For The Record: Quick News On Notorious B.I.G., Foxy Brown, Jessica Simpson, Audioslave, Anthony Hamilton & More

Biggie family wants to expand lawsuit; Brown trial pushed; Simpson to host Teen Choice Awards.

The family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. is trying to expand the wrongful-death lawsuit it filed against the city of Los Angeles back in 2002. Should a judge approve the request, the suit’s reach could be extended to include additional defendants; as it stands now, the city is the sole defendant. According to the Los Angeles Times, the request was included within a 94-page motion that suggests that a police officer, Rafael Perez, was on duty at Petersen Automotive Museum the night of the killing. Biggie was gunned down on March 9, 1997, following a music-industry party at the museum on Los Angeles’ Wilshire Boulevard. Perez was never named as a defendant in the suit, but last spring, an informant who claimed to have shared a cell with Perez said the police officer had told him he worked security detail for Death Row Records. It’s been suggested in court documents that Perez and several others may have had a hand in the murder — including Perez’s former partner, Officer David Mack; Death Row Records head owner Suge Knight; and former suspect Amir Muhammad — but none have been named in the suit as defendants. According to the Biggie family’s lawyers, Vincent Marella, a private attorney who is defending the city, said during a court hearing last week that Perez was in uniform and was involved in the rapper’s shooting. The transcripts from the hearing indicated Marella was merely repeating an informant’s contention. …

Foxy Brown‘s upcoming assault trial was supposed to begin in New York next week. But Wednesday morning (July 12), when Brown showed up in court with her third lawyer in less than two years, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Melissa Jackson pushed the trial’s start to August 28, according to The Associated Press. Brown was charged with assaulting two nail-salon workers during a scuffle back in 2004. During the Wednesday morning hearing, Jackson also extended an order of protection for the nail-salon employees against Brown. …

Jessica Simpson isn’t just a Teen Choice nominee — she’s also the host. The singer/actress, who is up for three prizes at the eighth annual awards show — Choice Hottie, Choice Red Carpet Fashion Icon and Choice Breakout Performance (as Daisy Duke in “The Dukes of Hazzard”) — will hold court at the August 20 ceremony. Simpson’s co-host for the show, which will air live on Fox, has yet to be named. Teen Choice votes are being accepted until August 11 at TeenPeople.com …

Former “American Idol” contestant Daniel James “DJ” Boyd, who was a semifinalist two years ago, has been charged with production of child pornography, possession of child pornography, unlawful sexual activity with a minor and unlawful supply of alcohol to minors, after police say he videotaped sexual encounters he’d had with two teenage girls. AP reports that the 27-year-old pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday at the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City. Boyd’s due back in court July 25 for a preliminary hearing, and a trial date has been set for September 18. He faces up to 40 years behind bars if convicted. Boyd was booked last month after one of his alleged victims — a 14-year-old girl — contacted police. He’s being held in the Salt Lake County Jail, as he has been since his arrest. … Want a little taste of what’s to come on Audioslave‘s forthcoming album Revelations? “Original Fire,” the disc’s leadoff single, has been posted on the band’s Web site. The LP is slated for a September 5 release. …

Anthony Hamilton is releasing “Sista Big Bones” as the next single from his fourth album, Ain’t Nobody Worryin’. “It’s for the full-figured sisters of all races,” Hamilton told MTV News. “You see people with weight and they struggle with trying to pretend to be a size 1, or wish to be. They try to damage themselves, try to diet and everything, so I’m just trying to let them know that it’s OK to be healthy and full-size and voluptuous.” … Avril Lavigne battles drug addiction with a role as a wayward teen in the video for Butch Walker‘s “Bethamphetamine (Pretty Pretty),” the first single from The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Let’s Go Out Tonites! The singer, who is working with Walker on her next record, did her own hair and makeup for the shoot. …

Angels & Airwaves, 30 Seconds to Mars, Blue October, Ima Robot and “You Hear It First” artists Pink Spiders and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are facing off for a spot on the Fashion Rocks 2006 lineup. The winner will perform on the marquee at New York’s Radio City Music Hall for the September 7 event. Cingular subscribers who vote for their favorite will be entered for a chance to attend the Fashion Rocks concert — featuring performances by Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Kanye West and Jamie Foxx — set to air September 8 at 9 p.m. on CBS. … The Pixies are releasing a DVD on August 22 of the band’s rare acoustic performance at the 2004 Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island. “Live in Newport” will include all 22 songs they performed, plus a documentary of the Pixies rehearsing and deconstructing their tracks, including “Debaser,” which didn’t make the final set list. …

