Zac Efron Has Appendix Removed; Plus Heidi Montag, Joel Madden, Nicole Richie, Rihanna, Hawthorne Heights & More, In For The Record

Montag wants to be Madonna with solo LP; Madden blogs about his and Richie's baby; Rih Rih teams with Marc Jacobs for purse.

Zac Efron is doing fine after having his appendix removed Tuesday (January 15), according to People.com. The star — who recently signed on for “High School Musical 3″ — was rushed to Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after suffering from appendicitis, TMZ.com reports. “Zac had his appendix removed and is recuperating,” the actor’s representative, who was not named, reportedly said in a statement. …

A very revealing photo of Heidi Montag graces the new cover of Maxim, and for the accompanying interview, she also revealed to the mag that she wants to be the next Madonna. “But it’s not like with most pop artists, where they have a song sent to them that has nothing to do with their emotions or lives,” she insisted about her yet-untitled, in-the-works LP. “It’s all about me and my life. I’m taking my time to make sure it’s a classic. I don’t want to be the next pop person who’s in or out. I want to be like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Stevie Wonder — all the greats.” Montag also dished on new parents Nicole Richie and Joel Madden recalling that one time they “came up to [Montag's fiance,] Spencer [Pratt,] and me at the Beverly Hills Hotel [in California] and started yelling something Spencer said about Nicole in an interview, like, two years ago. … Joel was yelling, ‘You’ve been talking sh– about my girl!’ ” …

Madden has blogged on the Web site for his clothing company, DCMA, about arriving home with his and Richie’s daughter, who was born on Friday. “Well I am finally home with my beautiful girlfriend and our brand new little daughter,” the Good Charlotte frontman wrote. “Harlow Winter Kate Madden was born on January 11th 2008 at 3:13 p.m. She weighed in at 6 pounds and 7 ounces. She is 19 inches long and growing everyday already! She really is a wonderful addition to the GC/DCMA/DEADEXEC family. We are so blessed to have this beautiful little baby in our lives. I want to thank everyone for all the love and kind words they’ve sent our way. We apologize we weren’t accepting gifts/cards/calls at the hospital, but if you’d like to send something, we’d rather you make a donation to the Richie-Madden Foundation, which we started in Harlow Winter’s honor. She looks so much like her mom it’s crazy! She eats like a little maniac and she’s really sweet. She barely ever cries, even when daddy is changing her diaper, and believe me I suck when it comes to diapers, but I’m learning! I can’t wait to show off some pictures, until then, THANKS!! and GOD BLESS… Joel.” …

From an “Umbrella” to a handbag: Rihanna has made a match with Marc Jacobs as she and the fashion designer have partnered to produce a new pair of purses named after the leggy singer. The two models are available as a part of Jacobs’ spring line. … Missy Elliott has stepped up with two new tunes for the February 5 soundtrack to “Step Up 2 the Streets.” The MC’s “Ching-A-Ling” — which is already sizzling in the streets — and “Shake Your Pom Pom” will appear on the soundtrack, and might resurface on her yet-untitled new LP, due in May. The soundtrack also features Cassie, who stars in “Step Up 2 the Streets,” as well as T-Pain, Flo Rida, Trey Songz, Plies and Scarface. …

Twista has inked a deal with Koch to release a project with his longtime group, the Speedknot Mobstaz. The Mobstaz’s forthcoming sophomore album, Mobstability II: Nation Bizness, is set to feature Jim Jones and production by Cuzzo and China White Productions. … The Grammys will not be getting a free pass from the Writers Guild of America. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Grammys have not asked for a special waiver to allow striking Guild employees to work on the show, but even if they did request one, it would not likely be granted. In addition, a number of top musicians who also have Screen Actors Guild cards, including Justin Timberlake and Queen Latifah, are being lobbied by the WGA not to attend the February 10 show, according to AdAge.com. …

In a $35 million lawsuit filed on Monday, Victory Records claimed that Virgin/EMI “improperly induced” Hawthorne Heights to disregard their contract with the independent Chicago label. In a news release on the suit, Victory also claimed that Virgin/EMI paid $55,000 to the band, which used the money to fund the initial phase of a 2006 lawsuit against Victory, and helped the bandmembers search for a music-industry lawyer to help them with their legal action. “The facts alleged in this case demonstrate classic interference with contractual and business relations,” Victory lawyer Robert Meloni said. “They did more than merely offer a carrot to the band, but also saddled the horse, paid for a rider to take the reins, and led it out of the barn.” The suit seeks $10 million in compensation and $25 million in punitive damages for Virgin/EMI’s “willful, wanton and deliberate conduct.” Victory maintains that HH owe the label two more albums, but the band, which lost guitarist Casey Calvert in November after a fatal drug interaction, has vowed not to record for Victory again. …

