For The Record: Quick News On Gwen, Nas, Ciara, Foxy Brown, Courtney Love, Nicole Richie, Mariah & More

Stefani, Nas, others on for MTV New Year's Eve fest; judge summons Brown to court; charges dismissed against Love.

Gwen Stefani, Nas, Ciara, Pussycat Dolls, AFI, Chamillionaire, Lady Sovereign and Three 6 Mafia are lined up to perform at “MTV Goes Gold: New Year’s Eve 2007,” which MTV will air live at 11 p.m. ET on New Year’s Eve. Fall Out Boy, Timbaland, “Heroes” star Hayden Panettiere and blogger Perez Hilton will also make appearances at the event, to be held at New York’s Times Square. MTV.com will feature performances on demand after the show, and the MTV Goes Gold: Bling in the New Year contest is allowing five winners to attend the festivities. …

Foxy Brown was greeted with an unwelcome surprise Monday (December 11) when a New York judge summoned her to court over the infamous nail-salon incident, according to The Associated Press. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Melissa C. Jackson accused Brown of breaking appointments with probation officers, not showing up to anger-management courses and failing to submit to drug tests. After hearing a probation officer say Brown “is flouting the court-ordered conditions of her probation,” Jackson told the rapper she would go to jail if she doesn’t comply with the terms of her sentence, which was passed down in October. …

Courtney Love, on the other hand, got a rare dose of good news Monday when a Los Angeles judge ended her probation and dismissed two misdemeanor charges against her, AP reports. “Thank you for not taking me into custody. Thank you for giving me an opportunity. You’ve been a good, fair judge. Sorry for crying,” the singer told Superior Court Judge Rand Rubin. “Early on in this case, Ms. Love, I think you came very close to coming into custody,” Rubin said to her. “I think you’ve done very well. You’ve shown to me you are interested in a much less destructive lifestyle.” Two of the misdemeanor charges that were tossed were related to drugs. … Prince has been tapped as the halftime entertainment for the Super Bowl, which will be held at Dolphin Stadium near Miami on February 4. The game will be televised on CBS. …

“The Simple Life” co-star Nicole Richie was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence early Monday morning. Police took the 25-year-old into custody after her black Mercedes SUV was stopped shortly after midnight in the car-pool lane of State Highway 134 near Burbank, California, and she admitted she had smoked marijuana and taken the painkiller Vicodin, according to the The Los Angeles Times. The arrest took place following two 911 calls to authorities about a car traveling in the wrong direction on the freeway; the car matched the description of Richie’s, though People magazine reported that her car was stopped while facing the correct direction on the highway. After being booked at the Glendale Police Department, Richie posted $15,000 bail and was released around 7 a.m. …

U2 completed their Vertigo Tour on Saturday night with a sold-out, two-and-a-half-hour-long finale in Honolulu that featured a surprise guest appearance from Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, who jammed with the band on their recent collaboration, “The Saints Are Coming.” Also joining the group for an encore were Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready of show openers Pearl Jam, who sat in on a cover of Neil Young‘s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” Rocking along enthusiastically in the audience were Kid Rock and Anthrax‘s Scott Ian, according to the Honolulu Advertiser. … Troubled rocker Pete Doherty was interviewed by police following the death of a man at a party he attended in the early hours of December 3, according to MTV UK. Actor Mark Blanco died after falling from a third-floor balcony during a party at a London apartment owned by Doherty’s friend, literary editor Paul Roundhill. There was no suggestion that Doherty was involved in the death of the actor, who was reportedly ejected from the party after behaving rambunctiously, according to The Washington Post. Blanco was found lying unconscious on the pavement outside the apartment by a woman as she left the party. …

According to BBC News, Mariah Carey is threatening to take legal action against adult-film star — and former California gubernatorial candidate — Mary Carey, to prevent the actress from trademarking her similar-sounding stage name. Mariah contends fans could confuse the two performers, should Mary Carey’s trademark application be approved. The actress told Reuters she’s “ready to battle Mariah over this because I’ve been Mary Carey for a long time. I think she’s being silly.” … Metallica will begin recording a new album in January, and drummer Lars Ulrich said they have 25 songs written, which will be narrowed down to a single album after they enter the studio with super-producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slipknot). Ulrich said the album’s sound will recall 1986′s Master of Puppets, which the band played in its entirety at concerts over the summer (and which many fans consider the band’s finest hour). “What I hear sounds very lively, very spunky, got a lot of energy,” Ulrich told The Rock Radio. “I think that the shows we played over the summer, we were definitely leaner and kind of in better shape than we’ve been in a long time. Having to deliver Master of Puppets for three months this summer definitely revitalized some of that stuff in us. It’s been kind of fun having that in the back of our mind.” …

A rare vinyl album containing an alternate version of the Velvet Underground‘s The Velvet Underground & Nico — purchased for 75 cents at a New York flea market four years ago — was sold on eBay for $155,401 over the weekend. The buyer, identified only as “mechadaddy,” bought what is believed to be one of only two known acetates containing alternate mixes and versions of songs from the band’s 1967 debut. … Jazz singer Diana Krall, wife of Elvis Costello, gave birth to twins on Wednesday, the couple announced in a press release on Friday. The twin boys — Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlan James — are the first children for Krall, 42; Costello, 52, has a son from a previous marriage. The couple said, “We are ecstatic!” in the statement; mother and sons are said to be doing “splendidly.” …

Two witnesses to the December 8, 2004, slaying of late Pantera/Damageplan guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott at the Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio, have filed a lawsuit against the club’s owners for failing to provide adequate security at the venue. AP reports that Jerry and Karen Wessler’s suit claims both continue to suffer severe and permanent emotional trauma from the experience and are seeking unspecified damages from the club’s owners, Rick and John Cautela. Abbott was one of four people killed two years ago by Nathan Gale, who was killed by a policeman in the incident. The suit, filed last week, claims Gale’s actions “were reasonably foreseeable, given the totality of circumstances.” … Nine Inch Nails will release a DVD called “Beside You in Time” on February 27. The effort was filmed during the band’s tour last summer in support of 2005′s With Teeth and will feature live performances of 19 tracks, including “March of the Pigs,” “Closer,” “The Hand That Feeds” and “Head Like a Hole.” … The sixth annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will take place June 14-17 at the 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, that has hosted the previous festivals. A limited quantity of discount early-bird tickets will be available before the lineup is announced on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET.

12.08.2006

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.