For The Record: Quick News On Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Keyshia Cole, Kimberly Caldwell & More

Kanye, Mary J. on for Wango Tango; 50's 'Brave' halts shooting; 'Idol' finalist changes direction.

Kanye West, Mary J. Blige and Daddy Yankee will headline KIIS-FM's annual Wango Tango festival May 6. Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Ray J, Nick Cannon, Baby Bash and Natasha Bedingfield will also take the stage at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, California. ...

Kanye will be heading to Prague soon with Twista to shoot the video for Keyshia Cole's theme song to "Mission: Impossible III." Cole, whose The Way It Is recently went platinum, launched her first headlining tour over the weekend and will wrap it up April 29 in Memphis, Tennessee. ... A labor dispute has brought the 50 Cent/ Samuel L. Jackson feature "Home of the Brave" to a halt, according to ABC news affiliate KXLY. The dispute between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Union and North by Northwest has resulted in the indefinite shutdown of the film's production. Production crews from both companies have left the set, and Union Business Manager David Robinson said it is undetermined if the shoot will resume in the future. Jessica Biel and Christina Ricci had also been cast for the flick. ...

"Making an album is insane, especially when you have 12 jobs like I do," former "American Idol" finalist and current "Idol" TV Guide Channel correspondent Kimberly Caldwell said recently. It also doesn't help when you switch direction midway through recording. "I'm working with Randy Jackson and Diane Warren. We tried to go the whole rock route and then we had this brainstorm and I really want to go back to my roots, so now we're going to do country rock," she said. "And I'm writing and recording, which I love." ...

Former Swell Maps singer Nikki Sudden died Sunday in New York following a Saturday night performance at the Knitting Factory. He was 49. Sudden recorded more than 20 LPs, spanning his work with Swell Maps — the band he started with his brother Epic Soundtracks, who died in 1997 — the Jacobites and the Last Bandits. He was also a solo artist, actor and writer who had just finished work on a new album titled The Truth Doesn't Matter and was in the process of completing his autobiography before heading out on tour. Secretly Canadian — the record label that released several of Sudden's albums, including his 2004 LP, Treasure Island — put a post on its Web site reading: "It was a great honor to work with such a legendary figure, and his warmth and generosity of spirit will not be forgotten. He was a good man in endless pursuit of his artistic dreams." The cause of Sudden's death is unknown. ...

It's Apple versus Apple in a British courtroom this week as the popular California computer maker is facing off with Apple Corps, the business firm that represents the Beatles, in another legal tangle. A London judge will determine whether Apple's iTunes service violates a 1991 agreement between the companies that the Beatles' lawyers claim blocked the iPod maker from selling music under the Apple banner. The computer company's lawyers counter that the earlier agreement permitted the company to sell "online data transfers," according to a report in The New York Times. Apple Corps first sued Apple Computer in 1980 over the use of its name and got a settlement and a promise that Apple would stay out of the music business. Apple Corps sued again in 1989 and got a $26.5 million settlement in which it agreed to share the copyright on the name, but which forbid the computer company from using it for anything whose principle content is music. ...

A copy of Slipknot's self-released 1996 demo album, Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat, has fetched more than $627 in an eBay auction. The demo is considered the rarest and most sought-after piece of 'Knot memorabilia, as only 1,000 copies of the disc were ever pressed and released. ... In related news, Slipknot affiliates Stone Sour are in the midst of recording the follow-up to their 2002 self-titled LP, but that hasn't stopped them from making lineup changes. Last week drummer Joel Ekman was released from duty — a decision "we all discussed and feel is best for the five of us and for the future of Stone Sour," according to a press release. The band's forthcoming disc, Come What May, will hit stores July 18. ...

It's been a month since Cold announced they'd be throwing in the rock-and-roll towel, and two former members are already at work on a new project. Frontman Scooter Ward and drummer Sam McCandless will resurface in the Witch, and according to the band's MySpace page, the members are in the process of writing some very un-Cold-like new material. The band has no immediate plans to seek a guitarist or bassist. ... Underoath's forthcoming Define the Great Line has been scheduled for a June 20 release. Look for the disc to feature 11 tracks, including "A Moment Suspended in Time," "You're Ever So Inviting" and "Moving for the Sake of Motion." ...

Country music legend Buck Owens died in his sleep at his home in Bakersfield, California, on Saturday, just hours after performing at his local concert hall/restaurant, Buck Owens' Crystal Palace, according to The New York Times. He was 76. The honky-tonk singer, who was known for hits such as "Act Naturally" and his long-running stint as the co-host of the "Hee Haw" country variety show, is credited with helping to inspire the Bakersfield sound, a grittier, more plugged-in alternative to the lush, string-heavy sound that dominated country music in the 1960s. ...

