John Mayer, Others Announced As Grammy Performers; Plus Common, Timbaland, Pitbull, Baby Bash, Big Pun & More, In For The Record

Com names new LP; Timbaland plans straight-to-cell-phone album; Pitbull, Baby Bash to co-headline MTV Trés tour.

In addition to adding the two most-nominated artists of the year to the performing roster for Sunday’s GrammysKanye West and, via satellite, Amy Winehouse — the show will also feature live sets from John Mayer and gospel great BeBe Winans. Added as presenters are Usher, Will.I.Am, Dierks Bentley, Cuba Gooding Jr., Carole King and Roselyn Sanchez. …

Common has come up with a title for his new LP: The Believer. The Chicago legend told MTV News he hopes it will be out by November. … Timbaland has signed a deal to release a straight-to-mobile-phone album, one track at a time over the next year. The unusual scheme hatched with Verizon Wireless, which will give its V Cast subscribers an exclusive chance to access the songs each month, according to Billboard Biz. Tim, who is up for five Grammys, will work with a different artist on each track while touring the country on the Verizon Mobile Recording Studio Bus, which will spin off making-of footage for V Cast subscribers on a dedicated Timbaland channel. Each mobile track will be released just days after it is produced in full-length download, ringtone and ringback version, and will only be available through V Cast and Verizon for $1.99. At the end of the year, a compilation album will be released through Verizon. …

Pitbull and Baby Bash likely ran into each other at last year’s Wango Tango music festival in Southern California — they both performed there — and now the two are joining forces for MTV Trés’ Sucker Free Latino spring tour. The two headliners will hit 13 cities starting March 15 in Orlando, Florida, and ending April 4 in San Diego. … Family, friends and close music-industry associates of the late Big Pun gathered in a private ceremony Thursday night at New York’s Studio 450 to honor the eight-year anniversary of the Latino rapper’s untimely death. Donations were made both to Pun’s family and his foundation, the Christopher Rios Memorial. An attendee told MTV News that the rapper’s daughter, Vanessa, paid tribute to her father with a rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” …

Teddy Geiger is still busy working on the follow-up to 2006’s Underage Thinking — as well as his role in the upcoming flick “The Rocker” — but in the meantime the 19-year-old troubadour has launched a cell phone contest with Mozes. During the month of February, fans can leave messages for Geiger on Mozes.com, after which he’ll pick one of the fans to chat with. … Flyleaf and Seether will team up this spring for an eight-week U.S. tour that kicks off April 8 in Denver and runs through May 31 at a yet-to-be-announced city. A partial list of dates can be found at either band’s Web site. … Thrice have a busy May ahead — the SoCal rockers have a show booked for almost every night that month. The band will actually set out on tour the month before that, beginning April 16 in San Diego, and will bring it to a close May 29 in Hollywood. …

Members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Saturday Night Live” castmembers Andy Samberg and Seth Meyers, and others turned up at New York’s Webster Hall on Monday night for a party thrown by Chloë Sevigny. The actress invited legendary punks the Slits to play at the event, which celebrated Sevigny’s new clothing line. … Working for a Nuclear Free City — whose Businessmen and Ghosts album was a finalist for this year’s Shortlist Music Prize — are hoping to capitalize on the success with a brief run. The Brits will hit the road February 29 in San Francisco and continue playing gigs through Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest fest in mid-March. … Still hooked on Phish? Fans can gobble up a bunch of rare items donated by the now-defunct jam heroes for an online charity auction being put on by the mother of the band’s drummer, Jon Fishman. Posters signed by Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell, as well as rare Phish shirts and additional items from Oysterhead, Moe. and the String Cheese Incident. Proceeds from the auction, which ends February 21, will go to the Mimi Fishman Foundation, which raises funds for various charities. …

Now that his Rolling Stones movie, “Shine a Light,” is about to hit the big screen, legendary director Martin Scorsese is set to begin work on a yet-untitled documentary about reggae icon Bob Marley. Variety reports that the movie will be authorized by Marley’s family and will be released in February 2010, on what would have been Marley’s 65th birthday. … Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are creating a live-performance attraction based on “American Idol” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Florida. The yet-unnamed attraction, which should open this year, will allow budding singers to “audition” on an “Idol”-like set in front of an audience of 1,000, with a daily winner getting a pass to the show’s regional auditions. Visitors will be able to pick their song beforehand, rehearse in a sound booth and, if they pass the audition, work with a vocal coach before performing in front of the live audience and a panel of judges during one of the seven daily shows. …

