For The Record: Quick News On R. Kelly, Usher, Gorillaz, Beyonce, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani & More

R&B singer has new troubles; clip from Mr. Entertainment's movie online; animated band to tour.

R. Kelly isn’t due back in court for his child-pornography case until October 7, but he’s got a new legal matter on his hands. His wife, Andrea, got an emergency order of protection against him earlier this month. She asked the court in a petition filed on September 2 to prohibit him from alleged physical abuse, harassment, stalking and interfering with her personal liberty, and she also asked the court to prevent him from removing their three children from their home or disposing of their personal property. Since the emergency restraining order expires Friday, she’s due in court that morning to ask the judge to extend it. …

The trailer for Usher‘s first movie in four years, “In the Mix,” premieres Thursday (September 22) at 8 p.m. PT on MTV’s Overdrive broadband channel. The romantic comedy, formerly titled “Dying for Dolly,” also stars Emmanuelle Chriqui (“On the Line”) and Chazz Palminteri (“Poolhall Junkies”) and features Usher as a bodyguard who falls in love with his boss’ daughter. “In the Mix” opens November 23. … The Gorillaz have announced plans for a revolutionary world tour in 2007. According to management, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett — the masterminds behind the band — are working with the animation house known as Passion Pictures to produce a holographic version of the band, which they intend to take around the world. In the meantime, Albarn and Hewlett are also planning a five-night stand at the International Festival in Manchester, England, in November. The shows will feature all the human collaborators on the Gorillaz’s hit album Demon Days, including the Happy Mondays’ Shaun Ryder and U.K. emcee Roots Manuva.


Check out the trailer premiere for Usher’s romantic-comedy-thriller, “In the Mix,” along with previews of “Brokeback Mountain,” “Pride & Prejudice” and lots more.

Designer clothes worn by Beyoncé, Nicole Richie, Wyclef Jean, Kelly Osbourne, Amerie and others at last week’s Naomi Campbell-organized Fashion for Relief runway show in New York are being auctioned beginning Thursday at FashionForRelief.Yahoo.com. Proceeds from the auction, which ends September 29, are going to AmeriCares’ Hurricane Katrina relief fund. … Osbourne, Courtney Love and Nancy Sinatra are donating signed items (including a pair of Sinatra’s boots made for walkin’) for a raffle to benefit the American Red Cross and New Orleans’ Musician’s Hurricane Relief Fund. The Scissor Sisters and Lady Miss Kier will DJ at the event, to be held September 28 at New York’s Luke and Leroy’s. …

Foxy Brown told reporters Thursday that she’s going on a performance hiatus to undergo surgery for a hearing defect. Brown would not elaborate on the problem, speaking outside the Manhattan Criminal Court, where a judge set a December 5 trial date for the rapper. Brown has been charged with misdemeanor assault, attempted assault and harassment in an incident with two Manhattan nail-salon workers in August 2004. Brown was offered a plea bargain to serve 10 days of community service but refused. … St. Louis production duo TrakStarz (best known for discovering Chingy) have joined forces with Timbaland and Lil Jon for the aptly titled track “Producers’ Anthem.” The song will be featured on TrakStarz’s debut album, Star Studded, due in November and also featuring Chingy, David Banner, Twista, Nate Dogg, Juvenile and Bun B. …

Kanye West has already started work on his next album, but he doesn’t want to give up too much about it yet. While he has three songs finished already for his third LP, which he’s going to call Graduation, West told MTV Europe that if he talks about what he’s planning to do, there will be eight songs out just like that before he gets the chance. He compares the in-the-works Graduation to Jay-Z’s The Blueprint, not for its sound, but for the influence it will have. He’s hoping to have 12 songs on the album and put it out by the end of next year. … Alicia Keys is going to serve up a tasty treat — she’s one of the contributors to Morgan Freeman‘s upcoming cookbook, “Caribbean Cooking for a Cause,” which will feature an exotic blend of island recipes from the actor’s many celebrity friends, including Hilary Swank, Tom Hanks and Michael Douglas, as well as tips from well-known chefs and restaurant owners throughout the Caribbean. The book, which will be published next fall, will benefit the Grenada Relief Fund, an organization spearheaded by Freeman after the small island was devastated by Hurricane Ivan last year. …