Not everyone gets "Super Size Me" star Morgan Spurlock's attempts at humor. The filmmaker used profanity in a speech at Hatboro-Horsham High School in Pennsylvania on Friday, drawing the ire of the school's superintendent. Spurlock, who famously ate nothing but McDonald's for a month while filming the documentary "Super Size Me," joked about the intelligence of McDonald's employees. According to The Associated Press, he also made cracks about "retarded kids in the back wearing helmets" and teachers smoking pot on the balcony during the one-hour speech. Special-education students were led out by teachers during the presentation, and a second speech by Spurlock to community members was later canceled. On his blog Sunday, Spurlock said the only person he called retarded was himself, when he couldn't hear a question, and that despite reports that he spewed profanity for an hour, by his count he only uttered five dirty words. ...

03.24.2006

Paris Hilton is expanding her Club Paris chain. After recently opening a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the heiress' next club opens July 1 in Jacksonville at the Jacksonville Landing. Hilton is contractually obligated to appear there at least twice a month and is expected to be at the opening. ...

From the mind of Diddy comes "Celebrity Cooking Showdown," a weeklong cooking competition highlighting the culinary talents of some of the most disparate celebrities under the sun. Ja Rule, Ashley Parker Angel and, um, Tom Arnold join host Alan Thicke in a contest to judge just who is the best chef. Diddy — who's on board as an executive producer — enthuses that "people love seeing celebrities under pressure — and with this show, if you can't stand the heat, you better get out of the kitchen." The fun gets under way April 17 on NBC. ... On April 12, former Destiny's Child songbird Kelly Rowland will kick off the 8th Wonder of the World Concert Series in the shadow of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The concerts — scheduled to take place over the next five years at some of the world's most famous locations, including Beijing's Forbidden City and the Parthenon in Athens — will benefit children worldwide affected by HIV and AIDS. For more information, check out EighthWonderOfTheWorld.com. ...

Kanye West has signed on to perform at the Stockholm Jazz Festival July 20, The Associated Press reported Friday (March 24). Sting was also announced to play the Swedish summer festival. ... Operation Unknown, the label releasing the late Jay Dee's Jay Love Japan May 2, will also release another finished Jay album, All I.D., in 2007. Jay Love Japan will feature guest spots from Jay's mother, Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey, and brother-in-law, comedian BoBo Lamb. J Dilla's The Shining is due July 11 on BBE Entertainment. ... La Toya Jackson says her brother Michael never wants to be at Neverland Ranch again. The singer's sister told "Access Hollywood" in an interview airing Friday that, "I have to tell you that when all of this was over, he said he would leave and never come back [to] Neverland." Claiming that her brother's privacy had been invaded, she said, "It's time to leave, and that's what he did." La Toya says Michael is much happier in Bahrain, where he is "content with his life at the moment." ...

"Dancing With the Stars" champion Drew Lachey and his wife, Lea, welcomed their first child Thursday, according to People magazine. There's no word yet on what name the 29-year-olds have picked for their daughter, but Drew's "Dancing" partner, Cheryl Burke, said there's no question he'll be a good poppa. "He will not spoil his child, that's for sure," she told People. "But he's so loving and he's going to love his baby like no other." ... "Dancing With the Stars" alum Master P and son Lil' Romeo will team up with R&B vocalist Michael Warren for a concert honoring some of America's troops. It'll be staged at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany, March 29. The event — staged for the members of the 18th Corps Support Battalion and the 94th Engineer Combat Battalion who're returning from Iraq — will also feature games, carnival rides and a magic show. ...

The Vice-curated Intonation Music Festival is ramping up its roster. An eclectic mix of hip-hop and British grime (Lupe Fiasco, Devin the Dude, Dead Prez, Kano, Lady Sovereign), noise rock (Boredoms, the Constantines), sludge metal (High on Fire), bedroom pop (José González) and dance (Annie, Chromeo) round out a bill headlined by Bloc Party and the Streets. Other acts announced include Jon Brion, the Stills, 90 Day Men, Panthers and Tyrades. Intonation takes place June 24 and 25 at Chicago's Union Park. ... Keane have set a June 20 release date for their second record, Under the Iron Sea. The first single is "Is It Any Wonder?." ...

Having gained some recent attention with the Postal Service remix of her "Mushaboom" track, Canadian chanteuse Feist is releasing a collection of remixes, collaborations and miscellaneous material. The Canadian import Open Season will feature the aforementioned Postal tweak plus songs featuring rapper K-OS, French superstar Jane Birkin, Kings of Convenience, Chilly Gonzales and Mocky — the latter two, along with Jamie Lidell and Renaud Letang, are currently working on the follow-up to Feist's 2004 effort, Let It Die.