For The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Eminem, Madonna, Fantasia, Usher, Underoath & More

Britney is most searched; Lindsay gets giggly; Fantasia given a break from jury duty.

Britney Spears, who was upended last year by "American Idol," has reclaimed her top spot on Yahoo's annual list of the most-searched-for terms on the Internet (the singer placed #1 for three of the last four years). Also making the top 10 are 50 Cent, Cartoon Network, Mariah Carey, Green Day, Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, Eminem, Ciara and Lindsay Lohan. Simpson, Hilton, Spears and Lohan, along with Angelina Jolie, are also the most-searched-for photos on the Internet. ...

Lindsay Lohan got a little flustered and giggly on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show on Wednesday when the comedian insinuated that Lindsay's repeated "no"s actually meant "yes." Did Lohan protest too much when DeGeneres asked, "So you're in New York a lot because you're dating somebody we should know about?" Lohan said "no" at least nine times before DeGeneres cut her off with, "That means yes. I'm good at body language, tone." "No, I'm truly not, no," Lohan said one last time before DeGeneres concluded, "Then you are." ... Madonna's reteaming with her longtime choreographer, Jamie King, to direct her next video, "Sorry," which she'll shoot in January most likely in London, according to her rep. King co-conceptualized her videos for "Human Nature" and "Don't Tell Me," and directed her Drowned World and Reinvention tours. ...

Tim Jordan, the former touring keyboard player for the All-American Rejects, committed suicide on Wednesday in Little Rock, Arkansas, according to the band's label, Interscope Records. Jordan played keyboards in Wisconsin emo-act Number One Fan and had joined the Rejects this past summer on their tour in support of their album Move Along. He was 24. ... Fantasia, who was selected to serve on a jury in a motor-vehicle negligence case in Charlotte, North Carolina, this week, was dismissed Thursday to attend a benefit concert in New York, according to the Mecklenburg County Superior Court. Testimony on Wednesday took less than one day but the jury needed to continue deliberating into Thursday. ...

Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Usher stepped out Wednesday night to host a fundraiser for the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, an organization Cruise founded in the wake of September 11 to help firefighters, police officers, and EMTs who were exposed to hazardous materials circulating in the air following the collapse of the World Trade Center. "I started this project out of the great respect I have for the courage and service of the rescue workers," Cruise told the crowd. "When I started this project, it was because I was in a position where I knew that I could help. It wasn't just about wanting to, but knowing I could, so I knew I had to do it." The controversial "detoxification" is based on Scientology principles, not scientific ones, and the method of flushing poisons from the rescue workers' bodies involves an intense regimen of jogging, sauna and ingesting oils and high doses of niacin. Cruise has raised $1.6 million for the detox program, and city officials have kicked in additional funds. ...

Dashboard Confessional, Echo & the Bunnymen, Saves the Day, Peaches and Belle & Sebastian are among the artists playing next year's South by Southwest festival. Also performing at the annual music conference, to be held March 15-19 in Austin, Texas, are Annie, Neko Case, Cat Power, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Jamie Cullum, Flogging Molly, Beth Orton and the Secret Machines. ... Underoath have been added to the growing list of performers who'll be taking the stage at this summer's Warped Tour. Motion City Soundtrack, Thursday, From First to Last, Rise Against, Anti-Flag and NOFX are also on the bill. ...

On Monday, eMusic will release a live version of the Pixies' "Here Comes Your Man" from their upcoming live album, Hey, as the digital music service's millionth track. Frank Black's "All My Ghosts" and "King and Queen of Siam" were eMusic's first two MP3s and the first ever sold legally on the Internet. ... "Veronica Mars" has been pretty indie-friendly of late, recently featuring the Dandy Warhols' Courtney Taylor singing karaoke (the group's "We Used to Be Friends" is the show's theme song). With Spoon frontman Britt Daniel set to perform a cover of Elvis Costello's "Veronica" during an upcoming episode, the karaoke bar in the show is quickly becoming the heir apparent to "The O.C."'s Bait Shop. ...

Ben Folds, the Eels and Matisyahu are among the 20 artists paying tribute to the music of Joni Mitchell at a concert to be held February 1 at New York's Carnegie Hall. The concert will benefit the Music for Youth Foundation, a nonprofit that champions musical education in schools. ... A shakeup in the ranks of American Head Charge may provide a golden opportunity for a bassist looking for a gig. Following the recent departure of guitarist Karma Cheema — which resulted in the cancellation of three weeks of dates — the band's bassist, Chad Hanks, has switched to guitar, leaving an opening that needs filling. Qualified candidates should e-mail Mr_Banks_III@hotmail.com. But hurry, because the band is scheduled to launch a European tour with Soil and Panic Cell at the end of February. ...

