Alicia Keys Reigns At NAACP Image Awards; Plus Britney Spears, Paramore, Eddie Vedder, Raconteurs, Bono & More, In For The Record

Conservatorship over Spears' affairs is disputed; Paramore and Jimmy Eat World announce tour itinerary; Vedder sketches out dates for first-ever solo trek.

Alicia Keys took home four trophies from the NAACP Image Awards, held at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium Thursday night. She won the Outstanding Album and Outstanding Female Artist prizes, as well as the top video and song awards. Other honorees included Chris Brown, Jordin Sparks, Denzel Washington and Janet Jackson. Washington and his “Great Debaters” co-star Jurnee Smollett won the Best Actor and Actress prizes for film, while Jackson received the Best Supporting Actress honor for her work in “Tyler Perry‘s Why Did I Get Married?” …

As Britney Spears‘ father extended control over her affairs in Los Angeles on Thursday, a New York attorney attempted to undo them by taking the conservatorship to federal court. Claiming he represents the singer — despite a judge already deciding she’s unable to retain counsel of her own just yet — attorney Jon Eardley filed a claim that the singer’s conservatorship deprives her of her civil liberties, since she’s been denied the right to meet freely with whom she chooses (as her father has the power to restrict visitors); make and receive phone calls (since a restraining order prevents manager Sam Lutfi from contacting her); drive a car (since her father hired security to do that for her); and gain access to money or credit cards (since her finances are being handled by her trust). “She is being confined … to the private person of her own home,” the suit reads. Eardley is represented by Lutfi’s publicist, Michael Sands, who claims that the motion moves jurisdiction from Los Angeles Superior Court to the U.S. District Court, and voids the conservatorship: “Britney Spears has no conservatorship!” he said in a press release. However, the Los Angeles Superior Court responded, “This is an issue that will have to be litigated by the parties.” …

Paramore and Jimmy Eat World have rolled out dates for their much-anticipated co-headlining tour. The 20-date outing will take them from San Antonio on April 1 to Atlantic City, New Jersey, on May 2, with stops in California, Iowa, New York and elsewhere along the way. …

Eddie Vedder has sketched out the itinerary for his first-ever solo tour, which he will stage in support of his Grammy-nominated “Into the Wild” soundtrack, according to Billboard.com. The Pearl Jam frontman will swing through Vancouver, British Columbia, on April 2, after which he’ll play a smattering of shows in various California cities: Santa Cruz (April 5), Berkeley (April 7), Santa Barbara (April 10), Los Angeles (April 12-13) and San Diego (April 15). … The Raconteurs are wrapping up their yet-untitled sophomore effort in Nashville, according to a recent post on their MySpace page. The post wasn’t forthcoming with more details, although it did say, “They promise to release [the LP] as soon as they can.” …

U2 frontman Bono and British artist Damien Hirst raised $42 million for HIV/AIDS programs in Africa at a Sotheby’s auction in New York on Thursday, according to The Associated Press. The (Red) Auction, co-organized by the Gagosian Gallery, sold pieces from some of the world’s top contemporary artists. Sotheby’s said model Christy Turlington bought a piece for $170,500. “We got serious about love, and not just the love of art, but the love of our brothers and sisters suffering from AIDS in the poorest places on the planet,” Bono said, according to BBC News. …

Coheed and Cambria, Incubus and Disturbed have been added to the roster for this year’s Download Festival in England (June 13-15). They join a lineup that already features Kiss, Judas Priest, the Offspring, Motörhead, H.I.M, Children of Bodom, Rise Against, Lostprophets, Alter Bridge and In Flames. … Aerosmith are starring in a new edition of “Guitar Hero” called, er, “Guitar Hero: Aerosmith.” Due in the summer, the game will feature 30 or so songs by the Boston legends, as well as ones by bands that have opened for Steven Tyler‘s crew. …

