Avril’s Merch-Model Search, Plus Nick Cannon, ‘NSYNC, Busta, MCR, Fergie, John Mayer, Harry Potter & More In For The Record

Cannon gets engaged; 'NSYNC sued for alleged copyright infringement; Rhymes wins one in court.

Avril Lavigne is launching a new merchandise line in conjunction with her new album The Best Damn Thing — and she wants you to be part of it. The singer has teamed with Buzznet.com for the “Get Dressed by Avril” merch-model search, which kicked off Tuesday (May 8) right here. Lavigne is set to choose the winner, who will appear regularly on her Web site. To enter, fans need to take a photo of themselves in an Avril T-shirt and upload it to the site. The deadline to enter is May 21. …

Nick Cannon knew how to turn up the romance when he popped the question to girlfriend Selita Ebanks Monday night. He took her for a ride in a chauffeured Rolls-Royce Phantom to New York’s Times Square — right across the street from the MTV offices — where “Selita, will you marry me?” appeared on the giant Jumbotron. Afterward, they celebrated with family and friends at a nightclub and ended the evening on a private jet back to L.A. She said yes, of course. … The 50th annual Grammy Awards will be held Sunday, February 10, at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, 50th Celebration Ambassador Quincy Jones and Joss Stone announced Tuesday. The show will air live on CBS. …

Justin Timberlake is plenty busy with his own solo stuff these days, but in the meantime, ‘NSYNC are being sued for more than $10 million for alleged copyright infringement, according to TMZ.com. Musician Troy Alexander claims, in a lawsuit filed in Las Vegas federal court Monday, that he met in 1990 with representatives at Jive Records — which ‘NSYNC later signed to — and introduced the label to the song “Up Against the Wall.” According to TMZ, a Jive representative said they were not aware of the claim. …

After a Tuesday morning (May 8) court appearance, Busta Rhymes is free to drive … for the time being. Rhymes’ lawyer said a judge ruled against a prosecution motion to suspend the rapper’s license following a driving-while-intoxicated arrest last week — in which a second breathalyzer test showed Rhymes was under the legal limit. Rhymes’ attorney Scott Leemon also filed a sealed motion asking that the judge deny the prosecution’s request to consolidate two assault cases that the MC is currently facing. Leemon detailed the defense’s case in both incidents in an attempt to have them tried separately, noting that “Busta does have a valid defense to these charges.” The judge will rule on the motions on July 10. Leemon said he also rejected two non-jail plea offers from the prosecution on Rhymes’ DWI and driving with a suspended license cases as well as a plea in the assault cases that would have sent Busta to jail for one year . …

My Chemical Romance canceled their Sunday night show in Portland, Maine, due to “continuing issues with their recent food poisoning,” according to a post on the band’s MySpace page. Members of the band and of support act Muse canceled and postponed several shows last week due to illness but the bands did play at the Bamboozle festival in New Jersey on Saturday. … Fergie and John Legend are among the artists who will be hitting the stage bright and early in the coming weeks as part of the “Good Morning America” Friday morning concert series. The early-A.M. performances, which are held in New York’s Bryant Park, kick off May 18 with Rascal Flatts. Fergie (May 25), Daughtry (June 1), Robin Thicke (June 8), Miley Cyrus (June 22), John Mayer (July 20) and Legend (August 3) are on this year’s lineup. …

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is still two and a half months away, but Amazon announced Tuesday that it has already taken 1 million pre-orders for the epic series’ seventh and final book. The sixth title, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” also hit the milestone, but “Deathly Hallows” did it 79 days faster. … Paris Hilton has rehired veteran publicist Elliot Mintz just a few days after she fired him. Following a night out of reconciliation on Monday, Mintz, 62, told Reuters that he was back on the job after getting canned over the weekend. Hilton blamed Mintz’s bad advice after she received a 45-day jail sentence for a probation violation linked to an alcohol-related reckless-driving offense last year. …

