'Idol' Judges Rate Britney Spears' VMA Performance; Plus Lil' Kim, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Beyonce, Gwen Stefani & More, In For The Record

Kim, 50 sued over 'Magic Stick' royalties; Snoop to perform at J.A.M. Awards; B, Gwen make best-dressed list.

50 Cent, Common, Nicole Scherzinger and others have all had their say about Britney Spears' VMA performance — now the "American Idol" judges are having at her. "We've decided that we're all going to collectively manage Britney," Simon Cowell remarked at a press conference earlier this week, according to "Access Hollywood." "We're going to manage Britney, take her career over," Randy Jackson added. Cowell snickered that he would "keep her away from the stupid friends, buy her some underwear," while Paula Abdul — as always — tried to put a positive spin on her VMA performance: "I never count her out." Spears' fellow former teen icon Joey Fatone has also chimed in on the performance, telling "Extra," "I felt bad but didn't. It looked like she was really lost. A lot of people ... really want her to seek help ... there's something not right here, something needs to obviously be done before anything tragic happens. She's a great girl ... I've known her for many years." ...

In other Brit news, she attended an unscheduled meeting with Kevin Federline and his attorney on Wednesday — five days before they were due to meet before a family court judge. The meeting was reportedly held at the Century City, California, offices of Spears attorney Laura Wasser. Federline has been trying to seek full custody of the former spouses' two sons, Jayden James and Sean Preston. ...

Lil' Kim — who took a swipe at 50 Cent on her 2005 LP, The Naked Truth — is finding herself right alongside him in a new lawsuit filed by a record producer, The Associated Press reports. Carlos Evans claims in papers recently filed in a New York court that he was contracted to produce, engineer and mix Kim's "Magic Stick" (featuring 50 Cent), a song that sold 2 million copies, but that he wasn't paid the royalties he was promised. He adds that while he was paid the $7,500 advance he was guaranteed for the song, his requests for a royalties audit have been ignored. His suit seeks $1 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages. Theodore Sedlmayr, a lawyer for Rotten Apple Records — which is also named in the suit — told AP the late-royalty problems stem from the fact that Evans put a lengthy sample, which had to be licensed and paid for, in the song. "Atlantic is trying to get it straightened out. If after the accounting Mr. Evans is entitled to anything, he'll get it then," Sedlmayr told the news service. ....

Snoop Dogg, Talib Kweli, Mobb Deep, DMC and others will come together November 29 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York for the J.A.M. Awards, a Jam Master Jay- and Run-DMC-inspired event intended to reflect the positive aspects of rap. The event — being put on by Hot 97, the Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music and other organizations — will be co-hosted by DMC, who said in a statement that it "is not designed merely for music fans, but also for people who want to see hip-hop answer its critics with a resounding voice of hope and inspiration." Eminem has also donated money for the cause, and the shindig will also feature Raekwon, Papoose and other to-be-named artists. ...

Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez are this year's best-dressed women, according to People. Kirsten Dunst and Janet Jackson aren't so lucky, though — they're cited for wearing the worst red-carpet dresses of the year in the magazine's "Best & Worst Dressed" issue, out Friday. Angelina Jolie, Jessica Biel, Cameron Diaz, Avril Lavigne, Lily Allen and Reese Witherspoon are also noted in the issue, as are a handful of men: Terrence Howard, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt and George Clooney among them. ... Shakira, teacher's pet? Perhaps: PeopleEnEspanol.com reports that the singer has been taking Western-civ classes at the University of California, Los Angeles, over the course of the summer. ...

The White Stripes, who announced earlier this week that their U.S. tour would be scrapped due to Meg White's acute anxiety, have tabled their U.K. tour as well, BBC News reports. The band's eight-date arena tour, which was slated for October 24-November 2, would have been its largest U.K. trek to date. ... Foo Fighters have drummed up four shows in addition to their scheduled Saturday performance at Southern California radio station KROQ's LA Invasion. The band — which drops its Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace on September 25 — will grace New York (September 20); New Orleans (October 2); Atlanta (October 4); and Atlantic City, New Jersey (October 6). The rock act will also tape a performance for the "Nissan Live Sets on Yahoo! Music" series on Tuesday and be the featured musical guest on "Saturday Night Live" on October 13. ...

