For The Record: Quick News On Mariah Carey, Pharrell Williams, NIN, Drew Lachey, Bono, Ludacris, Beck & More

Singer giving Hollywood another shot; Pharrell, Snoop headlining concerts in South Africa; NIN postpone concert.

With her chart comeback solidified, Mariah Carey is giving Hollywood another chance. The singer — who famously flamed out in her 2001 big-screen debut, “Glitter” — has been tapped to star in the indie drama “Tennessee,” according to Variety magazine. The movie, which shoots in New Mexico and Tennessee this spring, will find Carey playing a waitress who joins two brothers on their journey to find their estranged father. The film will be directed by “Monster’s Ball” producer Lee Daniels. …

Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams will headline the People’s Celebration concert series this spring in South Africa. Sean Paul, Mario and Rihanna will also play the series at Johannesburg Stadium on April 27, Durban’s ABSA Stadium on April 29 and Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium on May 1. … On the other side of the globe, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos presented U2 frontman Bono with Chile’s highest award for the arts, a medal named after late Chilean Nobel Prize laureate Pablo Neruda, on Sunday. The singer was also presented with a charango, a traditional Andean instrument that resembles a lute. U2 performed that same evening in Santiago’s main soccer stadium. Before the gig, Bono and the rest of U2 were honored with Amnesty International’s 2005 Ambassador of Conscience award. Bono and Live 8 organizer Bob Geldof were also recently revealed as nominees for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition of their continuing efforts to cancel Third World debt. Bono and Geldof are among 191 people and organizations being considered for the honor. They were also nominated for 2005′s award. … This time there was no controversy. Former 98 Degrees singer Drew Lachey was crowned the winner of the second edition of “Dancing With the Stars” Sunday night, beating out pro wrestler Stacy Keibler and NFL legend Jerry Rice. With pregnant wife Lea and brother Nick in the live audience, Lachey, a favorite from the first week of the program, accepted the show’s “ugly” disco-ball trophy with a “Whooooo!” and a smile. …

Nine Inch Nails have postponed a performance scheduled for Monday (February 27) in Amherst, Massachusetts, because of an illness within the band. It is not known which member of the touring group is sick or the nature of the ailment. The concert has been rescheduled for March 10, and all tickets to Monday’s gig will be honored. … Jamie Foxx was named Best Male Musical Artist at the 37th annual NAACP Image Awards, held in Los Angeles on Saturday. Alicia Keys nabbed three of the four awards she was nominated for, winning Top Female Musical Artist, Top Song and Top Video for “Unbreakable,” while Mariah Carey, who was also in the running for four trophies, took Best Album for The Emancipation of Mimi. Comedian Chris Rock‘s autobiographical sitcom, “Everybody Hates Chris,” won the award for Best Television Series, and “Crash” was named Top Movie. Terrence Howard won Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film, as well as Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries for his work in HBO’s “Lackawanna Blues.” Samuel L. Jackson took home the trophy for Best Actor for his portrayal of “Coach Carter.” Carlos Santana, who performed at the show, was honored with the NAACP Hall of Fame Award, while the Neville Brothers walked away with the Chairman’s Award. The Image Awards, hosted by Cuba Gooding Jr., will air Friday on Fox. …

On March 21 Plexifilm will release a deluxe DVD version of “Kill the Moonlight,” the surreal, low-budget film that inspired Beck‘s 1994 breakout hit “Loser.” The flick, directed by longtime Beck collaborator Steven Hanft, tells the story of Chance, a fish-hatchery worker who dreams of fixing up his Camaro and becoming a stock-car racer. Beck went so far as to include Chance’s “I’m a driver, I’m a winner, things are gonna change, I can feel it” line in “Loser,” the video for which also features several clips from the film. The “Moonlight” DVD also comes with the out-of-print soundtrack, featuring three unreleased Beck tunes (including the jaunty barroom ballad “Leave Me on the Moon”) and cuts from Loser, a band featuring Beck and Hanft. … George Michael was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of possessing drugs after authorities found him slumped over in a car in central London. According to a Reuters report, the ’80s pop star was held on suspicion of possession of Class C drugs, which could be anything from pot to tranquilizers or painkillers. Though British law forbids naming suspects, police confirmed that a 42-year-old man was arrested and bailed pending an investigation. The penalty for Class C possession is up to two years in jail and an unlimited fine. … Richard Ashcroft‘s third solo album, Keys to the World, will hit U.S. stores on March 21. To promote the record, the former Verve singer will embark upon his first North American tour in six years, opening for Coldplay beginning March 17 in Kanata, Ontario. …

Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo‘s new duo, Gnarls Barkley, will release their debut album, St. Elsewhere, May 2, a few days after their live debut at Coachella. The first single, “Crazy,” will hit airwaves in mid-April. … Cold have called it quits after nearly a decade as a band. Frontman Scooter Ward wrote a post on the band’s Web site over the weekend titled “The Day the Music Died,” which read, “When you put a song out on the radio, it is what it is. It’s a gamble on your life and your career and your hope. People just didn’t react the way we had hoped they would. … But instead of having someone tell us that it’s over, we choose to tell them instead. We bled on those tracks and the label just didn’t see what they had. The industry today is too jaded and fake.” Ward said he plans to continue working with drummer Sam McCandless on a new project. He also hinted that a Cold DVD could be forthcoming. … LCD Soundsystem will release the digital-only Introns March 14. The 10-track remix and B-sides disc will be sold exclusively at digital outlets and includes songs previously available only in the U.K. The band will hit the studio in March to begin the follow-up to its self-titled debut. … Felt — the collaborative project between underground hip-hop artists Atmosphere and Murs — will headline the Paid Dues festival on March 11 at the Orange Show Fairgrounds in San Bernardino, California. Aesop Rock, Living Legends, EL-P and Chingo Bling are also on the bill. …

Alt-country rockers Golden Smog have plans to release their first album in eight years. The collaborative outfit — consisting of Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy, Soul Asylum‘s Dan Murphy, Big Star‘s Jody Stephens, and the JayhawksGary Louris, Marc Perlman and Kraig Johnson — will release Another Fine Day July 18. Consisting of 14 new songs, the disc will also include a cover of the Dave Davies (Kinks) song “Strangers.” … Loose Fur — the experimental collaboration between Wilco’s Tweedy and Glenn Kotche and Chicago multi-instrumentalist Jim O’Rourke — will release their second album on March 21, according to Drag City Records. Called Born Again in the U.S.A., the album features 10 tracks and follows up the trio’s self-titled 2003 release. … Actor Don Knotts, perhaps best known to television audiences as Deputy Barney Fife from “The Andy Griffith Show,” died Friday in Los Angeles of pulmonary and respiratory complications, The Associated Press reports. He was 81. Knotts also played landlord Ralph Furley on “Three’s Company,” joining the cast in 1979. More recently, the actor appeared in the 1998 film “Pleasantville” as a television repairman whose supercharged remote control sends Reese Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire into a black and white TV sitcom world. He also voiced Mayor Turkey Lurkey in last year’s animated film “Chicken Little.”

02.24.2006

Kanye West took the prize for Best Solo Artist at this year’s ShockWaves NME Awards, held in London on Thursday, while the Strokes were designated the Best International Band. More than 80,000 people cast votes for the prizes, which are picked by the British music magazine’s readers. The evening’s biggest winners were the Arctic Monkeys, who were named Best New Band as well as Best British Band and scored the Best Track prize for their song “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.” Franz Ferdinand took home the award for Best Live Band, and the Kaiser ChiefsEmployment was honored as the year’s Best Album. Madonna scored Sexiest Woman, while Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins won the Worst Dressed award and James Blunt‘s Back to Bedlam earned the award no one wanted: Worst Album. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” was chosen as Best Film. …

“Goblet of Fire” has earned more than just the affection of NME readers; it’s also racked up $600 million in international box-office receipts, making it only the fifth film to do so. According to Variety, the latest “Harry Potter” film joins “Titanic” (which has grossed $1.2 billion worldwide), “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” ($750 million), “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” ($657 million) and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” ($616 million) in the list of films that have crossed the $600 million barrier. … On Friday (February 24) a Detroit judge granted a request by Red Light District Video to delay a decision in a case involving Kid Rock until March 23. On Tuesday lawyers for Rock won a temporary injunction barring RLDV from distributing a sex tape involving their client, former Creed frontman Scott Stapp and four women. While the lawyers were hoping that U.S. District Court Judge John Feikens would grant their request for a permanent injunction on Friday, RLDV had retained the services of a Detroit-area attorney and will now have until the 23rd to present their case. … The Gorillaz have slated their “Demon Days Live” DVD for a March release. The disc captures moments from the group’s five-night stand at the Manchester Opera House, when ‘Rillaz mastermind Damon Albarn played the Demon Days album in its entirety and was joined onstage by De La Soul and Ike Turner. The DVD includes full-screen visuals, created specifically for the Manchester shows by Gorillaz illustrator Jamie Hewlett. …

