Notorious B.I.G. Wrongful-Death Suit Tossed; Plus Jessica Sierra, Ice Cube, Shakira, Jessica Simpson, Lily Allen & More, In For The Record

Dr. Drew reportedly to appear in court on behalf of Sierra; Ice Cube reveals LP title to MTV News; Shakira visits Bangladesh.

The ongoing legal actions surrounding the 1997 murder of the Notorious B.I.G. (born Christopher Wallace) hit another bump in the road on Monday when a U.S. district judge dismissed a second wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the rapper’s family against the city of Los Angeles and former LAPD officer Rafael Pérez. Judge Florence-Marie Cooper sided with the defendants and dismissed the case — filed in April — on the grounds that Biggie’s family didn’t file the claim against the city within the designated time frame. “This was not the primary civil-rights claim, that suit is still going forward,” explained Perry Sanders, the lead attorney in the Wallace family’s ongoing wrongful-death suit against the city and LAPD. “This was a standalone action based on state laws, but the rigorous rules state that if you don’t file suit within six months of the injury, then the suit cannot go forward, and we didn’t find out that Pérez was on duty until August 2006.” The April suit alleged that Pérez conspired with fellow former police officers David Mack and Nino Durden to murder the famous rapper and that the city of Los Angeles covered up the officers’ involvement to avoid being tangled in a lawsuit that would make the city liable in the killing. New evidence recently uncovered indicated that Pérez was on duty the night of the rapper’s death, though the officer has denied any involvement. …

Jessica Sierra has an unlikely ally in Dr. Drew, apparently. The radio personality will appear in criminal court on behalf of the former “American Idol” finalist at the request of her lawyer, according to TMZ.com. She is reportedly due to face a judge in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday, while Drew will attend at a later court date. Sierra was arrested December 2 outside a bar near Tampa and is facing charges of disorderly intoxication, resisting arrest and violating parole. She is currently in jail without bond. …

The Rolling Stone/ Camel ad fiasco is far from over — two indie-rock bands have filed a class-action lawsuit against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company; the magazine; and its parent company, Wenner Media, according to TheDailySwarm.com. The suit was reportedly filed by Xiu Xiu and F—ed Up on behalf of the 186 artists whose names appeared alongside a cartoon-heavy indie-rock feature in the magazine’s November 15 issue, and it claims the defendants had “unauthorized use of artists’ names; unauthorized use of artist names for commercial advantage [right of publicity]; and unfair business practices.” The bands are also seeking financial compensation for damages, and TheDailySwarm.com reports that Rolling Stone might have to pay close to $200 billion if found guilty. Nine state attorneys general have already sued Camel for its use of cartoons in the sale of tobacco products. …

Ice Cube has settled on Raw Footage as the title of his upcoming studio album. “It’ll be out next year,” he recently told MTV News of the release, before humbly adding, “It’s better than anything you’ve ever heard before.” … Jimmy Eat World will tag along with Foo Fighters for a handful of gigs early next year, in Sunrise, Florida (January 16); Orlando, Florida (January 17); Birmingham, Alabama (January 19); Pensacola, Florida (January 20); Houston (January 22); Dallas (January 23); and Memphis, Tennessee (January 25). Jimmy Eat World, who just wrapped their annual run of radio shows, have additional dates scheduled through March. … The People’s Choice Awards show is going to look a whole lot different next year, in light of the ongoing writers’ strike. The awards program has nixed its red carpet, acceptance speeches and live audience and will instead feature a “magazine-style format,” according to People.com. Queen Latifah is still slated to host the show, which will air January 8 on CBS, but the winners will be submitting their acceptance remarks in video form. …

Shakira wants your help — the singer is asking people to reach out to the victims of the Bangladesh floods after her recent trip to the South Asian country. In a recent press release, Shakira said she had planned to travel to Bangladesh before the cyclone, to observe the education-outreach efforts being made there, but that she felt more urgency to go there after the disaster. “Now that I’ve seen with my own eyes the destruction everywhere, it’s critical that the people of the world support the Bangladeshi and that they get more international help as they rebuild,” the singer said, adding that 8 million people have been affected and 3,000 schools were damaged or destroyed. Visit the United Nations Children’s Fund Web site to find out how you can help the victims. …

