Aretha Franklin Scolds Beyonce For Grammy Slight; Plus Miley Cyrus, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears & More, In For The Record

Cyrus featured in Barbara Walters special; Wayne indicted; Snoop to be honored for community-service efforts.

There is only one Queen of Soul, and you don’t want to mess with her. Aretha Franklin, who has held that title for decades, lashed out at Beyoncé on Tuesday after the young singer introduced Tina Turner as “the queen” at Sunday’s Grammy Awards. According to an Associated Press report, Franklin released a statement in which she said, “I am not sure of whose toes I may have stepped on or whose ego I may have bruised between the Grammy writers and Beyoncé. … However, I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy.” In her intro to Turner’s set, Knowles mentioned Franklin among a list of legendary female singers, then tagged Turner as the “one legend who has the essence of all of those things: the glamour, the soul, the passion, the strength, the talent. … Ladies and gentlemen, stand on your feet and give it up for the queen.” Showing her feelings were not that hurt, the missive from Franklin ended with a thank you to the Grammys and “love to Beyoncé anyway.” …

A day after coming under fire from Consumer Reports for being shown not wearing their seat belts in the new Hannah Montana flick, Billy Ray Cyrus has admitted that he and his daughter Miley were in the wrong. “We got caught up in the moment of filming, and we made a mistake and forgot to buckle our seatbelts,” he told People in regards to the new 3-D movie “Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert.” “Seat-belt safety is extremely important,” he added. … As for Miley, tune in for a chat with the starlet after the Academy Awards on February 24. Along with nominee Ellen Page, Harrison Ford and others, Cyrus will be part of the 27th annual Oscar edition of “The Barbara Walters Special,” airing at 7 p.m. on ABC. …

Lil Wayne has been indicted by a grand jury on felony drug and weapons charges in connection with his arrest on January 22 near Yuma, Arizona. According to his lawyer, James Tilson, Wayne (born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.) was in court Friday and pleaded not guilty to possession of a narcotic drug for sale, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and misconduct involving weapons. Tilson said the rapper will remain free on bond as the case proceeds, and that he is “still free to travel and perform, and there are no changes in the conditions of his release.” Wayne, 25, is due back in court on March 7 for a status hearing. …

Snoop Dogg, Ciara, Doug E. Fresh, Jim Jones and others will be recognized at this year’s Action Awards for their community-service efforts. The fifth annual fundraising dinner ceremony, put on by Russell Simmons‘ Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, will take place February 25 at Capitale in New York. … Add the Rothbury Festival to the list of new American fests launching this summer. The three-day affair at the Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury, Michigan, will take place over Independence Day weekend (July 3-6) and feature sets from Snoop, John Mayer, the Dave Matthews Band, Modest Mouse, the Mars Volta, Colbie Caillat, the Black Keys, Of Montreal, Widespread Panic, Beth Orton, Gogol Bordello, Phil Lesh & Friends and 311. The festival will have an environmental bent, including a panel discussion on climate issues and an energy fair. … The Eagles have hopped onboard the Stagecoach Country Music Festival, set for May 2-4 in Indio, California. …

Does Britney Spears want her kids back ? Her first ex-husband, Jason Alexander, claims the singer told him no. “She wants to see them, but she doesn’t want to be a full-time mom,” Alexander told In Touch Weekly, claiming that he and Britney got back in touch in the last few weeks. “I got a … a voice mail … that says, ‘Hey! It’s me. I know we haven’t spoken in a while.’ It was Britney. She said she’d call me back, and we’ve been speaking ever since.” … Meanwhile, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is hoping to get Jamie and Lynne Spears to get Brit to cut back on dairy and meat, which the animal-rights organization claims could have a connection to her mental disorder. In a letter to the pop star’s parents, PETA claimed bipolar patients worsen their condition if they ingest ice cream and other milk products. A PETA rep told MTV News that the group has yet to hear back from Spears’ parents. …

Here’s an APB for all the Police fans out there: The recently reunited band will retire for good after one more North American tour, according to Billboard.com. Sting and the gang will play roughly 30 shows across the continent in May and July, as well as gigs in Europe in June, but that’ll be it. Elvis Costello & the Imposters will open the North American shows, which start May 1 in Ottawa and end the first week in August. Billboard.com reports that the tour will gross in the $340 million range, making it one of the five top-grossing tours ever. … With Stone Temple Pilots, Led Zeppelin and Rage Against the Machine also doing the whole reunion thing … and could a Pavement reunion be on the way too? Well, frontman Stephen Malkmus told NME that, while the idea was an “interesting” one, he doesn’t see it happening anytime soon — he’s busy with his new band, the Jicks. But he isn’t ruling it out entirely. “We’re on fine terms, we don’t have any plans to [re-form] yet,” he told the magazine. “We haven’t talked about sincerely doing that. I’m 1,000 percent committed to the people I’m working with now. I would never cheat on them and go and do Pavement, it’s not [in] the cards. But who knows? Maybe it would be a good thing to do, maybe it’ll feel right one day. I don’t really ever think about it, except when I do interviews.” …

