Singer Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, who was denied entry into the United States on Wednesday because his name was found on a watch list, told a group of reporters at London's Heathrow Airport on Thursday (September 23) that his placement on Washington's no-fly list was ridiculous. "Everybody knows my campaigning for charity, for peace," he said. "There's got to be a whole lot of explanation." Homeland Security spokesperson Brian Doyle said that the intelligence community has heightened security concerns with regard to the singer and that "Yusuf Islam has been placed on the watch lists because of activities that could potentially be related to terrorism," according to The Associated Press. Islam says he will challenge the U.S. decision to block him from entering the country. ...

Dave Grohl, Keanu Reeves, Andy Richter, Jason Biggs and David Cross were among the celebrities who caught the first of two Pixies shows at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles Wednesday night. Minus "Here Comes Your Man," the 90-minute show featured all of the Pixies' hits, including both versions of "Wave of Mutilation." Josh Homme, whose girlfriend, Brody Dalle, opened the show with her band the Distillers, was also in attendance. ... Want to do lunch with "American Idol" runner-up Diana DeGarmo? eBay is hosting an auction for the Partnership Against Child Abuse, a program of the Children's Advocacy Center. Fans can bid on a lunch with the singer to take place in either Los Angeles or New York. DeGarmo will schedule the date with the winner within one year. The bidding ends on Friday. ...

Chingy has parted ways with the Disturbing Tha Peace clique, according to sources. The split is said to be amicable. The St. Louis rapper, who first hit the scene in 2003 as a member of the Ludacris-fronted crew, will now be managed by Marquis "The Coach" Smith and Kenneth Crear for Wright Crear Management. Chingy is still set to release Powerballin', his sophomore set, on November 16. ... Foxy Brown recently pressed charges against a New York woman over an altercation at a New York nightclub. Tanya Manderson was charged with second-degree robbery, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. According to reports, Manderson stole Brown's earrings and her Louis Vuitton handbag while they were both in the bathroom at New York's Club Show. While Brown's spokesperson has no comment regarding the case, Manderson has issued a statement of her own: "I was having a nice evening out following a fashion show. I then had my night, and now my reputation, trampled by a celebrity." Manderson and her representatives are also asking anyone who witnessed the events in question to come forward. ...

Civil-rights icon Rosa Parks may not be able to testify in her case against Arista Records. According to reports, the 91-year-old Parks is suffering from dementia and is said to be in frail health. Parks originally sued Outkast and the label in 1999 over the use of her name in the rap duo's single "Rosa Parks." Parks and her attorneys believe that the song was exploitative and a violation of her trademark rights. Outkast have since been dismissed as defendants. ... Usher, Brad Pitt, Mary J. Blige, Nicky Hilton, Queen Latifah, Simple Plan and several MTV VJs (including Damien Fahey, Hilarie Burton, Vanessa Minnillo and La La) are donating their signed (and presumably unworn) underwear from the men's brand 2xist to charity (see photos). The auction ends Wednesday on www.ubid.com. Organizers expect to raise $10,000 for prostate-cancer prevention. ...

Now we know why it was only an "indefinite hiatus." Six years after releasing their last album, Wide Swing Tremolo, Jay Farrar and his band Son Volt are reconvening at the end of the month to work on their fourth album at Farrar's St. Louis studio. The alt-country outfit, which formed when genre pioneers Uncle Tupelo fractured into Wilco and Son Volt, last got together to record "Sometimes" for an Alejandro Escovedo tribute album earlier this year. ... Following a car accident, Mark Lanegan was forced to cancel a handful of East Coast tour dates on doctor's orders. The string of shows, in support of his new album, Bubblegum, was to begin Tuesday in Chicago and run through October 5 in New York. The West Coast leg that starts October 10 in San Diego should not be affected, since he was not seriously injured. ...

