For The Record: Quick News On Christina Aguilera, Hilary Duff, Madonna, Three 6 Mafia, Fergie & More

Aguilera plots acting career; Duff album bumped; Madonna explains mock crucifixion.

Christina Aguilera has some advice for fans: “Never believe everything you read or see or hear.” The singer shared that pearl of wisdom in Jane magazine’s October issue, on newsstands Tuesday — and added, “Which I’m sure you are not going to want to print.” They did print it, along with Aguilera’s thoughts on documenting her life with Jordan Bratman for television: “My marriage is sacred to me, and I feel that they would exploit it.” But while reality TV doesn’t appeal to the singer, acting does. “I’m going to read scripts while I’m on the road working this record,” she said. “I think so many people who start off as musicians and cross over just end up playing themselves. To me, that’s not a challenge whatsoever. I want to quote-unquote act.” …

Last month, Hilary Duff predicted that she’d be done with her forthcoming album by mid-September. But when she was in New York last week to launch her new perfume With Love at Macy’s, the singer admitted that she hadn’t met her deadline. “Is it mid-September already?” she said. “It’s probably going to be a bit longer. We’ve done a lot — I would say we’re a little more than halfway finished, but I’m not done.” Though Duff’s record label had said the yet-untitled album would still come out November 21 as originally planned, the singer is in fact getting a little more breathing room — the label confirmed Friday (September 22) that it’s pushing back Duff’s next LP until December 5. …

As NBC weighs whether to air the mock crucifixion in an upcoming Madonna concert special scheduled for November, the singer spoke out Thursday to defend the controversial element of her Confessions world tour. In a statement, Madonna said that the bit — which has been criticized by the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church — is not “anti-Christian, sacrilegious or blasphemous,” but a plea for “mankind to help one another and to see the world as a unified whole. I believe in my heart that if Jesus were alive today he would be doing the same thing.” She added that the intent of the staged crucifixion — which ends with a quote from the Bible’s Book of Matthew about taking care of the hungry and sick — is to bring attention to the plight of impoverished children in Africa. …

It doesn’t seem to be too hard out here these days for Three 6 Mafia. MTV announced this week that it’s partnering with the Oscar-winning rappers for “Adventures in Hollywood,” a comedic reality series that will follow them as they try to make headway in Tinsel Town. The show will trail remaining members DJ Paul and Juicy J as they relocate from their Memphis hometown to Los Angeles along with their entourage, including artist and protégé Project Pat. …

Fergie talks health in Shape magazine’s October issue, and sings the praises of one food that’s dear to her heart: pizza. The Black Eyed Peas singer, who said she hikes with boyfriend Josh Duhamel to stay in shape, has two takes on the cheese-topped treat, naming “pizza dipped in ranch or blue-cheese dressing” as her favorite food splurge and “a bagel with cottage cheese and tomatoes” as her #1 breakfast. “I heat it up, so the cheese melts a bit like a pizza.” … Reports that Michael Jackson plans to open a leprechaun theme park in Ireland are not true, according to the singer’s spokesperson. Jackson’s camp dismissed the Irish Daily Mirror story, which quoted a source that claimed the singer planned to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in the plan because he “loves the whole idea of leprechauns and the magic and the myths of Ireland,” as “erroneous and ridiculous.” …

Perhaps smarting from the commercial beat-down they suffered with this year’s Lights and Sounds, Yellowcard have been writing new songs and are preparing to enter the studio this winter to begin work on a new album. According to their label, Capitol Records, there is no word on just who will produce the new album, but Yellowcard hope to have it in stores by mid-2007. … Tommy Lee makes a cameo in Jack’s Mannequin‘s video for “Dark Blue,” directed by Brett Simon (the Killers, New Found Glory). The 1950s-set clip is inspired by the dance-contest movie “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” Lee played drums on the album, the side project from Something Corporate singer Andrew McMahon. … Dancehall reggae singer Buju Banton is facing his latest ban in the U.S. over violent lyrics about gays and lesbians. The Los Angeles Times reports that e-mail complaints and concerned callers prompted the manager of the Highland nightclub in Hollywood to research Banton’s past and cancel the singer’s show scheduled for October 2. …

