Marilyn Manson Countersues Bandmate; Plus Chingy, DMX, Yung Berg, Jordin Sparks, Mario, Kid Rock & More, In For The Record

Chingy shoots second Hate It or Love It video; DMX inks new record deal; Yung Berg arrested on set of Ray J video shoot.

Marilyn Manson has fired back at Stephen Gregory Bier Jr. — known to fans by his stage name, "Madonna Wayne Gacy" — by countersuing his former keyboardist for breach of contract, according to The Associated Press. In court papers reportedly filed in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Manson claimed Bier did not fulfill his obligations to take part in master recordings, concerts and the selling of his band's merchandise. The suit came in response to a breach-of-contract suit Bier filed against Manson back in August that sought more than $20 million in damages. Bier charged Manson shorted him on salary and medical support, and instead used the band's profits to fund his lavish lifestyle. The suit claimed Manson used the money to pay for his lavish lifestyle, drug habit and the production of his upcoming film, "Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll," among other things. According to Manson's countersuit, the pair's business partnership was dissolved in 1996, once Manson became the clear leader of the band. While Bier has been paid income for CD sales, live gigs and merchandise sales, the suit alleges he had "failed to render services to the best of his ability and in a practical and cooperative manner." The suit further claims Bier was often tardy for band recordings, performances and promotional appearances, and that he had provided confidential band information to the media and other people without Manson's consent. Manson's suit seeks unspecified general and special damages, and he's also seeking a court order to prevent Bier from releasing more confidential band information. ...

Chingy recently shot the video for his second Hate It or Love It single, "Gimme That," in Los Angeles. The track feature fellow Disturbing Tha Peace members Ludacris and Bobby Valentino. "Gimme That" follows the Amerie-assisted "Fly Like Me," the lead track on his recently released album. "It's a club song, about partying, having fun and just kicking it," the St. Louis rapper told MTV News. "Just one of them type of songs." ... DMX, who once considered changing his name to Dog, will release his next two albums through Bodog Entertainment, according to Billboard.com. The rapper recently inked a deal with the Canadian online gaming company's music division and plans to put out both discs, Walk With Me Now and You'll Fly With Me Later, next year. Bodog recently nabbed the international distribution rights for the new Wu-Tang Clan album 8 Diagrams. ...

Yung Berg was arrested Friday in Miami Beach, Florida, on the set of Ray J's video shoot for "Sexy Can I." The upstart rapper is featured on the track and, according to his rep, he was taken into police custody after authorities discovered him smoking marijuana. A publicist for Berg confirmed to MTV News that he is still in custody and is waiting to be released on bail. ...

Jordin Sparks, Mario, Backstreet Boys, Teddy Geiger and others have teamed with mobile-media company Mozes for "Voices of America," a campaign that allows people to send well-wishes to soldiers overseas via voice messages. People can call the toll-free number 888-312-2612 to send messages to troops, who will have access to them through Armed Forces Entertainment. Hinder, Five for Fighting, Switchfoot's Jon Foreman and others are also participating in the campaign. ... Kid Rock busted out a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," a song that appeared on his recent Rock'n'Roll Jesus LP, for 500 U.S. troops as part of a United Service Organizations tour stop staged Thursday in Kabul, Afghanistan. Robin Williams, Lance Armstrong and Lewis Black also participated in the all-star event, which was part of a six-day, 14-show tour. ...

Amy Winehouse is finally getting some good news — Back to Black is likely to become the year's best-selling album in the U.K., according to BBC News. The effort, which was issued in the U.S. in March, actually dropped across the pond late last year. Back to Black also recently helped the troubled singer earn six Grammy Award nominations. Leona Lewis' Spirit and Mika's Life in Cartoon Motion currently follow behind Winehouse's album in terms of 2007 sales, BBC News says. ... Rap rules ringtones, according to AT&T. The cell phone provider released its best-selling list for the year-end and hip-hop artists accounted for eight of the top 10 numbers. Shop Boyz's "Party Like a Rockstar," Mims' "This Is Why I'm Hot," and Soulja Boy's "Crank That" topped the list. Nickelback's "Rockstar" and Akon's "Don't Matter" rounded out the top five. Also making the cut were T-Pain, Hurricane Chris, Sean Kingston, Huey and Fergie. ...

Feist, Eddie Vedder, the Arcade Fire, Björk and M.I.A. are on the long list of nominees for the seventh annual Shortlist Prize, with the announcements of the finalists and winner to be made early next year. Wilco, Animal Collective, Against Me!, Klaxons, Puscifer, PJ Harvey, Spoon, the Hives, Of Montreal, LCD Soundsystem and Serj Tankian are also among the 54 artists who are in the running. Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody and the Killers' Ronnie Vannucci are on the panel that picked the nominees. ... Dwight Schrute is taking over the Spirit Awards — Rainn Wilson, who plays the power-hungry character on "The Office," will host the indie-film-hailing ceremony on February 23. The ceremony will be held the day before the Oscars and feature writing contributions from Wilson, even though he is a member of the Writers Guild of America. The WGA, which is on strike, granted a waiver to the Spirit Awards organizer to hire writers for the event. ...

