Amy Winehouse Postpones North American Tour; Plus Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Spike Jonze, M.I.A., R. Kelly & More, In For The Record

West calls Timberlake his 'biggest competitor'; Furtado makes directing debut; Jonze interviews M.I.A.

First Amy Winehouse pulled out of shows in Norway and Denmark two weeks ago, then she pulled the plug on her V Festival appearances last week — now the U.K. starlet is shelving her remaining 2007 North American tour dates until next year. “Due to the rigors involved in touring, Amy Winehouse has been advised to postpone her upcoming September U.S. and Canadian tour dates,” Winehouse’s publicist said in a statement Tuesday (August 21), according to The Associated Press. “Amy’s European and U.K. tour dates in October and November remain in place. Plans are being made to reschedule her U.S. tour for early 2008. Until then, Amy has been ordered to rest and is working with medical professionals to address her health.” It is unclear whether the change in her North American tour plans will affect Winehouse’s previously announced performance at the VMAs on September 9. …

Forget 50 CentKanye West considers Justin Timberlake his biggest rival. In an interview with XXL magazine for its October issue — which hits stands September 11 — Kanye called Justin his “biggest inspiration and biggest competition,” adding that “he’s the only other person that gets an across-the-board response and respect level — black radio, white radio. If Justin hadn’t come out and killed the game, I can’t say that my album, singles and videos would be on the same level that they’re on. We push each other. I look at me and Justin like Prince and Michael Jackson in their day.” …

Award-show nominations and #1 records don’t seem to be enough for Nelly Furtado this year, so the Canadian beauty decided to add directing to her lengthy list of 2007 accomplishments. Furtado recently made her debut behind the camera shooting a clip for the Loose song “Do It” with co-director Aaron A., her tour documentarian. The video was filmed on location in Detroit during a tour stop and included her dance team, among others. Furtado also announced that she will re-release Loose with bonus material — including her cover of Gnarls Barkley‘s “Crazy” — this fall. …

Spike Jonze has launched a series of diary-style video interviews through online-broadcast network VBS.TV. The series will capture Jonze interviewing and traveling the world with various artists and entertainers, including the premiere guest, M.I.A. The set kicks off this week with a six-part episode that follows Jonze and M.I.A. around London and at the singer’s various enclaves. An interview with Kanye West is scheduled to go live next week. …

R. Kelly appeared Tuesday in a Chicago court where prosecutors and defense attorneys ironed out a few more details in the R&B singer’s child-pornography trial before jury selection starts September 17. After the prosecution tried for a reversal, Judge Vincent Gaughan upheld his ruling that the media and public could view the sex tape that allegedly depicts Kelly having sex with an underage girl and is at the heart of the charges. Gaughan said he wouldn’t reconsider his original ruling because the girl who prosecutors say is in the video isn’t cooperating with investigators and denies that she’s the person on the tape. Had she said she was, the judge would give her victim status and protect her from a public viewing. Instead, he ruled Tuesday that the state can’t call her a “victim” but must instead call her an “alleged victim” or the “state’s witness.” To attempt to prove that she is in fact the girl on the tape, the prosecution wants to call an expert witness to testify that denial is a common issue with victims of child pornography, but the defense argued that the theory is not backed up by science. Judge Gaughan delayed ruling on this, as well as whether an expert could testify that the veins in Kelly’s hand are consistent with those in the hand of the man in the video. He is expected to rule on those matters at the next hearing, on September 10. …

Another day, another problem for Foxy Brown. The troubled rapper is being accused of lying to police during a traffic stop on Wednesday in suburban Mahwah, New Jersey. According to Bergen County’s The Record, Brown (born Inga Marchand) was pulled over for talking on a cell phone and failing to stop at a stop sign while driving her SUV. After a check found that the car’s registration had been suspended, Brown, 27, reportedly gave officers a different version of her real name and a birth date that was a year off. When the information didn’t come up, Brown then gave her correct information, at which point the officers found out that her license was suspended. She was taken to police headquarters and given seven traffic tickets and released. The traffic tussle came one day after Brown was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a New York neighbor with a BlackBerry. But still, Brown has some good news to help take her mind off things — according to the New York Post, she said outside a store in New York earlier this week, “I’m getting married in September. I’m pregnant.” …

