For The Record: Quick News On Jay-Z, Kanye, Evanescence, Mary J., ‘Idol,’ 50 Cent, Dipset & More

Jay cleats going to Football Hall of Fame; West to star in unscripted TV series; Amy Lee engaged.

Forget the Rock Hall: Jay-Z is headed to the Football Hall of Fame. Record-breaking running back Larry Johnson is donating his Jay-crafted cleats — Reebok S. Carters, to be exact — to the Hall, putting Hova alongside names like Joe Montana and Walter Payton. …

HBO is developing an unscripted series that will star Kanye West, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Details are sketchy, but the still-untitled project from Larry Charles (“Borat,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) will focus on a day in West’s hectic life. Producer Rick Rubin is also reportedly attached as an executive producer on the show. … Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee is off the market. The singer is now engaged to her boyfriend, a psychiatrist she has been dating for a year. The couple announced the engagement during a live appearance on Canadian network MuchMusic on Tuesday. Lee’s beau popped the question the night before. …

Mary J. Blige and Lionel Richie have joined the lineup for the Essence Music Festival, which returns to New Orleans from July 5-7. Blige and Richie will headline the fest’s closing night, while Beyoncé is scheduled to perform the second day. … Madame Tussauds Las Vegas is unveiling a new “American Idol” wax attraction on Tuesday, the day the sixth season begins. The exhibit will feature wax replicas of Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest as an interactive element tied in to “Karaoke Revolution Presents: ‘American Idol.’ ” …

Already a purveyor of rhymes, branded water and G-Unit attire, 50 Cent is getting into the latex business. The rapper — whose G-Unit Books debuted Tuesday — will release his own line of condoms. “The kids become immune when you constantly beat them over the head — read a book, read a book,” 50 said in an interview with The New York Post. “We have to be a little more creative about it. It’s the same with safe sex. As opposed to being part of a safe-sex campaign, I’m going to make condoms and donate a part of the proceeds to HIV awareness.” There’s no word yet on when the prophylactics will hit the market. …

Dipset associate Charly Wingate, a 28-year-old rapper known by the stage name Max B., was remanded to New Jersey’s Bergen County Jail on $2 million bail set Tuesday, Newark newspaper The Star-Ledger reports. Prosecutors said Wingate organized the robbery and murder of a man in Fort Lee on September 22 after his girlfriend told him she had met two men who were carrying large amounts of cash and driving expensive cars. Wingate is alleged to have recruited a friend to help him rob the two men, David Taylor and Allan Plowden; Taylor was killed by a gunshot to the head, while Plowden was bound with duct tape. Wingate’s lawyer questioned the validity of the evidence against his client and maintained that Wingate wasn’t even in the state at the time of the shooting. …

Who doesn’t love Johnny Depp? The swashbuckling actor was the big winner at the 33rd annual People’s Choice Awards Tuesday night, scooping up prizes for favorite male star, male action star and onscreen matchup (with Keira Knightley) as “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” was honored as favorite movie and favorite movie drama. The awards, voted on by fans, also honored Jennifer Aniston (female star), Cameron Diaz (leading lady), Vince Vaughn (leading man) and Halle Berry (female action star). Former “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood was named favorite female singer, while Nickelback took the favorite group award. Justin Timberlake won favorite R&B song prize for “SexyBack,” Shakira took the pop song award for “Hips Don’t Lie,” and Eminem grabbed the hip-hop honor for “Shake That.” Perennial favorite “The Simpsons” took the animated comedy category, “American Idol” won for best competition/reality show and “Grey’s Anatomy” took the TV drama prize. Though she wasn’t nominated for anything, Britney Spears may as well have won an award — for being the butt of most jokes thanks to her recent spate of underwear-less adventures, which were a running gag during the show. …

