For The Record: Quick News On ‘American Idol,’ Diddy, Sheryl Crow, Nicole Kidman, Korn & More

Cowell predicts Taylor Hicks will be next 'Idol'; Crow returns to the stage; Diddy reaches settlement.

Simon Cowell has predicted that Taylor Hicks will be the next winner of “American Idol.” “I’m going to say he’s the favorite, but what do I know?” Cowell said on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” Monday. The judge, who thought Katharine McPhee should go last week, now believes that Elliott Yamin will be the next contestant eliminated. “I think [McPhee will] make the final, and I’ll tell you why: because I’m choosing one of her songs this week.” The remaining finalists will perform three songs Tuesday (May 16): one of their own choosing, one picked by a judge and one selected by producer Clive Davis. Davis is returning to “Idol” Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The music mogul will be given a plaque recognizing him as the producer for the “Idol” franchise, which has sold in excess of 33 million records. …

Sheryl Crow staged her first public performance Tuesday after undergoing breast-cancer surgery three months ago, according to The Associated Press. The singer played three songs at a My Network TV sales presentation in New York. …

Sean “Diddy” Combs has reached a settlement with the man who says he was beaten by the MC’s bodyguards at a concert in 1995, according to AP. Settlement details were not made available, although earlier in the week Combs’ lawyers had planned to start a hearing on a motion to dismiss the years-old lawsuit. … Nicole Kidman is engaged to Keith Urban after all. The actress spent her Saturday night in New York hosting the 30th anniversary gala for the United Nations Development Fund for Women. On Monday she took a moment to end the “are they or aren’t they” talk about her rumored relationship with the country singer. Goodwill Ambassador Kidman, who plans to set out on her first UNIFEM mission with a trip to India this summer, told People magazine that Urban — her date for the gala — is not her boyfriend. “He’s actually my fiance,” she explained. “I wouldn’t be bringing my boyfriend.” …

Some dates for this summer’s Family Values Tour — featuring Korn, Deftones, Stone Sour, Flyleaf and Dir En Grey — have been revealed. The festival will kick off July 27 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and conclude September 20 in West Palm Beach, Florida. The trek will hit Nashville (Starwood Amphitheatre, July 29); Atlanta (HiFi Buys Amphitheatre, July 30); San Antonio (Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, August 4); Denver (Coors Amphitheatre, August 15); Phoenix (Cricket Pavilion, August 18); Sacramento, California (Sleep Train Amphitheatre, August 20); Kansas City, Missouri (Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, August 24); East Troy, Wisconsin (Alpine Valley Music Theatre, August 26); and Camden, New Jersey (Tweeter Center at the Waterfront, September 15). Tickets will go on sale this weekend. To hype the upcoming tour, the Deftones will play a free show Thursday at Cesar Chavez Park in Sacramento at 5 p.m. That same day, Korn will play a free concert in Chicago (no further details were available) and Flyleaf will perform in Portland, Oregon. …

Actress/director/producer Jodie Foster has experience with Ivy League commencement ceremonies — she graduated from Yale in 1985 — but when it came time to send off the University of Pennsylvania’s 2006 graduates, she went with words of wisdom from Eminem. Foster, who received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree Monday, ended her speech with the chorus of “Lose Yourself,” The Associated Press reports. … Alice in Chains‘ five-gig U.S. club run is not going to launch Thursday in Los Angeles after all. Instead, the reunited band will be playing a free primer show for fans Tuesday (May 16) in their native Seattle at the Moore Theater. Free tickets were handed out Monday night at the venue to the luckiest of fans. … Gonzo bassist Les Claypool has reached out to NoCal rappers the Coup to support him on the second half of his summer tour. Rasputina will support Claypool from June 1 through June 21, and the Coup will take the reins from June 24 through July 20. …

Chicago rappers Lupe Fiasco and Rhymefest and Colorado Springs, Colorado, trio the Procussions have joined hometown hero Big Daddy Kane on the lineup for the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, set for June 24 in Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park between New York’s Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. Would-be concertgoers can register for updates and tickets to the free event at BrooklynBodega.com. … The companion compilation for this summer’s Warped Tour will hit stores June 6. The two-disc 2006 Warped Tour Compilation will feature tracks by Saves the Day, Underoath, Matchbook Romance, NOFX, Helmet, From First to Last and Every Time I Die. … Stone Sour, featuring Slipknot members Corey Taylor and Jim Root, will play a free show Thursday outside the Beaumont Club in Kansas City, Missouri. The gig is expected to feature several “special surprises.” The band’s sophomore LP, Come What(ever) May, will be released August 22. …

What is the sound of one whale singing? How about one whale singing over a skittery jungle beat laced with some new-wave synths? Listen for yourself or jump in the mix as part of the Whale Remix Project from the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Yhe IFAW is sponsoring a contest for users to create their own songs using the sounds of the humpback whale, with the winner taking home a 60gig video iPod and having their song used in an upcoming public service announcement about illegal commercial whaling. The top 10 entries will be judged by a panel including No Doubt‘s Tom Dumont, BT, the MC5‘s Wayne Kramer, ex-Nine Inch Nails member Chris Vrenna and the BellraysLisa Kekaula. Go to StopWhaling.org to enter the contest, which ends June 11. … Gary Glitter, who was sentenced to a three-year jail term in Vietnam on child-molestation charges, has had his appeal postponed, the AP reports. The 61-year-old singer’s appeal was scheduled to be heard in court Friday, but it has been moved to an unspecified date after June 5, according the People’s Supreme Court of Appeals in Ho Chi Minh City. Glitter was sentenced March 3 and remains incarcerated in Vung Tau. …

