For The Record: Quick News On Beyonce, Chris Brown, Shakira, Wyclef, Harry Potter, Justin, Rick Rubin, NIN & More

B teams with Mexican singer for duet; Brown joins Essence fest lineup; Shakira, Wyclef performing at Grammys.

Beyoncé has joined forces with legendary Mexican singer Alejandro Fernández to record “Amor Gitano” (“Gypsy Love”), a duet they sing in Spanish. The flamenco-pop track, co-written by Beyoncé, debuts Monday on Telemundo’s “El Zorro” telenovela. On the tune, B sings: “I’m your thief, I’m going to love you even if they tear my heart out.”…

Chris Brown has joined the lineup for this year’s Essence Music Festival, which returns to New Orleans July 5-7. Brown will perform July 6, the same night that Beyoncé is scheduled to take the stage. Mary J. Blige and Lionel Richie are also onboard for the three-day event. …

Brown is also among the latest crop of performers added to Sunday night’s telecast of the 49th annual Grammy Awards. The newly added performances include a tribute to classic R&B singers featuring Brown, Lionel Richie and Smokey Robinson; first-time Grammy performer Shakira in a duet with Wyclef Jean; and Rascal Flatts partnering with Carrie Underwood. Some new presenters have also been added, including the Pussycat DollsNicole Scherzinger, Natasha Bedingfield, Tony Bennett, Nicolas Cage, Seal, jazz legend Ornette Coleman, LeAnn Rimes, comedian Lewis Black and David Spade. The Grammys air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. MTV News’ “All Up in the Grammys” preshow begins at 7:30 p.m. on on MTV. …

Happy that you’ll finally get to read the last “Harry Potter” book in July but sad the series is ending? Your mixed feelings about “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” are no match for J.K. Rowling‘s. In a post on her Web site, the author says she’s “never felt such a mixture of extreme emotions in my life, never dreamed I could feel simultaneously heartbroken and euphoric.” This, on top of her “incredible sense of achievement.” But she takes consolation that she’s not alone and that her fans are bound to continue “arguing and speculating” even after the book comes out. “One thing has stopped me [from] collapsing in a puddle of misery on the floor,” she wrote. “While each of the previous Potter books has strong claims on my affections, ‘Deathly Hallows’ is my favorite, and that is the most wonderful way to finish the series.” …

Nickelodeon’s 20th annual Kids Choice Awards have named their host: singer/actor/ reigning Best Burp champ Justin Timberlake will lead the festivities, which air live March 31 on Nickelodeon. “I’m revving up to have an even bigger blast than usual,” Timberlake said in a statement, “and I’m thrilled and proud to be hosting the 20th anniversary show. … While honoring kids’ opinions, it taps into the kid in all of us.” Timberlake is also up for this year’s Favorite Male Singer prize, facing off with Chris Brown, Sean Paul and Jesse McCartney for the trophy. Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Ciara and Jessica Simpson vie for Favorite Female Singer honors, while Fall Out Boy, Black Eyed Peas, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nickelback compete in the Favorite Music Group category. Fans can begin voting for the prizes — which also honor favorites in movies, TV and books — beginning March 5 at Nick.com. …

While Gnarls Barkley wait to see how they fare at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, the group is asking fans to put themselves in the running in a different kind of contest: a haiku competition. A.B. Vidal, “Chief Executive of St. Elsewhere,” posted a challenge on the band’s site last week asking for poets to step forward with a haiku to win an unnamed prize. “Your theme can be either Solitude or Pineapples. Or, if you can manage it, both.” Vidal encourages fans to enter often, but warns, “I reserve the right to be as arbitrary as I like in my decision making.” The contest closes Tuesday (February 6). … A judge in Newport Beach, California, issued an arrest warrant for Daniel Baldwin on Tuesday, The Associated Press reports. The actor, who has been charged with illegally taking another person’s car, did not show up to Orange County Superior Court for his scheduled arraignment. …

