For The Record: Quick News On Usher, Hilary Duff, Trina, Nine Inch Nails, Pink, Rob Zombie & More

Usher staging benefit in Atlanta; Duff launching fragrance line; Pink insists she's not pregnant.

Atlanta’s Philips Arena was the site of the Heal the Hood charity concert a few weeks ago, and now Usher has announced he’ll hit the venue for another benefit show. Usher has named his concert Project Restart and is calling on some of his friends who are major in the game to perform as well. The proceeds from the show, set for October 9, will go to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Five thousand of the storms’ evacuees who have relocated to Georgia will be given free tickets. Usher is also planning to enlist a few corporations to help find homes for 1,000 families who lost their residences in the hurricanes. …

Britney‘s done it, Paris has done it, heck, even Beyoncé‘s done it — and now it’s Hilary Duff‘s turn. The just-turned-18 singer is planning to launch a line of fragrance products next fall in conjunction with Elizabeth Arden, which previously partnered with Britney Spears on her Curious and Fantasy scents. “I love wearing a beautiful fragrance and don’t feel completely dressed without one,” Duff said. “I love to layer my fragrances with perfumes, body gels and dusting powders.” She said she’s looking forward to creating a line that is “fresh and innovative,” that “everyone will enjoy wearing, including me.” … The leaked Fugees single “Be Easy” has a new name — the group is now calling it “Take It Easy.” The trio’s upcoming as-yet-untitled album is slated for release in early 2006. …

Trina is readying her third studio album, Glamorest Life, due October 4. Her rep says it’s “all about the best in life” as well as the rapper’s “most personal work to date.” It’s also pretty stacked with guest appearances. Songs include first single “Here We Go” featuring Kelly Rowland, “Sexy Girl” featuring Snoop Dogg, “Don’t Trip” featuring Lil’ Wayne, “Shake” featuring Lil Scrappy and “Da Club” featuring Mannie Fresh. … Despite tabloid suggestions to the contrary, Pink insists that she’s not pregnant. “I might look like it, but I’m not,” she wrote in a letter to fans on her Web site. She also wrote that she’s still putting “finishing touches, tweaks here and there” on her new album. “I will settle for nothing less than my twisted perfection. (I think you all won’t settle either).” As for her live DVD, she said she plans to release it with the album next year. …

According to a post on Nine Inch Nails‘ Web site from frontman Trent Reznor, the group’s drummer, Jerome Dillon, is in the hospital — his second stay this month. No further information was available at press time. “Just spent the day discussing touring up through next summer, then played our asses off to the least responsive audience I can ever remember playing to,” Reznor wrote. “As I’m walking to the bus to leave Sacramento as soon as I can, I learn Jerome is back in the hospital. I have no idea what this means.” … Rob Zombie, Def Leppard‘s Vivian Campbell, Alice in ChainsJerry Cantrell, former Marilyn Manson guitarist John 5, and former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones will join Dave Navarro‘s covers band, Camp Freddy, on Thursday night (September 29) for a gig at Hollywood’s Key Club. Proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross New Orleans Relief Fund. …

In what has become a monthly occurrence, the Recording Industry Association of America has announced its latest round of copyright-infringement lawsuits against alleged Internet pirates. This round targeted 757 individuals for illegally distributing music on services such as eDonkey, Grokster and Kazaa. Among those sued are students at 17 universities. In addition to the “John Doe” suits, 163 lawsuits were filed against named defendants earlier this month. … Ex-Breaking Benjamin drummer Jeremy Hummel is suing his former bandmates, claiming he was unceremoniously booted him from the group and hasn’t been paid the royalties he’s due. According to the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader, the suit, which seeks more than $8.25 million in damages, claims that back in March 2004, Hummel asked the band if he could take paternity leave for four to six weeks; he wanted to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. That request was granted, and Breaking Benjamin hired a substitute drummer. Seven months later, Hummel, who was still on paternity leave, got a call telling him he was out. The suit also claims Hummel doesn’t receive profits from the band’s second EP or for the two tracks Breaking Benjamin recorded for the “Halo 2″ and “National Treasure” soundtracks. …

Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood is planning to pen a memoir as soon as he’s done with the group’s current tour. Wood just inked a deal with Macmillan, after submitting a sample chapter and putting the project up for auction; the final bid reached seven figures. … Adam Ant is also working on a memoir. Ant recently got a book deal for his autobiography, which he’s calling “Stand and Deliver,” with U.K. publisher Sidgwick and Jackson, who plan to put it out next fall. … Now that Sinéad O’Connor‘s putting out her first reggae record, Throw Down Your Arms (October 4), she’s going to head out on the road to support it with her first U.S. tour in seven years. Since her production team of Sly & Robbie were so instrumental in getting her to take on songs by Burning Spear, Peter Tosh, Lee “Scratch” Perry and Bob Marley, she’s bringing them along with her as her backing band. O’Connor’s 10-day trek kicks off November 28 in Minneapolis and wraps December 10 in Philadelphia. …

Happy Mondays filmed a show in Barcelona, Spain’s Razzmatazz club last December, and now the show is coming out on DVD. “Happy Mondays Live in Barcelona,” due October 4, also includes soundcheck footage and an interview with frontman Shaun Ryder. … Not to be outdone, fellow Brit band the Wonder Stuff are releasing a DVD of their own, called “Construction for the Modern Vidiot,” also due October 4. This one includes footage from shows from 2000 through 2002 throughout England, including the Fleadh Festival and the Longest Day, as well as behind-the-scenes footage of “a life of doing the gigs for the very sake of doing the gigs, and nothing else.” …

