For The Record: Quick News On Notorious B.I.G., Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Arctic Monkeys, Culture Club & More

Biggie trial postponed; Spears wage dispute in arbitration; Jackson testifying on video for civil trial.

The retrial of a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the City of Los Angeles by the relatives of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. was postponed on Monday, The Associated Press reports. The trial will now begin January 16, three months later than the date originally set. The postponement will afford Biggie’s family’s attorneys more time to seek information from the defense to prepare their claim, which alleges that rogue police officers had some involvement in the March 9, 1997, shooting death of the rapper. A mistrial was declared last summer, and U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ordered the city to pay Biggie’s family $1.1 million in legal fees and expenses earlier this year. …

Three of Britney Spears‘ former security guards — who sued the singer in March, alleging she failed to pay overtime and caused them to miss out on meals — must settle their claims through arbitration, a Los Angeles judge ruled Monday. According to AP, the attorney representing guards Silas Dukes, Lonnie DeShawn Jones and Randy Jones plans to appeal the decision. The attorney said the ruling could hurt his clients as two of the three arbitration meetings will be held in New York — while laws in California are more favorable to claimants. The guards contend that they never agreed to arbitrate wage claims, but Spears’ lawyer maintains that the contract between the guards and his client’s companies, Britney Brands Inc. and Britney Touring Inc., called for all wage disputes to be settled via arbitration. …

A breach-of-contract lawsuit filed against Michael Jackson by former business associate F. Marc Schaffel in 2004 is headed for trial in Santa Monica, California, with jury selection scheduled to begin July 26, AP reports. Schaffel is seeking $3.8 million for outstanding loans, expenses, cash advances and producing fees, as well as his share of the profits generated by two television specials designed to strengthen Jackson’s reputation in the wake of child-molestation allegations. Jackson’s attorney says it’s Schaffel who owes Jackson, and explained that Jackson cut ties with his former business associate upon learning that Schaffel produced gay pornography. Jackson is not expected to appear in court during the proceedings but will be seen in videotaped depositions. …

Less than a month ago, when it was announced that Arctic Monkeys bassist Andy Nicholson would not be accompanying the band on its North American tour due to “exhaustion,” reports began to spread that he was out of the band. And while a spokesperson for the band’s label, Domino Records, originally denied those stories, it looks like they were true. On Monday, the Monkeys posted a statement on their official site, confirming that they had parted ways with Nicholson. “We are sad to tell everyone that Andy is no longer with the band,” the statement read. “Nick O’Malley, who stood in for Andy while he was absent from the recent tour of North America, shall carry on playing bass for the remaining shows this summer.” … Culture Club are looking for a new singer. The ’80s pop band is planning to get back in the game with a world tour — and without frontman Boy George, the BBC reports. Members Jon Moss, Mikey Craig and Phil Pickett are looking to complete the lineup with three or four “young, great singers,” manager Tony Gordon said. The new group is expected to be unveiled at a London event next month. …

Bad news for Modest Mouse fans expecting to catch the band during its brief West Coast tour this August: The group has postponed the trek, and will instead continue its “feverish pace” to finish its forthcoming album. Modest Mouse are recording in Mississippi with producer Dennis Herring, who helped craft 2004′s Good News for People Who Love Bad News. “The group sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience and is looking forward to finishing their new album and rescheduling the dates,” the Mouse’s Web site reads. “Refunds are available at point of purchase.” … Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty was fined $1,900 in Stockholm, Sweden, after police found traces of cocaine in his blood, the AP reports. Doherty, who was in Sweden to play at the Hultsfred music festival, was detained following the concert because authorities believed he was under the influence of narcotics. The singer was not in possession of drugs and will not face further charges. … The BBC has announced the cancellation of “Top of the Pops,” a music-chart show that has featured acts including Nirvana, the Beatles and the Spice Girls over its 42-year-run, AP reports. “In a rapidly changing musical landscape, ‘Top of the Pops’ no longer occupies the central role it once did,” read a statement from the BBC. The final show will air July 30. …

The touring Reggae Sunsplash festival will end its seven-year hiatus on August 10 with a show in West Palm Beach, Florida. Featuring UB40, Toots and the Maytals, Maxi Priest, Third World and Rik Roc, the tour will make 18 stops across the U.S., including shows in Boston (August 19); Cleveland (August 23); Austin, Texas (August 25); and Las Vegas (September 3). The trek wraps up in Salt Lake City on September 4. Reggae Sunsplash is also presenting a show featuring Shaggy, Jimmy Cliff and Wayne Wonder set for August 19 in Yokohama, Japan. … Portishead have been working on their third album for years, but it seems they’ve started to pick up the pace a bit. According to a post from Geoff Barrow on the band’s MySpace page, the new material is “in a right mess but sounding like [an] album for the first time in years. It [is] nice to think us old gits have a few tunes in us without sounding like coffee table Zero 7.” Portishead’s last LP, which was self-titled, was released in 1997.

