For The Record: Quick News On Foxy Brown, Kelly Clarkson, Phil Spector, Kanye West, Brad And Angelina & More

Foxy case on hold; Spector trial date set; stars come out for Kanye.

Foxy Brown appeared in a New York courtroom Monday morning (December 5) for what was to be the start of her criminal trial — she was arrested last year for assault and harassment, stemming from an August 2004 dispute at a New York nail salon. The judge in Foxy's trial, Melissa Jackson, adjourned the proceedings until December 23, after Brown's attorney, Joseph Tacopina, revealed his client is almost totally deaf, according to an Associated Press report. Tacopina's disclosure came after he was asked why he'd spent the entire morning passing notes back and forth with his client. "She can't hear me," he said. "Anything I have to communicate with her now has to be written." Between now and December 23, Brown will undergo a second surgical procedure to correct her hearing problem. ...

Kelly Clarkson and Common have joined the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences' What's the Download Interactive Advisory Board as honorary members. The board, which is dedicated to creating a dialogue between fans and music makers, will participate with hundreds of teens in the "WTD Rap Session" taking place in the week leading up to the 48th Annual Grammy Awards in February. Other honorary members include Kanye West and members of Earth, Wind & Fire. ...

Producer Phil Spector will stand trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson beginning on April 24, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Friday. Spector, however, could take the witness stand in a pretrial hearing next week to sort out an issue regarding a deposition he gave in a civil lawsuit he launched against former attorney Robert Shapiro. Spector is arguing for Shapiro to return a $1 million retainer he paid the attorney, whom he parted with shortly after. ... Brad Pitt wants to be the daddy to Angelina Jolie's kids, further fueling rumors that the couple are close to tying the knot. "We are confirming that Brad Pitt is in the process of becoming the adoptive father of both children," the actor's publicist said in a statement. Pitt, whose divorce from Jennifer Aniston was finalized in October, filed legal papers on Friday requesting that the last names of Jolie's two children, Maddox and Zahara, be changed to Jolie-Pitt. ...

"This is the best show you'll ever see in your life," Kanye West shouted from the stage at his Touch the Sky tour stop Saturday in Universal City, California. And Kanye did give the fans a show they wouldn't soon forget — blessing the crowd with hit after hit, he then gave them guest after guest, starting with Common. They did "Get 'Em High" together before Kanye let Common take over with "Go!" and "The Light." Maroon 5's Adam Levine found time to come out and sing his part on "Heard 'Em Say." Topping Levine was Patti LaBelle, who joined West for "Roses," a song she's not even credited for on Kanye's Late Registration album. The biggest crowd-pleaser of the night, though, arrived when Jamie Foxx's falsetto "She take my money ..." came through the speakers — not on wax, but live from the man himself. The pair danced around to "Gold Digger" and ran through "Slow Jamz" with Foxx even jokingly imitating Twista, who was not in the house. Foxx, probably the first Oscar winner to provide the beat box for a freestyle, did exactly that while Kanye rhymed. ...

Nine Inch Nails have rolled out a spate of new tour dates for 2006, many of them campus gigs and small-town stops. The first of the 22 dates on the trek is booked for February 10 at Assembly Hall on the Champaign campus of the University of Illinois, and the final date is set for March 27 in Wichita, Kansas. No openers for the tour have been identified yet. ... Hot on the heels of their first headlining tour and news of a spring jaunt with Fall Out Boy, Hawthorne Heights have announced the release date and track list for their second album, If Only You Were Lonely. The LP, produced by David Bendeth in Hoboken, New Jersey, will hit stores on February 28. Lonely features 12 tracks, including "The Phoenix Sung So," "Seasons Lost (IV) You" and "Mockingbirds Help." ...

NOFX will be hitting the road on February 20 with the Lawrence Arms and the Loved Ones for a 12-date run. The trek winds down in Chicago on March 5. ... Nada Surf have scheduled a winter tour to kick off February 8 in Baltimore and wrap up March 11 in Toronto. The band is promoting its recently released The Weight Is a Gift. ... Amateur axe-wielders of the world, rejoice! Thanks to Virtual Air Guitar — a computer program designed by a trio of students at the Helsinki University of Technology in Finland — now your fictional fretwork can actually be heard. The program utilizes a pair of brightly colored gloves and special computer-vision software that tracks hand movements and gives them each their own unique guitar sounds. The software also recognizes hand gestures, so each make-believe power chord or hammer-on creates a pitch-perfect note. Who says you never learn anything good in college? ...

12.02.2005

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. ...