For The Record: Quick News On K-Fed, Gerald LeVert, Katt Williams, Jay-Z, Nas, ‘Borat’ & More

Federline's lawyer issues statement; Nas previews LP with Jay; students sue for 'Borat' portrayal.

Kevin Federline‘s lawyer, Mark Kaplan, has issued a new statement regarding K-Fed’s divorce with Britney Spears. “Kevin is prepared to go the distance in order to do what he feels is necessary to protect and safeguard the children and will not be intimidated or dissuaded from pursuit of those goals.” …

K-Fed’s not alone, of course, as he will soon join Jason Alexander as one of Spears’ ex-husbands. Alexander had some choice words for Federline on “Extra”: “I don’t hate the guy. I think he made an idiot of himself,” Alexander said, among other remarks. Alexander also revealed that he’s still infatuated with Spears, saying, “I still love her.” “Give me a call. I’m a good guy to talk to … and I’m here for you.” …

Katt Williams is out on bail after having served three days at a Los Angeles jail. The comedian, who was released Friday (November 10), had been detained on a weapons charge at Los Angeles International Airport while on his way to New York. “Good stuff happens, bad stuff happens,” Williams said in a video clip that’s spreading fast on YouTube. …

Nas hosted an album-listening session at Sony Music Studios in New York on Thursday evening for his forthcoming Def Jam debut, Hip-Hop Is Dead … The N. Label president Jay-Z was in attendance, as were superproducers Swizz Beatz and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins. The crowd of reporters and industry insiders was teased with a brief clip of the long-awaited Nas/Jay-Z collabo cut. … Later that night, Jay celebrated the one-year anniversary of his 40/40 Club in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Hov was accompanied by Beyoncé, while Nas and Clive Davis were among the celebrities who made the trek down to A.C. for the festivities. … Juvenile is in the clear. A six-person jury ruled in favor of the New Orleans rapper on Thursday, AP reports, exonerating him in a lawsuit that claimed he was responsible for an off-duty police officer injuring her knee during a shopping mall melee involving Juvenile. An attorney for the officer said he will file a motion for a new trial or appeal. …

You can now add a couple of frat boys to the list of people who don’t think “Borat” is funny. According to The Associated Press, two fraternity brothers from a university in South Carolina have filed suit against 20th Century Fox and three production companies associated with the hit movie, claiming that they were tricked into making boozy racist and sexist comments in the film and engaging in behavior “they otherwise would not have engaged in.” The suit claims that the movie’s production crew took the students, who are not named in the filing, to a bar to loosen them up for what they were told would be a documentary shown outside of the U.S. The men claim the comments they made while on camera have caused embarrassment and are asking for damages and for the studio to stop using their likenesses in the film’s advertising. A studio spokesperson said the lawsuit has no merit. …

Hinder have set a new record for rock-ringtone sales. Their song “Lips of an Angel” has sold more than 1 million units. … On March 6, squeaky-clean pop-punksters Relient K will release Five Score and Seven Years Ago, the follow-up to their 2004 breakthrough disc, MMHMM. The new album is produced by Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, the Used) and features 14 songs, including “Come Right Out and Say It,” “Forgiven” and “Bite My Tongue.” It’s book-ended by a pair of tracks (“Plead the Fifth” and the 11 minute album-closer “Deathbed”) that are, according to frontman Matt Thiessen, about “a 19th century man with an intriguing conspiracy theory about Abraham Lincoln, and an aging cancer patient, respectively” (sounds, um, awesome!). The first single from Five Score, “Must Have Done Something Right,” is expected to hit radio soon. …

