Britney Spears Blames Umbrella Attack On Acting; Plus 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo & More, In For The Record

50 pays for other rappers' entourages; Wayne hosts mag party; JT earns Teen Choice Award nom.

Paparazzi Web site X17 reports that they’ve received a “funny (and again, sarcastic)” message from Britney Spears that apologizes for hitting a photographer’s car with an umbrella in February — and blames the blowup on an acting opportunity. “I was preparing a character for a possible movie role where the husband doesn’t play his part so they swap places,” reads the handwritten note posted on the X17 site Wednesday. “Unfortunately I didn’t get the part. I’m sorry I got all carried away with my role!” …

50 Cent has reportedly told XXL magazine that he spent $8.5 million of his own dough so that rappers he recently toured with could bring along their respective entourages to make the experience more comfortable. … Lil Wayne will host the Fader magazine’s summer-music-issue party Tuesday at Spiegelworld in New York. DJ Cipha Sounds, the Fixxers and Bonde Do Role are set to perform. …

The nominees have been announced for the Teen Choice Awards, honoring favorites in music, film and TV. The whopping 60 categories range from Choice Music: Male Artist — noting the achievements of Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo, Bow Wow, Timbaland and John Mayer — to Choice OMG! Moment, including unforgettable memories featuring Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Sanjaya Malakar and Anna Nicole Smith. “Transformers” scored the most nominations, named in nine categories, while sequels “Spider-Man 3,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” each racked up seven nods. This season of “American Idol” earned six noms. The awards air August 26 on Fox. …

A pair of songwriters from the 1970s American band the Rubinoos have filed suit against Avril Lavigne claiming her hit “Girlfriend” sounds suspiciously like their 1979 song “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.” The similarity in the two songs has been pointed out since the Lavigne track came out several months ago, but Lavigne’s manager denied the charges, calling the suit “baseless,” according to the Canadian Press Association. The Rubinoos tune features the chorus: “Hey, hey, you, you, I wanna be your boyfriend,” while Lavigne’s goes: “Hey, hey, you, you, I don’t like your girlfriend.” Despite the protest from Lavigne’s camp and a test by a musicologist they hired that reportedly found no basis for the allegations, the singer’s manager said he is considering settling the suit out of court to avoid the legal costs of a trial. …

Shakira, who is part Lebanese, won’t be performing in Lebanon this summer as planned. Organizers told Agence France Presse that all the country’s summer festivals have been called off due to security concerns and political tensions. … On a related note, Enrique Iglesias played the first concert in 30 years by a Western singer in Damascus, Syria, on Wednesday. More than 10,000 Syrians attended the stadium show, according to The Associated Press. … A million Spice Girls fans have signed up for the group’s reunion-tour ticket lottery a week after the trek was announced. …

Transformers” busted a box-office record on its first full day of release, pulling in $27.45 million to become the top Tuesday grosser of all time, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film, which earned an additional $8.8 million with Monday screenings beginning at 8 p.m., is ranked 20th among all-time opening grosses. … A “Sex in the City” film is in the works, a New Line Cinema representative confirmed to Reuters on Thursday (July 5). The film will star Sarah Jessica Parker and the HBO TV series’ other main actresses and be directed by series executive producer Michael Patrick King. Shooting is tentatively slated to begin in the fall. …

Brazil’s Live Earth show is a go after all, AP reports. The officer of the prosecutor who had tried to nix the show reversed her earlier decision after organizers convinced her there security would be ample security at the Copacabana Beach concert, which will feature Pharrell, Macy Gray and Lenny Kravtiz. … Slick Rick and Girl Talk have hopped onboard the lineup for Camp Bisco 6, to be held August 16-18 in Mariaville, New York. Rick will perform with Adam Deitch as part of the Adam Deitch Project. …

Plenty of artists drop the names of their favorite drinks and designers in their songs, but the Black Eyed PeasFergie has signed on to do it for cash. According to London’s Times Online, Fergie has signed a $4 million deal with Candie’s to write songs that will promote the company’s clothing that may be included on a future album. The deal also reportedly includes Fergie’s promise to appear in TV ads and allowing Candie’s “style advisers” to dress up fans at her concerts. An executive at the singer’s label explained, “Candie’s will reach teens, but it has no say over exactly what Fergie will sing, or when. Fans might think she is just singing about candy. But it’s got to work in the song. Fergie does not sing jingles.” …

Sounds like Paris Hilton may have learned her lesson. The heiress posted a message on her MySpace blog Tuesday, thanking fans for their support and encouraging them to be safe on the road. “Happy 4th of July everyone, and remember to be responsible and have a designated driver!” reads the post. “Just looking out for you all.” Hilton also said she’ll be updating the page more frequently. “The past month has inspired me to move forward with some exciting new projects, so I will keep you posted.” …

Interpol are dropping Our Love to Admire Tuesday, and if you’re in love with the band, there’s even more reason to be excited — the guys are hitting the pavement in support of the disc. After playing a few fests abroad, the band will be back in the U.S. to play dates beginning July 19 in Rochester, New York. Interpol will grace the States through an October 23 show at Los Angeles’ Forum, hopping back overseas again for more festival appearances and playing a gig at New York’s Madison Square Garden along the way. The band will perform “The Heinrich Maneuver” on the “Late Show With David Letterman” on Tuesday. …

Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and Patty Griffin are participating in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “The Craft” series, which showcases performances by and conversations with the artists. The webcasts are being made available on RockHall.com — the James installment is already up. … The Yeah Yeah Yeahs will stage seven August shows — including performances at Lollapalooza and the Virgin Festival — surrounding their new EP, Is Is, which is due July 24. The first show is August 1 in Lawrence, Kansas; the last is August 18 in Mansfield, Massachusetts. …

Al Gore III, the 24-year-old son of former Vice President Al Gore, was arrested Wednesday in Laguna Niguel, California, after being stopped for speeding, the Los Angeles Times reports. After sheriff’s deputies searched his Toyota Prius, Gore III was taken into custody on suspicion of possession of marijuana and prescription drugs Vicodin, Valium, Xanax and Adderall. He was released on $20,000 bail Wednesday afternoon. Gore III’s previous scrapes with the law include a 2003 marijuana possession arrest, a 2002 citation for driving under the influence and a 2000 speeding ticket that resulted in the suspension of his driving privileges in North Carolina. …

Morrissey has postponed three more shows on his current U.S. tour due to a throat infection, BBC News reports. The singer pulled out of shows in Baltimore (July 3); Atlantic City, New Jersey (July 5); and Holmdel, New Jersey (July 6) after performing in Vienna, Virginia, on Monday. Last week, Morrissey cut short a show in Boston and canceled subsequent concerts in Philadelphia; New York; and Northampton, Massachusetts. The next concert Morrissey is scheduled to play is Saturday’s makeup show for the Boston gig. …

Bill Pinkney, the final surviving member of the Drifters’ early lineup, died Wednesday in Florida at age 81, AP reports. The singer was found dead at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, where he was scheduled to perform at a July 4 celebration. Pinkney was the group’s bass vocalist, and was in the ranks for songs including the group’s 1954 version of “White Christmas,” but left in 1958, before a new lineup recorded hits “Save the Last Dance for Me” and “Under the Boardwalk.”

07.03.2007

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.