For The Record: Quick News On Notorious B.I.G., Mel Gibson, Kevin Federline, Beyonce, Jermaine Dupri, Lance Bass & More

Biggie shooting witnesses wanted; Gibson enters rehab; K-Fed wants to launch Real magazine.

A special task force formed to further investigate the March 9, 1997, shooting death of Notorious B.I.G. has reinstated a $50,000 reward for anyone who can provide information that leads to a conviction, according to a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson. LAPD Chief William J. Bratton assigned the six senior homicide detectives to the case in an effort to clear Los Angeles in a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city by the rapper’s mother, Voletta Wallace, who contends officers conspired in the shooting. The investigators are using a video filmed by tourists minutes before the shooting to gather more potential witnesses to interview. …

Mel Gibson has entered rehab following his arrest Friday for driving under the influence, CNN reports. On Monday, The Associated Press reported that the official report on the actor/director proved that he had in fact made anti-Semitic remarks and threatened a deputy, as had previously been reported online. While Gibson has yet to be formally charged, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sent prosecutors their case on Monday, which also states Gibson had a tequila bottle in his 2006 Lexus when he was pulled over. A tentative arraignment date has been set for September 28. …

Britney Spears has been saying for over a year now that she needs to start her own magazine to combat tabloid rumors, and now hubby Kevin Federline is singing the same tune. Just one month after the Mrs. told Matt Lauer on “Dateline” that she needs to go into publishing so she can say “the real deal,” K-Fed is thinking about starting up a magazine called The Real. In a cover story in this week’s issue of the New York/ New Jersey magazine Steppin’ Out, Mr. Spears claims that he’s “serious” about the venture, which would “tell the truth about not just mine and Britney’s life … but everybody!” (Peep K-Fed pics from the magazine right here.) “It’s not just us; everybody has been lied about in the tabloids,” he continued. “Everybody has false truths and false images and false stuff perceived on them. Maybe not as much as me and my wife get. But everybody has it. You know? I think a magazine like that, if there were just one magazine like that, would attract all the stars. I think they would want to go to that magazine and tell the truth!” K-Fed’s so fired up about the idea, he insisted, “I’m not kidding. This is something I want to do for real.” …

Beyoncé doesn’t like the speculation that she timed the release of her new album B’Day to interfere with a new album out by former Destiny’s Child singer LeToya Luckett — she says it’s just not true. Responding to an item in New York’s Daily News, Beyoncé insists in a statement that making her album available for preorders before the September 5 release had nothing to do with Luckett’s releasing her debut solo album LeToya last week. “I have enormous respect and admiration for LeToya as an artist and as a businesswoman and I wish her incredible success,” Beyoncé said. “LeToya and I have known each other since childhood and, because of all we’ve been through, I know that we both really care — and want what’s best — for each other. … It makes me sad that people are trying to stir up a controversy where there is none.” Beyoncé’s father/manager Mathew Knowles called it “standard practice” for upcoming albums to go on pre-sale well in advance of an in-store date, and said he was “shocked and amazed that this is even an issue.” Meanwhile, Beyoncé’s got backup coming from her boyfriend Jay-Z, who will join the star during her performance of “Deja Vu” at this year’s Fashion Rocks concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on September 7. …

Shots were fired in an Atlanta club Monday morning (July 31) at a party hosted by rapper/producer Jermaine Dupri. A gunman opened fire inside the crowded Atlanta Peach Ballroom after trying to steal another man’s gold chain, according to DeKalb County Police Department spokesperson Herschel Grangent. The alleged thief pulled out a gun and fired an undetermined number of times, injuring two women who sustained gunshot wounds to their legs while a third cut her arm trying to flee the scene. Grangent said a male victim was taken to an area hospital shortly after the incident with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his chest. Police expect to interview him Monday. It is unknown if Dupri was at the club during the party, which was the culmination of a series of events sponsored by the producer’s So So Def label over the weekend. Grangent said no suspects were in custody at press time and there were no other reports of problems at any of the other Dupri-sponsored events. …

How is Lance Bass doing following his big announcement Wednesday? Reichen Lehmkuhl spoke to “Access Hollywood” on Friday, and said his boyfriend Bass is “happier than he has ever been. It has been a long ride and it’s a huge relief and I couldn’t be happier for him and I couldn’t be more proud of him.” The former U.S. Air Force captain and “Amazing Race” winner said he’s not concerned about Bass’ professional life suffering due to his announcement that he’s gay. “I think it is always best in your career to be honest. He is going to have more support and more happiness and more freedom than he had ever before, and it is going to be a liberating experience. I guarantee it.” … Janet Jackson has changed the title of her album from 20 Years Old to 20 Y.O. The disc is due September 26. … The wait for Kelis‘ follow-up to her 2003 LP Tasty is nearly over. Kelis Was Here is set to hit stores August 22. …

30 Seconds to Mars have been added to the Warped Tour lineup. Jared Leto‘s band will play seven shows as part of the tour beginning Tuesday in Buffalo, New York, and ending August 12 in Toronto. … Boy George will report to New York’s sanitation division on August 14 for five days of work, AP reports. The ex-Culture Club singer was ordered to perform community service after pleading guilty to reporting a false incident earlier this year. … The Mars Volta have parted ways with drummer Jon Theodore, but have not offered an official explanation for his departure. He’s been replaced by Blake Fleming (Laddio Bolocko, Dazzling Killmen), who helped found the Mars Volta in 2001 — hanging around just long enough to record a handful of demos. The band also revealed that guitarist and original At the Drive-In member Pablo Hinojos-Gonzalez would be expanding his onstage duties to include “sound manipulation skills” for the Volta’s upcoming tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. …

The Melvins will be hitting the road in September in support of their forthcoming album A Senile Animal, which is slated for an October 10 release. The band is teaming up with Big Business for the trek, which kicks off September 6 in Sacramento, California, with 17 additional dates scheduled through a September 28 show in Chicago. … Despite the near ubiquity of MySpace, video-sharing site YouTube is actually tops when it comes to daily visitors. According to new data from Internet analysis company Alexa, YouTube had a 3.9 percent share of global Internet visits a day in July, compared with 3.35 percent for MySpace. In the U.S. alone, YouTube’s user base has grown 297 percent this year, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, while its reach — defined as the number of users per million who visit the site — rose 155 percent in the past three months, versus a 9 percent increase for MySpace.

