For The Record: Quick News On My Chemical Romance, Suge Knight, Daddy Yankee, James Blunt, Strokes & More

Gerard Way designs charity blazer; Suge sues drug kingpin; Yankee nominated for Latin-music awards; Blunt lines up dates.

Feeling charitable? Need a suitably gothic-looking blazer for that upcoming spring formal? Well, you’re in luck. My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way has designed a limited-edition suit jacket, and all profits from the sales will benefit Boarding for Breast Cancer, a nonprofit organization that aims to increase awareness about breast cancer among young women and men. Only 600 of the “Prom Knight” blazers were made, and they’re currently up for sale at SmartPunk.com. Way describes them as “something casual yet formal … kind of sleek. Something a gentleman would wear to a duel.” …

Suge Knight filed a $106 million lawsuit Thursday against imprisoned drug kingpin Michael Harris and a number of his lawyers, according to The Associated Press. Knight claims he was a victim of a fraudulent lawsuit settled last year, in which he was ordered to pay nearly the same sum to Harris’ wife Lydia based on her claims that Knight defamed and defrauded her. In the new suit filed in Los Angeles Federal Court, Knight claims Lydia Harris only posed as the plaintiff while her husband — who has said he helped fund the creation of the Death Row label — was the real mastermind behind the original suit. Knight insists that since Harris had already settled a 1996 lawsuit against Interscope Records that included both Knight and Death Row, it protects him from ever being sued by Harris again. …

Shakira, Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, Frankie J and Marc Anthony are among the artists in the running for the 2006 Billboard Latin Music Awards. Yankee scored the most nods — 10 — including best artist and Hot Latin Song of the Year, while Mexican pop group RBD are named in nine categories, including Latin Pop Album of the Year, Duo or Group. Shakira came in close behind with eight nods. Yankee and Don Omar will square off for Reggaeton Album of the Year. The awards will be handed out April 27 and air live on Telemundo. … More than 200 artists will make their way back to the Big Easy for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, which runs from April 28-30 and May 5-7. The first weekend of the six-day event will feature Dave Matthews Band, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Ani DiFranco and Yolanda Adams, while the second weekend will host Jimmy Buffett, Lionel Richie, Paul Simon, Keith Urban and a special appearance by Fats Domino, who was aided by a rescue team when Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters left him trapped. Tickets are available now. … Rapper-turned-producer Kwamé (Will Smith‘s “Switch”) has a packed year ahead. He’s got tracks in the works with Christina Aguilera, Janet Jackson, Chingy, Method Man and Mya, with whom he worked for “that rock-star appeal with that real hard-edge hip-hop on the bottom of it,” he said. For Aguilera, Kwamé brought in a 60-piece orchestra. “We did a real soulful mid-tempo ballad, very energetic at the same time,” he said. …

British singer/songwriter James Blunt, who will be performing at Coachella, has lined up 18 dates as part of an early-spring North American club tour. The trek will begin in Washington, D.C., March 13 and ends April 6 in San Francisco. The Boy Least Likely To and Sierra Swan have signed on as the supporting acts. … Much-buzzed Montreal quartet Wolf Parade have a similar game plan. Already confirmed to appear at Coachella on April 30, the band will hit Boston, New York, Philadelphia and a handful of other cities earlier in the month. … The Strokes continue to add dates to their upcoming trek with the Eagles of Death Metal. The tour’s New York launch has been extended from one to three nights, — March 1, 3 and 4 — and the band has booked gigs in Las Vegas (March 22), Anaheim, California (March 25); Universal City, California (March 30); Detroit (April 13); and Cleveland (March 14). … Bloc Party will play shows in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (April 25);Tempe, Arizona (April 27); and Las Vegas (April 28) before their Coachella appearance April 30. The Go! Team are opening the Vegas show. … Former Cure keyboardist Roger O’Donnell will release his second solo album, The Truth in Me, May 16. Jimmy Tamborello of the Postal Service is remixing the first single, “The Truth in You.” …

