Maroon 5 Do Blake Lewis A Solid, Plus ‘Idol’ Tour, Simon Cowell, Amy Winehouse, 50 Cent, Cam’ron & More In For The Record

Phil Stacey cleared for trek; Cowell can't predict 'Idol' winner; Winehouse weds boyfriend.

Blake Lewis has been getting a taste of fame over the past few months on “American Idol,” but he’s had some well-known friends for quite some time. The finalist is buddies with Ryan Dusick, the original drummer for Maroon 5, and he’s known the band for six years. “About two years ago, I had lost my cell phone — it was stolen — and I lost touch with them,” Lewis said. The “Idol” hopeful then ran into Dusick’s girlfriend and got reconnected with the guys about a month ago. On Tuesday’s show, the producers wanted Lewis to sing a Maroon 5 song, but the band had never cleared its music for the show. “I called them the night before we had to pick our songs, and they said I could sing anything I wanted to,” Lewis said. “It was really a solid from them.” …

The U.S. Navy has given “American Idol” finalist Phil Stacey the official go-ahead for the Idols Live 2007 Tour. A Navy spokesperson confirmed to People that the singer will join the rest of the top 10 on the three-month run, which kicks off July 6 in Sunrise, Florida. Tickets for all shows go on sale Saturday. …

Simon Cowell said in a reporter conference call Friday (May 18) that this year’s “American Idol” contest has come down to a “brilliant entertainer” (Blake Lewis) and a “great singer” (Jordin Sparks), according to Reuters. “I can’t call it at this stage,” he said in regards to who he thinks will win. “For Blake, he’s a brilliant entertainer, but the negative is he’s not a fantastic singer. The advantage for Jordin is she is a great singer and the negative is she hasn’t done one performance yet which I can remember as a ‘wow.’ ” Cowell also said “the whole Sanjaya thing was hysterical” and encouraged contestants to be as rude to him as he is to them. “They all think they are going to be voted off if they are rude to me,” he said. “If I’m rude to them they are more than entitled to be rude to me back.” … And in yet more “Idol” news, Entertainment Weekly is casting a Blake vs. Jordin poll to determine which contestant should appear on the magazine’s next cover. EW.com features four potential covers, two for each finalist. …

Amy Winehouse married boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil Friday morning in Miami, Spinner.com reports. The couple got engaged last month. … The rift between Cam’ron and 50 Cent continues. 50 appeared on BET’s “106 & Park” Thursday night and said the Dipset leader has been M.I.A. recently because of a rumored punch he took from rapper Tru Life outside a New York nightclub. A clearly annoyed Cam’ron posted a poolside video response on his MySpace page late Thursday night, explaining that he’s on vacation, not in hiding. In the clip, Cam looks directly at the camera to show that he hasn’t been hit and notes that his “probation is officially over.” …

Jennifer Lopez has been ordered to submit to a deposition to answer questions posed in a suit by a TV writer who says she stole his idea by making “South Beach,” according to The Associated Press. Sheldon Farber, a lawyer for writer Jack Bunick, coyly promised, “I will not ask for her autograph.” …

A 2007 Fat Boy Harley Davidson motorcycle signed by Ludacris, Kanye West, Diddy, Shaquille O’Neal and others will be auctioned for charity on eBay starting June 2. The funds from the 10-day auction will go toward the Ludacris Foundation. … Freshly minted Pussycat Doll Asia Nitollano joined Maxim Radio hosts Steve Covino and Rich Davis on Thursday night at New York’s Hawaiian Tropic Zone to judge the lounge’s spring pageant. Thirty hopefuls posed in the restaurant’s bikini-themed outfits and club wear to compete for the title, and Federico Castelluccio of “The Sopranos” also served as a judge. …

The Smashing Pumpkins‘ forthcoming album Zeitgeist is now slated for a July 10 release, meaning fans will have to wait an extra three days for the disc. Frontman Billy Corgan had expressed a desire to release the LP on July 7 (7/7/07), which is a Saturday, but albums are typically released in the U.S. on Tuesdays. … The Killers cut their concert at Morrison, Colorado’s Red Rocks short on Thursday night after frontman Brandon Flowers left the stage following the band’s second song. A doctor later stepped onstage to tell the audience that Flowers had a throat injury, and said continuing to sing would damage his voice, according to Denver NBC affiliate KUSA. Drummer Ronnie Vannucci said the band would make up the show to the fans. A rescheduled date has not yet been announced. …

