Kanye Releases ‘Nothing,’ Plus Mary J., Phil Spector, Bono, Lindsay, Christina, Rihanna & More In For The Record

Blige's prizes keep rolling in; Spector's driver testifies; Bono gives world leaders a 'cold shower.'

Kanye West has finally stopped teasing us and released the first record from his Graduation LP. It’s called “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” and Hot 97′s DJ Enuff can brag about being the first spinner to play it. “Wait till I get my money right/ Then you can’t tell me nothing right,” Mr. West raps on the track. …

The trophies keep rolling in for Mary J. Blige. The singer will be presented with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Voice of Music Award at the 20th Anniversary Rhythm & Soul Music Awards. The event will be held June 25 in Los Angeles. …

Phil Spector said, “I think I killed somebody,” and had a gun in his hand after the death of actress Lana Clarkson on February 3, 2003, Adriano Desouza testified in court Tuesday (May 15), according to The Associated Press. The chauffeur said he drove Spector and Clarkson to the music producer’s home around 3 a.m. and later heard a “pow.” According to Desouza, Spector walked out of his mansion at 5 a.m. with gun in hand and told the driver, “I think I killed somebody.” “What happened, sir?” Desouza replied, according to his testimony — Spector responded with a shrug, after which the driver “saw the legs of the lady,” he said. …

Bono‘s DATA — Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa — advocacy group has released a progress report that shows that G8 members have contributed less than half the amount needed to double African aid to $50 billion by 2010 as promised, AP reports. “The G8 are sleepwalking into a crisis of credibility,” Bono said in Germany, where a G8 summit will be hosted next month. “I know the DATA report will feel like a cold shower, but I hope it will wake us all up.” …

Lindsay Lohan is #1, Jessica Alba is #2 and Scarlett Johansson is #3 on Maxim‘s eighth annual “Hot 100″ list, but it’s MTV Movie Awards host Sarah Silverman (#29) who made the June issue’s cover. Christina Aguilera (#4), Rihanna (#8), Fergie (#10), Beyoncé (#13), Avril Lavigne (#15), Ashlee Simpson (#16), Nicole Scherzinger (#22), Hilary Duff (#23) and Nelly Furtado (#26) were among those who came in ahead of Silverman. …

Mike Jones has moved the release date of his second LP, The American Dream, from this month to July 10. The rapper, who has been asking fans to call him for years, also announced that he’s branching out into e-mail, via AskMikeJones@gmail.com. “There were many times where my friends (fans) couldn’t get through [on the phone],” Jones said in a statement. “With the e-mail address, it will be much easier for me to communicate with them.” Jones said his Blackberry “is always with me.” … Master P and Romeo have something to say about the recent flap over hip-hop lyrics — and they’ve started a new record label to prove it. Take a Stand Records will be a home “for hip-hop artists with street music without offensive lyrics,” according to the label’s Web site, which is littered with video clips pertaining to the rap-lyrics controversy. In addition to P and Romeo, the label also counts Forrest Lipton and Young V on its roster. …

Franz Ferdinand continue working on material for their next album. According to frontman Alex Kapranos, the Scottish band is still working in a practice space, fine-tuning new songs. He revealed a couple of song titles (“A New Thrill” and “English Goodbye”) via the band’s MySpace page but didn’t make any projections about when the guys would enter the studio to record the follow-up to 2005′s You Could Have It So Much Better.OK Go‘s Damian Kulash, My Morning Jacket‘s Jim James, the Indigo Girls and others are helping New Orleans rebound with a Future of Music Coalition benefit show to be held May 27 at Tipitina’s Uptown. Proceeds will go to Sweet Home New Orleans, a nonprofit group that provides rental help for displaced musicians. … Crowded House have lined up their first U.S. tour in more than 10 years. The reunited band will hit the pavement August 4 in Northampton, Massachusetts, and keep chugging along until September 12 in Atlanta. Pete Yorn, 16 Frames and Fountains of Wayne will trade off opening duties. …

Paris Hilton‘s psychiatrist describes the socialite as “emotionally distraught and traumatized” over her 45-day jail sentence — and currently unable to defend herself from a $10 million civil suit filed by heiress Zeta Graff, AP reports. A Los Angeles judge postponed the trial — which was set to begin this month — to August. The suit, filed in 2005, accuses Hilton of spreading “vicious lies” about Graff. … Bassist Ryan Sinn is out of Angels & Airwaves — and has been since April 19, according to a message he posted to the A&A fan club. Sinn said the reasons he was given for his dismissal were “severely hypocritical to the point of abhorrent disgust,” and explained that despite rumors to the contrary, he “would never leave a band because of a clash of ideas, or control. … What matters to me now is freedom — freedom to express myself and the freedom to be exactly who I am.” …