In some crumbelievable news for Stephen Colbert, newspaper editors and broadcast producers have voted him as AP's Celebrity of the Year, the news service announced Friday. He beat out J.K. Rowling, Al Gore, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Judd Apatow and Kanye West. "In receiving this award, I am pleased that I was chosen over two great spinners of fantasy — J.K. Rowling and Al Gore," Colbert, who launched a presidential bid earlier this year, told AP. "Best of all, this makes me the official front-runner for next year's Drug-Fueled Downward Spiral of the year. P.S. Look for my baby bump this spring." "The Colbert Report" and "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" will start up production again on January 7, albeit without their writers, it was announced Thursday. ...

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco is getting pressure from members of the Congressional Black Caucus to pardon the Jena Six, according to AP. In a letter that was reportedly mailed to the governor this week, Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee said Mychal Bell, the other teens and their families "have suffered enough, as has the State of Louisiana and the town of Jena." According to AP, Blanco's press secretary said Friday that she cannot grant a pardon or commutation without the state Pardon Board, which has its next meeting on January 17, recommending to do so. Blanco leaves office three days before that. Lee is joined by 14 other members of the caucus who are asking Blanco to support releasing Bell, who was sentenced to 18 months in a juvenile facility after a plea deal was struck earlier this month. ...

Score one for Nick Lachey — the choir he put together from his Cincinnati hometown won NBC's "Clash of the Choirs" contest Thursday night. "I've been blown away by my choir's poise," Jessica Simpson's ex said on the show. "It's made up of amateur singers. They've never done this before." The 20 singers are taking home a quarter-million dollars for the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. ... Megadeth have heart — the metal band's frontman, Dave Mustaine, and his wife recently organized a Toys for Tots donation drive for families affected by the wildfires in his native Southern California. The toys were delivered to Camp Pendleton, the North Coast Church — which the Mustaines go to — and the town of Fallbrook. "We live in a little town, and this is nothing any neighbor wouldn't do for another neighbor," he said in a statement. ... Eddie Van Halen's divorce with Valerie Bertinelli, his wife of 25 years, has been finalized. The ex-spouses have one son, Wolfgang, who is touring with the reunited Van Halen.

12.20.2007

Remy Ma's European tour plans appear to have fizzled — a New York judge has denied her request to travel overseas for a trek that was supposed to begin December 31 in Paris, The Associated Press reports. A lawyer for the rapper (real name: Remy Smith) argued Thursday (December 20) that his client needed to tour to earn money because she hasn't been getting enough bookings in the U.S. since she was arrested in July for allegedly shooting a friend over missing money, but the judge said she couldn't leave the country due to the seriousness of the charges. Remy Ma was ordered earlier this month to stand trail on charges of gang assault and witness tampering. She is due in court on January 3 for adjournment where prosecutors will decide whether to admit DNA evidence in the case. ...

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert fans can breathe a sigh of relief — "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" will start up production again on January 7, albeit without their writers, AP reports. In a joint statement, the pair reportedly said, "We would like to return to work with our writers. If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence." Stewart and Colbert are the most recent late-night hosts to announce their return to the airwaves amid the ongoing writers' strike, joining the likes of Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien, who will return January 2. ...

So what's really going on between Rihanna and Josh Hartnett? The singer addresses the rumors in the January issue of Allure, saying there isn't much truth to them. "I went to [New York club] Pink Elephant, and he came by," she said. "All of a sudden, the next day I'm seeing that we were kissing and hugging up each other. You can't even go out with a friend who's a celebrity and have a good time without people making sh-- up ... well, at least he's good-looking, right?" Rih Rih also talked with the mag, which calls itself "The Beauty Expert," about — what else? — beauty. "While in America beautiful is skinny, in Barbados it's thick — girls with huge butts and nice curves," she said, contrasting the U.S. with her homeland. In other Rihanna news, she — as well as My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte, Timbaland, Rufus Wainwright and many others — have partnered with Designers Against AIDS to create men's and women's lines called "Fashion Against AIDS." The lines will be available exclusively at H&M stores beginning in February, with one-fourth of the proceeds from the sales going to YouthAIDS, an HIV/AIDS prevention initiative that serves 60 countries worldwide. ...

Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah will star in the silver-screen adaptation of the best-selling book "The Secret Life of Bees," and Alicia Keys and Dakota Fanning are also in negotiations to star in the flick, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Keys and Latifah are due to play beekeeping sisters who take in Hudson's and Fanning's characters after they run away from home. Production will reportedly begin in January for the movie, which is targeting a 2008 theatrical release. ... Rick Ross is blaming clearance issues for the delay of his second album, Trilla, according to Billboard.com. He said a DJ Toomp-produced song called "This Me" was one of the tracks in question. Ross is reportedly considering "Boss" (featuring T-Pain) as his second single. ...

Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for My Valentine, Bless the Fall and Atreyu lead the lineup for next year's Taste of Chaos trek, which will launch February 29 in Denver and continue through April 6 in El Paso, Texas. An Internet presale begins January 5 on the tour's Web site, with tickets going on sale nationally January 12. ... Death Cab for Cutie have posted on their Web site a new video teasing their next album. The clip features a portion of a song that will presumably appear on the group's yet-untitled LP and announces that the effort will be out in May. According to the video, the album was recorded in 44 days at three studios, in Seattle; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco. ...

"Into the Wild" got some critical love Thursday as Sean Penn's flick scooped up four Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, including best lead actor for Emile Hirsch. Ryan Gosling, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie, Viggo Mortensen and George Clooney all got nods, although "Atonement" — which dominates the list of Golden Globe contenders with seven noms — was shut out altogether. ... South by Southwest is taking a walk on the wild side — Lou Reed will be the keynote speaker at the music conference and film festival, which will take place March 12-16 in Austin, Texas. The Velvet Underground-er will speak March 13 at the Austin Convention Center in conjunction with a screening of Julian Schnabel's new documentary, "Lou Reed's Berlin," which revolves around the rock legend's 1973 album. Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates and composer Steve Reich will also give talks at SXSW. ...

Pennywise have cooked up an interesting album-release scheme with MySpace Records: The punks will make their yet-untitled new album available for free DRM-free download on MySpace for two weeks, starting March 25. That day will also see the release of an enhanced CD/DVD version of the effort for sale at retail outlets. To download the album for free, users have to add promotional partner "Textango" as their MySpace friend. "We know that this will piss off a lot of people in the music industry," guitarist Fletcher Dragge said in a statement. "And what do we say to that? 'Who cares?' " Cameron Webb (Social Distortion, Sum 41) will produce and mix the effort. ... Are the Eagles too good for the Super Bowl? Apparently so — according to AP, the group turned down an offer to perform at the annual football extravaganza. As for a potential opportunity to play at the Grand Ole Opry, however, bandmember Don Henley said, "That would be an honor." ...

Live Nation has sewn up a deal with a German company that will allow the concert promoter to create its own ticketing service, according to Variety. The new service will reportedly allow Live Nation, which ended talks with Ticketmaster in August, to have more control over customer data, increasing sponsorship opportunities. There's another plus for Live Nation in the deal: It will reportedly allow the company to get the fees charged to customers over the listed ticket prices. ... A report issued Thursday determined that there were no violations in Paris Hilton's jailing in June but did find that three Los Angeles County sheriff's employees violated policy when Mel Gibson was arrested last year for misdemeanor drunk driving in Malibu, California, according to AP. The sheriff's employees have reportedly since been disciplined. The news service also said the report found that a sheriff's supervisor considered holding back details about the actor's anti-Semitic rant from an arrest report, but a captain eventually overruled him. ...

As he awaits a retrial, disgraced record producer Phil Spector has filed suit again in an attempt to get a refund of the $1 million fee he paid to former attorney Robert Shapiro, according to AP. Five years after his arrest in the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson, Spector filed a second lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that Shapiro cheated him and used their personal relationship to enrich himself unjustly. In December 2005, Spector dropped an earlier suit against Shapiro, the first lawyer to represent Spector after his arrest, with the provision that he could refile at a later time. The new suit makes similar allegations that Shapiro "took unfair and unscrupulous advantage of his friendship and position of trust with Mr. Spector, and decided to use Mr. Spector's arrest as an opportunity to make a financial windfall and garner publicity for himself." It also named Shapiro's law firm as a defendant, claiming it "stood behind and vouched for Shapiro's work." The suit alleges that Spector was under tremendous stress following his arrest and had not taken his medication for mental problems at the time he agreed to Shapiro's $1 million retainer fee. ...

Being an "American Idol" finalist ain't what it used to be. For proof, look at the depressed mug on curly haired season-six wonder Chris Sligh, 29, who is the main attraction for the alcohol-free First Night Westerly New Year's Eve celebration in the tiny Rhode Island town. After a day of face-painting, extreme sports video-gaming, karate demos, magicians, mimes, hayrides and swing-dance lessons, Sligh is slated to take the stage at the YMCA gym just before midnight. ... Chuck D, Lil Boosie and, oddly enough, Buckethead will salute James Brown by performing at a tribute show on Saturday in Covington, Kentucky, Billboard reports. Bootsy Collins, who was mentored by the late legend, is putting on the concert, and proceeds will go to the future launch of a museum and the rebuilding of Brown's early recording home. Brown's most recent band, the Soul Generals; members of his original backing group, the JB's; and MC Danny Ray will also play at the event. ... The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions will take place in Cleveland in March 2009 — which is fitting, since the Rock Hall is located in the city. For the past decade, the event has been held in New York.