For The Record: Quick News On Jennifer Hudson, Mixtape Awards, Andre 3000, Will Ferrell, ‘Borat’ & More

'Get used to my jelly,' Hudson says; awards show ends abruptly; Andre plays b-ball with Ferrell.

Being larger than a size 2 helped Jennifer Hudson score the role of Effie White in “Dreamgirls,” and the singer is resisting pressure to slim down for an unlikely reason. “A lot of singers don’t sound the same when they lose weight,” she said in an interview published in Newsweek‘s Monday issue.” … I have a little singer’s pouch, and that’s where the voice comes from. So you’re all just going to have to get used to my jelly.” Hudson also told Newsweek that she hasn’t lost sleep wondering why “American Idol” viewers booted her in 2004. “It just meant that wasn’t the place for me,” she said. “The ‘Idol’ judges told me, ‘Everything about you is too much. … Your voice is too much. Your look is too much. Your hair is too much.’ I didn’t understand. Isn’t that what a star is: bigger than average?” …

The Mixtape Awards ended abruptly at New York’s Apollo Theater Thursday night after several fracases broke out involving members of an entourage traveling with DJ Whoo Kid and Tony Yayo. Apollo President Jonelle Procope told MTV News that the plug had to be pulled after safety concerns arose. “When it became clear that ticketing problems posed too great a challenge to successfully and safely finish the event, the promoter and the Apollo management jointly agreed to stop the show.” Those in attendance included Busta Rhymes, Papoose, Lil’ Scrappy, the Clipse and DJ Kay Slay. DJs Clinton Sparks, Dirty Harry and Vlad nabbed trophies, and the Sugarhill Gang performed. …

Outkast‘s Andre 3000 has signed on to co-star alongside Will Ferrell and Woody Harrelson in the basketball comedy “Semi-Pro,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The story deals with an American Basketball Association owner/coach/player named Jackie Moon (Ferrell) who tries to lead his fictional Flint Michigan Tropics to the big leagues. Andre plays a “self-styled ladies’ man who is the best player on the team,” according to the magazine. …

A Los Angeles judge is reviewing a lawsuit filed by a group of South Carolina fraternity brothers that asserts they were fooled into making racist and sexist remarks in “Borat,” The Associated Press reports. The suit calls for a stop to the DVD release of the movie. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joseph Biderman watched the film scene Thursday but did not indicate whether or not he would rule on the case. … Power 105 radio DJ Carl Blaze is in critical condition after being shot multiple times early Thursday morning in Harlem, New York, during a robbery attempt. Sources close to Blaze (real name: Carl Rivera) revealed the DJ had given friends a ride home after performing at a local club in the Bronx. Blaze was scheduled to DJ a set at Thursday night’s Mixtape Awards but instead was recognized by presenters who sent their prayers out to him and his family. …

Some major labels are beginning to issue songs in the unrestricted MP3 file format, AP reports. Recently released tracks by Norah Jones (“Thinking About You”) and Relient K (“Must Have Done Something Right”) can be played on any digital-music player that plays MP3s, whereas previously, those songs would have been digitally wrapped with copy and playback restrictions. … J.R. Rotem, the hit-making music producer behind Rihanna‘s smash “S.O.S,” will be taking his budding success from the studio into the boardroom. Rotem has inked an exclusive joint partnership with Epic Records that would allow him to develop new talent through his label, Beluga Heights. Rotem’s first signee under the Beluga Heights imprint is 16-year-old Miami rapper Sean Kingston. Rotem has also polished tunes for Snoop Dogg and the Game, and he’s contributing to Britney Spears‘ new album as well. …

In a flurry of advertisements posted Friday, Yoko Ono asks that December 8 be considered a day of forgiveness across the world, in commemoration of the day John Lennon died in 1980, Reuters reports. But at the same time, she also admits that she hasn’t been able to forgive the man who fatally shot her late husband. “As the widow of one who was killed by an act of violence, I don’t know if I am ready yet to forgive the one who pulled the trigger,” the ads read. “I am sure all victims of violent crimes feel as I do. But healing is what is urgently needed now in the world.” … Actor Wesley Snipes pleaded not guilty on Friday to federal charges that include fraudulently claiming millions of dollars in tax refunds, AP reports. The actor, who was indicted on charges in central Florida two months ago, was released on a $1 million bail bond after he entered his plea. Snipes could face up to 16 years in prison if convicted. …

Vice Records has imported six Boredoms releases from the experimental band’s Super Roots series and is issuing them domestically for the first time. Super Roots 1, 3 and 5 drop January 23, while volumes 6, 7 and 8 street February 20. The titles vary considerably in length: 1 has 14 songs by the Japanese noise-rockers and runs 19 minutes, for example, while 5 contains just one, 64-minute track. The band celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2007, and founder Eye is planning a July 7 performance in New York involving 77 drummers. … Former D Generation frontman Jesse Malin has roped in some heavy hitters for his third solo album, Glitter in the Gutter, due March 6. The album features cameos from Bruce Springsteen, Queens of the Stone Age‘s Josh Homme, Jakob Dylan, Ryan Adams and Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett. …

Speaking of Springsteen, frequent collaborator Steven Van Zandt can now add label boss to his lengthy résumé, which already includes stints as E Street Band guitarist, “Sopranos” actor and radio-show host. Van Zandt is launching his Wicked Cool label, which, like his “Underground Garage” Sirius radio show, celebrates everything garage rock. Among the first six releases from the label, available exclusively at Best Buy stores, are albums by the Charms, the Cocktail Slippers and the Chesterfield Kings. Other bands signed to the label include the Hawaii Mud Bombers, the Maggots, the Novaks, Richard and the Young Lions and the Woggles. Van Zandt will also be releasing quarterly compilation albums under the title The Coolest Songs in the World, with the first volume featuring songs by the Greenhornes, the Forty-Fives, the Mooney Suzuki, Caesars and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

