For The Record: Quick News On R. Kelly, Pete Wentz, Ashlee Simpson, Jay-Z, Wilmer Valderrama, ‘Idol’ & More

Kelly pens song for Virginia Tech; Jay, Simpson party at Wentz's bar opening; Valderrama teaming with 'Idol' producers.

R. Kelly is stepping up to help Virginia Tech heal. The R&B singer has penned a new track, “Rise Up,” about recovering after the April 16 shootings, The Associated Press reports. The inspirational ballad, which will be available digitally May 15, features the lyrics “Rise up, when you feel you can’t go on, rise up, and all of your hope is gone, rise up, when you’re weak and you can’t be strong.” All proceeds from sales will go to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund, which was created to aid the families of the victims. …

Pete Wentz, Ashlee Simpson and Jay-Z — plus almost everyone associated in any way with Fall Out Boy — descended upon New York’s East Village on Monday night to celebrate the opening of Angels & Kings, the new bar co-owned by Wentz and members of Gym Class Heroes, the Academy Is … and Cobra Starship (FOB’s labelmates Panic! at the Disco wanted to invest too, according to their management, but they weren’t old enough to legally own part of a bar). Pete, Ashlee and Jay held court at a corner table, while GCH’s Travis McCoy spun a hip-hop-heavy set and TAI frontman William Beckett chatted up Cobra Starship’s Gabe Saporta at the bar. A good time was had by all … save the residents of the apartments above A&K, who showered the paparazzi assembled outside with buckets of water — and “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini, who attempted to parallel-park his SUV out front only to get blinded by a flashbulb, give the offending paparazzo the finger and drive away. Good times, indeed. (See Jay-Z and Ashlee at the Angels & Kings opening, and find out why other musicians are in on the venture, right here.)

Wilmer Valderrama, meet Simon Cowell? While the actor probably won’t be competing on “American Idol” anytime soon, he has hooked up with the show’s producers for new series projects, The Associated Press reports. The “first-look” deal includes scripted and reality shows, and Valderrama may wind up with a starring role in addition to developing them. FremantleMedia North America and the actor’s WV Enterprises will soon set up offices in Burbank, California. …

Bruce Willis hosted a screening for “The Hip-Hop Project,” which he helped executive produce, Monday night at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Ice-T, Fonzworth Bentley and the Reverend Al Sharpton attended the star-studded event. …

Larry Birkhead and Danielynn, his daughter with Anna Nicole Smith, left the Bahamas and arrived in his home state of Kentucky on Tuesday (May 1), AP reports. “It just feels good to be home,” Birkhead said after stepping off a private plane. … Testimony in the Phil Spector trial is now postponed until next week due to defense attorney Bruce Cutler’s illness, Reuters reports. …

Bono pushed lawmakers on Tuesday to expand basic education across the globe, AP reports. “I can’t vote for any of them, but I’m thankful for what they’re doing,” the U2 frontman said via a conference call with Senator Hillary Clinton and other members of Congress in Washington, D.C. “This is why I’m a fan — and an annoying fan at times — of America.” Bono and the lawmakers are trying to revive long-dormant legislation that would add $10 billion to an international fund providing education to children in Africa and elsewhere. … Steven Spielberg, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and other stars and politicians honored Jack Valenti on Tuesday at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C., AP reports. The legendary movie-industry lobbyist died Thursday. …

Kanye West, Chris Brown and DJ Clue were among the celebs who turned out Monday night to help Ne-Yo celebrate the release of his album with a party in the Marc Ecko showroom in New York. … LL Cool J popped into New York’s Pacha over the weekend and surprised partygoers at a T-Mobile/Samsung event, performing “Control Myself” for the shocked crowd. … Big Boi is teaming up with the Atlanta Ballet — and he’ll be performing onstage with the dance troupe, according to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Outkast rapper and his Purple Ribbon Entertainment artists will collaborate with choreographer Lauri Stallings for a performance that will begin its run in April 2008. … “High School Musical 2” is set to air August 17 on the Disney Channel, AP reports. … More release-date news: Snoop Dogg‘s “Hood of Horror” hits theaters Friday. …