Jessica Simpson is still catching heat for her appearance at Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys game, which the team lost 10-6 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Fans have voiced anger over a purported link between the actress’ attendance and the career-worst performance by quarterback Tony Romo, and now wide receiver Terrell Owens has joined the chorus, saying, “Right now, Jessica Simpson is not a fan favorite — in this locker room or in Texas Stadium,” according to The Associated Press. Romo’s previous worst game reportedly was a December 2006 contest attended by then-girlfriend Carrie Underwood. “Obviously with the way Tony played, and the comparison between [Simpson] and Carrie Underwood, I think a lot of people feel she has taken his focus away,” Owens said. “Other than that, she was high on my list until last week. Oh, I got a message for her when we make the playoffs. Just stay tuned.” …

Lily Allen is expecting her first child with boyfriend Ed Simons, who is one-half of the Chemical Brothers. A representative for the 22-year-old singer told BBC News that Allen has been dating Simons since September and that they were “obviously both thrilled by the news,” but would not comment any further. “As the pregnancy is at a very, very early stage, the couple ask that you respect their privacy, as the health of Lily and their child is their paramount concern,” said the spokesman, who was not named. … Hawthorne Heights frontman JT Woodruff, former Dead Kennedys leader Jello Biafra and Chris #2 from Anti-Flag make cameos on the upcoming A.K.A.s album Everyone Make Some Noise! The hardcore-punk band’s effort will drop March 18. … The Breeders are back — not just with their upcoming April 8 album, Mountain Battles, but with a U.K. trek surrounding it, according to Pollstar.com. The band will kick off its trek April 7 in Dublin, Ireland, and continue playing through an April 16 show in London. Plans for the Breeders to play at Coachella and South by Southwest are also reportedly in the works, the site said. …

The Smashing Pumpkins have cobbled together a four-song acoustic EP, and it’s coming right around the corner. According to a post by Billy Corgan on the band’s Web site, American Gothic will be available January 2 on iTunes and feature the following songs: “The Rose March,” “Again, Again, Again (The Crux),” “POX” and “Sunkissed.” Corgan added in the rambling post that the band will play the new songs on their upcoming European and Australian tours, and he closed the missive with these remarks: “Thanks to New Orleans for showing Us the meaning of hope…and thanks to the old guard for showing the same dull move, you know the one that never works? Art band that said old guard wishes they were in so bad that they wish importance upon it? Check! No matter what you crutches all dream up, Led Zep is still a 100 times better! Go Zep! Go Team! Rock on! Long Live the Mighty SP!” …

The Chris Brown/ Bow Wow tour is going to keep rolling. The duo have expanded their double-bill outing into February, adding another dozen dates to their itinerary, mostly along the East Coast, as well as a second Madison Square Garden show in New York and a New Year’s Eve gig in Universal City, California. The tour is now scheduled to wrap up February 2 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. Bow Wow recently left the tour briefly after being hospitalized, later telling MTV News that he had injured himself after throwing a fit in his dressing room. …

Ozzy Osbourne has scratched his Thursday concert at Cleveland’s Wolstein Center “due to an unforeseen personal family matter,” according to a post on his Web site. The show won’t be rescheduled, although tour partner Rob Zombie will instead play at the House of Blues with In This Moment. Ticketholders for the Wolstein Center show can get refunds at point of purchase. Meanwhile, Zombie has also added two more dates to his 2008 calendar: January 26 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and January 27 in Lubbock, Texas. … Hellyeah have broken out dates for the second leg of their Balls Volume Strength Tour, which also features Machine Head, Nonpoint and Ankla. The next stretch will take the hard-rockers from Clifton Park, New York, on January 25 to Milwaukee on February 15, although more dates are expected to be announced. …