07.28.2006

While it’s probably better they didn’t face off in a popularity contest, President Bush got his picture taken with the “American Idol” finalists on Friday (July 28), The Associated Press reports. Bush also gave the singers a brief tour of the Oval Office, in between meetings with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and top U.S. high school students. The Idols gave Bush an engraved harmonica, while victor Taylor Hicks also gifted Bush with a black T-shirt reading “Soul Patrol.” …

Lindsay Lohan collapsed on the set of “Georgia Rule” earlier this week, but the chief executive of the Los Angeles company producing the movie doesn’t believe it was due to exhaustion, TheSmokingGun.com reports. In an angrily worded letter that was sent to the singer/actress and obtained by the site, James G. Robinson wrote to Lohan that he is “well aware that your ongoing all-night heavy partying is the real reason for your so-called ‘exhaustion.’ ” Robinson alluded to possible legal action in the reprimand, saying her behavior has “resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.” “I urge you to take this letter seriously and conduct yourself professionally,” the letter concluded. …

Mel Gibson has been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, CNN reports. The actor/director was pulled over early Friday in Malibu, California, after sheriffs caught him speeding. Gibson was charged with a misdemeanor and posted a $5,000 bond. …

Killers frontman Brandon Flowers can talk trash with the best of them and has done so consistently over the last year about emo bands like Fall Out Boy and, most recently, Panic! at the Disco. But on the verge of a new album, Sam’s Town, it seems Flowers has had a change of heart. “I’d like to take it all back,” Flowers recanted to AOL Music. “These people are just doing what they want to do, just like I am. I’m actually a nice person and I love people. I just am opinionated and sometimes jealous. It’s not something I’m proud of.” A devout Mormon, Flowers said he was particularly ashamed of his comments about Panic! at the Disco — a band he dissed without ever having heard them. “I don’t even know what their music’s like or if I would even like it,” he said. “That made me feel even worse, to think they could have been fans of ours and I hurt their feelings. That’s just stupid.” … On a related note, Panic! have been forced to cancel their show Friday night at the Premier in Seattle due to a death in the family. No other information was available, but a Panic! spokesperson said they promise to keep fans updated on the situation. …

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” was rated PG-13, but next year, Daniel Radcliffe will be engaged in some R-rated activities. The 17-year-old actor will appear in the nude as part of “Equus,” a London production that will mark the actor’s theatrical debut, AP reports. Radcliffe will play a “troubled stableboy” who, at one point in the play, “is required to simulate sexual ecstasy while riding a horse naked.” Wand-erful. … Owen Wilson has responded to Steely Dan‘s complaint that his new comedy “You, Me and Dupree” ripped off the band’s “Cousin Dupree,” a song about a depraved couch-surfer. “I have never heard the song ‘Cousin Dupree’ and I don’t even know who this gentleman, Mr. Steely Dan, is,” Wilson said in a statement released by his spokesperson, according to The New York Times. “I hope this helps to clear things up and I can get back to concentrating on my new movie, ‘HEY 19,’ ” he added, referring to the band’s song “Hey Nineteen.” …

Tool have added eight stops to their forthcoming North American run with Isis, which will kick off August 6 in Fresno, California. Those new dates are: September 9 (Phoenix); September 26 (Pittsburgh); September 30 (Washington, D.C.); October 2 (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania); October 3 (Manchester, Connecticut); October 5 (Hartford, Connecticut); October 6 (East Rutherford, New Jersey); and October 7 (Wantagh, New York). … The head-butt seen ’round the world — French football superstar Zinedine Zidane being sent off for ramming Italian defender Marco Materazzi in the recent World Cup final — has spawned a chart-topping hit in France. According to the Associated Foreign Press, the song “Headbutt” — created in 30 minutes by three despondent French fans — has been the most downloaded track in France in the last two weeks with over 80,000 downloads. The track’s lighthearted lyrics poke fun at French striker David Trezeguet, who missed a crucial penalty kick and Zidane’s vicious head-butt, which earned him a red card and a career-ending exit from the game. …

Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Buckethead will be out on the road starting September 13 in Lawrence, Kansas, for a 28-date U.S. trek. The guitarist will pass through Detroit, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, New Orleans and Houston before wrapping things up in Anaheim, California, October 29. … More details have surfaced regarding Papa Roach‘s forthcoming LP, The Paramour Sessions. The disc will contain 13 fresh tracks, including “The World Around You,” “I Devise My Own Demise,” “Roses on My Grave” and “… To Be Loved,” the album’s first single. Look for it to land in stores September 12. … Canadian singer/songwriter and sometimes producer Howie Beck will release his self-titled third album September 12. Guests on the 13-track disc include Nada Surf frontman Matthew Caws, Ed Harcourt and Broken Social Scene-er Feist. A tour of select U.S. dates is expected in the fall.