Christina Aguilera Has Acting Bug; Plus 50 Cent, ‘American Idol,’ Britney Spears, Rihanna, Ne-Yo & More, In For The Record

50 embroiled in child-support battle; 'Idol' auditions to begin July 30; Spears reportedly to perform at True Colors gig.

Christina Aguilera told The Associated Press she’s been reading scripts with the hopes of launching an acting career. “I am looking forward to moving into another form of what I feel is another creative outlet for me and that would be acting,” she said. Without shedding light on which scripts or roles she is considering, she added, “[Acting] is something that, when I attempt to do it, I want to do it right so it’s important for me that I do choose the right first role for myself.” …

50 Cent is embroiled in another feud — he and Shaniqua Tompkins, mother of his 10-year-old son, Marquise Jackson, are wrangling over child-support payments, AP reports. The rapper’s monthly payments of $25,000 for child support and household expenses aren’t enough for Tompkins, whose lawyer Raoul Felder says, “[50 is] worth tens and tens of millions of dollars.” On the other hand, the rapper’s lawyer Brett Kimmel told the Daily News, “Her demands keep escalating.” 50 showed up to a family court in Long Island, New York, on Friday in an armored SUV with a satellite dish. Closed-door hearings are scheduled to continue this week. …

American Idol” hopefuls, it’s time to start warming up those pipes — auditions for the seventh season of the show will begin July 30 at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. Wristbands will be given out from July 28 until 8 a.m. on the 30th. Auditions will continue at Dallas’ Texas Stadium (August 6); Omaha’s Qwest Center (August 10); a to-be-determined venue in Atlanta (August 14); Charleston, South Carolina’s North Charleston Coliseum (August 18); Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena (August 22); and Philadelphia’s Wachovia Complex (August 27). …

Britney Spears and Rosie O’Donnell, together at last? According to People, Spears’ choreographer told the magazine the singer will join Cyndi Lauper and others onstage Saturday at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre for a stop on the True Colors concert tour, which has sometimes featured O’Donnell playing drums. In a video blog shot during a stop in Texas, O’Donnell said, “Brit, if you’re watching, honey, you and me — we’re gonna share, like, a backstage moment, ’cause I love you, kid!” O’Donnell, who is expected to perform standup at the show, said Spears’ alleged appearance was news to Lauper, whose representative declined to comment to People.

Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Kelly Rowland and John Legend will join Nigerian artists in Africa next month for the Thisday Festival, which celebrates the 200th anniversary of the abolishment movement this year. The event unfolds July 14-15, and many of the participating artists are visiting the country for the first time. “I’ve heard nothing but good things and can’t wait to get over there and give back some of the love that I’ve been given from over there,” Ne-Yo said in a statement. “It’s an honor and a pleasure to even get the opportunity to visit, let alone perform. …

Paris Hilton was having some trouble late last week squaring away her first post-jail interview, but the problem was cleared up over the weekend thanks to CNN’s Larry King. The famed host will talk with the heiress in a one-hour interview slated to air Wednesday, less than 24 hours after her release. “I am thrilled that Larry King has asked me to appear on his program to discuss my experience in jail, what I have learned, how I have grown and anything else he wants to talk about,” read a statement issued by Hilton’s spokesperson. “It will be an honor to do his show.” Another statement served to quash rumors about money being involved: “Contrary to media reports, Paris Hilton is not being paid for any television interview. Nor is Paris being paid for any collateral, including video and photographs related to any television interview.” …

Diddy, Nas, Suge Knight, Penélope Cruz and Erykah Badu were just a few of the A-listers who holed up in Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel to see the first of Prince‘s “3121 Live” concerts on Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Times. Prince tried to get Nas on the mic, but the rapper turned down the offer by simply saying, “I love Prince.” Badu tried to participate but bailed on the mic, while former Prince collaborator Nikka Costa was game — she joined him for “Purple Rain.” … Joey Fatone is hosting NBC’s “The Singing Bee,” a sing-along variety game show that will premiere July 10 at 9:30 p.m. …

