Patrick Stump Named One Of 2007′s Un-Sexiest Men; Plus Prodigy, R.E.M., Lindsay Lohan, Eddie Murphy & More, In For The Record

Mobb Deep rapper to issue solo LP while in jail; R.E.M. settle on album title; Lohan tops worst-movie-performance poll.

Fall Out Boy‘s Patrick Stump has been named one of the un-sexiest men of 2007 by Boston alt-weekly The Phoenix. He lands at #95 on the list, right next to Larry King and Jon Heder. …

Prodigy, who will start serving a three-and-a-half-year jail sentence on a charge of gun possession for which he was indicted in October, plans to issue his second solo album while behind bars. H.N.I.C. Part 2 will drop in March, feature production from Mobb Deep group mate Havoc and Alchemist, and be integrated with Voxonic technology, which converts a voice into hundreds of languages with near-perfect accuracy. Prodigy also released a statement regarding his upcoming sentence, saying, “Throughout my life, I have always lived through adversity. I’m a survivor. You don’t understand the mental power that I have. While I’m locked up, I’m going to be writing lyrics, working on the script for my second feature film, ‘Dope,’ and finish writing an autobiography of my life, which will be finished by the time I’m released. My mind is going to be focused, and I’ll have time to think and map out my entire plan. The experience will make me a tougher, stronger person. I’m gonna work on getting out faster, so I can get back to doing what I do best. When I get home, it’s gonna be on!” …

R.E.M. have christened their forthcoming album Accelerate and set an April 1 release date for the effort. The album was produced by Jacknife Lee (Bloc Party, Snow Patrol) and will feature “Until the Day Is Done,” “Living Well Is the Best Revenge” and “Staring Down the Barrel of Middle Distance.” Expect the band to tour in the spring. … It’s not like she was expecting an Oscar nomination, but a nod for the worst? In a poll conducted by AOL’s Moviefone Web site, 58 percent of respondents gave Lindsay Lohan the dubious distinction of turning in the worst performance by an actress in 2007 for her role in “I Know Who Killed Me.” Another one of Lohan’s box-office bombs, “Georgia Rule,” finished second among the more than 3.8 million voters, just behind the Eddie Murphy comedy “Norbit,” as the biggest waste of $10. “Norbit” also earned the comedian the title of worst performance by an actor. … Eddie Murphy and “Good Luck Chuck” producer Tracey Edmonds got hitched during an intimate New Year’s Day ceremony on a private island in French Polynesia, according to People.com. Johnny Gill was reportedly Murphy’s best man. …

Radiohead singer Thom Yorke has hit back at the boss of his former label, EMI Music, after claims that the band had rejected a nearly $6 million advance for their new album while demanding the copyrights to older titles. In a December 29 post on the group’s official Web site under the heading “FYI — if you care — for your information,” Yorke wrote, “We did not ask for a load of cash from our old record label EMI to re-sign. That is a L I E. The Times in the U.K. should check its facts before it prints such dirt. What we wanted was some control over our work and how it was used in the future by them — that seemed reasonable to us, as we cared about it a great deal. [EMI boss Guy] Hands was not interested. So neither were we. We made the sign of the cross and walked away. Sadly.” Yorke said the group was upset about the airing of “dirty laundry” in public. Separately, Yorke told BBC Radio 4 that releasing In Rainbows solely as a digital download — the physical album hit stores this week — would have been “stark raving mad” because 80 percent of fans still buy physical releases. “We didn’t want it to be a big announcement about ‘everything’s over except the Internet, the Internet’s the future,’ ’cause that’s utter rubbish,” Yorke said. “And it’s really important to have an artifact as well, as they call it, an object.” Yorke, in one of his first public comments about the decision to release In Rainbows under a pay-what-you-wish scheme, explained that Radiohead had a “moral justification in what we did in the sense that the majors and the big infrastructure of the music business has not addressed the way artists communicate directly with their fans. … In fact, they seem to basically get in the way. Not only do they get in the way, but they take all the cash.” He also denied reports that In Rainbows was downloaded more than 1.2 million times in its first week, but, in keeping with the band’s silence on sales, would not confirm how many times it was actually downloaded. “It’s total nonsense. … We’re the only people who know, and it feels wrong to say exactly what happened,” he said. “But it’s been a really nice surprise and we’ve done really well out of it.” …

