Nas Draws Ire Over Virginia Tech Concert; Plus Lindsay Lohan, Ludacris, Spice Girls, John Mayer & More, In For The Record

Lohan told mag before May arrest that she wouldn't drink and drive; Luda to play free gig in ATL; Spice Girls won't play in Iraq.

Seven families of victims of the Virginia Tech shootings are outraged that Nas is scheduled to take part in "A Concert for Virginia Tech," The Washington Post reports. The families say the rapper's lyrics are too violent for a show that is being held in the wake of the April tragedy. Nas' lyrics "are indicative of the moral decay in our society that contributes to acts of violence," Vincent J. Bove, a spokesman for the families, told the paper. "For a university official to condone it or to be clueless of what this person's track record is, it's unconscionable beyond belief." University officials responded by saying the announcement of the concert has been getting overwhelmingly positive feedback and that the lineup will not be changed. ...

Lindsay Lohan's words are coming back to haunt her. An Elle interview conducted shortly before the actress was involved in her first DUI, over Memorial Day weekend, is being brought to light in the magazine's September issue. In the conversation, Lohan insisted she wouldn't drive drunk. "I wouldn't violate ... I'm much more responsible than that. I would not do that," she said. She also alluded to drunk driving when asked what it's like to be surrounded by paparazzi: "It's scary ... they're looking for me to, like, trip, so they can be like, 'Oh, Lindsay's wasted and driving drunk,' " she said. ...

Another day, another corporate tour. Ludacris, the All-American Rejects, Queens of the Stone Age and more are taking part in Samsung and AT&T's free Summer Krush series, Billboard.com reports. The artists are playing individual shows from August 13 through mid-September: Luda (Atlanta), the Rejects (New York), QOTSA (Los Angeles), Plain White T's (San Francisco), Big & Rich (Dallas), the Bravery (Chicago) and Kinky (Miami). Each concert — which will also serve to attract attention to AT&T Wireless' music-download service through its eMusic partnership will include an hourlong performance and feature kiosks where new devices by the companies can be sampled. Tickets will be made available through radio promotions, contests and at AT&T outlets. ... The Spice Girls probably didn't think it was too funny that Baghdad, Iraq, was ranking high on their online fan poll to determine where the group should play a special show as part of its reunion tour. Well, the Girls can relax — Toronto has won the honor instead. The "Spice City" show, one of 15 gigs on their worldwide tour, will be held in January. ...

Do you dream of sailing off into the sunset with John Mayer? Now here's your chance. Following in the footsteps of the Flaming Lips and, er, the String Cheese Incident, the singer/songwriter is the latest artist who will be taking part in a musical ocean cruise. What's been dubbed the "Mayercraft Carrier" will set sail from Miami on February 1, hit the Bahamas and return February 4, with Mayer and other artists of his choosing performing intimate gigs during the trek. Tickets range from roughly $500 to $1,100 per person (with taxes) — go here for more ticket info. In other Mayer news, he recently crooned — very offhandedly — an a cappella version of "Chocolate Rain," originally performed by YouTube sensation Tay Zonday, for "Best Week Ever." Check it out here. ...

Lionel Richie is speaking out about his embattled daughter Nicole, telling UsMagazine.com that she has "made some mistakes" but that she also "has not blamed others for her problems and is growing up very quickly, albeit in the heat of the media spotlight." ... A dog caretaker died at the home of Ving Rhames after being mauled by two mastiffs Friday morning (August 3), The Associated Press reports. The actor was not at home when the attack took place. Animal services took four mastiffs from the property, although several more dogs were reportedly left there. "Two of those dogs appeared to be responsible for the tragic death," Jason Lee, a Los Angeles police officer, told the news outlet. ...

A trailer for an Ol' Dirty Bastard documentary has leaked online. The flick, titled "Ason Unique," was shot and directed by the late rapper's brother Raison Allah and features vintage footage of ODB. Also to be included is a clip of director Quentin Tarantino popping up at a Wu-Tang Clan concert; interviews from Wu members Method Man, RZA, Raekwon and Ghostface; and anecdotes and stories from ODB's parents, friends and affiliates. Check out the trailer right here. ... Lupe Fiasco performed at the Staple Design 10th anniversary party at the Xchange in New York on Thursday night. Bun B of UGK was in attendance and Bobbito Garcia and DJ Soul manned the ones and twos at the Mountain Dew/ Green Label Art-sponsored shindig. ... Paris Hilton wants you to have a kick with her — the heiress will launch a new footwear line early next year. The Paris Hilton Footwear collection, to be licensed by the Antebi Footwear Group, will feature stilettos, platforms, flats, wedges and sport shoes. "My goal is to create a stylish and fun fashion line from head to toe," Hilton said in a statement. ...

