For The Record: Quick News On Mary J. Blige, Paris Hilton, Paula Abdul, Young Buck And Lloyd Banks, Tool & More

Copyright claim against Blige dismissed; Abdul returns to cheerleading roots; Tool releasing DVDs.

Mary J. Blige can breathe easy — a New York judge has dismissed a copyright claim against her over her No More Drama album. Sharice Davis had claimed ownership of two songs from the album, “Love” and “Keep It Moving,” based on the similarity between two songs her father had written, called “L.O.V.E.” and “Don’t Trade in My Love.” But because there were some inconsistencies in how her father had transferred Davis the rights to the songs, the judge sided with Blige. …

Paris Hilton passed out commemorative red-ribbon stamps and signed Heaven’s Angels fashion items to help spread awareness for World AIDS Day during her book signing Thursday at the Virgin Megastore in New York’s Times Square. The signed items are being auctioned off on Lifebeat’s online auction, bid2beataids.com. … Paula Abdul, once a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers, has created a “Cardio Cheer” workout, which she’s teaching via a five-disc video series. “Cheerleading is a combination of three things I know — fitness, dance and music,” Abdul said in a statement. “I felt that creating ’Cardio Cheer’ would be a great way to teach dance, build confidence, and help today’s kids be healthy in a way that will be welcoming, not intimidating.” The first part of the series, concentrating on fitness, will be available December 10, and will focus on tightening the body, increasing flexibility and adding punch to jumps. Follow-ups will focus on choreography (available in the spring) and music for cheer routines (as a CD mix that Abdul will produce, available in the summer). …

Young Buck and Lloyd Banks’ court date Thursday in New York was adjourned to January 26. The rappers, along with nine other members of their entourage, were charged with gun possession after police pulled over their van for running a red light on August 8 and found two guns in the vehicle. … Bobby Valentino is being sued for failing to appear for a concert date. Promoter Kasib Mahdi is claiming in a suit filed Monday in Santa Clara, California, that Valentino and his manager knew he would be a no-show when they made the deal for the April 29 show in the first place. Mahdi is seeking $116,000. They’re due in court over the matter on April 11. …

To help crunk up your holidays, the Ying Yang Twins are releasing U.S.A. Still United, a CD/DVD compilation, on December 27. The disc will feature 13 tracks: five unreleased songs in addition to hard-to-find remixes of their biggest hits, including the “Shake Remix” with Elephant Man and Pitbull. The DVD, meanwhile, will contain behind-the-scenes footage, snippets from their concerts, interviews and the Twins’ videos for “Wait (The Whisper Song),” “Badd” and “Shake”… Ciara has signed an exclusive worldwide publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group, Universal announced Thursday. The multiplatinum “Goodies” singer will be joining fellow UMPG hip-hop and R&B artists including 50 Cent and G-Unit, Ludacris, Mariah Carey, Ashanti and Mary J. Blige. …

While his Linkin Park bandmates Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington have been working on solo projects, DJ Joseph Hahn has been directing a short film called “The Seed,” which he plans to debut at the Sundance Film Festival. “It’s about a homeless schizophrenic war veteran that’s going crazy on the streets of Los Angeles,” Hahn said. “He’s trying to control the dementia in his mind. It’s starring Will Yun Lee. He’s a good friend and a good actor.” … Tool are making the season merry for their fans with the release of not one, but two new mini-DVDs. Based on two tracks from the band’s last album, 2001’s Lateralus, the “Schism” and “Parabola” discs are both due in stores on December 20, and each features the song’s video, an unreleased remix and commentary from the members of the band. …

Remember the Rapture? They were the Brooklyn, New York, dance-punks who set the hipster world ablaze a few years back with their electroclash hit “House of Jealous Lovers.” Well, now they’re back, sort of. In a post on the group’s Web site, bassist Mattie Safer wrote that the band is in the early stages of work on a new album, though he’s not exactly sure what — if anything — will come from the sessions. “What’s happening? No new album? No new singles? What the f— is going on? Well to be honest, the answers are still vague. New album, and singles … well, we’re still working on it. The exact timeline remains uncertain … we are making every effort on our end to get this stuff ready to go.” … Guster have finished their next album, Ganging Up on the Sun, due in the spring. Two tracks, “Manifest Destiny” and “Sorority Tears,” will be premiered online in the coming weeks. …

