For The Record: Quick News On Brandy, Jessica, Lil Jon, Christina, Mary J., Jay-Z, U2, Young Buck & More

Police want Brandy charged; Simpson pitching pizza again; Lil Jon co-hosting Super Bowl pre-party.

The California Highway Patrol has recommended that Brandy (real name: Brandy Norwood) be charged in the fatal multi-car crash she was involved in late last year, The Associated Press reported Monday (January 29). The CHP, which referred the case to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, said the singer/actress should be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. The maximum sentence for that charge is one year in county jail, and it also carries a $1,000 fine. Prosecutors reviewing the matter told AP they didn’t know when they would make a decision about whether to charge Brandy. …

Jessica Simpson has some exceptionally cheesy plans for Super Bowl Sunday: She’ll return to her role as Pizza Hut pitch person in a commercial set to air during the big game. … In other Super Bowl news, Billy Joel will sing the national anthem at the event. The piano-playing singer/songwriter, who performed at Super Bowl XXIII in 1989, will be the first artist to take on the anthem twice. And Lil Jon and a group of Bedtime Bunnies are joining forces to host Playboy‘s Super Bowl pre-party at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. Johnny Knoxville, Terrence Howard and Backstreet BoysNick Carter and A.J. McLean are on the Saturday night bash’s guest list. …

Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige and Toni Braxton are heading to Las Vegas with the cream of the pro-basketball crop next month. Aguilera will headline the NBA All-Star Game’s halftime show February 18, with Braxton also performing at the event. And Blige will sing at slam-dunk contests the night before as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night skills competition. Both events will air live on TNT beginning at 8 p.m. ET. …

Jay-Z has been tapped by Coca-Cola to spruce up the company’s Cherry Coke brand. The rap icon will serve as an unofficial brand strategist helping to craft commercials for Cherry Coke and lending his input into the new can. Jay’s involvement with the beverage line will culminate in a February 7 appearance at a Cherry Coke relaunch event during New York’s Fashion Week. … The Church of England will hold its first “U2-charist” communion service in Lincoln, England, in May, Reuters reports. A live band performing songs by the Irish group will replace traditional hymns during the service, which will also feature lyrics on a giant screen so that even non-fans can join in song. The “U2-charist” event will promote the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, an eight-part initiative to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and alleviate world poverty. …

Young Buck got tripped up by an old charge on Friday in Nashville when police arrested the G-Unit rapper for failure to be booked on a 2006 misdemeanor citation. According to WTVF in Nashville, police spotted Buck (born David Darnell Brown), 25, weaving on a downtown Nashville street, and arrested him when they realized he had not been booked for the July charge of driving with a suspended license. His bond was set at $1,000. … It’s still unclear who will actually take the stage, but the reunited Smashing Pumpkins have announced their first comeback live dates: a pair of headlining gigs at the Rock Am Ring (June 2) and Rock Im Park (June 3) festivals in Germany. …

After giving it away for free, YouTube posters might start getting paid for their dancing-cat videos. Site co-founder Chad Hurley announced Saturday that there are plans to spread some of the wealth to the site’s millions of users. There’s no details yet on how it will work, but according to an AP report, Hurley said, “We are getting an audience large enough where we have an opportunity to support creativity, to foster creativity through sharing revenue with our users. … So in the coming months we are going to be opening that up.” … “Little Miss Sunshine” beat out “Dreamgirls,” “Babel,” “Bobby” and “The Departed” to take the ensemble film acting prize at Sunday’s 13th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Helen Mirren (“The Queen”) and Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland”) won the top individual film acting prizes, while “Dreamgirls” stars Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson were each honored for their supporting performances. Top TV awards went to the casts of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Office.” …

B.B. King was “back to his old self” after being discharged from a Galveston, Texas, hospital on Saturday, according to a spokesperson for his management agency. AP reports that the 81-year-old bluesman was admitted to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston on Thursday and received treatment for a fever. King, who missed three scheduled shows in Texas while hospitalized, will make up the performances in June. He plans to play a Fort Worth show on Tuesday as scheduled. … Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Bon Jovi‘s Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, David Schwimmer, Howard Stern, Kenneth Cole, Deborah Gibson and Russell Simmons came together late last week in New York to raise money for the nonprofit organization Homes, Jobs, and Services for America’s Homeless. Jon Bon Jovi and Cole co-hosted the benefit party. …

London’s legendary Hammersmith Palais, which was immortalized in song by the Clash‘s 1978 tune “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais,” is scheduled to be demolished to make way for an office building. BBC News reports that fans lost a fight to keep the World War I-era venue open after police said neighbors had complained about criminal behavior by patrons and asked for its license to be revoked last year. Among the groups that have played the venue in the past are U2, the Sex Pistols, the Rolling Stones and My Chemical Romance. …

Joey Ramone‘s mother, Charlotte Lesher, died Saturday after suffering a heart attack in her home in Queens, New York, according to the late punk icon’s Web site, JoeyRamone.com. Lesher was 80. “Mama Ramone,” as Joey called her, is survived by her son Mickey Leigh. Donations to the Joey Ramone Foundation for Lymphoma Research will be accepted in lieu of cards or flowers. … Angelina Jolie also lost her mother on Saturday. Actress Marcheline Bertrand died of cancer, Jolie announced in a statement on Sunday. The family is planning a private funeral and asked that, instead of flowers, donations be made to the Cedars-Sinai’s Women’s Cancer Research Institute.