Queens of the Stone Agewho performed with the Foos during the VMAs — apparently have an unlikely fan in "chef-at-large" Anthony Bourdain. They stopped by his "No Reservations" Travel Channel show last week to shoot an appearance for the program. In the episode, Bourdain is cooking a holiday meal in his Connecticut home while the band is performing in the basement. QOTSA emerge wearing cheesy Christmas sweaters, dine with Bourdain and perform the holiday jingle "Silver Bells," retitled "Turkey Bells." The ep also allegedly features karaoke, Christmas carols and a Japanese businessman, so stay tuned. ... System of a Down frontman Serj Tankianwho also performed with the Foos — has announced a bunch of tour dates in support of his solo debut, Elect the Dead, which hits stores October 23. His North American tour kicks off October 12 at the Vic Theatre in Chicago and will make stops in Toronto, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, before concluding October 28 in San Francisco. ...

Led Zeppelin are getting a whole lotta love from fans after announcing a one-off reunion gig on Wednesday. More than 20 million fans have attempted to get tickets for the November 26 concert at the O2 arena in London in honor of late music icon Ahmet Ertegun, according to Agence France Presse. The venue can hold up to 20,000 people, and a lottery is being held in which tickets will be drawn at random. ...

Prince is planning to sue eBay, YouTube and other Web sites as part of an effort to "reclaim the Internet," according to the MediaGuardian.co.uk. Lawsuits pertaining to his material will be launched in the U.S. and U.K. through the anti-piracy firm Web Sheriff, which represents Prince. Over the course of the past two weeks, the artist's legal reps have asked for the removal of more than 2,000 videos that are alleged to have been uploaded illegally online. Web Sheriff Managing Director John Giacobbi said Prince "wants to create a template for other artists" but that he "doesn't really want to go around suing people — he'd much rather people just respected his rights. He will be victorious." ...

A security guard who worked a Guns N' Roses concert nearly 11 years ago is suing Axl Rose for battery and negligence, according to court documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in late August and obtained by TMZ.com. Gary Armijo claims that he was positioned at the front of the stage at the GN'R show in Universal City, California, on December 20, 1996, and that the singer came to the front of the stage and intentionally kicked the guard in the head, causing injuries. Armijo says he has experienced pain and suffering, sleeplessness, headaches and loss of earnings, and has incurred medical expenses as well. ...

The Cure have rescheduled for next year 18 of the 19 gigs they had intended to play in North America this year. The band's 4Tour North America run will now take them from May 9 in Washington, D.C., through June 20 in New York. In between will be an additional performance at the Sasquatch! Music Festival in George, Washington, on May 25 — the band has been promised a show-closing 150-minute slot for the fest. Those who want refunds on their 2007 tickets can do so at the original point of purchase until November 1. ... "Spawn" creator and toy magnate Todd McFarlane told Reuters he's spawning plans to direct a feature flick. He said he's eyeing low-budget concepts: "You're going to have some young kid do those anyway, so let me have a crack at it." McFarlane was at the annual GameStop convention, showcasing a new lineup of toys based on "Halo 3." ...

Bobby Byrd, James Brown's longtime sideman and co-singer, died of cancer on Wednesday, according to The Augusta Chronicle of Georgia. Byrd sung the classic "get on up" refrain in "Get Up I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine." He was also the co-founder of the Famous Flames, which became Brown's first backing band.

09.12.07

From all indications, it doesn't look like we'll be getting a new Eminem album anytime soon. The seldom-heard-from MC called up New York's Hot 97 on Wednesday afternoon (September 12) to congratulate 50 Cent on the release of Curtis. Em also told host Angie Martinez he was "in limbo" and "debating" about when — and if — he would put out another LP. Later he elaborated: "I'm always working, I'm always in the studio. It feels good right now, the energy of the label. For a while, I don't wanna go back to the negative stuff. ... Going through some personal things, coming out of those personal things, it feels good." Em also noted that he has been in the studio every day working on projects for his Shady label. ...

