For The Record: Quick News On Hilary Duff, Game, Killers, Panic, Beck, Outkast, Jim Jones, GN’R & More

Duff donates 200,000 more meals for Katrina relief; Game takes snaps for Playboy.com.

Hilary Duff has donated 200,000 meals to two Hurricane Katrina victim shelters in Houston. The singer made the donations through USA Harvest, through which she had already donated more than 2.5 million meals for Katrina relief. Duff also visited New Orleans in August on the one-year anniversary of the disaster. …

The Game is the latest celebrity photographer for Playboy.com. The West Coast rapper snapped pics of one of the magazine’s cyber models earlier this week. The amateur lensman told the site of his work: “If she doesn’t become a Playmate after this, I’m gonna have to see someone.” … The Killers, Panic! at the Disco and Beck are among the acts announced Wednesday (November 16) for the second night of KROQ’s annual Almost Acoustic Christmas, scheduled for December 10 in Universal City, California. Evanescence, Gnarls Barkley, Angels & Airwaves, the Raconteurs, Snow Patrol, She Wants Revenge and a second night of the Foo Fighters round out the bill. …

Los Angeles’ Hollywood Boulevard will shut down on Wednesday (November 22) for Jay-Z‘s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” performance. Jay will play at the American Music Awards the night before. … Outkast rapper Big Boi has partnered with Russell Athletic to design commemorative uniforms to be worn by Louisiana’s Grambling State and Southern Universities in their annual State Farm Bayou Classic face-off November 25. The game marks the return of the collegiate event to the Superdome for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. … Just in time for the holiday season, Jim Jones and the rest of the Diplomats collective will release A Dipset X-Mas on December 5. The 10-track stocking stuffer will feature the remix to Jones’ hit “We Fly High” as well as yuletide cheeriness like “Have a Happy Christmas,” “Wish List” and “Ballin’ on X-Mas.” …

Eagles of Death Metal will open for Guns N’ Roses on their end-of-the-year trek. The outing begins November 24 in Cleveland and ends December 20 in Universal City, California. … Triumph the Insult Comic Dog has been named an honorary member of the Las Vegas Police Department’s K-9 unit, The Associated Press reports. “I will do my part to get all the drugs and hookers off the street and into my hotel room,” Triumph said when accepting the honor. Police Sergeant Danny O’Connell reasoned Triumph would make an excellent addition to his unit. “He’s a straight-shooter. He says what’s on his mind, and peace officers always appreciate that.” … If Alicia Keys has her way, her next album is going to rock. “It’s coming together crazy,” the singer said of her in-the-works LP. “In fact, the people I am collaborating with are people I love. Their style isn’t exactly my style, but a merging of those worlds.” Does that mean she’s teamed up with Queens of the Stone Age, the White Stripes, John Mayer or John Legend (all folks that she said she’d like to work with)? “About three of those names have already come together,” she confirmed. Which three? “I’m not telling you!” she sang back as a taunt. Keys’ album is due next spring. …

British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen broke from his Borat persona to defend the character against charges of misogyny and anti-Semitism in an interview in the current issue of Rolling Stone. Cohen said he was surprised that “Borat” has caused such controversy and that people have misinterpreted the film’s intent. “The joke is not on Kazakhstan,” he said. “I think the joke is on people who can believe that the Kazakhstan that I describe can exist — who believe that there’s a country where homosexuals wear blue hats and the women live in cages and they drink fermented horse urine and the age of consent has been raised to 9 years old.” In some ways, Cohen said, the reaction disappointed him, because he had faith the audience would realize that “the mere purpose of it was to allow people to bring out their own prejudices. I think part of the movie shows the absurdity of holding any form of racial prejudice, whether it’s hatred of African-Americans or of Jews.” Want more proof? Cohen, a religiously observant Jew, points out that his parents love his Jewish humor and his grandmother, who lives in Israel, went to a midnight screening and called at 4 a.m. to compliment him. …