Jerry Cantrell and other members of Alice in Chains, Ace Frehley (Kiss), and Slipknot‘s Joey Jordison and Paul Grey will also play as part of the Black Tooth Band for the “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott all-star concert and auction, to be held May 17 at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California. … Ex-Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar has sold an 80 percent interest in his Cabo Wabo Tequila for a whopping $80 million, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Hagar’s drink is the second-best-selling premium tequila in the U.S., having sold 147,000 cases last year. …

My Morning Jacket aren’t kidding around: The guitar band will be playing with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra when it performs August 5 at Chicago’s Lollapalooza. “It is hard to even think of them as youth,” singer Jim James said in a statement. “They hit with diamond-like precision. Pow!” … Incubus have unveiled their summer touring plans, which include a 39-date North American outing that kicks off July 10 in Los Angeles. The tour will run through September 8 in Chula Vista, California. … The Sydney, Australia, leg of the July 7 Live Earth global concert will be held at Aussie Stadium and will include performances by Crowded House, Jack Johnson, Wolfmother, John Butler Trio, Paul Kelly, Toni Collette & the Finish, Missy Higgins, Eskimo Joe, Sneaky Sound System, Ghostwriters and Blue King Brown. …

All That Remains have been added to the lineup for the July 14 Sounds of the Underground stop in Sayreville, New Jersey. The tour will also feature bands including Shadows Fall, Every Time I Die, Chimaira, Gwar and the Number Twelve Looks Like You. … Guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz will sit out Killswitch Engage‘s upcoming European tour while he continues to recover from back surgery, the band said in a statement. Dutkiewicz, who has been on the mend since January, is expected to be in shape by the time this summer’s Warped Tour kicks off on June 29 in Pomona, California. In other Killswitch news, the band will be joined by Coheed and Cambria for a pair of Warped Tour off-date gigs, set for July 10 in Las Vegas and July 17 in New Orleans. … Original Kilgore members Jay Berndt, Brian McKenzie, Bill Southerland and Jason “Smitty” Smith will reunite for a May 19 gig at Jake’s Bar in Providence, Rhode Island. The show will act as a benefit for breast cancer and will be the band’s first live performance in nearly a decade.

05.07.2007

Ciara is ready to sit in the director’s chair. The singer has teamed up with Glamour for the Nissan-sponsored Reel Music contest spotlighting emerging female artists. Three singers — Tiffany Evans, Paula Campbell and Samantha Jade — are currently competing for listener votes at Glamour.com/reelmusic, and the winner will score a video directed by Ciara. Pink‘s video for previous Reel Music contest winners Pretty Boys debuted in January. …

Kelly Clarkson doesn’t want fans to have to wait until the winter to hear her third album: The singer has pegged July 24 as the release date for My December. Its first single, “Never Again,” recently debuted at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. …

Bye, Mom: Usher confirmed to CNN Monday (May 7) that he is no longer being managed by his mother, Jonnetta Patton. The two have worked together professionally over the duration of the singer’s career, but he says the split will actually bring them closer together. “At this time in my life, I am simply more interested in building the strength of my family. And in order to do that, I feel it’s best to separate my business life from my personal life,” he said. “This is great for me because it means I now get to have my mother strictly as my mother with no added pressure.” Usher, who became engaged to stylist Tameka Foster in March, has not announced a new manager. …

Paris Hilton filed a notice of appeal with Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday over her 45-day jail sentence, according to documents obtained by TMZ.com. Lawyers are required to file a notice before actually lodging the appeal and must prove Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer abused his discretion by imposing the sentence. Late Saturday, Hilton said the sentence, which she received for violating the terms of her probation by driving with a suspended license, was “cruel and unwarranted,” Reuters reports. “I don’t deserve this,” Hilton said. Her mother, Kathy, called the sentence “a joke” in an interview with Hollywood.com. “This is pathetic and disgusting, a waste of taxpayers’ money with this nonsense.” Paris’ longtime spokesman Elliot Mintz is no longer working with the heiress, he confirmed to People. Mintz said he e-mailed Hilton after her sentencing on Friday, and “offered my sincerest apology for any misunderstanding she received from me regarding the terms of her probation.” Hilton maintains that she did not realize her license was suspended. …