Republican presidential candidate John McCain might have a lot of independent-minded supporters, but heartland rocker John Mellencamp ain’t one of ’em. The Arizona senator and Republican front-runner stopped playing the unabashedly liberal Indiana singer/songwriter’s “Our Country” at his campaign events after Mellencamp’s publicist sent a letter questioning the logic of using the tune, according to The Associated Press. “Are you sure you want to use his music to promote Senator McCain’s efforts?” read a letter sent to the candidate’s campaign on Monday. “Logic says that the facts might prove to be an embarrassment, were they to be circulated widely.” The McCain camp said Thursday that the song, and a few others by Mellencamp, would no longer be played at events. Mellencamp publicist Bob Merlis told AP that the situation made Mellencamp uncomfortable and that he couldn’t imagine McCain would want to be associated with him. “You know, here’s a guy running around saying, ’I’m a true conservative,’ ” Merlis said. “Well, if you’re such a true conservative, why are you playing songs that have a very populist pro-labor message written by a guy who would find no argument if you characterized him as left of center?” …

Billy Joel will be the last artist to play New York’s Shea Stadium before it’s torn down. The piano man will perform at “The Last Play at Shea, From the Beatles to Billy” on July 16, during the New York Mets’ final season before moving to Citi Field in 2009. The show will make Joel the only artist to have played both Yankee and Shea Stadiums.

2.7.08

Lindsay Lohan just spoke publicly for the first time since leaving rehab in early October — she gave an interview to the U.K. edition of Glamour for its new cover story — but the starlet has more to say. She told Harper’s Bazaar for its own LiLo cover story that she’d like to have a low-key relationship, that she’s trying to smoke cigarettes less often and that she’s “always been a homebody.” She also spilled who she would like to make music with next — “I’d love to work with Timbaland. I’d love to work with Kanye West, 50 Cent if I could” — and admitted, “When I look back on this last year, it’s like, what was I thinking?” Harper’s Bazaar’s March issue, in which the story appears, hits stands February 19. …

Christina Aguilera just made her first public appearance this week since giving birth in January, and now comes news that the singer is already digging into her next album. “This whole incredible thing has taken place in my life,” the new mom recently told Ryan Seacrest on his radio show, so there’s “so much in me to write about. The next record, I want to have a lot of fun with it. [I’ve been] brainstorming for the last nine months. This next album will have a whole new me, a different me, so it’s a lot to look forward to.” She also spoke about her son, Max Liron Bratman — “he’s constantly changing, and doing these incredibly cute things and stinky things” — and even touched on Paris Hilton spilling the beans about Aguilera’s pregnancy during VMA weekend last year. “It was funny,” Aguilera said, taking the high road. “We all looked at each and laughed it off. She did it in a sweet way. It wasn’t a tattle-on-me sort of thing.” …

Britney Spears’ father, Jamie, had previously been granted temporary conservatorship powers over the singer for a week, during which time it was expected when the powers were granted that she would be in the hospital. Now that she’s out, some legal questions were raised in court Thursday (February 7) when Spears’ co-conservator, Andrew Wallet, and the attorneys for the conservatorship appeared for an emergency ex parte hearing. Since the hearing was closed and the court documents were sealed, according to a court clerk, no one could say what happened in the hearing. But Adam Streisand, who tried to represent the singer at a previous hearing, only to be ejected from the court, was definitely not present on the singer’s behalf, since prior to the hearing, his firm released a statement that he “has decided he will not represent her at this time.” Streisand met with Britney Spears on Wednesday “to discuss her legal rights in connection with the conservatorship over her person and estate,” but following the meeting, he learned that there was a court order preventing the singer from retaining counsel of her own choosing. … Despite all Britney Spears’ troubles, she still has Danjahandz on her side. The producer recently told MTV News that he’d like to hook up with the singer in the future. “I would work with her again. Hopefully she’ll get better,” he said, admitting that he hadn’t heard of her recent hospitalization. “I definitely have ideas [of] what I would do with her.” …