Hit-making producer Rick Rubin, best known for founding Def Jam Records alongside Russell Simmons and working with a range of artists from Johnny Cash to Jay-Z, has been offered a position with Columbia Records as co-chairman of the label, according to The New York Times. The report stated Rubin is currently under contract with Warner Bros. Records, which hosts his American Recordings label, but sources close to the deal revealed it’s possible that Rubin could get out of the last three years of the arrangement provided he still produced records for acts signed to Warner. … Rubin’s pals the Nine Inch Nails have set April 17 as the release date for their next LP, Year Zero, according to the band’s Web site. The album is expected to feature 16 tracks, including “The Beginning of the End” and “Survivalism.” …

Arcade Fire have posted the lyrics for their second album, Neon Bible, in anticipation of the disc’s March 6 release. The lyrics are accessible through NeonBible.com, a site that looks a little frightful at first glance — flashing bibles on the opening screen lead to creepy black-and-white imagery, and clicking on “lyrics” at the top of that page brings up a ghostly-looking girl reciting a poem. Clicking to the right of the girl’s book calls forth the song lyrics. The words fall in line with the somber mood, with “Intervention” featuring the lyrics: “Singin’ hallelujah with the fear in your heart/ Every spark of friendship and love will die without a home/ Hear the soldier groan, ‘We’ll go at it alone.’ ” “Antichrist Television Blues” tells the story of a “good Christian man” who wants to put his daughter — who “can sing like a bird in a cage” — on TV. While that track has led to speculation that the Fire are targeting Joe Simpson, the song does not name names. … Arctic Monkeys have set an April 23 U.K. release date for their second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare. The first single is called “Brianstorm.”

02.05.2007

Jessica Simpson was “hurt” by ex-husband Nick Lachey‘s early dating after their marriage dissolved, she told Elle magazine for its March issue, due to hit newsstands February 13. “Two or three weeks later? Yeah, I’d say it kind of hurt me,” she said. …

After weeks of Internet leaks, the dates for the Honda Civic Tour — headlined by Fall Out Boy and featuring (+44), Cobra Starship, the Academy Is … and, uh, Paul Wall — have finally been confirmed. The trek kicks off April 18 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and runs until mid-June, with a pair of homecoming gigs in FOB’s Chicago hometown on the 10th and 11th. Fans who purchase the band’s Infinity on High album when it hits stores Tuesday will receive an access code for a special ticket presale. The general presale begins February 17. For more info, check out HondaCivicTour.com …

Kim Mathers, now twice-divorced from Eminem, appeared on ABC’s magazine show “20/20″ Friday to discuss her tumultuous relationship with the multiplatinum superstar. In a segment titled “Lovers’ Revenge,” Mathers described her second marriage to Eminem as “rushed,” claimed the rapper’s fame destroyed their marriage and revealed that their relationship ended for good over an argument she had with his younger brother. Mathers also discussed her affairs, her failed suicide attempt and Em’s role as a father and husband. Through his representatives, Eminem declined to comment for the segment. …

Jennifer Lopez is getting a human-rights award — and it’s not for the performance she gave (with hubby Marc Anthony) at a Super Bowl party in Miami over the weekend. The Associated Press reports that the singer/actress will receive the Artists for Amnesty award for her work producing and starring in “Bordertown,” a soon-to-be-released film about the murder of hundreds of women in a Mexican town. J. Lo will be presented with the award February 14 at the Berlin Film Festival, where the movie is debuting. There’s some good news for J. Lo fans too: The wait for her Spanish-language album just got a bit shorter. The release of Como Ama Una Mujer has been moved up one week to March 27. …

No Doubt‘s Tom Dumont joined former You Hear It First artist Matt Costa onstage at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California, Saturday night. Dumont provided backup vocals during “Miss Magnolia,” a new Costa tune that closed his opening set for G. Love and Special Sauce. Look for it to surface on Costa’s new Dumont-produced album, which the singer/songwriter will record later this year. The No Doubt guitarist told MTV News that the band’s new material could be out by 2008. “[Guitarist] Tony [Kanal] and [drummer] Adrian [Young] and I have been writing music for the next No Doubt album, to be ready when we resume to record with [singer] Gwen [Stefani],” Dumont said. In the meantime, Dumont has also been keeping busy producing New York indie band ModRocket and scoring an in-the-works animated short for the Disney Channel. …