06.19.2006

Two men were charged Sunday with the killing of Gerald Rosic Gadie, the 31-year-old Detroit man who drove Proof to the hospital after the rapper was fatally shot April 11, the Detroit Free Press reports. Gadie was found dead in the basement of his home on May 27. Police say he was shot in an apparent dispute over 20 pounds of marijuana and $7,000 that had been stolen from him earlier that month. John Henry Williams II and Corey Frazier were arraigned on charges of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm during a felony. If found guilty of first-degree murder, the men face mandatory life sentences without parole. …

Only weeks after giving birth to Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, Angelina Jolie has revealed to CNN’s Anderson Cooper that she and Brad Pitt are planning to adopt again, The Associated Press reports. “We’re looking at different countries. It’s gonna be the balance of what would be best for Mad and for Z right now,” she told Cooper, referencing her two other adopted children, Zahara (who the couple adopted from Ethiopia) and Maddox (Cambodia). …

Good news for Justin Timberlake fans: Jive Records has announced the name and release date of the singer’s second solo LP. FutureSex/LoveSounds is due September 12, and Timberlake plans to preview the album with a U.S. club tour in August. Venues and dates are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks. The first single from Timberlake’s second solo LP will be “SexyBack,” a track co-written and co-produced by Timberlake, Timbaland and Nate Hills. The song will hit radio July 7. …

In other big release-date news, Audioslave‘s third LP, Revelations, has been scheduled for a September 5 in-store date. The effort was recorded at Los Angeles’ Henson Studios with producer Brendan O’Brien (Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden) and will feature a dozen tracks: “Revelations,” “One and the Same,” “Sound of a Gun,” “Until We Fall,” “Original Fire,” “Broken City,” “Somedays,” “Shape of Things to Come,” “Jewel of the Summertime,” “Wide Awake,” “Nothing Left to Say but Goodbye” and “Moth.” …

The New Jack Swing Reunion Tour rolled into New York at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Friday, with headliners Guy breaking out old dance moves like the running man and classic hits like “Groove Me” and “I Like.” While Guy performed as their best-known lineup, groups Tony Toni Toné and Blackstreet hit the stage with revamped rosters featuring a couple of new members. … Two unreleased songs will appear on The Ultimate Luther Vandross, according to AP. “Shine” was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and “Got You Home” will also accompany the single-disc collection, due August 22. …

Bruce Willis is the latest celebrity to sue the paparazzi. The actor filed a defamation suit Monday against a photographer who said Willis attacked him outside a restaurant in Los Angeles earlier this month, according to AP. Willis is seeking no less than $1 million in general, special and consequential damages, plus later-to-be-determined punitive damages. … A screenwriter’s lawsuit against George Clooney and Warner Bros. was dismissed by a judge in Paris Monday, AP reports. Stephanie Vergniault had claimed that one of her scripts had been plagiarized for “Syriana,” but the judge disagreed. …

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have headed back Down Under, but this isn’t just an ordinary homecoming. “We are very happy to be back in Australia,” the couple said in a joint statement, before revealing: “We have come home to celebrate our wedding with our family and friends.” … The presence of one of President Bush‘s twin daughters at a Radiohead concert at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York last week has frontman Thom Yorke fuming. In a post to Radiohead’s blog, “Dead Air Space,” Yorke wrote that the concert was interrupted for several fans thanks to six Secret Service Agents, who cleared a path for the first daughter’s exit and “manhandled … some poor soul.” Yorke wrote that the incident left the band with a multiple-choice quandary. “I don’t know whether we should be A. honored; B. amused; C. bemused; D. ask if she had a valid ticket; E. object belatedly on moral grounds; F. ask again if she had a ticket and question whether this [is] really what our gigs are about; G. don’t blame the daughter for the father; H. shut up and smile.” …