The presidential race will bleed over into late-night TV on Wednesday night (January 2) when David Letterman chats up Democratic contender Senator Hillary Clinton and Jay Leno welcomes Republican candidate Mike Huckabee on the respective comeback episodes of their shows. Chingy will perform on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” while Lupe Fiasco will play on the “Late Show With David Letterman,” with Robin Williams also appearing. Letterman struck a deal with the Writers Guild of America that will allow him to return to air with writers, but Huckabee and Chingy will be crossing the picket line with their appearances on Leno’s show, as the writers’ strike continues. … “L.A.” Reid, Denzel Washington, Steven Spielberg, Brett Ratner, Billy Joel and others partied Sunday on a private yacht owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and Jon Bon Jovi and Robbie Robertson performed at the shindig, according to Fox News. …

Staind‘s Aaron Lewis, along with members of Boston, Tesla, Stryper and other bands, will join host Dee Snider of Twisted Sister at the fifth anniversary Relief Fund Charity Concert, to be staged February 25 at Providence, Rhode Island’s Dunkin’ Donut Center. The event is being put on by the Station Family Fund, a group founded by survivors, family members and community members affected by the Station fire, the February 2003 nightclub tragedy that claimed 100 lives. Proceeds from the show will go to the survivors of the fire, many of whom did not qualify for Social Security benefits. …

The lineup for Dave Mustaine‘s Gigantour 2008 has been revealed. The trek, to launch in mid-April and run through late May, will feature his band Megadeth, as well as In Flames, Children of Bodom, Job for a Cowboy and High on Fire. … P.O.D. have set an April 8 release date for When Angels & Serpents Dance, the band’s forthcoming LP. The record will feature a guest appearance by Suicidal Tendencies mainman Mike Muir. … Former Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland‘s band, Black Light Burns, have begun work on material for their second album, which is set for release in early 2009. Borland said in a statement that the new stuff is “a lot more guitar-heavy than it is synth-heavy. The feeling/tone is a little more fun and weird compared to the darkness of the first album.” The effort follows the band’s debut disc, last year’s Cruel Melody.Hatebreed were forced to postpone the final concert in their Stillborn Fest series after guitarist Frank Novinec broke his ankle. No word yet on when they’ll make up the gig, which was supposed to happen Sunday in Rochester, New York. …

A lawyer who previously represented Death Row Records boss Marion “Suge” Knight in a $130 million lawsuit over ownership of the onetime gangsta-rap powerhouse is asking a judge to set that judgment aside. According to the Los Angeles Times, in a hearing set for Wednesday attorney Dermot Givens is asking that the judgment be voided because of what he claims is new evidence that the plaintiff, singer Lydia Harris, and her imprisoned drug-dealing husband, Michael, allegedly duped a Los Angeles judge into ruling against Knight. The motion contends that Harris hid from the court that she had filed for bankruptcy five years before suing Knight and that she never claimed an ownership stake in Death Row during that legal proceeding. The motion also alleges that recent sworn testimony by the couple shows that Michael Harris, an alleged crack kingpin, was the real party of interest in her lawsuit against Knight; Michael Harris sued Knight in 1996 claiming he helped finance Death Row, and was awarded a $300,000 out-of-court settlement. Lydia Harris filed a separate suit in 2002 claiming that she and Knight started the label together and that he cheated her out of millions in profits. …

James Brown‘s final recordings have been caught up in the legal feud over the late rock legend’s estate, according to The Associated Press. Brown recorded an album in Los Angeles in summer 2006, but courtroom disputes over who should get his music royalties are preventing the release of the tracks. More than 50-60 additional unreleased songs recorded by Brown are also reportedly in the archives. … The Jersey Boys have a bit of a problem on their hands. Tommy DeVito, ex-bassist of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons — on which the “Jersey Boys” story is based — is being sued by the widow of a man who also wrote a story about the group, according to TMZ. Donna Corbello says her late husband Rex Conrad Woodard’s yet-unpublished book was the basis of the Broadway smash, and she is reportedly seeking a declaration that he is the volume’s “joint owner” so she can get some of the future profits from the production. The suit was recently filed in a district court in Texas. …

