Britney Spears’ ‘Piece Of Me’ Clip Gets Online Preview; Plus Scott Weiland, Scott Stapp, Jessica Simpson, J.K. Rowling, C-Murder & More, In For The Record

Weiland's DUI case to be continued in January; domestic battery charge against Stapp is dropped; Simpson's 'Ambition' going straight to DVD; Rowling book sells for $3.98 million.

Britney Spears“Piece of Me” video is in place, even if it won’t actually be out until January at earliest — People.com posted a sneak preview of it on Thursday (December 13). In the clip, her second one for Blackout, the singer and her dancers are chased by the paparazzi and duck into a club in an effort to escape. (Check out snaps from the “Piece of Me” video shoot right here.) Don’t forget that Britney has reached out to fans to direct a separate “Piece of Me” video for her, with the winning clip to air December 20 on “TRL.” For the “Britney Spears Wants a Piece of You” contest, MTV has opened its vaults of the footage shot of the pop singer over the years, and fans can access the goods via the MTV Video Remixer. Pick the shots you like, mash them up and hit “send” — clips can be up to 3:34 in length or shorter. The grand-prize winner also will receive a brand new Haier Ibiza Rhapsody device along with a one-year subscription to Rhapsody, as well as the entire catalog of Spears’ CDs and DVDs released in the U.S. …

Scott Weiland‘s DUI case will be continued on January 17, according to TMZ.com — the Velvet Revolver frontman was due to be arraigned Thursday (December 13). Maybe it would have helped if the rocker had gotten that news Wednesday night, when he allegedly ranted onstage at Velvet Revolver‘s show in Hollywood, the site reports. Weiland reportedly said his group is not the “Mormon Tabernacle f—ing Choir” and, a source allegedly told the site, steered clear of his bandmates backstage after the show and didn’t have his picture taken. … Scott Stapp is off the hook — a domestic battery charge against the rocker has been dropped after he completed terms of an agreement, including his required participation in anger management counseling, according to The Associated Press. The original charge was aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony but it was reduced to a misdemeanor on Monday. Stapp was arrested in May after his wife accused him of taking drugs and throwing a bottle at her. As part of his agreement, he also underwent a substance abuse evaluation and agreed not to have any weapons in his possession. …

So much for Jessica Simpson‘s “Blonde Ambition” — the actress’ flick, inspired by the ’80s classic “Working Girl,” is going straight to DVD, according to UsMagazine.com. The comedy, which co-stars Luke Wilson, will hit stores January 22. …

If you think that lock of John Lennon‘s hair went for a lot of money — it was auctioned for $48,000 on Wednesday — wait till you hear how much a London dealer threw down for a handwritten, illustrated J.K. Rowling book: a cool 1.95 million pounds, the U.S. equivalent of $3.98 million, according to Reuters. The copy of “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” — a book that is referenced in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — was auctioned Thursday in London, and the price is the most anyone has ever paid for a modern literary manuscript at auction. All proceeds will go to Rowling’s charity the Children’s Voice, which helps vulnerable kids across Europe. …

A Louisiana judge denied a request from C-Murder to travel to Texas for Pimp C‘s funeral on Thursday (December 13). According to an AP report, the judge would not make an allowance for the trip for Murder (born Corey Miller), who is currently under house arrest awaiting a retrial for the 2002 murder of a teen inside a nightclub. …

Ne-Yo is heading to Wal-Mart — but not to go holiday shopping. Instead, the R&B singer will be at the retail chain’s location in Torrance, California, on Friday to help with a toy drive for inner-city children. … Coldplay have unearthed their cover of the Pretenders‘ Christmas-themed “2,000 Miles” and posted it on Coldplay.com. The group recorded the song — which benefited Future Forests and Stop Handgun Violence — in 2003 and made it available for a limited time as a paid download on their site. “We love Christmas songs, but every time we try and write one it’s awful,” Chris Martin wrote in an accompanying post. “So we often cover them — well, once or twice, actually. In fact, the song I would most like to have written is ‘Fairytale of New York’ by de bloody Pogues of Ireland.” …

