For The Record: Quick News On Jessica Simpson, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Killers, Prince, Angelina Jolie & More

Simpson's not ready for romance; Pink will perform at TV Guide post-Emmy party; Clarkson plans concert special.

It’s been a heck of a year for Jessica Simpson, who made her big-screen debut in “The Dukes of Hazzard,” filmed another comedy and divorced Nick Lachey in the 12 months since she turned 25. The singer/actress, who celebrated her 26th birthday Monday, told OK! magazine that she’s using the milestone as an opportunity to make a fresh start. “I think every year you become more clear about why it is you’re here,” Simpson said. She continues to work on her upcoming album and has “Employee of the Month” out in September, but Simpson insists that her hectic career keeps her sane. “I’d be bored without chaos. I go stir-crazy if I have nothing to do.” And without work, Simpson — who denied reports that she’s dated “Employee” co-star Dane Cook — says she really wouldn’t have much going on. “I don’t feel right about dating yet,” she said. …

Pink has signed on to perform at TV Guide‘s post-Emmy party on August 27. DJ AM and Samantha Ronson are spinning at the shindig. … Kelly Clarkson will headline an HBO concert special next year, the network announced Wednesday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. The performance, which will be broadcast live from London’s Wembley Stadium, will air February 3. …

The Killers‘ second album will be called Sam’s Town, according to a spokesperson for their label, Island Records. The title is a nod to Sam Boyd, who arrived in Las Vegas in 1941 with just a few dollars in his pocket but worked his way up from card dealer to casino owner by the end of the ’60s. In ’75, Boyd opened Sam’s Town, a casino and resort hotel that catered to locals, and the establishment still bears his name to this day, serving as a landmark of “old Las Vegas.” Sam’s Town — the album — is due in stores on October 3. … Jurassic 5 are releasing the Dave Matthews Band collaboration “Work It Out” as the first single from their new album, Feedback, due July 25. The clever video follows President Bush (OK, an impersonator) on a jog through downtown Los Angeles, where he comes face to face with a number of the direct effects of his presidency. …

Prince has pulled the plug on his NPG Music Club. Shortly after a trademark lawsuit was filed on July 3 against NPGMusicClub.com by the British owners of science-book company Nature Publishing Group, the site for Prince fans was shut down. The singer’s attorney told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that the events are unrelated, and said Prince has the approval of the name for the 5-year-old Webby-award winning site from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Last month, an e-mail went out to NPG club users that hailed the history of the site and said, “In its current [form] there is a feeling that the NPGMC has gone as far as it can go. In a world without limitations and infinite possibilities, has the time come 2 once again make a leap of faith and begin anew? These r ?s we in the NPG need 2 answer. In doing so, we have decided 2 put the club on hiatus until further notice.” The letter said a time of “great reflection and restructuring” was coming. Prince’s lawyer would only say, “Wait and see.” …

Jacob Arabove, known throughout the hip-hop world as Jacob the Jeweler, appeared before a judge in Detroit on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to money-laundering charges, The Associated Press reports. The premier bling purveyor’s bond was continued at $100,000. Arabove was arrested June 15 in New York on a federal warrant issued in Detroit and agreed to turn himself in to Detroit authorities this month. He is one of 41 people named in a federal indictment released in May that accuses the jeweler and members of the Black Mafia Family of drug trafficking, money laundering and conspiracy. …

Prosecutors will not be filing charges against a photographer who was arrested last month outside the Malibu, California, preschool that Angelina Jolie‘s son Maddox was attending. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office told the AP that there was insufficient evidence to prove that photographer Clint Brewer trespassed on school property while trying to snap pictures of Jolie’s 4-year-old son. Jolie, who recently gave birth to a daughter with Brad Pitt, has signed on for two new movie projects. Variety reports that she will star in “A Mighty Heart,” playing the widow of journalist Daniel Pearl, who was abducted and killed by a militant group in Pakistan in 2002. The film, produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B and directed by Michael Winterbottom, is scheduled to begin shooting by September. Jolie will also lend her voice to the animated feature “Kung Fu Panda,” starring Jack Black and Jackie Chan. …

