For The Record: Quick News On Foxy Brown, Ne-Yo, Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Anna Nicole Smith & More

Judge issues arrest warrant for Brown; Ne-Yo mixes up LP; Lavigne album preorders come with bonus track.

Foxy Brown is in trouble again. A judge in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, issued an arrest warrant for the rapper on Thursday (March 22) after she failed to show up in court, The Associated Press reports. Brown was supposed to face battery and resisting-arrest charges stemming from a beauty-shop scuffle that took place February 15 in Pembroke Pines. In October, the rapper was sentenced to three years of probation and mandatory anger-management classes in connection with a 2004 altercation at a New York nail salon. ...

Ne-Yo is making a few amendments to his sophomore album. While it was previously called Know Me and pegged for an April 24 release, now it's titled Because of You — the name of the singer/songwriter's current single, which will appear on the album — and is due May 1. "It makes the most sense," he said in a statement. "It's because of the people that inspire me to make music. Because of the love of the music. Because of the fans. [It's] because of you that I do what I do." ... Avril Lavigne fans who preorder The Best Damn Thing via iTunes beginning Tuesday will receive a bonus track titled "I Will Be." ...

Britney Spears may be out of rehab, but her children remain with their father, Kevin Federline, according to a source close to the family. "Federline and his divorce attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan are not about to return custody to Britney as a reward for her going through Promises [rehab center]," the source said in a statement. "Britney will have increased custody with her demonstrating that she is living the life consistent with the best interest of her children." In related news, Spears' lawyers won an injunction in a British court on Thursday, AP reports. The injunction bars unidentified people from disclosing details about the singer's stay in rehab, thus preventing the publication of stories pertaining to the matter. ...

Anna Nicole Smith's autopsy will be issued Monday, authorities told the AP Thursday. Dr. Joshua Perper, medical examiner for Florida's Broward County, and Seminole Police Chief Charlie Tiger will hold a joint news conference. ... Justin Timberlake is apparently too sexy for the Tennessee Legislature. A resolution to honor the Millington, Tennessee, native "for his highly successful music career and for his meritorious service to the state of Tennessee" was opposed by Republican state senators due in part to Timberlake's song and album titles, including FutureSex/LoveSounds and "SexyBack," AP reports. Democratic State Senator Ophelia Ford introduced the legislation, which was removed by Republican State Senator Raymond Finney. "It's not something I want my name on," Finney said. ...

Smashing Pumpkins, the Police and the Beastie Boys will headline the U.S. Virgin Festival, scheduled for August 4-5 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. More lineup announcements and information about ticket sales are expected over the coming weeks. The festival appearance marks the Pumpkins' first U.S. gig in more than six years, while the Beastie Boys will be making their first East Coast appearance in two years. ... Gwen Stefani is auctioning The Sweet Escape tour VIP packages on eBay to benefit the Orangewood Children's Foundation and the Children's Hospital of Orange County in California. The VIP treatment includes four front-row tickets, a pre-show backstage meeting with Stefani, autographed CDs and tour T-shirts. Visit GwenStefani.com for full auction details and to place bids. ...

Hilary Duff said there's a simple reason that she titled her upcoming album Dignity. "I just like that word, 'dignity' — it's just strong to me," she told MTV News. The actress/singer explained that she wouldn't necessarily use the word to describe herself — at least not all the time. "I don't mean that I have dignity. I try to, but it's something that you work on your whole life in decisions you make and how you treat other people and how you treat yourself. It's something that I continue to strive for." Dignity is due April 3. ... Chris Brown gets back to work on his upcoming album Thursday, when he's scheduled to head into the studio with producers the Underdogs, who previously collaborated with Brown on "Ya Man Ain't Me" and "Is This Love?" from the singer's debut album. ... The Rolling Stones will tour Europe this summer, extending their lengthy road campaign for 2005's A Bigger Bang. The band will play 25 stadiums and arenas, including its first show at Ireland's Slane Castle in 25 years. ...

The estate of late funk star Rick James sued the singer's former publisher in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, claiming that Brooklyn Music Publishing has continued to collect commissions from European publishers even after it was informed that its contract was not being renewed. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the suit claims that Brooklyn Music, which once had the rights to James' catalog (though not his biggest hit, "Super Freak") retaliated for having its contract terminated by refusing to turn over key copyright information, master recordings and money received from foreign publishers. ... Chopper, formerly of Diddy's Da Band, was sentenced by a Baltimore judge to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service last week after pleading guilty to armed robbery and assault charges stemming from a 2001 incident, the Baltimore Examiner reports. The rapper, who was 16 at the time of the robbery, faced up to 90 years in prison for holding up a couple with a pellet gun. In a statement released by Chopper's legal team, the rapper said he considers himself "a blessed young man." ...

David Letterman's longtime sidekick, Calvert DeForest — best known to fans of "Late Night" and "The Late Show" as Larry "Bud" Melman — died following a long illness on Monday at age 85, according to the Los Angeles Times. The pudgy actor in thick glasses, who often played at being dimwitted on Letterman's show beginning in 1982, turned his cult following into a lucrative career over the years, appearing in commercials for MCI and Pizza Hut, as well as movies and his own home video, "Couch Potato Workout." In a statement, Letterman said, "Everyone always wondered if Calvert was an actor playing a character, but in reality he was just himself: a genuine, modest and nice man. ... To our staff and to our viewers, he was a beloved and valued part of our show, and we will miss him." DeForest last appeared on the Letterman show in 2002.

