For The Record: Quick News On Pink, Wu-Tang Clan, Paris Hilton, Mandy Moore, Chris Brown, Ghostface Killah, Radiohead & More

Pink wants Buckingham Palace guards de-furred; Wu-Tang headlining Rock the Bells; Paris lays down a new track.

Fresh from beefing with Colonel Sanders over how he treats his chickens, Pink is turning her activist energies to the Queen of England. During her visit to the U.K. this week, Pink fired off a letter to Her Majesty requesting that Buckingham Palace guards no longer wear their distinctive hats, which are made of bear fur. Though she praised the queen for being a “modern monarch,” Pink suggested that she get with the program and use faux fur instead. “Sorry to be a royal pain … [but] apparently it takes the entire hide of one bear to make a single ceremonial hat,” Pink wrote on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which provided samples of synthetic bear fur to the Ministry of Defence. Buckingham Palace said any correspondence to the queen is treated as private and is never commented upon. On Saturday Pink plays at a benefit dinner/concert for Prince’s Trust, a nonprofit group aimed at helping young people who are struggling. And on July 22 she’ll be joined by Train, Nickel Creek, Aqualung and Mat Kearney for Star 94′s Star Fest, an outdoor concert at Atlantic Station in midtown Atlanta. Advance tickets go on sale June 3. Head to Star94.com for more information on the show. …

Wu-Tang Clan, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Redman will headline the 2006 edition of Rock the Bells. The festival — scheduled for August 5 at NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, California — will also include De La Soul, Aesop Rock, Living Legends, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and Supernatural, who will attempt to break the eight-hour, 45-minute Longest Freestyle Rap documented in the “Guinness Book of World Records.” Wu-Tang will pay special tribute to Ol’ Dirty Bastard, whose last show was at Rock the Bells in 2004. An additional festival in Northern California is also confirmed for August 6, although details are not yet available. …

Alleged drunken encounters with oil heir Brandon Davis and the paparazzi notwithstanding, Paris Hilton‘s been hard at work finishing her forthcoming debut. Although the heiress recorded an album’s worth of material with Scott Storch, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald and Three 6 Mafia, she went back in the studio last week to do one more song, “I Want You,” with producer J.R. Rotem (Rihanna, Dr. Dre). “It’s an uptempo dance-club song,” Rotem said. “It’s very high-energy in a retro, late-disco sort of way.” Though skeptics constantly disparage Paris for being, well, Paris, Rotem said she was very professional and focused in the vocal booth and had a “warm, round, soft tone” to her voice, which he also described as “very sexy and sassy.” …

Mandy Moore — who’s had nothing but nice things to say about Wilmer Valderrama until now — is upset that the actor went on Howard Stern‘s radio show in March to brag about his long list of supposed sexual conquests — which allegedly included taking her virginity. The singer/actress tells Elle for the magazine’s June cover story that the claims are “utterly tacky” and “not even true.” “It hurt my feelings because I like him,” Moore tells the mag. She also tackles the rumor mill on her Web site. “I am so overwhelmed by the absurdity of rumors and how on earth they could get started,” Moore writes. “It’s unbelievable! Earlier this week, I was apprised of a wonderful piece of gossip that I was in rehab … nice! … I am so saddened that people stretch as far as they do in attempting to spread gossip that, at the end of the day, is just downright hurtful.” Jennifer Love Hewitt, one of Valderrama’s other alleged conquests, previously told reporters that his claims were exaggerated: “I was told that we had all these very steamy encounters and I was like, ‘Really! Well, I would have loved to have been there!’ ” …

Chris Brown fans can take an inside look at the singer’s climb with “Chris Brown’s Journey,” a DVD featuring footage of Brown rehearsing for a tour, hitting the 2006 Grammys and promoting his record in Japan and the U.K. The disc, in stores June 6, also includes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of his videos for “Gimme That,” “Run It!” and “Yo” as well as a bonus CD with two previously unreleased tracks: “So Glad” and a new remix of “Run It!” … Cam’ron, who is offering 15 exclusive Killa Season ring tones including “He Tried to Play Me” and “Love My Life” to Virgin Mobile users, will keep one lucky winner on the phone for an entire year. The top prize in the “Cam’ron Tops You Up for a Year” contest is $600 in Virgin Mobile Top-Up cards ($50 per month for 12 months, beginning July 1, 2006.) Virgin Mobile users who purchase Cam’ron ring tones or wallpaper are automatically entered in the contest and anyone can get in the game by filling out an online form at AsylumRecords.com/virgin. …

