Big Boi To Drop New Single On New Year's Eve; Plus White Stripes, Amy Winehouse, Bow Wow, Jessica Simpson & More, In For The Record

Stripes may never tour again; Winehouse's mother reaches out in open letter; Bow Wow to return to the road.

Big Boi is stitching together his upcoming album, Sir Luscious Left Foot, which will be released separately from Andre 3000's own new project and be followed by a proper Outkast release. Big Boi told Vibe.com that fans can expect to hear the first single from his effort at midnight on New Year's Eve. "I want all the stuff to be '08, everything to be brand new," he said. "I'm going to put 12 songs on [Sir Luscious Left Foot], I'm finished with like nine right now. Production is by Organized Noize." ...

The White Stripes trekked heavily in support of Icky Thump this year, but could those have been the band's final tours ever? "If we didn't ever tour again, it doesn't matter to me," Jack White told the Los Angeles Times in an interview that ran in the paper's Sunday edition. "There's so many different aspects to being creative that it doesn't matter if one component is changed. Because it's been changing all the time since the band started." The frontman insisted, however, that he will tour with his side project the Raconteurs for their yet-untitled second album, which he reportedly said is halfway done and due in '08. ...

Amy Winehouse previously announced that she had scrapped her remaining concert dates and public appearances for the year, but a little thing called the Grammy Awards has changed all that. "Amy is grateful and excited about the nominations, and she is planning to attend [the ceremony]," her publicist, Tracey Miller, confirmed to MTV News on Monday (December 10). But while Winehouse may be all smiles over her six nominations, she probably isn't too pleased about an open letter her mother reportedly sent to the British tabloid News of the World. In the letter, Janis begged her daughter to come home and get some help. She explained why she hadn't gone public until now, writing, "People will wonder why I haven't run down to whatever hotel you're staying in, scooped you up and taken you home for a hot bath and a steaming bowl of chicken soup. It's because your father and I know what you're like, Amy. We want to help you, but we know that unless you want to be helped — unless you come to us — anything we tried would be in vain." And though she admitted she's not the #1 fan of Winehouse's troubled husband, Blake Fielder-Civil — currently in jail following an arrest last month on charges of allegedly trying to interfere with a trial on an assault charge — Janis Winehouse said she knows Amy has made her choice. "Blake your husband might not be my favourite person — you know that, Amy — but he's your choice, and I would never say anything about him to hurt you. ... If your relationship is meant to be, it will survive." Janis Winehouse wrote that she thinks early fame has overwhelmed her daughter and that it has "dizzied" and "muddled" her mind. "For a moment, forget you're a superstar. You're also young and vulnerable. Remember you're just an ordinary human being, not stronger than any of the rest of us. You think you're strong enough to get through this on your own, darling, but you're not." The letter comes less than a week after Winehouse was photographed walking through the streets of London in a bra and jeans in the early morning hours. "We were terrified after we saw those pictures of you earlier this week, wandering the freezing streets of London at dawn in your underwear. All I wanted to do was rush into those pictures and wrap you up in a big, warm blanket." ...

Good news for Bow Wow fans: The singer plans to return to his his tour with Chris Brown, Sean Kingston, Soulja Boy, Lil Mama and others starting Thursday in Memphis, Tennessee. According to a statement issued by his publicist, Bow Wow is still recovering and, as it turns out, his recent rush to the hospital didn't stem from exhaustion, as was previously thought, but rather an appendix infection. ... Jessica Simpson is ganging up with Stride Rite Children's Group for the design, development, manufacturing and distribution of a line of tween kicks. The footwear collection will debut in 2008 and feature current Simpson women's styles in youth sizes, as well as youth-specific silhouettes. The footwear will be available at major department stores and specialty retailers. ...

Green Day may have done it again. A '60s-inspired band called Foxboro Hot Tubs have posted a six-song EP on FoxboroHotTubs.com that bears all the hallmarks of the Green Day sound. Songs like "Stop Drop and Roll," "Mother Mary" and "Ruby Room" trade snarling political anthems for bouncy, poppy melodies and sweet "Ooh, ooh" and "Bah, bah, bah" backing vocals, with a lead singer who sounds like a cardigan-sweater-wearing Billie Joe Armstrong. Green Day have not officially confirmed that the six songs available for free download on the site are their handiwork, but four years ago they pulled a similar stunt with their side project the Network. ...

