For The Record: Quick News On Hilary Duff, Britney Spears, Will.I.Am, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell & More

Duff readies LP, MTV documentary; Spears site posts fan mail; Abdul, Cowell get along 'great' off camera.

Hilary Duff has set an April 3 release date for her new album, Dignity, featuring her current hit “With Love.” Duff’s sister Haylie, Will.I.Am, Rhett Lawrence, Kara DioGuardi, Richard Vission and Fred Wreck are among the producers, while Hilary co-wrote every song. The singer is celebrating her new LP with “Hilary Duff: This Is Now,” a two-part documentary that captures her day-to-day activities in the weeks leading up to the album release. Parts one and two of the MTV program premiere April 2 and 9 at 9:30 p.m. Also, Duff will co-host “TRL” with Damien Fahey the week of March 26. …

BritneySpears.com has been updated so fans can send their “thoughts and inspiration” to the pop singer while she’s in rehab. The letters are posted on the site as well. …

Though they usually bicker onscreen, Paula Abdul says she and fellow “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell actually get along “great” off camera. “We have cultivated a fun relationship,” Abdul says in the Monday issue of TV Guide. “He’s actually become a good friend.” In the interview, Abdul also clears up any rumors of romantic sparks between the two and explains her sometimes quirky behavior can be attributed to Cowell’s unseen antics. “In the middle of me trying to figure out how I’m going to say something that gives someone dignity walking off that stage,” she said, “I’ve got the antagonistic brother goofing on me, trying to throw me off.” In other Cowell news, the judge told “60 Minutes” in an interview slated to air Sunday on CBS that he is worth five times more to Sony BMG — the label “Idol” winners sign to — than Bruce Springsteen, according to The Associated Press. “I mean, in the last five years, I’ve probably sold over 100 million records. If [Springsteen] got [$100 million],” Cowell said, referencing the lucrative contract the rocker reportedly signed recently, “I should have got [$500 million],” he said. …

Sum 41 have finished work on their forthcoming LP, according to a post on the band’s MySpace page, and it will be coming out this summer. “We are now about to start auditions to find a touring guitarist,” the statement reads. “We have no idea how long this will take so [we] can’t really tell you when we will be back on tour. If all goes well we should be back playing shows in mid-April. We will keep you all updated here as frequently as possible.” …

Kid Rock has been accused of assault by a 28-year-old woman who claims the singer attacked her last week when she attempted to leave his home. According to Michigan’s Oakland Press, the woman — whose name has not been released — alleges that Rock grabbed her by the neck and pushed her toward her car and into a snow bank. The Oakland County Sheriff’s department said that while Rock admitted that he invited the woman back to his home, his side of the story is quite different. The singer said in a statement to police that he asked the woman to leave after she became rude and insulting, at which time she threatened to accuse him of assault. The police continue to investigate the matter. No arrests have been made. …

Angelina Jolie adopted a Vietnamese boy from a Ho Chi Minh City orphanage on Thursday (March 15), Reuters reports. Jolie’s fourth child is named Pax Thien Jolie and is 3 years old. Documents have been signed by the actress and Vietnamese authorities, and the adoption will be final once U.S. embassy officials in Hanoi authorize the child for travel to the U.S. “Thank you for taking such wonderful care of my son,” Jolie wrote in the orphanage’s visitors’ book. “I am sure he will miss your beautiful, caring staff as much as you will miss him.” … Swizz Beatz, Melyssa Ford, “America’s Next Top Model” alum Nik, and “106 & Park” hosts Terrence J and Rocsi participated in a “Colors for the Cause” photo shoot for The Source Wednesday in Brooklyn, New York. Models were dressed in different colors, representing issues ranging from AIDS to breast cancer to domestic violence. The pictorial will appear in the magazine’s April issue. … Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine joined Polow Da Don and radio personality Greg Street as hosts of a dinner and afterparty event held Wednesday night in Atlanta to celebrate Rich Boy‘s album release. The night started at Dolce before Jazze Pha, Ciara and Akon joined Polow and friends for the festivities at night spot Compound. …