Chan Marshall — better known as Cat Power — has bulked up her tour schedule in support of her recently released album, Jukebox, according to Pitchfork. Following an April 10 show in Vancouver, British Columbia, she will hit up Seattle the following day and continue playing gigs through an April 20 show at Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest fest. Two days later, she’ll perform in Houston, after which she’ll journey down to Mexico City for an April 23 performance. … The National — whose last album, Boxer, made many critics’ top 10 lists last year — have slipped out a live EP through Rhapsody, Pitchfork reports. The release, called Rhapsody Rocks NYC, contains four songs recorded at New York’s CMJ Music Marathon last year. …

Butch Walker has slapped together a new live album, but in case you’re running low on funds these days, don’t worry — he’s posted the 24-track effort for free download at FriendsorEnemies.com. Devout fans can get the release with bonus tracks for $5.99. … Portishead have firmed up their first album in 10 years. Third will drop April 29 and feature 11 songs, including “Nylon Smile,” “Magic Doors” and “The Rip.” …

Yoko Ono has denied reports that she was planning legal action against singer Lennon Murphy, who has sought to trademark the name of her band, Lennon. In a letter to the technology blog BoingBoing, Ono explained that several years ago, Lennon Murphy sought Ono’s permission to perform under her birth name, Lennon Murphy, which Ono did not object to. But later, without Ono’s knowledge, the singer reportedly filed an application in the U.S. Trademark Office requesting the exclusive right to utilize the name “Lennon” for musical performances. Ono’s attorneys asked Murphy’s lawyers and manager to withdraw the registration, offering to cover all costs Murphy had incurred in filing for the trademark. When Murphy went ahead with the registration anyway, Ono said she did not sue Murphy, but had her attorneys notify the trademark office that Ono did not believe it was fair that Murphy be granted the exclusive right to the Lennon trademark for musical and entertainment services. Ono wrote, “I am really hurt if people thought that I told a young artist to not use her own name in her performances and had sought to sue her. I did no such thing. I hope this allegation will be cleared.” …

Borders Books is trying a new method to appeal to music downloaders. According to a press release, the retailer will roll out 14 new concept stores this year featuring “digital centers” that will allow customers to burn CDs and download music and books to most MP3 players, though not to iPods.

2.14.08

Avril Lavigne, who was once known as the “anti-Britney,” now has nothing but sympathy for the pop star, as she reveals in the new issue of Maxim. “No one else has it as hard as Britney,” she told the magazine. “I feel bad for her. How does she even think with all those flashbulbs? When I’m being followed, everything’s thrown off. They run red lights. They cause accidents. She can’t even walk to her car. F—ing stalkers.” Lavigne, who has been known to flip off and spit on the paparazzi in the past, also said she’s disgusted at speculation that she’s pregnant with her first child. “Remember in high school when people would start fake rumors about you?” she asked. “Well, this isn’t high school. It’s like, the entire world.” Check out more Avril photos from the mag’s March issue at Maxim.com.

A Los Angeles judge decided Thursday (February 14) to extend the temporary conservatory powers that Britney Spears‘ father has over the singer’s affairs — at least through the next hearing, on March 10. Jamie Spears had been granted control to oversee Britney’s well-being and her estate earlier this month, along with co-conservator Andrew Wallet. Court-appointed investigator Samuel Ingham told the court Thursday that he had not finished his psychological evaluation of the singer and was granted an extension until the next hearing. Also by March 10, Britney must undergo a 730 evaluation to study her family to determine the best custody arrangements, Commissioner Reva Goetz decided. Goetz also named Britney’s older brother, Bryan — who used to work on her former management team — along with New York estate attorney Ivan Taback as co-trustees for the singer’s trust while she is considered unable to manage her own affairs. Meanwhile, Britney’s current manager Sam Lutfi has yet to be served with a restraining order. The lawyers for the conservatorship concluded that Lutfi was intentionally avoiding being served because they’d already spent over 200 hours trying to reach him. A hearing about the restraining order is scheduled for February 22. …