Ever since admitting she felt the biological clock ticking, Gwen Stefani says everyone is on baby watch. She told Allure magazine (she’s on its October cover) that in one paparazzi photo taken as she was grocery shopping with husband Gavin Rossdale in 2003, the caption asked if she was already expecting. “What, do I look fat or something?” she told the mag. “I get asked when I’m having a baby in every interview. Like today, I talked to these morning-show announcers, [imitating a DJ voice] ‘Gwen! So when are you going to have a baby?!’ When I get pregnant, I will tell everybody, trust me. And I want a big friggin’ shower, OK?” … Cameron Diaz is also feeling the tabloid glare, especially when it pertains to her relationship with singer Justin Timberlake. The actress told GQ (she’s on the October cover) that stories written about the couple aren’t even accurate, they’re just chapters of fictitious “romance novels.” “I’m getting married or breaking up; Justin and I are moving in together, or I want to get married. None of it’s true. Not any of it!” she told the mag. “The idea that people are together just to get married and have children — not every relationship ends up that way.” Besides, she’s committed to keeping her private life private, at least until she catches reality show bug. “Maybe I’ll start carrying around a video recorder to document me and Justin’s tongue wrestling,” she joked. “Or I’ll invite the entire staff of Us Weekly to my annual pap smear. We could spin it off into a new reality series: E!’s ‘Celebrity Gyno-Challenge.’ I’m probably the only one who is laughing at that, right?” …

U2 will release the DVD “U2//Vertigo//2005: Live From Chicago” on November 15. Directed by Hamish Hamilton, who also helmed the recent “Elevation: Live From Boston” and “U2 Go Home: Live From Slane Castle, Ireland,” the DVD was shot during four shows in May. … In a posting on his Web site, Korn frontman Jonathan Davis confirmed the band’s forthcoming record will be called See You on the Other Side and that it would surface on December 6. The outing is the group’s first for Virgin Records and is expected to contain more than a dozen tracks, including “Liar,” “Politix,” “Last Legal Drug Le Petit Mort,” “It’s Me Again,” “Coming Undone,” “I’ve Seen It All” and “Souvenir of Sadness.” … Former Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo and his wife, Kristen, welcomed a new son, Duke Vincent, on August 7. According to the band’s Web site, the infant “came in weighing 7 pounds and sporting a full head of black hair.” …

Remember Michael Jackson‘s charter jet flight with his attorney from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara, California, to surrender himself to authorities on child-molestation charges almost two years ago? That flight — and their privileged conversation — was taped without the singer’s knowledge and permission, and now, two men have been indicted on federal charges for that secret recording: the owner of the charter jet company, Jeffrey Borer, and Arvel Jett Reeves, the owner of the jet’s maintenance company, Executive Aviation Logistics. They’re charged with conspiracy, endeavoring to intercept oral communication and witness tampering. … Pink is returning to the stage for a benefit for breast cancer research, a cause which has long associated itself with her color namesake. The singer’s free show at New York’s South Street Seaport on September 30 will be opened by DJ Laurent and Butch Walker, one of the producers on her new album. “If fame is good for one thing, it’s that it gets people’s attention,” Pink said. “And when what you are talking about is as serious as the fight to cure breast cancer, I can’t think of a better way to express myself.” Concertgoers can raise funds for the cause by buying pink-themed products, including bracelets, baseball caps and compilation CDs (available online at Target.com/breastcancer), with profits benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. …

The Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America reported to Congress on Wednesday that 670,000 of the nation’s 17 million college and university students now have access to legal music downloading services, with the number of schools offering those services tripling to nearly 70 in the past year. It’s unclear how many students are actually using the legitimate services versus swapping songs illegally on file-sharing networks, but the report said solid progress is being made, sometimes through schools instituting a “three strikes” rule that in some instances ends with expulsion. Among the problems that still need to be worked on, according to the report, are illegal student-run file-sharing groups on school-hosted local area networks and illegal hacks of iTunes and other legitimate services. … Former Cars singer Ric Ocasek will make rare live appearances September 29 at a New York fundraiser for CBGB and October 10 in his home city of Boston at Harper’s Ferry. Ocasek, who will be backed by the Hong Kong, the first band he signed to his Sanctuary Records imprint, Inverse, is releasing a solo album, Nexterday, on September 27. …

09.21.2005

Now that Gwen Stefani‘s finished with her first New York fashion show, she’s planning to get back to work on music once again. She’s heading to Los Angeles to begin rehearsals for her upcoming solo tour, which kicks off October 16 in Phoenix. “I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be unbelievable,” she said. While “the set list is set,” she’s hoping to throw a few of her new songs into the show. “I would love to try to roll a little bit of ‘Orange County Girl’ in there. We’ll see. Anything can happen in rehearsals. I don’t even know how long the show can be right now.” While in town for rehearsals, she’s also going to slip in a guest appearance in Pharrell‘s video for his new single, “Can I Have It Like That,” which is shooting on Friday and Saturday. Stefani’s also got a new single of her own; she’s picked “Luxurious” to be her follow-up to “Cool.” …

Some of music’s biggest names have visited Homer Simpson‘s Springfield over the years, including Blink-182, Mick Jagger, ‘NSYNC, U2, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth, Cypress Hill, Smashing Pumpkins and even Bette Midler. Now, you can add Metallica to that list. According to the band’s Web site, Metallica were in the studio this week to record their voices for an upcoming episode of “The Simpsons,” which is scheduled to air sometime in May 2006. …
Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, Paris Hilton, Jack Osbourne, Wilmer Valderrama, Emmy Rossum, and the cast of MTV’s “Laguna Beach” were among the stars partying away at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Tuesday night to celebrate Teen Vogue‘s Young Hollywood issue on newsstands now. Hilton arrived hand-in-hand with pal Kimberly Stewart, while Duff brought along boyfriend Joel Madden and his brother Benji. Meanwhile, Richie came to support her fiance, Adam Goldberg, a.k.a. DJ AM, who was spinning for the bash. …

(Check out photos from the Teen Vogue party here. )

Still hoping for a chance to get on “American Idol”? If you live in Greensboro, North Carolina, or Las Vegas, you may just get your wish, as they’re holding two more auditions for the fifth season in those cities, on October 3 and October 10, respectively. These will be the last chances to try out (replacing the previously announced audition in Memphis, Tennessee, where auditions were canceled in the wake of Hurricane Katrina). Check out idolonfox.com for more info. … Nick Lachey and Brandy have both scored development deals with the WB. The channel is looking for projects to revolve around each of the singer/actors, who both have TV roles under their belts (Brandy on “Moesha,” Lachey for six episodes of “Charmed”). Lachey also previously shot a pilot for ABC that has yet to be picked up, and has guest-starred on “Hope & Faith,” “I’m With Her” and “American Dreams.” The WB says that the process should take about a year, and that it’ll likely have something to screen by April or May of next year. …

