For The Record: Quick News On Eminem, Jennifer Lopez, Harry Potter, Janet Jackson, Suge Knight & More

Em responds to Kim's public comments; J. Lo touring overseas; latest 'Potter' flick due in June 2007.

Eminem released a statement Thursday (April 6) responding to recent public comments made by his soon-to-be ex-wife. The rapper filed for divorce from Kim Mathers earlier this week, less than three months after remarrying her. He said he’d hoped to keep the matter private, but insisted in his statement that “a few of Kim’s statements in a radio interview this morning need to be addressed. First, her allegations regarding my status post-rehab are both untrue and unfortunate. Second, she was aware that I was filing for divorce. We both tried to give our marriage another chance and quickly realized that a wedding doesn’t fix the underlying problems.” Em and Kim, his high school sweetheart, remarried on January 14. They were first married on June 14, 1999, and separated in October 2001. …

Jennifer Lopez promised to go on tour last year, when she was still promoting Rebirth, and now she’s finally making good on her word — kind of. J. Lo is booked for four dates overseas: April 23 in Mumbai, India; April 27 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; April 29 in Athens, Greece; and April 30 in Istanbul, Turkey. “I’ve tried to plan a tour so many times,” Lopez previously lamented to MTV Europe. “Because of the fact that I work in film, it’s been hard. It’s been hard to map out that amount of time to really do it right.” There are no details on the shows just yet, but the singer said she envisions the outing as “just me doing my thing.” … Mark your calendars, Harry Potter fans. You’ve got a big date lined up. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” the fifth movie in the series, is set to hit theaters June 13, 2007, according to Warner Bros. …

Janet Jackson has titled her upcoming album 20 Years Old, a reference to the 20th anniversary of Control. “I just got to top the last two albums that came out from Usher and Mariah, and this is going to be the icing on the cake,” said Jermaine Dupri, who is producing the LP with longtime collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Janet’s album is due in September, and a single is expected this summer. Dupri, meanwhile, has several other big projects lined up. “We got Monica, Usher is about to go back in the studio, Mariah is going back in the studio, Bow Wow is going back,” he said. “It’s grind season for me.” …

Death Row Records boss Marion “Suge” Knight spoke out on Wednesday, a day after he filed for bankruptcy. The embattled rap mogul said he filed Chapter 11 proceedings for the label on Tuesday to protect it from a threat of being taken over by a court-appointed receivership over an unpaid $107 million judgment awarded to Lydia Harris, who claims to have co-founded Death Row. According to a statement from Knight’s publicist, lawyers are planning to file a motion against Harris and her attorneys for their “blatant violation of federal bankruptcy law,” following their attempt to hold Knight in contempt for failure to appear at a debtor’s examination on Tuesday. “For the last few years there’s been a stigma attached to Death Row,” Knight said in a statement following the bankruptcy filing. “People like the Harrises have been coming out of the woodwork and it’s been like a dark cloud hanging over me. I’ve decided that I’m serving Death Row its last meal. I’m setting a new table.” Knight’s lawyers could not be reached for comment at press time. …

Fans who’ve caught Mötley Crüe on the band’s current Canadian tour have noticed kitman Tommy Lee playing with a brace on his right wrist. Lee’s been receiving anti-inflammatory injections to treat tendonitis, and while it’s been difficult for him to perform through the pain, he’s been taking the stage like a champ. But on April 5, acting on the advice of his doctors, Lee sat the Red Deer, Alberta, show out — and the Crüe selected a diehard fan to fill the void. Drummer Harvey Warren, who spends his days managing a local Starbucks, was chosen to sit in for Lee. Warren, a member of Canadian Crüe tribute band Bröken Töyz, thought it was a joke when he was contacted by the show’s promoter. After some convincing, he realized it was a true offer and accepted but was sworn to secrecy. Warren called performing with the band “a chance of a lifetime.” …

Tha Dogg Pound have set a June 27 release date for their reunion album, Cali Iz Active, due on Doggy Style Records. Along with Snoop Dogg, Kurupt and Daz Dillinger, the album will feature guest appearances by Busta Rhymes, David Banner, Paul Wall and B-Real and production by Diddy, Jazze Pha and the Alchemist. Tha Dogg Pound will tour this summer with Ice Cube. … Carrie Underwood‘s “Jesus Take the Wheel” won country song of the year at Wednesday’s 37th annual Gospel Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. Brian Littrell won inspirational song of the year for “In Christ Alone,” which the Backstreet Boy recorded for the WoW #1′s compilation. Littrell’s full-length solo debut, Welcome Home, is due May 2. …

