For The Record: Quick News On Katharine McPhee, Paris Hilton, Jennifer Lopez, Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson & More

'Idol' runner-up gets tasty offers; Hilton frolics in the sand; court dismisses suit against Lopez.

“American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee is already fielding sponsorship offers. KFC has offered the singer $10,000 and a year’s supply of Famous Bowls to write and star in an advertisement, while Eat’n Park has offered her $100,000 and a lifetime supply of Smiley Cookies to record a new jingle for the restaurant chain. …

Paris Hilton is getting frisky again. The hotel heiress shot a video for her forthcoming debut album on a beach in Malibu, California, on Wednesday and Thursday, during which the top of her purple-and-green one-piece swimsuit accidentally came off in front of the paparazzi. Chris Applebaum (Britney Spears, Hilary Duff) directed the clip for the reggae-oriented “Stars Are Blind,” which features the heiress frolicking in the sand. Hilton can be “nice and naughty,” she sings, imploring the listener all the more with, “Let’s see what this love could do/ Baby, I’m perfect for you.” Hilton’s album is due this fall, according to her label spokesperson. …

On Wednesday a California federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit filed in 2003 against Jennifer Lopez and LL Cool J. The court decided singer Debra Laws did not have a case against the artists or Sony Music for allegedly misappropriating her 1981 song “Very Special” in their 2002 collaboration, “All I Have.” Since Sony obtained a license to use a 10-second segment of Laws’ song, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Laws should instead sue her label and publisher for breach of contract for entering a license agreement without her authorization. … Tupac Shakur‘s incarcerated father, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, is releasing A 2Pac Tribute: Dare 2 Struggle on June 16 to commemorate what would have been the 35th birthday of his late son. The album will feature incarcerated rappers alongside signed artists such as the Outlawz. Mutulu Shakur has been imprisoned for 19 years for activities in support of the Black Liberation Movement. …

A July 17 court date has been set for Foxy Brown‘s trial on charges that she assaulted two New York nail-salon employees in an August 2004 dispute over payment for a manicure. Brown was charged with misdemeanor assault following the fight, during which she’s alleged to have kicked one worker and slapped another in the face. The Associated Press reports that Brown appeared Friday (May 26) before a Manhattan criminal court judge who extended orders of protection for the nail-salon workers. Brown went before a different judge in December during a hearing in which the rapper was expected to enter a guilty plea to the charge. Those proceedings came to a halt when Judge Melissa Jackson accused the rapper of making faces at her and disrespecting the court. …

Michael Jackson is scheduled to accept the Legend Award at the MTV Music Awards Japan in Tokyo on Saturday, his first public appearance since being acquitted of child-molestation charges last June. Jackson’s spokesperson told the AP that the awards show will kick off a tour of Asia for Jackson, who plans to visit Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong. … Gorillaz, Kaiser Chiefs, KT Tunstall and James Blunt were the big winners at the Ivor Novello Awards, songwriting honors presented by the British Academy of Composers & Songwriters in London on Thursday. Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett took Songwriter of the Year honors for their Gorillaz work, while Kaiser Chiefs’ Employment scored the best-album prize. Tunstall’s “Suddenly I See” beat out Coldplay and the Arctic Monkeys for Best Song Musically and Lyrically, James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” was named the International Hit of the Year and the Most Performed Work, and New Order were honored with the Outstanding Song Collection award. …

Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke hit the band’s site Thursday to post an answer to a burning fan question: What is that song that plays over the speakers at the end of the band’s shows? “It’s a track that Richard Russell sent me from XL. … Turbulence ‘Notorious,’ ” Yorke’s post on Radiohead’s Dead Air Space blog read. “The record is coming out in the summer I think on XL [Recordings, which is putting out Yorke's The Eraser LP].” … Backstreet BoysBrian Littrell is kicking off his very first solo tour in New York on June 11. Littrell will visit cities including Milwaukee and Chicago on the eight-date Welcome Home tour, which wraps up June 20 with a performance at a Christian music festival in Canal Fulton, Ohio. … Breaking Benjamin have set an August 8 release date for their new album, Phobia. The first single, “The Diary of Jane,” will go to radio outlets in early June. …

The Sex Pistols have been immortalized by Kubrick, a Japanese toy company that creates cube-based action figures resembling LEGO Minifigures. The collectibles are available as a limited-edition five-piece set featuring plastic likenesses of Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious, Steve Jones and Paul Cook. The toys will set you back $60 and were created to commemorate next year’s 30th anniversary of Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols‘ release. … Rob Zombie has recruited former Amen and Wednesday 13 bassist Matt “Piggy D.” Montgomery to replace Rob “Blasko” Nicholson, who left Zombie’s ranks earlier this month to join Ozzy Osbourne‘s touring band. Montgomery made his first public appearance with Zombie performing on Wednesday’s “Late Show with David Letterman.” …

Ben Jelen, who has been working with Linda Perry on an album tentatively titled East, is heading east to road-test the new tunes with his Zodiac 7 band. The tour kicks off June 3 in Hollywood and stops in cities including Phoenix, New York and Philadelphia before closing up in Boston on June 25. Fans that miss Jelen on this jaunt can catch up with the musician on MusicPlusTV.com, which will stream an interview June 4 and a live performance June 5. … A DVD devoted to New York hardcore legends H20 will hit stores July 18. Called “One Life, One Chance,” the disc features the band’s historic 10th anniversary gig at New York’s Knitting Factory, as well as music videos, interviews, footage from the studio and the road and additional live performances filmed all over the world.