Led Zeppelin's wildly anticipated reunion show went down Monday night in London, but before it did came news of the band's backstage rider, which includes requests for tea, coffee and an ironing board, according to reports. Also, according to the Los Angeles Times, Randy Phillips, the chief executive of AEG Live, which organized the concert, said he'll head from Los Angeles to England to "meet with Bill Curbishley, the band's manager, and hand him a huge offer" for a possible tour. "The reality is, Zeppelin has not agreed to a tour," he told the paper. "They want to play this show and see how it goes, how it feels, and then go from there. There's nothing firm yet, but maybe afterward." ... Eric Avery, the bassist and co-founder of Jane's Addiction, will issue a solo LP, Help Wanted, April 8. The set will include guest spots by Garbage's Shirley Manson, Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Pepper Flea. ...

Troubled ex-"American Idol" finalist Jessica Sierra wouldn't be able to perform at a holiday tribute to U.S. troops in Washington, D.C., on Friday, even if she wanted to. According to The Associated Press, organizers of the concert said the 22-year-old singer has been uninvited from the show, in light of her recent arrest and current jailing over charges of disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest after a scuffle at a Tampa, Florida, bar on December 1. "While we appreciate Ms. Sierra's past efforts to support U.S. troops, including performing for them in Iraq on Independence Day, it is quite obvious that Ms. Sierra needs to devote a great deal of time to putting her life back together," Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Buzz Patterson said in a statement released Friday. ...

Members of DevilDriver, Lamb of God, Soilwork and Killswitch Engage honored the memory of late Pantera/Damageplan guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott on Saturday by performing a cover of Pantera's "Five Minutes Alone" during the bands' gig at the Nokia Theatre in Dimebag's hometown of Grand Prairie, Texas. The performance happened on the three-year anniversary of Dimebag's death. ... Marilyn Manson has unveiled the dates for his upcoming U.S. run. The trek is set to kick off January 19 in Orlando, Florida, and run through February 25 in San Diego. No support acts have been announced yet. ...

The Deftones have completed about six to eight songs for their next LP, according to an online post from the band. "We've taken a different approach to writing this record than we have the past few years, and so far it's been a lot of fun," the statement reads. "The material seems to be flowing freely, and each song is different from the other. We feel like we're accomplishing what we set out to do, which is to write a record that pushes boundaries for us creatively." ... The Mars Volta have lined up shows in support of their forthcoming LP, The Bedlam in Goliath. The band kicks off its tour December 31 in San Francisco and has dates booked through January 27 in Boulder, Colorado. ...

Perez Hilton wants Lindsay Lohan's friend Samantha Ronson to fork over $93,000 for attorneys fees after his lawyers successfully defended him in the Los Angeles DJ's lawsuit against the blogger, according to Los Angeles TV affiliate KNBC. In her suit, Ronson alleged Hilton defamed her when his site reported that she might have owned the cocaine discovered in Lohan's car when the singer was arrested. Ronson claims that Hilton's depiction of her as a "disloyal, dishonest friend who 'sold out' and 'set up' her friend Lohan for personal financial gain" was nothing but libel. ... Phil Spector's murder retrial is likely to be delayed until September because the only remaining Spector attorney from the original trial, a lawyer who is involved in two death-penalty cases, is unavailable until the fall. In a separate development, the music producer hired a new lawyer late last week. A mistrial in Spector's case was declared in late September after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict. ...

The Universal Music Group has become the final one of the four major labels to sign a deal providing its music to social-networking site imeem. Like the others, the home of Amy Winehouse, 50 Cent and U2 will allow free streaming of full songs in exchange for a cut of imeem's advertising revenue, according to Forbes.com. This gives imeem an advantage over sites like MySpace, where Universal has restricted its song and video streams to 90 seconds in length.

