For The Record: Quick News On R. Kelly, Paris Hilton, Master P, Alicia Keys, Pink, Story Of The Year & More

Kelly wants charges dismissed; Paris named worst-dressed; Master P gets ready to dance.

R. Kelly appeared in a Chicago court Friday (December 16) to once again try to get the child-pornography charges against him dismissed. His attorneys argued that the prosecutors’ phrasing that the singer “knew or should have known” that the girl was underage was contradictory, vague and unconstitutional. They’ll get to make the argument about the wording, which, the state attorney’s office said, is used in “all kinds of statutes,” during a hearing scheduled for February 10. …

With barely enough time to recover after being voted world’s worst dog owner by readers of New York Dog and Hollywood Dog magazines, Paris Hilton has topped PETA’s worst-dressed list, thanks to her fondness for wearing fur. “Now we know what happens to all of Paris Hilton’s cast-off pets,” PETA writes. Also on the animal-rights activists’ list are Kimberly Stewart, Victoria Gotti, Lisa Gastineau and Tara Reid, who are all castigated (“Gotti’s fur coats make her an accessory to murder, and it’s a look that goes well with cement shoes”) for their furry wardrobes … Talk about father of the year. Master P has agreed to fill in for his son, Romeo, in the upcoming second season of the hit reality show “Dancing With the Stars.” With Romeo reportedly sidelined by a basketball injury, P will team up with professional dancer Ashly DelGrosso, the bubbly stepper who paired with ex-New Kids on the Block member Joey McIntyre last season. P will be battling against actresses Tia Carrere, Tatum O’Neal and Lisa Rinna, journalist Giselle Fernandez, actor George Hamilton, WWE personality Stacy Keibler, ex-98 Degrees member Drew Lachey, ESPN host Kenny Mayne and legendary wide receiver Jerry Rice. …

A whole mess of A-listers are featured in David LaChapelle‘s forthcoming photo book “Artists and Prostitutes” — from Madonna (as a Hindu goddess), Paris Hilton (wearing a bikini reading “Eat the Rich”) and Diddy (about to lick a gold-painted woman) to Jennifer Lopez (in a “Flashdance” pose), Alicia Keys (with piano aflame), Pink (setting her bedroom on fire with a flame thrower), Eminem (with a stick of dynamite strategically placed) and Outkast (climbing through a window into a room with naked women on all fours). The limited-edition book, due in March, also includes iconic shots of Britney Spears, Cameron Diaz, Sarah Jessica Parker and others. … Mya, Jill Scott and Stevie Wonder are on the lineup to pay tribute to Dionne Warwick for her 45th anniversary show, to be held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on January 26. Also on the bill are Gloria Estefan, Olivia Newton-John, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Angie Stone and Nancy Wilson, among others. Warwick will perform for the first time with all of her composers, including Burt Bacharach and Isaac Hayes. The gala will be taped for a broadcast to be announced at a later date. …

Former “American Idol” contestant Julia DeMato, 26, appeared in Connecticut’s Danbury Superior Court on Friday morning and pleaded not guilty to drug-possession charges stemming from an incident on December 4. The singer, who was arrested in the parking lot of Brookfield, Connecticut’s Pancho and Gringos and charged with possession of narcotics, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of less than four ounces of marijuana, is due back in court on January 12. … Before Story of the Year join the Deftones, Thrice and As I Lay Dying on the Taste of Chaos Tour in mid-February, they’ll be taking Every Time I Die and From First to Last on the road with them for a 15-date run that’ll kick off in Salt Lake City on January 5. The tour will traverse the Midwest, dart over to the East Coast for two dates, and then make two stops in Canada before winding down on January 31 in Columbia, Missouri. …

Rilo Kiley‘s Jenny Lewis is stepping out in February with her first solo shows in support of her forthcoming album, Rabbit Fur Coat. She’ll perform with the Watson Twins February 2 in Los Angeles, February 3 in San Francisco and February 5 in New York. …Metric have announced dates for the second leg of their tour in support of Live It Out: The 20-date trek will kick off March 7 in Boston and end five weeks later in Detroit. The Toronto synth-rockers have also scored an opening slot for the Rolling Stones, on January 18 and 20 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Meanwhile, their single “Monster Hospital” was recently remixed by MSTRKRFT, a Death From Above 1979 side project. … Bombastic Scottish noisemakers Mogwai will release their new album, Mr. Beast, in March, according to Matador Records. The band will launch a U.S. tour in support of the LP in early 2006. …

12.15.2005

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 WarholsCourtney 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. …