For The Record: Quick News On Usher, Omarion, Anna Nicole Smith, Jessica Simpson, Courtney Love, Madonna & More

Usher guests on O's 'Ice Box' remix; Smith autopsy delayed; Simpson plans photography book.

Omarion was very coy about who would be appearing on his “Ice Box” remix when he visited MTV’s New York offices on Tuesday — in recent weeks, rappers like Jim Jones and Busta Rhymes have jumped on unofficial remixes of the song. But on Thursday, O let the cat out of the bag in a big way during his set at New York radio station Hot 97′s Full Frontal Fashion Show event/concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom. After singing the original “Ice Box” for the fans, he played the remix — it features the same beats, but new verses by O … and Usher. Also at the Hot 97 show were DJ Unk, Rich Boy and Lloyd — all of whom performed brief sets — plus Juelz Santana, who acted as special guest MC. Rocawear and Sean John models showed off the latest pieces from the respective clothing lines as well. …

Police have turned over new evidence in the death of Anna Nicole Smith and an autopsy report on the model has been delayed as a result, according to The Associated Press. The Broward County, Florida, medical examiner said the autopsy tests have been completed and were due to be released later this week, but now they won’t be made public for another week or two. …

Jessica Simpson: photographer? The singer/actress told MTV Europe that she hopes to release a book of her photos — “mostly of landscapes, of the sky, clouds” — accompanied by journal entries related to the shots. “I know exactly what I was going through when I was taking the picture, and I write it down as I take the picture, so it will be that kind of book.” Simpson, who revealed that she usually carries more than one camera with her — “some are better for certain shots” — recalled one memorable photo she took of a “double rainbow” in Africa. “It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life, and I did not know that it could even exist. I had never seen anything so magical, and I captured it, and I always have it to look back on.” …

Courtney Love is being sued by a luxury rehabilitation center that claims the singer didn’t settle her bill after staying at the facility in 2005, Agence France Presse reports. In a suit filed earlier this month, Newport Beach, California’s Beau Monde center says Love owes $181,286. … A woman who claims to be a former nanny for Madonna is shopping a tell-all memoir to major publishing houses. In the memoir, she promises to reveal intimate details about the singer’s marriage to director Guy Ritchie, stories of their children’s behavior, the family’s participation in Kabbalah and the motivation behind Madonna’s decision to adopt an infant boy from Malawi. EW.com, the Web site for Entertainment Weekly, reports that the 80-page book proposal from Melissa Dumas also contains personal photos of Madonna’s family, as well as pictures of Dumas playing with Madonna’s kids. … Salma Hayek is engaged and expecting, AP reports. It will be the 40-year-old “Frida” actress’ first child. …

Maynard James Keenan has resumed work on his side project Puscifer while Tool have been on a short break. In a post that appeared on the singer’s MySpace page, Keenan revealed that Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk lend their talents to a couple of the tracks, as does ex-Primus and A Perfect Circle drummer Tim Alexander. In related news, Tool have rescheduled 10 more tour dates that were postponed last month after drummer Danny Carey tore a bicep while picking up his dog. Those rescheduled gigs will take place in Colorado Springs, Colorado (May 9); Wichita, Kansas (May 11); Bossier City, Louisiana (May 17); Pensacola, Florida (May 25); Birmingham, Alabama (May 26); Tampa, Florida (May 29); Orlando, Florida (May 31); Sunrise, Florida (June 1); Jacksonville, Florida (June 2); and Duluth, Georgia (June 4). …

Hinder will headline MadPackers.com’s inaugural Door to Dorm Music Tour, which will make stops at 17 college campuses and three music festivals nationwide, beginning March 16 in South Padre Island, Texas. Papa Roach and Puddle of Mudd will be the trek’s support acts. The run, which wraps May 8 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, will hit Johnstown, Pennsylvania; Cullowhee, North Carolina; Dahlonega, Georgia; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Maryville, Missouri; Lubbock, Texas; Wichita Falls, Texas; Boca Raton, Florida; Fairfield, Connecticut; Clarion, Pennsylvania; Tampa, Florida; and Aiken, South Carolina. … “Simpsons” fans love engaging in lively debate over which state the show’s fictional city of Springfield is supposedly set in, but there’s a more serious discussion being had by city officials in the real-life Springfields. According to CNN, 16 Springfields, from Oregon to Massachusetts, are on a list of cities competing to host the premiere screening of “The Simpsons Movie.” Fox will chose the winner based on the communities’ positive aspects and links to the TV show. “The Simpsons Movie” opens July 29. …

The manager for Blues Traveler frontman John Popper explained on Thursday why the singer was found with a small cache of weapons in his car when he was stopped for speeding on Tuesday. Manager George Couri told AP that Popper is an avid gun collector who often makes pit stops at shooting ranges when he’s on the road. He added that all the weapons — which included four rifles, nine handguns, a switchblade and Taser — were registered and secured in a locked cabinet. … As part of its ongoing crackdown on illegal file trading, the Recording Industry Association of America is asking 50 Ohio University students to pay $3,000 each to avoid lawsuits accusing them of illicit downloading. The university received letters from the RIAA with the names of the students involved in the alleged violations and was asked to pass them along to the alleged offenders, according to an AP report. The RIAA recently announced plans to step up suits on college campuses, pledging to send 400 letters a month to university students and staff suspected of copyright infringement. …

Boston singer Bradley Delp was found dead in his New Hampshire home on Friday (March 9), AP reports. The cause of death is under investigation by New Hampshire police, but authorities say there was no sign of foul play. An incident report will not be available until Monday. Driven by the singles “More Than a Feeling” and “Long Time,” Boston’s self-titled 1976 bow remains one of the biggest-selling debut albums in history. Delp’s soaring voice — he sang all lead and backing vocals on the group’s most popular albums — was a vital element of their instantly recognizable sound, which dominated U.S. radio in the late 1970s. He was 55.