DJ Khaled is launching an exclusive partnership between his We the Best Music label, and Def Jam. Ace will put out the first release under the new deal, although the title and release date have yet to be determined. “We the Best Music/ Def Jam … get ready for history!!!” Khaled said in a statement. … The Bravery have put together quite the scheme to hype their March 18 release, The Sun and the Moon Complete. Starting Tuesday, the synth-rockers will dish up a song from the disc each week for the next month on iTunes, and the first offering will be a reworked version of “Believe.” The March release is a two-disc set — the first one, titled The Sun, is the 12-song album the band issued in May; the second disc, The Moon, is the reimagined version of the release. …

As if Barack Obama didn’t have enough support from musicians already, the senator is earning some ancillary support from TV on the Radio amigos Dragons of Zynth. The electro-psychedelic band will try to rouse more love for the Democratic presidential candidate with an “Obamathon” in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, which is Valentine’s Day. … After initially being hit with a cease and desist from Radiohead for his unauthorized eight-track remix of songs from the band’s In Rainbows, Oakland, California, DJ/producer Amplive has been given the go-ahead to release the free album. Rainydayz Remixes features verses from Too Short, Chali 2na of Jurassic 5 and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien. …

Mel Gibson can finally put his infamous DUI arrest behind him. According to TMZ, a judge on Wednesday (February 13) said there is no need for future progress reports on the actor, who was busted in July 2006. He still has 18 months of probation but has completed the requirements of his plea deal.

2.12.08

Juvenile was arrested in Mississippi on Tuesday (February 12) for marijuana possession, according to TMZ.com. The New Orleans rapper was reportedly pulled over for having expired tags on his car — it has yet to be determined whether he was the one driving — after which authorities discovered the drugs. He was released Tuesday afternoon after being arrested, and it’s not yet known when his court appearance will be. …

Joel Madden is busy raising his new baby girl with Nicole Richie, but life isn’t as sweet these days for his brother Benji. Good Charlotte‘s lead guitarist has split with his fiancee, actress Sophie Monk, according to Australia’s Daily Telegraph. “The decision was mutual and they remain amicable,” Monk’s agent in Sydney, Yoon Kim, reportedly said in a statement. The two got engaged in January last year. … Shakira has drummed up $76,000 for her Bare Feet Foundation, a charity group that helps impoverished kids in Colombia, via an Internet auction, The Associated Press reports. A fan paid $14,000 for a meet-and-greet and front-row seats to one of her upcoming shows, while others threw down big bucks for a bra ($3,000), a skirt ($1,000) and other items from her recent Oral Fixation tour. …

Buckle up, Miley Cyrus — that’s what Consumer Reports is telling the pop tart, who is shown not wearing a seat belt in her new movie. In her new 3-D flick, “Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert,” she is seen riding in the back seat of a Range Rover without being strapped in, which spurred the mag to criticize her in a blog post on its Web site, ConsumerReports.org. “It seems to us that Miley, her father and [film studio] Disney had a perfect opportunity to help influence teens and counteract — rather than encourage — this trend,” read the blog post, which also called out Billy Ray Cyrus for not buckling up either. According to the mag, 65 percent of 13- to 15-year-olds killed in auto accidents two years ago were not wearing seat belts. …

After her triumphant return to live performing and five Grammy wins on Sunday night, Amy Winehouse is on the road to recovery, according to her mother. Janis Winehouse told Britain’s GMTV that the singer’s solid performance via satellite during the show is proof that she’s overcoming the substance issues that were threatening to derail her promising career. “Well, it’s Amy coming back, she’s definitely on the way back,” Janis Winehouse said. “As you saw, she looks good, and … she’s on the road to recovery.” … Even with the tease of a potential Kanye West diatribe, a possibly controversial performance from Winehouse and the shocking Album of the Year win by Herbie Hancock, Sunday’s Grammys were a ratings bust. Early numbers indicated that the show was the third-least-watched Grammys ever, with just 17.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. It barely edged out the 2006 show, which had 17 million viewers. …

