Fergie Previews Tour, Plus Paris Hilton, Jay-Z, Diddy, Nelly Furtado, Akon, Gwen Stefani & More In For The Record

Heiress says she's 'ready to face the consequences'; Jay's mom honored in NYC; Diddy, Furtado join Concert for Diana lineup.

Fergie previewed her solo show Tuesday night with a private concert for contest winners at Franklin High School in Seattle. Her 20-date Verizon VIP Tour — which is skipping paper tickets in favor of cell phone photo-message passes — officially kicks off May 21 with a show in Pittsburgh. Following shows in cities including Cleveland (May 23), Atlanta (June 2), Dallas (June 6) and New York (June 21), the tour will wrap up July 24 in Portland, Oregon. Fergie is also Seventeen’s June cover girl, and contributed a “Letter to Me at 17″ to the magazine. The 32-year-old calls out her 17-year-old self’s “giant bangs” and “bad perm” but congratulates her for not compromising her principles or disrespecting her body. “Sure, you’ll be a giant flirt and wear sexy clothes, but you’ll never take it to an unhealthy level and act on it,” she says in the note. Fergie also warns young Stacy about the rough patches ahead (massive debt, drug addiction) and tells her to stay strong for the big bright spots in her future (Black Eyed Peas, solo success, Josh Duhamel). “Don’t worry,” she concluded. “You’ll always come back to your roots.” …

Paris Hilton is “ready to face the consequences of violating probation,” she said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon (May 9) by her attorney, according to The Associated Press. “I do not expect to be treated better than anyone else who violated probation. However, my hope is that I will not be treated worse.” The heiress, who has retained a new attorney, DUI specialist Richard Hutton, said she felt the “need to correct what I believe are misperceptions about me.” She added that she is not “above the law.” …

Jay-Z swung by New York’s City Hall on Wednesday to watch his mother receive a proclamation from the City Council for her “outstanding contributions to the community,” AP reports. Gloria Carter oversees the Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund, which offers higher-education aid and mentoring programs for disadvantaged youth, and she helped victims of Hurricane Katrina recover in Houston in 2005. “Very proud of her,” Jay-Z said as they left the Council Chambers. … Diddy, Nelly Furtado and Tom Jones have joined the lineup for the Concert for Diana, a July 1 event that will be held at Wembley Stadium in London to commemorate what would have been the late Princess of Wales’ 46th birthday. Kanye West, Pharrell, Elton John, Lily Allen, Joss Stone and Duran Duran are also on the bill. …

Akon has released a statement in the wake of a video that surfaced online and allegedly featured him dancing suggestively with an underage girl onstage in Trinidad. His statement also comes amid sponsor Verizon pulling out of Gwen Stefani’s The Sweet Escape tour, which the rapper has been a part of. “I want to sincerely apologize for the embarrassment and any pain I’ve caused to the young woman who joined me onstage, her family and the Trinidad community for the events at my concert in Port of Spain on April 12,” he said in the statement. “It was never my intention to embarrass or take advantage of my fans in any way, especially those under the age of 18. That is why we tried to make sure that the club did not admit anyone under 18 in the audience. Somehow, that standard was not met. Again, I apologize to those concerned and to all my fans and I pledge to all that we will strive to make sure this type of incident does not happen again.” A spokesperson for Verizon confirmed to MTV News that the company has backed out of not just the Stefani tour but a new V Cast cell phone campaign that was set to feature Akon. The spokesperson stated the decision was made for a variety of reasons, not solely the underage-dancing incident. …

A third woman has now testified that Phil Spector pulled a gun on her in the past, AP reports. Stephanie Jennings said in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday that the record producer previously threatened her with a gun and held her hostage in a hotel room. When she called 911, “[Spector] made the comment that, ’You can call your mom all you want, she can’t help you now,’ ” Jennings said, adding that he didn’t realize she was calling the emergency number. Spector was gone by the time police arrived, according to Jennings, and they didn’t take her claims seriously. “They were treating me as if I was a call girl,” she said. Jennings said she did not press charges and that Spector later invited her to subsequent parties. …

Katharine McPhee and Kelly Rowland performed a musical tribute to the Bee Gees on Tuesday night as the group was honored at the BMI Pop Awards. The Gibb brothers were saluted as BMI Icons at the event, which was held in Beverly Hills, California. … Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith is ganging up with an unlikely ally — ex-Black Sabbath frontman Glenn Hughes — for a performance at West Hollywood, California’s Whisky a Go Go on June 2. The two worked together on Hughes’ solo project from last year, Music for the Divine. This is the singer’s first performance in support of the album. …

Mandy Moore will perform “Extraordinary” on the season finale of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” on May 20. The “Makeover” team will spend the two-hour show rebuilding the home of a single mother with two adopted, HIV-positive sons and lending a hand at Camp Heartland, which helps children with HIV. … Chrisette Michele, who was featured on singles by both Jay-Z (“Lost One”) and Nas (“Can’t Forget About You”) earlier this year, will open for Musiq Soulchild on tour. The two hit the road beginning July 6 in Baltimore and make stops in cities including Chicago (July 11), Philadelphia (July 20) and Los Angeles (August 4) before wrapping things up August 6 in San Francisco. …

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will be in Los Angeles Thursday and Friday shooting scenes for “The Great Buck Howard,” a film starring John Malkovich, Tom Hanks and Emily Blunt. CYHSY will play themselves in the film and contribute new songs as well. … Is Ozzy Osbourne taking a tip from Stephen Colbert and the Decemberists? The Ozzman is asking fans to craft the video for his new single, “I Don’t Wanna Stop,” using performance footage of him and his band that was shot on green screen from seven angles. The winning entry will be serviced as the official clip for the song. Get your hands on the hi-res footage right here.Coheed and Cambria are beginning recording sessions for their next LP with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Stone Sour) in Los Angeles. Bassist Michael Todd, who left the band last August citing unspecified “personal reasons,” has returned to the fold, and will contribute to the tentatively titled No World for Tomorrow. The disc should surface this fall, and will be the final chapter in the ongoing saga of Coheed and Cambria Kilgannon, the main characters in a story that wraps all the band’s concept albums into one.

05.08.2007

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?” MTV’s giant high-definition screen. 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.