A preliminary injunction hearing in Beyoncé‘s copyright-infringement suit did not take place Friday as scheduled and has been adjourned until May 14. Attorneys for the singer, who is being sued by the Royalty Network — the copyright owner of the Des’ree song “I’m Kissing You,” which Beyoncé reinterpreted with “Still in Love (Kissing You),” featured on her B’Day – Deluxe Edition — have until Monday to file a response to the suit. Beyoncé’s camp and the Royalty Network came to an earlier agreement filed last month, which states that Columbia and Sony would “engage in no further distribution” of the album or video anthology until the injunction hearing takes place. … Chris Brown‘s “Wall to Wall,” the first single from his sophomore album, Exclusive, leaked to the Web on Friday. The pulsating track was written by Brown, along with Sean Garrett, who produced the track with newcomer Big Walt. …

Phil Spector attempted to rape former friend Dianne Ogden-Halder at gunpoint after threatening to kill her, she told a Los Angeles court on Monday, according to Agence France Presse. Ogden-Halder said the music producer wouldn’t let her leave his home in Pasadena, California, on two separate occasions in the ’80s — the second time, he put a handgun to her head. “He was talking, screaming, like he had been taken over by something. He was demonic,” she said. “It was not like it was him, it was like he wasn’t Philip.” Ogden-Halder said she didn’t tell police about the incident because she wanted to protect Spector from bad publicity. “I thought it was an isolated incident and that he needed help,” she said. “Now I feel guilty … I don’t know.” …

The estate of late Damageplan/Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott has reached a settlement in its wrongful-death lawsuit against the Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio, where the musician was gunned down during a 2004 shooting incident. The Columbus Dispatch reported Saturday that the lawsuit was dismissed last week after Abbott’s family and two band employees injured in the shooting agreed to a “nominal settlement,” according to Rebecca Price, an attorney for the club. She would not disclose additional terms of the agreement. The suit claimed the club’s owners were negligent in not stopping Nathan Gale, Abbott’s killer, from entering the club with a gun and ammunition. …

TV on the Radio will grace their fellow New Yorkers with an acoustic set when they support Air at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. The performances are part of the David Bowie-curated High Line Festival, which ends May 19 — Bowie appeared on TVOTR’s 2006 album, Return to Cookie Mountain. … Rave on: Trip-hoppers Unkle set up camp at Joshua Tree’s Rancho de la Luna studio in Southern California with Queens of the Stone Age‘s Josh Homme, the Cult‘s Ian Astbury, Massive Attack‘s 3D, Jeordie White (a.k.a. Twiggy Ramirez, Nada Surf‘s Matthew Caws, Eagles of Death Metal‘s David Catching and others for their new LP, War Stories. Recorded live by QOTSA producer Chris Goss, the 14-track album is due July 24 through Unkle co-founder James Lavelle‘s Surrender All label. The two-CD limited edition features an instrumental version of the album plus a 50-page booklet. ….

Panic Channel are on hiatus. According to a statement released by Dave Navarro — who joins fellow ex-Jane’s Addiction members Chris Chaney and Stephen Perkins in the band’s lineup — frontman Steve Isaacs “has decided to move to New York and begin a new chapter of his life.” The band isn’t breaking up, Navarro wrote, “However, the distance certainly doesn’t make it very easy for us to do anything right now. I guess we will just call it a hiatus.” Navarro said he may take the time off to start work on another solo LP. …

Dashboard Confessional will release a deluxe edition of 2006′s Dusk and Summer on May 22. The re-release will feature the radio version of “Stolen,” along with “Vindicated,” two unreleased live recordings from “The Henry Rollins Show” on IFC, a free “Stolen” ringtone and Dashboard cell phone wallpaper. … Pete Doherty was arrested Saturday in London for suspicion of drug possession after a traffic stop, BBC News reports. The Babyshambles singer was released on bail and is scheduled to return for further questioning next month. Doherty was ordered into drug treatment in April 2006 after pleading guilty to drug-possession charges.