For The Record: Quick News On J. Lo, Britney, Nick & Jessica, Will Ferrell, Ashley Parker Angel & More

Lopez steps it up with dance TV show; Spears 'just tired' at New Year's bash; Lachey, Simpson split assets.

She’s a film, fashion and music superstar now, but it wasn’t so long ago that Jennifer Lopez was making her living as a dancer. The former “In Living Color” Fly Girl and backup dancer for New Kids on the Block told MTV Tres that with the MTV reality show “Dancelife,” she’s out to show the world how hard dancers work. “I really know what it is to be a dancer, and what those struggles are and what it is, day to day, to be auditioning and have your feet hurt and your legs aching,” Lopez explained. “It’s a real hard life, and it’s really underappreciated as an art form. … We’re following different dancers and their struggles and their lives.” “Dancelife” premieres January 15 on MTV. …

She may have already ditched partying partner and best-pal-for-a-minute Paris Hilton, but despite vowing to clean up her act, Britney Spears began 2007 much as she left 2006: in a nightclub amid controversy. Spears was the host of New Year’s festivities at Las Vegas’ Pure club, and, according to reports on gossip sites, she collapsed shortly after midnight and was carried out by bodyguards. Spears’ manager Larry Rudolph, however, told The Associated Press that the singer “was not drunk. She was just tired and falling asleep.” He denied reports that she passed out or had to seek medical attention. …

Having reached an agreement regarding how to split their assets, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey have taken the final step in their divorce proceedings, People magazine reports. While the couple were legally free to marry other people as of June, this resolution brings the couple’s marriage to an official end. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. … Will Ferrell‘s wife Viveca Paulin gave birth to the couple’s second son, Mattias, early Saturday morning, AP reports. …

Ashley Parker Angel is joining the Broadway cast of “Hairspray,” a representative for the show confirmed. In a post on his MySpace page, the singer announced that he’ll be playing heartthrob Link Larkin. “At a very young age I discovered my love of performing through the experience of live theater, so I am totally thrilled to be moving to New York and getting back to my roots!” the singer wrote. “This new direction has made me feel inspired in a way that I have not felt in a long time. … This last year has brought me much success and I expect 2007 to be even better.” Parker Angel will participate in the production from January 19 through April 15. …

Don’t send a wedding gift for Kate Moss and Pete Doherty just yet. A representative for the supermodel has denied reports that Moss married the troubled rocker on New Year’s Day. Britain’s Daily Mail had reported that the couple married in a Buddhist ceremony in the private garden of their $11,000-a-night luxury seaside villa in Phuket, Thailand, in front of a few family members and friends. “Contrary to various entirely false media reports today, there has not been any kind of marriage ceremony in Thailand,” the model’s representative said in a statement. “She is on holiday.” British tabloid The Sun, which also reported about the Phuket ceremony, claimed the wedding was not legally binding and named January 18 as the couple’s official wedding day. …

Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and drummer Abe Cunningham will serve as guest DJs Tuesday night (January 2) on Sirius Satellite Radio’s Octane channel, beginning at 6 p.m. … Guitarist Jason Truby has left P.O.D., according to the band’s MySpace page. Truby, who replaced Marcos Curiel back in 2003, said his “decision to depart as a member is personal” and preceded last month’s announcement that Curiel would rejoin the band. “I believe in P.O.D. and will be a part of P.O.D. forever,” he wrote. “They are lifelong friends. Sometimes you have to follow the wind even when you don’t know where it’s leading.” P.O.D. performed with Curiel for the first time in four years on New Year’s Eve in New York as part of a “Jimmy Kimmel Live” broadcast. … Victory Records has confirmed that frontman Mat Bruso has indeed left Massachusetts metalcore act Bury Your Dead “for personal reasons.” The label claims there are “no bad feelings” over the move, but the departure has forced the band to pull off a U.K. tour with Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall. Bury Your Dead, who have had three singers within the last five years, plan to begin their search for a replacement soon. …

George Michael will appear in a London court January 11 to answer charges that he was operating a vehicle while unfit to drive, AP reports. The singer was arrested October 2 after being found passed out inside his car, which was blocking an intersection in north London. The singer, who was released on bail for the unfit-to-drive charges and was also cited for possessing marijuana, had previously received a warning for marijuana possession in February, and hit three parked cars in an April driving incident. … The sons of two music legends are going at it in court. In a complaint filed last week, Lou Rawls Jr. claims four large dogs owned by Marvin Gaye III attacked him when he visited Gaye’s Hollywood home in 2005, according to AP. In the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Rawls Jr. says the dogs “bit, clawed and physically and mentally injured.” He is seeking unspecified damages. …

Hinder are stretching out their early 2007 a little longer. The band, which sets out with a January 13 show in Ketchum, Idaho, will now be on the road through March 3 in New Orleans. … The Queers have posted two new tracks — “Houston We Have a Problem” and “I Think She’s Starting to Like Me” — on the band’s MySpace page. The tunes will appear on the punk act’s forthcoming album, Munki Brain, due next month. … Florida hard-rock act Endo have split due to “drama” within the band, according to frontman Gil Bitton‘s MySpace page. Endo performed on the second stage during Ozzfest 2003, and released their last LP, Songs for the Restless, in 2003, before being dropped by Columbia Records.

12.29.2006

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.