For The Record: Quick News On Britney, Christina, Nelly Furtado, Lily Allen, Rolling Stones & More

Spears fan site shuts down; Aguilera co-hosting New Year's Eve bash; Furtado kicking it in India.

Britney Spears may have dumped K-Fed, but now it’s her turn to get the boot. Ruben Garay, the founder of the six-year-old Spears fan site WorldofBritney.com, has announced that he’s closing up shop because “as Britney keeps losing her identity and credibility within fans and industry people, so is [WorldofBritney.com].” A disappointed Garay wrote that Britney is “done” and “no matter what anyone thinks or how they may disagree, it’s very hard to maintain the respect needed to keep things going.” …

Christina Aguilera and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton are teaming up to host a New Year’s Eve bash at New York’s Hudson Hotel. The Sunday night celebration kicks off at 9 p.m. … Don’t expect to see Nelly Furtado at any shindigs, though — not in this country, at least. The singer will be kicking it abroad with a headlining gig at Andheri Stadium in Mumbai, India. …

Lily Allen needs your help. In a message posted on her MySpace page Thursday, the singer wrote: “I am beside myself with worry because someone has stolen my dog Maggie May this morning. I am in Jamaica, [and] while I am here Maggie has been looked after by a friend she was stolen out of his van.” She’s offering a reward, and photos of the dog can be seen on MySpace.com/LilyAllen. …

For the second year in a row, the Rolling Stones were the top concert draw in North America, according to Pollstar magazine. The hard-touring British legends sold $138.5 million worth of tickets for 39 shows across the United States and Canada, giving them the third-biggest total in Pollstar history — behind their own 2005 tour and that year’s U2 outing. Second on the list was Barbra Streisand, whose first tour in a dozen years hauled in $92.5 million for 20 shows, with an average ticket price of $298. Country couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were #3 with $88.8 million for 73 shows, followed by Madonna with $85.9 million for 34 shows. Ticket sales for the top 100 shows rose about 13 percent to $2.3 billion, breaking last year’s record of $2.1 billion, mostly thanks to an 8 percent jump in the average ticket price from $56.88 to $61.45. …

Paul McCartney‘s split with Heather Mills is getting nastier. On Thursday night, Mills McCartney reported the theft of two prized paintings, after which police went to Paul McCartney’s country estate, according to The Associated Press. But a police spokesperson later confirmed that, after speaking with Mills McCartney and checking the premises, the paintings had in fact not been stolen and that the issue was a civil matter. … Mike Tyson was charged with possession of cocaine and driving under the influence of drugs in Arizona early Friday morning (December 29), Reuters reports. The former boxing champ, who is due in court Friday, almost struck a sheriff’s vehicle as he drove out of a driveway. …

Finger Eleven will release their forthcoming LP, Them Vs. You Vs. Me, March 6. Fans can catch the band next month on the road with Hinder and Black Stone Cherry; that tour kicks off January 14 in Spokane, Washington, with dates scheduled through March 3 in New Orleans. … Aqualung has set a March 6 release date for his second Stateside album, Memory Man. The British singer (a.k.a. Matt Hales) has sold more than 250,000 copies of his debut in the United States, thanks to the single “Brighter Than Sunshine.” …

Jay Farrar, Dar Williams, the Klezmatics and others will hail the Grateful Dead as part of the American Beauty Project. The artists will perform selections from the band’s American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead albums, both of which turn 35 next year, at New York’s Arts>World Financial Center on January 20-21. … Dead guitarist Bob Weir will take his Ratdog project to Bridgeport, Connecticut, for the Gathering of the Vibes fest August 9-12. The 12th installment of the event will also feature Los Lobos, Buddy Guy and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. … And in yet more Dead news, the band’s January 23, 1976, performance at the Cow Palace in San Francisco will be available Sunday and Monday as a free stream to mark the 30th anniversary of the concert. Head to Dead.net for details. …

Family Values Tour alums Dir en Gray have aligned dates for their first U.S. headlining tour, Inward Scream. The Japanese metal band will head out February 1 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and wind down the trek February 25 in San Francisco. Dir en Gray will issue an EP, Agitated Screams of Maggots, exclusively to For Your Entertainment stores in January, and their second U.S. LP will drop in the spring. … Despite perceptions of a slump, box-office sales were actually stronger this year than last, according to Reuters. Thanks to the record-breaking opening of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and the year-end blockbuster “Happy Feet,” the year-end total is an estimated $9.42 billion. Last year’s sum was $8.99 billion. …

