For The Record: Quick News On Gwen, Mariah, MCR, Young Jeezy, Pink, Ludacris, Avril Lavigne & More

Stefani sews up Sweet Escape track list; Carey seeks reimbursement; MCR plot holiday concerts.

Gwen Stefani can rest easy now that she's figured out which songs will end up on The Sweet Escape, due December 5. Besides first single "Wind It Up," she's also including four other Neptunes-produced tracks: "Orange County Girl," "Breakin' Up," "U Started It" and "Yummy," the last of which also features Pharrell. She also relied on production from No Doubt bandmate Tony Kanal on three tracks: "Don't Get It Twisted," the ballad "4 In The Morning" and "Fluorescent," which features Fishbone's Angelo Moore on saxophone. Depeche Mode's Martin Gore guests as a guitarist on the Nellee Hooper-produced "Wonderful Life" (which Stefani originally co-wrote with Linda Perry), while Keane's Tim Rice-Oxley guests as a pianist/keyboardist on another Hooper-produced track, "Early Winter." Swizz Beatz produced "Now That You Got It," while Akon produced the title track. ...

Mariah Carey's production company filed a $1 million suit late last week seeking reimbursement for the singer's expenses for a show in Hong Kong that was canceled. Carey's suit claims that she had prepped for the show when the One Group Investments Private Limited breached its contract and canceled at the last minute. For the One Group's part, the company claims the cancellation was due to poor ticket sales and unreasonable demands. Meanwhile, Carey performed at New York's Chelsea Piers on Friday at the fourth annual gala for the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation, which funds the New York Yankees manager's efforts to end domestic violence through education. ...

My Chemical Romance, currently touring Europe, will return to the U.S. later this month for a handful of live gigs. The band will perform at radio-station-sponsored holiday shows in Providence, Rhode Island (November 29); Richmond, Virginia (November 30); Norfolk, Virginia (December 1); West Palm Beach, Florida (December 2); Tampa, Florida (December 3); Seattle (December 7); Sacramento, California (December 8); San Diego (December 10); Milwaukee (December 13); Detroit (December 14); and Chicago (December 15). ... Young Jeezy is set to include a long-format video of the album track "Child of God (Bury Me a G)" in the limited-edition version of his upcoming sophomore project, The Inspiration: Thug Motivation 102. In a press release, the rapper described the track as him envisioning his own death and judgment. The Inspiration drops December 12. ...

A limited-edition Pink PSP value pack is now available. It includes a pink PSP, white headphones, remote and wrist strap, plus a special Pink UMD video featuring the clips for "Stupid Girls," "Who Knew" and "U + Ur Hand"; live performances of "Who Knew," "I'm Not Dead," "Family Portrait" and "Get This Party Started"; and the bonus track "Crash and Burn." ... Ludacris and Avril Lavigne will be signing limited-edition World AIDS Day tote bags on November 28 at Aldo in Beverly Hills, California. Adrien Brody, Rosario Dawson and Eva Mendes will also be on hand. ... Chris Brown, Ciara, "American Idol" season-three runner-up Diana DeGarmo and the cast of "High School Musical" will spend an upcoming Thursday morning on the streets of New York — as part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The broadcast of the 80th anniversary event kicks off November 23 at 9 a.m. on NBC. ...

Ms. Dynamite was injured Sunday while filming U.K. reality show "The Race." A car driven by AC/DC singer Brian Johnson clipped the U.K. rapper's vehicle while she was going about 100 m.p.h., causing the crash. Dynamite was airlifted to a hospital but suffered no serious injuries. Johnson won the race, edging out Gary Numan. ... Kylie Minogue played her second show since undergoing breast-cancer treatment last year Saturday night in her hometown of Sydney, Australia, with a special assist from Bono. The U2 singer joined Minogue, 38, for "Kids," her 2000 duet with Robbie Williams, during the second show of her Showgirl Homecoming Tour, according to Australia's Herald Sun. The two-and-a-half-hour concert featured such hits as "Can't Get You Out of My Head" and "Burning Up." ...

Snoop Dogg is putting an iced-out twist on the classic golden-ticket promotion. Nine copies of Snoop's November 21 album, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, will include tickets redeemable for diamond Ice Link watches worth $5,000 to $100,000. ... Bad news for Bloc Party fans: The band has been forced to pull out of all dates on the current Panic! at the Disco arena tour, due to drummer Matt Tong's collapsed lung. Originally, doctors said Tong's injury — which he suffered moments after BP left the stage at the Atlanta stop — would only keep Bloc Party off a handful of dates. But now they're gone for good, according to a statement from the band's publicist. "While Matt is on the road to recovery, doctors have advised that he not travel or play again for another few weeks in order to give his lung time to properly heal," the statement read. Bloc Party will be replaced on the bill by Plain White T's until November 28, and then Cobra Starship on all remaining dates. ...

Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose performed Paul McCartney's Wings song "Live and Let Die" — also featured on Guns' Use Your Illusion I — on Saturday at a fundraiser for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. The event, held at New York's Waldorf-Astoria, also featured appearances and performances from Sheryl Crow and Rob Thomas, and helped raise more than $5 million for the cause. ... Celeb blogger Perez Hilton will make his recording debut on the second album from P-1, due November 21. Perez contributes a Spanish rap interlude on "Ladrona." ... Elton John spoke out against organized religion in an interview published over the weekend in a supplement to London's Observer. "Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays," he said. "I think religion has always tried to turn hatred toward gay people." John admitted that he knows many religious gay people, but said, "From my point of view, I would ban religion completely. Organized religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate." ...

"Spider-Man" star Tobey Maguire's fiancee, Jennifer Meyer, gave birth to the couple's first child on Thursday, according to People. No word yet on the baby girl's name. ... Joe Jagger, the father of Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, died of complications from pneumonia at a hospital in Surrey, England, The Associated Press reports. He was 93. Jagger flew home in the midst of the Stones' A Bigger Bang tour on Friday to see his father and returned in time to perform with the band in Las Vegas on Saturday. ... Slayer will mount a North American headlining run next year with Unearth in the main support role. Just a few dates have been confirmed thus far, with the full routing expected to be announced in the coming days. Slayer's trek will hit Las Vegas (January 25); Los Angeles (January 26); Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (February 22); and Lake Buena Vista, Florida (February 23). The tour is also due to make stops in Providence, Rhode Island; New York; Tucson, Arizona; and Washington, D.C. ... Pennywise are working on their ninth studio LP, which should be ready for release this coming summer. ... Air guitar is going high-tech. A group of Australian engineers have developed an air-guitar shirt with sensors that pick up the strumming and picking motions of the wearer and wirelessly send them to a computer that generates the appropriate riffs. The unfortunately named Wearable Instrument Shirt can also be used to replicate the sounds of the less popular air tambourine.

11.10.2006

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.