Will Ferrell will hit the road with three other comedians — Zach Galifianakis, Nick Swardson and Demetri Martin — in February for a short run of shows at universities and colleges. The Funny or Die Tour will make stops at Kansas State (February 4); Michigan State (February 5); Ohio State (February 6); Penn State (February 11); the University of Rhode Island (February 12); Boston College (February 13); Butler University (February 18); and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (February 22). … Feist are working on new material — gently. “I’m tiptoeing into some new terrain,” Leslie Feist told Billboard.com. “There’s no necessity and no timeline. … I’m not quite at the point where I think I should be thinking about another record. … These songs, there’s nothing forcing them to come, yet here’s some ideas. It’s really a ways away though.” The singer did reveal, however, that the band hit the studio during a recent day off while on tour. Feist are up for four Grammys.Beck‘s Odelay — the 1996 album that ranks as one of Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time — is getting polished up for a two-CD deluxe edition due January 29. The first disc has two unreleased session tracks produced by the Dust Brothers — “Inferno” and “Gold Chains” — and a soundtrack cut, while the second has 16 hard-to-find B-sides and compilation contributions. …

While Weezer fans have to make do for now with the recently released Alone – The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo, the rest of the bandmembers are busy working on their own side projects. According to Weezer’s Web site, rhythm guitarist Brian Bell is working on an album with his other band, the Relationship; drummer Pat Wilson is recording an album with his long-running side project, the Special Goodness, that is due in the spring; and bassist Scott Shriner is getting ready to answer questions for Weezer fan site Weerez.com. … Michael Jackson‘s Thriller is among the 70 new recordings that will be added to the Grammy Hall of Fame, which honors songs that have been in release for at least 25 years. Other new honorees include: “Free Bird” (Lynyrd Skynyrd), the soundtrack to the classic reggae movie “The Harder They Come” (Jimmy Cliff), “Help!” (the Beatles), Hotel California (the Eagles), 1999 (Prince), Off the Wall (Jackson), “Roxanne” (the Police), “Shining Star” (Earth, Wind & Fire), “Always on My Mind” (Willie Nelson), The Wall (Pink Floyd) and The Velvet Underground & Nico. The new 25th Anniversary Edition of Thriller — which will include unreleased bonus tracks mixed by or featuring Kanye West, Will.I.Am, Akon and others — drops February 12. …

One of Seattle’s legendary rock venues, the Crocodile Café, unexpectedly shut its doors over the weekend after 17 years. The small downtown club, which was one of the prime spots that nurtured the early ’90s grunge scene, played host to everyone from Beck to R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie and, most famously, Nirvana and Mudhoney on a 1992 double bill that cost only $3. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that the venue’s owner left voicemails for club employees on Sunday telling them not to come to work following Saturday night’s gig. She reportedly said the club was shutting down due to financial difficulties. … Prince has given his CDs away in newspapers and at shows, but the diminutive R&B superstar doesn’t do freebie performances. According to the Miami Herald, the purple one pulled down an estimated $2 million payday Saturday night when he played a private 40th birthday party for Jeffrey Soffer, an heir to the Turnberry Associates real-estate fortune. The gig reportedly took place at the Turnberry Aviation hangar at the Opa Locka Executive Airport and featured elaborate open bars, gourmet food, a hit-filled set from Prince and a guest list that included director Brett Ratner, baseball player Alex Rodriguez and actor James Caan. Oh, and KC & the Sunshine Band were Prince’s opening act. …

Tom Sizemore was released from prison December 10 after serving time for violating his drug probation stemming from a 2004 meth conviction, TMZ.com reports. The actor was sentenced in mid-June to 16 months in state prison and awarded 213 days credit for time he had spent in county jail and live-in drug programs. Sizemore is still in a drug program, according to the site. …

Boys and girls in America, it’s time to rejoice. Brooklyn, New York, band the Hold Steady recently revealed on their Web site that they’ve wrapped preproduction on the follow-up to 2006′s critically acclaimed Boys and Girls in America. “For the last few weeks we’ve been holed up in our rehearsal space in Greenpoint finishing up preproduction with John Agnello [who produced Boys] for the new album,” read the post, which was simply attributed to “The Hold Steady.” “Since the band’s beginning, this is the longest we’ve gone without being in the studio. I’ve never looked forward to being placed in a giant aquarium with headphones like I have been lately. We’ll be recording for most of January and February, and I’ll post updates and photos for those interested. No release date yet, but you all will be the first to know.”