As had been previously rumored, when Beyoncé takes the stage at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, she’ll be joined by none other than reclusive rock legend Tina Turner, the Recording Academy has announced. Other additions to the show’s lineup included Kid Rock, who will perform, as well as presenters Akon, Nelly Furtado, Prince, Jason Bateman, Tony Bennett, Cher, Tom Hanks, Quincy Jones, Joe Mantegna, Ringo Starr, Dave Stewart and Stevie Wonder. …

Can’t remember the last time you bought a CD single? Well, here’s a reason to consider picking one up: Ashlee Simpson will meet fans and sign copies of her new “Outta My Head” single February 14 at a Walmart in Dallas. … Sevendust have a friend in … Chris Daughtry? Yup, it’s true: The Daughtry frontman recently teamed with the hard-rockers to chip in a guest vocal for the band’s new song “The Past.” The track will be included on Sevendust’s April 1 LP, Chapter VII: Hope & Sorrow, which will also feature contributions from Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy. … This year’s South by Southwest festival just got a little more hip-hop-friendly. Ice Cube and N.E.R.D. have hopped onto the sprawling roster for the Austin, Texas, shindig, which will go down March 12-16. … The Sweet Relief Musicians Fund — a group that helps career musicians in need — is putting up for auction an original Clash T-shirt printed by bassist Paul Simonon. The item will be up for bidding on eBay for 10 days starting Saturday. As MTV News reported late last year, Simonon originally gave the shirt to punk poet Patti Smith 30 years ago, and after she passed it to her drummer, Jay Dee Daughtery, he in turn donated it to Sweet Relief — but the group was not able to raffle the tee because of sweepstakes laws. …

Don’t believe those stories about how infighting and personal disputes are the reason the Spice Girls have canceled most of the remaining dates of their reunion tour. Trying to combat the rumors, the Girls posted a one-minute apology video to fans on their Web site on Wednesday, reiterating that the decision to cancel shows in China, South Africa, Australia and Argentina was due to “family and personal commitments.” In the video, Mel C explains: “There has been a lot of rubbish in the media over the last few days, so we wanted you to hear it from the horse’s mouth. We’re very sorry not to be able to get to all the places we really, really wanted to get to.” Several members say that the tour went a month longer than they had actually intended when they first announced the reunion last year. Victoria Beckham adds, “Our kids need to go back to school, and we always said our families are our priorities. So we want to thank all our fans. Sorry we haven’t got to see everybody.” The singers then get into a mock fight before Mel B screams, “We hate each other? Are you kidding? We love each other!” …

A star-studded gala organized by Madonna at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday night to benefit sick and poor children around the world raised $3.7 million. Hosted by Chris Rock, the $2,500-to-$10,000-a-plate dinner and live auction attracted guests Drew Barrymore, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Dita Von Teese, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Amy Adams, Brooke Shields and Salma Hayek. But, according to The Associated Press, the event also made some officials, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, a bit uncomfortable with its mix of charity and commercial promotion. The event was paid for by luxury-goods maker Gucci, which used the occasion to promote the opening of its flagship store in New York’s Manhattan borough on Friday and put its logo along with UNICEF’s behind the walkway on the red carpet. Rihanna, Timbaland and Alicia Keys performed at the event. The night’s most expensive auction item was a $600,000 bid to tour with Madonna and take a dance class with her and Gwyneth Paltrow. …

Eva Mendes left rehab briefly on Thursday. “Eva is attending to some personal business in Los Angeles and intends to return to complete her treatment shortly,” a representative for the actress who was not named told TMZ.com. … Having conquered the reality-TV world, Public Enemy court jester Flavor Flav has signed on to try his hand at scripted comedy. The sometime rapper will star in a new half-hour comedy series on MyNetworkTV called “Under One Roof,” which creators call a classic “fish-out-of-water” story. In the show, for which 13 episodes have been ordered, Flav will play Calvester Hill, a former convict who moves in with his wealthy, conservative brother and, predictably, wreaks havoc by parading his old prison cronies through the house, teaching his nephew to be a gangsta rapper and butting heads with Walter’s uptight wife, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The series is slated to launch in the spring.