Jay-Z To Party With Barry Bonds; Plus Kelly Clarkson, Ludacris, Harry Potter, Panic! At The Disco, Wu-Tang Clan & More, In For The Record

Clarkson thanked fired manager in album credits; Luda helps kick off Essence fest; J.K. Rowling sheds a tear for 'Deathly Hallows.'

Barry Bonds isn’t viewed too kindly by many baseball fans, and now he’s digging himself even deeper: He plans to skip out on the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Home Run Derby on Monday night in San Francisco so he can co-host a party with Jay-Z instead. Bonds said the derby would be too physically exerting and made additional comments on the matter Thursday, according to The Associated Press. “My party’s been planned,” he said. “It’s something I’ll remember forever. I’ll have a party with whoever I can have a party with. I will be thankful I got to be in the All-Star game in San Francisco.” …

TMZ.com has noticed something funny in Kelly Clarkson‘s recently released My December: She thanks her recently fired manager in the credits. “Thank you to my manager Jeff Kwatinetz for arguing with me and fighting for me! I hate ‘yes’ people and you are far from that, always wanting the best out of me and for me. Sometimes I want to punch you but most of the time you inspire me and make me laugh because you are one of the most passionate and driven people I have ever worked with. Thank you for believing in me! I still can’t believe we got this record out, haha!!” …

Ludacris performed — without cussing, no less — Thursday night at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans to help kick off the Essence Music Festival. Ciara also entertained with a set, as did R&B stars the Isley Brothers, Johnny Gill, Keith Sweat and Eddie Levert, who paid tribute to his late son, Gerald. …

Finishing up the final Harry Potter book is going to be a bittersweet moment for fans, but imagine what writing the last words was like for the author. J.K. Rowling said that completing “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was “the most remarkable feeling I ever had,” in an interview on the BBC talk show “Friday Night With Jonathan Ross,” scheduled to air in the U.K. on Friday (July 6). She described wrapping up the series as a “relief” — but it left her feeling both euphoric and devastated. “When I finished one chapter near the end I absolutely howled,” she explained, “it had been planned for so long. I was in a hotel room on my own. I was sobbing my heart out. … That was really tough.” Rowling didn’t spill any key details in the interview, and she said she’s intent on keeping even the very last word of the book under wraps. “Scar? It was so for ages,” the author said, “and now it’s not. Scar is quite near the end, but it’s not the last word.” The book will be released in the U.S and the U.K. on July 21. …

Panic! at the Disco, Wu-Tang Clan and the Shins will light up Seattle’s Bumbershoot, which is pegged for September 1-3. Gym Class Heroes, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Sean Paul, Kings of Leon, Devendra Banhart, Joss Stone and Lupe Fiasco are also on the bill. … Common, Lil Jon and the Clipse are hyping the Microsoft Zune with a handful of free shows dubbed “Live at the BBQ.” UGK, David Banner, Collie Buddz, E-40, Cham, Bilal, Large Professor and Mos Def are also participating in the gigs, which are slated for Thursday (Los Angeles), July 22 (Chicago) and August 4 (New York). …

Al Gore announced Friday on CBS’ “Early Show” that Washington, D.C., has been added as a Live Earth host city. The Museum of the American Indian is staging a smaller-scale show on the Mall — the park between the Capitol building and the Lincoln Memorial — that will include performances by American Indian band Blues Nation as well as country singers Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. The concert kicks off at 10 a.m. For full coverage of Saturday’s events — and to share your own Live Earth photos and video — visit MTV’s Live Earth site. … In less celebratory news for Live Earth organizers, a Brazilian public defender is again trying to put the kibosh on the Live Earth show slated to be held at Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach, AP reports. Denise Tarin is appealing a court’s decision on Thursday that upheld the concert — which was briefly tabled after Tarin argued that police can’t guarantee the safety of the 700,000 people expected to attend. …