Echo and the Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch will stand trial beginning September 6 on charges that he assaulted two fans during a concert in Glasgow, Scotland, last October. The alleged victims claim the singer kicked open a bathroom door, striking one in the head and then pushed the other. McCulloch has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was also arrested on a breach of the peace charge, for allegedly screaming, swearing and hurling threats at the pair. … Last month, Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome announced that the Cleveland punks would be recording new tracks, and were in the process of lining up a bunch of Canadian and European gigs. But in a recent chat with Cleveland Scene, Chrome said that all Dead Boys activity is canceled, and refused to elaborate further. The band (minus frontman Stiv Bators, who died in 1990) regrouped last year for a string of dates. Those gigs spurred talk of something bigger, but it looks like the Boys will remain dead for now. …

Foetus playing Carnegie Hall? Well, not exactly. Iconoclastic chamber music ensemble the Kronos Quartet will perform a world premiere piece by the Australian industrial pioneer J.G. “Foetus” Thirlwell Friday night in the Zankel Hall portion of the legendary concert venue. This will be a first for the prolific Thirlwell — possibly more notorious for his aggressive work with bands like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry — whose work is normally tailored to the tattooed rather than the tuxedoed. The piece in question, dubbed “Nomatophobis,” was specially commissioned by the Carnegie Hall Corporation and UCLA Live. In addition to the Foetus piece, the Kronos Quartet will perform a work by the equally confrontational New York post-punk pioneer Glenn Branca.

04.05.06

This summer’s Ozzfest won’t kick off on July 1 in San Francisco, as had been previously announced. Instead, the 11th incarnation of the annual metal festival will get started on June 29 at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Washington. Namesake Ozzy Osbourne will be headlining just 10 of this year’s dates, including the kickoff in Auburn. System of a Down, Disturbed, Atreyu and Lacuna Coil are among the bands on the festival’s bill. …

Eliminated “American Idol” finalist Lisa Tucker has returned to her Orange County home in real life, and now she’ll be at home on TV thanks to a guest role on “The O.C.” Tucker, who is a senior at John F. Kennedy High School in La Palma, California, starts production next week on an episode called “The Party Favor,” in which she attends Harbor High School’s senior prom. Her guest stint on “The O.C.” is scheduled to air April 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. … Velvet Revolver have enlisted an unusual collaborator for their second record: the NeptunesPharrell Williams. Pharrell has also written a song with singer Scott Weiland for his second solo album. …

The Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ forthcoming double album Stadium Arcadium is now available for preorder via iTunes, thanks to a new partnership between Apple and the band’s label, Warner Bros. Fans won’t be able to download the full LP until May 9, when the record lands in stores, but they’ll have access to the first single, “Dani California.” The preorder also entitles fans to bonus content, including an iTunes exclusive audio interview, a video chronicling the making of “Dani California,” and a digital booklet. Those who preorder the album will also receive a special code by e-mail to purchase tickets for the band’s forthcoming fall trek before the general public sale date of May 13. …

MySpace has teamed up with Wind-Up Records for a contest that begins Thursday in which unsigned artists will get a shot at having their music appear in the upcoming movie “John Tucker Must Die” and on its soundtrack album. The winner will be chosen May 26 by a panel of celebrity judges and will score a $10,000 production budget for a professional recording of their song. The movie stars Ashanti, Jesse Metcalfe, Sophia Bush, Brittany Snow and Jenny McCarthy. The soundtrack, due July 18, will feature songs from the All-American Rejects, Nada Surf, Ben Lee, OK Go, People in Planes and Motion City Soundtrack. … Disturbed have rolled out 11 additional North American tour dates. There’s no word yet on which band will open the shows. The U.S. gigs include stops in Waterloo, Iowa, on May 20; Rapid City, South Dakota, on May 22; Billings, Montana, on May 23; Duluth, Minnesota, on May 28; and Sioux City, Iowa, on May 29. …

