For The Record: Quick News On Jessica Simpson, Beyonce, Notorious B.I.G., Tego Calderon, Harry Potter & More

Jessica asks fans to choose second single; Beyoncé picks her own; Biggie family loses bid.

Jessica Simpson is asking fans to help determine the second single from her new album A Public Affair, due August 29. Fans can listen on her Web site and vote between "If You Were Mine," "The Lover in Me," "I Belong to Me," "B.O.Y.," "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" and "I Don't Want to Care." ...

As Beyoncé's September 5 B'Day draws nearer (her actual birthday is one day earlier), the singer has "Ring the Alarm" set as the second single from her second solo album. The video for "Alarm," directed by Sophie Muller (Shakira, No Doubt), is scheduled to premiere this month. ...

A judge denied a bid by the family of Notorious B.I.G. to expand its wrongful-death lawsuit against the city, The Associated Press reported Friday (August 11). The family requested last month that the lawsuit also include claims that an on-duty police officer was at the site where the killing occurred, but U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper denied the motion. Cooper said there was "no admissible evidence that [the officer] was on duty ... at the scene of the murder." ...

Tego Calderón has firmed up an August 29 release date for his Atlantic Records debut, The Underdog/ El Subestimado. Reggae king Buju Banton and reggaetón guru Don Omar are among the guests. ... Wyclef Jean is teaming up with Asian pop star Sun. The Fugees rapper is producing the singer's next album. ...

NBA star Ron Artest, fresh off touring with Fat Joe, will release his debut hip-hop album, My World, on October 24. Mike Jones and Allure are among the guests. ... Aly & AJ's "Chemicals React" has been translated into the Sims' native language of Simlish for "The Sims 2: Pets," due October 17. A video for the track is featured on the group's new deluxe edition of Into the Rush. ... Actress/model Jaime King is the new face for Jay-Z's Rocawear line, joining supermodel Naomi Campbell. She is currently featured with Naomi and Jay in the fall holiday ad campaign, which was shot in Aspen, Colorado. "Jay-Z thinks they are two females that represent the Rocawear lifestyle," a Rocawear rep said. ...

New York's Radio City Music Hall is big, but not big enough to contain all of Harry Potter's fans. Millions missed out on J.K. Rowling's juicy question-and-answer session earlier this month at the "An Evening With Harry, Carrie & Garp" charity event benefiting the Haven Foundation and Doctors Without Borders. MTV News gave the scoop on Rowling's talk last week (see "J.K. Rowling Reveals Further Details About Final 'Harry Potter' "), but if you want to experience it for yourself — along with readings by Stephen King and John Irving — the event is being streamed in its entirety on Friday at Video.MSN.com. Select highlights will be available on demand starting Saturday. ...

When Paris Hilton first created her watch line, she designed a limited-edition selection of luxury timepieces priced in the $100,000 range — fair for an heiress, but a little out of regular folks' reach. Now Hilton and Abazias Diamonds are branching out with a ready-to-wear range of watches priced from $138-$230 with style names including Love Horseshoe, Naked Eyes and Bikini — that one has two faces. ... A previously unreleased solo track from Dave Grohl is among the songs featured on the soundtrack to "Rising Son, the Legend of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi," due November 14. New Slightly Stoopid and Murs songs are also included, alongside contributions from Queens of the Stone Age and Gnarls Barkley. ... Kanye West isn't the only star lending his shine to the Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang fall tour. Dave Matthews Band and Van Morrison are joining the Stones as openers for select dates of the band's latest North American leg. DMB will support the group's Seattle (October 17) and El Paso, Texas (October 20), stops, while Morrison will open in Vancouver, British Columbia (November 3), and Oakland, California (November 5). West's previously announced opening spot for the Stones in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will be boosted by performances by Alice Cooper and Sloan. ...

