For The Record: Quick News On Beyonce, Britney Spears, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Kanye West & More

Stars turn out for 'Pink Panther' premiere; Britney caught without a car seat; Madonna talks marriage.

Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Kelly Rowland and "TRL" 's Susie Castillo were among those who popped up on the pink carpet for Monday night's premiere of "The Pink Panther" in New York, along with the film's cast, Steve Martin, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer and Beyoncé, who plays international pop star (and possible suspect) Xania. "The toughest thing about my part was not laughing," Beyoncé said, noting that her scenes only took three weeks to shoot. "I got to wear the most beautiful clothes and a 50-carat pink diamond ring, and I didn't have to do much research [to play a pop star]!" ...

(Check out photos of Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, Ben Stiller and more at the "Pink Panther" premiere.)

Britney Spears has raised eyebrows yet again thanks to a photo taken by a paparazzo. On Monday, she was photographed with baby Sean Preston in her lap, not a car seat, while driving in Malibu, California. That's against the law in the Golden State, where children under 6 are required to be secured with a child-passenger restraint. Spears told People magazine that she didn't have time to properly secure her baby because she had a "horrifying, frightful encounter with the paparazzi," and was taking measures "to get my baby and me out of harm's way." "I love my child and would do anything to protect him," she said. The photo agency X17, meanwhile, claims that the pictures were taken in a "very peaceful context," with no aggressive behavior from the photographer. The Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services and the L.A. County Sheriff's Department are investigating. ... Alicia Keys is a sexy assassin in her upcoming movie "Smokin' Aces," but she's the first to admit that she doesn't usually see herself as tough or sexy. "I grew up in an area that was pretty rough, so I had to compensate with how I dressed," she told CosmoGirl for its March issue (she's on the cover). "If I came across as too slutty or sexy or showed too much, it would cause lots of problems. That's why I called myself a tomboy ... I was always feminine, but I felt I had to protect myself." She's more comfortable with revealing her sensual side now, she tells the mag, as long as it's subtle. "Sexy to me now is when you leave something to the imagination. ... Sexy to me now is when you show a little bit of your back and that's it." ...

Now that "Laguna Beach" has washed away, Kristin Cavallari has a new show hitting the small screen, called "Get This Party Started." Cavallari's job as co-host is to help distract and deceive the intended recipients of surprise parties, most of whom have suffered a tragedy or hit a milestone in their life. "It's like 'Extreme Home Makeover,' " she said. "It really touches you, seeing the reaction these people have — they're so thankful and grateful. And all the crazy stuff we do for them, it's insane, but it's a lot of fun." The premiere episode, which airs Tuesday (February 7) at 9 p.m. on UPN, features a surprise party for an LSU college student who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. ... Bono thinks that Brangelina should be taken more seriously, at least for their activist work. The U2 frontman told "Extra" that he works very closely with both Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and said, "They're really serious people. They're really getting under the skin of their issues." One of Bono's current projects is lobbying President Bush to give more U.S. aid worldwide. "He seems very serious on this stuff," Bono told "Extra." "You know you can't fight the war against terror without fighting the war against poverty, because they feed each other." ...

Contrary to reports that Michael Jackson is in discussions with the Vatican to record music to Pope John Paul II's prayers, the singer's rep says that Jackson is "unaware" of the project. "Michael Jackson has not participated in any discussions, and none of his authorized representatives have contacted either the Vatican or Edizioni Musicali Terzo Millennio [an Italian music label] regarding this proposed project," his rep Raymone Bain said. ... Despite rumors that her marriage is on the rocks, Madonna's proud of herself for having a successful relationship with Guy Ritchie, she told Harper's Bazaar for the mag's March cover story. "I must admit, I have to pat myself on the back," she said. "It's not easy to be married, to have a successful career, to have children, to be with someone who is as strong-willed and as ambitious as I am ... our marriage — the union of us, the things we create together — is bigger than the petty fights we have." One of those petty fights is about where to spend their vacations — so now she's suggesting that they swap with a week each in their desired destinations. The art of compromise, she says, has made her a better person. "You become less impulsive, less reckless, less careless, less selfish," she said. "In those respects, I've changed a lot." ...

Madonna leads the nominees this year for MTV Australia's second Video Music Awards. The Material Mom's got five nods, including Best Female Artist and Album of the Year for Confessions on a Dance Floor. The video for "Hung Up" is a Video of the Year contender. Kanye West will square off against Madonna and James Blunt for the Song of the Year award, and he'll also be vying for the Best Hip-Hop Video prize against 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg and the Black Eyed Peas. West is also in the running for Best Male Artist, as are Blunt and Robbie Williams. The Foo Fighters, Gorillaz, Green Day, U2 and Wolfmother are all Best Group nominees, while the Foos, Green Day, the Darkness and Wolfmother are in the running for Best Rock Video. Meanwhile, Ashlee Simpson's "Boyfriend" and Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You" could walk away with the Best Pop Video award, and Mariah Carey's "Shake It Off," Chris Brown's "Run It!," Mario's "Let Me Love You" and the Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha" are all potential Best R&B Video champs. ...