Metallica started recording their ninth studio LP in Los Angeles this week. According to the band’s site, this is the first time Metallica have recorded outside of the Bay Area since they spent “an eternity” at One on One Studios recording their 1991 self-titled release, popularly known as The Black Album. “The last couple days have been devoted to each band member working out the right sounds, including [drummer Lars Ulrich], who remembered to turn on the snare and [guitarist Kirk Hammett] who played a solo,” reads a post on the site. “The big, shiny red button was finally pushed today — and the wait begins.” … The Shins, Dashboard Confessional and Fabolous are confirmed for mtvU’s 2007 Campus Invasion Music Festival, which will hit Austin, Texas; Atlanta; and Philadelphia next month. On April 22, the Shins will take the stage with the Academy Is…, Shiny Toy Guns, the Rapture and Ronnie Day at the Backyard in Austin, while Fabolous, Rick Ross, D.G. Yola and Rich Boy will appear at HiFi Buys in Atlanta on April 27. Dashboard Confessional, Gym Class Heroes, Augustana, K-os, Kidz in the Hall and Kenna will perform April 29 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. …

Coldplay‘s singles box set now has a U.S. release scheduled. The vinyl-only package The Singles 1999-2006, which will feature 7-inch pressings of the band’s 14 singles and its 1999 EP The Blue Room, is due April 10. Fans who preorder the set via the Coldplay.com Web site will also receive a Coldplay coffee mug. … Doors founding members Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger have enlisted former Fuel frontman Brett Scallions to front their project Riders on the Storm; Scallions replaces the Cult‘s Ian Astbury, who left the group last month. Scallions left Fuel in early 2006 after fronting the multiplatinum act for over a decade. … The Early November have announced they’ll be going on an indefinite hiatus following the completion of their current headlining tour. “As we grow older, priorities change,” reads a statement from the band. “We have to be where we haven’t been in the past six years: with our friends, family and loved ones.” The band plays Austin, Texas, Thursday night and will be on the road through May 6 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

03.15.2007

Beyoncé, who got a lot of flak last year for her herky-jerky moves in her “Deja Vu” clip, is putting the proverbial ball in the fans’ court. In anticipation of her upcoming video collection, the singer is inviting fans to create a clip for any song on her B’Day album via a YouTube contest. The winner will get a pair of tickets to a Beyoncé show, plus two passes to meet her backstage. …

Gwen Stefani and Akon will perform at Nickelodeon’s 20th annual Kids Choice Awards, to be hosted by Justin Timberlake. The show will air live on Nickelodeon March 31 at 8 p.m. ET, with a tape delay on the West Coast. …

Seminole police — who handle crimes that take place at the American Indian reservation in Hollywood, Florida, and are heading up the investigation into Anna Nicole Smith‘s death — met with homicide prosecutors Tuesday to discuss the incident, according to The Miami Herald. “They’re continuing with their investigation of Anna Nicole Smith’s death,” Broward County Chief Assistant State Attorney Chuck Morton told the newspaper, although he would not elaborate. Police Captain Robert McDaniel added that there is still no evidence of foul play in the case. …

Britney Spears has plenty of new music waiting for her when she’s ready to record, according to Ne-Yo. “I was working really close with her A&R people,” the songwriter told MTV Europe, “and came up with a lot of hot songs, but to this day I have not actually sat down with Britney.” Ne-Yo shared his thoughts on the role that media scrutiny may be playing in her recovery. “I think if you took the cameras out of her face for five seconds, she might be able to get it right,” he said. …

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will have a record-breaking first-print run of 12 million copies when it’s released July 21, publisher Scholastic Inc. announced Wednesday (March 14). The final chapter in J.K. Rowling’s seven-part saga tops the sixth book, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” for which 10.8 million copies were printed during its first run. “There Will Soon Be 7,” a promotional campaign for the eagerly awaited book, will launch next month with events including a bus tour of libraries in major cities. … Angelina Jolie arrived in Vietnam late Wednesday to adopt a 3-year-old, AP reports. The actress is expected to go to an adoption ceremony with officials Thursday morning and could have the child home by the weekend. …

