For The Record: Quick News On Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, My Chemical Romance, 50 Cent, Nick Lachey & More

Rihanna, Blige get soapy; MCR co-headlining gigs with Taking Back Sunday; 50 Cent talks business.

Rihanna stepped in front of TV cameras in New York on Wednesday (June 21) to shoot scenes for the ABC daytime drama “All My Children.” The singer is guest-starring as herself on the show, hitting the fictional Pine Valley to christen a new club with an opening-night performance. Rihanna’s appearance on the soap is scheduled to air July 25. …

Rihanna’s not the only one moonlighting on daytime TV. Mary J. Blige is filming an appearance for ABC’s “One Life to Live,” according to The Associated Press. The episode will air July 28. …

Despite being locked in a Los Angeles recording studio with producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Less Than Jake), My Chemical Romance are already lining up tour dates for the fall. They’ve just announced a pair of co-headlining gigs with Taking Back Sunday scheduled for September 2 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and the following night in Syracuse, New York. MCR and TBS will be joined at both dates by Say Anything, while Hot Like a Robot will open the first show and the Honorary Title will, um, do the honors the next night. For more information, including on-sale dates, check out MyChemicalRomance.com. …

50 Cent ranked #8 on Forbes‘ Celebrity 100, an annual list of the most powerful names in the entertainment business. And it isn’t just music that has the rapper living large. In a profile for the magazine’s July 3 issue, 50 counts real-estate deals, his G-Unit clothing line and a stake in the beverage industry among his successes. He also reveals a new partnership with Apple that would offer a line of affordable computers to inner-city customers. “I make the decisions,” 50 said of his business deals. “If I fail, it’ll be my fault.” …

The Humane Society of the United States’ Protect Seals campaign caught up with Paris Hilton, Nick Lachey, Nelly Furtado, Amanda Bynes and Fall Out Boy at the Much Music Video Awards in Toronto last week. The group got the celebrities to sign a petition urging Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to stop the clubbing of baby seals in Newfoundland. … Nicky Hilton‘s pursuit of fashion has her teaming up with a new chick: Tweety. The socialite/designer will meet the demand for high-end designer goods featuring the cartoon bird with her Tweety Designed by Nicky Hilton venture. The apparel-and-accessories collection will debut in spring 2007. …

Lauryn Hill, India.Arie and Al Green are headlining the inaugural Soul-Full Saturday festival in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida. The Roots are also playing an acoustic set at the event. … He was a big man and he’s an even bigger legend, but Mezco Toyz has found a way to scale Notorious B.I.G. down to a pocket-size plastic package. The company’s 9-inch B.I.G. action figure, due in stores this fall, sports a white suit and comes with a removable hat, cane and jewelry. The little Biggie will be available for preorder on MezcoDirect.com later this summer. …

10 Years, Bury Your Dead and Bullets and Octane are the first bands announced for the second stage of the Family Values Tour, which kicks off July 27 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The trek will also feature a paintball competition, batting cages and other activities. “In Denver, we will have stripper poles set up in the lawn,” Korn singer Jonathan Davis said in a statement. “In other markets, we have people setting up wading pools. We are really going to make sure this tour can be as much fun as possible.” Davis said fans should e-mail him their ideas at jd@familyvalueslive.com. … Hilary Duff has plans to hit the road for a short summer tour that will kick off June 30 at the Konocti Harbor Resort in Kelseyville, California. That performance will be followed by four Canadian shows in July; two gigs in New Jersey on July 28 and 29; a swing through the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on July 30; and a slot at the Puyallup Fair in Puyallup, Washington, on September 24. …

Were the Neptunes fronting with “Frontin’ “? That’s what Peter and David Currin claim in a federal lawsuit filed in Connecticut on Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The songwriters say portions of their 1993 song “I’m Frontin’ ” were used in the Pharrell Williams/ Jay-Z track from the Neptunes’ 2003 Clones album. The Currins allege that the lyrics, music and rhythm of their song — which they say they sent in demo form to Diddy — are “substantially similar” to the Neptunes single. Star Trak Entertainment, Arista Records, Sony Music Entertainment, RCA Records, BMG Music and Bad Boy Entertainment are also named as defendants in the copyright infringement claim, which seeks damages, royalties and an injunction to prevent further distribution of the song. …

Moby, Martha Stewart, B-52 Fred Schneider, Christy Turlington and Ed Burns turned out Tuesday night for a New York screening of “Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man,” which doubles as a concert film about and tribute to the legendary singer/songwriter. Highlights include U2 playing backup band for Cohen for his performance of “Tower of Song” at New York’s Slipper Room, Rufus Wainwright turning the dark “Everybody Knows” into something comedic at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and the notoriously private Cohen divulging details about his creative process. Nick Cave, Beth Orton and Jarvis Cocker from Pulp also make appearances. …

Journals, photos, film reviews and more personal items by troubled Brit rocker Pete Doherty are being compiled into a hardcover volume to be published in March, AP reports. … The Mars Volta‘s forthcoming Amputechture has been slated for an August 15 release and will boast eight bafflingly titled tracks, including “Tetragrammaton,” “Meccamputechture” and “El Ciervo Vulnerado.” … Nine Inch Nails have teamed up with Chicago’s Front Row Center to offer fans who’ll be seeing Trent Reznor‘s industrial outfit this summer a unique keepsake: a commemorative, suitable-for-framing print that promises to be “a conversation piece for years to come,” according to the company’s Web site. Front Row Center will be selling authorized, professionally shot photographs from each stop on Nine Inch Nails’ summer trek through the partnership with NIN. The photos will be available within 24 hours of each gig for a limited time, and will have a custom matte embossed with the Nails’ logo. …

Bowling for Soup will launch a full U.S. tour Thursday in Austin, Texas, with Army of Freshmen in the support slot. The run will conclude August 27 in Denver, with stops planned in more than 40 cities, including St. Louis, Atlanta and New Orleans. … Everclear have been away from the spotlight for a few years now but plan to return this fall with a new album. The band, whose only remaining original member is frontman Art Alexakis, will release Welcome to the Drama Club on September 12. The album features a dozen tracks including “Under the Western Stars,” “A Shameless Use of Charm” and the first single, “Hater.” The “Hater” video could stir some controversy as, according to the press release, “The song’s theme was broadened to rail against those who justify hate in the name of religion as represented by the crude and violent exploits of the clip’s fictional ‘Hater Jesus’ character.” … Primal Scream‘s Riot City Blues has a U.S. release set for August 22. The LP, which was produced by Martin Glover (Killing Joke, the Verve), includes “Nitty Gritty,” “When the Bomb Drops” and “Sometimes I Feel So Lonely.”

06.20.06

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.