Against Me!, the Bronx, the Riverboat Gamblers and a crew of other punks are joining forces for a good cause. All the proceeds from the 2006 Rock to Roll Holiday Bash, to be held December 4 at the Key Club in West Hollywood, California, will go to Wheels for Humanity, a nonprofit group that distributes wheelchairs to disabled people worldwide. The inexpensive benefit event (tickets cost less than $20) will also feature members of Flogging Molly, Bad Religion, Face to Face, Pennywise, the Living End, Social Distortion, Hot Water Music and Agent Orange. … On December 5, Metallica will unleash “The Videos – 1989-2004,” a career-spanning DVD that contains, well, all their videos from the 15 year-period between … And Justice for All and St. Anger. In addition to the clips, the set also includes extras such as their 1989 VHS-only short film “2 of One,” the 11-minute “theatrical” version of their landmark clip for “The Unforgiven,” and the trailer for the 2004 documentary, “Some Kind of Monster.” Metallica are currently writing material for a new record, tentatively due next year. …

Part of Whitney Houston‘s New Jersey estate is slated to be sold at a January 4 sheriff’s auction because she is more than $1 million behind on the mortgage and taxes have not yet been paid this year, according to the New Jersey Courier-Post. The office of Houston’s publicist denied that the $900,000 property was in foreclosure. … Snow Patrol have confirmed a 28-city North American tour that will kick off February 26 in Portland, Oregon. The trek is scheduled to run through April 10 in Edmonton, Alberta. OK Go and the Silversun Pickups will open on all dates. … The Pickups are among the nominees for this year’s Plug Awards, facing off with Cat Power, Neko Case, Belle and Sebastian, the Hold Steady, the Knife and J. Dilla for Album of the Year honors. New Artist nominees include the Arctic Monkeys, the Black Angels, Cold War Kids, Spank Rock and Tapes ‘N Tapes. The 2007 awards will be held February 10 at Irving Plaza in New York and fans can vote for their favorites through January at PlugAwards.com.

11.15.2006

Michael Jackson‘s big comeback performance at London’s World Music Awards went kaput Wednesday (November 15), according to Reuters. Jackson, singing live for the first time since he was acquitted of child-molestation charges last year, reportedly struggled for high notes and experienced sound problems as he performed his charity single “We Are the World” — not “Thriller,” as had been expected. Beyoncé had introduced Jackson by announcing, “Tonight we are celebrating 25 years of Thriller,” but oddly, Chris Brown wound up singing the song instead. …

Yes, it’s true: The Clipse really will put out their Hell Hath No Fury LP before hell freezes over. The album leaked online Wednesday afternoon, and even though its official due date has been bumped many times, it’s looking firm for a November 28 release. “Enjoy, people, we love you guys!” the Clipse’s Pusha T said regarding the leak. “It was expected,” Malice added. …

Now that she’s finished her “Chicago” run in London, Ashlee Simpson is going back to making music. When MTV News caught up with her on Tuesday, just before the musical’s celeb-packed 10th anniversary performance on Broadway in New York, the singer revealed she has a big meeting with record executives next week to discuss her third album. “I’m going to go back and figure out what I’m going to do and start writing,” she said. “I love musical theater, but it’s different than the music I want to do on the album.” As for what direction she’d like to take, that’s still up in the air, but she does have one name on her wish list of possible collaborators. “Robert Smith from the Cure came to my last show in London, and I don’t know if I was more excited about him or that it was the last show! To work with Robert Smith would be an honor.” …

Nicky Hilton, who aspires to join her family’s business and start a hotel chain, filed suit against former business partner Eneliko Smith in Los Angeles on Tuesday. She claimed that he agreed in 2005 to help her set up a boutique hotel chain called Nicky O but that, after they parted, he misappropriated Hilton’s name — without her permission — to apply for a Nicky O trademark for resort-lodging services. Hilton says her first Nicky O Hotel is scheduled to open early next year. … Nelly Furtado fans who also dig Portuguese soap operas, you’re in for a treat. The singer has a guest role on “Floribella,” set to air later this month on SIC, a premium TV channel, Agence France Presse reports. She plays the daughter of immigrant parents in the episode. … Christina Aguilera, John Legend, Taylor Hicks, Sarah McLachlan and Lionel Richie will perform current tracks and holiday favorites on NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special, which will celebrate the lighting of the famed New York tree. The show airs November 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. …