DFA, the remix team whose James Murphy is better known as LCD Soundsystem, will release a collection of remixes called The DFA Remixes – Chapter One April 4. Gorillaz, the Chemical Brothers and Fischerspooner are included on the album, while a Chapter Two due in the summer will include Nine Inch Nails, Goldfrapp and the Rapture. … The Prodigy are playing select U.S. dates in March to support their recently released hits collection, Their Law: The Singles 1990-2005, which features “Firestarter,” “Breathe” and “Smack My Bitch Up.” The tour will include stops in New York on March 22; Washington, D.C., on March 23; and Miami’s Ultra Music Fest on March 25. … Elvis Costello, who is currently working on an album with legendary New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint, is planning a spring tour with local symphonies to support his live album My Flame Burns Blue, due February 28. The album was recorded at the Hague in the Netherlands with the Metropole Orkest and includes a bonus disc with a 45-minute suite from Il Sogno, Costello’s first full-length orchestral work. … Sick of It All‘s next album, Death to Tyrants, will land in stores on April 18, following a two-week run with the Dropkick Murphys. That tour kicks off March 1 in New York with dates running through March 16 in Boston. …

Queensrÿche have rolled out a string of late summer/ early fall dates as part of a U.S. trek that’ll keep the band busy through mid-October. The tour kicks off August 25 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and will hit Chicago, New York, Denver, Dallas, San Diego and Los Angeles before winding down October 14 in Seattle. …Golf enthusiasts Collective Soul and Hootie & the Blowfish will headline and Mike Mills of R.E.M. will host the second Drive for Show, Rock Fore! Dough concert. It will take place April 4 in Augusta, Georgia, where the Masters Tournament is happening at the same time. Better Than Ezra and Emerson Hart of Tonic will also perform at the benefit for the First Tee of Augusta, which provides learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development through the game of golf. … The long-awaited posthumous DVD from experimental punk band Refused will hit U.S. stores April 15. Called “Refused Are F—ing Dead,” the DVD was assembled by the band’s former guitarist Kristofer Steen and documents Refused’s final European and American tours, as well as the band’s acrimonious collapse. …

02.16.2006

Two weeks after 29-year-old bodyguard Israel Ramirez was shot and killed on the New York set of a Busta Rhymes video, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly continues to express frustration at the lack of cooperation from witnesses in the investigation. In a press conference on Wednesday, Kelly accused Rhymes of withholding information about the murder of his bodyguard and said the failure of several potential witnesses to talk has hung up the investigation, according to The Associated Press. “I’d think he’d be knocking on the door,” Kelly said of Rhymes. “If your employee’s murdered in front of you, you think you might want to talk to the police.” Witnesses may be called in front of a grand jury if they keep stonewalling, Kelly said, adding, “I find it quite disturbing. This individual was shot in front of a lot of people.” A police spokesperson had no update on the investigation into the February 5 shooting, which occurred outside a crowded soundstage being used to film the video for the remix of Rhymes’ single “Touch It.” …

It appears that the British tabloids might have jumped the gun by reporting that Coldplay are calling it quits. The whole thing started Tuesday night when frontman Chris Martin told the audience at the Brit Awards (sort of the U.K. equivalent of the People’s Choice Awards), “It’s going to be a few years before you see us again … People are fed up with us — and so are we.” Most of the British press took this to mean that the band was actually splitting up, and they reported thusly, sending Coldplay fans worldwide into a tizzy. But according to the band’s label, Capitol Records, the reports are not true. “Coldplay are not quitting,” read a statement by the label. “They are on the road until July, when their 16-month X&Y world tour ends in Japan. They will then continue working on new material.” … Speaking of the Brit Awards, Kaiser Chiefs and crooner James Blunt helped Coldplay take home the major prizes. Former British Army captain Blunt won Best British Male and Best Pop Act for his debut, Back to Bedlam, the bestselling album in Britain last year. The Kaiser Chiefs snagged Best British Group, Best British Rock Act and Best British Live Act. Coldplay won Best British Single for “Speed of Sound” and Best Album for X&Y. Madonna won Best International Female and Green Day got the Best International Group and Best International Album for American Idiot, while Kanye West won Best International Male. The show featured performances from Prince, Coldplay, Gorillaz and West. … A spokesperson for Madonna said Thursday (February 16) that the singer has received recent treatment for a hernia, but that she’s doing “absolutely fine.” According to Reuters, the spokesperson said Madonna “had a minor procedure for a hernia,” but wouldn’t elaborate on when the operation took place or how serious the condition was. …