Watch what you sing — that’s the latest lesson in the war on terror. Specifically, watch what you sing out loud in a cab. British anti-terror detectives escorted a man from an airplane Thursday after a taxi driver became suspicious when the passenger sang the Clash‘s “London Calling,” according to a Reuters report. The man, 24-year-old Harraj Mann, was taken off the London-bound flight after the taxi driver told detectives that Mann had been singing along to the song, which features the lines “Now war is declared — and battle come down,” after plugging his MP3 player into the cab’s music system. Mann, who was questioned and released, said he also played songs by Led Zeppelin and the Beatles during the ride. …

Cameron Diaz has been awarded undisclosed damages in a civil suit she filed against John Rutter, a photographer who tried to sell the actress topless photos that he snapped when she was 19, The Associated Press reports. A judge also dismissed a countersuit against the actress filed by Rutter and approved a permanent injunction prohibiting the sale of the images. Diaz filed her suit against the photographer close to three years ago, after he tried to sell the shots to her for $3.5 million before offering them to other prospective buyers. She claimed Rutter forged her signature on a release form. Rutter is serving four years behind bars following his conviction last year on forgery, perjury and attempted grand larceny charges connected to the case. …

In other photog/celeb legal news, Enrique Iglesias has been served with a suit after an alleged altercation between photographer Angel Mora, his pregnant wife, and the singer’s bodyguards. Mora claims in Friday’s assault, battery and malicious prosecution lawsuit that Iglesias ordered his bodyguards to grab their cameras when he and his wife started shooting pictures of the singer and date Anna Kournikova at a restaurant in August 2002. Mora claims that the bodyguards allegedly struck both him and his wife, who gave birth four days later. Mora also says Iglesias and his bodyguards lied to the police to get him and his wife arrested (criminal charges were later dropped). Mora’s seeking damages to pay his attorney’s fees, bond and lost wages. …

Gene Pitney, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and is best known for his early 1960s hits “Town Without Pity” and “Only Love Can Break a Heart,” died Wednesday after a performance in Cardiff, Wales. Pitney was 65 and was not ill, the AP reports. Police do not suspect foul play. “We don’t have a cause of death at the moment, but it looks like it was a very peaceful passing,” Pitney’s tour manager, James Kelly, told the wire service. “He was found fully clothed, on his back, as if he had gone for a lie-down. It looks as if there was no pain whatsoever.” Pitney is credited with helping the Rolling Stones break the American market thanks to his endorsement of the band. …

Pearl Jam have announced the second leg of their upcoming U.S. tour, which will kick off June 23 in Pittsburgh and end July 22 in George, Washington. The trek will include some dates with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (June 26 and 27 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and July 2 and 3 in Denver) and Robert Pollard (June 23 and 24), but otherwise Sonic Youth have been tapped as openers. Petty’s own trek, which celebrates the Heartbreakers’ 30th anniversary, starts June 9. …

India.Arie‘s prepping her first new album in four years, called Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship, due June 27. Her first single, “I Am Not My Hair,” features remixed collaborations with Akon, Swizz Beatz and Jazze Pha. Arie will perform at the National Black Mayors Conference in Memphis on April 29. … Rick Springfield — once known as Dr. Noah Drake on “General Hospital” — is getting sudsy once again. The actor/singer is opening the 33rd annual Daytime Emmy Awards with a mix of his hits (including “Jesse’s Girl”). The event, which will be hosted by Tom Bergeron and Kelly Monaco, will be broadcast from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre on April 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. …

Turns out Diddy‘s Unforgivable fragrance wasn’t a stinker — since launching in December, it’s become the best-selling men’s fragrance in U.S. department stores. “Sean Combs helped us capture his lifestyle in a bottle and now everyone wants a piece of it,” said Estée Lauder/ Sean John Fragrances President John Demsey. Added Diddy: “When we set out to create this fragrance … I wanted to create a scent, package it, and promote it in a way that has never been seen before. … I launched it like an album, and we have hit number one!” …

Hank Williams Jr. surrendered to Memphis police Tuesday on a warrant issued over an alleged assault of a 19-year-old hotel waitress last month. The waitress said she was waiting on Williams when the singer asked to kiss her and lifted her off the ground in a choke hold, according to The Associated Press. No charges were filed until an arrest warrant was issued on Monday. Williams’ lawyer claimed the charges came after the singer refused to respond to a letter from the waitress’ lawyer seeking “an outlandish amount of money.”