Pearl Jam are forking over $100,000 to nine environmental groups in an effort to promote renewable-energy technologies and solve the climate-change crisis. The band unveiled its 2006 Carbon Portfolio Strategy on its Web site Tuesday, saying in a post, “By working with these groups and others to mitigate our own carbon emissions, we ultimately hope to get Pearl Jam at 0 percent net emissions for our tours and businesses.” … Deftones have tentatively set Saturday Night Wrist as the title of their forthcoming new album. The effort has been recorded and mixed, and mastering is expected to start by the end of July. The album will be in stores October 10. …

Sparta have set an October 10 release date for their third album, Threes. The first single, “Taking Back Control,” which hit radio outlets this week, will also be featured in the new “Madden 07″ video game. A Sparta tour is set to kick off July 29 in Los Angeles. … Ben Roethlisberger will star in the new video from Pittsburgh country rockers the PovertyNeck Hillbillies. The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and the band are shooting the clip Tuesday at Heinz Field. … One of MTV’s earliest icons is teaming up with one of its freshest faces for a new Candie’s ad campaign. Rock legend Pat Benatar and newcomer Cheyenne Kimball will appear in TV and magazine ads for a new collection of Vintage Candie’s apparel, footwear and accessories — it’s the first endorsement deal for both artists. Cheyenne performed tracks from her debut album, The Day Has Come, at New York’s Canal Room on Monday. V Cast subscribers can watch the concert, which kicked off Verizon Wireless’ “V Cast Performance” series, on their phones now. …

They may not be friends any longer, but Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are managing to keep their professional collaboration alive. E! Entertainment Television just picked up another season of “The Simple Life,” starring the former friends. The fifth season of the reality series — the second season to air on E! — was announced by the network during a press tour, E! Online reports. … Thrice have been writing new material for the follow-up to 2005′s Vheissu, while frontman Dustin Kensrue heads out on a solo acoustic tour. The fresh tunes are “the most ambitious thing we’ve undertaken artistically, and we are really excited about it,” the band said in a post on its MySpace page. … Far-Less will be heading out on tour July 21 with Roses Are Red, Bedlight for Blue Eyes and the Panic Division. The brief road trip kicks off in Hackensack, New Jersey, with dates scheduled through an August 6 show in Philadelphia.

07.11.2006

Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie is on the cover of the August issue of Cosmopolitan and gets personal in an interview with the mag. She explains why she dropped the name Stacy, reveals what being in a group with three men has taught her about guys and says her onetime romance with Justin Timberlake had no future — “He was Mr. Right Now.” Fergie, who battled drug addiction while she was a member of the vocal trio Wild Orchid, credits hypnotherapy with giving her the strength to turn her life around. “It’s not some fruity thing,” she said. “It’s not like you’re going to a psychic or something. We just talk. … And I let it all out.” …

Auditions for the sixth season of “American Idol” will begin August 8 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Producers will also travel to San Antonio; East Rutherford, New Jersey; Birmingham, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee; and Minneapolis before ending September 19 in Seattle. Although this is the show’s first time visiting Birmingham, Taylor Hicks, Ruben Studdard and Bo Bice are all from there. …

Missy Elliott and Lloyd Banks have joined the lineup of the Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest, set for July 16-22 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Banks will be joining 50 Cent, Sizzla and Lady Saw on the July 21 bill, while Elliott shares the stage with Rihanna, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Buju Banton on the July 22 lineup. …

At this rate, Ozzy Osbourne might just forgo the main stage and headline Ozzfest’s second stage all summer. Ozzy will now be playing the smaller stage on nine of this summer’s Ozzfest dates, including Sunday’s stop in Chicago and the August 6 stop in Bristow, Virginia. If you simply must see Oz larger than life, he’s still scheduled for mainstage duty in New York (July 29), Boston (August 1) and Camden, New Jersey (August 4). …