With Jane’s Addiction on ice and his latest project, the Panic Channel, without a label deal, Dave Navarro has taken up a new side gig: porn-movie director. The guitarist has shot a feature-length adult film titled “Dave Navarro: Broken,” the first in a series of flicks to be directed by celebrities. The film for Teravision — owned by adult star Tera Patrick and rocker husband and former Biohazard member Evan Seinfeld — is due September 27 and features an all-star cast of porn actors and actresses (Victoria Sin, Spyder Jonez, etc.). …

Ben Lee really likes the new Against Me! album, New Wave. In fact, the Australian pop singer likes it so that he has posted a song-for-song cover album on his MySpace page and blog that are available for download or streaming. He’s even cooked up his own cover for the effort, Ben Lee Sings Against Me! New Wave — it replaces the fearsome panther on the Florida punk band’s original with a less ferocious kitty cat. …

Devra Robitaille, one of Phil Spector‘s ex-employees, testified Tuesday that he once threatened her at gunpoint when she attempted to leave his house. The scenario is similar to the ones outlined by four additional women during the music producer’s murder trial. After the defense announced it was conditionally resting its case — and that Spector would not be taking the stand during the trial — the prosecution called Robitaille as a rebuttal witness, contrary to the wishes of the defense. She recalled being in Spector’s house during a party in which he became heavily intoxicated, after which she said she was going to go home. “He said no and locked the door,” testified Robitaille, who added that she had a romantic relationship with Spector. “I remember standing in the lobby with a door in front of me, and when I turned, there was a gun pointed at my temple. … It was like a long-barreled shotgun.” She added that Spector repeated three times, ” ‘If you leave, I’ll blow your f—ing head off.’ ” Robitaille said he eventually put down the gun and let her leave. …

Some Lollapalooza footage — of performances by LCD Soundsystem and the Black Keys — finally went up on AT&T’s Blue Room site last week, following the revelation that its webcast of the festival featured several edits of anti-President Bush comments made by Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder. Clearances are still being sought for Pearl Jam and other artists, while Lupe Fiasco‘s comments against Bush — which were also reportedly edited — have not been posted. …

Five people were arrested early Sunday morning at a campground near the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington, following the Warped Tour performance at the venue Saturday night. The Associated Press reported that sheriff’s deputies were called out to the campground following reports of a person being injured at another nearby campground. When officials arrived, they reportedly saw a number of campers involved in fights and a comfort station with portable toilets and sinks that had been set on fire. Some of the 400 campers in the area allegedly set additional fires and pelted deputies with beer bottles, cans and rocks, shattering the windshield of a fire truck with debris. Those incidents led to five arrests for obstructing a law-enforcement officer, disorderly conduct and intimidating a public servant. …

Additional shows for Van Halen‘s first tour in more than 22 years — with original frontman David Lee Roth — have been added in Philadelphia (October 3); Detroit (October 20); and Washington, D.C. (November 1). Tickets for the previously announced gigs went on sale over the weekend, and fans snatched them up fast — sellouts were reported in at least five markets so far. …

Pete Doherty — who was arrested on suspicion of drug possession in London early Monday morning — was released Tuesday because authorities didn’t get him to court on time. The charge of breaching bail conditions that he was facing has been dropped as a result of the technicality. …

The Jacksonville, Florida, chapter of the NAACP is protesting an editorial cartoon that criticized the “no snitchin’ ” street mantra and ran in the Friday edition of The Florida Times-Union. The image shows a black man wearing a “Don’t Snitch” T-shirt, holding a smoking gun and standing over a gunshot victim. Behind him are two children, one a girl with dreadlocks who also wears a “Don’t Snitch” shirt and says, “I didn’t see nuttin’.” In the cartoon, the man responds, “Now that’s a good little ho.” The comic, which is captioned “The new rule of law!,” also has a billboard in the background with an image of a rapper holding a gun below the words “rap your life away,” with BET and Warner Music Group called out at the bottom of the billboard. According to local TV affiliate NBC12, on Sunday, a Times-Union editorial-page editor apologized for the “bad judgment” in using the word “ho” in the cartoon. “The object of the cartoon was to comment on the rise of a no-snitching culture, something that is widely in the news today,” Mike Clark explained.