Evanescence are all staffed up again. The group has replaced its recently departed guitarist and drummer with Dark New Day members Will Hunt (drums) and Troy McLawhorn (guitar). The new lineup will debut on Saturday at the Rock the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio, before leaving for a one-month European tour and returning in July for Korn‘s Family Values Tour. “I am a big fan of Dark New Day and can’t wait for the fans to see what the guys bring to our live show,” Evanescence singer Amy Lee said in a statement. … Ousted drummer Rocky Gray has six Evanescence plaques — including a gold-record certification presented to him for The Open Door, currently up for bid on eBay — each with a starting price of $500. Gray wrote on his MySpace page that he means no disrespect with the sale, but that it’s “a chance for us to straighten up the house, make some paper (cheese) and give the fans a chance to have a real piece of ev history.” There were no bids at press time. …

Ciara was toasted by Jay-Z and Young Jeezy Thursday night in New York as the Atlanta singer celebrated being named the new face of the Roc-A-Wear ladies’ line. Ciara follows in the footsteps of Naomi Campbell and actress Zoe Saldana. The new campaign will be titled “I Will Not Lose” and feature testimonials by a number of personalities who’ve overcome various hardships, including Amy Steele, the editor-in-chief of Virginia Tech campus newspaper The Collegiate Times. …

Ryan Phillippe has filed for joint custody of his two children with Reese Witherspoon, responding to her divorce filing in November, according to “Access Hollywood.” Phillippe, who is not seeking any spousal support from Witherspoon, also isn’t blocking her from requesting support from him. … Bo Diddley‘s condition has improved four days after he suffered a stroke, AP reports. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was up and walking Friday at a hospital in Nebraska, and his manager, Margo Lewis, told the news service that his doctors are confident he’ll be able to perform again. “We’re going to get a guitar for him and put it in his lap and let him entertain people here,” she said. …

Michael Jackson‘s lawyers have dropped his effort to block a Las Vegas auction that will include items belonging to him and other Jackson family members. “Mr. Jackson is satisfied with the negotiated settlement and is pleased that some of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to certain charities,” his spokesman Raymone K. Bain said in a statement on Friday. The auction will be held May 30-31 at the Hard Rock Hotel. … Lindsay Lohan won’t face charges on a theft allegation, the Los Angeles district attorney announced Thursday. AP reports that a woman claimed the actress took clothing from her apartment, which Lohan allegedly visited at the invitation of a house-sitter. The DA declined to file grand theft charges due to insufficient evidence. … Former Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch will head out on a promotional tour to spread the gospel about his new book, “Save Me From Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, and Lived to Tell My Story.” The trek starts July 5-6 in New York and ends July 18 in Los Angeles. …

In a new video posted on her Web site, Senator Hillary Clinton is asking supporters to help her with an answer to “one of the most important questions” of her presidential campaign: picking a theme song. The good news is that among the options are tunes by classy acts such as U2 (“City of Blinding Lights,” “Beautiful Day”), KT Tunstall (“Suddenly I See”), the Temptations (“Get Ready”), Dixie Chicks (“Ready to Run”) and the Staple Singers (“I’ll Take You There.”) Unfortunately, the short list also features Smash Mouth‘s cover of the Monkees‘ “I’m a Believer,” Shania Twain‘s “Rock This Country” and, no joke, Jesus Jones‘ “Right Here, Right Now.” … Meanwhile, noted freestyle rapper Jin has recently landed as the top friend on Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama‘s MySpace page. Before he became Obama’s #1 friend, Jin recorded a track supporting the candidate and posted it on his own page.

05.17.2007

According to an article in London’s Rock Sound Magazine, Fall Out Boy‘s Pete Wentz has heard some of the new material the boys in Panic! at the Disco have been working on, and he said, “I think it will be all over for anyone else in 2008 if this [one] track is picked as the first single. It has the biggest hook I have ever heard. [Guitarist] Ryan [Ross] always likes to keep me guessing or try to freak me out with stuff. So he will message me to tell me that they have just written an amazing song, and I will get excited, then he will message me again to tell me it sounds like ‘Aladdin,’ and I will feel kind of bemused. Or last week he messaged me to say they had written a song that makes him think of France. He can say some weird stuff.” …

Bono, who has arguably written some of rock’s most inspirational lyrics in recent years, is turning up in “Third Rail,” a collection of poetry inspired by rock music. “The poets who fill the pews here have come to testify, to bear witness to the mysterious power of rock and roll,” the U2 frontman writes in the book’s foreward. “Rock and roll is truly a broad church, but each lights a candle to their vision of what it is.” The collection, edited by poet Jonathan Wells, includes titles like “Punk Rock You’re My Big Crybaby,” “Variation on a Theme by Whitesnake” and “Vince Neil Meets Josh in a Chinese Restaurant in Malibu (After Ezra Pound).” …

Jay-Z, Diddy, LL Cool and Alicia Keys were named in New York Police Department intelligence documentation released Wednesday, revealing that the NYPD monitored various activists, bloggers and politicians in the months leading up to the 2004 Republican National Convention. The musicians were listed in the 600-page report as those expected to attend a rally held by Russell Simmons‘ Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. The paperwork was released after a federal judge ruled in favor of a motion to declassify the documents, filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times.

