Jay-Z Says Def Jam Deal Is 'Not About Money'; Plus Panic! At The Disco, Gwen Stefani, Britney Spears, Green Day & More, In For The Record

Panic peg release date for second album; Stefani, Spears chip in for charity; Green Day top online list of most-searched bands.

Like Jay-Z rapped once before, "Money Ain't a Thang." The Def Jam prez has denied a report in New York's Daily News indicating that salary was a sticking point in negotiating his return to the hip-hop label. His original contract is up at the end of this month, and so far, his return hasn't been announced. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly shortly after the Grammy nominations were announced, Jay — who nabbed five nods — revealed the two sides were "close." But he wouldn't guarantee anything. He said salary wasn't even near the top of his list of considerations. "I don't know [if I'll be back]," Jay explained in the interview. "We'll see how it goes. But seriously, it's not about money. That's really the last thing. Of course, as a person that does these type of things and puts his heart and soul into it — and it's effective, as the [Grammy nominations] would indicate — you want to be compensated for what you do. But it's really not about money. It's really about the future of the music business, and not wasting anyone's time. I don't ever want to sit in a seat just to sit in a seat. I could be off doing something else that's beneficial to the future of the music business as well as myself. So it's not about money! I mean, you couldn't pay me enough. And I don't mean that in a cocky way." In other Jay news, he'll ring out 2007 with a performance of American Gangster on December 29 in Las Vegas, at the Palms Casino Resort's Pearl. The intimate show in the 2,500-seat venue won't be cheap: Tickets start at $128 and top out at $228. ...

Panic! at the Disco have pegged March 25 as the release date for their second album, which they still don't have a name for yet, according to Billboard.com. Guitarist Ryan Ross told the site the band is "working backwards" for the release, stripping down its sound and going for a more classic-rock approach. Songs will include "Things Have Changed" and "Nine in the Afternoon," a song the ensemble tried out during shows over the summer. Speaking of which, Panic are sketching out a tour that will see them playing U.S. theaters in March. "We're not going to do a circus show again," Ross promised. ...

Gwen Stefani made good on her promise to donate proceeds from her October 30 concert at San Diego's Cox Arena to victims of the wildfires by giving a whopping $166,000 to local charity the San Diego Foundation, which is helping the community recover. The Southern California singer's donation will be used in the form of Gwen Stefani After-the-Fires Scholarships distributed to students who lost their homes in the fires. ... And for all her problems, Britney Spears still has a heart too — the singer's Believe fragrance is teaming with MondoNation.com an eBay auction to benefit the Make a Wish foundation, Autism Speaks and the Nelson High School Africa Project. Limited-edition gift sets, fragrances, T-shirts and more are all up for bidding, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the charities. ...

Though Green Day didn't even have an album out this year — not counting their new rumored side project, Foxboro Hot Tubs — the band topped Lycos' list of most-searched bands of 2007. The rest of the list included the Pussycat Dolls, Fall Out Boy, Nickelback, Guns N' Roses, the Rolling Stones, Evanescence, Black Eyed Peas, the All-American Rejects and the Fray. ... Foo Fighters have swollen their tour plans with an injection of new dates. Dave Grohl and his cohorts will hit up Reno, Nevada (February 1); Oakland, California (February 2); Council Bluffs, Iowa (February 28); Glendale, Arizona (March 2); San Diego (March 3); and Los Angeles (March 5). ... Dr. Dre is still off the hook for taping a backstage conversation with Detroit city officials at a concert in 2000, The Associated Press reports. Circuit Judge John Murphy, who previously ruled against the officials — whose conversation with Dre was featured on his and Eminem's "Up in Smoke" tour DVD — dismissed an invasion-of-privacy case that had been brought against the rapper/producer (real name: Andre Young). According to the Detroit Free Press, Murphy had said in October that he might let the case go to trial, but he apparently changed his mind. ...