As expected, Great White's former tour manager Daniel Biechele pleaded guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter Tuesday (February 7), charges stemming from his alleged role in the deaths of 100 people who perished in the February 2003 blaze that consumed the Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island. Under the previously-announced plea deal, Biechele will serve no more than 10 years behind bars. He had been facing 200 counts; the other 100 will be dismissed. ... Police believe they may have solved the mystery of the disappearing paparazzo in a case tied to Oscar-nominated actress Reese Witherspoon. Cops have been searching for Todd K. Wallace for nearly two months, ever since he allegedly skipped bail after being charged with battery over his aggressive efforts to take pictures of Witherspoon and her children at Disney's California Adventure in September. According to the Los Angeles Times, authorities feared the photographer — known for using aliases — might have left the country. But on Monday, the Los Angeles County coroner's office began examining a decomposed body that was found inside an apartment Sunday evening that sources said could be Wallace's. Authorities said the body of the man they found at an address reportedly used by Wallace had been there for some time. ...

Cat Power's upcoming tour, which was set to kick off in Memphis, Tennessee, on Saturday, has been scratched. Frontwoman Chan Marshall has fallen ill, but her label isn't providing specific details about her condition, "out of respect for Chan's privacy." Ticket-refund information should be forthcoming, and the tour will be rescheduled. ... More bands have been added to this summer's Warped Tour lineup. Valient Thorr and the Riverboat Gamblers have been confirmed for the Volcom Stage on all of the tour's dates, and Gatsby's American Dream will be part of the SmartPunk Stage bill from July 16-30. ...

02.06.2006

Despite reports that Britney Spears' upcoming episode of "Will & Grace" has been canceled after protests from the American Family Association, an organization that, according to its Web site, "exists to motivate and equip citizens to change the culture to reflect Biblical truth," the show will still go on — just not as previously detailed. The description of Spears' character as a conservative Christian who wants to do a segment on cooking called "Cruci-fixins" on Jack's talk show was premature, NBC said Monday (February 6). "Some erroneous information was mistakenly included in a press release," the network clarified, stressing that the April 13 episode has yet to be written. ...

Mariah Carey says that the reason you'll hardly ever see her eating in public is that she likes to do that in bed instead. The singer tells Marie Claire (she's the mag's March cover) that she's not trying to be a "skinny twig," but she's "bad with the weight thing." "I go up and down really quickly, because I am a muscular person. People don't know that I have [well-defined biceps] and these could easily become weird bodybuilder arms," she said. People also don't know that she wears a bib when eating. "I am just like, 'Whatever, nobody is looking at me for once!' That's why I don't really like to eat in public. When people say, 'Mariah never eats in public,' I'm like, 'You're right.' " ... Sheryl Crow's engagement to seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong is off. The couple, who'd been dating for more than two years, announced their engagement last fall. "After much thought and consideration, we have made a very tough decision to split up," a statement from the couple reads. "We both have a deep love and respect for each other, and we ask that everyone respect our privacy during this difficult time." ...

Fall Out Boy are returning to "One Tree Hill" this month for sweeps. In an episode called "Just Watch the Fireworks," the band plays a breast-cancer benefit concert at Tric at the request of Peyton (played by former "TRL" VJ Hilarie Burton). The episode airs February 15 at 8 p.m. on the WB. ... A collaboration between Ghostface and Doom and two tracks from Xzibit's group Strong Arm Steady are among the highlights on a new compilation from Brooklyn, New York, indie hip-hop label Nature Sounds, due April 4. Titled Natural Selection, the album also features Raekwon, Chamillionaire, Ras Kass, Pete Rock and Masta Killa. ...

Switchfoot will return to the road for a late-winter club run starting on February 15 in Bakersfield, California. Only seven dates have been confirmed so far, and more are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The band has planned stops in New Orleans; Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas; Austin, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; and Baltimore. ... New Jersey rockers Thursday are going with A City by the Light Divided as the title of their forthcoming album, which is scheduled for a May 2 release. The record's first single, "Counting 5-4-3-2-1," should hit rock radio airwaves next month. ... The NBA Wives Luncheon is honoring TLC singer Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins for her efforts as the national spokesperson of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, along with other philanthropists, at a ceremony on February 18 in Houston. ...

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are giving fans a little treat to nibble on while they wait for the band's new album, Show Your Bones, due March 28. In addition to unveiling the colorful red, yellow and purple-tinged album art for the follow-up to 2003's Fever to Tell, the New York trio have posted a stream of their new single, "Gold Lion," on their Web site, a day before the track is set to hit the iTunes music store. Two remixes of the single, produced by rapper Diplo and their own guitarist Nick Zinner, are slated for release on February 21 on iTunes ... Moby told a crowd gathered at PETA's fashion-week bash in New York on Friday that he feels like he's a "dilettante," because while he does what he can for animal rights, the activist group does "all the heavy lifting." Moby was one of several feted for their work for the cause, in his case, for promoting vegan recipes during the holidays. Pam Anderson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Alan Cumming, Le Tigre and Nick Zinner were among those congratulating Moby, as well as Nellie McKay and Al Sharpton, who were also honored for their help in PETA's campaigns. ...

Al Lewis, the man who'll forever be known as "Grandpa Munster," died Friday night at the age of 82, according to New York radio station WBAI-FM, where Lewis hosted a weekly radio show. Lewis, who worked as a circus performer before doing time as a vaudevillian actor, got his start in television during the 1960s, first as Officer Leo Schnauzer on "Car 54, Where Are You?" Between 1964 and 1966, he played Grandpa — the hot-tempered father-in-law to Fred Gwynne's Herman Munster — on "The Munsters." In 1998, Lewis staged a failed bid for the New York governorship — he was the Green Party's candidate, and lost to incumbent George Pataki. ... British prog-rockers Th' Faith Healers will reunite in March for five shows, the first time the influential band will have performed together in 10 years. The brief tour kicks off in Austin, Texas, on March 17. ...