For The Record: Quick News On Anna Nicole Smith, Dr. Dre, Guns N' Roses, Nas, Kelis, Borat & More

Attorney granted custody of Smith's body; Dre talks Detox; GN'R delay LP yet again.

Attorney Richard Milstein — the guardian for Anna Nicole Smith's 5-month-old daughter, Dannielynn — was given custody of Anna Nicole's body on Thursday (February 22), according to CNN. In an unusually tearful decision, Fort Lauderdale Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin encouraged Milstein to bury Smith in the Bahamas with her son, Daniel, a decision Smith's previous boyfriends Howard K. Stern and Larry Birkhead supported in a subsequent press conference. Smith's mother, however — who wants the deceased reality-TV star buried in her native Texas — is appealing the judge's ruling. In a separate meeting with reporters, the case's medical examiner added that he has discovered no evidence of foul play. ...

The typically reclusive Dr. Dre called in to L.A. radio station Power 106 this week to discuss his long-delayed Detox project. The pioneering rap producer confirmed to jock Big Boy that the album will finally see the light of day this year and added upstarts Bishop Lamont and Slim the Mobster will be featured prominently throughout. ...

Remember back in December when Axl Rose promised his oft-delayed, more-than-a-decade-in-the-making LP Chinese Democracy would actually surface March 6? Well, surprise, surprise — that ain't happening. According to a post on the band's Web site, the album's release has been postponed. "There is no official release date, as the band is currently mixing, but after some delays and scheduling difficulties, things appear to be moving along," reads the post. "The good news is that all of the recording for the album has been completed. Drummer Frank Ferrer and guitarist Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal integrated themselves into the recordings seamlessly and will have their presence felt." ...

Nas, Kelis, Eddie Murphy, Tracey Edmonds, Eva Pigford and Serena Williams showed up to honor Quincy Jones Wednesday night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. In addition to recognizing the producer — who was dubbed the "godfather of entertainment" — Black Enterprise's Top 50 Hollywood Power Brokers party also recognized the films "Dreamgirls," "The Last King of Scotland" and "The Pursuit of Happyness." ...

A judge has nixed the lawsuit filed against Sacha Baron Cohen and his Borat character by two college students, Variety reports. The South Carolina fraternity students had claimed they were intoxicated while signing 20th Century Fox's studio waiver, but now their lawsuit has been scuttled altogether. Previously, Judge Joseph Biderman rejected a preliminary injunction that would have forced Fox to remove the scene featuring the students from the film's DVD. ...

Giant magazine held a pre-Oscar event Wednesday night at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills to honor Academy Award nominee Jennifer Hudson, who appears on the cover of the magazine's February/March issue. Hudson's "Dreamgirls" co-star Jamie Foxx hosted the GM-sponsored shindig as Ludacris, Chris Brown, Janet Jackson, Lil Jon, Eva Longoria and director Michael Mann all partied in the hotel's penthouse to DJ Irie's tunes. ...

After losing nearly 100 pounds, "American Idol" season-two champ Ruben Studdard is teaching kids in his home state of Alabama — which ranks near the top of the nation's obesity index — the importance of keeping fit. "I don't want y'all to get to college and stop working out and forget all the things you have to do to be healthy," Studdard, spokesman for the Scale Back Alabama weight-loss campaign, told students at Montgomery's Capitol Heights Junior High School. "I want y'all to continue working out for the rest of your life so you don't have to start all over like Ruben Studdard, trying to get yourself back into shape." ... Maroon 5's follow-up to Songs About Jane will be the first release on the newly formed A&M/Octone Records. The Los Angeles pop act's second album is tentatively due in May. ...

Oasis singer Noel Gallagher has been running his mouth again, recently telling British newspaper The Daily Telegraph that U2 should "Play 'One,' shut the f--- up about Africa." Gallagher also expressed his feelings about Thom Yorke's solo album, The Eraser. "Thom Yorke sat at a piano singing, 'This is f---ed up,' for half an hour. We all know that, Mr. Yorke. Who wants to sing the news? No matter how much you sit there twiddling, going, 'We're all doomed,' at the end of the day, people will always want to hear you play 'Creep.' Get over it." Gallagher later added: "I never went to f---ing university. I don't know what a paintbrush is; I never went to art school." Yorke responded to the latter comment on his Radiohead Dead Air Space blog: "I did. It taught me to respect other artists." ...

