Beyonce Visits Injured Fans; Plus T.I., Young Jeezy, Maroon 5, Jay-Z, Panic! At The Disco, Bloc Party, Phil Spector & More, In For The Record

Jeezy checks out Tip's album-release party; Adam Levine's band plots North American tour; NAACP chairman takes swipe at Jay-Z.

Beyoncé made a surprise visit in an emergency room Sunday after her St. Louis show — two people were injured at the concert when pyrotechnics reportedly spilled into the front row, according to The Associated Press. Darryl Williams, head nurse at the hospital, told AP that Beyoncé, who met with the victims for 45 minutes, “was just very concerned about the people injured in the audience. [Her visit] was unannounced and we kept it very low-key so that she could spend time with them.” A spokesperson for Barnes-Jewish Hospital told the news service that the injuries were minor and both victims were expected to make full recoveries. A spokesperson for Music World entertainment, which represents the singer, did not comment to the news service. …

Taking a page out of Kanye West‘s book, the equally dapper T.I. hosted an album-release party over the weekend for T.I. vs. T.I.P. at the Louis Vuitton store in Atlanta’s posh Buckhead district. (West struck first with LV, recently holding his 30th birthday bash at the store’s New York branch.) Big Boi, Jazze Pha, Jermaine Dupri, Polow Da Don, Mya and Young Jeezy attended the festivities. …

If Maroon 5‘s red-hot “Makes Me Wonder” song has you wondering when the band will be hitting a city near you, you’re in luck. Adam Levine and his cohorts — with Swedish punks the Hives in tow, weirdly — will swing through 28 North American cities in support of their recently released It Won’t Be Soon Before Long album. The jaunt begins September 29 in Detroit and ends November 10 in Las Vegas. …

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Chairman Julian Bond took a swipe at Jay-Z over the weekend during the group’s annual convention in Detroit, according to the Detroit Free Press. “There are certain words that ought not to be spoken, and the N-word is just one of them,” he said in regards to the symbolic “burial” of the term to be staged with Kurtis Blow and others at the city’s Hart Plaza on Monday (July 9). “I heard somebody say that when Jay-Z talks about ho’s, he gets a gold record. When Don Imus talks about ho’s, he gets fired,” he later remarked. “We believe in equal justice and equal justice for everyone.” …

The Virgin Festival is ratcheting up the theatrics — Panic! at the Disco have been added to the fest’s second day, set for August 5 at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course. Explosions in the Sky and Dan Deacon have also climbed onboard. … Finally, Bloc Party are scheduled to headline a real block party — Chicago’s Hideout Block Party, that is, on September 7. The band has lined up a slew of September and October dates, taking the indie-rockers from Montreal on September 9 through the States, down to Mexico City for a gig on the 19th, then back up through the States and into Canada again — and then finally to the Theatre at Madison Square Garden for a closing gig on October 3. Might want to bring a TripTik for that one, guys. …

Jurors will be able to hear from a security guard who testified controversially in 1993 that he heard Phil Spector say all women should be shot in the head, AP reports. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler had previously chosen not to allow the testimony but reconsidered when prosecutors raised the issue again. Fidler said he thought before that the testimony wouldn’t be admissible because the remark was made too long ago and wasn’t specific to the shooting death of Lana Clarkson — who died after a bullet was fired through her mouth. But he changed his mind upon further research. “In this case, you have a woman who is shot in the head. It is highly particularized,” he said. … Almost 19 million people watched Live Earth on NBC and its affiliates, AP reports — far short of the 2 billion event organizers had hoped for. On the other hand, the organizers’ estimate was also supposed to include online viewers, whereas the 19 million figure only includes viewers who watched at least six minutes of the telecasts. …

Amid all the Live Earth happenings over the past week, Axl Rose found time to vent about why Guns N’ Roses wouldn’t be performing at the event’s Rio de Janeiro installment. “We were not asked until the last couple weeks while we were on tour in Australia and have upcoming sold-out dates already rescheduled in Japan,” he said in a press release issued Friday. “I was asked to perform individually with Lenny Kravitz by the promoters and Mr. Gore. As we were working this out, Lenny unfortunately became injured and temporarily canceled his involvement from the event.” Rose claims he wasn’t made aware that Kravitz’s performance was reconfirmed until it was too late. “Guns N’ Roses or I were not asked to play anywhere else, such as Japan or Australia (as we are already in the regions on tour), and in which we have formally offered to perform, but the offer of our involvement was declined.” …

Did Madonna‘s onstage hookup with gypsy punks Gogol Bordello at Live Earth London over the weekend leave you scratching your head? This might shed some light: Frontman Eugene Hutz, who starred alongside Elijah Wood in “Everything Is Illuminated,” has been working with Madge on her directorial debut, “Fifth & Wisdom.” “It was super-fun and perfectly respectable, and it ended up being quite a collaborative project,” he told Billboard.com about the flick. …

