For The Record: Quick News On Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Beatles, Great White, Green Day, Audioslave & More

Carey, West score BMI honors; Beatles sue record labels; Great White manager seeks reduced sentence.

Mariah Carey, Babyface, L.A. Reid and Kanye West were all winners at the sixth annual Urban Awards held Wednesday at New York’s Roseland Ballroom. The awards show, hosted by performing-rights organization BMI, honored Carey with its two top awards, Song of the Year (“We Belong Together”) and Songwriter of the Year, which she shared with Miami producers Bigg D and Jim Jonsin (Trick Daddy, Pretty Ricky). L.A. Reid and writing partner Babyface were given a lifetime achievement BMI Icons award, while Kanye scooped up Producer of the Year honors for the second year in a row and Jazze Pha‘s “1, 2 Step” for Ciara took the BMI Urban Ringtone Award. …

(Check out photos from the 2006 BMI Urban Music Awards red carpet.)

The surviving members of the Beatles have sued EMI and Capitol Records claiming the record companies cheated them out of millions of dollars. According to BBC News, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison are seeking $25 million in damages against the companies, which they claimed had falsely listed Beatles albums as destroyed or damaged but then secretly sold them. A judge in New York’s State Supreme Court denied EMI’s request last week for the claim — filed in December — to be thrown out over lack of evidence. The group is also looking to reclaim rights to all its master tapes. …

Lawyers for Great White tour manager Daniel Biechele filed a motion in Superior Court this week seeking a reduction in his four-year prison sentence in connection with the Station nightclub fire that killed 100 people in February 2003. According to The Providence Journal, Biechele’s lawyer said his client is not seeking a hearing on his motion at this time, but that the request was filed to beat a deadline to preserve Biechele’s right to seek a reduced sentence if circumstances in the case change. The club’s co-owners are awaiting trial and if they receive shorter sentences or are acquitted, that could prompt Biechele to seek a reduction. In February, Biechele, 29, pleaded guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter, one for each of the people who died in the fire set off by stage pyrotechnics Biechele lit inside the club. …

Gibson Guitar has hooked up with Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong to create the Gibson Billie Joe Armstrong Signature model guitar, which will be available beginning in September for around $2,100. The design is based on Armstrong’s beloved 1950s model Gibson Les Paul Jr. guitar. It will come in three colors (vintage sunburst, classic white and ebony) with a custom hard-shell case with leopard-print interior and Green Day’s signature “Shock Guy” logo on the exterior. … Audioslave‘s Tom Morello will be throwing out the first pitch at Chicago’s Wrigley Field on Sunday as his favorite team, the Chicago Cubs, take on the San Francisco Giants. …

Frances Bean Cobain comes from serious rock stock, but is the daughter of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love considering a music career of her own? “Not really,” she told the U.K. edition of Elle in its September issue. “I’d much rather act and I really like photography.” Cobain said she’d love to be a film director, explaining that she’d rather be in control than be in front of a camera — “I’m a bit of a bossy-boots.” On the subject of footwear, the 14-year-old admits a passion for shoes, explaining that she’s already collected 137 pairs. “I counted them, which is pathetic. … And I’ve got over 200 pairs of jeans and at least 50 designer handbags.” …

Rancid‘s Tim Armstrong has been working on material that he’ll be releasing in the form of a solo album titled A Poet’s Life. He’s even shot a video for the disc’s first single, “Hold On.” There’s no firm release date yet for the LP, but Armstrong said in an online post that it should surface before year’s end — but not in the conventional manner. He wants to release the songs one track at a time, online, free of charge. He also wrote that Rancid’s seventh studio offering will be released next year, and that the band will begin writing songs for it in December. “In the upcoming years, I hope to make another Transplants album,” he wrote. “I love recording with those guys.” … TV on the Radio are including three new tracks to their upcoming album, Return To Cookie Mountain, including “Snakes and Martyrs,” “Things You Can Do” and an El-P remix of Cookie’s “Hours.” You’ll have to fast-forward through 14 tracks of silence and one “ambient audio” track to hear the songs. Cookie Mountain is due September 12. …

This year’s Farm Aid concert just got way eclectic. In addition to previously announced sets from founders Neil Young, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and board member Dave Matthews, the September 30 concert at the Tweeter Center will feature reggae legends Steel Pulse, polka star Jimmy Sturr, pedal-steel guitarist Robert Randolph and rock pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis, as well as Los Lonely Boys, Arlo Guthrie, Gov’t Mule, Steve Earle and Allison Moorer, Shelby Lynne and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, according to the event’s Web site. … Actor Glenn Ford, who racked up screen credits in nearly 100 films over his 50-year career — but is perhaps best known to younger audiences as Clark Kent’s Earth father in 1978’s “Superman” — died Wednesday at age 90.