The Mars Volta have booked a couple of West Coast gigs, after which the band plans to return to the studio to finish up its forthcoming new album. You can catch the Volta on March 31 in Berkeley, California, and April 3 in Los Angeles. ... From Autumn to Ashes will hit the road next month with Haste the Day. The two-month trek launches in Buffalo, New York, on March 6, with dates scheduled through April 19 in Towson, Maryland. ... The Toadies, best known for their 1994 rock radio hit "Possum Kingdom," are making a habit of reuniting. The band, which teamed up for gigs last March and June, will join up for four performances next month in Texas. The band will play March 12 and 13 in Austin, as part of the South by Southwest festival, and then hit Houston (March 14) and Dallas (March 17). ...

Recording engineer Ethan Willoughby, nominated for an Album of the Year Grammy for his work on Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds, was killed in a car accident on Sunday. He was 30. "Ethan Willoughby was not only an amazing talent in the studio, but also an amazing person," Timberlake said in a statement. "We will all miss his presence and his love for music." ... Executives at DreamWorks Pictures, the company behind the Beyoncé-powered movie adaptation of the musical "Dreamgirls," have taken out full-page ads in trade magazines apologizing to Berry Gordy and Motown for "confusion that has resulted from [the film's] fictional work," based loosely on the rise of Motown artists Diana Ross and the Supremes. ... The Emmy Awards are getting an "American Idol" makeover, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick, executive producers of the mega-hit reality series, have agreed to helm the ailing awards show, which earned its second-lowest rating in 16 years for the 2006 telecast. ...

Celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton is being sued for posting a topless photograph of Jennifer Aniston from "The Break-Up" on his site. Universal City Studios filed a copyright-infringement suit claiming that PerezHilton.com posted an image that was "misappropriated and illegally copied" during the film's production; the shot did not appear in the finished movie. The blogger was sued by photo agencies last year for posting celebrity images without permission, while Aniston settled a separate suit in September with a photographer who took topless photos of the actress at home from a street nearby. ... The camps for Democratic presidential hopefuls Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama exchanged barbs Wednesday over comments that entertainment mogul David Geffen made to The New York Times. Geffen, who had been a longtime Clinton supporter before backing Obama, called former President Bill Clinton "a reckless guy" and questioned the New York senator's leadership, causing Clinton aides to call for Obama to apologize and return Geffen's campaign contribution.

02.21.2007

Former "American Idol" winner Fantasia will perform and make a special announcement on the program's results show Thursday, it was announced Wednesday (February 21). ...

On Wednesday, Eminem announced a contest for burgeoning producers to remix the new track "Jimmy Crack Corn" (featuring 50 Cent), from the rapper's various-artists mixtape Eminem Presents: The Re-Up. The winning version will land in rotation for two weeks on Em's Shade 45 satellite-radio station. ...

Sensing that Britney Spears needs a getaway from her "turbulent lifestyle," the Syracuse Crunch — a minor-league team in the American Hockey League — is offering the pop singer an all-expenses-paid trip to the upstate New York locale to "provide tranquility" to Spears. According to ESPN, the invite begins with the team's Saturday game, and if Spears accepts, members of the team's upper-management staff have offered to shave their heads in support of her. ...

In related news, Evanescence's Amy Lee has come to Spears' defense, responding to a video posted on YouTube that makes fun of the newly bald pop sensation with an Evanescence song. "I have to post that I in no way am going to endorse any kind of Britney bashing after everything she's been through," Lee wrote in a post on the band's message board. "I can't control what people put on YouTube or anywhere else on the Internet, but I would never want my picture or our music connected to something that's based on getting enjoyment out of someone's pain. I know what it's like to feel manipulated, used and helpless — so do most of you — and by now, I know what it's like to feel like your entire life is open to the world for judgment. Remember that this is a human being we're talking about — and who wants to be like those horrible people that have to hurt you to feel better about themselves?" ...

