For The Record: Quick News On Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey, Eve, Wilmer Valderrama, Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefani & More

Simpson loses her mind in magic special, also featuring Eve, Valderrama; Lachey performs at shopping party.

Jessica Simpson loses her mind in an upcoming Keith Barry magic special, in which the magician and psychological illusionist performs stunts on Eve, Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, Wilmer Valderrama, Elijah Wood and others. Barry drives while blindfolded, induces memory loss and takes control of Simpson’s mind in a series of stunts on “Keith Barry: Extraordinary,” which will air May 12 at 8 p.m. on CBS. …

Nick Lachey, Sean Paul and Jagged Edge will provide “Style Stage NYC” — the self-proclaimed “largest shopping party in the U.S.” — with some musical entertainment. The event will be held Friday and Saturday at the Metropolitan Pavilion and Altman Building at 125 and 135 W. 18th St. …

Oprah Winfrey gathered a who’s who of urban artists for what you might call “Oprahpalooza” over the course of one recent weekend. First, the talk-show host held a private luncheon at her Montecito, California, home, where music legends such as Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Diana Ross, Tina Turner and Dionne Warwick were honored by Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Ashanti, Brandy, Natalie Cole, Janet Jackson and Missy Elliott. Winfrey also invited Usher, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones and others for a white-tie ball the next night. And to cap the weekend, Winfrey held a gospel brunch the next morning with performances by LaBelle, Knight, Warwick and Chaka Khan. Winfrey’s “Legends Ball” special airs May 15 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. … Jewel is getting a facelift of sorts — by performing on an upcoming episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” In an episode called “Arena Family,” the show renovates the home of a husband and wife in Somers, New York, who recently lost their only son. New York Yankee Jorge Posada donates an item for the house, while Jewel performs at a memorial. The episode airs May 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. …

Shakira is calling ahead for her upcoming tour, sending multimedia personal video invitations to each city she’s hitting on her Oral Fixation jaunt. The messages, which will come through on Verizon Wireless phones, give users the option to buy barcode tickets that can be scanned to get them into the show. Shakira’s also inviting fans to text which songs they want to hear on the tour, and a select few concertgoers will be picked to head backstage. The arena tour, which was announced Friday (April 28), kicks off August 9 in El Paso, Texas, at the Don Haskins Center, and wraps September 25 in McCallen, Texas, at the Dodge Arena. … The singer lit up the stage in Hollywood, Florida, on Thursday night for the Latin Billboard Awards, scoring six awards and performing “Hips Don’t Lie” with Wyclef Jean. Shakira took Latin pop album of the year for Fijacion Oral Vol. 1, while her single “La Tortura” won four awards, including hot Latin song of the year. She was also presented with the Spirit of Hope Award, honoring her work through the Pies Descalzos (Bare Feet) Foundation, aiding children in Colombia. Daddy Yankee, who scored three awards at the ceremony, opened the show performing “Rompe” and took prizes for Latin album artist and top reggaetón album. He was also honored along with collaborators Baby Ranks, Tonny Tun Tun, Wisin y Yandel and Hector “The Father” for “Mayor Que Yo.” …

With a little one on the way, Gwen Stefani is planning to expand her L.A.M.B. line to include baby tennis shoes. “Little gold ones, you wouldn’t believe it. They’re so cute,” the singer told Women’s Wear Daily. She’s also widening her footwear line for adults to include boots and stilettos, as well as adding other accessories, such as a watch line. “I want to do lingerie and makeup at some point,” she said. “I want to do everything, eventually.” … While the tabloids love to link Jessica Simpson and Adam Levine, Victoria’s Secret thinks the Maroon 5 frontman and Shakira would make a better match, according to their “What Is Sexy” list — the two singers won sexiest male and female musicians, respectively. But Simpson wasn’t entirely shut out. Her “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ ” clip still gets mileage, nabbing sexiest video. Meanwhile, the sexiest real couple honors went to Seal and Heidi Klum.

An exclusive Beck remix is available as part of a comic manga series. “Go It Alone,” remixed by Superthriller, is a free download in the fourth volume of “Mongolian Chop Squad,” to be released in June. But once the page goes live at the end of May, the download will be available at www.tokyopop.com/beckvsbeck. … The Allman Brothers Band and Cheap Trick filed suit Thursday in New York against Sony BMG alleging that they were being shortchanged by the Sony Music division on profits from digital downloads. According to the Los Angeles Times, the suit by the two classic rock acts seeks class-action status and contends that Sony currently counts downloads sales as “physical phonorecords,” with the standard 20 percent deduction for packaging even though the downloads are electronic. It also claims that Sony Music deducts 15 percent for a standard “breakage” fee, as it would with CDs or cassettes. The suit alleges that bands should be getting 30 cents per download from Sony Music versus the 4.5 cents they get now. …

Apparently you shouldn’t mess with Hoboken, New Jersey, indie rockers Yo La Tengo. Their 12th album, due September 12, is called I Am Not Afraid of You, and I Will Beat Your Ass according to a spokesperson for Matador Records. The 15-track LP includes the songs “Pass the Hatchet,” “Black Flowers” and “The Story of Yo La Tango” (You read that right — it’s “Tango”). Having done movie-soundtrack work for the films “Junebug” and “Old Joy” recently, the group has also written music for “Shortbus,” John Cameron Mitchell‘s directorial follow-up to “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” … Montreal rockers the Dears have completed work on their third record, the self-deprecatingly titled Gang of Losers. Tentatively due August 29, the 12-track record has been described by the band as a more stripped-down and raw affair than its past expansive orchestral work. Tracks include “The Ballad of Humankindness,” “Find Our Way to Freedom” and “Death or Life We Want You.” The track “Fear Made the World Go ‘Round” can currently be heard on the group’s MySpace page.

04.27.2006

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.