05.15.2006

In the wake of last Wednesday’s brief detour to an Atlanta jail over an outstanding warrant in Florida, T.I. has decided to cancel a planned 10-day tour of Japan. According to a spokesperson at his label, the rapper will resume his U.S. tour on May 24 at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California. The dates in support of his latest album, King, were disrupted on May 3 when a late-night appearance at a Cincinnati club ended in a gun battle with unidentified assailants, who shot and killed T.I.’s assistant, Philant Johnson. …

DMX‘s legal woes aren’t just contained to the U.S. The rapper was arrested by British police on Saturday when his plane landed in London, detained for abusing the crew on his American Airlines flight. According to a Scotland Yard spokesperson, X got into a verbal confrontation with staff as the plane was approaching Heathrow Airport, reportedly refusing to fasten his seatbelt. He was cautioned and released over the incident. …

Green Day will receive the Creative Voice Award at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ 23rd annual Pop Music Awards on May 22 in Beverly Hills, California. Annie Lennox is receiving the ASCAP Founders Award. … John Mayer will headline the final night of the 13th annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in Telluride, Colorado, from September 15-17. Mayer is performing with the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, which include Louisiana music royalty like Tab Benoit and Cyril Neville. … Aerosmith are returning to the studio on May 20 to begin recording their next album. “It’s Armed Forces Day and we’re going in with guns a blazing,” singer Steven Tyler said in a statement. …

Trey Anastasio will open the second leg of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers‘ Highway Companion summer tour, which will begin July 29 in Portland, Oregon. Anastasio, who is also performing on many first-leg dates, will open alongside the Allman Brothers Band. Petty’s Highway Companion album is due this summer. … Pussycat Dolls fans have to wait until the end of the year to bring Nicole, Carmit, Ashley, Melody, Kimberly and Jessica home in 12-inch fashion-doll form, but now they can relax in a virtual hot tub with likeminded people as they count down the days. PCDMusicLounge.com, an online club where visitors can chat with each other, listen to club hits and create personalized avatars, is live in beta form, with the official launch set for later this month. …

The Memphis, Tennessee, house Elvis Presley lived in before moving to Graceland sold on eBay over the weekend for a winning bid of $905,100. The new owners, psychic Uri Geller and two partners, intend to restore the home and eventually turn it into a museum. … A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Friday that a lawsuit filed by Phil Spector against former assistant Michelle Blaine — and Blaine’s countersuit against Spector — will proceed as scheduled, denying the producer’s bid to delay the cases until after he stands trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, The Associated Press reports. Spector’s attorneys sought to postpone the suits arguing that the civil cases could give prosectors information pertaining to the criminal trial, which is scheduled to begin in January. The judge advised Spector, currently free on $1 million bail, that he could dismiss his civil suit against Blaine if he wishes to avoid standard discovery procedures. A hearing is set for May 24.

Ashley Parker Angel is celebrating the release of his solo debut, Soundtrack to Your Life, Tuesday with an in-store performance/record signing at FYE’s Palisades Center Mall location in Nyack, New York. The party continues at New York City nightclub Avalon, where Angel is scheduled to perform later that night. And on Thursday, he’ll join Bow Wow, Fefe Dobson, “High School Musical” star Vanessa Anne Hudgens and MTV’s own Susie Castillo on the runway for Teen People‘s “Best of Fall” fashion event at New York’s Industria. Angel is also teaming up with the magazine for its Rock N Shop Tour, scheduled to hit malls in Minnesota (July 7); Dallas (July 18); Garden City, New York (August 11); and Chicago (August 18). … Epitaph Records has retired its Punk-o-Rama compilation series after 10 releases in 10 years and will launch a new series, Unsound, June 6. The album will find Korn producer Atticus Ross remixing From First to Last, as well as tracks from Danger Doom, Matchbook Romance and Motion City Soundtrack. …

Alien Ant Farm will release their third album and first in three years, Up in the Attic, July 25. The record was mostly produced by Jim Wirt (Incubus), although Jay Baumgardner (Coal Chamber, Papa Roach) handled the first single, “Forgive & Forget.” “BUSted,” the band’s first DVD, is also due July 25. … Alice Cooper was presented with the key to Alice, North Dakota, on Sunday, The Associated Press reports. The small town — home to approximately 60 people and named after the daughter of a railroad surveyor, not the rocker — handed Cooper a marble plaque and a gold-plated key. “There’s not a whole lot of buildings to unlock with that key,” Mayor Dan Lund said. “But Alice is a cool guy and Alice is a cool city — so it’s a fun thing to do.”

A suit filed by Aston “Family Man” Barrett, longtime bass player for Bob Marley‘s Wailers, was dismissed by London’s High Court on Monday, The Associated Press reports. A British justice sided with Island-Universal Records and the Marley family, who maintained that Barrett surrendered his rights to Wailers royalties in exchange for $500,000 in a 1994 settlement. Barrett was seeking the equivalent of $115 million. … Former Power 105 New York radio personality Star (real name Troi Torain), was arraigned in a New York court Friday night on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child and freed after posting $2,000 bail, the AP reports. Torain, who was arrested Friday, made on-air threats against the 4-year old daughter of rival DJ Envy on Wednesday. Police initially announced that Torain would also be charged with harassment. A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said prosecutors are not proceeding with that count but that the investigation will continue. Torain is scheduled to appear in court May 30.