For The Record: Quick News On Madonna, Mary J. Blige, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shyne, Jennifer Lopez, 50 Cent & More

Madonna names new single; Mary J., Busta Rhymes heading to Summer Jam; Chili Peppers do Voodoo.

With Madonna‘s tour kickoff only a month away, what better time to choose a new single? The singer’s decided on “Get Together,” a song that incorporates Stardust‘s “Music Sounds Better With You” — which, in essence, is just a rewrite of her own “Holiday.” The CD single will include remixes of the track by Jacques Lu Cont — otherwise known as Stuart Price, her main collaborator as of late — Danny Howells, Tiefschwarz and James Holden. …

You know it’s summertime in New York when radio station Hot 97 announces its annual hip-hop extrvangaza, Summer Jam. This year’s event is slated for June 4, once again at Giants Stadium, and Mary J. Blige, Busta Rhymes, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown and Mobb Deep are among the first names acts revealed. Academy Award winners Three 6 Mafia and Jamie Foxx will also perform. …

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are the first act confirmed for the 2006 edition of the Voodoo Music Experience, to be held October 28-29 in New Orleans. Last year’s edition of the annual fest was the first major event held in the Crescent City since Hurricane Katrina hit and was headlined by Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age. Additional information on this year’s Voodoo will be announced over the coming weeks at VoodooMusicFest.com. …

Former Bad Boy Records rapper Shyne fought the law and won. The MC, who now goes by the name Moses Michael Leviy, petitioned the court to waive New York’s “Son of Sam” law, which bars convicted felons from getting access to money they earn while in prison. On Wednesday, the court agreed to free up $100,000 in frozen funds to pay Shyne’s legal fees. The rapper is currently serving a 10-year prison term in connection with a 1999 shooting at Club New York, and his lawyer said he expects the families of the victims in that incident to appeal Wednesday’s ruling. Shyne is eligible for parole in 2007. … Also headed behind bars is Hot Boys member and onetime Cash Money artist Turk. A Memphis judge handed the rapper a 12-year prison sentence Wednesday after he submitted a “best interest plea” in the shooting of a sheriff’s deputy in 2004. …

Jennifer Lopez, who kicked off her international tour Thursday (April 27) in Dubai, may not speak about world issues often, but she is concerned, she revealed to People en Español for their “Mas Bellos” (or “Most Beautiful”) issue. “The current world situation makes me nervous,” she told the magazine. “I don’t like talking about politics because it seems a little strange to me when celebrities begin to talk politics, but just like all people who have a family, I ask myself, ‘Oh my God, what’s happening?’ I don’t know when all this is going to end and when things will change. One day, we will look back and we’ll say, ‘Oh my God, did we do something wrong?’ I don’t want that to occur, but I think that is going to happen.” … 50 Cent is telling high school kids to put down the fries and hit the gym. The rapper has signed on as the spokesperson and one of the judges of a national cooking contest aimed at helping prevent childhood obesity. The contest sponsored by Glaceau — co-owned by 50 and home to his grape-flavored Formula 50 Vitamin Water drink — will pit student chefs in 12 cities against each other in a contest to create the most “nutrient-rich” cafeteria lunch menu. The winner will receive a $100,000 college scholarship. …

Scott Stapp has signed on to open for INXS for 29 shows from May 19 in Cleveland to June 29 in Dallas. “Everything now — my band, my life, my health — is in the best shape since [Creed's] My Own Prison,” he said, “and I’m truly excited to be a part of such a great summer tour.” … O.A.R. are bringing their fifth annual Feeling Better Than Everfine Festival back to the city where it first began: Cleveland. The June 24 festival at Tower City Amphitheater will feature Matt Nathanson, Virginia Coalition, Bedouin Soundclash, Jon McLaughlin and Dropping Daylight. … Jesse McCartney, Aly & AJ, Bowling for Soup and the Cheetah Girls are celebrating Radio Disney’s 10th birthday by playing a concert near Disneyland, at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California, on July 22. Tickets go on sale May 6. …

