Alicia Keys Taps ‘Incredible’ Collaborator; Plus ‘Harry Potter,’ Johnny Knoxville, Lindsay Lohan, Shia LaBeouf, Van Halen & More, In For The Record

J.K. Rowling goes to 'Phoenix' premiere in London; Knoxville files for divorce from wife; Lohan, LaBeouf celebrate 21st birthdays.

Alicia Keys has a new album — with a new collaborator — on the way. “I’m actually really interested in working with the young lady that I’ve been working with on my album, which is slated for October,” Keys told MTV Radio at last week’s BET Awards. “I can’t explain how excited I am about this music.” So who is the mystery woman she is teaming up with? “Linda Perry,” Keys revealed, “who’s written a tremendous amount of incredible work. And us together, us as both being musicians and being writers has really created this incredible music.” …

J.K. Rowling joined Daniel Radcliffe and other “Harry Potter” stars at the London premiere of “Order of the Phoenix” on Tuesday (July 3), Reuters reports. … Johnny Knoxville filed for divorce from wife Melanie in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, according to documents obtained by TMZ.com. He cited “irreconcilable differences” in their 11-year marriage. Johnny Knoxville is seeking joint custody of their only child together, daughter Madison, who is 11 years old. …

Lindsay Lohan celebrated her 21st birthday with a break from rehab, People reports. Guests at the actress’ low-key beach party included her mother Dina, sister Ali, brother Dakota, and rumored love interest Calum Best. Lohan, who spent most of the party inside a beach house, sent her bodyguard to bring pizza to the paparazzi camped out to capture the event. TMZ.com reports that Samantha Ronson was the bash’s DJ, and that Lohan left the party at 2:15 a.m. to return to the Promises treatment facility. …

Shia LaBeouf turned 21 last month, but the “Transformers” star had no plans to spend the day downing his first legal drink. “People say, ‘What are you doing for your 21st birthday, Shia?’ ” he said in an interview published in the August issue of Vanity Fair (on newsstands July 10). “I’m like, ‘I’m making an Indiana Jones movie.’ What’s better than that? … I won’t have a sip until after Indy.” Even then, LaBeouf probably won’t go too crazy — the actor, who used to accompany his father to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, said he’s not a big partier. “I know what it does if you get out of control. I know how hard it was to get my life to where it is. There’s so much riding that those small little joys of the high are not interesting to me.” …

Is the Van Halen reunion a go after all? Billboard.com reported Tuesday that multiple arena holds are in place in major markets for a potential fall tour by the mercurial group. … Phil Spector‘s lead attorney is stepping away from the trial — so he can tape a new courtroom TV show, The Associated Press reports. Bruce Cutler promised Monday that he will deliver the closing argument in the trial, which he’s been watching on TV and reading transcripts from. “I’m not doing it to deprecate the significance of the case. I don’t need to be there every day,” he said.

Contrary to rumor, Panic! at the Disco will not be releasing their second album this year. According to a spokesperson for the band, Panic are still writing the LP, which is expected in stores in January or February. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be seeing the gang at all this year — Panic are slated to play Paris on August 21 and London the following day as part of the Decaydance Fest, also featuring Fall Out Boy, Cobra Starship and others. They’ll also hit Seattle’s Bumbershoot festival and San Diego’s Street Scene in September. … Smashing Pumpkins have announced dates for a fall tour that will be the reunited band’s first full North American outing since 2000. A trio of festival dates — September 8 (Montreal), September 9 (Toronto) and September 13 (Las Vegas) — kick off the 20-show tour, which is currently scheduled to wrap up on November 5 with a gig at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Other cities the band will hit along the way include Phoenix (September 18), Salt Lake City (September 28), Detroit (October 7), Pittsburgh (October 9), Boston (October 15-16) and Dallas (November 3). …

Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper allied for a cover of the Eurythmics‘ “Sweet Dreams” at a festival in Romania on Sunday night, according to video obtained by Stereogum.com. … Has Eddie Vedder written an album’s worth of original songs for Sean Penn‘s upcoming adaptation of “Into the Wild”? The Playlist blog — written by former MTV News staffer Rodrigo Perez — reports that Penn’s latest directorial effort will feature songs from Vedder, as well as a cameo from the Pearl Jam frontman, who has previously contributed tunes to such Penn-starring films as “Dead Man Walking” and “I Am Sam.” The soundtrack is due September 18. … The reunited Glassjaw will be one of the headliners for this year’s Saints & Sinners Festival, set for November 3 and 4 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. More band announcements are expected in the coming weeks. … The Mars Volta are hard at work in a New York recording studio creating their next LP, The Bedlam in Goliath. The album is tentatively scheduled for release in late August or early September. …

Pete Doherty pleaded guilty to drug possession, two driving offenses and failure to appear on time for court on Tuesday in London, AP reports. A warrant was issued for Doherty’s arrest on Tuesday morning for missing the hearing, stemming from his May 5 arrest in London. The singer showed up for court more than two hours late and entered his pleas. The judge has not yet issued a sentence. … Famed saxophone player Boots Randolph died Tuesday after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage last month. The Nashville jazz-nightclub stalwart was best known for “Yakety Sax,” a song that was featured on “The Benny Hill Show.” He was 80. … Hy Zaret, who wrote the lyrics featured in the legendary song “Unchained Melody,” died at his home on Monday. He was 99.

