For The Record: Quick News On Jennifer Hudson, Don Vito, 30 Seconds To Mars, Bono, Bobby Brown & More

Hudson wins NAACP Image prizes; Don Vito pleads not guilty; Bono plays editor at Vanity Fair.

Jennifer Hudson continued her winning streak Friday, taking an acting prize for her role in "Dreamgirls" at the NAACP Image Awards. The ceremony, hosted by LL Cool J, also honored Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, Bono, Mary J. Blige, India.Arie and Prince, who used his acceptance speech to speak out about protecting the environment — "Fifty years from now, what will they say about us?" he asked. Beyoncé, who led the field with five nominations, didn't win any of the awards she was up for. ...

"Viva La Bam" star Don Vito, whose real name is Vincent Roy Margera, pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexual assault on a child Monday (March 5) in Golden, Colorado. A motions hearing was set for May 25 and trial was set for August 27 in Division 2 of the Jefferson County District Court. Vito is accused of grabbing the buttocks of a 12-year-old girl and touching the breasts of two other girls, ages 12 and 14, in August at the Colorado Mills Mall, where he was making a promotional appearance. He remains free on $50,000 bond. ...

30 Seconds to Mars bassist Matt Wachter has left the band in order to spend more time with his family, according to the group. There's no word yet on a replacement. "We love and support him completely and accept his decision with respect and understanding," the band said in a statement. "This is not an end, it is a new beginning." ...

Bono is taking his efforts to address poverty and AIDS to the magazine industry. The U2 singer will be the guest editor of the July issue of Vanity Fair. "We've got to get better at telling the success stories of Africa in addition to the horror stories. And this magazine tells great stories," Bono said. "What is more interesting to me is that we are losing the fight against AIDS in Africa. There are still 5,000 Africans dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease, dying for lack of drugs that are available at any corner drugstore," he added. ...

A Washington, D.C., radio station that bailed out a jailed Bobby Brown by paying $19,000 in back child support has now rescinded its offer, according to a post on the station's Web site. In exchange for the payment, Hot 99.5 wanted Brown to appear on its morning show for one week. "That wasn't our deal," Brown said during a call to "The Kane Show" on Friday morning. "We thought we clearly communicated to Bobby our intentions," Kane said, "but once we had him on the air ... it was clear that we were not on the same page." AP reports that Hot 99.5 and Brown's attorney agreed that the singer would return the money. ...

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich updated fans on the band's forthcoming album on Eddie Trunk's "Friday Night Rocks" radio program last week. Ulrich said the band will begin recording the Rick Rubin-produced effort March 12. "[We're] pretty psyched about that. It's been about a year of writing and getting ideas together ... going through a couple of years' worth of riffs and all this stuff. We started out about six months ago with about 25 songs and now we've narrowed those down to 14." Ulrich said the LP will drop sometime in 2008. ...

Coldplay singer Chris Martin has the modesty thing down pat. Wrapping up a Latin American tour in Mexico on Sunday, Martin told The Associated Press that the band's new album will have a different sound than 2005's X&Y, explaining that the group feels like it can explore any musical horizon it wants now — and adding that the new record will include what could be the band's best song yet. "In order for us to get excited about a new album, we have to have one song that we feel like everybody has to hear ... before we die, otherwise we'll be terribly depressed. ... So luckily, with this new record we're going to make, we have that one song." He declined to describe the classic-in-the-making, but joked that it is "basically genius." ... Jason Wahler, who appeared on "Laguna Beach," was arrested at a nightclub in Greenville, North Carolina, over the weekend and charged with drinking and resisting a public officer, AP reports. He is due in court April 18. ... John Travolta donated $15,000 to tornado victims in Ocala, Florida, at the premiere of his movie "Wild Hogs" Friday night. ...

Evanescence, Velvet Revolver, Papa Roach and Buckcherry have been added to the lineup for the inaugural Rock on the Range music festival, set for May 19 at the Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Others set to take the stage include ZZ Top, Hinder, Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, Puddle of Mudd and Three Days Grace. In related news, Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum revealed this weekend that the band has finished mixing its second LP, Libertad, which should be in stores before summer. ... Nine Inch Nails will host a number of listening parties this month for their upcoming album Year Zero. The sessions have been scheduled for Salt Lake City (Sunday); Minneapolis (March 13); San Francisco and New York (March 14); Los Angeles, Atlanta and San Diego (March 15); Seattle (March 16); Sacramento, California (March 17); Chicago and Cambridge, Massachusetts (March 18); Dallas (March 21); Denver, Detroit, and Tempe, Arizona (March 22); Austin, Texas (March 23); and Cleveland (March 27). The album is due April 17. ...

Heaven and Hell, which will reunite former Black Sabbath bandmates Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice for the first time in 15 years, will tour the U.S. this spring with support acts Megadeth and Machine Head. The trek will kick off April 22 in Phoenix and make stops in Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore before wrapping May 19 in Holmdel, New Jersey. ... Wolfgang's Vault isn't going down without a fight. The rock archive Web site that was sued in December by Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, Santana and the Doors has countersued, responding to charges that it violates the intellectual-property rights of bands by selling merchandise and streaming live concerts without musicians' approval. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a lawyer for Vault owner Bill Sagan filed a counterclaim recently against the musicians and their record labels Sony BMG and Warner Music Group. "Far from being about bootlegging, consumer confusion or infringement of any sort, this case is actually a blatant attempt by two of the largest record labels in the world — using artists as a front — to secure new income streams and destroy a legitimate business," the suit says. Sagan's filing also alleges that the record companies sued only after unsuccessfully attempting to negotiate licenses for the concert footage.