01.26.2007

Christina Aguilera will release the Linda Perry-produced “Candyman” as the third single from Back to Basics. Aguilera, whose North American tour begins February 20, is co-directing the video with Matthew Rolston (Hilary Duff, Jessica Simpson). …

It might be comeback time — again — for Michael Jackson. The Associated Press reported Friday (January 26) that the singer has relocated to the U.S. after living for the past year and a half in Bahrain, France and Ireland. Jackson is also planning two fan-appreciation concerts, to be held in Japan in March, with one of them allowing fans to meet him for the hefty sum of $3,300. The singer postponed an expensive Christmas party for fans in Japan last year so he could add a second date to the appreciation events. …

Oscar nominee Jennifer Hudson is Essence magazine’s March cover girl and explains in an interview inside that the world can expect to hear a lot more than the “Dreamgirls” showstopper “And I’m Telling You (I’m Not Going)” from her. “I don’t intend to say, ‘OK, I’m going to sing this song for the rest of my life, and this will be the only character that I portrayed,’ ” she said. “I’m Jennifer, not Effie,” she added, remarking about the character she plays in the film. “I’m flexible and different and have other dreams and other goals and songs to pursue.” … Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony will perform at Ocean Drive magazine’s Super Bowl party in Miami on February 3. DJ AM will also entertain the VIP crowd. …

Chris Daughtry — sans his chart-topping band, Daughtry — will treat Greensboro, North Carolina, to a free concert at Greensboro Coliseum on March 23, AP reports. The gig, which is expected to draw 6,000-7,000 people, will act as a prelude to the women’s basketball tournament games slated for March 24 and 26. … “American Idol” season-one runner-up Justin Guarini is joining “Idol Tonight” as a correspondent. Fellow “Idol” vet Kimberly Caldwell and “Popstars” winner Rosanna Tavarez will continue to host the pre-show series broadcast on the TV Guide Channel. The new season of “Idol Tonight” will air Wednesdays beginning in March. …

Dre & Vidal, Alchemist and Fredwreck are joining the celebrity panel to be showcased at the One Stop Shop Conference on February 10-11 in Phoenix. The event, put on by G-Unit and Sha Money XL, will focus on music producers and also include workshops and networking sessions. Swizz Beatz, DJ Premier and others will also be on the celebrity panel. … It’s almost time to pay your underground-hip-hop dues again. Expect to see Alchemist, Sage Francis and Brother Ali perform as part of the second Paid Dues shindig, to be held March 24 in San Bernardino, California. The eight-hour event, to be hosted by Lucky I Am, will also feature Felt — the group consisting of Murs and Atmosphere‘s Slug and Ant — plus Blackalicious, Mr. Lif, Cage, Pigeon John, Jean Grae and Devin the Dude. …

VH1 is calling on Mat Kearney to headline the first You Oughta Know Tour. The jaunt, which will also feature Rocco DeLuca and the Burden and the Feeling, begins March 17 in Denver and ends April 20 in Atlanta. VH1 will give the Burden another boost by rebroadcasting its documentary, “I Trust You to Kill Me” — which features their tour manager, Kiefer Sutherland — February 2. … The Ataris will kick off a U.S. tour February 20, the day their album Welcome to Tonight hits stores. The band will start off in Philadelphia and visit cities including New York, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago and Denver before finishing up the run on March 17 in Salt Lake City. …

Tom Waits has settled his lawsuit with General Motors and the company’s ad agency, which had created a series of European commercials that used a Waits sound-alike as background music in its ads. A Germany attorney representing Waits said the singer will donate his net settlement from the suit to charity. … B.B. King was hospitalized Friday in Galveston, Texas, with “flu-like symptoms,” Reuters reports. The blues legend, who is being held for observation, was forced to cancel a concert as a result. … Joe Satriani is lining up dates for another G3 tour, to begin in Phoenix on March 14. The trio — which also includes Dream Theater‘s John Petrucci and Mr. Big‘s Paul Gilbert — will also bring their guitar-hero antics to Las Vegas (March 15); Reno, Nevada (March 16); Berkeley, California (March 17); and Los Angeles (March 18). More dates are expected to be announced shortly. …

The flap over Ted Nugent‘s performance at Texas Governor Rick Perry’s inaugural ball hasn’t ended. Writing a guest column in the Thursday edition of the Waco Tribune-Herald, the Motor City Madman lashed out at people who have deemed racist the remarks he made about non-English speakers. “In total defiance to the vicious lies and hateful allegations of ‘racism’ leveled at me by irresponsible, unprofessional and downright goofy media punks, I never said a word about immigration or language, specifically not the alleged slam against ‘illegal immigrants’ or ‘non-English-speaking’ anyone,” Nugent wrote. He added, however, “I will intensify my fight for a united America by demanding all Americans speak English.” …

Dead or Alive frontman Pete Burns has filed a lawsuit against a plastic surgeon over lip injections he claims left him “physically repulsive” and “suicidal,” BBC News reports. The suit claims that the singer has suffered several side effects from the procedures, such as swelling, blisters and an inability to eat, drink or speak. Doctors have told him his lips may need to be amputated. Burns claims he received an “excessive number” of injections, and was never warned about the potential side effects. He said he did not leave his home for seven months, because his face was “distorted with swelling,” and underwent corrective treatment over 17 months. … Move over Bacon Brothers: There’s another acting Kevin with a band. The Kevin Costner Band will perform a NASCAR Nextel Cup pre-race show at the California Speedway on February 25. Costner will also serve as the event’s grand marshal.