Shakira elbowed her way onto the list of Golden Globe nominees — her “Love in the Time of Cholera” contribution earned a nod for Best Original Song. “I composed ‘Despedida’ with all my love for [Gabriel] Garcia Márquez, who is for me a true genius and the most eloquent spokesman of my people,” she said in a statement, referring to the author who wrote the book on which the film was based. Eddie Vedder‘s “Guaranteed” from “Into the Wild” also made the cut, as did the “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” tune “Walk Hard,” which was penned and performed by John C. Reilly, Marshall Crenshaw, Jake Kasdan and Judd Apatow. Similarly, three “Wild” Vedder songs and a trio of “Walk Hard” cuts have made the Oscar committee’s list of tracks being considered for Best Original Song, according to a weblog on Variety.com. Fifty-nine tunes — including ones by John Legend, John Mayer, the Flaming Lips, Sondre Lerche, Rufus Wainwright, Sheryl Crow and Fountains of Wayne frontman Adam Schlesinger — are eligible for the award. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will screen film clips featuring the tracks on January 15, after which the actual nominees for the Best Original Song category will be determined. …

R. Kelly‘s Friday night concert at the Forum in Los Angeles will be protested by black activists calling for action against the singer, who is facing 14 counts of child pornography, the Los Angeles Times reports. “It’s like pulling teeth to get people to talk about this,” one activist, Jasmyne Cannick, told the Times. “It’s a challenge to get the black community to even discuss it. They’re acting like he doesn’t have 14 counts of child pornography against him. … We’re all acting like we don’t have daughters and nieces and little sisters.” But Kelly’s manager, Derrell McDavid, didn’t seem too worried when he spoke to the newspaper. “There’s been no protests on this tour,” he said. “It’s just been a warm embrace and sold-out shows.” … Are the Smashing Pumpkins already working on new material? It seems that way — but this time around, fans won’t have to wait nearly as long. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin wrote in a blog post on their Web site that they’re in the midst of tracking, and hinted that the Pumpkins might have new material to release as early as January 1. “We are back in the studio recording some songs for a possible release worldwide,” he wrote. “Look for these around the first of the year.” …

Snoop Dogg‘s Youth Football League is still going strong, and the rapper has plotted a third benefit show to raise funds for the project, which helps kids stay off the streets. “The kids in the league depend on me to keep it going, and giving 100 percent of the sales from this concert is my way of making it happen for all of them,” he said in a statement about the show, which will take place Saturday at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California. All proceeds will go to the league and be used for new uniforms, transportation, lodging and food for the upcoming Snoop Bowl, taking place during Super Bowl weekend in Arizona. … Linkin Park‘s ambitious Music for Relief project has taken on another cause: raising money and awareness about the humanitarian crisis that has resulted in Bangladesh in the aftermath of Cyclone Sidr. The outreach organization has launched an eBay auction featuring items by LP, Avril Lavigne, Smashing Pumpkins and Deftones, with all proceeds going to the international relief group Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere. … George Clooney and Don Cheadle were honored in Rome on Thursday with a peace award for their efforts to raise awareness about the Darfur humanitarian crisis, according to AP. Also Thursday, they urged world leaders to provide helicopters for a peacekeeping force, partially led by the United Nations, that will take over security in the Sudanese area later in December. …

Look, up in the sky, it’s the Spice Girls! The reunited group has revealed the name of its Virgin Atlantic jumbo jet: Spice One. The name was chosen via an online contest, and the winner — who hails from Brazil — recently joined the ladies at their recent ceremony at Los Angeles International Airport. … Three Thom Yorke remixes that were previously available on his Web site will be issued February 4 in the U.K. in the form of 12-inches. The remixes are by the Field, Four Tet and others. …

Lupe Fiasco has filled up his calendar with concert dates, promotional appearances in support of his sophomore album, Lupe Fiasco’s “The Cool,” which drops Tuesday. LupeFiasco.com will be relaunched that day, on which Fiasco will also play a gig at New York’s the Fillmore at Irving Plaza. After that, he’ll stage a December 20 in-store gig at the Bassment in his Chicago hometown; a “MySpace Presents the Release” show in Hawaii on December 27; and then set out on a tour that starts January 10 in Portland, Oregon, and ends March 25 in Fredricksburg, Virginia. In the meantime, stream The Cool in its entirety on MTV’s “The Leak.”