03.08.2007

Taylor Hicks will use the Saturday and Sunday concerts in his Birmingham, Alabama, hometown to help those affected by a devastating tornado that hit Enterprise earlier this month. The “Idol” winner — who will be headlining shows in the city for the first time since he was crowned — has invited the Red Cross to collect money on site. While in Birmingham, Hicks will also be presented with the key to the city, which he is planning to dedicate to the tornado victims. …

Jim Jones appeared at Game Stop in New York on Tuesday to take on challengers in EA’s new “Def Jam: Icon” video game. Later on that night, Jones joined Russell Simmons, Redman, Chamillionaire and Funkmaster Flex at the release party at Ultra in New York. “This game is f—ing nuts,” Redman told MTV News. “This is taking fighting joints to the next level.” …

Speaking of Redman, the rapper has set a March 27 release date for his latest album, Red Gone Wild – Thee Album. Guests include Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Erick Sermon, Keith Murray, Nate Dogg and Biz Markie, while Scott Storch, Timbaland and Rockwilder contributed production. Red, who is performing at South by Southwest on March 16-17, is releasing “Put It Down” as the first single. … Korn are planning a tentative July 17 release for their yet-untitled new album, which they’ve been recording since late last year. The band’s MTV Unplugged hit stores Tuesday. …

Blues Traveler singer John Popper was arrested in Washington on Wednesday after police clocked his black Mercedes SUV going 111 mph on Interstate 90. The Associated Press reports that after they stopped him for speeding, police found a cache of weapons — including four rifles, nine handguns and a switchblade stashed in a series of hidden compartments — as well as a small amount of marijuana in Popper’s car. Authorities also found a Taser and night-vision goggles in the vehicle, which had flashing emergency headlights, a siren and a public-address system. Popper, 39, is the owner of the car, which was being driven by another man and was seized by police. Authorities plan to charge the pair with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. “Popper indicated to troopers that he had installed these items in his vehicle because (in the event of a natural disaster) he didn’t want to be left behind,” the Washington State Patrol said in a news release. Popper also told officers he collected weapons. Both men were booked and released on their own recognizance. …

Ozzy Osbourne, Genesis, Heart and ZZ Top have been named as this year’s class for the second annual “VH1 Rock Honors.” The ceremony will be taped in Las Vegas on May 12 and will air May 24 on VH1. … Peter Gabriel will not join Genesis for the group’s first tour in 15 years, Reuters reports. Expect to see singer/drummer Phil Collins, guitarist Mike Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks on the band’s Turn It on Again Tour, which will hit Europe throughout the summer and arrive in North America on September 7. … Hanson raised almost $3,500 through a LIFEbeat auction over the weekend. The funds will be used to help fight AIDS. … O.A.R. are back on the road and will continue to be until May 5 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Later this year, the band is planning to release a DVD and double album recorded at its January 27 show at New York’s Madison Square Garden. … The Sword kick off their tour with Priestbird and Year Long Disaster Friday in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The jaunt runs through March 23 in Dallas. …

Hard-rock rookies Flyleaf are celebrating their self-titled debut LP’s gold status with their first headlining trek — and they’re doing it for a good cause to boot. The Justice & Mercy Tour will raise funds for World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization fighting poverty and injustice, via a limited-edition EP and specially designed T-shirt the band is selling while on the road. The jaunt begins March 25 in Memphis and wraps April 30 in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. … The Dismemberment Plan will reunite for a pair of gigs at the Black Cat in their native Washington, D.C., on April 27-28, three-and-a-half years after their breakup. The indie rockers will share the stage with Pilot to Gunner and the Oranges Band the first night, while Beauty Pill and Owls and Crows will open for the Plan the second night. The shows are being held to benefit Callum Robbins, the son of Jawbox frontman J. Robbins; the boy was recently diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, an incurable nerve disorder. Tickets for the shows, priced at $15, have sold out, with all proceeds going directly to the Robbins family. There is no word on whether the reunion will continue beyond these two benefit shows. …

DJ Spooky has crafted music for “Stop the Clash of Civilizations,” a political video designed to help resolve the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Check it out here. … The Bled will reissue their debut LP, Pass the Flask, March 20. The updated version of the disc will boast an additional 11 tracks, including rare and unreleased cuts. The band plans to work on its next offering this month at Baltimore’s Salad Days Studio. The effort will be produced by Brian McTernan (Thrice, Texas Is the Reason) and hit stores this summer. … The Blood Brothers have rolled out a slew of new dates as they continue to tour in support of last year’s Young Machetes. The latest leg of the band’s trek kicks off March 18 in Lawrence, Kansas, and is scheduled to make stops in Minneapolis, Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Los Angeles before wrapping up April 27 in Seattle. … Former Cold frontman Scooter Ward‘s new band When November Falls has signed with I AM: Wolfpack, the label founded by producer Ross Robinson. The band will begin tracking its forthcoming debut, tentatively titled The Series of Emotion, in June for a projected fall release.