available online simultaneously and for later streaming at npr.org. Opening acts the the Shins and M. Ward will also see their sets broadcast. …

It was a drug overdose that took the life of model-turned-hired-gun Domino Harvey, whose life inspired the forthcoming action film “Domino.” According to Reuters, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office released the results of the toxicology report from Harvey’s autopsy on Friday; she died in late June. A high concentration of fentanyl, a pain medication much stronger than morphine, was discovered in her heart, blood and liver. “Domino” is set to hit theaters in November. … Madonna is expanding her English Roses line. The collection is adding new fall/winter girls’ apparel, jewelry and a jewelry box to the already existing line of girls’ clothing, dolls, tea and tea sets, charm bracelets and necklaces, and calendars. “I think it’s stuff that kids will really love,” Madonna said. …