Ghostface Killah and sizzling art-punks Art Brut will help Blender commemorate its fifth-anniversary issue by performing at a Studio 450 party in Manhattan, New York, Tuesday. … The Ricky Martin Foundation has teamed up with the International Organization for Migration to combat the sexual exploitation of children. Martin’s foundation and the IOM signed an agreement in Madrid, Spain, on Tuesday to develop the organizations’ partnership, The Associated Press reports. “We are committed to ending child exploitation,” said Martin, whose People for Children project has been active in anti-trafficking programs. The IOM is working on over 150 projects to raise awareness, lend support and train law enforcement worldwide. …

Old-school Spoon fans are about to save themselves some serious eBay bucks. The Austin, Texas, indie rockers will re-release their long-out-of-print first LP, 1996′s Telephono, and the 1997 Soft Effects EP on July 25. The releases will be packaged together for the price of one disc and will be available through the band’s label, Merge. A video for Spoon’s new single, “The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine,” will debut Friday on the band’s Web site. … Easy Star All-Stars, who brought you 2003′s reggae version of Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side of the Moon (renamed Dub Side of the Moon), have done it again. On August 22 they’ll roll out Radiodread: A Complete Reggae Version of Radiohead’s OK Computer, featuring guest vocals from Toots and the Maytals, Citizen Cope, Horace Andy, Morgan Heritage, the Meditations, Israel Vibration and Sugar Minott. The band will perform the dub-ified work in its entirety at the All Good Music Festival on July 13. …

Twenty years after their debut, Please, British dance-pop pioneers the Pet Shop Boys are releasing their latest album, Fundamental. Due June 27, the LP reunites them with their legendary ’80s producer Trevor Horn. A bonus eight-song disc, Fundamentalism, will be available with a limited-edition version of Fundamental. … Creative Technology Ltd. filed a patent complaint against Apple Computer in federal court this week claiming that the iPod’s navigational menu infringes on a patent on its Zen MP3 player. According to Reuters, the suit seeks a cease-and-desist order on the sale of iPods and damages for what it calls Apple’s “willful infringement of the Zen patent.” Creative Technology applied for the Zen patent in 2001 — the same year the iPod was launched — and it was granted in August 2005. Apple has 72 percent of the portable MP3 player market in the U.S. to Creative’s 10 percent.

05.17.2006

Well, there’s one less thing Britney Spears and Madonna have in common. Less than a week after confirming that she’s pregnant again, Spears has revealed something new on her Web site: “I no longer study Kabbalah, my baby is my religion.” That’s the extent of the post, her first one in the “Love B” section of her Web site since May 17, 2005. …

Lil Jon and Maroon 5 were named Songwriters of the Year on Tuesday at BMI’s Pop Awards in Beverly Hills, California. Weezer and Ciara were among the other big winners. … The Los Angeles chapter of the Recording Academy has named Snoop Dogg one of the recipients of their Recording Academy Honors Award. MySpace.com co-founders Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe will also be honored at the June 8 ceremony in Hollywood. …

Busta Rhymes, Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx and Missy Elliott lead the pack of nominees for the sixth annual BET Awards with four nods each. Kanye West, Beyoncé and Chris Brown follow with three nominations. Chaka Khan is the recipient of this year’s BET Lifetime Achievement Award and Harry Belafonte will be honored with the BET Humanitarian Award. Damon Wayans will host the ceremony, which airs live June 27 at 8 p.m. on BET. Fans can weigh in with their Viewers’ Choice picks — Busta, Chris Brown, T.I., Mariah Carey, Ne-Yo and Keyshia Cole are in the running — at BET.com. …

American Idol” has gone digital. The popular talent contest is now offering downloads of performances from this season’s 24 semifinalists at AmericanIdol.com. Audio tracks — including “When I Fall in Love” as performed by Kevin Covais, Paris Bennett‘s “The Way We Were” and Ace Young singing “We Will Rock You” — will set you back 99 cents each. Video downloads will be priced at $1.99. … A new version of “Dead Man,” which was originally released as the B-side of Pearl Jam‘s 1996 single “Off He Goes,” has been recorded by Eddie Vedder for inclusion on an expanded reissue of the “Dead Man Walking” soundtrack. The album is due June 13. …