03.21.2007

Madonna's H&M clothing line M by Madonna launches Thursday in 26 countries, with pieces that range from $13 (for an M-print scarf) to $330 (for a leather trench coat). "I think my biggest challenge was to make clothes that looked chic, sophisticated and expensive, but that weren't expensive," Madonna told Women's Wear Daily at the collection's London launch party last week. "Going into this, I made a promise that I wouldn't design anything that I wouldn't wear myself." ...

Jennifer Lopez is heading back to the block. The singer will autograph copies of her Spanish-language album Como Ama Una Mujer March 28 at the F.Y.E. located on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, New York. Beginning Tuesday at 7 a.m., the first 400 people to buy the disc at that location will receive a poster and wristband to secure a spot in line for the next day's signing. ...

So So ... busy? Jermaine Dupri has wasted no time in his role as the newly appointed president of Island Urban Music. The super-producer has inked longtime collaborators Jagged Edge and upstart rapper Hot Dolla to his So So Def label through Island, according to Billboard. The R&B act was previously signed to So So Def when the label was part of the Columbia family. ...

Vivica A. Fox was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving Tuesday night in Los Angeles, "Access Hollywood" reports. According to the arrest report, the actress was clocked driving 80 mph in a 65 mph zone and "exhibited signs of alcohol intoxication" after being pulled over. She failed subsequent field-sobriety and breathalyzer tests but was released early Wednesday morning on her own recognizance after being cited by police. It is not yet clear whether the City Attorney's Office will file charges against Fox. ...

Red Hot Chili Peppers postponed the Japan leg of their current tour due to singer Anthony Kiedis' illness. According to the band's Web site, Kiedis has been diagnosed with bronchial pneumonia and ordered by doctors not to fly for 10 days, resulting in the cancellation of shows in Osaka and Tokyo. Rescheduled dates are due to be announced soon, possibly for the fall. "The Red Hot Chili Peppers [wish] to tell all of the Japanese fans how sorry they are to not be able to play the shows as scheduled but are very much looking forward to seeing them soon," read a message on the site. ...

Pink's dog Elvis died in January, and the singer wrote from the road to thank fans for their outpouring of support. "It was a difficult time (still is) and it was so comforting to know how much you all loved Elvis and it made me smile and feel really loved," reads a handwritten note posted on MySpace last week. "So, a big sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart." ... Nicole Richie, who halted filming of "The Simple Life" last month when she felt faint on set, has been diagnosed with hypoglycemia, a condition marked by lowblood sugar, according to her representative. Richie checked into a treatment facility in October to address her inability to gain weight. ... Adam Sandler stepped in to pinch-hit for an ailing David Letterman on Tuesday night's "The Late Show," getting bumped from guest to host. " 'They want you to host!' " Sandler told MTV News, recalling the show organizers' request, "and I go, 'Ohh, all right, I'll do it!' " ...

Chamillionaire will serve as celebrity judge for Energizer's e2 Titanum Technology Freestylin' Music Contest. Amateur rappers may showcase their skills via an uploaded song through April 21 at Energizer.com/freestylin. Songs by the five semifinalists will be featured on the site, where the public will vote down to the top two. The winner of the contest will be chosen by Chamillionaire on May 7 and will get to meet the rapper and perform live at Dub Magazine's 2007 Custom Auto Show in Atlanta on May 20. ... Paul McCartney is the first artist signed to Hear Music, the new label formed by Starbucks and the Concord Music Group. The ex-Beatle, whose new studio album is due this summer, appeared via satellite at Starbucks' annual shareholders meeting to comment on the signing. "It's a new world now and people are thinking of new ways to reach the people and for me that's always been my aim," he said, according to a press release. ...

Elton John is putting his entire catalog of music — 400-plus tracks from more than 30 albums — online, the singer/songwriter announced Wednesday. The music will be available exclusively via iTunes from Monday through April 30 before it's available through other legal download services. ... R&B singer/songwriter Luther Ingram, best known for the 1972 hit "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right," died Monday in Belleville, Illinois, of heart failure, AP reports. He was 69. Ingram, who was a former roomate of Jimi Hendrix and tourmate of Ike Turner, co-wrote the Staple Singers' 1971 hit "Respect Yourself," and recorded through the 1980s and performed into the 1990s until his health declined. ... Satellite-radio stations Sirius and XM will offer a lower-priced package with fewer channels after they join forces, Reuters reports. The "á la carte" approach will cost less than the $12.95 each station currently charges, according to a Sirius spokesperson. ...

Secondhand Serenade fans have a shot at getting the band to come over for a few songs and a pizza party. The former "You Hear It First" act is teaming up with Monty Are I for the 2007 Couch Tour, which includes private shows — and pizza — at fans' homes. Wannabe hosts can get in the running at MySpace.com/SecondhandSerenade. The bands' tour hits Fullerton, California, on Wednesday and hits cities including San Francisco, Seattle and Salt Lake City before wrapping up in Denver on March 31. Secondhand Serenade will also play the Bamboozle fest in East Rutherford, New Jersey, May 5-6. ... Bay City Rollers, the Scottish pop group that topped the charts with hits including "Saturday Night" in the 1970s, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing Arista Records of failing to pay millions of dollars in royalties over the last 25 years, AP reports. According to the filing, a payment of $254,392 in September 1997 was the only one made to the band, well short of the millions of dollars the Rollers believe they are owed. The federal lawsuit seeks unspecified damages on behalf of the six bandmembers, including bassist Alan Longmuir and drummer Derek Longmuir, the brothers who formed the band in Edinburgh in 1967.