A wrongful-death lawsuit has been filed on behalf of two children whose mother was killed in a December 30 freeway crash involving Brandy. The filing, submitted February 8 in Los Angeles, claims 38-year-old Awatef Aboudihaj's death was caused by the singer driving recklessly, according to court papers. Aboudihaj's parents filed a $50 million suit against Brandy last month. The California Highway Patrol has recommended that Brandy be charged with a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office is still considering charges. Hold your jets, Tool fans: The band is planning to reschedule its North American tour itinerary after drummer Danny Carey tore a bicep over the weekend. The bandmember underwent surgery Wednesday and is recovering. ...

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, has indicted 25-year-old Michael Scott Axley on felony murder and aggravated assault charges for allegedly attacking and killing a man at a Korn concert in July. Witnesses claimed Axley punched Andy Richardson, 30, after the two exchanged words at the Family Values Tour stop and Axley took Richardson's cap. Richardson was knocked unconscious, and Axley allegedly punched him again while he was lying on a sidewalk. Richardson suffered skull fractures and severe head injuries and died two days later. ... Through her lawyer, an absent Nicole Richie pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor driving under the influences charges in a Los Angeles court on Tuesday, The Associated Press reports. Richie, who was arrested December 11 after witnesses reported that her car was driving in the wrong direction on an L.A. freeway, already has a 2003 DUI on her record. She faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine plus suspension of her driving privileges. A pretrial conference is scheduled for April 2. ...

Former "Friends" David Schwimmer and Paul Rudd were laughing it up Tuesday night at a New York screening of "Hot Fuzz," the new film from the folks behind "Shaun of the Dead." Writer/director Edgar Wright revealed to MTV News that the comedy is "semi-autobiographical" — at least when it came to depicting Wells, the small town where he and co-writer and star Simon Pegg grew up, and where they filmed "Hot Fuzz." "Everything out of the ordinary had to be 'exterminated,' " he joked. Wright also revealed the identity of one of the uncredited cameos in "Hot Fuzz" — though Steve Coogan is clearly visible as a police officer in the beginning of the film, Cate Blanchett is hidden by a "CSI"-type mask. "It's her eyes that give it away," Wright said. ... 'NSYNC member Joey Fatone will step up to a new challenge, so to speak, on the fourth season of "Dancing With the Stars," which premieres March 19. The lineup for the televised talent competition was announced Wednesday, and includes Paul McCartney's estranged wife Heather Mills, country singer — and Miley's dad — Billy Ray Cyrus, actors Vincent Pastore and Ian Ziering, former basketball pro Clyde Drexler, boxer Laila Ali, Olympic speed skater Apolo Ono, supermodel Paulina Porizkova and TV hosts Leeza Gibbons and Shandi Finnessey. ...

Former Guns N' Roses and current Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash has sold his autobiography to HarperCollins, according to Crain's New York Business. Slash will work with writer Anthony Bozza (who helped Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee on his memoir, "Tommyland"), with a manuscript deadline set for this fall. ... That's that: Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro are free from the restraints of married life. AP reports that the couple's divorce was finalized Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. The two plan to split their assets and personal belongings according to a premarital agreement; the couple separated in July. ...

According to a posting on the band's MySpace page, Killswitch Engage have recruited former Halford guitarist and ex-Damageplan frontman Patrick Lachman to fill in for Killswitch's Adam Dutkiewicz during the band's upcoming North American tour with DragonForce, Chimaira and He Is Legend. Dutkiewicz is recovering from a serious back injury, and won't be able to head out with the band for the trek, which kicks off Wednesday in Philadelphia and runs through April 8 in Chicago. ... Former Citizen drummer Ryan Yerdon has joined Puddle of Mudd, replacing Greg Upchurch, who jumped ship back in 2005 to join 3 Doors Down. Puddle of Mudd have also announced the addition of guitarist Christian Stone. Stone replaces Paul Phillips, who left the band due to creative differences. ... The reunited Will Haven have parted ways with vocalist Grady Avenell; he's leaving the band so that he can focus on his family life. Band pal Jeff Jaworski (formerly of Red Tape) has been selected to replace Avenell.