Beyoncé‘s father, Mathew Knowles, isn’t too happy about Aretha Franklin scolding his daughter for comments she made about the Queen of Soul at Sunday’s Grammy Awards. “Something this ridiculous — it’s childish, it’s unprofessional,” he said in a statement on Thursday, according to People. “And it’s a sad day when egos get bruised because somebody used the word ‘king,’ ‘queen,’ ‘prince’ or ‘princess.’ ” Beyoncé introduced Tina Turner as “the queen” during the ceremony, after which 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.” …

Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Ricky Martin and others are voicing support for Alejandro Sanz after the cancellation of a concert he intended to play in Venezuela, Reuters reports. In 2004, the Latin American singer claimed President Hugo Chávez had tried to quash a campaign for a recall referendum against him. Sanz supporters are reportedly accusing Chávez of censorship in the wake of the concert cancellation. … White Stripes are getting some extra lovin’ at Best Buy, Pitchfork reports. The retail chain is selling a five-track EP surrounding the band’s new single, “Conquest,” that features all the accompanying B-sides that were previously available only on vinyl or in digital form. The EP comes free with the purchase of the band’s Icky Thump album, or it can be bought separately. …

Well, so much for all those reunion tours. A day after Billboard.com reported that the Police would be retiring for good after their upcoming North American trek comes news that the reunited Spice Girls likely won’t go on either. Geri Halliwell — or Ginger Spice, to the fans — told the site she isn’t anticipating a follow-up to the group’s current run, which ends February 26 in Toronto. “It probably won’t happen ever again,” she said. “I’m still absolutely blown away that we did more than one show. So right now I’m thinking this is it. This is the last time you will ever get to see this Girl Power, the five Spices on the stage as one.” Still, she added the requisite nugget of wisdom: “You can never say never.” …

The Smashing Pumpkins have dished up an unreleased track, “SuperChrist,” for a limited-edition CD that will be made available March 1 at Guitar Center locations, according to Billboard.com. The compilation disc, which doesn’t have a name, was curated by Billy Corgan and the gang — they picked acts that feature Guitar Center employees based on submissions from them. “SuperChrist” was a leftover track from the Pumpkins’ 2007 album, Zeitgist, and the band has previously played it on tour. An accompanying video will premiere February 27 on MySpace. … Guitar Center has another limited-edition goody too: a Roland RZA/Forat Custom MV8800 machine designed by the RZA and electronic trailblazer Bruce Forat. The hand-painted device features original artwork by the two, including allusions to the Wu-Tang Clan‘s recent 8 Diagrams LP. If you’re interested in getting one, though, you’ll have to throw down big bucks and act fast when they go on sale February 28: Only eight machines are being made available, and they cost a pricey $5,999 apiece. …

Christina Aguilera has “never had more respect for the female body,” the new mom told People for its new issue, which hits newsstands Friday. She added of her C-section to deliver her 4-week-old son, Max: “The hardest part was deciding on his birthday. I wanted to leave it up to fate, but at the same time I was ready to be done early!” The singer, who shared photos of her baby with the magazine, said she intends to start recording in her home studio this month. As for what she and husband Jordan Bratman have been spinning lately, she revealed: “Yesterday we had Led Zeppelin blaring through the house. Most new moms play Beethoven, but we’re playing Metallica, Bob Marley, the Stones.” …

An interview with Michelle Williams in which she addressed her breakup with Heath Ledger, who died from an accidental drug overdose late last month, has just been published. “Obviously so much has changed for me in the last few months that I don’t really have an idea of what my life is going to be,” Williams told the U.K.’s Wonderland Magazine for what is said to be her last interview before the actor’s death. “I thought I knew certain things and it turned out that I didn’t, so I don’t really try and anticipate so much anymore. I’m not making any bets on the future.” …