12.7.2007

You probably didn't take Ashlee Simpson as a fan of Salvador Dalí, but the famed artist's surrealism is exactly the look she went for in her new video, according to Billboard.com. The singer shot a clip for "Out of My Head (Ay Ya Ya)," the Timbaland-produced first single from her yet-untitled March album, on Thursday. "One of my favorite artists is Salvador Dalí," she told the site. "You'll see a little bit of that surrealism in [the clip]. There's a bit of 'Being John Malkovich' in there too. It's a little out there." Simpson also said she will title the album during the holidays and hopes to kick off a small-club tour in February. ...

Kanye West has backed out of what would have been his first concert on U.S. soil since the unexpected death of his mother, Dr. Donda West, last month. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that West dropped off the bill for the KDWB Jingle Ball at the Target Center slated for Friday night (December 7) in Minneapolis with only a few days' notice, due to an unspecified "family matter." "American Idol" runner-up Blake Lewis and Fabolous will fill in for West on the bill, which also includes Avril Lavigne, Timbaland, Good Charlotte and Jordin Sparks. "We tried to get [West] on the air to explain all this to fans, but he refused," said Rob Morris, the station's program director. "We did everything we could to save this thing." ...

West, Avril Lavigne, Common and Coldplay are just a few of the many celebs who have pitched in for Waxploitation's new Darfur Benefit Auction, which launched Thursday. Lavigne, Com, the Flaming Lips, Norah Jones, Nickelback and Deftones signed guitars for the auction; 'Ye, Coldplay, Gnarls Barkley, Bloc Party, TV on the Radio, Wilco, the Decemberists, Aesop Rock, Macy Gray, Thievery Corporation and Gorillaz signed other items; and there are additional items from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lupe Fiasco, Don Cheadle, and Bam Margera. All proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam America. ...

Speaking of eBay charity auctions, Gorillaz's Damon Albarn, Robert Plant, Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch, PJ Harvey and others have written and signed postcards for a British one that's currently up. One of Plant's postcards quizzically has just two words above his John Hancock: "Mitigating circumstances." Daddy G of Massive Attack and actress Helen Mirren also pitched in for the effort, which is raising money for Carers UK, an organization that gives financial and emotional support to individuals who provide unpaid health and social care. ...

J.K. Rowling has posted a new entry on her Web site, calling out the launch of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" at the National History Museum in London and insisting that the book is her fave of the series. "As for mourning Harry — and I doubt I will be believed when I say this — nobody can have felt the end as deeply as I did. The writing of 'Harry Potter' has been inextricably linked with my life for 17 years, and saying goodbye has been just as tough as I always knew it would be." Rowling also revealed that a documentary surrounding her is on the way. "J.K. Rowling - A Year in the Life," which will air later this month in the U.K., shadows the author working on "Deathly Hallows," on tour and at the launch. ...

After visa issues forced Velvet Revolver to cancel their tour of Japan, and "health issues" forced the band to postpone its Australian tour — a week after the DUI arrest of singer Scott Weiland — the group has announced a New Year's Eve show at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom. The band also said that part of the proceeds from a limited-edition T-shirt sold at its Wednesday benefit with Alice in Chains at Universal City, California's Gibson Amphitheatre will be donated to victims of the recent Southern California fires. Meanwhile, the Australian tour dates have been rescheduled for February and will kick off with a show on the 15th in Brisbane. ... It was a rare bit of good legal news for Kid Rock this week when a judge in New Orleans dismissed Louisiana musician Troy Landry's claim that the rapper's song "Somebody's Gotta Feel This" was too similar to one of his songs. According to The Associated Press, U.S. District Judge May Ann Vial Lemmon said the works were not "so strikingly or substantially similar as to preclude independent creation." Landry sued Rock (born Robert Ritchie) and Atlantic Records in 2004, claiming that an eight-second snippet of "Feel This" that was featured in a beer commercial was similar to a song Landry released on a 1994 record. ...