According to a post on Metallica‘s Web site, the band has recruited Rick Rubin (Slayer, Jay-Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers) to produce its forthcoming studio LP. The news is accompanied on the site by several pictures of Metallica in the studio with a shoeless Rubin. … How would you like to spend an hour in the studio with Snoop Dogg? That stellar VIP experience is just one of the more than 50 items up for grabs in the “Housewarming for Habitat” celebrity auction benefiting the victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes. Starting Monday on eBay (eBay.com/ColdwellBanker), bidders can score everything from a guitar signed by A Perfect Circle to seats for a taping of “American Idol” and tickets to the “Miami Vice” movie premiere. All proceeds will go toward rebuilding homes destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. … Def Jam honcho Jay-Z needs a theme song for his New Jersey Nets, the NBA franchise he owns with real-estate developer Bruce Ratner. This week Jay launched a contest that will give novice rappers a chance to write and record the tune. If you win the competition, co-sponsored by Sprite and New York radio station Hot 97, you’ll get a chance to hang with Jay and perform the cut at a Nets home game. A recorded version of the track will also go out over the PA at all the team’s home-court showdowns. Submissions will be accepted through March 5 and must be recorded on either a CD or cassette tape. More information on where to send your track can be found at Hot 97′s Web site. …

On Wednesday an appeals court refused to reinstate an order giving Michael Jackson sole custody of his two children with ex-wife Debbie Rowe. According to a Reuters report, the court ruled that a judge did not properly handle the proceedings in a case in which Rowe signed away her parental rights in 2001 to Jackson’s two oldest children, Michael Jr. and Paris. Rowe convinced a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to overturn the child-custody agreement in 2004 on legal grounds, citing accusations of child molestation against Jackson and his association with the Nation of Islam, whose members briefly provided security for the singer during last year’s trial. … Maureen Yancey — the mother of late hip-hop producer Jay Dee, who took care of him during his lengthy battle with lupus — has asked that any donations intended for the family be sent to a fund that has been set up in her name. For detailed information about where to send your gift, hit up J Dilla’s label at StonesThrow.com. … LL Cool J, John Legend, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Robert De Niro, Whoopi Goldberg, Chaka Khan, the Bacon Brothers, Tony Bennett, Smokey Robinson, Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess, Chris Botti and New York Giant Tiki Barber will perform songs from Motown’s golden era March 15 during “Hollywood Meets Motown.” The benefit will raise funds for the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health and the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance. Katie Couric co-founded the NCRA, and the center was named in honor of her late husband. Tickets for the benefit, which will take place at the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, are available through the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Web site. … My Morning Jacket and Ben Folds will headline the 30th annual Rites of Spring Music Festival April 21 and 22 on the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville. Gov’t Mule, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are also on the bill. …

Lisa Marie Presley has walked down the aisle for the fourth time. The singer recently swapped vows with her guitarist and music producer, Michael Lockwood, in a traditional Japanese wedding in Kyoto, Japan, her publicist Paul Bloch revealed to The Associated Press on Thursday. Presley’s mother, Priscilla, first hubby Danny Keough and their two children — daughter Riley and son Benjamin — were all included in the intimate ceremony. … Nicky Hilton is debuting the fall/winter season of her clothing line during the Atlanta Women & Children’s Market and the Atlanta International Bride & Special Occasion Market. Hilton’s showcase takes place March 24. … Nickelback lead this year’s pack of nominees for the Juno Awards, Canada’s Grammy equivalent. The band has six nominations, including Album of the Year for All the Right Reasons and Single of the Year for “Photograph.” Diana Krall and Michael Bublé scored five nods apiece (both are in the running for Artist of the Year), and Neil Young received three nominations. Simple Plan will duke it out with Krall, Bublé, the ‘Back and Celine Dion for the Juno Fan Choice Award, while 50 Cent‘s The Massacre, Black Eyed PeasMonkey Business, Coldplay’s X&Y, Gwen Stefani‘s Love, Angel, Music, Baby and Kelly Clarkson‘s Breakaway will contend for the International Album of the Year Juno. The Arcade Fire were nominated in the Songwriter of the Year category, while Hot Hot Heat, Tegan and Sara, the New Pornographers, Broken Social Scene and Metric will vie for Alternative Album of the Year honors.