08.20.07

Lily Allen had some choice dirty words for President Bush and U.S. immigration on Saturday during her performance at the V Festival in Stafford, England. “This next one is about people who are awkward on the train, U.S. immigration officials and George Bush in general,” she said before the song “Everything’s Just Wonderful.” The outburst, in which she referred to Bush as a “f—ing c—,” came just days after Allen was forced to scrap U.S. dates and an appearance at the Video Music Awards in light of the revocation of her working visa in the U.S. “I’ve been banned from America. That’s nice. Oh well, that means I can’t go back there. Good,” Allen said, according to MTV UK. …

Wanna hang in the recording studio with Timbaland? The winner of MTV’s charity eBay auction will be flown to Las Vegas, stay at the Palms Casino Resort for three days (September 7-9) to check out the VMAs, and hit the Palms studio with the mega-producer as well. Other items up for bid include VMA gift bags, poker-table felt and other memorabilia. Head to the auction — all proceeds of which go to the Staying Alive Foundation, which helps young people fight AIDS and HIV — before it ends Monday (August 20). …

Good news if you’ve been digging Talib Kweli‘s new collabo with Justin Timberlake, “The Nature” — the track will appear as a bonus on Kweli’s Ear Drum, due Tuesday. … “They gonna mix it with Biggie, it was all a dream!”: Keyshia Cole‘s tour rolled through New York on Sunday, with the singer performing at the Nokia Theatre. As one of the highlights, she brought out Missy Elliott and Lil’ Kim to perform their hit “Let It Go.” Newcomer J. Holiday opened. …

It’s not exactly Lilith Fair, but Avril Lavigne, Fiona Apple and Sheryl Crow will anchor the first-ever Girlfrenzy, a daylong concert that will revolve around female artists and take place October 27 at Irvine, California’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. Colbie Caillat, Antigone Rising and Sara Bareilles will also perform. … The Friday premiere of “High School Musical 2” on the Disney Channel drew an estimated 17.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched basic-cable program in history. The first flick attracted 7.7. million in 2006, while the record was previously held by a “Monday Night Football” game that was watched by 16 million in 2006. …

Gwen Stefani has stapled a seven-date West Coast leg onto her Sweet Escape tour. Sean Kingston will open for the singer when she hits Las Vegas (October 26); Tuscon, Arizona (October 29); San Diego (October 30); Stockton, California (November 1); Oakland, California (November 2); and Phoenix (November 8-9). … Want to look just like Jessica Simpson? A recently launched e-commerce site, Seen On!, has more than 500 products associated with the actress. …

We all know Kevin Federline the cocky rapper, but how about Kevin Federline the cocky rocker? That’s the role Britney Spears‘ ex will play on the next season of “One Tree Hill” — he’ll be the frontman of fictional band No Means Yes. … Veronica Mars — er, Kristen Bell — is also doing the guest-appearance thing. She’ll appear on a multi-episode arc on “Heroes” in October. …