While we're on the subject, it's only a day in, but the retail cage match between 50 and Kanye West could be headed for a blowout. Billboard says 'Ye's Graduation is on track to sell about 575,000-700,000 copies its first week out, while 50's Curtis is on pace for about 550,000. Kenny Chesney, this week's other big contender, is on track to sell 400,000-550,000 units of his Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates. The mag reports that SoundScan has tallied the one-day figures as well: West sold 437,000 copies while 50 moved 310,000. To add insult to injury, West even appears to be crushing at some stores in 50's hometown of New York. ...

Despite the poor reception Britney Spears received for her performance at the VMAs on Sunday night, early reaction to her forthcoming LP appears surprisingly tame. People magazine's Chuck Arnold has reportedly heard five tracks from the yet-untitled November 13 release, one of which he called an "early fave" ("Heaven on Earth"), and Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt likens one song, "Break the Ice," to Nelly Furtado's "Say It Right" — both tunes were produced by Danjahandz. ...

Looks like Remy Ma has gotten herself into more trouble, according to TMZ.com. The site reports that the rapper has been released on $250,000 bail and was forced to hand over her passport after allegedly roughing up a man at the Players Club in the Bronx, New York, in mid-August. The man was allegedly the boyfriend of a possible witness in her July 14 assault case — during the incident, Remy Ma is alleged to have shot her longtime friend Makeda Barnes-Joseph after a disagreement over money. In addition to the assault and weapons charges she's been hit with for the July incident, a district attorney's office spokesperson reportedly told the site that she will now also face charges of gang assault, tampering with a witness, intimidating a victim and third-degree assault. She is due in court September 20 to review her bail privileges. ...

Aretha Franklin has been hammering away at her duets LP for more than three years, and now — shortly before Reba McEntire's star-studded Reba Duets LP hits stores Tuesday — comes news that she's got the disc in the can. Jewels in the Crown: All-Star Duets With the Queen, due November 13, is bolstered by Mary J. Blige ("Don't Waste My Time," "Never Gonna Break My Faith"); Mariah Carey ("Chain of Fools"); John Legend (on the new track "What Y'All Came to Do"); Whitney Houston ("It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be") and Fantasia (on the album's first single, "Put You Up on Game"). Also featured on the album is a rendition of the Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (featuring guitarist Keith Richards) and two collaborations with late male crooners: "What Now My Love" (Frank Sinatra) and "Doctor's Orders" (Luther Vandross). ...

The three living members of English hard-rock legends Led Zeppelin — singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones — have confirmed their long-rumored performance at a November 26 concert at the O2 arena in London in honor of late music icon Ahmet Ertegun. The show, in support of the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, will pay tribute to the Atlantic Records founder and feature the Zeppelin trio joined by Jason Bonham, son of late Zep drummer John Bonham. Though Page and Plant have played and recorded together since the group's demise in 1980 following Bonham's death, they have been estranged from Jones for much of that time and the trio have not performed together since an Atlantic Records anniversary concert in 1988. The O2 show will also feature Who guitarist Pete Townshend, Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings, Foreigner and Paolo Nutini. "During the Zeppelin years, Ahmet Ertegun was a major foundation of solidarity and accord," Plant said in a statement. "For us he was Atlantic Records and remained a close friend and conspirator — this performance stands alone as our tribute to the work and the life of our longstanding friend." ...

Show your bling, Diddy: Per a motion filed Monday, the hip-hop mogul is being asked to present photos of his jewelry for inspection in the assault case filed against him, TMZ.com reports. Gerald Rechnitzer alleges that Diddy hit him in the jaw as he was leaving an Oscar afterparty in Hollywood on February 25. According to TMZ, the motion — which was filed by Michael M. Marzban, Rechnitzer's lawyer — claims, "Needles to say, [Sean] Combs does not wear simple rings ... the rings he wore when he struck (Rechnitzer) are important and critical to the bio-mechanics of this case." The motion also requests that Diddy produce additional documents and reveal how much alcohol he may have consumed at the nightclub where the party was held. ...