Scotland’s Aerogramme have thrown in the towel. The indie-rockers revealed they will call it quits after playing out their remaining tour dates — all of which are scheduled for the United Kingdom and Europe. The band’s last LP, My Heart Has a Wish That You Would Not Go, was released back in January. “[The] reasons are multiple and complex,” the band said in a statement. “It is, however, fair to say that the never-ending financial struggle coupled with an almost superhuman ability to dodge the zeitgeist have taken their toll, ensuring that we just don’t have any fight left in us.” … Sylvester Stallone‘s lawyers pleaded guilty on the “Rocky” actor’s behalf on Tuesday in a Sydney, Australia, court, answering charges that he smuggled 48 vials of the banned human-growth hormone Jintropin and several vials of male human testosterone into the country in February. In a statement, Stallone, 60, apologized for what he called a “terrible mistake,” saying he has taken the drugs for years for an unspecified medical condition and was unaware that they were banned in Australia, according to an AP report. The action star is expected to be sentenced on Monday and will likely face a fine of $10,000 or more. …

The attorneys general of eight states sent a letter to a lawyer for MySpace charging that the popular social-networking site has uncovered thousands of known sex offenders using the service, but had not done enough to block them from MySpace, according to The New York Times. “The fact that MySpace failed to come forward immediately with this information is really staggering,” Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumental said. Officials obtained their information from unnamed but, “highly credible private groups” that got it directly from MySpace, according to the Times report. The letter asked MySpace officials to provide the names and addresses of sex offenders on MySpace along with a list of steps the company has taken to alert law-enforcement officials and other MySpace users. The chief security officer for MySpace responded in a letter that the company had recently begun using new software to “proactively identify and remove any known sex offenders from the site.” MySpace was given until May 29 to respond to the request.

05.14.2007

Don’t get too excited, Harry Potter fans — despite rumors that J.K. Rowling is considering writing another book in the Potter-verse, that doesn’t mean there will be an actual book eight. In fact, as she clarified on her Web site, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” remains the end of the series and another novel is “highly unlikely.” “I’ve got enough story for seven books and I never planned to carry the story beyond the end of book seven,” she wrote. “I might do an eighth book for charity, a kind of encyclopedia of the world so that I could use all the extra material that’s not in the books … we’ll see!” Rowling previously wrote the Potter reference books “Quidditch Through the Ages” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” under the aliases Kennilworthy Whisp and Newt Scamander, respectively, and proceeds for both went to Comic Relief. Meanwhile, Rowling is requesting that fans go easy on the spoilers for “Deathly Hallows.” Spoilers won’t stop people from buying the book, they never have — all it will do is diminish their pleasure. … Even if the biggest secret gets out — even if somebody discovers the Giant Squid is actually the world’s largest Animagus, which rises from the lake at the eleventh hour, transforms into Godric Gryffindor and … well, I wouldn’t like to spoil it.” …

A will and probate petition were filed on behalf of Howard K. Stern on Monday (May 14), according to E! Online, and in the documents, he requests to be the special administrator of Anna Nicole Smith‘s estate. In the filing, Smith’s home in Studio City, California, is valued at $1.8 million and her personal property at $10,000 — but her outstanding mortgage reduces the sum to $710,000, according to Stern’s petition. Larry Birkhead, father of Smith’s daughter Danielynn, is not named as a beneficiary in the will, according to TMZ.com, but the petition to probate lists him as a part with an interest in Smith’s estate. Danielynn, Stern and two attorneys Ron Rale and Eric Lund are also listed as having an interest in the estate — although Smith’s mother, Virgie Arthur, is not named. A probate hearing is slated for June 19, while a custody hearing involving Birkhead and Arthur is set for June 8. …

Claiming he was distraught, depressed and so strapped for cash at the time that he couldn’t afford a lawyer, Bobby Brown filed papers in California’s Orange County Superior Court last week challenging the terms of his April 24 divorce from Whitney Houston. Specifically, Brown is trying to fight a judge’s decision to grant physical and legal custody of the pair’s 14-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina, to Houston. According to MSNBC (citing papers obtained by “Access Hollywood”), Brown claims that after he split from Houston last year, he was so emotionally and financially distressed that he was essentially homeless and couldn’t get it together to respond to Houston’s petition for divorce. The papers reportedly claim that, “Whitney repeatedly assured Bobby that he need not file a response and that reconciliation was possible,” and that, “Whitney did so at a time when she knew that Bobby was particularly vulnerable.” A June 15 court date has been set for Brown’s new case. …

