For The Record: Quick News On Jessica, Pussycat Dolls, Harry Potter, Jadakiss, Styles P, Britney & More

Simpson's Dolly Parton tribute yanked from broadcast; PCD team with NBA; seventh Potter title revealed.

Don’t expect to see Jessica Simpson saluting Dolly Parton when the “Kennedy Center Honors” program airs Tuesday on CBS. Simpson botched a cover of “9 to 5″ the first time around, when it was taped on December 3, and even though the show’s producers gave her another shot at singing it, a Simpson representative told The Associated Press that the singer wasn’t happy with that performance either. …

Jump ball! The Pussycat Dolls have teamed up with the National Basketball Association and ABC to record the opening number for all regular-season games broadcast on the network from Christmas through the end of the season. The sexy quintet will use an adaptation of its track “Right Now” for the musical segment, which will also be previewed going into and out of commercial breaks during telecasts. …

Dying to know the title of the seventh — and final — Harry Potter book? You can find out by playing a game of hangman on author J.K. Rowling‘s Web site. Surf to JKRowling.com and click the eraser on the desk to enter a hallway. Click the first doorknob in the mirror to make a Christmas tree appear. Hit the top panel of the large door and a wreath will materialize. Click the top of the mirror and enjoy the garland. Now click one spider web to make both disappear. Click and drag the fourth wind chime, which will act as a key, to the door. Unlock it and find yourself in a room with a desk. On the desk is a package. Click the package to launch a game of hangman. Keep playing until you guess correctly (a check mark will appear to confirm your win). Or — spoiler alert — skip all that fun and just read on. … It’s called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Scholastic confirms. …

Talk of Jadakiss joining the Cash Money team can be laid to rest, Styles P tells MTV News. Kiss’ partner in the LOX said this week that he doesn’t know where those rumors are coming from. “I been in the studio with Kiss all week, and he hasn’t said anything to me about going to Cash Money.” Styles said he fulfilled his solo obligation to Interscope Records and Ruff Ryders with his long-awaited Time Is Money LP, and doesn’t know whether his next album — which he is working on now and expects to drop in the spring — will be on a major or independent label. Styles and Jada haven’t been going it alone in the studio — Sheek Louch has joined the pair to record a new LOX album. While Styles P the solo artist is a free agent, the LOX are still under contract with Ruff Ryders and Interscope. …

When it comes to etiquette, “American Idol” champs are winners, and Britney Spears is a loser — according to the National League of Junior Cotillions, which recently issued its 10 Best-Mannered People of 2006 list. Taylor Hicks tops the 10, noted for “his example of humility and politeness,” while Carrie Underwood comes in at #9 — behind honorees including Senator Barack Obama and “Dancing With the Stars” finalist/ football star Emmitt Smith — with the league praising “the graciousness she shows to her fans.” Spears was singled out as the Most Ill-Mannered Person of 2006, charged with “lowering the standards of morality and her negative influence on the behavior of young people.” … Hicks’ manners may come in handy in a couple of months when he serves as grand marshal of New Orleans’ Krewe of Endymion Mardi Gras parade. The event will take over the city’s historic St. Charles Avenue on February 17. Al Green, Journey and Styx will also take part in the parade. …

Switchfoot will promote their upcoming Oh! Gravity, due Tuesday, with a North American tour kicking off February 13 in Anaheim, California. The trek ends March 31 in San Diego. … Robert Randolph and O.A.R.‘s Marc Roberge became the latest musicians to enter the virtual world of video game “Second Life” on Wednesday. The artists jammed together, christening the Peacock Room at NBC’s Universal Headquarters. … The Cure will headline the ninth annual Ultra Music Festival at the Winter Music Conference in Miami on March 23 and 24. Tiësto (who rarely performs live), Deep Dish, Shiny Toy Guns, Miss Kittin, Paul van Dyk, Carl Cox, Erick Morillo, Danny Tenaglia and Ferry Corsten are also on the bill. … Dilana, runner-up on “Rock Star: Supernova,” will open for the band of the same name on its upcoming tour. The jaunt begins January 16 in Hollywood, Florida, and ends February 27 in Long Beach, California. Dilana’s debut album, featuring No Doubt‘s Adrian Young on drums, is due in the summer, although two songs (“Supersoul” and a cover of the Police‘s “Roxanne”) are currently available online. …

P.O.D. have welcomed guitarist Marcos Curiel back into the fold. Curiel was fired from the group in 2003 and replaced by Jason Truby, a former member of Living Sacrifice. P.O.D. will make their first appearance with Curiel in nearly four years on New Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square, as part of “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” … Although Fred Durst‘s film directorial debut, “The Education of Charlie Banks,” has yet to hit theaters, he’s moving forward with his movie career. The Limp Bizkit frontman will be featured in the black comedy “Play Dead,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Durst will star as the henchman of a drug dealer (played by Jake Busey) in the film, which centers on a fallen TV star (Chris Klein) stranded in a remote Nevada town. … A group of major record labels, including Sony BMG and Warner Music, filed a lawsuit against AllOfMP3.com on Wednesday, claiming that the Russian Web site sells music without permission. AP reports that the site, which typically charges about $1 per album, maintains that it pays royalties to a Russian licensing group and is operating legally — but the labels contend that the licensing group doesn’t have the authority to collect royalties.