Bam Margera married Missy Rothstein, a childhood friend, on Saturday, AP reports. Iggy Pop performed at the festivities, and Tony Hawk and former Smashing Pumpkin James Iha were in attendance. The wedding was filmed for Margera’s MTV reality show “Bam’s Unholy Union.” … LL Cool J will host the 38th NAACP Image Awards, which will air live March 2 on Fox. Bono will be presented with a special award for his humanitarian efforts, while Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia are among the nominees in the running for NAACP prizes honoring entertainers. …

A federal judge issued a temporary injunction against ParisExposed.com, the Web site that’s been offering its subscribers access to personal pictures, videos, diaries and other documents Paris Hilton had in storage, AP reports. The site purchased the contents at auction after Hilton failed to pay her storage fees. Hilton sued the operators of the site last week, charging that its very existence exploited her private personal belongings for commercial gain. The injunction, issued Friday, bars the site from posting Hilton’s Social Security number, health records and other personal information. … Turner Broadcasting Systems and marketing company Interference Inc. have agreed to pay $2 million in compensation for the “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” promotional campaign that set off a terrorism scare in Boston last week. AP reports that $1 million of the settlement will be used to reimburse local agencies that responded to the electronic signs mistaken for bombs, while the remaining $1 million will be used to fund homeland-security programs. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said the agreement will resolve any potential civil or criminal claims against the companies. …

The long-running dispute between computer maker Apple Inc. and the Beatles‘ record company, Apple Corps, was resolved Monday (February 5), potentially paving the way for the Beatles’ music to finally be offered for download on iTunes. In a joint press release, the longtime rivals announced that they’ve entered into a new agreement about the use of the name “Apple” and apple logos that replaces their 1991 agreement — and allows Apple Inc. to own all the trademarks related to “Apple.” The computer company will license certain, unspecified, trademarks back to Apple Corps for their use. The settlement also quashed the ongoing trademark lawsuit between the companies. “We love the Beatles,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs commented, “and it has been painful being at odds with them over these trademarks. It feels great to resolve this in a positive manner, and in a way that should remove the potential of further disagreements in the future.” Though the agreement did not bring any word on the holy grail of music downloads — the Beatles on iTunes — Apple Corps manager Neil Aspinall did say that “the years ahead are going to be very exciting times for us. We wish Apple Inc. every success and look forward to many years of peaceful co-operation with them.” …

When rumors first surfaced last year that Brody Dalle‘s punk band the Distillers had called it quits, the singer wouldn’t confirm the split. But now it’s official. Dalle and guitarist Tony Bradley have moved on with a new band, Spinnerette. No explanation has been offered for the Distillers’ breakup. … None More Black have decided to go on an indefinite hiatus. The band issued its sophomore LP, This Is Satire, last year. The group hasn’t provided a reason for the split. … P.O.D. have signed with INO Records/ Columbia Records, and are currently in pre-production for their forthcoming album, which is expected out late this summer. … Godsmack bassist Robbie Merrill and his wife, Heather, welcomed the couple’s first child, Nianni Chay Merrill, on January 18. …

Joe Hunter of legendary Motown session musicians the Funk Brothers was found dead in his Detroit apartment late last week, AP reports. The cause of death is not yet known, although the pianist was a diabetic. Hunter earned three Grammys and was featured in the 2002 documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown.” He was 79. … Noted singer/actress Barbara McNair — who starred alongside Elvis Presley in “Change of Habit” and Sidney Poitier in “They Call Me Mr. Tibbs” — has also passed away, AP reports. She died at age 72 on Sunday after a battle with throat cancer.