Bloc Party have been forced to drop off their current tour with Panic! at the Disco after drummer Matt Tong suffered a collapsed lung following Thursday night’s show in Atlanta, according to the band’s Web site. Tong was admitted to an Atlanta hospital after the show; he is in stable condition and not in any immediate danger but will likely remain in the hospital for three days of observation. It is not known when he will be able to return to the stage, which means the group will miss upcoming shows in Charlotte, North Carolina; Fairfax, Virginia; and next week’s Madison Square Garden concerts in New York. … The Texas chapter of the Recording Academy will honor indie rap label Swishahouse — founded by DJ Michael “5000″ Watts and home to Paul Wall and Mike Jones — on Monday at its Governors Awards gala in Austin, Texas. ZZ Top, Yolanda Adams and the founders of the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference will also be honored at the ceremony, which includes a silent auction with proceeds benefiting MusiCares’ support of Texas musicians. …

A survey has been posted on the Ozzfest Web site, where metal fans can put in their two cents and perhaps even shape the lineup for the festival’s 12th run. The questionnaire asks about past Ozzfests and seeks suggestions for bands that should grace the stage in 2007. … Mastodon will hit the road next year with Converge and Priestess for a full U.S. trek that’s set to kick off in Minneapolis on February 5. Just 11 dates have been confirmed so far, with more to be announced in the coming weeks. Gigs are currently booked through a February 17 show in Washington, D.C. … There was more grit than glitz at Thursday night’s tribute to Bob Dylan at New York’s Lincoln Center, where musicians just jammed away to their favorite Dylan song. Some went the sad route (Philip Glass and Natalie Merchant‘s take on “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”) while others played for laughs (Sandra Bernhard turned into a storyteller and belted out “Like a Rolling Stone”). The audience burst into cheers as Rosanne Cash sang, “Who’s gonna take away his license to kill? You are,” in Dylan’s “License to Kill,” and the Roots received a standing ovation for “Masters of War.” Ryan Adams, Cat Power, Patti Smith and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah also performed. …

Legendary R&B vocalist Gerald LeVert passed away Friday in his Cleveland home, his record label has confirmed. He was 40. According to early reports, the singer, best known for his hit single “Casanova,” died of heart complications. “[LeVert] was one of the greatest voices of our time, who sang with unmatched soulfulness and power, as well as a tremendously gifted composer and an accomplished producer,” read a statement issued by Atlantic Records. The feisty singer made his debut in the ’80s as one-third of LeVert alongside his younger brother and childhood friend. He released his first solo album, Private Line, in 1991, and went on to release more than 10 LPs. That includes collaborative efforts with his father, former O’Jays singer Eddie LeVert, and a group project with Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill called LSG. Gerald LeVert is survived by his four children. … Jack Palance has also died, AP reports. The actor died of natural causes and was 87 years old. Palance appeared in more than 100 movies, including “Shane” and “Sudden Fear,” both of which earned him Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor. When he later accepted that trophy for his unforgettable role in 1991′s “City Slickers,” the then-73-year-old surprised the Academy Awards crowd by doing one-handed push-ups onstage.

11.09.2006

Diddy and Kim Porter are content now, committed to one another and expecting twin daughters. But it wasn’t that long ago that the man formerly known as Puff Daddy was split from Porter, the mother of his son Justin, and in the midst of a high-profile relationship with Jennifer Lopez. “With Jennifer, I was attracted to someone who had the same energy as me,” Diddy explained in the December issue of Essence. “But that isn’t necessarily the best. Because I’m so aggressive, the best energy for me is someone who slows me down and makes me feel like I can breathe. It’s hard for me to breathe. When I’m around Kim I feel like I can do that.” …

In other Diddy news, he’s signed on with hip-hop veteran Chris Lighty’s Violator management, the company confirmed Thursday (November 9). Lighty, who has helped guide the careers of 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and Mobb Deep, will oversee Diddy’s music and branding ventures, according to a report in the New York Daily News.Taylor Hicks will sing the national anthem at the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series: Ford 400 on November 19 at Homestead Miami Speedway. …

It may be time for Lindsay Lohan to consider getting a driver. The accident-prone actress was involved in her third car crash in two years early Tuesday morning. People magazine reports that the 20-year-old singer/actress was rear-ended by a paparazzo around 2 a.m. while driving in Los Angeles. According to her spokesperson, Lohan was not injured in the incident. In May 2005, a photographer was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after hitting Lohan’s car. …