It’s Hammer time all over again. MC Hammer is about to launch a new Web site that he hopes will rival YouTube as the online hub for sharing and watching dance videos, according to AP. He is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of DanceJam.com, which will go live later this month and profit from Internet advertising. Perhaps the site will reverse Hammer’s hard luck — he filed for bankruptcy in 1996 with nearly $14 million in debts. … Evan Farrell, an indie-rock bassist who played with the Magnolia Electric Co. on tour and, earlier this year, left the Rogue Wave fold, died the weekend of December 22-23 after sustaining injuries from a house fire in Oakland, California. He was 33. “He was a fixture in our community and a bright spot in all of our lives,” Secretly Canadian, the label the Magnolia Electric Co. call home, said about Farrell in a statement. “He was exceptionally talented, funny and genuine.”

12.28.07

Brandy is in the clear — according to TMZ, the Los Angeles city attorney will not be filing charges against the singer over the multi-car crash that claimed the life of a woman in December 2006. The attorney had until the end of the day Friday (December 28) to file criminal charges against Brandy in the incident. The singer’s attorney, Blair Berk, reportedly responded with a statement, saying, “These past 12 months have posed an extraordinary hardship for Brandy and her family, who have been unfairly forced to live under a cloud of suspicion initially caused by the ill-advised and premature press release sent out by the California Highway Patrol accusing Brandy of wrongdoing before the police investigation was even finished. However, Brandy continues to be mindful that she was so fortunate to be uninjured in this accident and there was a life lost that should be remembered.” Brandy is, however, still facing a $50 million wrongful-death suit from the family of the victim, Awatef Aboudihaj. …

Yung Joc was seven hours late to an arraignment on a felony gun charge on Wednesday and was scolded by the judge in the case after an arrest warrant was issued. But the rapper (born Jasiel Robinson) tried to clear his name in a statement released through his lawyers. “I have the utmost respect for the laws of this country and would never deliberately commit an act that would jeopardize my freedom, my family or my career,” he said, according to TMZ. “I’ve worked very hard to achieve my goals, and it’s unfortunate that this current situation has garnered more attention than the many donations I’ve made and the charitable work I’ve done with various organizations. … I’m proud to be a citizen of America, where we are taught to believe that every person is afforded the presumption of innocence. That being said, I have full respect for the judicial system and its due process. I look forward to resolving this situation and moving forward to a positive and prosperous 2008.” Joc is due back in court on January 25 in connection with his arrest Sunday at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, where authorities said he tried to take a loaded gun onto a flight. He faces a possible sentence of up to 18 months for the charge. …

Lil Wayne told MTV News a couple of months ago that he was planning to drop Tha Carter III: The Leak on December 18, with the official Tha Carter III LP to follow February 12, but he actually slipped out a five-song EP called The Leak through Rhapsody and Amazon on Christmas Day instead. The disc features “I’m Me,” “Gossip,” “Kush,” “Love Me or Hate Me” and “Talkin’ About It.” “Gossip” has been rumored to be a dis song directed toward 50 Cent, but as Weezy told Mixtape Monday in late October, “I recorded that song in 2006. … I don’t make records or say anything about people. I don’t beef with people. Everybody knows that. … My words are more important than you.”…

Radiohead decided to split with their longtime label EMI in the fall after the company’s new boss, Guy Hands, rejected a deal that would have cost the company more than $20 million, according to the London Times. The U.K. outlet reports that the band had been offered a $6 million advance by Hands for In Rainbows, but demanded more. An EMI spokesperson who was not named told the Times that, “Radiohead were demanding an extraordinary amount of money, and we did not believe that our other artists should have to subsidize their gains.” The bandmembers reportedly responded that they believed more big-name artists would be leaving EMI and accused Hands of not negotiating seriously with them. The deal Radiohead sought also reportedly included the handing over of some of the copyrights to their back catalog, a move that could have cost the label millions in future earnings. Band manager Bryce Edge told The Times, “We couldn’t move ahead with EMI because Guy Hands irrevocably refused to discuss the catalog in any meaningful way. We sold 25 million records, and we have the moral rights over those six albums. We wanted a say in how they are exploited in the future. We were not seeking a big advance payment, or a guaranteed marketing spend, as discussions never got that far.” …