Rancid fans, time to grow those Mohawks back — the band started recording new material in a California studio on Monday. The punks’ yet-unnamed follow-up to 2003′s Indestructible is due later this year, on guitarist Brett Gurewitz‘s Epitaph/Hellcat label, of course. … Tiger Army have welcomed an old comrade back into their ranks. Stand-up-bass player Geoff Kresge, who toured with the psychobilly band from 1999-2004 — and who also has a stint with AFI on his résumé — replaces Jeff Roffredo, who “left the band on good terms to pursue other interests,” according to a press release from the band’s publicist. Tiger Army hit the road earlier this week and have a heap of shows planned for throughout the year. …

Now that Marilyn Manson and Twiggy Ramirez have reconciled, what better way to celebrate than with some concerts? Manson has tacked on a few more to his upcoming trek, which starts Saturday in Orlando, Florida. The newly added gigs will be staged in Phoenix (February 27); Dallas (February 29); Austin, Texas (March 1); and Houston (March 2). Veteran rock act Ours will be the opening act on the tour, according to Pollstar.com. … Here’s a novel idea: Yellowcard are giving fans who buy the rockers’ Live From Las Vegas at the Palms release an early chance at getting tix to one of their upcoming shows. The iTunes exclusive will be available starting January 22, and fans who snatch it up before January 29 will get a Ticketmaster code allowing them to nab up to four tickets for the band’s trek, which starts March 7 in Salt Lake City and ends April 12 in Los Angeles. From Las Vegas at the Palms immortalizes Yellowcard’s show at the Palms Casino Resort’s Pearl venue in October. …

EMI — home to Coldplay, the Rolling Stones and other acts — will slash a third of its work force, or 1,500-2,000 jobs, over the course of the next months, multiple outlets reported Tuesday. According to the Web site for England’s Telegraph, the reunited Verve could be the next major group to withhold its upcoming album in light of the major-label shake-up. The paper reports that the Verve may join Robbie Williams and Coldplay in threatening to hold onto their next albums unless they receive assurances about the company’s financial health and how their albums will be marketed. The company’s new boss, Guy Hands, was reportedly to be grilled by the managers of some of the label’s top acts on Tuesday as he revealed plans for streamlining the company. …

“American Idol” judge Randy Jackson is known for name-dropping, but his new album, Music Club Vol. 1, might finally back up some of his boasting. Jackson’s upcoming solo album, due March 11, will feature pals ranging from Mariah Carey and Joss Stone to Jason Mraz, former “Idol” contestants Elliott Yamin and Katharine McPhee and country star Travis Tritt. Fellow judge Paula Abdul will be featured on “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow,” her first new recording in more than a decade. Last week, TVGuide.com reported that Jackson and Abdul had been rehearsing a video for the single, and that she was in talks to perform it at the Super Bowl on February 3. Also included on the album are Van Hunt, Three 6 Mafia, Angie Stone, Richie Sambora and Keb’ Mo’. …

My Morning Jacket are going big time: The longhaired Kentucky rockers will headline a show at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on June 20. The band’s yet-untitled album will drop 10 days earlier. … Noise Pop just got a bit noisier. The Walkmen, the Dodos, MSTRKRFT, Stellastarr and the Helio Sequence have climbed onto the roster for the San Francisco fest, which is happening February 26-March 2. Jamie Kennedy‘s comedic documentary “Heckler” — which features George Lucas, Rob Zombie, David Cross and others — will open the Film Festival portion of the event. … Carla Bruni has been making headlines lately amid her high-profile romance with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Now the chanteuse can parlay that attention into promotion for the wide release of No Promises, an album that is currently only available Stateside on iTunes and at Barnes & Noble stores. The disc — which is being issued through Downtown Records, home to Gnarls Barkley and Spank Rock, and pays tribute to English-language literary legends — will hit retail stores nationwide February 19.

