Jessica Simpson Says Ashlee Is A Thriftier Shopper; Plus 50 Cent, Kelly Clarkson, Ne-Yo, Lindsay Lohan & More, In For The Record

50 sues over 'shoot the rapper' ad; Clarkson says she got her way with LP; McDonald's tour comes with a side of Ne-Yo.

Jessica Simpson is a big spender, she recently admitted to Harper’s Bazaar — big surprise there. But the singer/actress also revealed that while sister Ashlee “goes to a thrift store and can buy something for 20 bucks … I have to go buy a black button-down at Barneys. For $900. Because it’s a collector’s item,” she said in the magazine’s August issue, which features Jessica on the cover. When asked which career she would pick if she had to choose between music and movies, she replied, “In my music career, there have been moments of failure, and with acting I haven’t had that yet. But music is opening up my heart and every emotion inside of me.” …

Speaking of Ashlee, you might not want to wait around for that supposed Robert Smith collabo she’s been raving about. “I would be hugely surprised if I end up working with Ashlee this year, but I haven’t ruled it out,” he told Billboard.com. He added: “I went to see her in ‘Chicago.’ … I was impressed. The fact is, when she got onstage and sang, she was really good.” …

50 Cent has beef again — but this time, it isn’t with a rival rapper. On Friday (July 20), he filed a lawsuit seeking at least $1 million in damages from online-ad company Traffix Inc. for using his image without permission in a graphic advertisement, Reuters reports. Even further, 50 says that the ad — which features a cartoon version of him and the message “shoot the rapper and you will win $5,000 or five ringtones guaranteed,” according to the suit — promotes violence and threatens his safety. The suit cites the “vile, tasteless and despicable” use of the rapper’s image and says it “quite literally calls for violence against” him. A lawyer representing Traffix declined to comment to Reuters.

“I’ll just say no until I get my way, and I did,” Kelly Clarkson told Reader’s Digest for the magazine’s August issue, in regards to conflicts with RCA over her new album My December. The singer added that label execs “hated ‘Miss Independent’ on my first album. … The song I wrote that they hated the most was ‘Because of You.’ I fought and fought for it, it became successful and they finally got behind it.” Clarkson also talked “American Idol,” saying she did her own hair and makeup for the first half of the inaugural season. …

Want a side of Ne-Yo with your Big Mac? If so, you’re getting your wish — the R&B artist, along with Twista, Kenna and others, are going to be performing 10 free gigs at McDonald’s restaurants … in the parking lot. Billboard.com reports that the happy meal on wheels will begin Thursday at the Venice Beach Recreation Center in California, then hit up eight other cities before wrapping September 25 in Austin, Texas. …

Lindsay Lohan turned herself in to police on Thursday in connection with her Memorial Day car accident, The Associated Press reports. Lohan was fingerprinted, photographed and booked on charges of driving under the influence and suspicion of misdemeanor hit-and-run at around 4 p.m. and was released about an hour later on $30,000 bail. Shortly after the Memorial Day crash, Lohan, 21, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving at a Los Angeles hospital, where she was taken for treatment. Police have still not revealed the results of tests on a substance they said at the time was believed to be cocaine found during the investigation. The singer/actress’ blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was above the California legal limit of .08, but police have not said how high it was. A court date was scheduled for August 24. …

J.K. Rowling posted a long letter to fans on her Web site on Friday saying she felt “a heady mixture of excitement, nerves and relief.” (To read the full missive, in which she doles out a long list of acknowledgements, you’ll have to go to JKRowling.com, use a “port key” and do some digging.) … Annie Lennox has pulled out the big guns for an AIDS-prevention fundraising song on her upcoming Songs of Mass Destruction album, due in October. The album will feature a self-described “powerful feminist anthem” titled “Sing,” which has a chorus of 23 iconic female singers, among them Madonna, Sarah McLachlan, Celine Dion, Fergie, Faith Hill, Pink, Dido, Shakira, Joss Stone and KT Tunstall. …

The track list for James Blunt‘s forthcoming LP, All the Lost Souls, has been revealed. The disc, scheduled for a September 18 release, will boast 10 tracks: “1973,” “One of the Brightest Stars,” “I’ll Take Everything,” “Same Mistake,” “Carry You Home,” “Give Me Some Love,” “I Really Want You,” “Shine On,” “Annie” and “I Can’t Hear the Music.” … Afraid Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke might come down on you “like a ton of bricks”? Hopefully your name isn’t Gordon Brown. Yorke is speaking out about carbon emissions in a new video post on TheBigAsk.com — the Web site for a climate-change virtual-march effort backed by Friends of the Earth. “I’m reminding my [member of Parliament] to remind [new British Prime Minister] Gordon Brown that he’s committed to a bill to reduce our CO2 emissions double-quick-time, and if he doesn’t, we’re going to come down on him like a ton of bricks.” …