Want Tommy Mottola — who jump-started the music careers of Mariah Carey and Lindsay Lohan — to make you a star? He’s conducting a nationwide search for the first Internet superstar band or singing group through an online music competition called “StarTomorrow,” in conjunction with NBC. Solo artists, bands, groups and duos who are at least 18 years old can submit auditions to the “StarTomorrow” producers, and the top 100 submissions will get to audition in person. The winner gets a record deal with Casablanca, while the search itself will be documented this July on NBC.com through a 16-week online series. Send audition videos or DVDs to 10061 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake, California, 91602. …

Underground Brooklyn, New York, rapper Gravy was shot Wednesday night outside the New York studios of radio station Hot 97, according to a New York Post report. Gravy, whose real name is Jamal Wollard, was hit in the buttocks, but did not immediately seek treatment for the wound — instead, he sat for his scheduled on-air interview. Police were called to the scene and found Gravy — who’s been making a name for himself on the mixtape scene and will release his major-label debut later this year — hobbling around outside the station. The paper reports that Wollard was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital for treatment, where he is listed in stable condition. … Natalie Cole will guest star on an upcoming episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” In an episode titled “Fat,” Cole plays attorney Serena Waldron, who defends a band of teenage siblings charged with sexually assaulting another teenage girl — which the siblings claim is retaliation for an attack on their morbidly obese brother. The episode airs May 2 at 10 p.m. on NBC.

04.26.06

Angelina Jolie opens up about expecting a child in an interview with NBC News, scheduled to air Thursday at 7 a.m. on “Today” and Sunday at 7 p.m. on “Dateline.” Jolie’s sit-down took place in Namibia, where she’s currently focused on a new venture — and it’s not delivering a baby (Jolie says she her pregnancy is not yet eight months along). The actress/activist is promoting Global Education Week, an effort to ensure that education is available to all of the world’s children, millions of whom do not have the opportunity to go to school. The actress, who says she knows the sex of her baby, did answer questions about Brad Pitt during the rare interview, saying, “I don’t talk about our, my, relationship in public. But we also don’t talk about it at home. You know, it’s one of those funny things that like just happens, you live your life and you’re a family. But you never actually discuss [it]. … So that’s why I giggle about it. I just don’t know how to address that kind of thing.” …

John Legend and John Mayer are among the acts scheduled to perform at the fifth annual Jazz at Lincoln Center Spring Gala benefit at New York’s Apollo Theater on June 5. Tracy Chapman, Joe Cocker and Natalie Merchant are also on the bill and Bernie Mac is hosting. … After announcing a lawsuit against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday, designer Marc Ecko just released the bill for his second annual Save the Rhinos Benefit Concert, to be held in New York on June 8. Rakim, Common, newcomer Lupe Fiasco and Rhymefest are among those tapped for the event. …

Dave Matthews Band want to help New Orleans recover, so they’re offering a $1.5 million challenge grant to help build the New Orleans Habitat Musicians’ Village, which would consist of Habitat for Humanity-constructed homes and feature the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music. “After [Hurricane Katrina] first struck, we were shocked by the destruction, and we knew we wanted to help,” DMB said in a statement. The grant money comes from a fundraising concert in Denver that also featured the Neville Brothers and the John Butler Trio. “Many people donated their time and resources to keep costs to a minimum so we could maximize the donation,” DMB said. “This is our way to get the word out that there is more work to do, and ask people to step up to the challenge and make a donation to help.” Contributions, which can be made online at Habitat-NOLA.org, will be matched dollar-for-dollar through the grant, raising the total donation potential to $3 million. … Shinedown are doing their own part to help rebuild the Crescent City. The Jacksonville, Florida, rock band will take a day off from touring in New Orleans next week to team with Habitat and help rebuild homes. Singer Brent Smith recently wrote “New Orleans” on the front of his shirt for two national television performances of their current single, “I Dare You,” as a reminder that work still needs to be done in the city. …