05.25.2006

Is Ludacris a straight shooter? That’s for the jury to decide, as they say. The rapper testified in a New York courtroom Thursday (May 25) that he had never heard the expression “straight like that” prior to recording his 2003 hit “Stand Up,” according to The Associated Press. He also said he’s never received any copies of the song “Straight Like That” by New Jersey’s I.O.F., who are suing Ludacris for copyright infringement. “I do not know what the term ‘straight like that’ means, sir,” Ludacris said on the stand, addressing the prosecution. Kanye West, who co-wrote “Stand Up,” was also in court and is expected to testify before the trial ends. …

Jack White has revealed the reason he left Detroit for Nashville earlier this year. “I couldn’t take the negativity anymore,” he recently told AP. “It was so super-negative. It was draining me, I had to get somewhere where I could breathe again.” White spent time in Nashville to produce Loretta Lynn‘s 2004 album, Van Lear Rose, and he lives there now with his wife, model Karen Elson, and their new daughter, Scarlett. …

Foo Fighters have tacked a few new dates onto their long-awaited acoustic tour. Having already sold out their July 13 gig in Berkeley, California, the band will also play the following day there, also at the Berkeley Community Theatre. Two Canadian dates have been added as well: July 10 at Vancouver, British Columbia’s Orpheum Theatre, and August 23 at Toronto’s Hummingbird Centre. …

Former Yellowcard guitarist Ben Harper gave his mom a not-so-special Mother’s Day present when he was arrested in the wee hours of May 14 under suspicion of DUI, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Harper’s vehicle was pulled over at 4:27 a.m. for speeding when an officer smelled what he said he believed was marijuana in the car. “The officer then asked me to perform a Breathalyzer test, and I declined, because I had been at a show and had a few drinks,” Harper told MTV News. “So they took me in under suspicion and made me take the test then, and I blew a number under the legal limit.” He was released on $5,000 bail and told to return for a court hearing June 8 for charges related to a separate speeding incident. …

Alice in Chains, who wrapped up a five-date tour in New York on Tuesday, have lined up four more U.S. club gigs for August. In the interim, the reunited rockers will head overseas for a spate of festival appearances. More dates are believed to be forthcoming, but for now the band plans to perform August 3 in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire; August 4 in Sayreville, New Jersey; August 5 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; and August 12 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. …

KT Tunstall will contribute a brand-new song, “Warm,” to the soundtrack of “Ruby Red Chequer,” the first film from Kevin Spacey‘s London-based Old Vic Theatre Company. There are also rumors that Tunstall may make a cameo in the film, but at the moment, her label, Virgin Records, says that hasn’t been confirmed. … Apparently Janet Jackson wasn’t letting herself go when she gained 60 pounds — she tells Us Weekly that she was plumping up for a role she ended up having to forgo anyway. As it turned out, the movie “Tennessee” conflicted with Jackson’s plan to finish her forthcoming album, 20 Years Old, in time for its September 26 release date. “They wanted to see me in a different light, as a heavier woman. They really wanted to make a statement with the film,” Jackson tells the magazine. “I didn’t feel bad about myself at all. It was part of my job.” …

You may be able to buy two Nintendo Wiis for the price of one PlayStation 3, if the latest price announcement regarding the fall’s new video game systems holds true. Nintendo announced Thursday that its forthcoming Wii won’t cost more than $250 when it launches at the end of the year. The specific price is still a mystery, though $10 can probably be safely excluded. Sony’s PS3, expected in the U.S. on November 17, is still penciled in at $499 for the basic version and $599 for the fully featured edition. Nintendo also announced that the company intends to ship 6 million units of the Wii by March 31. … McFarlane Toys has announced plans to create a line of figures based on the hit TV show “Lost.” Slated to reach stores this fall, the first series of figures will feature Jack, Kate, Hurley, Locke, Charlie and Shannon, each replete with a detailed base and backdrop that focuses on a specific moment in the character’s story.” (Click to see the Charlie Pace “Lost” figure. ) There are also plans to release “Lost” deluxe box sets that re-create key moments between characters, plus dioramas of some of the show’s famous locales, like the crash site and the hatch.

Howard Stern and CBS settled their breach of contract suit on Wednesday, but neither side was revealing the details of the deal, according to AP. CBS Radio sued Stern in February, accusing the shock jock of using the CBS airwaves to promote his move to Sirius Satellite Radio during the final 14 months of his time at CBS and cutting his $500 million Sirius deal without properly disclosing his plans to CBS, as required in his contract. … 2 Live Crew and Copiah County, Mississippi, resolved a federal lawsuit with an undisclosed settlement on Wednesday, Mississippi’s Clarion-Ledger reports. The Miami rap group and concert promoters had filed a $15 million claim against the county, alleging that 2 Live Crew were forced to cancel a June 2000 performance after authorities set up a roadblock near the outdoor show and arrested 92 people. Earlier this month, a former Copiah County sheriff testified that he did not want the concert in town, and confirmed that approximately 90 deputies manned roadblocks near the field hosting the show. …

Morningwood are kicking off their Tour Off Your Clothes Tour (a reference to the band’s “Take Off Your Clothes” anthem) June 13 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Rock Kills Kid will open for several shows on the tour, which hits cities including Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco before wrapping up with Morningwood’s opening stint for the Go-Go’s at Los Angeles’ Greek Theater on July 14. The band will also perform on “The Late Show With David Letterman” on June 21. … Eamon is back, and it sounds like he’s got more relationship troubles to deal with. The singer, whose hip-hop- and doo-wop-inspired “I Don’t Want You Back” hit back in 2003, is set to release a new single, “How Could You (Bring Him Home),” next month. The track, produced by Frankie J beatmaker Happy Perez, will be featured on Eamon’s second album, Life Is Good, due August 1. … An April 16 trial date has been set for Phil Spector‘s embezzlement suit against his former assistant Michelle Blaine, AP reports. Spector will stand trial in January for the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson.

[This story was originally published at 1:36 pm E.T. on 05.26.2006]