12.18.07

Fergie is Blender magazine’s Woman of the Year — but don’t get too excited, guys, she’s “practically married” to actor Josh Duhamel. “I’m madly in love with him,” the Black Eyed Pea said in the cover-story interview, during which she dropped more than a few F-bombs. “He understands how to treat a woman and give me respect. And I’m gonna miss him on tour.” Fergie reportedly started to cry after making that comment, as she did at the top of the chat, when she was told she had earned the Woman of the Year honor. “It feels like such an accomplishment. … And — I can’t believe you made me cry. I’m so embarrassed. And I’m f—ing up my eyeliner.” …

Ashley Tisdale is saying sorry to fans for scratching two shows over the weekend because of her recent nose job. “When my surgery was scheduled, we didn’t think it would be necessary to cancel the shows because my doctor thought I would heal in time,” she wrote on her Web site. “Unfortunately, the deviated septum was more significant than we originally thought so the healing process is taking longer.” The “High School Musical” star, who missed her gigs in Miami and Philadelphia, was also absent at New York’s Jingle Ball on Friday. …

50 Cent played for thousands of fans at a soccer stadium in Pristina, the capital of the Serbian province of Kosovo, on Monday, The Associated Press reports. Twenty-five thousand tickets were reportedly sold for the show, which featured fireworks, according to AP.

Hawthorne Heights frontman JT Woodruff will participate in a conversation at an event being staged in memory of fallen bandmate Casey Calvert. The late guitarist’s favorite charity, To Write Love on Her Arms — a group aimed at helping teens at risk for suicide — will put on “Heavy and Light: An Evening of Songs, Conversation and Hope” on December 29 in Orlando, Florida. The event will also feature acoustic performances by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus singer Ronnie Winter; Aaron Gillespie (Underoath, the Almost); Josh Moore; and Bayside frontman Anthony Ranieri. In related news, Ranieri has mapped out a series of 10 additional solo acoustic shows that will happen before and after the TWLOHA benefit. He will play Wednesday in San Francisco; Friday in Anaheim, California; and then perform a handful of more shows from January 11 in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, through January 19 in Troy, New York. …

Stephen Stills, best known for his work with David Crosby, Graham Nash and Neil Young, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, Reuters reports. According to the news service, Nash disclosed the news to Larry King in a telephone interview late Monday. Stills is scheduled to have an operation on January 3, which, as it turns out, also marks his 63rd birthday. Referring to folk singer Dan Fogelberg, who was afflicted with prostate cancer and passed away Sunday, Nash reportedly said on “Larry King Live,” “Unlike Danny, who left it too long to be seriously checked, Stephen found his at an early stage” and might have potentially saved his own life by getting an early diagnosis. …

Did you hear that one about Remy Ma‘s supposed sexual encounter with another woman? Well, surprise — it’s not true. According to TMZ.com, the rapper has responded to an online video of a woman “confessing” to having had a sexual experience with Remy Ma. “The fraudulent video hoax that has surfaced of an alleged female lover of Remy Ma is completely false, and reps for Remy Ma emphatically deny these claims,” the statement reportedly read. “Remy Ma has not, nor has she ever been, involved in a same-sex relationship with the accuser or any other woman, however Remy is respectful of those who choose the alternative lifestyle.” …

Foo Fighters are thinking big for their next tour — the band is planning to break out two stages for it, according to Billboard.com. The trek, which starts January 16 in Sunrise, Florida, will feature a main stage and an acoustic stage, with the eight-piece band that supported the Foos on their acoustic tour last year returning to supplement Dave Grohl‘s group on select songs. In other Foo news, Grohl told TheRockRadio.com that the band, which supported Senator John Kerry’s presidential bid in 2004, hasn’t picked a candidate to back in next year’s election. “If a candidate that we all believed in asked us to give them some support, then we would do it,” he said. “It wouldn’t necessarily be as the Foo Fighters, it would be as four American citizens.” …