A seventh-grade teacher in Kentucky’s Jefferson County school district will not be arrested for burning two American flags in class, Louisville newspaper The Courier-Journal reports. Still, Dan Holden — who was removed from the classroom after giving his lesson on free speech — will not go back to teaching until the district decides whether or not he violated school rules. He has since been assigned to perform noninstructional duties. The Louisville Fire & Rescue arson squad said in a report that Holden had left the students with the flags ablaze as he went to get water to put out the flames, but authorities said criminal charges are not warranted. …

Alice Cooper will be joining the Rolling Stones for three guest appearances as part of his annual Halloween Tour, which kicks off Saturday in Halifax, Nova Scotia — where the legendary rockers will be joined by Kanye West and local favorites Sloan. Cooper and the Rolling Stones will also join forces at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, September 29. He will then hit cities including Nashville, Cleveland and New York without the Stones, before joining the band one last time to inaugurate the new Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, and close out his tour. … The Rolling Stones, who launched their tour Wednesday, have added a November 22 show in Honolulu, Hawaii, to their schedule. … Original Bad Company bassist and King Crimson member Raymond “Boz” Burrell died Thursday at his home in Spain, according to a statement released by Led Zeppelin‘s Swan Song Records, which put out Bad Company’s first six studio LPs. The cause of Burrell’s death was not given. He was 60 years old. …

Plenty of artists have used the Old Testament as inspiration for their music, but an upcoming album called 10 Plagues (due November 7) takes a new approach. The 10-track compilation collects songs by a diverse group of artists — including Rufus Wainwright, Brian Eno, Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields), Laurie Anderson, Imogen Heap and Cody Chesnutt — who each take on one of the plagues associated with the Passover story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt. Song titles include “Blood,” “The Meaning of Lice,” “Flies,” “Boils,” “Hailstones,” “Darkness” and “Katonah (Death of the Firstborn).” … Joseph Arthur, a singer/songwriter known for using looping techniques in his live solo show, is touring with a band for the first time in his career. Arthur’s trek begins Monday in Philadelphia and ends November 3 in Brooklyn, New York. …

Fresh off a stint opening for Madonna in Europe, electronic-music hero Oakenfold is heading back to the U.S. for a string of club dates in support of his new single, “Sex ‘N’ Money,” which features Pharrell. Oakenfold’s run starts Friday in San Diego and winds down October 14 in Miami Beach, Florida. … Stephanie McKay — a Bronx, New York, singer who has worked with Tricky, Mos Def and Kelis — will release her Stateside debut, a self-titled EP, on Tuesday. Geoff Barrow of Portishead produced her U.K. debut, which was released in 2003. … British singer Lily Allen will release her debut album, Alright, Still, in the U.S. on January 30. In the meantime, a four-song digital EP that includes the single “Smile” is out Tuesday.

9.21.2006

Beyoncé was the big winner at Wednesday night’s 10th annual British Music of Black Origin Awards, taking home three out of four awards she was nominated for, including Best International Female as well as Best Song and Best Video for “Deja Vu.” British newcomer Corinne Bailey Rae was close behind with two awards: Best U.K. Female and Best U.K. Newcomer, BBC News reports. The Black Eyed Peas bested Gnarls Barkley, Outkast, Pussycat Dolls and the Streets for the Best Group award, and Jay-Z took Best International Male; neither he nor Beyoncé attended the ceremony. Sean Paul won for Best Reggae Artist and Rihanna took the Best R&B Artist statue. …

Axl Rose has been sued by an art broker who claims the Guns N’ Roses frontman reneged on a $2.36 million deal for a portrait of John Lennon painted by Andy Warhol, The Associated Press reports. The suit, filed on September 11 in Los Angeles by Acquire d’Arte, claims the broker parleyed a deal with a New York art gallery to reduce the asking price for the artwork from $2.65 million, according to The Associated Press. But Axl ponied up just $1.21 million for the painting, and both his manager and attorney informed the broker that he wouldn’t be paying the balance, as he didn’t have enough money and “the painting was not worth the price he had agreed to pay,” according to the suit. Rose’s lawyer, Howard Weitzman, told AP that the terms of the deal may have been distorted. “It’s my opinion that Axl Rose is the victim of some fraud or misrepresentation here,” he said. The broker is seeking $1.5 million in damages. …

