Fergie And Josh Duhamel Are Reportedly Engaged; Plus Radiohead, My Chemical Romance, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan & More, In For The Record

Radiohead performance to air on Current TV; MCR's Black Parade may be coming to an end; Hilton's grandfather to donate most of fortune to charity.

Josh Duhamel is about to “transform” into Fergie‘s husband — the couple are engaged, according to TMZ.com. The actor reportedly popped the question recently to the singer. …

Radiohead and Al Gore, a match made in heaven? The band has taped an hour-long performance of In Rainbows and other material that will air Tuesday exclusively in the U.S. on Current TV, which was co-created by the Nobel Peace Prize winner. The pre-recorded performance will air commercial-free at midnight, 1 a.m., 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., with Current.com also broadcasting it at 12 a.m. …

With a not-so-subtle message, My Chemical Romance appear to have pulled the plug on their alter-ego band, the Black Parade. The Web site for the fictional group, which MCR toured as in support of the album of the same name, now depicts a ghostly flat-line on a heart monitor, the phrase “00 BMP” and the word “Flatline” in the title bar of the page. MCR do not reference the cryptic message on their own site, and a spokesperson could not be reached for comment at press time. The medical terminology on the Black Parade site ties in with the album’s iconography and story line, which revolve around a central character called “the Patient” who dies during the course of the album. …

Paris Hilton has voiced a desire to participate in philanthropic efforts, but charity might be coming in the way of her potential inheritance, Reuters reports. The hotel heiress’ grandfather Barron Hilton is reportedly planning to put 97 percent of his $2.3 billion fortune into a charitable trust. …

Lindsay Lohan insists she did not drink before the 2005 car crash for which she is being sued. According to The Associated Press, the starlet said in a mid-December declaration that she “did not consume an alcoholic beverage or any type of medication or drug” before or during her visit to the Ivy, a restaurant located in West Hollywood, California. Upon leaving the location, Lohan hit a parked van owned by Raymundo Ortega, who later accused her of negligence and drinking. Attorneys for the restaurant filed Lohan’s declaration Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, and they also filed a declaration by Adam Novicki, the waiter who served her that night and has claimed Lohan — who was underage at the time — didn’t order alcohol. Ortega is seeking $200,000, while Lohan is asking more than $75,000 in a countersuit she filed in October. …

Hinder frontman Austin John Winkler was arrested in Jonesboro, Arkansas, last week on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, according to the Jonesboro Sun. The 26-year-old singer was stopped by police on Friday after his SUV was spotted driving late at night with no headlights. Police reportedly smelled a strong odor of intoxicants coming from the vehicle, and Winkler told them he had drank two glasses of wine. He later confessed to consuming four glasses of wine in a four-hour period and was booked. He’s scheduled to appear in Craighead County District Court on January 2 to answer to the charge. …

Though she’s no star, Chicago native Jean Johnson also had a recent run-in with police — she spent Christmas in jail after being busted for using her cell phone to snap photos of of R. Kelly in the courtroom last week. AP reports that the 49-year-old pleaded guilty to contempt of court on Monday, after landing in jail over the holiday weekend, and though a judge sentenced her to five days in jail, she was released and given credit for time served. The judge also ordered that the self-described “biggest fan” of the singer destroy the cell phone she used to take the pictures. “I feel stupid,” Johnson said. “I just got carried away. I’m a big fan of R. Kelly. I wanted it so that every time my phone rang, I could open it up and he’d be right there.” Johnson said she didn’t realize cameras weren’t allowed in courtrooms. …

Even with high-profile (and high-priced) reunion tours by the Police, Van Halen and Genesis that brought in big bucks, the North American concert business had its worst year since 2004. Preliminary data from Pollstar reports that the top 20 tours rang up $996 million, which was down more than 15 percent from 2006. Ranking fourth on Pollstar‘s list of top-grossing tours of all time, the outing by the Police topped the 2007 chart with tickets sales of $131.9 million, followed by Kenny Chesney with $71.1 million and Justin Timberlake with $70.6 million. Pollstar editors credited the dip to a combination of some major acts setting conservative ticket prices and the fact that only two acts (the Police and Chesney) sold more than 1 million tickets in 2007, versus four hitting that mark in 2006. And though it got the most press, the impossible-to-get-tickets-for tour by Miley Cyrus came in at #15 on the year-end chart, at $36 million, with Pollstar suggesting that tickets were possibly underpriced at an average of $54 a piece. Frantic parents who paid scalpers five or six times that much per ticket might disagree. …

Toby Keith and members of his family have been awarded $2.8 million in damages over the vehicle crash that claimed the life of his father, H.K. Covel, in 2001. The chartered bus that hit Covel’s truck was in urgent need of brake repairs, and its owners had been advised of the problem, the lawyer who represented Keith’s family had argued, according to AP. … Actor Will Smith has gone on the defensive following recent comments he made about Adolf Hitler. The “I Am Legend” actor was quoted in Scottish newspaper the Daily Record as saying, “Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘Let me do the most evil thing I can do today.’ I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good.’ ” The comments were preceded by the sentence, “Remarkably, Will believes everyone is basically good.” Smith claims his words were misinterpreted and has issued a statement, saying, “It is an awful and disgusting lie. It speaks to the dangerous power of an ignorant person with a pen. I am incensed and infuriated to have to respond to such ludicrous misinterpretation. Adolf Hitler was a vile, heinous, vicious killer responsible for one of the greatest acts of evil committed on this planet.” …

Chuck Norris is not amused. The tough guy actor and booster of Republican Mike Huckabee’s bid for the White House filed suit against Penguin Books on Friday over the satirical book “The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 Facts About the World’s Greatest Human.” The book contains such “facts” as “Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried,” and “Chuck Norris is the only person on the planet who can kick you in the back of the face.” According to Reuters, the lawsuit claims that the book — which was released in November and is based on a popular list that’s been bouncing around the Internet since 2005 — unfairly exploits the born-again action star’s famous name and that some of the facts are “racist, lewd or portray Mr. Norris as engaged in illegal activities.” The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages for trademark infringement, unjust enrichment and privacy rights.

12.22.07

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 LewisSpirit 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 KillersRonnie 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.