When it rains, it pours. As his debut tanks on Billboard‘s albums chart (it will open at #151) and he faces divorce from Britney Spears, Kevin Federline‘s promotional concert tour has hit another snag. According to the Chicago Tribune, tickets for Federline’s Wednesday night show at the House of Blues Chicago were selling so slow that the venue was giving them away just to fill up the joint. Federline’s Thursday show in Cleveland has been canceled. … “American Idol” finalist Kellie Pickler is faring considerably better, entering that same Billboard albums chart at #9 with her debut, Small Town Girl, and even scoring her own sitcom. Variety reports that Pickler will star as a naive Southern girl who learns that a prominent governor is her father — putting his presidential hopes in jeopardy until their charming father-daughter bond wins his constituents over. 20th Century Fox Television and “Idol” producers 19 Entertainment are teaming up to produce the still-untitled series. …

Add Russia to the list of countries that don’t get “Borat.” BBC News reports that the neighbor and close ally of the butt of many of the movie’s jokes, Kazakhstan, has banned the hit comedy flick, refusing to provide a distribution license because Russian officials said it could potentially humiliate different ethnic groups and religions. … John Mayer, ?uestlove and Perry Farrell are featured on The Best of the Jammys Volume One, a DVD featuring performances from the jam-band award show, which launched in 2000. Due Tuesday, the DVD will also feature Ryan Adams, Phil Lesh and Moe. … Dave Matthews, Gov’t Mule and the John Popper Project featuring DJ Logic will headline the 18th annual Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam, scheduled for December 16 in Asheville, North Carolina. Edwin McCain is also scheduled to perform. … Shinedown are planning their second United Service Organizations tour later this month. The band will meet and perform for troops stationed in the Persian Gulf. …

Megan Zacher, 22, is living proof that hips do lie. The Delanco, New Jersey, native is suing Calico Jack’s Cantina in New York after she was injured during a “Shake-It-Like-Shakira” contest that went awry. According to reports, Zacher slipped and fell off a wet bar and tore ligaments in her left knee that required surgery after participating in the bar-sponsored shake-off. Her lawyer claims that the bar should have known that the promotion was “dangerous and likely to lead to injury.” … Microsoft has agreed to pay a percentage of sales from its new Zune portable media player and its new online music store to the Universal Music Group. The New York Times reports that Universal will receive more than $1 from the sale of each $250 device as part of a royalty for licensing its recordings to the new player, pledging to give half of what it receives to its artists. The deal is a departure from the precedent set by Apple, which pays record companies for songs sold through its iTunes store, but does not give them a cut of the sales of iPods. Microsoft said it would offer similar royalty deals to the rest of the music industry. …

Apparently, nobody really wants to see show-tune versions of Bob Dylan songs sung by peppy hoofers with fake guitars under a circus big top. Less than a month after it opened on Broadway, the heavily panned Dylan musical, “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” will close. Reuters reports that the show will take its final bow on November 19, closing after 28 performances in what Village Voice critic Michael Musto referred to as a “mercy killing.” The show, a collaboration with choreographer Twyla Tharp, follows in the footsteps of another Boomer-era musical that flopped last year, “Lennon,” which chronicled the life of late Beatles icon John Lennon. … Daniel Baldwin was arrested Wednesday in Santa Monica, California, on suspicion of stealing an SUV, AP reports. The actor was stopped in a GMC Yukon that had been reported stolen in Orange County. Authorities said the vehicle was owned by an acquaintance of Baldwin’s, but the actor did not have permission to take it. He was booked for investigation of grand theft auto, with bail set at $20,000. … Longtime CBS News correspondent Ed Bradley has passed away, The Associated Press reports. The vaunted journalist, the only one to have landed a TV interview with Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, died of leukemia. He was 65.