Madonna has squeezed past Cher as the top-grossing female road warrior. According to a press release from tour promoter Live Nation, the singer’s Confessions run, which wraps Thursday (September 21) at the Tokyo Dome, is the top-grossing tour ever by a female artist. Though total grosses are not yet tallied, tour producer Arthur Fogel predicted a final take of $193.7 million from 60 shows in front of almost 1.2 million fans — just enough to move past Cher’s record of $192.5 million. … Timbaland wants to work with Fall Out Boy and the All-American Rejects — or so he told Rolling Stone for the newest issue of the magazine, hitting stands Friday. The producer also said in the interview that he’s bored with hip-hop. …

C-Murder has partnered with Vibe and Kensington Publishing to release his first book, “Death Around the Corner,” as a part of the magazine’s new Street Lit initiative. The manuscript centers around New Orleans’ Third Ward community, where the rapper and his brothers, including Master P, grew up. The text was written entirely by hand while the rapper was behind bars for the shooting death of a 16-year-old boy outside a New Orleans nightclub. “Death Around the Corner” also comes on the heels of Miller’s next album, Screamin 4 Vengeance, which will be the lead release on the newly relaunched Priority Records. “Death Around the Corner” is scheduled to be excerpted in the January issue of Vibe along with an interview with C-Murder, who is currently under house arrest while waiting to be retried for the 2002 shooting. The book is due in paperback December 26. No date has been set for Miller’s album. …

Kevin Federline has re-upped his deal to be the face of Five Star Vintage. After the company dubbed his debut in their fall campaign an “overwhelming success,” K-Fed has been tapped to front the winter 2006 ad campaign as well. The ads, featuring K-Fed in a black “New York”-emblazoned hooded sweater and a signature track jacket — will debut in magazines next month. … Johnny Knoxville, fashion icon? Stuff magazine names the “Jackass” star Style Man of the Year in the October issue. “It’s just the way you carry yourself,” Knoxville said of his style philosophy, explaining that when he walks he gets “a nice roll going in my shoulders” … and thinks about breasts. Other honorees include Chamillionaire, Kevin Federline, Wolfmother, Luke and Owen Wilson, Adrian Grenier and motocross star (and Pink‘s husband) Carey Hart. … While touring this fall with Three Days Grace, singer Adam Gontier is playing solo acoustic shows at selected rehabilitation centers across the country and hosting Q&A sessions afterward. “It’s my payback to a system that kept me alive,” Gontier said in a letter to fans. “Not only is it a payback, but it’s my way of getting across a point to many people out there who feel like they’re alone and feel like there’s no way out. There is.” …

British billionaire Richard Branson, the mogul behind the Virgin brand, said Thursday that he would commit $3 billion to the fight against global warming, AP reports. Branson made the announcement in New York on the second day of the Clinton Global Initiative conference and was joined by Bill Clinton for the announcement. “Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful world from our parents and they from their parents,” Branson said to reporters. “We must not be the generation responsible for irreversibly damaging the environment.” Branson said 100 percent of the profits from his transportation and airline companies will fund efforts to find renewable energy sources to take the place of coal and oil. … DJ AM will judge the “Shaken and Stirred” DJ contest, searching for the best remix of the classic James Bond theme. The promotional contest for the upcoming “Casino Royale” Bond flick will wind up with five finalists flown to New York on November 8 to perform live in front of a celebrity panel of judges including AM. The winner will get an all-expense paid, VIP trip to Las Vegas, a chance to open for AM at a nightclub in Sin City and new DJ equipment. …

When Tom Green had surgery for testicular cancer, cameras were there to document his journey. And now that he’s about to go under the knife again — for an operation on a broken leg — the comedian has more plans to share his pain with the world. Green busted his leg last week while attempting skateboarding tricks for his online talk show “Tom Green Live,” and will have surgery Thursday to correct the injury. Green plans to show footage of the procedure on his show, which streams at TomGreen.com. “We will somehow make it funny,” he said in a post on his site. … On Monday night in Toronto, Final Fantasy was presented with the inaugural Polaris Music Prize, a cash award (approximately $18,000) presented to the artist behind the year’s best Canadian album — “based on artistic merit” and chosen by a panel of judges. He Poos Clouds, the disc from Fantasy (a.k.a. Owen Pallett), beat out LPs from Broken Social Scene, Cadence Weapon, Sarah Harmer, K’Naan, Malajube, Metric, New Pornographers and Wolf Parade as well as Porcella, the final disc from the now-defunct Deadly Snakes — who played their farewell show in Toronto late last month.