One more blow for Chris and Irv Gotti in their drugs-and-money-laundering case — the bookkeeper for Murder Inc., Cynthia Brent, pleaded guilty on Wednesday (September 21) as part of a plea bargain. Brent fessed up to structuring financial transactions to avoid currency reporting requirements — basically, breaking down cash deposits for the label in amounts less than $10,000 so the bank wouldn’t report them. The charge carries a sentence of up to five years, but she’s expected to only receive a sentence of six to 12 months. The charge also carries a fine of $250,000, but there’s no word yet if she’ll have to pay that as well. A sentencing date has yet to be set. The Gotti brothers’ trial begins on October 17. … Hypnotize, the companion piece to System of a Down‘s Mezmerize, will hit stores on November 22, and feature 12 new cuts: “Attack,” “Dreaming,” “Kill Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Hypnotize,” “Stealing Society,” “Tentative,” “U-Fig,” “Holy Mountains,” “Vicinity of Obscenity,” “She’s Like Heroin,” “Lonely Day” and “Soldier Side,” which completes “Soldier Side Intro,” the first track on Mezmerize. The album’s going to be available in DualDisc form, with behind-the-scenes footage chronicling the making of both records. …

In celebration of the Beastie Boys‘ 24th anniversary, Capitol Records is readying Solid Gold Hits, the band’s first greatest-hits collection. The 15-track album features everything from early cuts like “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” to tunes from last year’s To the 5 Boroughs, and all points in between. The album is due in stores on November 8. … Madonna fans can breathe a sigh of relief — Madge is putting all the rumors to rest about what songs will be on her forthcoming Confessions on a Dancefloor album by posting the track list on her Web site. Besides first single “Hung Up,” the album, due November 15, will also contain the dance-worthy tunes “Get Together,” “Sorry,” “Future Lovers,” “I Love New York,” “Forbidden Love,” “Isaac” and “Push.” There are even two songs back-to-back called “Jump” and “How High.” …

Smash Mouth‘s Steve Harwell, Poison‘s C.C. Deville and original video vamp Tawny Kitaen (who made all those Whitesnake clips so steamy) are joining the cast for the sixth season of VH1′s “The Surreal Life,” along with “Jeffersons” star Sherman Hemsley, Playboy TV’s Andrea Lowell, and Alexis Arquette. “Brady Bunch” mom Florence Henderson also joins the show, not as a roomie, but as the cast’s on-call therapist/advisor. The new cast will also choose a cast member from a pool of “reality hunks.” The new season is slated to start in January. … It’s a long way from living in your car to fronting a world-famous rock band. Just ask Canadian singer J.D. Fortune, who was chosen as the new lead singer for Australian rock band INXS on Tuesday night in the final episode of the group’s summer-long “INXS: Rock Star” reality show. The tattooed former Elvis impersonator won the competition to front the band and will hit the studio immediately to begin work on INXS’ first new album in more than eight years, Switch (due November 29). “J.D. has a slightly dangerous edge and will bring a sense of spontaneity to our live show,” INXS guitarist Tim Farriss said. The first single from the album, “Pretty Vegas,” which Fortune co-wrote with INXS guitarist Andrew Farriss, was released on iTunes Wednesday. …

The Bloodhound Gang are giving fans a sneak peek at their latest boobies-and-fart-jokes opus, Hefty Fine, through MySpace.com. From now until the album hits stores on Tuesday, anxious fans can stream the entire album for free on the band’s MySpace page. … Alkaline Trio lead singer and guitarist Matt Skiba is giving away an iPod as part of a promotion he’s doing with PETA. Skiba’s recorded a pro-vegetarian voicemail greeting for the animal-rights group, which can be downloaded at peta2.com, where fans can enter to win the free iPod as well. Part of Skiba’s message says, “Your friend can’t come to the phone right now. Maybe they’re busy doing something useful with their time like spreading the word about how the meat and dairy business are killing and torturing millions of animals each year, destroying the environment, and then lying to you about it.” …

Spencer Tweedy is officially joining the family business, but he’s taking a very different approach than dear old dad. The 9-year-old son of Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy is currently appearing in a national TV ad for Quaker Oats with his band, the Blisters. The group — which appeared on the soundtrack to “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” — wrote an original song for the commercial, which was directed by Academy Award-winner Errol Morris (“The Thin Blue Line”) and also features Spencer’s little brother, Sammy. …