Jive wants to bring the Pain a little earlier. T-Pain‘s new LP, Epiphany, has been brought up to a June 5 release date, a week earlier than its original June 12 date. The set includes the hit record “Buy U a Drank.” … Rapper Bun B, one-half of the group UGK, was in New York over the weekend performing for about 100 people at Lower East Side hipster sneaker store Alife Rivington Club. Hosted by Fab 5 Freddy, the show was billed as “Bun B and Friends,” and Papoose, Graph and Talib Kweli all joined Bun during his set. This week in Los Angeles, Bun and UGK mate Pimp C shoot the video for “Int’l Players Anthem” with Outkast and longtime ‘Kast director Bryan Barber. … Legendary Houston DJ OG Ron C celebrated two decades of making music with a four-day-long celebration in his hometown from Thursday through Sunday. Slim Thug, Killer Mike and Dead Prez‘s Stic.man were among the celebs who attended the various parties and music-conference panels Ron C — known for his mixtape and chopping and screwing skills — staged over the weekend. On Saturday, the DJ was presented with a certificate from the city in honor of his 20 years in the business. …

Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor has lashed out at his record company in blog posts on the band’s Web site. “As the climate grows more and more desperate for record labels, their answer to their mostly self-inflicted wounds seems to be to screw the consumer over even more,” he wrote. “A couple of examples that quickly come to mind: The absurd retail pricing of Year Zero in Australia. Shame on you, [Universal Music Group]. Year Zero is selling for $34.99 Australian dollars (or $29.10 in the States). No wonder people steal music. Avril Lavigne‘s record in the same store was $21.99 ($18.21 U.S.).” When Reznor asked his label about the pricing of the LP, he said he was told “it’s because we know you have a real core audience that will pay whatever it costs when you put something out.” So, Reznor surmised, “I guess as a reward for being a ‘true fan,’ you get ripped off.” …

No, Ozzy Osbourne isn’t pulling a K-Fed — but he will appear on this week’s WWE “Friday Night SmackDown” to perform two songs, including his new single, “I Don’t Wanna Stop.” The track will also serve as the theme song to WWE’s “Judgment Day” special, to air on pay-per-view Sunday. … Rick Rubin‘s rumored move to Columbia is official, Billboard reports, although details are scarce. The label released a statement Monday stating that the Grammy-winning producer and head of American Recordings will “form a dynamic and creative executive partnership” with Columbia Chairman Steve Bartnett. Rubin will continue producing for artists at different labels but will bring American to Sony, which distributed the imprint less than a decade ago. …

Lindsay Lohan and her mother Dina are being sued by a photographer who alleges that Lindsay hit him with a car in New York on March 13, according to court documents obtained by “Access Hollywood.” The suit, filed in New York by Giovanni Arnold on Thursday, seeks unspecified damages from the Lohans for “sustained severe and permanent personal injuries.” Dina Lohan is named in the suit as the owner of the car Lindsay was driving. … John Edwards has a new political adviser: John Mayer. New York magazine reports that the two Johns met up at Time magazine’s Time 100 event last week, where Mayer, 29, gave Edwards advice on connecting with young people. “He basically said, ‘You’ve got to get me in the first 20 seconds,’ ” Edwards explained. He said he’s set up a meeting with the singer for more insight. … Neighbors are calling foul over Leonardo DiCaprio‘s basketball court. Ronald and Joan Linclau claim the actor excavated their property without permission and damaged plants in order to build the court at his home in Los Angeles, according to The Associated Press. They are seeking $250,000 in damages. Ken Sunshine, a DiCaprio spokesman, told AP the lawsuit “is totally without merit.” …

The Smashing Pumpkins, who will release Zeitgeist, their first album of new material since 2000, have announced two sets of all-ages residency gigs: nine shows at the Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina, between June 23 and July 5, and eight shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco between July 22 and August 1. The band will be performing songs from its upcoming disc, as well as old material. Fans are “invited to capture the concerts with audio and video recorders,” according to SmashingPumpkins.com. … Bob Geldof, who organized the Live Aid and Live 8 benefit concerts, has criticized Al Gore‘s Live Earth music events, saying they lack a specific goal, according to AP. “I hope they’re a success,” Geldof told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant. “But why is [Gore] actually organizing them? To make us aware of the greenhouse effect? Everybody’s known about that problem for years. We are all [expletive] conscious of global warming.” …