Madonna is suing the board and management company of her luxury New York apartment — which includes a 6,000-square-foot duplex, a gym and a beauty salon — for not allowing her to expand it into a neighboring apartment, according to the Daily News. In a recently filed summons, the singer reportedly accuses the board and management company of breach of contract for holding up the sale of the other apartment. ... In other Madge news, Billboard.com reported Thursday that her new album would be called Licorice and drop in late April, but her label is saying not so fast. "Wrong title. Release date wrong etc.," Warner Bros. spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg told Reuters. She did not, however, appear to deny the reported participation of Kanye West and Pharrell on the effort. ... Björk has reunited with director Michel Gondry — who got behind the camera for some of the singer's best-known videos, including "Human Behaviour" and "Army of Me" — for a new clip, RollingStone.com reports. The collaboration, for her song "Declare Independence," marks their first hookup in 10 years. ...

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have lined up three gigs he'll play in the summer at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, according to Billboard.com. Sixty-six Springsteen concerts have reportedly sold out at the venue in the past, and the upcoming gigs will be held July 27, 28 and 31. ... So is that much-rumored new studio album by the Pixies still in the works? "Helll no," Kim Deal recently told RollingStone.com about participating on a potential new effort. "Because I don't want to," she added. She said she didn't think her bandmates wanted to make one either. "I was kind of waiting for [Frank Black and guitarist Joey Santiago] to get together and do demos, and they never did." ... "Wire" fans, there's another reason to get psyched, beyond the upcoming launch of the show's new season: Two soundtracks are on the way, Pitchfork reports. ... And All the Pieces Matter - Five Years of Music From "The Wire" will include music and dialogue from the lauded HBO show; tracks by Steve Earle, Solomon Burke and others; as well as variations of Tom Waits' "Down in the Hole" theme sung by the Blind Boys of Alabama and others. Beyond Hamsterdam: Baltimore Club Tracks From "The Wire" will highlight underground B-More rappers like Rod Lee, Tyree Colion and Diablo. Both discs drop January 8, two days after the new season starts airing. ...

Will Smith, Ralph Macchio wannabe? Believe it or not, the "I Am Legend" actor is entertaining the idea of a "Karate Kid" remake, according to AP. While there aren't many more details yet on that shocker, there is some more news on the "I Am Legend" front: The flick's theatrical release in China is being held up due to the country's plan to temporarily ban American movies in an effort to help China's domestic-film industry. ... Kiefer Sutherland, who has served three of the 48 days he has been sentenced to spend in jail, is a "model prisoner," said Officer John Balian, a spokesman for the Glendale City Jail in California, according to People.com. Sutherland reportedly spent Thursday folding jail laundry and has been assigned to serve meals to the other inmates. "He's not happy to be here," Balian said. "But you can tell from his demeanor that he's sorry and takes responsibility for what he's done." ...

A fifth person has been charged with conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice in the case involving Amy Winehouse's husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, BBC News reports. James Kennedy is due in court Friday. ... Billy Joel has released a new anti-war song — though the piano man isn't heard singing on the track. Instead, 21-year-old New York singer/songwriter Cass Dillon handled the duties. Joel thought "somebody young, about a soldier's age," should be heard on "Christmas in Fallujah," he recently told AP. The track went on sale on iTunes starting Tuesday, and net proceeds are going to Homes for Our Troops, a charity group that constructs homes for wounded Iraq and Afghanistan vets. ...

Hip-hop icon MC Lyte is prepping the debut from her new group, Almost September, which also features producer/DJ Jared Lee and singer Whitey White. Manager "Blue" Williams said the trio have a "grown-up rap" feel that mixes Lyte's rhymes with soulful funk akin to the Brand New Heavies. The group's first single, "Beautiful," will be available on iTunes before the end of the year. ...

Drowning Pool bassist Stevie Benton has been diagnosed with Bell's Palsy, an often-temporary neurological disorder that causes paralysis of the face, after being rushed to the hospital Thursday. According to a statement from his publicist, Benton felt ill during the band's Wednesday night show in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and has been ordered to stay off the road for at least six weeks. "I'm really bummed that because of this, we can't perform this last string of shows," he said in the statement. "I want to thank the fans for their continued support."

[This story was originally published at 1:17 pm E.T. on 12.10.2007]