For The Record: Quick News On Nick And Jessica, Dr. Dre, Green Day, Ashanti, Pitbull, Wyclef Jean & More

Nick Lachey, Jessica Simpson deny they're separated; Dre donates a mil to hurricane relief.

Is the honeymoon over for everyone’s favorite newlyweds? The tabloids have been claiming for months that Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey’s marriage is on the rocks, and now Us Weekly is reporting that the two are officially separated, citing an unnamed source the mag says spilled the beans at Ashlee Simpson’s birthday party on Sunday night. No one, however, in the Simpson or Lachey camp is confirming any of this. Joe Simpson called the story the “usual bullsh–,” while the couple’s reps issued a joint statement saying, “Nick and Jessica have not separated. Rumors to the contrary are simply not true.” …

(Check out pictures of Nick and Jessica. )

One of rap’s premier producers is proving his heart is just as big as his wallet by shelling out $1 million toward Hurricane Katrina relief. Dr. Dre donated the money to Houston’s Julia C. Hester House, which will distribute the funds to 50 needy families devastated by the disaster. “I wanted to be sure that my donation did two things: went directly into the hands of hurricane victims and that it was an amount that could really impact their lives and make a difference,” Dre said. … Ashanti is launching a new fragrance, Precious Jewel, this week. “This project was very precious to me,” Ashanti said. “I wanted everything to be perfect! I must’ve driven the fragrance developers nuts by making sure everything was exactly how I envisioned.” Her rep describes the scent as being “fruity without being overpowering, powdery enough without giving a headache.” It has top notes of bergamot, apple and peach; a middle layer of jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose, orchid and lily of the valley; and a base of sandalwood, musk and oak moss. It comes in perfume, mist and shimmer stick, and is available at Wal-Mart. …

Green Day, whose current tour is sponsored by Xbox Live, are the latest band to participate in one of the company’s Game With Fame sessions. On Thursday from 8-9 p.m. ET, the punk trio will be playing “Halo 2″ against their fans using the gamertag greendaygwf. … On November 1, Ozzy Osbourne will release an album’s worth of cover songs. Under Cover, which will be available as a DualDisc, features 13 cuts, including Ozzy’s take on such classics as John Lennon’s “Woman” and “Working Class Hero,” Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way,” King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man,” Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love,” Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen” and the Moody Blues’ “Go Now.” The DVD portion of the DualDisc will feature a video for Ozzy’s rendition of the Beatles’ “In My Life” and a half-hour program called “Dinner With Ozzy and Friends,” during which Ozzy recalls some of his favorite stories for a number of guests, including son Jack Osbourne and Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister. …

Wyclef Jean is coming to the small screen. The Fugees leader has signed a deal with HBO to star in and produce a sitcom based on his life story, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Wyclef, who has appeared in four episodes of “Third Watch” this year, will also write and produce original music for the series, which is in its early stages of development and has not yet been scheduled. … A Miami judge’s ruling this week has cleared the way for Slip n Slide Records to release an album’s worth of material recorded by rapper Pitbull years before he signed with his current label home, TVT Records. Slip n Slide had hoped to release Welcome to the 305 this past May, but TVT obtained a cease-and-desist order to block the album’s release. Slip n Slide sued TVT, which, claiming it was the owner of all of Pit’s songs past and present, countersued. According to a Slip ’n’ Slide spokesperson, the judge’s decision could mean Welcome to the 305 will be in stores before Christmas — but only if every single copy of the disc features a sticker affirming that the effort “contains previously unreleased material.” The judge’s finding needs approval from a U.S. District Court judge before the pressings can begin. …

Mike Gibbins, the drummer for defunct Welsh rock act Badfinger, died in his sleep on Tuesday from undisclosed causes, according to a posting on the late musician’s Web site. Badfinger released a string of classic hits during the 1960s and ’70s, including “Come and Get It,” “No Matter What,” “Day After Day” and “Baby Blue.” … INXS — with new lead singer J.D. Fortune — are planning to hit the road for the first leg of their world tour early next year. The Switched On Tour kicks off January 18 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and will include more than 20 stops in the U.S. and two stops in Canada before it wraps February 18 in Washington, D.C. …