Dr. Jan Adams, the doctor who operated on Dr. Donda West — Kanye's mother — the day before she died last month, agreed on Tuesday (December 11) to start making payments to a woman who had sued him for allegedly leaving a sponge inside her when he performed surgery on her 11 years ago, TMZ.com reports. Adams owes Lori Ufondu $150,000, has already made one payment to her and will keep doing so until April, when the Adams and Ufondu parties are due to meet again, according to the site. After Adams was late for a hearing in November, a warrant was issued for his arrest, although it was recalled after he eventually showed up. ... imeem doesn't just have a friend in the Universal Music Group, which recently signed a deal providing its music to the social-networking site — Lupe Fiasco has also joined forces with the site in anticipation of Lupe Fiasco's "The Cool," which drops December 18. All this week, the Chicago MC is providing sneak peeks of his LP on imeem, as well as playing other choice songs and videos by Jay-Z, Kanye West, Bloc Party, Foo Fighters and more of his favorite artists. He's also launched a skateboard-design contest through the site. ...

Brian Wilson is going to be making a lot of people SMiLE next year — the Beach Boy will take part in a Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp 10th anniversary shindig in Hollywood on February 15-18. Members of John Mayer's band, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Kiss, the Cars and others are also on for the event, which will find adults living out their rock dreams. ... The Beatle and the hair: One of John Lennon's locks as well as other items from the iconic group will be up for sale starting Wednesday at an auction in southern England, AP reports. Beatles hairdresser Betty Glasow is the person behind the auction, and she got her hands on Lennon's lock when he gave it to her in a copy of his book "A Spaniard in the Works." Photographs the group humorously signed and dedicated to Glasow (one has a sig from "George 'Dandruff' Harrison"), as well as a program from one of their shows is also up for bid. ...

While it seemed like Wilco were dissing their Chicago hometown when their upcoming string of early 2008 dates were announced last week — the city was nowhere to be found on the itinerary — the band has just posted news about a five-night stand in Chi-town's Riviera Theatre. The shows, to be held February 15, 16 and 18-20, will kick off the tour and explore "the band's complete recorded works," according to a statement. Singer Jeff Tweedy said, "Over the five nights we will attempt the 'complete Wilco' and try to clear out the dusty corners of the catalog that we haven't attended to in a while." The band promises a distinct, "one-of-a-kind set list each night." ... The tour itinerary for next year's Take Action! Tour is being firmed up: The trek will start February 14 in Detroit and run through March 24 in New York, with additional dates to be announced. Fans who pick up four tickets to one of the shows will get a bonus: They'll get to chill with Every Time I Die at the venue and receive a Take Action! poster signed by the band. The Bled, August Burns Red and the Human Abstract have also joined the tour bill. ...

PETA has really taken the gloves off this time. The animal-rights group's PETA2 arm is lashing out at Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen with "Trollsen Twins," a new campaign the organization debuted Tuesday with an unflattering ad at the twins' Walk of Fame star on Hollywood Boulevard. PETA2 also launched a grisly Web site devoted to the fur-wearing actresses that includes a video segment called "Full House of Horrors," in which scenes from the sisters' old TV show are intercut with scenes of animals being killed. ... It looks like Jammie Thomas — the 30-year-old single mom from Minnesota who was the first person to lose a file-sharing lawsuit brought by the Recording Industry Association of America — won't be able to avoid paying the $220,000 fine she was hit with in October. In a recent decision, the U.S. Justice Department took the RIAA's side in the case, not agreeing with Thomas' lawyer that the damages awarded to the RIAA were disproportionate or excessively unreasonable. The ruling echoed the RIAA's argument that once a song is posted on a P2P network, it can be shared by millions of other users, though it is impossible to tell how many. ... In other RIAA news, according to court files posted on the legal blog Recording Industry vs. the People, the RIAA told the court in an Arizona file-sharing case, Atlantic vs. Howell, that it considers ripping personal CDs to MP3 format "unauthorized" and illegal. This goes against the RIAA's assertion in its 2005 case against the P2P site Grokster that ripping CDs is not illegal.

12.10.07

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.