For The Record: Quick News On Diddy, Ashanti, Scott Weiland, Poison Idea, Snoop Dogg, Staind & More

Diddy plans Unforgivable party; Weiland to pen memoir; Poison Idea's Pig Champion dies.

Diddy will celebrate the launch of his first fragrance, Unforgivable, Wednesday night (February 1) at New York’s Core club. The rap mogul’s invited Jay-Z, Lindsay Lohan, Russell Simmons, Pam Anderson, Pete Doherty and Naomi Watts, among others, to join him. Unforgivable hits stores February 15. … Meanwhile, Diddy’s shilling for Diet Pepsi once again. After driving a Diet Pepsi truck for a Super Bowl commercial last year, he goes for round two in this year’s Super Bowl ad, by turning to the soda pop “star” to help him produce a new hit song. The resulting tune, “Brown & Bubbly” by D. Pepsi, races up the charts. …

Ashanti is suing the Georgia-based company T.E.A.M. Entertainment, producer Genard Parker, and several international record labels in Germany, Japan, Australia and England for putting out demos she recorded when she was only 16, without her consent. The Murder Inc. princess claims she never authorized the demos to be released after T.E.A.M. failed to snag her a record deal, yet they appeared as part of the compilation disc Can’t Stop in 2005, which also used her name and image on the cover to push sales of the album. Ashanti is asking for an injunction to stop sales of the demos, damages for lost profits and punitive damages in excess of $1 million. Her lawyer William Archer told MTV News, “It is not just Ashanti who has been wronged here, but Ashanti’s fans as well, and we see ourselves as fighting for them too.” Representatives for T.E.A.M. could not be reached for comment. … While Michael Jackson‘s out of the country, his revolving team of lawyers is trying to sort out the sticky issue of how he got to take his children with him, despite being in the middle of a custody battle. It looks like they found a way to at least delay the matter — by asking the judge in the case to recuse himself, saying that he was prejudiced against the singer since he made jokes about Jackson’s alleged anti-Semitism. Judge Stephen Lachs denied that he was prejudiced, pointing out in court papers that he has actually ruled many times in favor of Jackson, particularly about not forcing him to appear in court, but he has stepped down from the case nonetheless, because otherwise, he wrote, Jackson and ex-wife Debbie Rowe would be “waiting for some ruling that had nothing to do with the welfare of the children.” …

Courtney Love failed to get a civil case against her for assault dismissed on Wednesday, though her lawyers were successful in arguing to a Santa Monica, California, judge that the statute of limitations had passed for one of the causes of action. Love’s being sued for attacking Los Angeles musician Kristin King in April 2004, for which she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and paid $2,700 to the victim. King says that’s not enough and wants full restitution. King’s attorney, Gloria Allred, said that while a court date for the next hearing has yet to be set, the case is proceeding. … Scott Weiland‘s planning to come clean about his journey to get clean. The Velvet Revolver frontman just inked a publishing deal with Scribner to write his memoir, which will include stories about his rise to rock stardom in Stone Temple Pilots, his battles with drugs, and his life now that he’s sober. …

Thomas “Pig Champion” Roberts, a founding member of influential punk act Poison Idea, died in his Portland, Oregon, home on Monday at the age of 47, according to the Portland medical examiner’s office. The cause of death has not yet been determined. Roberts, who was dubbed the “Pig Champion” because of his impressive weight (allegedly more than 450 pounds), founded Poison Idea in 1980, and the band became legendary for its blistering onstage performances and incredible offstage excesses. The group released a string of albums on San Diego punk label Taang! Records and though Roberts left in 1993, Poison Idea continued on, and he would frequently appear at their shows. … Vanessa Carlton, Stephan Jenkins, Liz Phair, Jack Osbourne, Rufus Wainwright and Lucy Liu are among the celebs auctioning off the free swag they got at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, from cell phones to jeans to designer purses, to benefit the environment. The proceeds from the auction, which starts Wednesday (February 1) on eBay, will go to Global Green USA. …

Snoop Dogg and Tommy Lee are getting in the Super Bowl spirit with a Detroit party of their own, called Party Like a Rockstar. On Saturday, Snoop will hit the stage at the Vault, while Lee will perform after hours with DJ Aero. … On February 11, Staind will perform a set from the front stretch at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway. The band will perform “Right Here” and “Falling” at the race, which kicks off the NASCAR Nextel Cup season. Frontman Aaron Lewis will belt out the national anthem prior to the race. …

Morrissey will be interviewed by Rolling Stone‘s David Fricke and then perform at this year’s South by Southwest music conference on March 16, in what’s being billed as one of the singer’s first performances in support of his forthcoming album, Ringleader of the Tormentors, due April 4. Ringleader was recorded in Rome and includes a contribution from legendary film composer Ennio Morricone. … Attention Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks fans: There is no reason to watch Super Bowl XL this weekend. That’s because the good people at Electronic Arts have already simulated the matchup on “Madden NFL 2006,” which saw the Steelers grind out a 24-19 victory over the Seahawks. The Steelers’ virtual defense was unrelenting, limiting NFL MVP Shaun Alexander to just 70 yards rushing and sacking Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck four times. …