Former “American Idol” hopeful Jennifer Hudson — who’ll be making her feature film debut alongside Beyoncé and Jamie Foxx in “Dreamgirls” — has been named ShoWest’s Female Star of Tomorrow, Variety reports. Hudson, who’s recording an album that’ll hit stores in 2007, will claim the honor at the closing night banquet during this year’s annual ShoWest convention in Las Vegas on March 16. Hudson’s in good company, as past recipients of ShoWest’s Star of Tomorrow prize include Heath Ledger, Hilary Swank and LL Cool J. … On Thursday, Apple’s iTunes Music Store sold its billionth downloadable song to Alex Ostrovsky of Michigan. Ostrovsky was unaware that his purchase of Coldplay‘s “Speed of Sound” would afford him much more than an opportunity to crank the volume, but according to The New York Times, that $0.99 earned him a 20-inch iMac, 10 iPods and a $10,000 gift card for more downloads. Apple is also going to set up a scholarship at the Juilliard School in his name. … English rockers Test Icicles have quickly gone from NBT to D.O.A. The bandmembers announced Tuesday that they’re calling it quits, canceling in the process the U.S. tour that was scheduled to begin March 1. Guitarist Rory Atwell said in a longwinded statement, “In our current state of disrepair it was never going to happen and if we did try and make it happen it probably would have led to something much worse happening and the three of us disappearing somewhere near Utah never to be seen again, or something like that.” The band’s debut album, For Screening Purposes Only, came out in late January. …

The body of a man found in a Brentwood apartment February 5 has been identified as Todd Kevin Wallace, the 44-year-old paparazzo who was facing assault charges stemming from an incident with actress Reese Witherspoon. According to The Associated Press, the coroner’s office confirmed his death Thursday, but the cause of death is still under investigation pending toxicology results. Wallace was charged with assault and battery following an incident at Disneyland involving Witherspoon and one of her daughter’s friends; he was alleged to have hit a 5-year-old girl in his attempts to snap a shot of Witherspoon, who refused to have her picture taken. In December, a warrant was issued for Wallace’s arrest when he failed to turn up for a bail hearing. … The Walkmen are set to release the follow-up to 2004′s indie-riffic Bows + Arrows with A Hundred Miles Off on May 23. In addition to the 12-track disc, the band also recently re-recorded Harry Nilsson‘s 1974 collaboration album with John Lennon, Pussy Cats; the new version, Pussy Cats Starring the Walkmen, is due later this year. The band is scheduled to follow up their Coachella appearance with a full-blown U.S. tour. …

To My Surprise, the side project of Slipknot percussionist Clown, have been booked for this year’s South by Southwest Festival. The band will take the stage of Exodus in Austin, Texas, on March 16 before heading overseas to Europe for a spate of festival appearances. A North American tour is in the works for this fall. … H.I.M. will soon shoot a video for the track “Killing Loneliness” with director Nathan Cox (Queens of the Stone Age, Staind). The clip will feature an appearance by noted tattoo artist Kat Von D, whose work has been featured on the reality series “Miami Ink.” … Haste the Day have grown by one. Stephen Keech was named the band’s new singer, replacing Jimmy Ryan, who left the ranks three months ago for personal reasons. Keech was introduced as the group’s newest member onstage in Denver Thursday night. Haste the Day are currently on the road with Bleeding Through and Every Time I Die. … Bay Area rockers Stroke 9 will be hitting the road in late March, in support of their latest offering, Café Cuts. The 9 have lined up 18 gigs in all, beginning March 23 in San Juan Capistrano, California. The tour will hit Detroit, Baltimore, San Francisco, and Philadelphia before finishing up in Chicago May 21.