Blaqk Audio, the electronic side project of AFI frontman Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget, have started mixing their forthcoming debut album with producer Dave Bascombe (Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears). Although there’s no official release date for the disc, Havok says fans can look for it this summer. “I’d expect the album to be available somewhere between the beginning of July and the end of August,” he wrote in a MySpace post. “That’s my guess.” …

Hinder, Papa Roach and Buckcherry are teaming up for this summer’s Badboys of Rock Tour, which will kick off July 13 in Lansing, Michigan, and run through mid-September. Only a handful of dates have been confirmed, including stops in Dubuque, Iowa (July 18); Lima, Ohio (August 19); and York, Pennsylvania (September 12). … Underoath, Norma Jean, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and the Glass Ocean will hit the road this month under the Dirty South Tour banner. The trek launches May 13 in North Jacksonville, Florida, and will hit Southern cities including Columbia, South Carolina (May 14); Louisville, Kentucky (May 17); and Nashville (May 18-19). As I Lay Dying will join the lineup for two shows in Atlanta (May 15-16). The tour is scheduled to wrap up May 23 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. …

Kali Bowyer, who has claimed Chris Rock is the father of her 13-year-old son, says she wants a DNA test because she’s not positive who the dad is, AP reports. Rock has said he is willing to take one, according to Bowyer, and last month the actor asked Georgia’s Bulloch County Superior Court to start paternity proceedings to determine the father. Bowyer filed court papers in March, claiming Rock is the dad. … Nearly a year after a woman was assaulted while leaving an Ozzfest show in Tinley Park, Illinois, a man has been arrested in connection with the attack. Police arrested Patrick Miller, 33, on Friday and charged him with one count of criminal sexual assault after police linked him to the crime using DNA evidence, according to the Daily Southtown newspaper’s Web site. Bail was set at $35,000 for Miller, who is accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman in the parking lot of the First Midwest Amphitheater on July 16. …

Boy George was arrested and released on bail after a 28-year-old man accused him of false imprisonment and assault in an incident that took place early Saturday in London, Reuters reports. The former Culture Club frontman is due to return for further questioning in July. … The Explosion have imploded. The band announced its decision to disband on Monday but offered no reasons for the move. The Explosion’s final LP, Bury Me Standing, has not yet been released. The band was among those dropped during Capitol’s recent merger with Virgin Records. … Tom Poston, who played a clueless everyman on “Newhart” and “Mork and Mindy,” has died, AP reports. He was 85.

04.30.2007

Courtney Love is planning to auction off most of Kurt Cobain‘s belongings, she said in an interview with AOL’s Spinner.com. “I’m going to have a Christie’s auction,” she said. “[My house] is like a mausoleum. My daughter [Frances Bean] doesn’t need to inherit a giant hefty bag full of flannel f—ing shirts. … A sweater, a guitar and the lyrics to ‘Teen Spirit’ — that’s what my daughter gets. And the rest of it we’ll just f—ing sell.” A date for the auction has not been set. …

Linkin Park, the Killers, Korn and Interpol will headline what is now being dubbed the “KROQ Weenie Roast y Fiesta” on May 19 at the Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine, California. Also on the bill for the Southern California radio station’s annual shindig: Queens of the Stone Age, 30 Seconds to Mars, the Bravery, Rise Against, Bad Religion, Social Distortion, Silversun Pickups, Plain White T’s, TransplantsTim Armstrong, Tiger Army, and Peter Bjorn and John. … A smattering of those bands are also hopping onto Live 105′s BFD 2007, happening a few weeks later and much further north. Bloc Party, Sum 41, the Kaiser Chiefs, the Faint, Cold War Kids, CSS and Shiny Toy Guns will play along with Interpol, QOTSA, Social D, Tiger Army, the Silversuns and the Bravery at the fest, to be held June 9 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. …

The Phil Spector trial will be on hiatus for two days as one of the music producer’s attorneys had to see a physician Monday (April 30), The Associated Press reports. Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler told jurors the court will reconvene Wednesday. … Guns N’ Roses are in for more legal woes, apparently. TMZ.com reports that a lawsuit has been filed against the bandmembers over $107,000 in unpaid bills stemming from their 2006 tour. In documents obtained by the site, Starlift Logistics claims it was hired to provide transportation and touring services for Axl Rose and the crew by two companies that work on behalf of the band. …