Korn avatars will perform the band’s new single, “Evolution,” in MTV’s Virtual Pimp My Ride program this Monday, July 23. Fans will also be able to listen to the band’s entire new album, Untitled, before it hits the streets July 31. In related news, Korn are said to be mulling a covers album, on which they’d tackle tracks including Nine Inch Nails‘ “Head Like a Hole” and “Love My Way” by the Psychedelic Furs. … The Asbury Park Press reports that New Jersey State Police made 20 arrests on Wednesday at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, during a Tool concert. Police claim the arrests included charges of underage drinking and possession of marijuana but did not provide a more detailed breakdown of arrests. …

Feist, My Morning Jacket‘s Jim James, the New PornographersA.C. Newman, author Sarah Vowell, Grizzly Bear and others are coming together to help “to try to settle the debate: words or music — which is better?” The one-night-only shindig will go down August 26 at the Beacon Theatre in New York, be hosted by comedian and “Daily Show” contributor Demetri Martin and benefit the free writing programs put on by literary hipster supreme Dave Eggers‘ nonprofit tutoring program, 826NYC. …

New Order over? Uh, that’s news to Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris, who said they will carry on with the group even though departed bassist Peter Hook recently said on Xfm that the band was through. “We would have hoped he could have approached us personally first,” they said in a statement to BBC News. “New Order have not split up, they continue to exist.” … The Cure are working on a three-hour documentary film to celebrate their 30th year as a band. The film, which would be released as a DVD, will chronicle the group’s career. …

A source tells RollingStone.com that Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck will tour as the Yardbirds with the band’s original bassist and drummer starting in October. The source added that Eric Clapton, another former member, will not be participating. … Testament inked a deal with Nuclear Blast onstage in front of 20,000 fans at a concert in Germany on Wednesday. A new album featuring original members Eric Peterson, Chuck Billy, Alex Skolnick, Greg Christian and new drummer Nick Barker (Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth) is on the way. …

Onetime Flavor Flav love interest Brigitte Nielsen has checked into rehab to treat an undisclosed condition, according to manager Steven Tempone. The AP reported that Tempone said the towering blond actress and 44-year-old co-star of the “Strange Love” reality show, “[checked in] on her own free will and we’re proud of her and wish her very well.” … According to the San Jose Mercury News, many Ozzfest fans who scored free tickets to this summer’s heavy-metal extravaganza are deciding to stay home. The paper claims only about 50 percent of the people who had tickets to recent shows actually showed for the concert. About 18,000 were expected at Thursday’s Ozzfest date at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, but the city took security precautions in the event that all 30,000 people who received free tickets made it out to the venue. … Al Gore III, the 24-year-old son of former Vice President Al Gore, has been charged with possession of marijuana and prescription drugs, according to TMZ.com. He was arrested on July 4 in Laguna Niguel, California, after being stopped for speeding. …

Fourteen years after three teens were sent to jail for the May 1993 murder of three 8-year-old boys in Arkansas, a lawyer for the so-called West Memphis Three has said new DNA evidence proves his clients’ innocence. The Arkansas Times reported that police are conducting new interviews to determine how a hair from a stepfather of one of the boys ended up at the crime scene. Attorneys for the three convicted men — whose plight was highlighted on the 2000 Free the West Memphis 3 album on songs by Steve Earle, Tom Waits and late Clash leader Joe Strummer — said there was no DNA evidence at the scene that matches their clients’. The mother of one of the victims has stated recently that she now believes the three convicted men, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, are not guilty. … One of the co-owners of the Station nightclub in Rhode Island, where 100 people were killed in a fire during a Great White show in 2003, has created a charity fund to help pay for educational expenses for children who lost parents in the blaze. The Providence Journal reports that club co-owner Jeffrey Derderian has asked people to set aside their anger over the tragedy and contribute to the Station Education Fund to help the 76 children, ages 4 to 23, who lost parents in the blaze.

07.19.2007

Everything is “flantastic” in Mariah Carey‘s world these days, she says in a new voicemail message on her Web site. She tells fans she recently bagged a 10th track for the follow-up to The Emancipation of Mimi, hopes to squeeze out the effort by the end of the year and is heading to Atlanta to work with “JD” — most likely Jermaine Dupri — on a “stone groove/ smash-hit wonder — or at least a stone groove, hopefully.” Carey said she’ll be holed up in the studio working on the effort for the next few months; she didn’t elaborate on her new movie “Tennessee,” though, “because [I want] the performance to speak for itself.” …

Britney Spears shot her first video in years at a warehouse in Los Angeles on Thursday (July 19). … Eve showed up to court a day early and met all the conditions of her probation on Thursday, Los Angeles’ KNBC reports. The rapper, whose real name is Eve Jihan Jeffers, pleaded no contest to a DUI charge last month and was sentenced to 36 months’ probation. …

Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, Common, Mos Def, Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, Saigon and Queen Latifah held an impromptu jam session at S.O.B.’s in Manhattan on Wednesday night following the Pepsi DJ battle hosted by Hot 97′s DJ Enuff and DJ Kast One. ‘Ye got things hot for the crowd when he kicked into “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” and Mos and Kweli reunited onstage. Drag-On and Rah Digga also popped in for performances, and Just Blaze was in the house as a judge of the DJ battle. …

Zac Efron and Amanda Bynes celebrated the premiere of “Hairspray” on Wednesday night in Baltimore, the city that inspired the film — and is home to its creator, John Waters. “It’s very flattering,” Efron said amid screaming fans, according to The Associated Press. “It feels great to be bringing this movie back to Baltimore.” Waters also cropped up at the event, and when asked about the screaming teen girls, he remarked, “I look over there and many of them could be arrested if they saw my other movies, so times have changed.”…

Say it ain’t so — the Los Angeles Times reports that Nirvana music will be featured in the background during an entire episode of TV’s “Cold Case.” … The Mitch Schneider Organization, the publicity firm that represents the Smashing Pumpkins, has issued a sarcastic response to a phony letter purportedly from Billy Corgan that appeared in last week’s edition of The Stranger in Seattle. “Although this ‘open letter’ is apocryphal, there are some references and statements in it that do in fact make a few interesting points that should be pondered,” the statement reads. “The letter states in Billy’s words that there would be no My Chemical Romance or Panic! at the Disco without the Pumpkins. While this isn’t so, it is a little-known fact the Pumpkins’ music is responsible for the swing dance craze of 1997.” …

You’ve heard Bob Dylan‘s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” covered by everyone from Guns N’ Roses to Wyclef Jean to Avril Lavigne — now it’s Babyface‘s turn. The R&B legend redoes that song — as well as Eric Clapton‘s “Wonderful Tonight,” Jim Croce‘s “Time in a Bottle” and other rock classics — on his 11th album, Playlist. The set will christen the relaunched Mercury Records when it drops September 18. … Michael Jackson took his children on a tour of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space and American Indian Museums on Wednesday, before either museum opened to the public. …

Elliott Smith is anything but forgotten, with his posthumous LP New Moon debuting at #24 on the Billboard album charts not too long ago. Now his friend Autumn de Wilde is hoping to enrich the singer/songwriter’s legacy with a new book filled with rare interviews and photographs. Simply titled “Elliott Smith” and due in November, the tome will also contain contain forewords by Beck and Death Cab for Cutie‘s Chris Walla, personal ephemera, handwritten lyrics, as well as a CD featuring five unreleased songs recorded at small L.A. gigs in 1997 — including covers of “All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down” by Hank Williams Jr. and “Clouds” by Quasi, the indie-rock duo who occasionally backed up Smith. A portion of the proceeds will go to two charities: Austin, Texas’ Sims Foundation in Austin and Portland, Oregon’s Outside In. …

Wanted dead or alive: the makers of energy drink Mijovi. Well, the situation isn’t that dire, but all the same, Jon Bon Jovi wants the owner of the coffee-based beverage to change its name, since he claims it’s too similar to his, AP reports. A letter Jovi’s lawyer sent to Marcos Carrington highlights the company’s marketing terms “itsmijovi” and “itsmilife,” the latter being the name of a Bon Jovi song. Carrington replied that the words are meant to mean “it’s my jovial life” and that he named the drink after his girlfriend Jovita. … The Reverend Al Sharpton, who had insisted that shock-jock Don Imus be fired for making racist comments, told AP in a telephone interview Wednesday that he wouldn’t object if Imus were to return to the airwaves. “He has a right to make a living,” Sharpton said, adding that he hoped any station that would hire Imus would make sure he wouldn’t make insensitive remarks about race or gender. …

M.I.A. is playing a smattering of festivals this summer, and along the way she’s making a few pit stops and small clubs. She’ll hit up Brooklyn, New York’s Studio B (July 25); San Francisco’s Rickshaw Shop (July 28); Los Angeles’ Echoplex (July 30-31); and, after playing Lollapalooza in Chicago on August 3, she’ll perform at the city’s House of Blues the following day. … Underground hip-hop prince Aesop Rock will tour heavy in support of his August 28 LP, None Shall Pass. He’ll head out with Cage and Blockhead September 8 in Philadelphia and stay on the road with them through September 11 in Pittsburgh, after which he’ll hook up with Octopus Project and tour with them and Blockhead from September 13 in Chicago through September 26 in Burlington, Vermont. Finally, he’ll set out for his longest stretch, with Black Moth Super Rainbow and Blockhead, in San Francisco on October 10 and bring that run to a close November 20 in Atlanta.