The civil suit filed against Michael Jackson by former business associate F. Marc Schaffel went to the jury Thursday (July 13), AP reports. In his closing remarks, Jackson attorney Thomas Mundell asked the jury to “send [Schaffel] from this courtroom with nothing,” while Schaffel attorney Howard King said, “It’s a world where a superstar professes love for Marc Schaffel and entrusts him … Michael world — a world without receipts.” The jury will return Friday for more deliberations. …

In other Jackson developments, approximately 50 documents sealed during the singer’s child-molestation trial were released this week by the Santa Barbara Superior Court. They reveal the graphic details of seven alleged prior “bad acts,” cases in which the prosecution claimed the singer had molested other boys and the witnesses they were planning to call to prove it. Some of those witnesses did indeed testify, although not all the ones the prosecution lists; all seven prior alleged cases weren’t presented in court, either. The documents, which were unsealed pursuant to a June 2005 court order, also involve motions for search warrants, contempt of court, protective orders, informants, objections to mental exams for the accuser and his family as well as subpoenas for existing psychiatric records for his mother, items to be suppressed — which include a Pee Wee Herman holiday card, Polaroid photos of teenage boys, photographs of children from the employee break-room safe, and “bloody bed linen” from the upstairs library room — on the basis that they were not described in the warrant or were found in areas outside the scope of the warrant. Jackson was acquitted of the charges. …

In yet more Jackson legal news, ex-wife Debbie Rowe filed suit against the singer last week in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that Jackson has failed to pay her what he promised when they divorced in 1999. Filed July 3 by Rowe — the mother of two of Jackson’s children — the suit seeks $195,000 for attorney fees and $50,000 in living expenses so that she can continue her child-custody case against him. Rowe gave up parental rights to Prince Michael Jackson, 9, and Paris Michael Jackson, 8, in 2001, but asked a judge to reinstate her rights in 2003 after Jackson was arrested on child-molestation charges. He was ultimately acquitted in that case. AP reports that Rowe’s suit claims Jackson stopped making promised payments to her in late 2003. After their split, Jackson promised to pay Rowe $1 million annually for three years and $750,000 annually for the following six years. The next court hearing in the case is scheduled for July 26. …

There’s a lot more Lollapalooza activity in store now that a handful of bands have announced additional post-event shows in Chicago. Mates of State are hitting up the Abbey Pub on August 3, while Blackalicious and Lyrics Born are playing the House of Blues the following night. Of Montreal, Thievery Corporation and Lake Trout are also booked for gigs at various clubs that evening, while Blues Traveler and Particle will be taking over the House of Blues and the Frames and Nada Surf check in at the Metro August 5. … Author Michael Faber didn’t want the audiobook of his short story “The Fahrenheit Twins” to be some boring by-the-numbers listen, so he roped in his longtime pen pal, producer/musician Brian Eno (U2, Talking Heads) to record a soundtrack to the story for the 73-minute “Twins” CD. The ambient, subtle sound collage from Eno fits the glacial pace of the story about two odd children set in the Arctic. …

British dance-pop duo Basement Jaxx will release their fourth album, Crazy Itch Radio, September 12. Guests on the disc include Vula Malinga — previously featured on the Jaxx single “Oh My Gosh” — Swedish pop singer Robyn and East London grime gal Lady Marga. A U.S. tour is in the works for 2007, but the Jaxx will be making appearances in New York and Los Angeles this October. … New York dance-punk rockers the Rapture are also set to release their next LP on September 12. Pieces of the People We Love, their 10-track sophomore effort, was co-produced by Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth (Bloc Party) and Ewan Pearson (Chemical Brothers). The first single, “Get Myself Into It,” is currently being streamed on the band’s MySpace page. … Oscar-winning comedian Red Buttons, who starred in such films as “The Poseidon Adventure,” “Up From the Beach” and “Sayonara,” died Thursday of vascular disease in his home in Culver City, California. He was 87.

07.12.2006

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.