Suicide claimed the life of Brad Delp, lead singer of Boston, his family said in a statement issued Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. The New Hampshire medical examiner’s office has determined that Delp ended his life by carbon-monoxide poisoning. “He gave as long as he could, as best he could, and he was very tired,” the statement said. “We take comfort in knowing that he is now, at last, at peace.” It has also been revealed that Delp left two notes behind, for his fiancee and family, although police do not know their contents. …

The complete itinerary for this summer’s Ozzfest has been announced. The heavy metal extravaganza will kick off in Seattle on July 12, and hit George, Washington (July 14); Sacramento, California (July 17); Mountain View, California (July 19); Devore, California (July 21); Phoenix (July 24); Albuquerque, New Mexico (July 26); Denver (July 28); Kansas City, Missouri (July 30); San Antonio, Texas (August 2); Dallas (August 4); St. Louis, Missouri (August 6); Columbus, Ohio (August 8); Tinley Park, Illinois (August 10); East Troy, Wisconsin (August 12); Indianapolis (August 14); Holmdel, New Jersey (August 16); Hartford, Connecticut (August 18); Boston (August 20); Philadelphia (August 22); Pittsburgh (August 24); Detroit (August 26); Charlotte, North Carolina (August 28); and West Palm Beach, Florida (August 30). There’s still no word on when the Ozzfest camp will reveal the lineup for this year’s free fest. …

Gym Class HeroesMatt McGinley is a free man once again. The drummer spent more than 32 hours in a Mexican jail after being detained by authorities early Monday morning on suspicion of breaking and entering. He was released Tuesday evening, according to a spokesperson for the band’s label. A source close to the situation told MTV News that McGinley, who was in Mexico with the band to perform at MTV and mtvU spring-break events, attended a house party in Cancun that the home’s owners had apparently not authorized. The owners, who returned to find McGinley among a handful of partygoers still in their home, later discovered that a number of items had been stolen. They contacted local police, who picked up McGinley. While detained, he missed Gym Class Heroes’ scheduled taping on Monday, and The Academy Is … drummer Andy “The Butcher” Mrotek filled in behind the kit. “Everyone, especially Matt, is anxious to get back out on the road, playing music,” the band’s reps said in a statement. Gym Class Heroes’ headlining tour stops in Indianapolis on Wednesday (March 14) and wraps up May 6 in Amherst, Massachusetts. …

Morrissey will tour North America this spring in support of 2006′s Ringleader of the Tormentors. The trek launches April 28 in Stockton, California, and dates are booked through June 30 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. … After two long years, Hot Hot Heat have finished work on their new album, Happiness, Ltd. While a firm release date hasn’t been announced yet, the band does hope to have the LP out this summer. In a statement, the Heat revealed why it’s taken them so long to release new material. “Normally each person has the songs they love and the songs they could live without; but the goal of this record was to put out something with unanimous excitement,” the band said of the follow-up to 2005′s Elevators. “So in retrospect, [we're] grateful for every delay. They were all musical delays and it led to an album that all four of us actually love from beginning to end.” …

Former Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell has booked a trio of solo gigs for next month — the first dates for what is expected to be a full North American run. So far, Cornell has scheduled performances in Toronto (April 14), Boston (April 19), and Philadelphia (April 22). The singer’s second solo album, Carry On, is due June 5. … The Who‘s Tuesday concert in Tampa, Florida, didn’t last long, as frontman Roger Daltrey walked off the stage during the first song of the band’s set. According to The Associated Press, several minutes after Daltrey left the stage, guitarist Pete Townshend informed the crowd that the concert had to be canceled, and said that Daltrey had bronchitis. Townshend announced that the band will make up the show on March 25.