J.K. Rowling is taking Harry Potter on the road. The author will launch the Open Book Tour in October, answering fan questions and signing copies of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” during three events for schoolchildren and one special evening gathering for a lucky group of Harry Potter fans. Students from select schools will be randomly chosen at the start of the new school year for the Los Angeles (October 15), New Orleans (October 18) and New York (October 19) student events, while readers of all ages can enter at Scholastic’s Harry Potter site beginning July 30 for a chance to score one of 1,000 tickets to Rowling’s evening tour stop at New York’s Carnegie Hall on October 19. …

Diana Ross performed at Tao Restaurant in New York on Sunday night as part of a charity auction hosted by the New York Giants’ Michael Strahan. Ja Rule, Nicole Murphy, and Dawn Richards of Danity Kane also made appearances at the event, which raised over $300,000 for the Supportive Children’s Advocacy Network and was sponsored by the Dreier LLP law firm. … Prince played three shows over 12 hours in his hometown of Minneapolis from Saturday into early Sunday, ending his live streak when police shut down his early morning homecoming show at the legendary First Avenue club — featured in “Purple Rain” — 70 minutes into a 24-song set, AP reports. After playing 15 songs, Prince pulled the plug on the show — which didn’t start until nearly 2:45 a.m. — announcing, “The authorities say we gotta go. We always listen to the authorities. I promise I’ll be back.” Prince played a 45-minute set at Macy’s for his fragrance launch early Saturday, followed by a full concert at the Target Center. …

Nicole Richie is due in court on Wednesday to answer a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence, but dad Lionel Richie isn’t coming down hard on his daughter, who he said is “just in an unfortunate situation.” The singer, who spoke to the AP at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, said Nicole is sorry for her mistakes. “She keeps apologizing to me,” he said. “I told her, ‘You’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing to your father at this age.’ ” Because Richie’s case contains an allegation of a prior DUI conviction, she faces 90 days in jail and a suspension of driving privileges if found guilty. … As for the Nicole Richie pregnancy reports, Lionel told People that he’s a little out of touch (“Nicole, baby, call me!”) and isn’t sure whether he has a grandchild on the way. “I don’t know if I’m going to be grandpa,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m ready to be called grandpa.” …

Foo Fighters will strike back on September 25 with Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace, their sixth studio album. Aside from rocking a totally grammatically correct title (Dave Grohl hates stodgy commas) the album will feature 12 tracks, with titles such as “The Pretender,” “Long Road to Ruin,” the emo-baiting “Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make-Up Is Running)” and “Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners,” no doubt a tribute to the two Tasmanian miners who, while trapped in a collapsed mine, listened to songs by the band until they were rescued — and later met, and shared a beer with, Grohl and company. …

Clay Aiken tangled with a fellow passenger on a flight to Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday morning, AP reports, leading to an FBI investigation but no arrests. The FBI told Tulsa World that there was a dispute on the aircraft between a male former “American Idol” contestant and a woman on the plane, but would not confirm Aiken’s identity. The argument allegedly began over the male passenger’s putting his foot on the woman’s armrest, and the female passenger reportedly gave the man “a minor shove.” There were no injuries reported, though Aiken did joke onstage Saturday night that he’d been beaten up by a girl earlier in the day. …

Afeni ShakurTupac‘s mother — lost a North Carolina guest home in a fire late Friday night, according to local outlet News 14 Carolina. The blaze completely destroyed the property, which is part of a larger estate owned by Shakur, but according to the report, no one was injured. In a statement, Shakur thanked authorities and community members for responding to calls for help. “I would sincerely like to thank the professional and volunteer firefighters and our neighbors who quickly came to our rescue and helped extinguish the fire,” she said. “We are truly blessed to have their vigilant and neighborly care. We were fortunate that no one was at the home at the time.” …

Drowning Pool have teamed up with the organization Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and 15-year-old YouTube video producer Lizzie Palmer for the This Is for the Soldiers campaign, encouraging young people to support the Lane Evans Mental Health Care Reform bill, legislation extending health-care benefits for veterans. … Snow Patrol keyboardist Tom Simpson was arrested Saturday in London following the band’s performance at Live Earth, on charges of failing to appear in court on drugs charges, U.K.’s ITV News reported. Simpson was released from custody on Sunday, in time to headline the T in the Park festival in Scotland after agreeing to appear in court in Glasgow, Scotland, on Tuesday. The keyboardist missed the band’s Saturday night performance at Ireland’s Oxegen fest.

07.06.2007

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.”