Jim Carrey will play Ebenezer Scrooge in a computerized remake of “A Christmas Carol” to be directed by Robert Zemeckis, Reuters reports. Carrey will also play the three ghosts who haunt the miser in the flick, which will be based off Zemekis’ own script and blend 3-D digital animation with the “performance capture” technology he employed for “The Polar Express.” … Have you heard enough about Paris Hilton? Pity Shira Barlow, the University of California, Los Angeles, student who is stuck with her old cell number. In an effort to conserve phone numbers, her wireless company gave her the recycled number, after which she started receiving late-night calls and text messages directed at the heiress, AP reports. Barlow told the news service she’s going to stick with the number anyway, as it’s provided plenty of amusement. Just don’t tell the person who just paid $305 on eBay for an empty can of dog food found in Hilton’s garbage. …

Alicia Keys‘ Keep a Child Alive has scored a $100,000 bid for an iPhone the organization put up on eBay as part of an auction that ends Friday night. Proceeds will provide antiretroviral drugs for children with AIDS in Africa. The winner gets the iPhone as well as two Bluetooth headsets, two round-trip plane tickets and two passes to Keys’ annual Black Ball benefit. The singer will personalize the phone with a voice-mail greeting and present it to the winner at this year’s Black Ball, which will honor Bono on October 25 in New York. … John Legend covered the Nina Simone perennial “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” as part of a performance on Santa Monica, California, radio station KCRW’s “New Ground” program. He also opened up about his adoration of the singer, meeting Kanye West in college and more on the show, which will air Saturday at 2 p.m. PT and subsequently be made available on its Web site.

Amid rumors that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are joining forces for their first joint screenplay in 10 years, the acting pals played poker as part of Ante Up for Africa in Las Vegas on Thursday. The event, which is raising funds to help the victims of the Darfur crisis and was co-organized by Don Cheadle, also featured Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Ray Romano. … The California Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation relating to doctors who wrote prescriptions for Anna Nicole Smith, TMZ.com reports. Earlier this year, the Medical Board of California investigated two of the doctors in question. … Elton John has won the equivalent of roughly $150,000 in damages and costs from an art dealer who sold him phony sculptures, AP reports. …

Representatives for Fergie and Candie’s are denying a Times Online report that the singer will include product placement in upcoming songs, NME.com reports. “She does have a commercial deal with the clothing brand Candie’s, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the creation of her music,” a spokesperson for the singer explained. Candie’s confirmed that the company “does not have any arrangement with whereby she will incorporate the Candie’s brand into her lyrics.” … Nelly Furtado is engaged to Loose sound engineer Demacio “Demo” Castellon, People reported Thursday. Collaborator Timbaland confirmed the engagement, according to the magazine. … Former Backstreet Boys member Kevin Richardson and his wife Kristin welcomed a baby boy on Tuesday, the singer announced on his MySpace page. Richardson’s wife and their son, Mason, “are perfect,” he wrote, “and I am a new man. Thank you for your positive vibes and prayers.” …

“Laguna Beach” castmember Jessica Smith pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunk-driving charge on Monday and was sentenced to three years’ probation, 80 hours of community service and ordered to pay $1,300 in fines and penalties, AP reports. The 19-year-old Smith was arrested on suspicion of a felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol in March after crashing her car on the San Diego Freeway. Officials reported that the felony charge was dropped to a misdemeanor because injuries — Smith’s passenger and the driver of the other car were hurt in the collision — were not serious. … The first-ever live concert DVD of the annual South by Southwest music festival is slated for release on August 21. The DVD, recorded in March, will feature 18 performances from artists including the Bravery, Aqualung, Peter Bjorn and John, Razorlight, Polyphonic Spree, Ozomatli, Stars of Track and Field and Kraak & Smaak. … Also on August 21, Rilo Kiley will release Under the Blacklight, the follow-up to their 2004 breakthrough More Adventurous. Recorded in Los Angeles in late 2006 through early ’07, Blacklight is co-produced by Mike Elizondo (Fiona Apple‘s Extraordinary Machine) and features tracks including “The Moneymaker,” “15,” “Dreamworld” and “Breakin’ Up.”

07.05.2007

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.”