Portishead's Geoff Barrow is a bit of a thorny curmudgeon — and he's the first to admit it. After fans suggested that au courant beatmaker Danger Mouse produce the long-awaited follow-up to Portishead's self-titled sophomore disc, issued in 1997, Barrows took to the band's MySpace blog to scoff at the idea (in poorly written fashion). "I'd rather poo in my mums suday roast than have Danger Mouse produce a Portishead record, no offence like," he wrote. A few days later, cooler heads prevailed when he appeared contrite — or at least somewhat. "Just to let you know after my rants the other day that were reported about a certain producer. I dont rate myself better or above anyone else. It was purely in responce to a message that suggested he should produce our album and also to be honest I'm a grumpy old f--- who hates everything and Gnarls Barkley." ... "Sleep Well, Drive Carefully: On the Road with Death Cab for Cutie" will kick off Starz Cinema's monthly music series. The documentary, directed by Justin Mitchell and featuring a backstage peek at life on tour, will air August 28 at 10 p.m. ... Jane's Addiction, Mastodon, Seemless, Codeseven and the Fall of Troy are among the artists whose music will be featured in the Xbox 360 game "Saints Row," which will land in stores August 29. ...

New York indie-rockers the Walkmen just released their third album, A Hundred Years Off, in May. But during the arduous recording of that disc — in their downtime — the 'Men recorded another LP: an entire reworking of Harry Nilsson's classic 1974 album Pussy Cats (produced by John Lennon). The note-for-note re-creation, Pussycats Starring the Walkmen, is due October 24. ... Connecticut hardcore stalwarts Hatebreed will be forced to skip the last date on this summer's Ozzfest. Hatebreed are missing the August 13 show in West Palm Beach, Florida, due to a death in bassist Chris Beattie's family. "[Beattie's] grandfather George had become ill and subsequently passed away yesterday," a statement from the band read. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris, his family and those who were close to George. May he rest in peace. Please understand our circumstances." ... And now an indie-rock riddle: What do you get when you add a member of Destroyer and the New Pornographers (Dan Bejar), the singer of Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown (Spencer Krug) and a founder of Frog Eyes (Casey Mercer)? The answer is Swan Lake. The newly formed group will release its debut full-length, Beast Moans, on November 21. The 13-track disc was produced by the bandmates and friends — who are also former roommates.

08.10.2006

Lil' Kim's entertainment attorney has responded to rumors that the rapper has been dropped from Atlantic Records following her early release from prison last month. "We are having discussions which I cannot confirm the details [of] at this time. However, we do wish Atlantic would release and simply free Kim," L. Londell McMillan said in a statement. ...

Carmen Electra filed for divorce from Dave Navarro on Thursday (August 10), The Associated Press reports. She cited "irreconcilable differences." The couple announced their split in mid-July. ...

Dave Chappelle, coming off a sold-out 15-show residency at San Francisco's Punch Line comedy club, has quietly booked a tour that will keep him in theaters across the country through August. The outing begins Friday in Norfolk, Virginia, and ends in Atlantic City, New Jersey, with a pair of gigs on the 25th and 26th. ...

Method Man has set August 29 as the new release date for his upcoming album 4:21 ... The Day After. The LP, which will feature "Say" featuring Lauryn Hill as its first single, was originally due July 18. ...

Gwyneth Paltrow thinks Nicole Richie is "super cute" — so she told Bazaar magazine for its latest cover story. (See pics from the piece right here.) The seemingly mild-mannered actress also revealed that she's not so demure behind the wheel: "I curse when I drive," she said. "I'm like a horribly aggressive New York driver. I'm always yelling, 'F--- you!' at truck drivers and honking my horn!" ...

Poor Sean Preston — he isn't even a year old and he's already made a worst-dressed list. The September issue of Esquire puts Britney Spears and Kevin Federline's toddler son — who's a bit young to have much of a say in his wardrobe — in the fashion-disaster ranks alongside Axl Rose and Marc Anthony. The new face of James Bond, Daniel Craig, sits at the other end of the style spectrum with a best-dressed nod, followed by runner-up John Legend. Actors Terrence Howard and Jake Gyllenhaal and Australian rocker Nick Cave round out the men's magazine's top-five fashion stars. ...