Spears did get a mention at the top of one list Tuesday — Mr. Blackwell‘s annual ranking of the year’s worst fashion offenders. The self-imposed arbiter of style — and self-styled poet — lumped Britney and Paris Hilton together as the “Screamgirls,” noting that the “style-free and fashion-deprived” women are “two peas in an overexposed pod.” Ranking at #3 on the worst-dressed lineup is Lindsay Lohan, who went from “adorable to deplorable” in Blackwell’s estimation. Mariah Carey and Meryl Streep (huh?) also made the dishonorable cut, while Blackwell named Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie and “The Queen” star Helen Mirren “Fabulous Fashion Independents for 2006″ — and spared them his creatively worded putdowns. … On Wednesday (January 10), a lawyer for George Michael entered a not-guilty plea in a London court on behalf of the singer, who is facing charges of being unfit to drive and marijuana possession stemming from a September arrest. The Associated Press reports that arguments will be heard March 7 to determine whether the blood sample taken from Michael at his arrest is admissible as evidence. The judge set a provisional trial date of April 23. …

Nominations for the NAACP Image Awards were announced Tuesday, and while the film “Dreamgirls” and TV series “Everybody Loves Chris” lead the field with eight nominations each, there’s no topping Beyoncé when it comes to individual achievement. The singer is up for best actress honors, as well as four music prizes: best female artist, video and song (“Irreplaceable”) and album (B’Day). Other multiple nominees include Mary J. Blige — who faces off with Beyoncé for the four music trophies — Fantasia and Jamie Foxx. … More than two weeks after his death, soul legend James Brown has still not been buried as his attorneys and family continue to work on settling his estate and deciding where he will be laid to rest. According to AP, Brown’s body is lying in a sealed casket under the watchful eyes of security guards at his home in Georgia, which has been locked up since hours after his death to protect his memorabilia and personal items. … Yvonne De Carlo, who played Lily Munster in TV’s “The Munsters,” died Monday of natural causes, AP reports. She was 84.

01.09.2007

Paris Hilton‘s attorney entered not guilty pleas to misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence on behalf of the heiress Tuesday (January 9), The Associated Press reports. Hilton, who was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in September, was not required to appear at Los Angeles County court for the arraignment. She was formally charged with one count of driving under the influence and one count of driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or above, and a judge scheduled a January 23 pre-trial hearing. If Hilton is convicted, the first-time offender would likely face a fine and enrollment in an alcohol program, according to prosecutors. …

Daughtry, the band led by “American Idol” finalist Chris Daughtry, have begun eking out dates for their upcoming tour. The rockers get the party started January 28 at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California, then hit Los Angeles and San Francisco soon after that. They will be on the road through April, at least. … On the subject of “Idol,” auditions for the new season of the hugely popular program will start airing next week. The two-part season premiere will feature the Minneapolis auditions on January 16 and the Seattle tryouts the following day. Auditions from Memphis, Los Angeles and more cities will air January 23 through February 6. While you’ve got your day-planner open, expect the first results show to happen February 22. …

An attorney representing Tyrese‘s girlfriend has issued a statement on his client’s behalf, blasting reports that the singer assaulted her last week. Los Angeles police responded to a domestic dispute at the couple’s apartment Thursday morning, and police were told the R&B singer had punched his girlfriend, who is three months pregnant with his child, in the arm and leg. “Reports that Tyrese punched my client in the arm, thigh or anywhere else are false,” attorney Paul Berra said in the statement. “It is true, Mr. Gibson and his girlfriend had been arguing. She became very emotional and distressed during the argument and called 911 in an attempt to get a mediator. Mr. Gibson, frustrated, left the home. My client, Mr. Gibson’s girlfriend, who is 11-weeks pregnant, then became more upset and began throwing up. When the paramedics arrived, concerned about the baby, they took her to the hospital. Fortunately, she was fine. Once at the hospital, she was asked by a nurse whether she had been assaulted. She said, ‘No.’ She was then asked what her pain level was on a scale of zero to 10. She said, ‘Zero.’ She then discharged herself. Mr. Gibson and his girlfriend are very much still in love, together and excited about their [expected] child. She is quite saddened that this event was so distorted.” Tyrese wasn’t charged in the assault, but police said they would still like to interview him as part of their investigation into the incident. …