12.01.2005

It turns out Jay-Z isn’t going to share his life story with the world after all. The rapper signed a deal with MTV Books two years ago to publish his autobiography, to be co-written with hip-hop journalist Dream Hampton and called “The Black Book.” But once the book was finished, Jay apparently got cold feet and decided not to put it out: MTV Books confirmed that “The Black Book” has been pulled from its release schedule, per a request from Jay, who cited privacy issues. … NASCAR superstar Rusty Wallace slowed down long enough for a pit stop in New Jersey to hang out with Jay-Z on Wednesday night. Wallace and Hova were among the spectators at the Continental Airlines Arena watching Jay’s Nets lose to the Detroit Pistons. …

R. Kelly’s lost another round in court: on Wednesday a Chicago judge refused to dismiss a civil suit brought against him by an adult woman claiming invasion of privacy and negligence for being included in the antics on a sex tape allegedly made by the singer. Kelly has denied that he’s the man on the tape. … Lindsay Lohan’s got an equally emotional song to follow up “Confessions of a Broken Heart” — for her second single from A Little More Personal (Raw) she’s picked “I Live for the Day,” in which she sings, “I live for the day … that you will be desperate and dying inside/ I live for the tears to fall down your face.” …

“American Idol” will return for its fifth season on January 17 and 18, FOX announced Thursday (December 1). You can check out extra footage from the hit show on FOX Reality starting January 2, when the channel will begin broadcasting exclusive content daily from season four. Additional footage from season five will hit the station in March. … Kelly Clarkson has gone public about her new beau — Graham Colton, the rocker who was the opening act on her Behind These Hazel Eyes Tour. Clarkson disclosed to Seventeen that the two are an item. “He’s beyond amazing,” she told the mag for its new issue. “I look at past relationships and I thank God for at least showing me how crappy they can be, because now I totally appreciate this guy.” …

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck became parents to a baby girl Thursday at 6:26 p.m. EST, the couple’s publicists told The Associated Press. Both mother and child are doing well. No further details were revealed, though E! News reports the parents named the child — the first for both — Violet. … Guests were treated to champagne, sushi, pizza and top-shelf liquor at Providence in New York on Wednesday night as Mary J. Blige held a listening session for her December 20 release, The Breakthrough. Mary took pictures with any person who wanted them and signed a few autographs for the industry tastemakers in attendance. …

On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court refused to halt the execution of Crips gang founder Stanley “Tookie” Williams. The convicted killer, who became an anti-gang activist and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, has gained support from Snoop Dogg and Jamie Foxx in his bid to avoid his scheduled December 13 execution. Williams’ lawyers have claimed that his conviction was based on shoddy detective work and innuendo, according to an Associated Press report. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has agreed to hear Williams’ clemency petition, could still intervene and commute the sentence to life without parole. …

Madonna’s planning the video for her second Confessions on a Dance Floor single, “Sorry,” and she’s thinking of making it a follow-up thematically to “Hung Up,” according to her rep. … “South Beach,” the show Jennifer Lopez is executive producing for UPN, will debut with a two-hour premiere on January 11. Starring Vanessa Williams, the series tracks the lives of two Brooklyn, New York, teens who relocate to Florida’s hotbed of sand, surf and über-beautiful people. …

Paris Hilton did a soft launch for her latest scent, called Just Me by Paris Hilton, and it’s already selling out, according to her business partner. The heiress’ second fragrance also comes in a body lotion, while a men’s version is expected to hit stores this month. … Who says Jessica Simpson isn’t as bankable single as she was when she was with Nick Lachey? A company called Icon Licensing Group thinks the former “Newlyweds” star’s name is worth at least $15 million, which is why it filed a suit for that much against Jessica Simpson Brand Management, claiming that it set up the deal for the company to market Simpson’s name worldwide for merchandise, including clothing. Icon claims in the suit that it wasn’t paid an almost $200,000 commission for helping to finalize the sale of Simpson’s name, according to an Associated Press report. Simpson was not named in the suit. …

Jack Johnson, along with Matt Costa and Tom Dumont, who supported Johnson on his 2005 summer trek, have donated an autographed cherry-red Hamer Echotone guitar to be auctioned off for charity on eBay. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the MusiCares Foundation, which assists musicians in times of need. A host of other artists, including Norah Jones, Dave Navarro, the Who’s Pete Townshend, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have also donated signed guitars that are up for grabs. Bidding ends December 8. … Brian Littrell is being honored Saturday with the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Award. The Backstreet Boy has granted 90 wishes over the years and has donated more than $25,000. …

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