While less than 20,000 of the reported millions who wanted to see Monday’s Led Zeppelin reunion in London were actually able to attend the gig, millions more briefly relived the experience vicariously through bootleg online clips. But, almost as fast as those clips showed up on sites like YouTube, they were reportedly taken down at the request of the band’s management. Or perhaps at the request of Warner Bros., which owns the publishing rights to Zeppelin’s catalog, according to Portfolio.com, which reported that individual clips began disappearing from YouTube on Tuesday afternoon “due to a copyright claim by Warner Music Group,” which, incidentally, has a licensing deal with YouTube for its content. However, the story got even weirder Thursday morning, when the Silicon Alley Insider revealed that a Brooklyn, New York, company called “GrayZone,” which bills itself as the “bootbusters of the entertainment industry,” took the initiative in sending out the takedown notices. According to the Alley Insider story, GrayZone apologized for erroneously issuing the notices and explained, “The error is ours alone. We acted without authorization from the band or Warner Music Group. Unfortunately, an automated system mistakenly attributed the removal of the content to a copyright claim by Warner Music Group. That was inaccurate. We have informed YouTube of the error and we regret any inconvenience this may have caused.” Speculation had surfaced that the reason for the takedown might be tied to an expected DVD release of the event at some point next year. … In related news, Robert Plant will tour next year, but not necessarily with Zep. He’ll make the rounds with Alison Krauss, with whom he collaborated for their October release Raising Sand. The pair will trek through Europe in May. …

There’s a new “Jackass” movie coming, and you won’t even have to leave the house to see it. The 64-minute “Jackass 2.5″ will stream for free from Wednesday until December 31 at JackassWorld.com with previously unreleased footage and interviews. The movie, touted as the first-ever studio-backed feature streamed entirely online, is available to anyone over 17 who downloads the Microsoft Silverlight media player, which can be found at Blockbuster.JackassWorld.com.Janet Jackson has finally settled on a title, release date and lead single for her follow-up to last year’s 20 Y.O. Discipline will drop February 26 and be preceded by the first single, the Rodney Jerkins-produced “Feedback,” which impacts January 7. Ne-Yo, Jermaine Dupri, Stargate, The-Dream and others also lent their talents to the veteran singer’s 10th studio effort, which was executive produced by Antonio “L.A.” Reid. … The Liars have lined up a headlining stint for next year as they continue to support their self-titled release, which came out in August. The band will set sail January 25 in San Francisco and play about a month’s worth of gigs that will wind down with a February 22 show in Los Angeles.

12.12.07

More Miley! The “Hannah Montana” star has freshened up her Best of Both Worlds Tour schedule with 14 additional January dates, meaning more of her fans will be thrilled and more opportunities will be had for raging ticket controversies. Instead of capping off her tour January 9 in Albany, New York, Cyrus will hit the following cities: Detroit (January 11); Milwaukee (January 13); Chicago (January 14); St. Louis (January 15); Las Vegas (January 18-19); Glendale, Arizona (January 22); Austin, Texas (January 24); Lafayette, Louisiana (January 25); New Orleans (January 26); Orlando, Florida (January 28-29); Jacksonville, Florida (January 30); and Miami (January 31). The Jonas Brothers have been opening for Cyrus but will be replaced by Aly & AJ from January 11-24, after which a yet-unannounced supporting act will take over for the remaining shows. …

Shia LaBeouf‘s criminal trespassing charge has just gone poof. Walgreens Co. and a security company announced via a letter read in a Chicago court Wednesday (December 12) that they will not continue a case involving criminal charges against the actor for refusing to leave one of the chain’s stores in early November. The “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” star, who reportedly appeared intoxicated at the time of the incident, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing. …