Want to be a dancer on Beyoncé‘s upcoming world tour? You’ve got a little more time to play with. The Chicago final auditions for the contest will happen February 10-11, not January 27, as previously reported. … Jennifer Lopez, Terrence Howard, Dane Cook and others have joined the long list of presenters for the Golden Globe Awards. The ceremony will air live on NBC Monday at 8 p.m. ET. … A Mick Wall-penned biography of Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose is due in stores May 4. The former Kerrang! magazine writer’s “Axl Rose – The Unauthorized Biography” features interviews with bandmembers before GN’R hit it big, and is being described by publisher Sidgwick & Jackson as “a no-holds-barred study of the troubled life and turbulent career of the group’s singer and leader.” The tome will examine Axl’s childhood abuse, his run-ins with the law and his Chinese Democracy odyssey. … The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Sunday that the GN’R frontman is in Sin City, putting the finishing touches on the band’s long-awaited album, which is slated for a tentative March 6 release. The paper claims Rose is laying down the final vocals for Chinese Democracy at the recording studio at the Palms hotel. …

It’s been exactly one year since Howard Stern debuted on Sirius Satellite Radio, and in that time, the company has added more than 2.7 million new subscribers — up to 6 million from 3.3 million. Stern’s Howard 100 channel will replay his inaugural Sirius show Tuesday, followed by the “Best of 2006 Top 10 Countdown Special,” which replays the best moments of the year as determined by fan votes. “It’s been a great year and the show is better than ever,” Stern said in a statement. “We’ve delivered on the promise of satellite radio; I can do whatever I want and say whatever I want.” Reuters reports that Sirius presented Stern with a bonus worth nearly $83 million on Tuesday as a thank you for surpassing subscriber goals. … Mastodon have unveiled a side-scrolling video game inspired by the Atlanta metalers’ latest album, Blood Mountain. In the online game, one assumes the role of a burly warrior and collects diamonds while avoiding dangerous creatures like wolves, all to collect the various pieces of a key that unlocks the one and only Blood Mountain. Fans can play along at WarnerReprise.com. …

The dates for the No Fear Music Tour, featuring headliners Killswitch Engage, have been revealed. The trek — which also includes DragonForce, Chimaira and He Is Legend — gets under way February 21 in Philadelphia, with dates scheduled through April 8 in Chicago. … With the exception of a brief, odd cameo at the Grammy Awards in February, funk legend Sly Stone has been largely off the map for much of the past 30 years. That hiatus might be ending soon, though, according to an article in The Los Angeles Times. The reclusive singer and bandleader isn’t scheduled to perform with the new Family Stone band on Saturday at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California — which is not the same group he led in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but features several members of his extended family. But the 62-year-old singer has been writing new songs for an album due this summer on his own PhattaDatta record label. … Hip-hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari has composed a song that features Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech playing in the background. Ben-Ari will perform the tune Sunday at a Washington, D.C., Love of Israel gala honoring Ambassador of Israel to the United States Daniel Ayalon. …

“Sneaky” Pete Kleinow, a founding member of 1960s country-rock forerunners the Flying Burrito Brothers, died Saturday in Petaluma, California, AP reports. He was 72. The pedal-steel guitarist — who was also a stop-motion animator, an Emmy-winning visual-effects artist and composer of the “Gumby” TV series theme song — had been living with Alzheimer’s disease. Kleinow’s last recording with Burrito Deluxe, a band he founded in 2000, will be released next month. … Animator Iwao Takamoto — who created Scooby-Doo and directed the 1973 animated film “Charlotte’s Web” — died of heart failure in Los Angeles on Monday, AP reports. He was 81. The Los Angeles native learned the art of animation while being held at an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II, and was later hired by Walt Disney Studios despite his lack of formal training. Takamoto, who went on to work for Hanna-Barbera, lent his hand to classics including “Cinderella,” “Lady and the Tramp” and “The Flintstones.”