03.02.2007

Anna Nicole Smith — in an extravagant dress — was buried in the Bahamas on Friday (March 2) next to her 20-year-old son, Daniel, The Associated Press reports. The former model's coffin was covered in pink rhinestones, and her favorite color was also fully represented inside the church where a memorial service was held. Guests told the news outlet that Slash was among the fewer than 100 guests who attended the service, and that country singer Joe Nichols performed two songs. ...

C-Murder can breathe a little easier: A Louisiana judge eased her gag order on the rapper on Thursday, saying C-Murder can promote his new CD and novel but can't discuss the second-degree-murder charge being levied against him, AP reports. Corey Miller must stay at his grandmother's house until his new trial, for which a date has not been set, and must abide by the previous house-arrest rules. Judge Martha Sassone has had a gag order in place to minimize pre-trial publicity in the case, which involves the January 2002 shooting death of a 16-year-old. ...

Antonella Barba weathered a photo scandal and a less-than-stellar attempt at a Celine Dion hit to keep her spot in the "American Idol" running, but four other contestants weren't as fortunate Thursday night. Nick Pedro — who performed "Fever" on Tuesday and left the competition early on his own last year — was the first to be eliminated Thursday, followed by Alaina Alexander, who sang the Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready to Make Nice" during Wednesday's performance round. AJ Tablado and Leslie Hunt — who each performed Nina Simone's "Feeling Good" this week — were also sent home. Sixteen singers remain in the competition. ...

Rapper and producer Timbaland will host a fundraiser for New York Senator and presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton on March 31 in Miami. According to The Miami Herald, the event is planned for the last day of the first-quarter fundraising period for presidential candidates. Hillary's hubby, former President Bill Clinton, is also scheduled to appear at the bash, which will cost $1,000 to attend. ... Nas kicks off a monthlong theater tour April 2 in Cleveland. The 23-date Hip Hop Is Dead run will hit cities including Baltimore, Atlanta, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Denver and Los Angeles before wrapping up May 2 in San Diego. ...

Angelina Jolie filed papers this week to adopt a child from Vietnam, an adoption official for the country told AP Friday. There's no word yet on whether Jolie and Brad Pitt — with whom she already has three children, two of which were adopted — will be united with the child. ...

DNA samples of James Brown's body have been collected, AP reports. Tomi Rae Hynie, who claims to be the deceased singer's fourth wife, mourned in front of Brown's open casket on Thursday, before the samples were taken. She did not say when or where Brown would be buried, however. ...

Cybill Shepherd and Brooke Shields joined Remy Ma, DJ Spinderella and host Downtown Julie Brown at New York's Culture Club Thursday night to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Reebok's Freestyle sneaker. ... The original lineup of punk icons Bad Brains — frontman H.R., guitarist Dr. Know, bassist Darryl Jenifer and drummer Earl Hudson — are wrapping up the recording of their forthcoming album, which will hit stores this spring and is being produced by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch. The yet-untitled album will be the band's first studio release since 2003's I And I Survived. ...

The Arctic Monkeys were the big winners at Thursday night's Shockwaves NME Awards, winning Best Album for their debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, and Best DVD for "Scummy Man." Other winners included My Chemical Romance (Best International Band), Muse (Best British Band), Klaxons (Best New Band), Kasabian (Best Live Band), the Killers (Best Video for "Bones"), Primal Scream (Godlike Genius Award) and MCR's Gerard Way, who was dubbed the Hero of the Year in the poll voted on by music fans. Because it wouldn't be a British awards show without some Pete Doherty drama, the troubled Babyshambles singer and his girlfriend, model Kate Moss, were asked by security to leave the event early after a series of incidents in which they were caught becoming "too amorous," according to NME. The couple reportedly tried to enter a bathroom stall together and were later caught in a dark alleyway behind the building. ...

Guster will release the eight-song EP Satellite April 10. The collection includes an Astronauts remix of the title track, which is the band's latest single, as well as four new songs and two live covers: the Beatles' "Two of Us" and Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart." ... Who do you trust? Those closest to you, perhaps? This is the question Stars are posing to themselves by releasing Do You Trust Your Friends? on May 22. The release — a remix record of the Montreal pop quintet's 2005 effort, Set Yourself on Fire — uses the same ordered Fire track list and features Metric, the Dears, Final Fantasy, Junior Boys, the Stills and Camouflage Nights with Kevin Drew (of Broken Social Scene), among many others. Stars are currently in a Vancouver, British Columbia, studio recording the Fire follow-up, which is due in the fall. ...

Chopper, formerly of Diddy's Da Band, had a bench warrant issued against him Wednesday for failing to appear at a hearing in Baltimore — because he was jailed in Atlanta. The rapper was charged with assault, battery and obstructing a police officer last week following a dispute with his girlfriend, The Associated Press reports. He is being held without bail pending a March 6 hearing. While incarcerated, Chopper missed a court appearance in Baltimore stemming from a 2001 robbery charge and the presiding judge issued a warrant for his arrest. ... After nearly a dozen years together, California rockers Stavesacre are calling it a day. According to a statement from the band, "Stavesacre as we know it is done. There is no tragic 'Behind the Music' story. We all love each other, and you, as much as we ever have. We just feel that after an incredible 11-year run, it is time to close this particular chapter in our rock and roll journey."