Saigon hosted a Remy Martin-sponsored Black Music Month event Friday at Jay-Z‘s 40/40 Club in New York. The Brooklyn rapper/actor also took to the stage to perform and at the end of the night donated $10,000 to the In Arms Reach charity foundation. … Warner Music Executive Vice President Kevin Liles met with President Bush at the White House late last week for Black Music Month. … Reverend Run will be honored as a BMI Icon at the songwriters’ organization’s seventh annual Urban Awards, to take place September 7 at Las Vegas’ New York New York Hotel & Casino. Run will join past recipients of the award, such as James Brown, Little Richard, L.A. Reid and Babyface. …

Forensics expert Lynne Herold testified Monday (June 25) that Phil Spector might have been walking or running toward actress Lana Clarkson — instead of standing in front of her — when she was fatally shot, AP reports. Under questioning by the defense, the prosecution witness said Spector might have been moving at the time of the shooting. … Tom Sizemore is going behind bars for a long time. On Monday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Cynthia Rayvis sentenced the actor to 16 months in state prison for violating drug probation, AP reports. Sizemore “abused the privilege of probation” and “needs to be in a lockdown setting,” said Rayvis, who suggested he be sent to San Diego County’s R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility because of its notable drug-treatment program. …

The publicity firm representing the family of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott has issued a statement regarding Zac Crain’s forthcoming biography of the late Pantera/Damageplan guitarist. In the statement, Dime’s family claims it “has not authorized nor cooperated with Crain” on “Black Tooth Grin: The High Life, Good Times, and Tragic End of ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott,” which is set for release on November 5. The family adds: “Mr. Crain did not know Dimebag personally. Mr. Crain’s request to the family was denied. Among other reasons, during his tenure as music editor of the Dallas Observer, Mr. Crain wrote nothing but negative reviews about Pantera’s music.” The book claims to be “the first biography of ‘Dimebag’ Darrell,” and chronicles the guitarist’s rise with Pantera. …

The Cure have announced dates for a U.S. tour this fall, which will coincide with the release of the band’s yet-untitled LP. The tour will launch September 13 in Tampa, Florida, and run through October 17 in Dallas. In the meantime, the Cure continue to hammer away at the LP. … Cameron Diaz has something to say to Peruvians: sorry. The actress apologized over the weekend for toting around a bag with a red star and “Serve the People” written in Chinese — a symbol and communist phrase that evoke memories of the Maoist Shining Path. The insurgency’s fight against Peru’s government in the ’80s and early ’90s left 70,000 people dead. “I sincerely apologize to anyone I may have inadvertently offended,” she said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. “The bag was a purchase I made as a tourist in China and I did not realize the potentially hurtful nature of the slogan printed on it.” … iTunes is now the third-biggest music retailer in the U.S., according to a new survey by NPD Group. The Apple store has a nearly 10 percent market share, leaving it behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (15.8 percent) and Best Buy Co Inc. (13.8 percent) but ahead of Amazon.com Inc. (6.7 percent) and BestBuy.com (1.1 percent).

06.22.2007

After years of being followed by the paparazzi and gracing the covers of tabloids, it looks like Paris Hilton might have some publicity problems once she leaves jail. An ABC News executive told The New York Times on Friday (June 22) that the network has rejected an offer from the Hilton family to conduct Paris’ first post-prison interview. The channel’s initial request for an interview — which included a $100,000 fee for personal photos and videos of the heiress — was rejected for a more lucrative deal with NBC, ABC News executives told the Times. NBC reps said the network never had a commitment with the Hiltons and its news division doesn’t pay for interviews. ABC News execs also said Paris reached out to Barbara Walters from prison on Thursday night, but Walters’ producer decided ABC News was no longer interested in the interview. Paris will be released from jail on Tuesday, the Los Angles County Sheriff’s Department announced Friday. …

The Rage Against the Machine slow-leak reunion tour continues with a just-announced headlining gig at the Halloween-weekend Voodoo Music Experience festival in New Orleans (October 26-28). Along with fellow headliners Smashing Pumpkins and Dr. John, more than 110 bands will perform at the event, including Fall Out Boy, Common, Wilco, Kings of Leon, M.I.A., Gym Class Heroes, Coheed and Cambria, Spoon, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Sinead O’Connor, Plain White T’s, Paolo Nutini, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Ben Harper, Mute Math and Motion City Soundtrack. …