Members of Angels & Airwaves, No Doubt, 30 Seconds to Mars, Bad Religion, Journey, Pennywise — as well as the Roots?uestlove — will hammer away at the skins when they perform at a January 5 drum-off hosted by former Jane’s Addiction member Stephen Perkins. The Guitar Center contest, which began three months ago, will culminate with a show at the Music Box @ Fonda in Hollywood that will also feature performances by the four finalists in the store’s competition. … “The Beyoncé Experience – Live,” which came out in DVD form in late November, will be broadcast for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq on New Year’s Eve via the AEG Network. The programming block will also include Celine Dion‘s “A New Day” and Garth Brooks‘ “One Artist, One City, One Time.” …

It’s official: David Letterman has reached a deal with striking writers and will return to the air with a full staff on Wednesday. Jeff Hermanson, a Writers Guild of America executive, told Reuters that talks between the union and Letterman’s Worldwide Pants production company had led to a “full, binding, independent agreement” that features provisions for paying writers for work distributed online. Protesting writers have been demanding compensation for Internet-content. Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel are also returning to the air on Wednesday, and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on January 7, although none of those late-night hosts will be coming back with their respective writers. …

Jessica Simpson is enjoying Nashville as the relocated singer/actress records her upcoming, yet-untitled country album there. “Nashville is a very warm city,” she recently told Billboard.com. “The people are friendly and kind. There is a sense of community, which thrives on music. There is no animosity … only respect for one another’s talent.” The effort is due in 2008 through Columbia Nashville and will be the follow-up to 2006′s A Public Affair. Simpson didn’t provide many more details on the project, and when asked if she would be hitting the road to support it, she said, “Since the record is in the beginning stages, there hasn’t been much talk about a tour just yet.” …

Meanwhile, Franz Ferdinand‘s third album doesn’t have a name yet either, but the band has shed some more light on the successor to 2005′s You Could Have It So Much Better. “I suppose we’re heading back to the idea of dance music,” frontman Alex Kapranos told RollingStone.com. “It’s more of a dance record than a rock record.” The band has tapped an unlikely producer — Brian Higgins (Kylie Minogue, Cher) — for some of the songs. “It appeals to my contrary side,” Kapranos said. “And I don’t like the distance between bands and pop music there is now. Dr. Dre or Timbaland or the Neptunes are making the songs you’ve never heard before, not the indie kids strumming their f—ing guitars.” …

Chris Rock has jumped into the 2008 presidential-election conversation, comparing Senator Hillary Clinton to the current commander in chief and voicing his support for rival Senator Barack Obama in a recent interview with The New York Times. “I love Hillary Clinton, but to me she is the Democratic version of George [W.] Bush: someone who is running, and the only reason you know who this person is because of their name. … She has much more in common with George Bush Jr. than she does with Oprah Winfrey.” He added, “It’s neck and neck against a woman whose husband was the president, and [Obama is] a black man that no one knew a couple years ago. That is an unbelievable achievement.” …

Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn are divorcing after 11 years of marriage, according to People.com. The “Into the Wild” director and “Beowulf” actress have two children together, boys ages 14 and 16. … In another marital development, Marilyn Manson and Dita Von Teese‘s divorce still isn’t finalized yet — Von Teese filed in December 2006, citing Manson’s alleged infidelity and partying — but they are now legally permitted to marry other people, People.com reports. Their marital status was terminated Thursday, but the ex-couple have yet to settle their finances. Manson, 38, has been dating Evan Rachel Wood, age 20. …

While Josh Groban is enjoying a record-setting run atop the charts with his holiday album, Noël, Variety reports that the rest of the music business had a horrible Christmas week. Overall music sales during the Christmas shopping season were down 21 percent from last year. From the week of Thanksgiving through December 23, 83.9 million albums were sold, a steep decline from 2006′s total of 105.28 million.