He’ll hit the big screen with Game on Friday in “Waist Deep,” but Tyrese Gibson currently has a real-life drama on his hands. “Last week, 17 potential songs that were supposed to be released on my upcoming double album Alter Ego — some tracks with me rhyming and some new R&B songs — were stolen from my Headquarter Entertainment offices,” Tyrese said in a statement. “These songs not only have been stolen, but they have been leaked on the Internet as well.” Tyrese, who says he’s working on “getting to the bottom” of the theft, explained that the unfinished tracks have not been mixed and aren’t ready for release. “As an artist I feel violated and disrespected.” He still plans to have the double LP — featuring one R&B disc and one rap disc — out this fall. …

Snoop Dogg was joined onstage by “American Idol” title holder Taylor Hicks Saturday, during a performance at Birmingham, Alabama’s City Stages festival, The Birmingham News reports. Hicks played the harmonica on “Gin and Juice” and rolled out his famed dance moves with a second appearance later in Snoop’s set. … Previously unreleased tunes from Fall Out Boy, Audioslave, Rob Zombie, Nickelback, Wolfmother, Yellowcard, Mötley Crüe and Papa Roach will be featured on the soundtrack for the upcoming videogame “FlatOut 2,” which will be released for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and PC in August. …

During a press conference preceding their performance at Tallinn Song Festival Grounds in Estonia on Tuesday, Metallica‘s James Hetfield said that the songwriting sessions for the group’s forthcoming album are “coming along exactly as [they] should. We’re not rushing too much. [We're] taking our time. We want this to be just really good. We have a lot of material, which is better than the other way around. We’re going to be [at it] a little while. Rick Rubin is the producer, who’s done very amazing things with people. So we’re pretty excited about his input.” Drummer Lars Ulrich recently told BBC Radio 1 that the band’s new album’s going to be in stores in the summer or early fall of 2007. “I think we’ve realized that the creative process works a little slower for us than it used to, and we’re OK with that,” he said. “It’s not a bad thing, unless, of course, you’re waiting for a record.” …

The reunited Alice in Chains have booked three additional U.S. gigs, adding shows in Del Mar, California (August 18); Kelseyville, California (August 20); and Mansfield, Massachusetts (as part of Locobazooka! radio fest on August 23). Sony Legacy will release the two-disc The Essential Alice In Chains on July 25. The collection will feature 28 tracks, including “Man in the Box,” “Rain When I Die,” “Heaven Beside You” and “Would?” … Camp Freddy, the Los Angeles-based covers band that features former Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and Velvet Revolver‘s Matt Sorum and Scott Weiland, will be playing a gig in Las Vegas on July 1, with Navarro’s new band, the Panic Channel. …

Iron Maiden have named their forthcoming album. A Matter of Life and Death, recorded with producer Kevin Shirley (H.I.M., Rocket From the Crypt) at Sarm West Studios in London, should hit stores in early September. Shirley said he feels “incredibly privileged to have been around to see this album born and breathe life. There have been only a couple of occasions in my career when the entire process of recording felt so complete — and it is on display here.” Frontman Bruce Dickinson is also psyched about the LP, commenting that the effort contains “such a wide scope of musicianship … and in parts, this album is truly epic. Every one of us has put everything into this record and it’s really paid off. However we’ve had such fun making it that it’s almost difficult to believe what we’ve managed to achieve in the time it took.” Look for the album to feature 10 tracks, including “Brighter Than a Thousand Suns,” “Out of the Shadows” and “For the Greater Good of God.” …

First, the European leg of the Rolling StonesBigger Bang tour survived a rescheduling due to guitarist Keith Richards‘ brain surgery. Now, fellow guitarist Ron Wood has checked into a London rehab clinic for treatment of alcohol abuse — but that won’t alter the tour’s planned relaunch on July 11 in Milan, Italy, according to a Reuters report. The Stones’ spokesperson confirmed that Wood, 59, checked into a facility this week, but would be ready to perform with the band in Milan. … Toronto “gay church folk” ensemble the Hidden Cameras will release their third record Awoo on September 19 on Broken Social Scene‘s Arts & Crafts label. The 13-track disc features the tracks “Death of a Tune,” “Hump From Bending” and “The Waning Moon.” A North American fall tour is in the works. … Scottish indie-pop outfit Camera Obscura are coming across the pond in support of their third disc, Let’s Get Out of This Country. The 22-date tour begins July 4 in Toronto and wraps up July 30 in Newport, Kentucky. … Rudy Ray Moore, one of the Original Kings of Comedy, has been hospitalized. The 80-year-old Moore, a.k.a. Dolemite, is in the intensive-care unit of a hospital in Inglewood, California, as he battles “a serious undisclosed illness,” according to a press release.

[This story originally published at 11:01 a.m. ET on 06.20.06]