Lindsay Lohan may have avoided serious jail time for her two DUIs, but the actress/singer isn't totally off the hook. On Tuesday, a judge refused to dismiss portions of a lawsuit against Lohan over an October 2005 accident in which her Mercedes crashed into a van, according to The Associated Press. The judge rejected a motion that the suit lacked legal weight and set an April 7 date for the trial, in which the driver of the van — who police said caused the accident with an illegal U-turn — has sued Lohan seeking $200,000 in damages. The suit by the driver, Raymundo Ortega, claims that Lohan was speeding away from the paparazzi and was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the wreck. ...

She probably won't be around to see it hit stores, but Koch has pegged November 20 as the release date for Foxy Brown's new album. The jailed rapper's Brooklyn's Don Diva was bumped up from its originally scheduled December 4 release date and will feature "Don't Surrender" (featuring Graf) as its first single. The rapper also released a statement, insisting that her jailing "is just a temporary situation. I made my bed and have no problem lying in it. My will is steady. What doesn't kill me will only make me stronger." "I think there are greater injustices in America that require our immediate attention, like what's going on in Jena, Louisiana," she added, referring to the group of black students who are being charged with attempted murder for allegedly beating up a white student. "I will not surrender, I'm fine, free Jena Six!" Brown's manager, Chaz Williams, also took the opportunity to dismiss rumors that the rapper is expecting: "She is not pregnant!" he said. ...

Ludacris, Usher, Talib Kweli and Wyclef Jean have been added to the roster for a concert to raise funds for a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. They will join John Legend, Robin Thicke, Stevie Wonder, Joss Stone and other previously announced acts. ... Chamillionaire is hoping for an Ultimate Victory after his new LP drops Tuesday, and what better way to score big than by joining forces with MySpace? As part of AllHipHop Week, the Grammy Award-winning rapper will roll out his new song "Hip Hop Police" and "The Bill Collecta" with a MySpace-sponsored September 20 performance at Sol in New York. ...

Scott Weiland doesn't like sitting around these days — his band Velvet Revolver had a day off from their North American tour in Nashville on Thursday, and the singer used it to make a special appearance at the Second Fiddle. Weiland performed the Marshall Tucker Band's "Heard It in a Love Song" with country singer Tommy Joe Wilson and his group. ... Avenged Sevenfold will hit the road starting October 29 in Los Angeles for a string of 18 gigs scheduled through November 25 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The band will be touring in support of its forthcoming self-titled LP, which is due October 30. ... Former "You Hear It First" artists Paramore have sketched out a U.S. trek with the Starting Line that will take them from Sayreville, New Jersey, on October 23 to New York on November 28. ... Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn is heading back to school for a master class with an American Studies professor at his alma mater, Boston College, Pitchfork reports. Finn will talk for 90 minutes about his life, career and music at the school's Lyons Dining Hall on September 25. ...

A benefit concert aiming to raise money for a Kurt Cobain memorial will take place Saturday at 6 p.m. at the 7th Street Theatre in Hoquiam, Washington — where he spent the first six months of his life. Funds raised through the event will be used to start a future youth center and park in the late rocker's name. Slated for the bill are Jed, the Whore Moans, Don't Even Know, Black Top Demon, Bench Grinder, the Bimm Quaid and Clouded Minds. ... Is Jon Stewart the new Billy Crystal? The late-night comedian has been tapped to host the Oscars again, repeating a duty he first took on in 2006. The New York Times reports that the official announcement of the gig at the 80th annual awards show, which will take place on February 24, would be made on Wednesday. ...

The White Stripes aren't the only ones shelving tour dates these days — so is Holly Golightly, who has collaborated with the band in the past, coincidentally. The British singer-songwriter is going to reschedule the first three shows on her upcoming U.S. tour due to visa issues. Fellow Brits the Kaiser Chiefs are making a more drastic move by putting the kibosh on their scheduled North American trek — so they can concentrate on recording new material instead. "We'd like to apologize to fans in America and Canada, especially those who have already bought tickets, but something had to give," drummer Nick Hodgson said in a statement. "We've been extremely busy all year and had no time to focus on the future. We plan to have new material out as soon as possible and we've wanted to record all summer. This needs to happen before our European and U.K. shows at the end of the year so we can play a few of our new songs live. We're keen to explore new ground, beyond the sound of our first two records, so we're headed back into the studio to begin that process."