Dr. Dre is suing Death Row over the rights to his classic multiplatinum album, The Chronic. The producer/rapper (real name: Andre Young) filed a suit in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles on Wednesday in which he claims he created, produced and was the primary performer on the album’s master recordings. In 1992 — before the album’s November release — Dr. Dre gave Death Row a license to distribute the LP in trade for royalties. Four years later, he gave up his 50 percent ownership interest in the label, agreeing to give it the copyright as long as he continued receiving royalties. In 2000, Dre told Death Row he was overturning the agreement and wanted the copyright back after the label failed to pay him royalties. In the new lawsuit, he says he made good on his part of the original, and that the label and the Chapter 11 trustee involved with the label’s bankruptcy case are violating his rights as the owner of the copyright by continuing to distribute The Chronic without his authorization. Dre wants the bankruptcy court to declare that the 1992 and ’96 agreements have been rescinded, and force the label and trustee to pay restitution and restore the copyrights to him. Lastly, he’s asking for a permanent injunction that would prevent Death Row from offering the copyrights for sale in the future without his written approval. …

Method Man has agreed to visit 15 New York high schools to warn students about the dangers of drugs as part of a plea deal he reached earlier this year on a marijuana-possession charge. The Associated Press reported that the “How High” star (born Clifford Smith) is thrilled to give the talks, according to his lawyer, who added, “he’s never been in trouble before. He’s not a stereotypical rapper.” Meth was arrested May 17 after toll-booth workers on the Brooklyn, New York, side of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel reported smelling marijuana smoke coming from his SUV. …

A motley crew of opening acts will help Bon Jovi christen Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center on October 25-November 10. My Chemical Romance (October 25-26), Big & Rich (October 28 and 30), Gretchen Wilson (November 1 and 3), Daughtry (November 4 and 7) and the All-American Rejects (November 9-10) will help the NJ native sons do the honors. … Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose will make a guest appearance on the debut solo album from former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach. Angel Down will hit stores November 20 and feature Rose on two tracks: “(Love Is) a B—hslap” and a cover of Aerosmith‘s “Back in the Saddle.” … The soundtrack to Rob Zombie‘s “Halloween” is set for release Tuesday and will feature 24 tracks, including Nazareth‘s “Love Hurts,” Rush‘s “Tom Sawyer” and the Misfits‘ “Halloween II.” …

Pete Doherty was arrested on suspicion of drugs after being pulled over in a car with two other people in east London early Monday morning (August 20), following Babyshambles‘ Sunday performance at the V Festival. The three are in police custody at a London station. A magistrate warned Doherty earlier this month that he would face prison if he didn’t prove that he was trying to stop using drugs. … Emo rockers Piebald have called it quits. According to a statement from the band, the pop-punks will pack things up as soon as their current tour concludes September 7 in Englewood, Colorado. No reason was given for the breakup, but the statement claims, “This is a time of new beginnings, positive vibes and a congratulatory nod to the past. There has been talk of a few shows to give the band an official sendoff, but as of yet, those shows are not booked and unknown.” …

Police have charged some of the more than 80 people arrested during last week’s Ozzfest stop at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, with “unruly behavior in the mosh pit.” The individuals were charged with assault if they flailed their arms or legs in a way that police felt would hurt others. Meanwhile, in the wake of the arrests and two deaths that occurred at the venue during the show, the PNC Bank Arts Center has announced a total ban on alcohol outside the venue, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. The first show affected, a Velvet Revolver gig Friday night, found most patrons refraining from the typical hard-charging tailgating that usually goes on in the parking lot before shows at the venue, which has seen 500 arrests this season. …

Uncle Kracker gave a statement to People magazine about being arrested on a second-degree forcible-sex-offense charge in North Carolina on Friday. “It’s regrettable that someone would make this kind of allegation, not only because it’s not the kind of thing I’d do, as the father of three girls, it’s the kind of thing that I wouldn’t stand for,” the former Kid Rock DJ and solo singer said. “Anyone can say anything about anybody but it doesn’t make it true or correct. This is one of those cases. I’m saddened that anyone might think I’m capable of this sort of thing.” Kracker (born Matthew Shafer), was arrested early Friday morning after an alleged incident at a downtown Raleigh nightclub called the Ess Lounge; he was released later that day on $75,000 bond. Saturday night, Kracker took the stage in his hometown during a show by pal Kenny Chesney to duet on the tune “When the Sun Goes Down.”