09.28.2005

Paris Hilton has done her share of confessing, and now she says it’s your turn — she’s doing a sequel to her book “Confessions of an Heiress” that’s part empty journal called “Your Heiress Diary: Confess It All to Me,” due in November. More than 150 photos of Hilton will be contained in the book, along with messages from her guiding the reader on subjects to write about. …

Ricky Martin worked with a lot of big producers on his forthcoming album, Life, due October 11, from current Paris Hilton favorite Scott Storch to Will.I.Am, Sean Garrett and the Matrix. Besides Fat Joe and Amerie guesting on the first single, “I Don’t Care,” Martin’s also got another Black Eyed Peas member on the album — Taboo appears along with Daddy Yankee on “Drop It on Me.” Other tracks include “Stop Time Tonight,” “Save the Dance,” “I Won’t Desert You” and a reggaeton remix by Luny Tunes of the Spanish version of “I Don’t Care.” “I wanted to start from zero, as if it were the first album that I was recording, so I could present a new sound,” Martin said. The singer’s new sound includes Middle Eastern music, Asian music and hip-hop. … Ludacris is coming full circle. The radio-DJ-turned-rapper has signed on to host a show on XM Satellite Radio’s unedited hip-hop channel RAW (channel 66). “Disturbing Tha Peace Presents Ludacris’ Open Mic” will begin in January. …

Another season of teen drama “The O.C.” means another Seth Cohen-inspired mixtape of lovelorn soon-to-be indie classics. Due November 8, The O.C. Mix 5 will feature cuts by Gorillaz, Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian, Stars, LCD Soundsystem, “O.C.” theme-song writers Phantom Planet and others. … Courtney Love is saddened by the tell-all her mom, Linda Carroll, is planning to publish in January. Love’s manager said they find it “astonishing and profoundly depressing” that Carroll makes the allegations she does about Love’s childhood in “Her Mother’s Daughter,” considering Carroll “abandoned her daughter when she was 7 years old,” resulting with her “barely” knowing her at all. The claims Carroll makes about Love’s childhood antics contain “numerous substantial inaccuracies and several scurrilous falsehoods,” the singer’s manager Peter Asher said, noting that they wouldn’t dignify them with individual responses since the book is a “work of vicious and greedy fiction.” “Ms. Love will have no further comment on this sad situation.” …

On Tuesday, federal officials charged eight people with crimes in connection with the Internet distribution of “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” before the final chapter in George Lucas‘ space epic hit theaters in May. The illegal copy of the movie was traced to a post-production facility in California, where officials charged that employee Albert Valente, 28, of Lakewood, California, took a copy. Valente has pleaded guilty to copyright infringement. Six others were charged with copyright infringement and other misdemeanors for copying and distributing Valente’s tape. Marc Hoaglin, 36, was charged with a felony for putting the movie online, which could result in three years in jail. … Michael Jackson‘s dad is getting back into the music business. Joe Jackson’s starting up a hip-hop boot camp, and he’s currently on a search for young talent. The first competition is being held this weekend in New York, where unsigned artists over the age of 18 are invited to come and try out. More info can be found at HipHopBootCamp.com. …

Simple Plan have scheduled a short fall tour to promote their new live album, MTV Hard Rock Live, due October 4. The trek, which also features Straylight Run, Plain White T’s and Paramore, kicks off October 22 in San Diego and wraps up November 19 in Universal City, California. … Bam Margera‘s continual quest to take over the world will move one step closer to completion on November 19, when he launches his Viva La Bands Tour in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Bam faves H.I.M., Finch and Skindred are along for the ride, which will feature Margera and his cronies “performing” in between sets. The jaunt wraps November 24 in Philadelphia. …

Duran Duran are “moving on” from promoting their reunion album, Astronaut, bassist John Taylor said, and spending this month writing their next full-length. The ’80s heartthrobs are crashing at a place in San Francisco owned by tennis player Andre Agassi. “He’s kindly lending us his house for the month,” Taylor said. “It’s a great place to work. The music and culture of San Francisco are so strong.” … It’s been five years in the making, but former Pharcyde member Fatlip‘s solo debut is finally on its way. Theloneliest Punk will be released by Delicious Vinyl on November 1, bundled with a DVD featuring a Spike Jonze-directed documentary called “What’s Up Fatlip?” If you’re wondering what took so long, skip to the song “Writer’s Block” for the answer. …

Cagey guitar virtuoso Buckethead will be hitting the road starting October 21 in Orlando, Florida — the first date of his Disney World to Disneyland Tour. Buckethead, who’ll release a solo album, Enter the Chicken, on October 25, will hit 13 other cities before wrapping things up on November 22 at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California. … On October 18, Immortal Records will release the soundtrack to “Masters of Horror,” a 13-episode series directed by some of today’s most respected horror directors. The double-disc CD will include new and previously unreleased material from Mudvayne, Thursday, Shadows Fall, Andrew W.K. and others, as well as a collaboration between Buckethead and System of a Down‘s Serj Tankian. …