Foo Fighters are cracking open their new single "The Pretender" at the Summer X Games, which are airing on ESPN, Friday. The track — set to appear on the band's September 25 LP, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace — will be available for download Tuesday. ... Klaxons are going from the clubs to New York's Madison Square Garden quicker than cops shutting down a rave. The band will open for Björk at the famed venue on September 24 after headlining a much smaller show the previous night at Boston's Paradise Rock Club. After that, the fluorescent fiends will hit clubs across North American from September 26 through October 10. ...

Pearl Jam got their chops loose for their Sunday night Lollapalooza performance with a cozy fans-only show at Chicago's Vic Theatre on Thursday night, Billboard.com reports. Eddie Vedder — who will sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" Friday during the Cubs/ New York Mets game at Wrigley Field — kicked things off with solo covers of Tom Waits' "Picture in a Frame" and Cat Stevens' "Trouble." After that, the band barreled through 24 mostly obscure songs — the B-side "Education," "Rats" and "All or None" among them. Ben Harper joined the band for a rendition of "Indifference" while drummer Matt Cameron belted out a cover of Kiss' "Black Diamond." ...

The first installment of This Is Next, the indie-rock answer to the Now That's What I Call Music! series, will drop August 21. Look for slices from Bloc Party, Spoon, Bright Eyes, the Shins, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and more. The series will be revisited biannually and is being assembled by an assortment of labels in the Alternative Distribution Alliance. ... Stevie Wonder is set to tour nationally for the first time in 12 years, kicking things off with a show August 23 in San Diego, AP reports. The stirring singer will also serve as the grand marshal to the California Speedway's Sharp AQUOS 500, which takes place Labor Day weekend. ...

A prosecution rebuttal witness alleging to be deceased actress Lana Clarkson's longtime best friend contradicted previous testimony by a defense witness on Thursday in the Phil Spector trial, AP reports. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler admitted a letter brought to court by Nili Hudson that was written by Punkin Pie Laughlin, who had previously testified that Clarkson was depressed before she died. "My Lana, my best friend, my sister, my right arm, was violently taken from me at the hands of Phil Spector," reads the letter, which was written a year after Clarkson's death, according to Hudson. ... Billboard has revamped its Hot 100 chart to include streamed and on-demand music, incorporating data from Yahoo! and AOL. In February 2005, the chart began to embrace digital songs tracked by the Nielson SoundScan — that resulted in a greater shift than what is expected from this more recent change, which will account for only about 5 percent of the chart's total points. Billboard.com announced Thursday that Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls" has topped the Hot 100 in its first week with the new formula.

08.02.07

Gwen Stefani won't be showing much skin in Malaysia, thanks to Muslim students opposed to the singer wearing sexy outfits at her August 21 performance in the country, The Associated Press reports. Responding to charges from the National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students, Stefani "will abide by the Malaysian authorities' guidelines to ensure that her show will not be offensive to local sensitivities," reads a statement issued by show organizer Maxis Communications Bhd. The company hopes to attract 9,000 people to the show. ...

Christina Aguilera has nixed the last two shows on her Back to Basics tour. The gigs were slated for Thursday (August 2) and Friday in Auckland, New Zealand. The singer, who has been under the weather with the flu, issued a statement similar to the one she sent out after canceling a pair of shows in Australia earlier in the week: "This is my first time in your beautiful country, and I have really been looking forward to performing for you all. Unfortunately, I caught a bad flu virus and I have not been able to recover in time. Thank you all for your continued love and support, and I can't wait for the next time." ...

Common was joined by Swizz Beatz, Solange Knowles and De La Soul Wednesday night as the rapper celebrated the release of his new album, Finding Forever, at Marquee in New York. The party made it two nights in a row for Com: Tuesday in Los Angeles, Tracee Ellis Ross, Lauren London and Serena Williams came out to support his Cali album-release party. ...

Nicole Richie is looking more like her "Simple Life" co-star Paris Hilton every day — the pregnant socialite will serve her time at the same jail where Hilton was two months ago, People reports. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department told the magazine that Richie's request to spend four days at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, California, will be honored. Richie had asked the Sheriff's Department to spend her jail time in county lockup rather than city jail via a request submitted by her lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley earlier this week, AP reported. Holley didn't provide any additional details to the news outlet, including when the socialite would surrender to start her sentence, which must be finished by September 28. The Sheriff's Department spokesperson did not reveal her expected surrender date to People either. ...