Police guitarist Andy Summers has just inked a deal to write his memoir. “One Train Later” will be about his life in music, from his first guitar and earlier bands to his relationships and encounters with Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Burdon, John Belushi and of course, the Police. No release date has been slated yet. … Talks between Microsoft and the four major record labels over licensing terms for the computer giant’s new online music subscription service have reportedly broken down. The Associated Press reports that Microsoft broke off talks on Friday after it was unable to reach a deal with the labels over royalty rates. Microsoft already sells downloads on its MSN Music site, but has been working on a subscription service along the lines of Napster and Rhapsody. …

10.04.2005

Tom DeLonge, the Foo Fighters, New Found Glory and members of No Doubt are among the artists donating painted casts to be auctioned off for the Keep a Breast foundation. But they’re not casts of arms or legs — they’re casts of breasts, painted by the musicians to raise money for youth breast-cancer awareness. The auction gets under way on on Saturday at Keep-A-Breast.org, and several of the casts will be on display at benefit parties to be held in New York (Saturday) and Culver City, California (October 22). …

Gwen Stefani wants to see your creative side — well, as long as it involves her. She’s asking fans to send her images of their Gwen-related creations (be they outfits, tattoos, photo collages or airbrushed cars) as part of a contest that would feature the work on her Web site or even as part of her upcoming tour. Photos need to be submitted via her site (GwenStefani.com) by Friday. … Mariah Carey, Bon Jovi, Amerie, Craig David, Blondie and Kasabian are among the acts playing Swarovski Fashion Rocks. The concert, to be held October 17 in Monaco, will be hosted by Jerry Hall and supports the youth charity the Prince’s Trust. …

Madonna will perform her new single, “Hung Up,” for the first time on the stage of the MTV Europe Music Awards, which will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, on November 3. Also on the bill are Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Robbie Williams and the Black Eyed Peas. … In addition to her new album, Madonna’s also releasing a CD of another sort — a reading of the five books in her children’s book series. It’ll come with a bonus CD of never-before-seen footage, interviews, a photo gallery and a limited-collector’s-edition set. She’s also releasing the books as a box set, which offers all five books for the price of three, and as a limited collector’s edition set, of which there are only 1,000 copies. The collector’s edition, which will be sold exclusively at luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman for $299 in late fall, includes a signed letter, first editions of the books, the audio CD, the bonus CD, and a signed print by the artist for “Mr. Peabody’s Apples.” …

Late-night TV owls, brace yourselves for a rock takeover. Conan O’Brien is devoting his entire show to U2 on Thursday — the day before Bono is expected to be named as a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, according to The Associated Press. The program, which has never turned over an entire show to one musical guest, is expected to feature three performances by the band, who will also be interviewed. In related news, the White Stripes — who had a memorable weeklong residency on O’Brien’s show in 2003 — will make history of their own when they play on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” on December 1. “We’ve never had a musical performance on the show before — not because we haven’t wanted one — but because we were holding out for a reunited Spandau Ballet,” Stewart said in a press statement. “This will have to suffice.” …

Heavy D is re-mounting the stage play “Medal of Honor Rag,” to return to the Egyptian Arena Theater in Hollywood with Will Smith as the executive producer. The stage production will reopen on October 13 and run through November 6, with all proceeds going to Hurricane Katrina victims. … On October 25, Aerosmith will release Rockin’ the Joint, which will feature 11 live tracks captured more than three years ago during a gig at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. The album will include “Same Old Song and Dance,” “Light Inside,” “Rattlesnake Shake,” “Walk This Way” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Aerosmith will launch a full U.S. tour on October 30 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, with Lenny Kravitz tapped to open. …

Linda Perry will make six rare live appearances this fall in support of the re-release of her debut solo album, In Flight, due October 11. The 4 Non Blondes-singer-turned-Christina Aguilera-producer will play San Francisco (October 14); Los Angeles (October 20); Solana Beach, California (October 21); Boston (November 2); Philadelphia (November 4); and New York (November 5). … David Lee Roth, he of the once-luxuriant blond mane and Van Halen fame, has lined up several live solo dates for November. You’ll be able to catch Diamond Dave beginning November 11 in St. Petersburg, Florida; he’ll wrap up his jaunt on November 26 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. …