07.02.2007

Britney Spears hasn’t confirmed that she delivered a letter to her mother requesting that Lynne Spears stay away from Britney’s sons Sean Preston and Jayden James if she’s on any medication that would “impair her ability to be around them,” as TMZ reported Thursday, but all doesn’t sound well with the Spears clan judging by what the singer told People. “I’m praying for her right now,” Britney said, according to the magazine’s Web site. “[I hope] she gets all the help she needs.” Meanwhile, the elder Spears predicts a bright future. “I’ve got a strong family, and everything is going to be fine,” Lynne told People.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is Amazon’s most preordered product, with almost 1.6 million copies bought before the book’s July 21 release, Reuters reports. The online retailer said Monday (July 2) that demand had passed the previous record of 1.5 million preorders, which was set by “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” …

England’s princes William and Harry hosted a party for 70,000 at London’s Wembley Stadium on Sunday celebrating the life of their late mother, Princess Diana, with a concert that featured sets from Nelly Furtado, Kanye West, Pharrell, Diddy, Elton John and Lily Allen. The six-hour show featured some of Diana’s favorite acts, such as Duran Duran, Tom Jones (who dueted with Joss Stone on the Arctic Monkeys‘ “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”), the English National Ballet, Rod Stewart and Broadway composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. …

Organizers of France’s Hellfest plan to file a lawsuit against Korn and the band’s management after the group failed to perform at the event last week. In a statement issued June 22 — the day the band was scheduled to play Hellfest — Korn frontman Jonathan Davis blamed “severe weather” conditions “and a negligent promoter who didn’t provide adequate cover for our gear” for the band’s withdrawal from the fest. “We were advised to cancel the show for risk of the band being electrocuted. The fans were short-changed and that pisses us off. This was an especially important show for us given my illness last year which prevented me from performing. I am seriously bummed.” Hellfest organizer Benjamin Barbaud announced his intention to sue Korn on Monday in an interview with French site Maville.com, stating that the band was paid in full although it didn’t play, and that all conditions were met to ensure Korn’s safety. …

Velvet Revolver will celebrate Tuesday’s release of Libertad with an intimate club show at the Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood, California, on Thursday. … Do you like H.I.M.? Would you call yourself the band’s biggest fan? The Ville Valo-fronted act is hosting a contest to find that fan, and the winner will be flown to Seattle to meet the boys at the opening night of the Projekt Revolution Tour. Fans can enter by creating a video no longer than three minutes that lets everyone know why they love H.I.M., uploading the clip to YouTube, and e-mailing the link to himbiggestfan@warnerreprise.com — with the subject line “HIM Biggest Fan contest” — before Thursday. … Morrissey‘s tour is back on track after the singer was forced to postpone dates last week due to a throat infection. He is slated to perform Monday night in Vienna, Virginia, and will make up the interrupted Boston show on Saturday. The other gigs are also being rescheduled. …

In a sign that Apple’s iTunes is losing some of its iron grip, Universal Music Group has reportedly refused to renew its annual contract to sell music on the leading download site, asking instead to sell music by its artists (which include 50 Cent, Amy Winehouse and U2) at will. The New York Times reports that the month-to-month deal would make it easier for Universal to remove its songs from iTunes on short notice, should the two sides fail to agree on pricing in the future. If Universal pulled its catalog from iTunes, Apple would lose access to labels that account for one out of three new releases sold in the U.S. …

Thursday have returned to Victory Records — the label they’d left years ago under rather bitter terms — now that they are no longer with Island Records. Thursday plan to release a CD/DVD package through Victory to hold fans over as they work on new material for the follow-up to 2006′s A City by the Light Divided. The set will include demos and several new tracks. … Hi-Five singer Tony Thompson‘s death at age 31 was caused by an accidental overdose while huffing Freon gas, according to an autopsy report issued Friday, The Waco Times-Herald reports. No illegal drugs or alcohol were found in his system, but a small amount of Methadone was detected, according to the report. Thompson was found dead in his Waco, Texas, home on June 1. …

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” creator Joss Whedon is hosting a charity auction on eBay to benefit Equality Now, an organization that works to end violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world. Items including dinner with Whedon; advance copies of “Those Left Behind,” a “Serenity” special-edition hardcover, signed by Whedon; and engraved watches made for the “Buffy” crew — all accompanied by an autographed “Buffy” lithograph — will be up for bid beginning Monday. …

In a move that has likely brought a grin to Stephen Colbert‘s face, South Korean superstar Rain canceled an eagerly expected show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Saturday. The only scheduled American date on the singer/actor/dancer’s Rain’s Coming world tour was deep-sixed by the promoter’s failure to properly set up the stage, the singer told the Los Angeles Times. “When I came to the venue, the LED screen couldn’t be set up. I have rain falling in the concert — that couldn’t work,” said Rain, who is often called the “Justin Timberlake of Asia” — and earned Colbert’s ire after taking #1 on a Time readers’ poll of the year’s most influential people.