Matisyahu, O.A.R. and Blackalicious have hopped onboard the Langerado Music Festival, set for March 9-10 at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida. Trey Anastasio, Explosions in the Sky, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Disco Biscuits, Los Lobos and Widespread Panic have also been tapped for the gala, which is celebrating its fifth year. … Kevin Smith has been cast in a new Showtime comedy pilot called “Manchild,” based on the BBC series of the same name. Smith, who is slated to play a cynical divorcée in the show, said in his blog: “It should be an interesting exercise that, if the show works as well as the script, will turn into a sweet side gig for me. At the very least, I’ll learn a thing or two about acting; at the most, I’ll have something to do four months out of every year.” …

Clay Aiken will guest on a holiday-themed episode of the NBC soap “Days of Our Lives” December 22. The singer will perform “Everything I Have” from A Thousand Different Ways, as well as the Christmas classic “O Holy Night,” which appeared on his album Merry Christmas With Love.Elvis Costello, Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy, Will Oldham and other luminaries will appear on the yet-untitled new LP by country legend Charlie Louvin. The self-titled album, due February 20, is Louvin’s first in 10 years and also finds him hooking up with members of Bright Eyes and Superchunk, plus Elvis Presley session guitarist Pete Cummings. Louvin celebrates his 80th birthday July 7. …

Jay-Z will grace the cover of GQ next month as one of three figures representing the magazine’s 11th annual Man of the Year issue. The rapper/ record executive joins actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Ferrell among this year’s honorees. Last year, Jay was named International Man of the Year at British GQ‘s Men of the Year Awards in London. … George Clooney has scored a magazine-cover honor of his own, named the sexiest man alive by People, which issued its annual list Wednesday (November 15). “There’s pressure to remain sexy,” the actor joked. “That’s why I do a lot of cosmetic work.” Two-time winner Clooney, who first took the title in 1997, wasn’t the only one worth salivating over this year — many musicians also ranked on the list, including Justin Timberlake, the man who returned sexy to its rightful place. Also making the grade: Diddy, named sexiest Renaissance rapper; the Killers, sexiest band; Ryan Cabrera, sexiest do-it-yourselfer; and Benji and Joel Madden, sexiest twins. Hilary Duff must be so proud. …

We can all breathe easier now that Bono has his hoop earrings and Stetson cowboy hat back. A judge ruled that former stylist Lola Cashman illegally acquired the U2 singer’s jewelry and hat — as well as a green sweatshirt and pair of black pants — after a 1987 show on the band’s Joshua Tree tour, and that she must return them. According to BBC News, Cashman had insisted the items were a gift she received from Bono on the last night of the tour, when he was running around backstage in his underwear and she asked him for the hat. Cashman tried to sell some of the items at auction in 2002, prompting legal action from the band. … The Wu-Tang Clan will perform Wednesday at New York’s Canal Room to celebrate the birthday of late groupmate Ol’ Dirty Bastard and preview his posthumous album. Method Man, Ghostface, GZA, RZA and Raekwon are all scheduled to appear at the tribute. … DMX, Mario and DMC of Run-DMC are set to perform this weekend at New York’s fifth annual Day of the Child celebration to encourage the mentoring of at-risk youth. The event will take place at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan and will also feature appearances by members of World Wrestling Entertainment. …

Much-buzzed Brooklyn, New York-via-New Mexico indie wunderkind Beirut (a.k.a. 20-year-old Zach Condon) has been forced to cancel his world tour after being hospitalized in Paris due to what his reps are terming “extreme exhaustion.” The announcement was made via a post on Beirut’s Web site, which reads in part, “This is Beirut’s first-ever tour, and while the band played some of the greatest shows of their lives, the attendant stress of organizing and traveling with full-blown ‘orkestar’ took its toll. … The band hopes to reschedule some of the shows in the future.” … Alice Cooper has just inked a book deal to write a memoir about … well, golf, for starters. “Alice Cooper, Golf Monster: My 12 Steps to Becoming a Golf Addict” would explore the rocker’s devotion to the game and how it helped him battle his demons, including an addiction to alcohol. He promises to be “completely candid about his career, his drinking, and his recovery” in the work, due to be published in May by Crown.