12.20.2006

Contrary to earlier reports — and her own MySpace page — Avril Lavigne‘s new album will not be called The Best Dam Thing, but rather The Best Damn Thing. According to her spokesperson, Lavigne intentionally misspelled the title, “but she decided to change it. Kind of like ‘Sk8er Boi.’ ” …

A Mobb Deep performance in Belgium was marred by violence Friday when a rowdy club patron threw around bottles of alcohol in the VIP section after security booted him from the area for unruly behavior. G-Unit affiliate 40 Glocc suffered a cut hand, but Mobb Deep will continue with their remaining overseas tour dates: Wednesday night (December 20) in Athens, Thursday in Dublin and Friday in Munich. … Fresh Azimiz. Bow Wow celebrated the release of his latest set, Price of Fame, Tuesday night at New York’s Dirty Disco as Jermaine Durpi, Omarion, Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes, and Tommy Hilfiger all toasted the former hip-hop tike. …

Sure, her album flopped, but Paris Hilton still manages to top charts. The professional party girl’s name was among the top Internet search items in 2006, according to Google. Joining Hilton were Borat and the militant Islamic group Hezbollah. Google searchers were apparently more interested in Nicole Kidman‘s wedding to country star Keith Urban than Tom Cruise‘s blowout marriage to Katie Holmes. And perhaps even more shocking, more searches were done on ex-Beatle Paul McCartney‘s divorce than Britney‘s split from K-Fed. … Australian officials are hitting back at Pink following the singer’s call for a boycott of the country’s wool exports, Reuters reports. “Sadly, like any other industry that uses animals, the wool trade uses methods so sadistic that it makes you consider clearing your closet of any animal products,” Pink said in a statement released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, citing a practice known as “mulesing,” in which sections of skin are cut from a sheep’s rear quarters to prevent flies from nesting on the animal. “Pink is entitled to her views,” said Peter Costello, treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia. “But at the end of the day would Australia’s farmers take advice from Pink?” Australia plans to phase out the mulesing process, which does not employ pain-relief medication, by 2010. …

Postponed Lady Sovereign tour dates have been rescheduled for early January. Shows in Las Vegas (January 4) and San Diego (January 9) will honor originally purchased tickets, while San Francisco (January 8) and Los Angeles (January 10) stops will require ticketholders to R.S.V.P. via Sov’s Web site by Monday to receive a new ticket. Some additional tickets are still available for the makeup shows. … Rancid fans witnessed what may well be the closest thing to a reunion of legendary East Bay, California, punk outfit Operation Ivy during a concert in San Francisco on Sunday night. According to The Mercury News, Op Ivy frontman Jesse Michaels joined former bandmates Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman during the Rancid gig for a rendition of “Unity” — marking the first time the three have played together since the band split back in 1989. Former Operation Ivy drummer Dave Mello did not perform. … The Silversun Pickups, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, El-P and Deerhoof will descend on New York’s Irving Plaza for the Plug Independent Music Awards February 10. The performers — who will play sets ranging from 20 to 40 minutes — will join host David Cross (“Arrested Development,” “Mr. Show”), and Malkmus will receive the Plug Impact Award. …

George Clinton needs your help. The flamboyant king of interplanetary funk is hoping the public will help him track down the crook who pilfered a video camera and other unspecified valuables from the Los Angeles set of his forthcoming music video. According to The Associated Press, the camera contains footage captured for Clinton’s “Bounce 2 This” video, which was shot last week. The theft was caught by surveillance cameras, but the culprit blended in with others working the shoot. Those with any information about the crime are asked to contact police. … Sony BMG will pay the price for embedding secret anti-piracy software in some of its CDs. The company agreed on Tuesday to stop manufacturing CDs with digital-rights-management software that limits the number of copies music fans can make of the music — and which also damaged some user’s computers. According to Variety, the company also agreed to pay $750,000 judgments to the states of California and Texas, which filed consumer protection complaints against the company over the use of the so-called “rootkit” software. Under the settlement, Sony BMG will provide refunds of up to $175 to California consumers, who will have 180 days to file a refund claim through a form available on Sony BMG’s Web site. …

The FBI agreed Tuesday to release 10 documents from the surveillance of John Lennon that had been withheld for 25 years, The Los Angeles Times reports. University of California, Irvine, historian Jon Wiener said the now-public documents — which the FBI said were kept secret to avoid “military retaliation against the United States” — contained details of Lennon’s ties to London antiwar groups, but no sign that the U.S. government considered the musician a serious threat. … The driver for Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, was indicted in New York on Tuesday, charged with four counts of first-degree attempted grand larceny. According to a Reuters report, chauffeur Koral Karsan, 50, pleaded not guilty in Manhattan State Supreme Court to charges that he threatened to release personal photos and audiotapes of Ono and kill her and son Sean Lennon if she did not pay him. The judge in the case ordered Karsan held without bail, fearing that immigration authorities might seize the native of Turkey as they investigate whether he is in the country legally. Karsan’s lawyer accused Ono of violating tax laws for paying his client as an independent contractor when he was a full-time employee.