Due to their touring schedule, 30 Seconds to Mars will not be participating in the Smashing Pumpkins tribute LP that MySpace and Spin magazine have compiled. “It’s not from a lack of love,” said a spokesperson for the group. “The band loves the Pumpkins; their hectic touring schedule just didn’t allow enough time to record the song.” Selections from the album will be released online beginning Friday through June 18 on the MySpace profiles of the participating bands, which include Panic! at the Disco, (+44), the Bravery and the Academy Is …. The CD will be included free with the July issue of Spin, which hits newsstands June 26. …

The White Stripes have announced that they will play their first show since December 2005 on Friday at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville. Tickets will be available exclusively through the band’s site beginning Thursday (May 17) at 1 p.m. ET. The Stripes will then head out on a Canadian tour, followed by a run of U.S. shows that kicks off July 22 in Portland, Maine. The trek will also hit Boston; New York; Wallingford, Connecticut; Wilmington, Delaware; Fairfax, Virginia; North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Birmingham, Alabama; before wrapping up July 31 in Southaven, Mississippi. …

Phil Spector said in a 2005 home-video interview broadcast Wednesday on “Inside Edition” that he was too short to shoot Lana Clarkson. In the video, the 5-foot-5-inch music producer says the actress was standing when a gun was fired in her mouth and that “she was 5-11 and she would have been 6 feet 2 with heels on. … It would have been physically impossible for me to have administered the death wound to her in any shape, way or form.” In the video, Spector also challenged women who said he had threatened them with guns — he offered them $100,000 to take lie-detector tests. … Ike Turner was released from jail on Wednesday after it turned out that the 18-year-old narcotics warrant he had been arrested on was determined to be invalid, AP reports. …

Timbaland is set to jump into the wrestling ring with the Divas of WWE, but the multiplatinum producer won’t throw down with the ladies. Instead the Divas will make an appearance in his next video, “Throw It on Me,” featuring the Hives. The clip has already been shot and is set to debut next week on “Monday Night Raw.” … Jay-Z joined honoree Martin Scorsese Tuesday at the Museum of Modern Art’s “Party in the Garden” fundraiser and afterparty. The bash raised an estimated $3.8 million, the most in the event’s 39-year history. … Blink-182 live on — at least onstage. Mark Hoppus announced Wednesday night on his MySpace blog that (+44) — his band with Blink drummer Travis Barker — are going back on their word. “For the past year and a half, we have been saying how (+44) will never play Blink-182 songs. … Last week we changed our minds. And tonight during our set we played ‘What’s My Age Again,’ ” Hoppus said in the post. “You see, Travis and I LOVE our history with Blink-182, and it seems a shame to let those songs sit dormant forever because of what happened two years ago.” …

Elijah Wood has been attached to an Iggy Pop biopic project for years, but now Variety reports that the movie is moving forward. Wood will star as Pop in the film “The Passenger,” which will focus on the rock legend’s early days with the Stooges. The film is expected to shoot before the end of this year for a summer 2008 release. … Hellyeah have officially announced that former Damageplan bassist Bob “Zilla” Kakaha has joined the band. Kakaha replaces former Hellyeah bassist Jerry Montano, who recently exited the group. … Once those braces are off, look out for Betty Suarez. “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera has had her smile insured by Lloyd’s of London for $10 million, The Associated Press reports. The policy was taken out by Aquafresh White Trays, which is partnering with Ferrera on a charity campaign for free dental care for unemployed women. …

iTunes is finally going to get some serious competition in the download department. Online retail giant Amazon.com announced Wednesday that it is opening a digital music store that will be free of Digital Rights Management software, meaning customers can copy the tracks to as many devices as they want, as many times as they want. The store is expected to debut later this year with songs from 12,000 yet-unnamed small labels as well as music from major label EMI (home of Coldplay, the Beatles and Norah Jones), which announced a landmark deal in April with Apple to offer DRM-free songs at a premium price on iTunes. Amazon has not announced how much it will charge for the downloads. … Michael Moore is giving as good as he gets. After the Treasury Department said it was investigating the documentary filmmaker for making an unauthorized trip to Cuba to film scenes for his new health-care documentary, “Sicko,” Reuters reports that Moore is launching his own investigation into the U.S. government’s probe of his trip. Moore’s attorney has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the Treasury Department asking for all its documents regarding its investigation of Moore, which was launched by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. …