1.14.08

Nearly six years after the alleged sex tape first surfaced, the court proceedings in the R. Kelly case continue to move at a snail’s pace. The prosecutors originally sought to have testimony from one expert witness, Dr. Sharon Cooper, cover several different areas — the age of the girl on the tape based on forensic pediatrics, the identification of the man on the tape based on the vein pattern on his hands, and the behavior profile of the girl based on the psychology of child sex-abuse victims. Judge Vincent Gaughan had previously ruled that Dr. Cooper could testify about the victim’s age, but not the behavior profile, so prosecutors had asked him to reconsider. At a hearing on Monday (January 14), Gaughan ruled once again that Dr. Cooper would not be able to testify about why the girl in the case would deny that she was a victim, or how common denial is in sex-abuse cases. Kelly is due back in court March 12 for another pre-trial hearing, while the trial itself is slated to start on May 9. …

And the Wu-Tang Clan infighting goes on. U-God — who complained about RZA being callous toward him in the studio nearly four years ago — is now suing Wu’s label, alleging that he is owed $170,000, according to TMZ.com. U-God (born Lamont Hawkins) reportedly filed papers in a New York district court, alleging that Wu Music owes him money for services rendered dating back to March of last year. Wu Music is licensed to Universal Music. …

Paula Abdul doesn’t just have the seventh season of “American Idol” on her mind these days. “I want kids!” the singer recently told Ladies’ Home Journal for its February issue. “If it doesn’t happen naturally, I can always adopt.” The 45-year-old Abdul opened up even more about her personal life, saying of 32-year-old boyfriend J.T. Torregiani, “I’ve experienced real loneliness, so I love knowing there’s someone I can share the good and the not-so-good with.” … Everyone’s wondering how the seventh season of “Idol” is going to fare in light of some retooling and the writers’ strike, but if you ask Chris Daughtry, the show is “in a state of decline.” The Daughtry frontman recently spoke with RollingStone.com about the show, adding that if it doesn’t right itself, “it’s probably not gonna last too much longer. I’m sure that’ll be used against me, but that’s the truth, you know?” He also said the show is “definitely lacking some credibility at this point.” …

White Stripes, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Mark Ronson, Klaxons, Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Cheifs and recent MTV Artist of the Week Kate Nash have all landed Brit Award nominations, although Leona Lewis, Mika and Take That have scored the most, with four apiece. Rihanna, Ronson, Kaiser Chiefs, Kylie Minogue and Paul McCartney are slated to perform at the February 20 ceremony. … R.E.M. have pulled the curtains back on a new Web site surrounding the April 1 release of their 14th studio album, Accelerate. Their NinetyNights.com Web site has daily high-definition-video snippets shot by Arcade Fire collaborator Vincent Moon

Björk attacked a newspaper photographer who was attempting to take her picture at the Auckland International Airport on Sunday, according to reports in the New Zealand press. The singer, who was flying in to perform at the Big Day Out concert on Friday, reportedly ripped New Zealand Herald photographer Glenn Jeffrey’s shirt after he snapped a photo of her. Jeffrey told the New Zealand Press Association that he was warned by a man traveling with Björk not to take her picture, and once he did, the singer came up behind him, grabbed the back of his shirt and tore it before tumbling to the ground. In 1996, Björk attacked a reporter in an airport in Bangkok, Thailand, after she objected to being photographed. … The Walkmen and White Rabbits will hop along the U.S. this month for nine shows. On the itinerary are Pittsburgh (Wednesday); Detroit (Thursday); Milwaukee (Friday); Madison, Wisconsin (Saturday); Chicago (Sunday); St. Louis (January 21); Columbus, Ohio (January 22); Philadelphia (January 23); and Baltimore (January 24). …

For the first time in 25 years, former Clash members Mick Jones and Topper Headon reportedly shared the same stage at a gig by Jones’ new band, Carbon/Silicon. The duo performed “Train in Vain” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” during the set. … Megadeth have recruited Chris Broderick (Nevermore, Jag Panzer) to be their newest guitarist, following the recent departure of Glen Drover. Broderick will make his live debut with the band on February 4, at a gig in Finland. …

Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali said the band will not be revived following the late November death of frontman Kevin DuBrow. In an online statement, Banali claims he had been “approached to see if I would be interested in contacting Rudy Sarzo and Carlos Cavazo and to audition singers for Quiet Riot.” He said that he’s even fielded an offer to re-form “the version of Quiet Riot that included Paul Shortino, Carlos Cavazo and Sean McNabb.” But Banali rejected any suggestions of the band performing live. “My friendship, love and respect for Kevin DuBrow, as well as my personal love and affection for Kevin’s mother and his family, makes it inconceivable for me to ever entertain any ovation to re-form or to continue Quiet Riot,” he wrote. “It would also be a disrespect to the fans who have supported [the band] for nearly 25 years.” …

Roger Avary, the Oscar-winning co-writer of “Pulp Fiction,” was arrested on Sunday after a fatal single-car crash in Ojai, California. According to a Reuters report, Avary, 42, was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence, and was released from jail after posting $50,000 bail. Andreas Zedini, a 34-year-old passenger in the car, died of his injuries at a local hospital. Avary’s wife, Gretchen, 40, was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries after being thrown from the car.