01.31.2006

Britney Spears, who’s dabbled in kabbalah and, most recently, Hinduism, is returning to her roots as a Christian — at least on TV. The singer will appear on “Will & Grace” as Jack’s religious co-host on “Out TV,” NBC confirmed Tuesday (January 31). In the episode, called “Jack Talk,” “Out TV” is bought by a Christian television network, and Spears, brought in as Jack’s sidekick, decides to do a cooking segment called “Cruci-fixin’s.” The episode airs April 13 at 8 p.m. …

Lindsay Lohan landed in the hospital on Friday for the second time in a month after she suffered a gash on her shin when a ceramic teacup slipped from her grip, shattered and cut her, “Access Hollywood” reports. Lohan, who was visiting singer Bryan Adams‘ mansion in London when the incident occurred, received 10 stitches but is reportedly doing fine and is already back to work, her spokesperson told “Access.” …

Grammy week will kick off Monday night with a free, Verizon Wireless-sponsored concert by the Fugees on the corner of Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood. The group, which most recently performed at last summer’s BET Awards, will debut material from its first album since 1996′s The Score.Ludacris, Common and Oscar nominee Matt Dillon have signed on to take the stage as presenters at the Grammy Awards, slated for February 8 in Los Angeles. … The Roots will host their third annual jam session the night before the Grammys on February 7 at the Key Club in West Hollywood, California. Dave Chappelle and Don Cheadle are co-hosting the event, which is sure to feature several special guests. …

Destiny’s Child will reunite to sing the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game in their native Houston on February 19. TNT will televise the game beginning at 8 p.m. ET. … T.I. shot a video on Sunday in Houston for his new single, “Front-Back Main” featuring Bun B. The clip, directed by Dr. Teeth, visualizes the Atlanta and Houston hip-hop scenes coming together, and includes a shot where T.I. drives a candy-painted Cadillac (à la Houston) and Bun drives a Chevy on rims (Atlanta-style). …

The Game‘s manager, James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond, was convicted Tuesday of assaulting DJ Zxulu of WKYS-FM in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. According to The Associated Press, witnesses in the two-day trial testified that Rosemond beat the DJ after he made a joke about the manager’s cell phone earpiece. Rosemond will be sentenced in April and could face up to 10 years in prison. … We Are Scientists, Thursday and Rogue Wave are among the first acts announced for the 14th annual Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco. Running from March 28 to April 2, the festival will also include the National, the Dirtbombs and Kid Koala. Tickets go on sale February 5. …

The Bravery, who self-produced their debut, are considering going another route for the follow-up. “We’re intrigued by the idea of having some other creative force in there,” singer Sam Endicott said. “If we can get like Rick Rubin or Brian Eno or like Quincy Jones, but I don’t know what he’s doing now.” … Rise Against are planning to finish their next record before heading out on the Warped Tour this summer, and singer Tim McIlrath is warning those who might expect another acoustic tune like their recent hit “Swing Life Away.” ” ‘Swing’ was never intended to be a Rise Against song, so if something like that happens naturally, that’s great, but I don’t want to have that token acoustic song on every Rise Against record either,” McIlrath said. “I don’t think being that band is a good idea.” …

The lineup for Ministry‘s upcoming MasterBaTour, which kicks off May 5 in Houston, has been released. As always, frontman Al Jourgensen will lead the charge, and this time out he’ll get help from Slipknot‘s Joey Jordison at the kit, Killing Joke bassist Paul Raven, Prong guitarist Tommy Victor and Rigor Mortis guitarist Mike Scaccia. A new Ministry album, Rio Grande Blood, will surface on May 2. … The Recording Industry Association of America announced its latest round of copyright-infringement lawsuits on Tuesday. In addition to the 750 “John Doe” suits against unnamed users cited for illegally distributing copyrighted music using such peer-to-peer services as LimeWire and Kazaa, 112 named defendants were sued earlier this month on similar charges. …

ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons guest stars on the next episode of “Yes, Dear,” along with Rascal Flatts and DJs Vic “The Brick” Jacobs and Steve Hartman, all playing themselves. In the episode, called “The Limo,” Gibbons gets priority treatment at a fancy restaurant, much to the chagrin of the show’s main characters, who are there to celebrate their anniversary. The episode airs Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. on CBS. … The members of Pink Floyd issued a statement Monday denying persistent rumors that the band’s planning to reunite for a tour this fall. “Since Live 8,” during which the classic lineup did regroup for the first time in two decades to perform, “there are certain sections of the media that have deliberately misled fans and [the] public by inventing stories and quotes about Pink Floyd touring,” David Gilmour said in the statement. “Nick [Mason], Richard [Wright], Roger [Waters] and I are telling fans directly that this is not happening. We are also asking the various parties who are fabricating these stories to desist, if only for the sake of the fans.” …