After starring in “The Osbournes,” launching a music label and battling an OxyContin addiction, Jack Osbourne is planning to tell his life story. Ozzy‘s son has signed a deal with U.K. publishers Pan Macmillan to write his autobiography, due this October. “21 Years Gone” will include tales about growing up on “The Osbournes,” how fame and money further fuelled his descent into addiction, how rehab got his life back on track, his newfound passion for extreme sports and his hopes for the future. … On Tuesday night, Alice in Chains warmed up for their five-date U.S. club run with a free open rehearsal in Seattle. The band delivered a 75-minute set at the Moore Theatre, highlighted by several guest appearances, including Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Velvet Revolver‘s Duff McKagan, Heart‘s Ann Wilson and Queensrÿche‘s Chris DeGarmo. Alice in Chains played some of their most memorable hits, including “Dam That River,” “Down in a Hole,” “Rooster,” “Would?” and “Them Bones.” The tour’s official kickoff is set for Thursday in Los Angeles. …

Panic! At the Disco have parted ways with bassist Brent Wilson, according to a message on the band’s site. “Brent … is a great friend of ours and he will definitely be missed. We all wish him well and the best of luck in everything he wants to do in the future,” the message read. “The past few years will be something we will never forget.” The band went on to say a friend would take Wilson’s place on the upcoming summer tour with the Dresden Dolls, OK Go and the Hush Sound, scheduled to kick off June 6 in Tuscon, Arizona. … Those still crestfallen over the breakup of Luna will be happy to hear Rhino Records is also bidding the New York indie-rockers a fond farewell. On June 20 the label will release The Best of Luna and “Tell Me Do You Miss Me,” a DVD documenting Luna’s final tour. The compilation features 17 classic tracks spanning the quintet’s seven studio records, and the documentary recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. …

If you missed Byron Hurt‘s hip-hop documentary “Beyond Beats and Rhymes: A Hip-Hop Head Weighs in on Manhood in Hip-Hop Culture” when it screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January, you’ll have another chance to catch it this week — if you’re in the New York area. The Brooklyn Academy of Music is showing the film Thursday, Friday and Sunday as part of its Sundance Institute at BAM series. Head to BAM.org/Sundance for more information, and check out BHurt.com to see a clip of the film. … Paul McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney are separating, the couple confirmed Wednesday (May 17). The former Beatle and his wife issued a statement saying that it had become “increasingly difficult to maintain a normal relationship with constant intrusion into our private lives.” McCartney and Mills, who married in 2002 and have a 2-year-old daughter, described the split as “amicable.” …

Isaac Hayes has welcomed a baby boy to his family. Nana Kwadjo Hayes was born April 10, Hayes’ spokesperson announced Tuesday. It is the fourth son for the 63-year-old singer and his first with his wife, Adjowa. … New Edition members Ralph Tresvant, Ron DeVoe, Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell and Johnny Gill are being honored by the city of Atlanta on Friday — New Edition Day. New Edition will receive the Phoenix Award for their achievements in the music industry as well as contributions to the community. DeVoe’s real estate firm, the DeVoe Team, will celebrate New Edition Day at Copeland’s restaurant in Atlanta, where they are hosting a networking luncheon to bring together business professionals, entertainers, athletes and policy makers. …

A Kerrang!-commissioned compilation disc celebrating the rock magazine’s 25th anniversary will be available with the latest issue, on newsstands May 31. Called High Voltage, the CD features several current big names performing classic rock and metal tracks. Look for it to include Fall Out Boy‘s take on Gorilla Biscuits‘ “Start Today,” Avenged Sevenfold doing Pantera‘s “Walk,” Killswitch Engage‘s version of Dio‘s “Holy Diver,” the Dillinger Escape Plan‘s rendition of Soundgarden‘s “Jesus Christ Pose” and Atreyu‘s cover of Bon Jovi‘s “You Give Love a Bad Name.” … Stone Sour — featuring Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root — will be playing another free gig this week. The Sour are set to hit the House of Bricks in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday in addition to the band’s previously announced free show set for Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri. Donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation will be accepted at the door for Sunday’s show. Fans will be admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis. … Toronto hardcore band Grade will be reuniting for a single hometown gig on July 21. The same lineup behind 1999′s Under the Radar LP — frontman Kyle Bishop, bassist Matt Jones, drummer Chris Danner and guitarists Shawn Magill and Greg Taylor — will take the stage together for the first time since they split four years ago.