For Rihanna, it’s Barbados. Avril Lavigne has the guitar to thank. And Kelly Clarkson does it all for Steven Tyler. In Style focuses on women in music for its July issue, with seven artists sharing what inspires them to get creative. Carrie Underwood said she’s making hits now because of women who paved the way — “Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton. … They are the reason I’m here!” — while Nelly Furtado said she’s inspired by Latin music, explaining that singing in Spanish makes her sound “more sensual, soulful, dramatic, passionate.” Ashlee Simpson goes to the beach to prepare to record (“I just take my journal and chill.”), and Rihanna goes home to soak up Barbados’ “laid-back vibe.” Guitars give Avril “the best feeling” (“I have a lot of energy, so I love to grab one and rock out”), while Eve turns to high fashion when she wants a rush (“A hot dress is like a hot song — both of these things make me feel amazing”). And Clarkson is just trying to keep up with Aerosmith‘s frontman. “Steven has the perfect voice, but I have no idea how he keeps it,” she said in the magazine. “He came to my show once … and I tried to impress him. I ended up throwing my voice out.” Visit InStyle.com for behind-the-scenes video of the seven-artist photo shoot. …

The Spice Girls want to set the record straight on those reunion rumors — but not until Thursday. 19 Entertainment announced Friday that the group will “make an official announcement to the world regarding future plans on Thursday, June 28.” … In other Spice-y news, a DNA test has proven that Eddie Murphy is the father of Melanie “Scary Spice” Brown‘s 2-month-old daughter, Brown’s rep told People. The rep said Brown received the results of the June 11 test on Thursday but declined to comment further. Brown gave birth to Angel Iris Murphy Brown on April 3 and has long contended that Murphy is the child’s father. …

Green Day have designed a limited-edition T-shirt to benefit Amnesty International. The shirt — which will be sold exclusively at Hard Rock Cafe locations around the world starting Monday — features frontman Billie Joe Armstrong shredding on the front, the signatures of the three members of the band on the back, and incorporates the words “Working Class Hero,” the John Lennon tune the band covered for the Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur album. … Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Robin Thicke and Carlos Santana will perform at a benefit concert to raise funds for a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial at Washington, D.C.’s National Mall. Russell Simmons, Quincy Jones and Tommy Hilfiger organized the show, which will be held September 18 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. …

Backstreet Boys have set October 31 as the release date for their yet-untitled sixth album, according to a spokesperson. The group’s follow-up to 2005′s Never Gone will be the first effort since the departure of longtime member Kevin Richardson last summer. … There was nothing remotely sexy about those Memorial Day weekend pictures of Lindsay Lohan passed out in a friend’s car wearing a gray hoodie. But edgy clothing company American Apparel — notorious for its cheeky ads featuring scantily clad teens — figured out that Lohan was “modeling” one of its designs in the paparazzi pics, so it decided to post the shot on a company blog and paste up a tabloid cover featuring the shot in a Manhattan store to help move a pile of the $40 “flax fleece” sweatshirts, according to The New York Times.

That mix CD the Bush twins gave the president for Father’s Day could land them a lawsuit for copyright violation. According to the Boing Boing blog, Florida attorney Mitchell Silverman, who read an Associated Press story about how the twins made a CD for the president to listen to while working out, sent a letter to the head of the Recording Industry Association of America’s director of investigative services. “President George W. Bush‘s daughters made him a presumably illegal compilation CD, a so-called ‘mix CD,’ as a Father’s Day present,” Silverman wrote. “This is a serious violation of copyright. As you know, whichever of your member organizations that are right-holders for the copied musical works may be entitled to statutory damages of $150,000.00 per musical work copied. I hope and expect that you at the RIAA will display the same vigor in prosecuting this matter and protecting the rights of your rights-holders that it has displayed in enforcing those rights against other alleged violators.”