“Fantastic” news for Jessica Alba: The actress is pregnant, People.com reports. According to the site, the “Awake” star’s representative said her boyfriend Cash Warren is the father. Alba reportedly met Warren on the set of “Fantastic Four” in 2004, at which point they began dating. The actress was reportedly in talks to go to Broadway for a revival of the David Mamet play “Speed-the-Plow.” … Relatedly, it’s hard out here for a … Broadway star? Terrence Howard has signed on for an all-black version of Tennessee Williams‘ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” that will debut March 6 at New York’s Broadhurst Theatre. James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad and Anika Noni Rose of “Dreamgirls” will also star in the third revival of the production, which marks Howard’s stage debut. He will play Brick, the aging alcoholic ex-football player. …

What do John Legend and Eddie Vedder have in common, besides a great set of pipes? The singers are joining together to provide music for an upcoming documentary miniseries based on Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” a 1980 book that is widely read in high schools and colleges, and its companion piece, “Voices of a People’s History of the United States,” according to Billboard.com. “The People Speak” will begin production in Boston in January and also involve Viggo Mortensen, Josh Brolin and other actors. Vedder brought Zinn, a Boston University professor, onstage at a Pearl Jam show in Boston three years ago. …

Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe have more than their Australian backgrounds in common. Forbes has named the actors as the most overpaid celebrities in Hollywood, according to a complicated formula involving the stars’ salaries, budgets and returns for movies in which they have appeared, and more. Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler also made the list. …

Just in time for Christmas comes news that Britney Spears has been offered to play the role of the Virgin Mary in the upcoming film “Sweet Baby Jesus,” a humorous retelling of the nativity story, according to Us Weekly. “I had to convince my partners because they were like, ‘Oh, no. Britney?’ ” Philippe Rebboah, the film’s French producer, reportedly said. “But I thought it was brilliant. It’s a bit ironic that she would play the Virgin Mary, no? … She likes the idea, that’s what I heard.” Rebboah added that the singer is reviewing the script and will make a decision soon whether to act in the movie, which will be filmed in March. … You could say this year’s “Idol Gives Back” charity special was a wee bit successful — it only raked in a mere $75 million, for charities in the U.S. and Africa. “American Idol” will give the fundraiser another go on April 9 at 8 p.m. with a two-hour special featuring performances and appearances by yet-unnamed celebrities, according to Variety. The show itself will be back January 15 with a two-hour special. …

Sigur Rós are plotting a batch of theatrical screenings for “Heima,” the new documentary film they released late last month. The movie, which revolves around a series of free shows the band played in its native Iceland last summer, will be shown Tuesday (San Francisco, Denver); December 19 (Boston, Atlanta); and December 20 (Austin, Texas; Seattle). … A lock of John Lennon‘s hair that went up for bid Wednesday had been estimated to sell for $4,000 to $6,000 — but an unnamed telephone bidder actually shelled out $48,000 for it in the Beatles memorabilia auction, The Associated Press reports. The items in the auction had been collected by the legendary group’s hairdresser, and a photo of the band dedicated to her — it was signed “George ‘Dandruff’ Harrison” — went for $13,000. …

Music/social-networking site Mog.com relaunched on Wednesday with some seriously beefed-up content. As the result of a deal with Rhapsody Music Service — a joint venture with MTV — Moggers can now listen to millions of full-length songs on their own pages and on the pages of others, and a new search function provides instant access to specific music anywhere on Mog. Using the “play all” function, users can hear what like-minded people are listening to, while the “play this page” function lets users instantly create a playlist of every song mentioned on another Mogger’s page. … Maybe this is where those Led Zeppelin tour rumors came from: Nashville’s WSMT-TV is reporting that Zep frontman Robert Plant and bluegrass star Alison Krauss will take the stage together at the Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, Tennessee, in June to perform songs from their collaborative CD, Raising Sand. The fest will be held June 12-15.