AFI frontman Davey Havok has declined an offer to return to his old side project, Son of Sam, but the band will carry on nonetheless. “We asked Davey [to participate], but he declined, which is a bummer, but we understand and he gave us his full blessing with looking for a new singer,” the band said in a statement. … Circus Diablo, the band featuring the Cult‘s Billy Duffy, Camp Freddy guitarist Billy Morrison and others, has lost a member. Bassist Brett Scallions, who was once the frontman for Fuel and is the current singer for Riders on the Storm, is out, according to the band. “Brett is deeply involved in being a new dad … and has plans with Riders on the Storm, so with much love and respect, we will be moving forward with Patrick Cornell playing bass,” reads a statement from the band. …

Jimmy Kimmel will tag along with Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien when the late-night talk-show hosts return to TV on January 2 — albeit without writers. “Though it makes me sick to do so without my writers, there are more than a hundred people whose financial well-being depends on our show,” Kimmel said in a statement issued by ABC, according to AP. “It is time to go back to work.” David Letterman is also planning a return, with a union representing the striking writers reportedly talking about negotiating a deal with Letterman’s Worldwide Pants and other indie production companies. …

Minor Threat were a force to be reckoned with, having paved the way for the U.S. hardcore straightedge movement in the early ’80s. But a new hot sauce that bites the band’s name is actually pretty mild — according to maker Wheelhouse Pickles, its Minor Threat Sauce is “made from a rare, mild breed of habanero [pepper] grown specifically for us [and] mysteriously privileges the pepper’s fruitiness over its notoriously overwhelming heat.” Wheelhouse boss Jon Orren has ‘fessed up to copping the hardcore band’s name for the product, according to Gothamist.com, and the band’s former frontman, Ian MacKaye, reportedly doesn’t mind the unconventional tribute. “I don’t have an occasion to eat a lot of hot sauce, but I also thought the Minor Threat stuff was nice,” he reportedly told the site. …

Jason Bonham, current member of Led Zeppelin and son of deceased original drummer John Bonham, says “only time will tell” if the band chooses to do a full-fledged reunion tour following its widely hailed comeback gig last week. “I’m still the new guy, and I wouldn’t know,” the drummer told Billboard.com about potential tour plans. “There’s been no talks except to Jimmy [Page] and Robert [Plant] and John Paul [Jones], just to say thanks for the best Christmas present I could ask for. It really meant a lot to me. … If they do it again, of course I would love to. But that’s up to them.” … Rob Zombie has piled more solo-show off-dates during his North American tour with Ozzy Osbourne. The metal monster will play additional gigs Wednesday (Indianapolis); Friday (Rochester, New York); January 4 (Poughkeepsie, New York); January 6 (Norfolk, Virginia); January 11 (Scranton, Pennsylvania); January 13 (South Burlington, Vermont); January 18 (Kitchener, Ontario); January 22 (Buffalo, New York); January 23 (Columbus, Ohio); January 24 (Grand Rapids, Michigan); and January 28 (Albuquerque, New Mexico). …

Legendary singer Burt Bacharach, classic-rock group the Band, iconic jazz drummer Max Roach and others will be honored with Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Awards on February 9, during Grammy week. The recipients — which also include Doris Day, Cab Calloway, Itzhak Perlman and Earl Scruggs — will also be recognized during the Grammy telecast, which airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS the following day. …

British Sea Power, Panther and Holy F— have planted themselves on the bill for next year’s Noise Pop festival, which will go down February 26-March 2 in San Francisco. Badges for the fest are currently on sale. BSP’s Do You Like Rock Music? streets February 12. … Expect another installment next year of True Colors Tour, the Cyndi Lauper-created jaunt that featured Rufus Wainwright, the Gossip and others as part of its inaugural run this year. Dates and artists for next year’s stretch have yet to be announced. …

Joel Dorn, a veteran jazz and R&B producer who won multiple Grammy Awards and was part of Atlantic Records’ in-house production staff, died Monday from a heart attack. He was 65 years old. The prolific producer, along with Roberta Flack, earned Record of the Year honors in 1972 and 1973 for the singer’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” respectively. He also led Rhino’s reissue campaign when it began in 1993, taking the reins for the campaign, production and annotation of almost two dozen releases. “The recording industry has lost a true music lover and respected professional, and our deepest sympathies go out to his family, his friends and all who have benefited from his gift,” Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said in a statement issued Tuesday.

[This story was originally published at 2::23 pm E.T. on 12.19.2007]