12.07.2006

Lots of people go nuts over H&M clothes, but Madonna is enough of a fan to make her own. The singer has signed on to design a line of clothes and accessories called the M by Madonna women’s wear collection for the Swedish fashion giant. H&M has provided Madonna, her band and dancers with offstage clothing for her recent tour, and the singer has been the face of the chain’s advertising campaign this year. “I’ve made no secret of my love of fashion over the years,” Madonna said in a statement on her Web site. “Working with Margareta [van den Bosch, the company's head of design] and H&M was an exciting and new creative challenge for me. I’m really happy with the results and look forward to wearing M by Madonna along with the rest of the world.” The line will launch in March. …

Bow Wow is acting as principal for a day at Schurr High School in Montebello, California, on Thursday (December 7). The rapper is planning to have breakfast with students, read announcements over the loudspeaker, visit some classrooms, give a pep talk to the school’s football team, meet with students participating in the pageant, stop by the blood drive and give a live performance. …

Expect to hear Snoop barking a new tune on the “Arthur and the Invisibles” soundtrack, hitting stores January 9. The rapper contributes “Go Girl,” while Jewel chalks up her “Quest for Love” and Elijah chip in “It’s a Beautiful Day.” The rest of the soundtrack is rounded out by contributions from the London Symphonic Orchestra & the Metro Voices. … December is shaping up to be a busy month for songwriter/producer Sean Garrett. The man behind Beyoncé‘s “Check on It” and Chris Brown‘s “Gimme That” will hit the studio with R. Kelly on Friday in Chicago and plans to work with the R&B artist through Monday. Then Garrett is off to Atlanta, where he’ll collaborate with Whitney Houston from Tuesday through December 14. The producer will also reteam with Chris Brown in a New York studio from December 15-19. …

Former Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson is working on a new project: a baby. The singer/actor, who will next appear onstage in the Toronto production of “Chicago,” told MTV News that he and his wife are planning to start a family soon. … Aly & AJ are hard at work on their second album. “It’s definitely still going to be Aly and I, it’s just we’ve grown up and I think the music has grown up with us,” AJ said. … Sean Paul is also laying down new tracks: The dancehall star has been recording his next album in Jamaica since September. “I’ll probably be finished by April next year, probably come out in June,” he said. … Clinic have set a January 23 Stateside release date for their fourth album, Visitations. The British band is touring North America beginning March 2 in Los Angeles and wrapping up March 12 in Toronto. …

If you dug “My Block: The Bay,” there’s a new comp you should get dumb with: Hyphy Hits, due January 9. The 20-track collection calls on the Bay Area’s hottest hip-hoppers to introduce hyphy, their own crunk-and-screw-like blend, to the masses. Expect to find E-40, Keak Da Sneak, Mistah F.A.B., Mac Dre and many others on the set. … Singer/songwriter Jason Mraz has a digital-only release hitting JasonMraz.com on Tuesday. Selections for Friends was recorded in July during his Songs for Friends Tour and touches on new material, classics and more obscure tracks. “God Rests in Reason” includes spoken-word elements from Khalil Gibran, a reputed poet who has never appeared in a song before. …

Godsmack frontman Sully Erna will release “The Paths We Choose,” his personal memoir, on February 7. According to the book’s Web site, the tome isn’t just a tell-all about life as a touring frontman. “It’s about his life growing up, and all the struggling, suffering and sinning along the way. It’s about the good times, and the time he almost gave it all up. It’s about the people he loves and the ones who betrayed him, the bands he lived for and the mistakes that seemed like good ideas at the time. But most of all, it’s about his never-ending passion for music.” … Garbage will issue a greatest-hits collection titled Absolute Garbage on March 19. Look for the set to feature 17 tracks, including “Only Happy When It Rains,” “Stupid Girl” and “Bleed Like Me.” The band continues to be on indefinite hiatus. …

Soon-to-be Fall Out Boy tourmates Permanent Me have aligned themselves with another big name: producer Matt Squire. The Panic! at the Disco and Cute Is What We Aim For collaborator helmed the New York newcomers’ debut, After the Room Clears, which will drop January 23. Permanent Me are currently touring with Monty Are I, the Summer Obsession and the Outline. … Bayside have completed work on their forthcoming album, The Walking Wounded. No official release date has been cemented yet, but the LP is expected to surface in February. … Puddle of Mudd also recently wrapped recording a new album: their yet-untitled third effort, which is slated for release in the spring. The band expects to tour heavily in 2007 to support the LP. …

New York hardcore legends Sick of It All are the subject of the upcoming tribute album Our Impact Will Be Felt, which will hit stores February 3 and feature contributions from Sepultura, Bouncing Souls, Bleeding Through, Rise Against and others. To celebrate the release, Sick of It All will hit the road later this month with Hatebreed for a brief five-gig stint that kicks off in Washington, D.C., on December 26 and runs through December 30 in New Haven, Connecticut. The band will also open for AFI for four shows next year: February 5 in New Orleans; February 9 in Columbus, Ohio; February 11 in Cincinnati; and February 15 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. … Finger Eleven will follow up their 2003 self-titled effort — which went gold — with Them vs. You, due March 20. The album is said to blend rock with country and funk elements.