08.30.2006

Jessica Simpson, who posed recently in one of her red wigs for the cover of Maxim, is launching the next part of her hair-products line in more than 10,000 salons across the U.S. this week. HairDo, which Simpson’s stylist Ken Paves created with the singer, is a series of clip-in hair extensions that combine human hair with fiber replication. She’s already tested out the new product on red carpets and at other much-photographed events. “They’ve all pretty much got written up before,” Simpson said of the many looks she’s sported on her head. “It’s good for an artist to try and change it up, but it’s also good for an everyday person to walk in and have people turn their heads, too, like, ‘Did you get a haircut?!’ I love that, and this doesn’t take long to do at all. It’s within minutes, literally.” …

Nick Lachey is built like a football player, but it’s basketball he’s got his eye on. No, he’s not following in Master P‘s footsteps and trying out for the NBA. He’s teamed up with buddy A.J. DiScala as part of an investment group that is behind a new American Basketball Association team in Los Angeles called the Hollywood Fame. According to the ABA, the Fame will launch its inaugural season in November, playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Among the other celebrity owners are actors Geoff Stults (“7th Heaven”) and Stacy Keibler (“Dancing With the Stars”), former NBA player John Salley and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller. …

Pink is tackling Joan Jett for football fans, redoing Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You” as the theme to “NBC Sunday Night Football.” The reworked song — titled “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night” — begins, “All right Sunday night where are you?/ Just kicking back from the things that you do/ You want the big game, we want it too.” Pink, a self-described “huge football fan,” is excited to have a part in the NFL coverage. “This is something so different for me,” she said in a statement. “It’s like hearing yourself on the radio for the first time.” The tune will debut September 10 during the show’s first broadcast. An alternate version, “Waiting All Year for Opening Night,” will air September 7 as the 2006 NFL season kicks off with the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Miami Dolphins. …

AFI fans who would like to give their cell phones a goth makeover should head on over to the band’s Web site, where they’ll find a dozen ringtones — one for each track off Decemberunderground, the rockers’ latest LP. … Expect John Legend to bring the sexy back in the video for his new single, “Save Room.” Director Bryan Barber — who helmed “Idlewild” and Christina Aguilera‘s “Ain’t No Other Man” — told MTV News that they shot the clip recently in New York. “It’s very fun,” Barber said. “John wanted to be sexier, so it’s him and a few of his lady friends hanging out, and it’s much more sexy than you’d think.” Barber’s also developing a new script with Outkast‘s Andre 3000 and Big Boi called “Fun Facts,” but he’s keeping that under wraps for now. “Andre made me promise not to tell,” he said, “but it’s kind of bizarre, a little bit of everything in there.” Barber said he also recently shot a Pepsi commercial with Pharrell. …

Mike Jones began shooting his debut movie, “American Dream,” this week in Houston. The film, directed by Derrick Dixon (“The Dirty Third”), chronicles Jones’ real-life rise to fame as an aspiring rapper from the streets. … RZA announced the addition of a new member to the Wu-Tang Clan on Wednesday (August 30), a rapper named Cilvaringz. Wu-Tang watchers might know the newcomer from the Ghostface Killah single “Guerrilla Hood,” which Cilvaringz produced; he also appeared on RZA’s last two solo efforts, Digital Bullet and Birth of a Prince. RZA is helping produce Cilvaringz’s debut, along with Method Man, GZA, Raekwon, Ghostface and Masta Killa. The album, titled I, is due in January. … Kevin Federline started up his own record label to release his debut album, Playing With Fire, and now the new rapper has a distribution deal to help it along. K-Fed just signed on with Sony BMG for the North American release of the album, now due October 31. Federline is also set to perform on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on September 6. … Konvicted, Akon‘s follow-up to Trouble, is due December 12. The first single, “Smack That,” features Eminem, while Snoop Dogg and Styles P also appear on the album. …

N.O.R.E., whose reggaetón album N.O.R.E. y la Familia … Ya Tú Sabe is due September 12, will hit the road beginning September 14 in San Francisco for a tour that wraps up September 30 in Atlanta. Fat Joe and Daddy Yankee are among the album’s guests. … Duran Duran and Daft Punk will co-headline the Bang! Music Festival, and Common is also joining the ranks of previously announced performers Gnarls Barkley, Modest Mouse and Tiësto. Thievery Corporation, Roger Sanchez and Kinky have also been added to the November 11 Miami fest lineup. … Papa Roach are giving fans a chance to preview The Paramour Sessions before its September 12 release. The band has scheduled listening parties in 10 cities, and those who attend can enter a contest to win a trip to Los Angeles to see the Roach’s Halloween gig. Listening parties will be held September 5 in Chicago; September 6 in Dallas; September 7 in Philadelphia and Seattle; September 8 in Morristown, New Jersey, and Allston, Massachusetts; September 9 in Orlando, Florida, and Mount Clemens, Michigan; and September 11 in West Hollywood, California, and San Francisco. …

Dinosaur Jr.‘s trailer was robbed Tuesday while parked outside a hotel in Long Island, New York. The band is asking anyone with information to call (303) 998-0001. In other Dinosaur Jr. news, Lou Barlow recently revealed the original lineup is recording its first new record in 18 years. … The Polyphonic Spree are set to release their digital EP, Wait, on Tuesday. Tracks include two tunes from The Fragile Army, due in 2007, and covers of Nirvana‘s “Lithium,” the Psychedelic Furs‘ “Love My Way” (both produced by Jon Brion) and Tripping Daisy‘s “Sonic Bloom.” … The revitalized Lemonheads will be supporting their comeback self-titled album, due September 26, with a tour kicking off November 18 in Santa Ana, California. The North American jaunt will carry them through December 16, when they land in their Boston hometown. … Apparently O.A.R.‘s summer-tour regiment isn’t enough to satisfy the college-friendly band. Fourteen more dates have been added to their schedule, beginning with a Friday-Sunday stint supporting Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge in George, Washington. After that, O.A.R. will rest until October 12, when they play Grand Rapids, Michigan, kicking off a run that winds down October 27 in Minneapolis. The band is still touring in support of last year’s Stories of a Stranger.