For The Record: Quick News On Pink, Jessica Simpson, Brandy, Eagles Of Death Metal, Juelz Santana, NIN & More

Pink sets release date; Simpson teams with Miss Piggy; Santana to guest on 'Cuts.'

Pink plans to release her new album, I’m Not Dead, on April 4. Her “Stupid Girls” video premieres Thursday on MTV’s Overdrive. …

Just in time for the Super Bowl, Jessica Simpson is shilling for Pizza Hut once again, along with Miss Piggy, who appeared alongside the singer in an ad two years ago. This time, Simpson and the Muppet wear matching outfits for a commercial for Cheesy Bites Pizza, which will parody Simpson’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ ” with a new song, “These Bites Are Made for Poppin’.” The spots, which were taped last week in Los Angeles, will appear during the pregame segment of the Super Bowl. … Brandy, an action hero? Well, sort of. The singer/actress has inked a deal with Los Angeles video game firm Matty/ Markus Games to help develop an as-yet-untitled sci-fi/action game that will utilize her voice and likeness, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Brandy will play a strong female character who is put into a situation that she must react to — one which has the fate of the world hinging on it,” Matty Rich, one of the developers, told the trade paper. Brandy will also help concoct the game’s original soundtrack, which is set to drop just before the game hits store shelves next year. …

Nick Cannon‘s playing a classic trickster in the animated film “The Adventures of Brer Rabbit,” which will be released on DVD March 21. Cannon’s voicing the title character, who outwits his animal friends with clever schemes. Danny Glover (as Brer Turtle), Wayne Brady (as Brer Wolf), and D.L. Hughley (as Brer Fox) all lend their voices to the flick. … February means sweeps, so a whole host of UPN shows are opening their doors to guest stars this coming month. Juelz Santana plays himself on “Cuts” (airing February 2 at 9:30 p.m.); Destiny’s Child‘s Michelle Williams plays an HIV-positive record producer in a three-episode arc of “Half & Half” (starting February 13 at 9:30 p.m.); Ja Rule plays an established record producer looking for new talent on “South Beach” (airing February 15 at 8 p.m.); Kristin Cavalleri plays a closeted cheerleader who’s being blackmailed on “Veronica Mars” (airing February 15 at 9 p.m.); Brandy joins her brother Ray J for two episodes of “One on One,” playing his character D-Mack’s sister Michelle (starting February 20 at 8 p.m.); and Destiny’s Child’s Kelly Rowland plays an attendee at a “Sisters Speak Out” seminar who needs a little mentoring on “Girlfriends” (airing February 20 at 9 p.m.). …

The Eagles of Death Metal, who will release their second album, Death by Sexy, on April 11, have been confirmed as the support act for all of the dates on the Strokes‘ forthcoming spring tour, which kicks off in New York on March 3. … Trent Reznor is up in arms about the fur industry in China, the world’s leading exporter, which uses millions of cats and dogs to augment its supply. The Nine Inch Nails frontman narrates a graphic video exposé for PETA that shows the practice of captured cats and dogs being slaughtered in a Chinese animal market — some with their collars still on them, “proof that they were someone’s beloved companion,” Reznor says. “What you’re about to see may shock you,” he says at the open of the two-minute video. “There are no regulations governing the Chinese fur industry,” he notes, which leads to systematic abuses and fur being mislabeled as that of other animals. …

The Fiery Furnaces are still working on the Rehearsing My Choir follow-up, Bitter Tea, but that’s not stopping the group from hitting the road this winter. A trek has been booked beginning February 10 in New Haven, Connecticut, and ending March 4 in Providence, Rhode Island. … Self-proclaimed “original dirty rapper” Blowfly — the masked marvel whose bawdy toasts have been sampled by everyone from the Wu-Tang Clan to Diddy — was on the receiving end of a rather rude gesture when his touring van was broken into following a gig in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday. In addition to guitars and cymbals, ‘Fly also lost his backpack containing his lyric book and a bag containing his many disguises, including a rubber devil mask, one Uncle Sam mask and “a Blowfly bug mask with antennae.” …

Want Poison‘s Bret Michaels to wish you and your better half a happy anniversary this year? Well, for $100, it could happen. According to Michaels’ Web site, he’s up to his eyeballs with “requests for personal messages.” But time is money, and Bret’s short on time. So for $25-$100, you can purchase both standard and personalized audio and DVD Bret greetings. All come with CD artwork and certificates of authenticity. … The original members of Candlebox (frontman Kevin Martin, guitarist Peter Klett, bassist Bardi Martin and drummer Scott Mercado) have reunited for a three-month U.S. tour which will kick off on July 1. No specific word yet on what cities the trek will hit. The band, best known for its 1994 hit “Far Behind,” will be touring in support of a forthcoming greatest-hits collection, due later this year through Rhino Records. …