12.14.2005

Hilary Duff's big sister, Haylie, is working on becoming a star in her own right — she played a snotty student in "Napoleon Dynamite," she's a pregnant coed on "7th Heaven," and now she's trying to let her inner bad girl shine in the new issue of Maxim, on stands Thursday. Though she's posing in her lingerie, the elder Duff has a hard time revealing too much about herself, not exactly fessing up to any really bad behavior. That feud between the Duff sisters and Lindsay Lohan? Haylie says it's "very one-sided." She told the mag, "Hilary and I would read things or people would ask us about it, and we'd say, 'We're not those kinds of girls.' " Haylie also disputes Lindsay's claim that Haylie once hung up on her when she called to say she wanted to hang out and that she was sorry. "That totally did not happen," Haylie said. "Just because we're not in the same crowd doesn't mean I'd be mean to her." What will Haylie actually admit to? Well, she got a ticket for reckless driving once, and she cried to try and get out of it. ...

Don't start calling Christina Aguilera "Christina Bratman" — the newly married singer told "Access Hollywood" that she's keeping her maiden name, at least professionally. "Aguilera's definitely my stage name," she said. "But 'Mrs. B' has been the cute thing that my friends like to call me." Aguilera also told "Access," in an interview airing Wednesday (December 14), that she had "an amazing time" on her honeymoon, and she's "glowing" from planning the first Christmas that she and Jordan Bratman will spend together as husband and wife. ... Dave Chappelle's former manager, Mustafa Abuelhija, has filed suit against the funnyman in New York federal court claiming that Chappelle owes him more than $864,000. Abuelhija was Chappelle's personal manager from 2001 until he was fired in June, during which time he claims to have helped the star sign millions of dollars in contracts. He is suing for breach of contract, though he has no proof of a deal with Chappelle, because their management agreement was "never reduced to writing." ...

Rapper Terrence "Mad Dog" Moore, 36, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Tuesday in the January 2004 shooting death of Amjed "AJ" Abdallah, the owner of a Detroit-area recording studio once used by Eminem. According to The Associated Press, Moore shot Abdallah and stole a mixing board because he thought he was being overcharged for studio time. ... Ricky Martin will play the Taj Majal in Agra, India, on February 25 to kick off the 8th Wonder of the World concert series. The 10-show series will take place bi-annually over a five-year period at such locations as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Coliseum in Rome, the Great Pyramid in Cairo, Egypt, and the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, and will benefit UNICEF's Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS campaign, as well as YouthAIDS and the Ricky Martin Foundation. The next concert, at Beijing's Forbidden City, will take place September 2, 2006, while a concert at the Statue of Liberty in New York will close out the series in 2010. ...

Bobby Brown's not done yet — he's got one more episode of "Being Bobby Brown" to share, and just in time for the holidays. The extra episode will show Brown and wife Whitney Houston making last-minute preparations for a Christmas gathering in Atlanta — shopping, cooking, and trimming the tree — and what happens at the resulting party. "Being Bobby Brown: Christmas With the Browns" airs December 21 on Bravo at 11 p.m. ... The authorities in Kazakhstan aren't playing around anymore. After British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (a.k.a. Ali G) jokingly reacted to the Central Asian nation's distaste for jokes he made at its expense at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Lisbon, Portugal, last month, the government-appointed organization that regulates Web sites with the .kz domain name suspended Cohen's borat.kz Web site. The site was down as of Wednesday. According to a Reuters report, the president of the Association of Kazakh IT companies said, "We've done this so he can't badmouth Kazakhstan under the .kz domain name." After the MTV show, Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry said it suspected that Cohen was under "political" orders to denigrate the country. Cohen, who is Jewish, responded by posting a message on the Borat Web site that said, "I have no connection to Mr. Cohen and fully support my government's position to sue this Jew." ...

Three unreleased songs from the All-American Rejects — acoustic versions of "Move Along" and "Dirty Little Secret," as well as the B-side cut "Bite Back" — are available exclusively through iTunes, in the form of the Bite Back EP. ... Former WWE champion and Fozzy lead singer Chris Jericho has just signed a book deal to write his memoir. The book, called "A Lion's Tale," will focus on his formative years in the wrestling business. ...

Neil Young will be the keynote speaker at the next South by Southwest festival, taking place in Austin, Texas, March 15-19. He'll be joined by director Jonathan Demme, who'll be screening his musical portrait "Neil Young/ Heart of Gold," which documents Young's performances in Nashville earlier this year. ... Al Cabino, a self-described "sneaker activist," is fighting for your right to wear sneakers inspired by the film "Back to the Future Part II." An avid collector of rare kicks, Cabino recently launched an online petition demanding that Nike release a shoe modeled after the gray moonboots worn by Michael J. Fox in the 1989 movie. Nike originally created the sneakers for the film, but they were never made available to the public, something Cabino is hoping to change. So far he's collected more than 2,800 signatures from sneakerheads around the world, and though Nike has yet to comment on the issue, Cabino insists he's in it for the long haul. ...