Lindsay Lohan plans to record her third album in August, she said in an interview published in Nylon‘s May issue. “I want to do a tour like Madonna,” Lohan said. “I want to do what Britney was doing. I want to work with Pharrell and Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.” There’s also another industry that the actress is very interested in conquering. “I think I should be a stylist,” she said, recalling a recent Chanel shopping excursion. “I’m taking things off the mannequins because I’m like taking everything from the store. … I mean, I saved another room at [Hollywood's] Chateau Marmont for a year that was just a closet! That’s not normal!” …

A Young Buck afterparty at a hotel in Kennewick, Washington, turned violent Saturday morning when gunfire erupted after 2 a.m., frightening families staying in the hotel, injuring one man and resulting in nine arrests. Tacoma’s News Tribune reports that following a show featuring Buck at the nearby Club Paradise, an afterparty began at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kennewick that turned into a parking-lot brawl. During the fight, at least six shots were fired by at least two weapons, with one bullet passing through the leg of a Las Vegas man. Police have not yet determined whether Buck or any members of G-Unit were involved in the melee, the paper reported, though some witnesses said the fight began as a disagreement between members of G-Unit and rival rappers. All nine men jailed — who told police they were rappers in town to attend or perform at the Buck show — were charged with failure to report a violent crime, with more charges possible. Police said they are having a hard time investigating the incident because a number of those involved are unwilling to cooperate with detectives. A representative for Young Buck said the rapper wasn’t involved in the shooting and had no further comment. …

Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington and Disturbed singer David Draiman will perform with Dave Navarro, Slayer guitarist Kery King, Anthrax‘s Scott Ian, Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, Damageplan‘s Bob Zilla, Hatebreed‘s Matt Byrne, ex-Marilyn Manson guitarist John 5, former Judas Priest singer Ripper Owens and others as the Black Tooth Band at the “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott all-star concert and auction next month. The group will cover material from the late guitarist’s multiple projects — including Pantera — and will be joined by host Jamey Jasta at the end of the night. The Black Tooth Bash — named after the “Black Tooth Grin” cocktail Dimebag created — will be preceded by Six String Masterpieces: The “Dimebag” Darrell Art Tribute, with all proceeds going to the Little Kids Rock foundation. The event will be held May 17 at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California. …

Former “American Idol” finalist Jessica Sierra was arrested early Sunday morning after an altercation in a Tampa, Florida, cafe, AP reports. The 21-year-old singer — a Tampa native who was the third finalist cut during the fourth season of “Idol” — allegedly threw a glass at a man and was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, possession of cocaine and introduction of contraband into a detention facility. A police spokesperson told Tampa’s WTSP that Sierra was uncooperative when arrested, and that officers had to shackle her legs to prevent her from kicking out the squad car’s window. She was released on an $11,500 bond and will face arraignment Monday. … Modest Mouse, the Shins, Incubus and Wolf Parade are lined up to play shows as part of the 2007 Download Festival, which will hit Boston (August 18); George, Washington (August 25); Chicago (September 1); and San Francisco (October 6). The full lineup of artists for each city will be announced May 29. …

Attention Disney fans: “High School Musical” and “Jump In!” star Corbin Bleu has his first album, Another Side, primed for release Tuesday. The single “Push It to the Limit” actually previously appeared on the “Jump In!” soundtrack, but Bleu has chased it with a new one, “Deal With It.” Initial copies of Another Side come with a bonus DVD featuring concert clips, the “Push It to the Limit” video and an interview. … Les Claypool, the next Van Wilder? Well, not exactly, but the Primus bass master is making his directorial debut through the National Lampoon series — more specifically, via a jam-band mockumentary with the classic Claypool title “Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo.” While that theatrical flick doesn’t have a release date yet, Claypool does have a concert DVD, “Fancy,” set for May 29. He’s also launching a tour beginning May 23 in Minneapolis and running through July 14 at the All Good Music Festival in Masontown, West Virginia.