The new Mary J. Blige track "Love @ 1st Sight" is available to stream on her Web site, www.mjblige.com. The song, featuring Method Man, will appear on Blige's upcoming record, Love & Life. Due August 26, the LP was produced by Blige and P. Diddy and includes guest performances by 50 Cent, Eve and Jay-Z. ...

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown are in talks to star in their first film together, "Beffy and Charlie," according to People magazine. The article reports that Houston and Brown will play the title characters — musicians who moonlight as gangsters. No word yet on who else is attached to the project or when it will be hitting theaters. ...

The new Korn single, "Did My Time," will be available for download on the band's Web site, www.korn.com, starting Tuesday. The track, which hits radio the day before, will be included in the film "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" and will also be featured on the next Korn album. ... Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley suffered a concussion from a bad spill in his home, an injury that kept him from serving as a counselor at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, which began this week. His doctors are taking a "wait and see" approach to whether the axeman will be able to join the Who's Roger Daltrey and Grand Funk Railroad's Mark Farner at the camp for aspiring rockers. ...

The first two albums from Seattle punk band the Gits are back thanks to San Francisco indie label Broken Rekids. Frenching the Bully, released in 1992 and out of print since '94, was re-released June 9, and 1994's Enter: The Conquering Chicken is set for October 6. Both include bonus material. The group disbanded after singer Mia Zapata was murdered in 1993, spurring benefit albums and concerts. The man believed to be responsible for the crime was arrested in January. ... Before his wife, actress Kate Hudson, gives birth to their first child early next year, ex-Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson will hit the road with Elvis Costello. Dates begin July 9 in Philadelphia and end July 19 in Berkeley, California. Robinson and Hudson got married in December 2000. ...

The former bass guitarist for the Norwegian black metal band Svartahrid has been arrested after bringing a severed human head to a party and showing it off to the guests. The 26-year-old musician, who goes by the name Illvastar, pleaded guilty to raiding a morgue and desecrating a dead body, claiming he did so because he was under the influence of drugs, the Swedish newspaper Dagbladet reported. Illvastar was booted from Svartahrid after playing on the group's second record, As the Sunrise Flickers. ... British rock group the Libertines have been having problems with guitarist Pete Doherty, who is sitting out their current European tour. He has been replaced by the band's guitar tech but has not been booted from the band. In a press statement, the bandmembers said, "Pete is unwell, and we are very concerned for his well-being." ...

06.19.03

Kid Rock was among those who performed for the troops Wednesday night at Camp Doha in Kuwait as part of the kickoff show of the USO's Project Salute 2003, the first large-scale entertainment tour in the Persian Gulf since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. A second show is scheduled for later this week at an undisclosed location. Others onboard for the tour include Bubba Sparxxx, Nappy Roots and Wayne Newton, athletes Ervin Johnson and Duce Staley and actress Alyssa Milano. ...

The White Stripes have chosen "The Hardest Button to Button" as the second single from their fourth album, Elephant. A video for the track will be shot next month, but the band has not yet decided on a director. ...

R. Kelly will be staking his claim to greatness this fall when he releases The R. in R&B, a collection of his greatest hits and remixes of some of his biggest singles. There will be at least one new song included on the album, and according to Kelly's spokesperson, the track will be released in the beginning of July. Kelly's label is withholding the name of the song for now, but they say Kells will shoot a video for it in mid-July. ... P. Diddy visited a Hollywood soundstage Tuesday for the filming of Dream's new video, "Crazy," with director Matthew Rolston (Mary J. Blige). The song is the first single from the group's second album, Reality, due August 12. ...

The annual Farm Aid benefit show is set for September 7 at the Germain Amphitheater in Columbus, Ohio. Founders Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp, along with Dave Matthews, are the only acts confirmed thus far for the show, which raises awareness and money for family-owned farms. ... Even when Madonna doesn't actively court controversy, it still seems to blow her way. Recently, the former material girl signed on to be a host for a benefit on Sunday for Bony Pony, a Malibu animal reserve and children's camp. But PETA, the watchdog for four-legged creatures the globe over, has intervened and pointed out to Madonna that the organization is not an animal sanctuary, it's an exotic animal rental business with what PETA referred to as a "troubling history." ...

The canceled Concert for Nelson Mandela, originally scheduled for February, has been recast for November 30. Bono and the surviving members of Queen are the only artists confirmed thus far for the event, which will take place in Capetown, South Africa. ... Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup rock, as all fans of "The Powerpuff Girls" know, and on August 12 they'll do so to the tunes of Vitamin C, Sahara Hotnights and Shonen Knife. Powerpuff Girls: Power Pop is the third album to be inspired by the Cartoon Network series. ...

LL Cool J has joined the cast of "Slow Burn," a crime thriller featuring Ray Liotta that begins shooting next month in Montreal. The rapper will play a stranger who manipulates a district attorney going after a powerful gang leader. ... Talib Kweli had a bunch of his friends with him Wednesday night at New York's S.O.B.'s. Mos Def, Common, Kanye West, Skillz and Pharoahe Monch joined him onstage at his show. ...

Kevin Richardson is opening a music-industry school in Louisville, Kentucky, in August. Called Music Workshop, the Backstreet Boy's venture will include a recording studio. ... Jessica Simpson, who just shot photos for an anti-smoking campaign by Circle of Friends, will sign copies of her new book, "I Do: Achieving Your Dream Wedding," Tuesday at Planet Hollywood in New York from 4:30-6 p.m. The Virgin Megastore across the street will be selling copies one day before it is available elsewhere. ... Hoobastank performed new material from their forthcoming second album for the first time at the Roxy in Los Angeles Wednesday. The as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2001's self-titled debut is due September 30. ...

Joe Jackson will return to the U.S. for three weeks of shows to support his latest record, Volume 4, his first album with the Joe Jackson Band in 23 years. The first show is in Hartford, Connecticut, on August 9 and the tour ends in West Hollywood, California, on August 28. ... Bill Callahan will take his (Smog) persona on the road for the second time in support of his latest album, Supper, which was released in late March. The six-week trek begins June 27 in Iowa City, Iowa, and wraps up August 9 in Chicago. ...