01.24.2006

Jennifer Lopez and her Nuyorican Productions are developing a movie called “Reggaeton” about a New York rapper who relocates to Puerto Rico and finds new inspiration and love. “This script is a perfect fit for us because not only is it a compelling story with great characters, but it also combines two elements that are very close to my heart — music and Puerto Rico,” Lopez said in a statement. …

Actor Chris Penn — brother to Sean — passed away in Santa Monica, California, on Tuesday (January 24), according to The Associated Press, although the cause of his death was not immediately known. He was 43. Penn appeared in more than 50 movies, including “Reservoir Dogs,” “Starsky & Hutch” and “Rush Hour,” and had two films in post-production. …

With Weezer on hiatus as frontman Rivers Cuomo finishes his degree at Harvard, the other members of the band have a whole lot of free time on their hands, and some of them are using that time to join one of the most influential rock acts of all time: the Velvet Underground. Pat Wilson and Brian Bell have just filmed cameos in the upcoming film “Factory Girl,” playing, respectively, John Cale and Lou Reed of the Velvets, according to a post on Wilson’s Web site. The film, which tells the story of Edie Sedgwick, who rose to fame in the 1960s under the wing of artist Andy Warhol, stars Sienna Miller as Sedgwick and Guy Pearce as Warhol, and is currently filming in New York and Shreveport, Louisiana. While there is no release date set for the film, it was picked up for worldwide distribution by the Weinstein Company, the studio founded by former Miramax heads Bob and Harvey Weinstein. … Britney Spears has certainly had her share of ups and downs with the paparazzi, but who would have thought they’d be the ones helping her in a time of need? According to a report from “Access Hollywood,” a group of photographers, who had been trailing Spears and her brother, Bryan, on Sunday, stopped and helped move her stalled Ferrari off to the side of the road when it broke down on a California highway. (The paparazzi even waited for police to arrive before they went on their way.) Spears’ rep did not return calls for comment. …

50 Cent, no stranger to platinum status in the music industry, has now scored big in the gaming world. His video game “50 Cent: Bulletproof” has sold more than 1 million units in the U.K. and North America since its launch in November and continues to be a top seller for its distributor, VU Games. The title, currently only available for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, will expand to PSP systems later this year. … Sean Garrett is living up to the nickname given to him by Jay-Z: “The Pen.” The songwriter, whose credits include Usher‘s “Yeah!,” Ciara‘s “Goodies” and Destiny’s Child‘s “Lose My Breath,” currently has the top three songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the second consecutive week: “Grillz” by Nelly featuring Paul Wall, Ali and Gipp; “Run It!” by Chris Brown; and “Check on It” by Beyoncé featuring Slim Thug. …

Thursday, who’re nearly done recording the as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2003′s War All the Time, will be heading out on a U.S. tour in March with Minus the Bear, the Number Twelve Looks Like You and We’re All Broken. The jaunt begins in Dallas on March 14 and dates run through April 1 in Seattle. … Nine Inch Nails have chosen Saul Williams to open for them on their upcoming tour, between February 27 in Amherst, Massachusetts, and April 1 in Las Vegas. The tour begins on February 11 in Milwaukee; no opener’s been named yet for the trek’s first 12 dates. …

Beth Orton has booked a North American tour to promote her new album, The Comfort of Strangers, due February 7. The trek, also featuring Willy Mason, kicks off March 12 in Washington, D.C., and wraps up April 11 in New York. … Morrissey‘s new album, Ringleader of the Tormentors, is completed and will hit stores on April 4, according to his label, Sanctuary. The album, recorded in Rome with producer Tony Visconti (T. Rex, David Bowie), features 12 tracks with thoroughly Moz titles like “Dear God, Please Help Me,” “You Have Killed Me” and “I’ll Never Be Anybody’s Hero Now.” …

The Sisters of Mercy have lined up a North American tour — the band’s first in more than six years. The goth-rockers’ 16-date run kicks off February 16 in Las Vegas, with dates running through March 22 in San Francisco. The Warlocks will open on all dates. … “Who Knows?,” the forthcoming live Andrew W.K. DVD, has been bumped back to a February 7 release. The film will premiere at New York’s Pioneer Theater with two screenings on February 3-4 at 11 p.m. Both evenings will include a solo keyboard performance by Andrew, who is “in the final stages of recording” his forthcoming, as-yet-untitled fifth LP. …