System of a Down‘s Shavo Odadjian will direct the video for “Give Thanks and Praises,” the first clip from the forthcoming Bad Brains album Build a Nation. The video will begin production this month and will include footage captured at the Sasquatch! Music Festival in George, Washington. “I’ve been a fan of the Brains ever since I can remember,” Odadjian said in a statement. “I am going to rock this video for the Brains and try to capture their intense energy. It’s a big responsibility. … I’m honored.” … U.S. immigration officials have turned to Mickey Mouse for help in managing airport crowds, Britain’s Daily Mail reports. Disney will teach officials trade secrets from over 50 years of running the most popular tourist destination on the planet, the so-called “Happiest Place on Earth.” The move is aimed at luring visitors back to America, many of whom have stayed away due to complaints of long lines, intense interrogation and gruff, surly demeanors. No word on whether that means the ubiquitous rubber gloves will now have four fingers.

05.14.2007

Don’t get too excited, Harry Potter fans — despite rumors that J.K. Rowling is considering writing another book in the Potter-verse, that doesn’t mean there will be an actual book eight. In fact, as she clarified on her Web site, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” remains the end of the series and another novel is “highly unlikely.” “I’ve got enough story for seven books and I never planned to carry the story beyond the end of book seven,” she wrote. “I might do an eighth book for charity, a kind of encyclopedia of the world so that I could use all the extra material that’s not in the books … we’ll see!” Rowling previously wrote the Potter reference books “Quidditch Through the Ages” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” under the aliases Kennilworthy Whisp and Newt Scamander, respectively, and proceeds for both went to Comic Relief. Meanwhile, Rowling is requesting that fans go easy on the spoilers for “Deathly Hallows.” Spoilers won’t stop people from buying the book, they never have — all it will do is diminish their pleasure. … Even if the biggest secret gets out — even if somebody discovers the Giant Squid is actually the world’s largest Animagus, which rises from the lake at the eleventh hour, transforms into Godric Gryffindor and … well, I wouldn’t like to spoil it.” …

A will and probate petition were filed on behalf of Howard K. Stern on Monday (May 14), according to E! Online, and in the documents, he requests to be the special administrator of Anna Nicole Smith‘s estate. In the filing, Smith’s home in Studio City, California, is valued at $1.8 million and her personal property at $10,000 — but her outstanding mortgage reduces the sum to $710,000, according to Stern’s petition. Larry Birkhead, father of Smith’s daughter Danielynn, is not named as a beneficiary in the will, according to TMZ.com, but the petition to probate lists him as a part with an interest in Smith’s estate. Danielynn, Stern and two attorneys Ron Rale and Eric Lund are also listed as having an interest in the estate — although Smith’s mother, Virgie Arthur, is not named. A probate hearing is slated for June 19, while a custody hearing involving Birkhead and Arthur is set for June 8. …

Claiming he was distraught, depressed and so strapped for cash at the time that he couldn’t afford a lawyer, Bobby Brown filed papers in California’s Orange County Superior Court last week challenging the terms of his April 24 divorce from Whitney Houston. Specifically, Brown is trying to fight a judge’s decision to grant physical and legal custody of the pair’s 14-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina, to Houston. According to MSNBC (citing papers obtained by “Access Hollywood”), Brown claims that after he split from Houston last year, he was so emotionally and financially distressed that he was essentially homeless and couldn’t get it together to respond to Houston’s petition for divorce. The papers reportedly claim that, “Whitney repeatedly assured Bobby that he need not file a response and that reconciliation was possible,” and that, “Whitney did so at a time when she knew that Bobby was particularly vulnerable.” A June 15 court date has been set for Brown’s new case. …

Jive wants to bring the Pain a little earlier. T-Pain‘s new LP, Epiphany, has been brought up to a June 5 release date, a week earlier than its original June 12 date. The set includes the hit record “Buy U a Drank.” … Rapper Bun B, one-half of the group UGK, was in New York over the weekend performing for about 100 people at Lower East Side hipster sneaker store Alife Rivington Club. Hosted by Fab 5 Freddy, the show was billed as “Bun B and Friends,” and Papoose, Graph and Talib Kweli all joined Bun during his set. This week in Los Angeles, Bun and UGK mate Pimp C shoot the video for “Int’l Players Anthem” with Outkast and longtime ‘Kast director Bryan Barber. … Legendary Houston DJ OG Ron C celebrated two decades of making music with a four-day-long celebration in his hometown from Thursday through Sunday. Slim Thug, Killer Mike and Dead Prez‘s Stic.man were among the celebs who attended the various parties and music-conference panels Ron C — known for his mixtape and chopping and screwing skills — staged over the weekend. On Saturday, the DJ was presented with a certificate from the city in honor of his 20 years in the business. …

Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor has lashed out at his record company in blog posts on the band’s Web site. “As the climate grows more and more desperate for record labels, their answer to their mostly self-inflicted wounds seems to be to screw the consumer over even more,” he wrote. “A couple of examples that quickly come to mind: The absurd retail pricing of Year Zero in Australia. Shame on you, [Universal Music Group]. Year Zero is selling for $34.99 Australian dollars (or $29.10 in the States). No wonder people steal music. Avril Lavigne‘s record in the same store was $21.99 ($18.21 U.S.).” When Reznor asked his label about the pricing of the LP, he said he was told “it’s because we know you have a real core audience that will pay whatever it costs when you put something out.” So, Reznor surmised, “I guess as a reward for being a ‘true fan,’ you get ripped off.” …

No, Ozzy Osbourne isn’t pulling a K-Fed — but he will appear on this week’s WWE “Friday Night SmackDown” to perform two songs, including his new single, “I Don’t Wanna Stop.” The track will also serve as the theme song to WWE’s “Judgment Day” special, to air on pay-per-view Sunday. … Rick Rubin‘s rumored move to Columbia is official, Billboard reports, although details are scarce. The label released a statement Monday stating that the Grammy-winning producer and head of American Recordings will “form a dynamic and creative executive partnership” with Columbia Chairman Steve Bartnett. Rubin will continue producing for artists at different labels but will bring American to Sony, which distributed the imprint less than a decade ago. …

Lindsay Lohan and her mother Dina are being sued by a photographer who alleges that Lindsay hit him with a car in New York on March 13, according to court documents obtained by “Access Hollywood.” The suit, filed in New York by Giovanni Arnold on Thursday, seeks unspecified damages from the Lohans for “sustained severe and permanent personal injuries.” Dina Lohan is named in the suit as the owner of the car Lindsay was driving. … John Edwards has a new political adviser: John Mayer. New York magazine reports that the two Johns met up at Time magazine’s Time 100 event last week, where Mayer, 29, gave Edwards advice on connecting with young people. “He basically said, ‘You’ve got to get me in the first 20 seconds,’ ” Edwards explained. He said he’s set up a meeting with the singer for more insight. … Neighbors are calling foul over Leonardo DiCaprio‘s basketball court. Ronald and Joan Linclau claim the actor excavated their property without permission and damaged plants in order to build the court at his home in Los Angeles, according to The Associated Press. They are seeking $250,000 in damages. Ken Sunshine, a DiCaprio spokesman, told AP the lawsuit “is totally without merit.” …

The Smashing Pumpkins, who will release Zeitgeist, their first album of new material since 2000, have announced two sets of all-ages residency gigs: nine shows at the Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina, between June 23 and July 5, and eight shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco between July 22 and August 1. The band will be performing songs from its upcoming disc, as well as old material. Fans are “invited to capture the concerts with audio and video recorders,” according to SmashingPumpkins.com. … Bob Geldof, who organized the Live Aid and Live 8 benefit concerts, has criticized Al Gore‘s Live Earth music events, saying they lack a specific goal, according to AP. “I hope they’re a success,” Geldof told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant. “But why is [Gore] actually organizing them? To make us aware of the greenhouse effect? Everybody’s known about that problem for years. We are all [expletive] conscious of global warming.” …

System of a Down‘s Shavo Odadjian will direct the video for “Give Thanks and Praises,” the first clip from the forthcoming Bad Brains album Build a Nation. The video will begin production this month and will include footage captured at the Sasquatch! Music Festival in George, Washington. “I’ve been a fan of the Brains ever since I can remember,” Odadjian said in a statement. “I am going to rock this video for the Brains and try to capture their intense energy. It’s a big responsibility. … I’m honored.” … U.S. immigration officials have turned to Mickey Mouse for help in managing airport crowds, Britain’s Daily Mail reports. Disney will teach officials trade secrets from over 50 years of running the most popular tourist destination on the planet, the so-called “Happiest Place on Earth.” The move is aimed at luring visitors back to America, many of whom have stayed away due to complaints of long lines, intense interrogation and gruff, surly demeanors. No word on whether that means the ubiquitous rubber gloves will now have four fingers.