For The Record: Quick News On Gwen, Good Charlotte, Christina, Katharine McPhee, Ashlee, Rihanna & More

Stefani sells new smell; Good Charlotte DVD due this month; Aguilera on for Dick Clark's New Year's extravaganza.

Gwen Stefani wants to be a part of what you listen to and what you look like, and now she's stepping into the world of scent. "Creating a fragrance is one of the most prestigious things a designer can do," the singer said in a press release announcing her L.A.M.B. brand's entry into the fragrance field. "For me it's another thing you can wear and another thing I can creatively be a part of." Stefani will team up with Coty Inc. for the scent, which will debut in fall 2007. ...

The Good Charlotte documentary "Fast Future Generation" will be released December 26 on DVD. The film, which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, follows the band on tour in Japan. ... Christina Aguilera has signed on to perform live in Times Square for "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2007," airing on ABC. Clark and Ryan Seacrest are co-hosting. ...

Katharine McPhee shows her sexy side on the cover of Shape, wearing a red cleavage-baring bathing suit that exposes her midriff. The "Idol" runner-up also talks about battling an eating disorder and developing a new workout regimen in the cover story — her first one. "At the time of the 'American Idol' tryouts [August 2005], I was out of control, binging and sometimes purging up to seven times a day," she said. The singer checked herself into Los Angeles' Eating Disorder Center of California, where she was encouraged to eat apples with peanut butter and Snickers bars every day. "I had to eat them every day to get over the excitement," she said. "Now I rarely crave them." The Shape issue hits stands this week, while McPhee's debut album — which she's still working on — is due January 30. ...

Plotting Ashlee Simpson's next musical move is going to be "very tricky," producer/ Geffen Records chairman Ron Fair told MTV News. "She is a really great singer, and I think she proved that on her last record," he said. "She's in a very tight spot. She's got an extremely famous sister. Everything they do is magnified by the press. ... It's very hard to do anything if you're under that kind of scrutiny." But don't count the younger Simpson — who Fair called "a real star" — out just yet. "Our company is going to work with her and we're going to figure out how to overcome those prejudices ... because she deserves to be heard and she deserves a shot." ...

Nelly Furtado will perform a private all-ages concert Friday in Los Angeles. Want in? Take a photo of yourself with a copy of Furtado's Loose and e-mail the pic to loosenup@geffen.com along with your name, age and location. Winners will be selected at random throughout the week. And if you're willing to pay your way in — for charity — a two-ticket package featuring meet-and-greet passes and an autographed copy of Loose is up for bid Wednesday (December 6) at Universal Music's eBay store. Proceeds benefit the Land Conservancy of British Columbia. ... Tuesday was a busy breakup day in the world of Hollywood couples. People reported that Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn are calling it quits after more than a year together. The magazine also announced the end of "O.C." stars Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson's offscreen romance. ...

You don't have to win "America's Next Top Model" to rep for Cover Girl. Rihanna has joined Queen Latifah and Molly Sims as one of the faces of the makeup line. The singer, whose mother was once a makeup artist, will shoot her first ad this month. The campaign will launch in the summer. ... Aimee Mann commenced her Christmas Variety Show in San Francisco Tuesday night. The tour — which also features Grant-Lee Phillips, comedian Paul F. Tompkins ("Best Week Ever," "Mr. Show") and "SNL" castmember Fred Armisen on select dates — winds down December 20 in Alexandria, Virginia. ...

Thursday, Fear Before the March of Flames, Murder by Death and Heavy Heavy Low Low will hit the road together next month for a 15-date East Coast run. The tour gets underway in Hartford, Connecticut, on January 18, with dates scheduled through February 3 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. ... Taking Back Sunday will head out with Underoath and Armor for Sleep on a 38-date North American tour that kicks off February 22 in State College, Pennsylvania. The trek is scheduled to run through April 7, but the location of the final show has yet to be determined. ...

Frontman Ben Perri has left Long Island, New York, hardcore outfit From Autumn to Ashes, forcing drummer Francis Mark to take over that role. According to a Mark-penned post on the band's MySpace, Perri seemed to lose interest in the group during the recording of 2005's "appropriately titled" GGGarth Richardson-produced Abandon Your Friends. Mark says Perri didn't write any lyrics for the effort after assuring the rest of the band that he would, was a no-show at practice and ditched FATA before they took off to play Baltimore. "In the middle of recording the best album of our career, and just two weeks before our tour of Australia, Ben quite literally abandoned his friends," the post read. ...

Dog Fashion Disco are calling it quits and have booked a farewell show for January 13 in Baltimore. "It was a hard decision to make," the band said in a statement, "but after 10 years of constant dedication and touring, it is time to pursue other interests." Frontman Todd Smith added, "I always told myself if it stopped being worth the effort, I would gracefully bow out and that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm not going to get into details exactly why everything is ending because it really doesn't matter." ...

MySpace announced Tuesday that it is partnering with Sentinel Tech Holding Corporation to deploy a database with the names and descriptions of convicted U.S. sex offenders within the next 30 days. The move, which comes in response to repeated reports about solicitations from predators on the social-networking site, is an attempt to block sex offenders from the site by using an automated system to search for matches between the database and MySpace user profiles and delete those profiles. The database will be updated every month and include details such as names, age, hair color, height, scars and tattoos.

