For The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, 50 Cent, Gwen Stefani, Nick Lachey & More

Britney uncorks new scent; Mariah opens her mansion to Barbara Walters; 50's role as Iraq War vet confirmed.

Britney Spears is “in control” — or at least her perfume is. The singer’s got a third fragrance on the way, a limited-edition perfume called In Control. Like Curious, it’ll have a vanilla base, but this one will also include crème brûlée, loquat fruit, midnight orchid, sugared sandalwood and musk. It’ll hit stores in April and be available throughout the year. Meanwhile, Spears surprised a few fans on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday, when she showed up in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Four Metairie, Louisiana, students who survived Hurricane Katrina were treated to a meal and shopping spree with the singer, who said it was “an honor” to be there with them. …

Mariah Carey‘s also farming out her name — Mimi’s started a jewelry and accessory line called Glamorized, available now in Claire’s stores. The singer also recently sat down with Barbara Walters for “The Barbara Walters Special,” in which she shows off what Walters calls “the biggest closet I’ve ever seen in my life.” Make that the biggest three closets: Mariah has one each for her shoes, clothing and lingerie in the 12,000-square-foot Manhattan apartment that also includes a festive Moroccan room, mermaid room, Hello Kitty bathroom and living room with Marilyn Monroe‘s piano. The special airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. on ABC. … 50 Cent‘s next movie is official: He’ll co-star with Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Biel and Christina Ricci in “Home of the Brave,” the story of three soldiers trying to readjust to life back home after a tour of duty in Iraq. “Home of the Brave” starts principal photography March 6 in Morocco and will then shoot in Spokane, Washington, before coming out later this year. … Seeing as how she’s pregnant, Gwen Stefani didn’t shoot a narrative music video for her new single “Crash.” But she’s got one featuring live footage, thanks to her Harajuku Lovers Tour stop in Anaheim, California. The clip directed by Sophie Muller — who also did Love, Angel, Music, Baby‘s “Luxurious” and “Cool” clips — can be seen on Stefani’s Web site. …

Though Nick Lachey has split from Jessica Simpson, the former newlywed is soldiering on with his life, he tells Teen People for its April cover story. In his first interview since the breakup, Lachey says, “I can’t wait until the day I have kids. Obviously, it’s not the right time for me to be a father. But the one thing I haven’t had the chance to do is be a great dad.” Lachey is also hooking up with Teen People for an awards luncheon March 10 in New York called “20 Teens Who Will Change the World.” Natasha Bedingfield will also attend, as will a group of young activists, scientists, athletes and musicians featured in the April issue. Each of the teens are receiving a $1,000 scholarship. … Red Light District Video’s lawyer claims that the Kid Rock sex tape wasn’t stolen, but was in fact filmed with no restrictions given to the videographer about how it could be used. Peter M. Falkenstein said his client plans to defend its rights to distribute the 1999 sex tape it purchased from the filmmaker in proceedings scheduled for late March, since the videographer “owns the rights to the video.” He says it was shot not as a “private event” but “in the presence of several non-participants … with the knowledge of all involved.” …

There was no bombshell announcement like the recent unveiling of the video iPod and Nano, but Apple did offer iPod fanatics a new gadget on Tuesday when it took the wrapper off the iPod Hi-Fi. The square, boombox-like device was touted as the first Apple-branded accessory with hi-fidelity sound. It works with the Apple Remote and is compatible with all iPods with a dock connector. … The Recording Industry Association of America announced its latest round of copyright-infringement lawsuits on Tuesday, this time targeting 750 unnamed individuals. The suits for illegally distributing music through such P2P services as LimeWire and Kazaa come on the heels of actions earlier this month against 210 named defendants from California to Wisconsin. Additionally, the RIAA praised the U.S. Department of Justice for securing the first guilty pleas as part of its “Operation FastLink” crackdown against members of pre-release music piracy groups. Among those pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement by posting songs on the Internet prior to their official release dates were three members of organized pirating groups Apocalypse Crew and Chromance, each of whom faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. … Arctic Monkeys‘ British invasion is set to hit U.S. televisions on March 11, when they’ll be the musical guest on an episode of “Saturday Night Live” hosted by Oscar nominee Matt Dillon. The performance kicks off an 11-date North American tour hitting cities including Chicago, Montreal and Philadelphia throughout March. …

Howard Stern is lashing out against former employer Infinity Broadcasting (now CBS Radio) for filing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against him for breach of contract, fraud and other claims regarding his switchover to Sirius Satellite Radio. According to The Associated Press, the lawsuit — which was filed against Stern, his agent and Sirius on Tuesday — claims the shock jock violated his contract’s terms when he failed to notify Infinity he was in discussions with Sirius, and then used the network’s airtime to push his Sirius show. Stern called an impromptu news conference early Tuesday, during which he said, “I’m offended. I really do think this is a personal vendetta. [CBS head] Les [Moonves] has had it in for me for a long time. I don’t deserve it.” A spokesperson for CBS did not return calls for comment as of press time. … Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider is slated to undergo emergency throat surgery on Wednesday to remove a polyp from his vocal cords, his publicist said Tuesday. It will put the singer out of commission for the next two months and force Snider — who also hosts a nationally syndicated weekly radio show — to cancel a host of concert dates, public appearances and recording sessions while he recovers. Snider seems to be taking the news in stride, judging from a statement he released: “All of you people out there, including my wife Suzette, who has been hoping I would just shut up, are finally getting your wish … at least for a couple of months.” …

George Michael says he has no one but himself to blame for Saturday’s arrest on suspected drug possession in London. The 42-year-old singer called the incident “my own stupid fault” in a statement released on Monday. “I was in possession of class C drugs, which is an offense,” he explained. “I have no complaints about the police, who were professional throughout.” … The National Museum of American History, part of the Smithsonian Institution, will help immortalize the impact of hip-hop culture with an exhibit titled “Hip-Hop Won’t Stop: The Beat, the Rhymes, the Life.” Vinyl records, turntables, mixers, microphones and boomboxes donated by hip-hop legends including Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa and Fab 5 Freddy will be part of the presentation. The project is expected to take up to five years and $2 million to complete. … Spin magazine was sold to San Francisco publishing company Hartle Media and its partner, the McEvoy Group, on Tuesday, allegedly for a fraction of the $42 million it was originally sold to another publisher back in 1997. The New York Post reported the sale could have gone for as little as $5 million, but a spokesperson for the magazine declined to comment on the details, only confirming the monthly music mag was changing hands and a new staff lineup was in the works. Tom Hartle will step in as Spin‘s president, Malcolm Campbell as the mag’s publisher and former Blender editor Andy Pemberton will reign as editor-in-chief, replacing current head Sia Michel. The new company, Spin Media LLC, will be headed by Nion McEvoy, who said in a statement, “Spin has been an authoritative voice for contemporary rock music for over 20 years [and] I have every confidence that Tom, Malcolm and Andy will secure and expand Spin‘s role as the pre-eminent music magazine in America.”…

02.27.2006

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.”