Eric Idle, the comedy legend who authored the theatrical production “Monty Python‘s Spamalot,” has swapped out a reference the script makes to Britney Spears and replaced it with a reference to Posh Spice instead, according to AP. Instead of, “I am sick of my career/ Always stuck in second gear … I’ve no Tony Awards/ I’m constantly replaced by Britney Spears,” Lady of the Lake will now sing “replaced by Posh Spice.” Idle reportedly chimed in on the switch-up, saying, “We don’t laugh at sad people. [Show director] Mike Nichols requested it, and he’s right. We changed the lyrics in London, on tour, on Broadway and in Las Vegas. We think that it’s now too sad. Britney Spears is being tortured to death, and we don’t want to be on that side.” …

Radiohead have another album coming out this year, and they’re not happy about it. According to a post on fan site AtEase.com, their former label, EMI, is slated to release a greatest-hits package to coincide with the band’s upcoming tour. Guitarist Ed O’Brien said, “They’re planning to do a greatest-hits for April/May to coincide with our tour. That’s an interesting one. We won’t be doing any promotion for that, obviously.” Meanwhile, the band has confirmed the first half of dates and venues for its upcoming North American tour, and if you live in Bristow, Virginia, well, you’re in luck! The trek kicks off May 5 at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Florida, and will make stops at outdoor venues in Tampa, Florida; Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Bristow (holler!); St. Louis; and Houston. The last confirmed venue/date is May 18 at the awesomely named SuperPages.com Center in Dallas. Pre-sale for the above dates begins Thursday via the band’s online W.A.S.T.E. site, with general on-sale following Saturday. The second half of Radiohead’s North American jaunt will follow their summer tour of the U.K. and Europe. …

John Legend will spend an afternoon writing material with Trouble City, a Boston hip-hop duo, as part of OurStage’s “Artist Access” program. The digital-music company specializes in artist development, and the program facilitates younger talents like Trouble City to work with veteran artists. … The reunited Stone Temple Pilots will headline this year’s Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio. The fest, which takes place May 17-18, will also feature sets from Kid Rock, 3 Doors Down, Disturbed, Staind, Seether, Papa Roach, Flyleaf, Killswitch Engage, Serj Tankian, Shinedown, Sevendust and Finger Eleven. On Monday, STP announced that they were scrapping their upcoming concerts in Australia in light of frontman Scott Weiland‘s return to rehab.

The Mars Volta have sketched out plans for an upcoming tour in support of The Bedlam in Goliath, which debuted, astonishingly, at #3 on Billboard albums chart last week. The confirmed gigs so far are slated for Orlando, Florida (April 1); Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (April 4); Atlanta (April 5); St. Louis (April 17); Columbus, Ohio (April 18); Chicago (April 20); and St. Paul, Minnesota (April 21). … Kiss are turning 35, and to celebrate the milestone, the glam-rock gods will tour Europe starting May 11 in Munich, Germany, according to Agence-France Presse. The 14-date tour will be the group’s first in Europe in almost 10 years and last until a June 21 show in Bilbao, Spain. …

To commemorate Tuesday’s release of the 25th-anniversary edition of his landmark album, Thriller, Michael Jackson released a thank-you video to fans, in which he says, “It’s hard to believe that 25 years ago, Quincy Jones and I embarked on an album named Thriller,” adding that “there is still much to come for Michael Jackson. … My passion for music has never stopped. … It’s my hope that Thriller continues to live on for each new generation to discover.” He also thanked fans for helping to make Thriller the best-selling album of all time. …

Lenny Kravitz was rushed to an emergency room in Miami on Monday, suffering from severe bronchitis. Since mid-January, Kravitz, 43, had been struggling with a series of severe respiratory-tract infections and the flu, which evolved into bronchitis, according to Reuters. “Due to extreme dehydration and fatigue, doctors were unable to control it with outpatient treatment and advised the singer to check into the hospital,” his spokesperson said. The hospitalization forced Kravitz to call off a planned European promotional tour for his just-released album, It Is Time for a Love Revolution.

An appeals court has upheld the 37-month federal prison sentence for tax evasion for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Ronald Isley. According to AP, the three-judge panel rejected the 66-year-old singer’s argument that his sentence was unreasonable due to his age, poor health and lack of proof that the federal prison system can provide him adequate health care. The court ruled that the trial judge was correct in sentencing the “Twist and Shout” singer for his “pathological” tax evasion. Isley was sentenced in 2006 after being convicted of five counts of tax evasion and one count of willful failure to file a tax return. He suffered a minor stroke in 2004, but continued performing afterwards. He is currently in prison at the Terre Haute Federal Corrections Institution in Indiana, with release scheduled for April 2010.