In related news, Richie told ABC's Diane Sawyer that she's already a changed person. "I would really want to be someone my child would look up to," the pregnant socialite said in the interview, the first part of which aired Thursday on "Good Morning America." Richie added that her four-day sentence has left her "afraid of the unknown," but, "This is my way ... of being an adult." Good Charlotte's Joel Madden, who was at Richie's side and is the father of her child, said seeing images on TV of children who had been killed by drunk drivers "was our first real parent moment." Madden also revealed that Richie's arrest almost ended their relationship. He said he remembered thinking, " 'This is a great time to walk away' ... 'Nicole, it's been great, but you just freaked me out.' " Instead, he said he went with "my gut ... [Nicole is] a great woman." ...

Chingy, who recently quashed his beef with Ludacris and returned to the Disturbing Tha Peace fold, has split Capitol for Island Def Jam, Billboard.com reports. The rapper's Hate It or Love It is due before the end of the year, and his new DTP single "Celebrity Chicks" will crop up on the collective's Strength in Numbers set, due September 18. ...

Andy Samberg says "Di-- in a Box" pal Justin Timberlake is "obnoxious" — because he can be a hilarious comedian, in addition to everything else he does. "He's brilliant at it, actually," the "SNL" castmember told People about JT's comedic abilities. "It's a little obnoxious. He's really good at what we do — as we are — and also really good at everything else." ... Scholastic reports that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" has sold a record-breaking 11.5 million copies in the U.S. in its first 10 days on sale. More than 8.3 million copies of the volume were snatched up within the first 24 hours of its release. ...

"A New Day Has Come" indeed for Celine Dion. The singer plans to enlist Timbaland to produce her next album, which will also reportedly feature cuts from R. Kelly and Ne-Yo, RollingStone.com reports. ... Norah Jones graces a cover of Joni Mitchell's "Court and Spark" on Herbie Hancock's tribute LP River: The Joni Letters, set to street September 25. Corinne Bailey Rae, Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner and Mitchell herself also chime in on the disc. ...

Nirvana's entire 1991 landmark LP, Nevermind, has been licensed for use in the upcoming Electronic Arts video game "Rock Band." Players will be able to download the album and play along to it with the game, which hits stores November 20. ... Snow Patrol keyboardist Tom Simpson was supposed to stand before a judge in Glasgow, Scotland, on Tuesday, but was a no-show for what was the start of his drug-possession case. No reason was offered for Simpson's absence, but his lawyer did manage to postpone the hearing until August 28. Simpson was arrested last month and charged with cocaine possession back in 2006. ... Jimmy Eat World have set an October 16 release date for their forthcoming album, Chase This Light, which was recorded over a period of about a year in the band's Arizona studio. ...

Brace yourself — Simon Cowell is making a movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The "American Idol" judge's "Fame"-inspired "Star Struck" feature will follow 10 contestants in a fictional TV singing competition. Sound familiar? Like "Idol," open auditions for roles in the film will be held across the U.S. Cowell will produce the flick, which is slated for a summer 2008 release. ... While Cowell is switching from music to the big screen, Scarlett Johansson is heading in the opposite direction — she's ganged up with members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio for her debut album, Lafayette, Louisiana's The Daily Advertiser reports. TVOTR's Dave Sitek is reportedly producing the effort — which doesn't have a title or release date yet — and members of the YYYs and Celebration are set to appear. ...

Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Barry — who made for an unforgettable couple in 2001's "Monster's Ball" — are set to star in another racially charged flick, Variety reports. "Tulia," to be directed by John Singleton ("Boyz N the Hood," "Four Brothers"), will revolve around a small Texas town that drew criticisms of racism in 1999 after blacks were arrested for drugs and later pardoned. ...

Would you like to have your mug appear on the cover of an upcoming Hold Steady single? Well, now's your chance. The band has invited fans to send in scans of photo-booth pictures of themselves, to be considered for inclusion in the cover art for the band's next, yet-unannounced single from 2006's Boys and Girls in America. Check out the Steady's Web site for more details. ... Rob Zombie is gearing up for the September 18 release of his first-ever live album, simply titled Live. The 18-track set was recorded over several nights during Zombie's Educated Horses tour and will contain a 36-page book of never-before-released live pictures, as well as a DVD of live footage and animated videos. ...

The Mars Volta are looking at a tentative September/October release date for their new album, The Bedlam in Goliath. Meanwhile, guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez will release a collaborative EP with Lydia Lunch, Omar Rodriguez Lopez & Lydia Lunch, this summer on the Dutch label Willie Anderson Recordings. ... Sean Penn appears to be buddying up with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez over their mutual disapproval of President Bush. AP reports that, in a recent televised speech, the socialist leader welcomed Penn to come to Venezuela, saying, "He's one of the greatest opponents of the Iraq invasion." Chavez also said he has talked with the actor over the phone and will soon meet him in person.