Kelly Clarkson is heading back into the recording booth — with Congress, on Capitol Hill. The singer is headlining the Recording Academy's Grammys on the Hill advocacy events, set for September 6 in Washington, D.C. Clarkson will lead a group of musicians, songwriters, producers and engineers who will join the Congressional Grammy Band — featuring members of Congress who are also musicians — for a recording session. That night, Clarkson, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Mark Foley will be honored by the Academy at a gala dinner. ...

Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts are getting a fresh boost. Matthew McConaughey just auctioned his 1971 Corvette Stingray convertible on eBay, and he'll be forking over the $61,600 winning bid to Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network for Katrina and Rita recovery efforts, AP reports. Mississippi rockers Three Doors Down visited the Gulf Coast earlier this week to dole out money raised from a benefit auction held last year, while Dr. Phil just taped episodes of his TV show in New Orleans that will air at a later date. ...

No Doubt have donated an autographed guitar to benefit Orange, California's Providence Speech and Hearing Center. A chance to win the black Slammer Special by Hamer, signed by Gwen Stefani, Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal and Adrian Young, costs $100. To enter the charity raffle, visit PSHC.org. ... Song titles like "Promiscuous" and "Maneater" don't sound like the work of a quilter, but Nelly Furtado is getting crafty to create the center square of a custom quilt to be auctioned off to benefit environmental charity the Land Conservancy. Furtado is counting on fans to fill out the quilt with their own 12-inch square creations. Participants whose panels make the cut will earn an autographed photo of the singer. Head to NellyFurtado.com for more information on the project. ...

Alicia Keys, Bow Wow, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Hoobastank and Sara Evans all agreed that Arcata, California, high school student Laurel Dammann knows how to express unity through music. The 16-year-old's "Through the Fall" was unanimously chosen by the panel of judges as the winner of the "come together" themed 2006 Songwriting Contest for Teens, sponsored by USA Today and Billboard. "It's about prejudices and differences," Dammann explained to Billboard. "The problem is, some don't look past the differences to see the person." ... Have you considered trying out for "American Idol" but fear that Simon Cowell would say you're better suited for Broadway? Do you dream of being the next John Travolta or Olivia Newton-John? There's finally a televised talent search that fits the bill. "You're the One That We Want," set to air as a midseason addition to NBC's 2006-07 season, is seeking Danny and Sandy wannabes to lead the cast of a Broadway revival of "Grease" set to bow in June. ...

Tommy Lee, Papa Roach and Tiesto are among the artists participating at the second Bacardi Global Gathering, a three-day concert taking place at Las Vegas' Palms Casino September 1-3. The first Global Gathering was staged in Miami in March and featured Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie and Sasha and Digweed. More performers for the second one will be announced in the coming weeks. ... Portishead fans who have been waiting nine years for the band's third studio album are going to be left hanging even longer. According to a post on drummer Geoff Barrow's MySpace page, the eight-years-in-the-making LP isn't coming along as planned. "Work ain't good at the moment," he wrote. "We've got stuck. Just a few more months and we can really go at it. ... It's really hard not to sound like you're doing a bad impression of yourself." ...

DJ Shadow will tour this fall in support of The Outsider, his forthcoming album slated for September 12 release. After a tour of Europe and Japan, DJ Shadow will kick his U.S. run off September 20 in Seattle, and hit Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, New Orleans and Chicago before wrapping things up in New York on October 18. ... Kaki King will be headlining the fourth annual Yellow Umbrella Tour, which will make 33 stops across North America to raise awareness of cervical cancer and the virus that causes it, HPV. Best known for her acoustic-guitar instrumentals, King has enlisted a band for the tour, which will feature music from her recently released third album, Until We Felt Red — which takes her sound in a new direction with electric guitar and vocals. The Yellow Umbrella Tour kicks off September 7 in New York and wraps up October 23 in Boston. Cervical cancer survivor and tour founder Christine Baze will open for King on the road trip.