Mandy Moore is a home-wrecker on the season finale of “The Simpsons,” voicing a character named Fiona, the sexy singing wife of a struggling second baseman who seeks marital advice from Homer and Marge. In an episode called “Homer and Marge Turn a Couple Play,” airing May 21 at 8 p.m. on Fox, Moore’s character seems to be getting back on track with her husband, Buck (voiced by Stacy Keach) — until Buck catches Homer giving Fiona a post-show neck massage, causing both couples to separate. … Tom Petty‘s also in for some voiceover action when he returns to “King of the Hill,” resuming his role as Lucky in an episode called “Edu-Macating Lucky.” On the show’s season finale, airing May 14 at 7:30 p.m. on Fox, Lucky gets schoolteacher Peggy to tutor him for his GED, which Peggy hopes will prod him to take a job far away from Luanne — but when she discovers he’s planning to propose to Luanne, she purposely teaches him incorrect material. …

Producer Jazze Pha has put together an R&B quartet called Cherish. The group’s debut, Unappreciated, is due August 1, but single “Do It to It,” featuring a guest rap from Sean Paul of Youngbloodz and produced by Don Vito, was just released. … 30 Seconds to Mars, actor Jared Leto‘s band, recently shot a video for “The Kill” that he is calling an homage to “The Shining.” Leto will debut a portion of the video during an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on May 2, the night before the band performs on the show. … Ben Folds recently helmed the soundtrack for “Over the Hedge,” the animated comedy featuring the voices of Bruce Willis and Steve Carell. The album is due May 16. …

A new Web site — NationalDayofSlayer.org — is calling on all metalheads worth their salt to celebrate the legendary thrashers on June 6. According to the site, “6/6/06 isn’t a date that comes around very often … and while plenty of stupid horror movies and terrible albums will be released for the hype value of the day that bears ‘the number of the beast,’ [we've] decided that this would be a perfect day for Hessians across the country to come together and engage in something upon which we can all agree — listening to Slayer.” The site suggests that Slayer fans honor a National Day of Slayer by listening to the band’s albums “at full blast” in their cars, homes, workplaces and in public because “national holidays in America aren’t just about celebrating; they’re about forcing it upon non-participants.” The site also suggests staging a “Slay-out” by staying home from work and listening to Slayer all day. …

Mick Jagger has signed on for a sitcom pilot for ABC’s fall schedule, with a working title of “Let’s Rob Mick Jagger.” The Rolling Stones singer shot his scenes for the pilot last week in an Auckland, New Zealand, hotel room, although the show would take place in New York. In the series, the janitor for Jagger’s building would try to rob his apartment over the course of a 24-episode season. If the pilot is picked up, Jagger would appear occasionally, but not in every episode, as the plot revolves around the would-be thieves. Meanwhile, the Stones deny reports that they refused to give up their reservations at the Imperial Hotel in Vienna, Austria, to accommodate President Bush this June. The band’s camp issued a statement saying that no one associated with Jagger, other members of the Stones, the tour director or those responsible for travel arrangements for the tour were ever contacted by the Imperial Hotel, Bush or anyone on his behalf requesting them to change their reservation. …

Counting Crows and Goo Goo Dolls are joining forces this summer for a 45-city North American tour. The jaunt, which kicks off June 17 in Las Vegas and wraps up September 9 in Dallas, marks the first time the two bands are heading out on the road together. They’ll hit cities including Denver, Detroit, Atlanta and Boston, as well as the Crows and Dolls’ respective hometowns, San Francisco and Buffalo, New York. … The Lemonheads have been playing reunion shows since they re-formed last year, and now the Boston alterna-folk rockers are making it official by signing to a new home, emo/punk label Vagrant Records. The band is currently putting the finishing touches on what will be its eighth studio album, due in the fall. The record was self-financed and co-produced by Lemonheads impresario Evan Dando and drummer Bill Stevenson (Descendents, Black Flag). The band is rounded out by bass player Karl Alvarez (Descendents).