Chris Rock has been confirmed to appear the 2008 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, taking place June 12-15 in Manchester, Tennessee. He’s just one of more than a dozen comedians set to perform at the fest — a list that also includes David Cross and Janeane Garofolo — but he’s the only one that’ll do his work from Bonnaroo’s main stage (the same stage Kanye West, Pearl Jam and Metallica will appear on) in front of 80,000 somewhat-dazed-and-confused festival-goers. …

Madonna premiered her directorial debut Wednesday at the Berlin Film Festival, but she said the flick didn’t come without a “struggle.” Madge and members of the “Filth and Wisdom” cast also held a press conference, during which she said, “One of the themes that I explore in the film is struggle, and if I look back to the beginning of my career, I can recall those moments of struggle like it was yesterday. There are aspects of [the characters'] struggle that I could relate to completely, and I could access that memory and put it into the story.” …

Moby is building anticipation for his upcoming album, Last Night, with an exclusive downloadable preview mix at RCRDLBL.com. Last Night, meanwhile, is due April 1. … As it turns out, Moby has something in common with Norah Jones, Lou Reed, David Byrne and Scissor Sisters: a mutual distaste for the Iraq war. The musicians will come together March 18 — the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion — in New York for “Speak Up!: A Benefit Concert for Peace in Iraq & Justice at Home.” The event will take place at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. …

Broken Social Scene have lumped more dates onto their upcoming world tour, Pitchfork reports. In addition to Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Singapore, the band will also hit Taiwan, Mexico, Turkey, Luxembourg, Russia, the U.K., France, and the U.S. … Battles are gearing up for some road action too: The band, adored by indie-philes, will play Bonnaroo June 12, after which it will swing through Washington, D.C., two days later, and then Philadelphia the day after that. … Kristin Hersh, Cornershop‘s Anthony Saffery, Dirty VegasSteve Smith and others have concocted heartfelt covers of songs made famous by Joe Cocker, Bill Withers and others in time for Valentine’s Day. Expansion Team Records just released Souvenirs, which contains the tracks, in CD and digital form. …

Clear Channel Broadcasting — the media giant that owns the radio station that promoted the fatal Great White show in 2003 at the Station club in West Warwick, Rhode Island — agreed Wednesday to pay $22 million for more than 100 claims stemming from the fire that claimed 100 lives. According to The Boston Globe, the settlement is linked to Clear Channel’s WHJY-FM, which ran ads for the show, where station DJ Michael Gonsalves was killed after introducing the band onstage. “We continue to be deeply saddened by the tremendous harm suffered by the victims, their families and the community as a result of this tragic fire,” Andy Levin, chief legal officer of Clear Channel Communications, said in a written statement. “While Clear Channel had no role in causing or contributing to this fire, we are pleased to resolve these claims and, hopefully, contribute in some way to a sense of resolution for the affected victims and their families.” The settlement comes on the heels of a $30 million tentative agreement reached three weeks ago with Rhode Island TV station WPRI-TV, whose photographer was accused of standing in the way of patrons attempting to escape the burning building. …

Three people were arrested at Sunday’s Grammy Awards on suspicion of using stolen passes to get access to the show. According to The Associated Press, Sebastian Bonner, 20, was arrested after he tried to enter the event at Los Angeles’ Staples Center using one of nine stolen all-access passes. Courtney Mitchell, 30, and Pamela Clay, 44, were found with someone else’s event ID card and arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen property. Police believe the motive was a desire to see celebrities. “We eliminated that this wasn’t something more serious than some people who wanted to see the Grammys who are star-struck,” Commander Andrew Smith said. Police believe someone on the inside sold the IDs to friends and acquaintances. … On Tuesday, Oklahoma State University forwarded a list of 11 student names to the Recording Industry Association of America, in compliance with a court order in the RIAA lawsuit accusing the students of unlawfully downloading copyrighted recordings using school servers. The students had filed a motion to quash their subpoenas, but the judge denied it and ordered the school to turn over their names. Wired.com reported that the move by OSU was the latest incidence of a university complying with the RIAA’s newest tactic in combating illegal file-sharing.