Radio broadcaster Entercom Communications has agreed to pay a $4.25 million fine to settle a payola lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, according to Bloomberg News. The suit claimed that the Pennsylvania owner of more than 100 stations paid kickbacks for playing certain songs on its stations. $3.5 million of the settlement will go to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, which will distribute it to nonprofit New York state companies to help finance musical education and appreciation programs. Entercom did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

12.28.2006

Eminem will host a New Year’s Eve countdown Sunday via his Shade 45 channel on Sirius Satellite Radio. The show, which runs from 8-10 p.m. with several replays on Monday, will feature the rapper “stating the facts and playing the tracks,” including 25 of his favorite hip-hop songs. “This is not THE definitive top-25 list, because that’s just too damn hard! But, these 25 songs are definitely up there as my favorites,” Em said in a statement posted on the Shade 45 site. …

The Soul Patrol is taking it to the streets. “American Idol” victor Taylor Hicks will hit the road in late February for a run of U.S. gigs in support of his self-titled debut. The trek gets underway February 21 in Jacksonville, Florida. And while Hicks told MTV News earlier this month that the tour would “hopefully last 10 years,” so far dates have been scheduled through an April 27 show in Kansas City, Missouri. …

John Legend will celebrate his 28th birthday Thursday night (December 28) at Stereo in New York. Kanye West, Amerie and Fonzworth Bentley are expected to turn out for the party. … The lineup for this year’s Cornerstone Festival is starting to take shape. The Christian-music-centered fest is scheduled for June 25-30 in Bushnell, Illinois, and will feature Underoath, Switchfoot, Emery, Flyleaf, Anberlin, the Almost, Disciple and Spitfire.

Arcade Fire fans who had planned to download the band’s charity single “Intervention” from the iTunes store early Thursday morning ended up with a surprise — two days early — when the track “Black Wave/ Bad Vibrations” was uploaded instead by mistake. “I guess it is sort of charming that we can send the wrong song to the whole world with the click of a mouse,” frontman Win Butler said in a post on the band’s Web site. Proceeds from this week’s sales of “Intervention” (and “Black Wave/ Bad Vibrations”) will benefit Partners in Health (PIH.org), an organization supporting community-based initiatives to fight poverty and disease. “Our little bump in the road hasn’t changed that,” Butler said. …

Clearly a lot of people got iTunes gift cards and new iPods for Christmas, because so many of them tried to use the iTunes store over the holiday that there were widespread reports of error messages and download times approaching 20 minutes for a single track. According to an Associated Press report, stressed-out users began posting urgent help messages on Monday and Tuesday on Apple’s tech forum for iTunes complaining that they either couldn’t log in to the site or were told the system couldn’t process their requests for song and video downloads. Apple Computer would not comment on the slowdown, and it was unclear how many people were affected. Online market researcher Hitwise reported that the slowdown could be attributed to the fact that more than four times as many people visited iTunes on Christmas than at the same time last year. …

Flogging Molly can’t wait to get the party started: The Irish folk punks are kicking off their St. Patrick’s Day-themed Green 17 Tour on February 22 in Los Angeles. The 18-date outing comes to a close March 17 in Phoenix. … Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Spocket note has also lined up his first ’07 tour. He’ll set out to do the solo-acoustic thing February 7 in Santa Barbara, California, and stay on the road through March 4 in Annapolis, Maryland. …

2007 will be a banner year for “The Simpsons,” with a long-awaited big-screen adventure finally hitting theaters, so the animated Springfield residents are starting the year on the right foot with a slew of New Year’s resolutions. Realist Homer vows to lose 10 pounds — and gain it back by Valentine’s Day. Marge wants to improve her cooking (“I resolve to finally learn how to make pancakes that don’t stick to the pan”) thanks to some prodding from Bart. And Krusty and Comic Book Guy aim a bit higher, with the clown promising to come up with jokes that are fresher than his 40-year-old standbys and the nerd resolving to date a woman. Good luck, guys.