12.05.2006

Sure, Beyoncé is a veteran of an R&B trio and went on to launch a solo career, but the filmmakers behind "Dreamgirls" wanted more than just a résumé match when they cast the role of Deena. "My usual performance style — the energy and the dancing and my growling — is the complete opposite of Deena," Beyoncé told Vanity Fair for the "Dreamgirls" cover story in the magazine's January issue. "They didn't know if I could be understated and if I could play the part, basically." The singer, who scored the role after doing her homework to pull off a '60s look and vocal style during her audition, explained how she was able to override her natural delivery to become Deena. "I treated all of the singing like acting. I acted out the words with my coach, and treated them like scenes, not like performances. ... Vocally, I had to completely hold back. I had to whisper things — I couldn't sing anything in my full voice — and the simpler I sang it, the happier [director Bill Condon] was." ...

Mary J. Blige dominated Monday night's Billboard Music Awards, winning nine statues, including female R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year, R&B/Hip-Hop Album of the Year for The Breakthrough and R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the Year ("Be Without You"). Former "American Idol" champ Carrie Underwood and Atlanta rapper T.I. were not far behind with five trophies each, with Tip's King sweeping the rap awards and Underwood's Some Hearts snagging Album of the Year honors. Chris Brown took home a trio of prizes, including Best New Artist. Nickelback also scored three, among them Rock Album of the Year for All the Right Reasons. The Fray won all three digital awards, with nods for Digital Album of the Year and Digital Songs Artist of the Year. Other winners included Rihanna (Female Artist of the Year, Female Hot 100 Artist of the Year and Pop 100 Artist of the Year), Nelly Furtado (Pop 100 Single of the Year for "Promiscuous") and "High School Musical" (Soundtrack Album of the Year). ...

T.I. says a follow-up to "My Love," his hit with Justin Timberlake, could surface within the next few months. "It's quite possible you'll hear JT on the T.I. vs. T.I.P. album," the rapper said of his next LP. Tip has 30 songs in the can from the T.I. vs. T.I.P. recording sessions and expects to release it in the spring. But you don't have to wait that long for new material from Tip. His Grand Hustle imprint will release In Da Streetz, Vol. 4 December 19. The first single from the disc, a remix of "Top Back," features Young Dro, B.G., Big Kuntry and Young Jeezy. "It's about having yourself a nice little car that happens to be a convertible," he said. "You turn your music up high and let your top back. You cruise through the city taking in the sights, and you do your thing till the sun comes up. You ain't gotta be from the South to know that." ... Performances from Jay-Z's Hangar Tour will be available to Cingular customers this month in the form of ringtones, answer tones and mobile video. For a rundown of the content, which includes exclusive backstage video, visit CingularSource.com/HangarTour. ...

Four supposed Smashing Pumpkins demo tracks have been making the rounds on numerous file-sharing Web sites — but the authenticity of the tunes remains to be seen. The songs — "Collapsing Cities," "The Restless Word," "Siam Mais" and "In the Eyes Beholding" — were leaked as The Baker Demos. The reunited band has been working with producer Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, the Cars) on their forthcoming comeback LP. But some fans doubt the songs are true Pumpkins cuts, as the vocals allegedly sound nothing like those of frontman Billy Corgan. A spokesperson for the band's management could not be reached for comment. ... Politically charged rappers the Coup are expected to cancel their current tour after being involved in a devastating bus accident over the weekend. The vehicle flipped and subsequently caught fire while the group was driving through Imperial, California. Injuries were suffered all around, including broken ribs, a punctured lung, broken leg and deep lacerations. Three shows have already been canceled, include the Coup's Tuesday (December 5) gig in Boulder, Colorado, and the remainder of the tour will most likely be scrapped as well, according to the group's label. ...

Britney Spears leads the year's searches on Yahoo! — and she had the title in the bag even before all-too-revealing photos of her exiting vehicles hit the Web. According to The Hollywood Reporter, searches for Spears rank ahead of WWE (#2) and Shakira (#3). Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, "American Idol," Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Pamela Anderson and Lindsay Lohan round out the top 10. The most-searched news stories of the year were the deaths of "Crocodile Hunter" host Steve Irwin and Anna Nicole Smith's son. News on the Iraq war placed third. ... Though she's tops with Yahoo! searchers, Spears wasn't a big draw at a music-memorabilia auction held Monday night at Christie's auction house in New York. While Paul McCartney's working lyrics to the Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" fetched $192,000 and a notebook of Bob Marley's sold for $72,000, Britney's handwritten homework — a report on Sophocles' "Antigone" — took in $250, well below the $500-700 estimate. ...

Logan Whitehurst, who played drums for indie-pop act the Velvet Teen, died at his home in Los Banos, California, on Sunday following a long bout with brain cancer. He was 29. Remaining members of the band issued a statement about his passing, calling Whitehurst "an incredibly special and endlessly gifted person" and "possibly the most grounded and mature person" they'd ever met. "Logan will be missed terribly. This is just tremendously sad." ... Longtime music publicist Ronnie Lippin — who represented such stars as Prince, Eric Clapton, Olivia-Newton John and former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler — died Monday at age 59 after a long battle with a rare form of breast cancer. Lippin, who also managed Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson at one time, began her career in the music business as the head publicist for MCA Records and also worked at Elton John's Rocket Records imprint before moving to RSO Records, the label that was home to the hit "Grease" and "Saturday Night Fever" soundtracks.