Maroon 5 are celebrating the release this month of their book “Maroon 5: Midnight Miles” with a book signing July 20 at the Barnes & Noble in Costa Mesa, California. The book is a collection of intimate pictures from the band’s worldwide tour in support of Songs About Jane taken by friend and photographer Christopher Wray-McCann. … Lady Sovereign will release a new single, “Love Me or Hate Me,” produced by Dr. Luke (Kelly Clarkson‘s “Since U Been Gone”). The song comes out August 7, while the British rapper’s debut album, Public Warning, is due in October. … Borrowing an idea from CowParade — a public art exhibit featuring life-size fiberglass cows designed by local artists and scattered throughout cities worldwide — the Aspen Filmfest has commissioned celebrities including Mariah Carey, Nick Lachey, Salma Hayek and Joaquin Phoenix to make their mark in paint on life-size Labrador Retriever statues, which will be displayed in Aspen, Colorado, and auctioned off August 1 to benefit Aspen Filmfest’s youth-education programs. Additional dogs will go up on the block at CharityFolks.com beginning September 4. …

Linda Perry protégé Sierra Swam is teaming with three California wineries for a summer tour that will combine music and wine tasting. The trek, which also features Mozella, kicks off July 31 in San Diego and wraps up September 3 in Tucson, Arizona. …
Former Marvelous 3 singer and producer Butch Walker will hit the road to promote his just-released The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Let’s Go Out Tonites album from July 18 in Atlanta to September 14 in Hollywood. Walker just shot a video for his first single, “Bethamphetamine (Pretty Pretty),” which features Avril Lavigne. … The bio for “Real World: Key West” castmember Paula Ann Meronek says “chaos seems to follow her.” Which is what seemingly happened early Sunday morning, when the 25-year-old was arrested after an altercation with her boyfriend in Cromwell, Connecticut. According to the The Middletown Press, Meronek was charged with third-degree assault after she allegedly bit her boyfriend at least five times on the arms and hands when he refused to allow her into their home. Police said the incident was the culmination of an argument that had begun earlier in the evening. Meronek’s 24-year-old boyfriend, John Alyward, was charged with disorderly conduct, and she was released on bond and arraigned Monday. She is due back in court August 11. …

The final lineup for the 36th annual Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival has been revealed, and As I Lay Dying, Blondie, Spoon, the New Pornographers, Steve Miller Band and “You Hear It First” veterans the Like are among the latest additions to the three-day concert event, which hits Seattle over Labor Day weekend (September 2-4). Kanye West, AFI, Lady Sovereign, Yellowcard and the Veronicas are also on the bill. Bumbershoot’s comedy lineup includes New York stand-up show “Tinkle,” featuring hosts David Cross, Todd Barry and Jon Benjamin, as well as “Best Week Ever Live.” … Michael Jackson‘s former lawyer Zia Modabber testified Monday that he broke the news to Jackson about producer F. Marc Schaffel’s past work as a director of pornographic films, The Associated Press reports. And that led to the delay of Jackson’s “What More Can I Give” charity project, the attorney explained. Jackson — who is being sued by Schaffel — told Schaffel he was off the “What More Can I Give” charity single project, Modabber told the court. The lawyer explained that he was hired to protect Jackson’s ownership of the song so that it could be released. “My focus was on doing what I could to get the rights to release the single,” Modabber said. “I got involved with trying to clean up that mess.” …

Sean Lennon will release his second solo album, Friendly Fire, September 26. A short film promoting the album release on Lennon’s Web site features cameos from Lindsay Lohan, Jordana Brewster, Devon Aoki, Carrie Fisher, Asia Argento, Bijou Phillips and Harper Simon, with the latter two contributing backing vocals and guitar to the album along with guest players Jon Brion (Kanye West, Fiona Apple) and Cibo Matto‘s Yuka Honda. Lennon, who produced the album, has shot short films for each of the record’s tracks, with the entire Michele Civetta-directed suite of shorts making up a conceptual movie about the failure of love. … Commodores keyboardist Milan B. Williams died Sunday following a battle with cancer, the AP reports. He was 58. Williams was one of the band’s founding members, and wrote the group’s early single “Machine Gun.” “He was once, twice, three times a brother, and we love him,” bandmate Walter Orange said, borrowing a line from the group’s hit “Three Times a Lady.” “He gave all that he could to the Commodores. He’ll always be remembered.”