The only way to keep the Prince of F---ing Darkness from dropping the F-bomb excessively is to make him abstain from obscenities for a good cause. In a British TV spot scheduled to air in November, Sharon Osbourne promises that Ozzy will not curse for 24 hours if enough pledges are made to the charity Children in Need. ... The late Elliott Smith's 1999 performance at Olympia, Washington's YoYo a GoGo festival will be released on DVD November 30. "Elliott Smith: Olympia, Washington" features Smith's entire 40-minute solo performance. Smith's final album, From a Basement on the Hill, will be released on October 19. ...

Actor Robert Downey Jr. has signed with Sony Classical and will release his debut album on November 23. The still-untitled record features eight songs written by Downey, on which he sings and plays piano. Two cover songs fill out the rest of the LP: a Charlie Chaplin song called "Smile" and Yes' "Your Move." ... Although a release date has not been set, the next live Dave Matthews Band album will be culled from their December 8, 1998, show in Worcester, Massachusetts. Albums in the next live series will be available as either two-disc sets or digital downloads. ...

Congratulations to Fat Mike: The NOFX and Fat Wreck Chords honcho and his wife recently gave birth to a baby girl named Darla. The name is a cross between the names of late Germs frontman Darby Crash and Mike's grandma Lila. ... Madonna's turned her concept for the children's book "The English Roses" into a full franchise for girls — with clothing, raincoats, tea sets and jewelry among the range of products aimed at 7- to 12-year-olds. "I'm excited about the opportunity to develop a range of beautiful products that will complement the book and continue to spread its positive messages to children," Madonna said in a statement. ...

Nellie McKay's father is outing his daughter — he's been telling the media that his daughter is not the child prodigy she claims to be. Though the singer/songwriter has claimed to be only 19 years old, her father, Malcolm McKay, says that she was actually born on April 13, 1982, which would make her 22. Nellie has told interviewers that she and her father are estranged. ... Liars have pulled out of their fall tour with Blonde Redhead for unspecified reasons, according to their spokesperson. Blonde Redhead will now headline with a different band opening. ...

09.22.04

Christina Aguilera, P. Diddy and Drew Barrymore have already been campaigning on their own to get people to become more aware of the political process and vote in the upcoming presidential election — Aguilera with Choose or Lose and Declare Yourself, P. Diddy with Vote or Die, and Barrymore with her documentary "The Best Place to Start." Now Oprah is uniting the three with a voting party that she's hosting on her show with their help. The program, aimed at encouraging voter registration, is scheduled to air Tuesday. ...

JoJo took a turn as J-14 magazine's editor in chief for a day last week. The teen pop singer ran an editorial meeting, helped pick the 14 hottest stars for the December issue cover story, chose jackets for the fashion section, answered reader mail and did a photo shoot for the January issue. The December issue of J-14 will hit newsstands November 1. ...

  Click for photos of JoJo's day as editor of J-14
In an affront to eardrums everywhere, New Found Glory bassist Ian Grushka has posted his cover of Journey's "Faithfully" on the band's Web site. The warbling Grushka is accompanied by Reggie and the Full Effect keyboardist James DeWees. Fans can hope Grushka won't be serenading them at one of four new dates announced on the NFG/ Green Day tour: The trek will now make stops on October 24 in Louisville, Kentucky; November 8 in Chicago; November 10 in Minneapolis; and November 13 in Salt Lake City. ...

Nas was scheduled to be in court Tuesday in New York to face charges of second-degree assault, but the case was adjourned until November 18. No explanation was given by the district attorney's office. The case stems from an incident in December in which the rapper allegedly threw a bottle at a man in a New York nightclub. ... Michael Jackson's defense team is refuting news reports that photographs of nude boys were found during a search of his Neverland Ranch. "That information is false," attorney Thomas Mesereau said in a statement. "The prosecution has confirmed that it is false." Los Angeles radio station KFI-AM originated the report but is standing by its story, which cited unnamed sources as saying that a half-dozen photos were seized. ...

"Frontin' on Debra (DJ Reset Mash-Up)" will be the first cross-bred song, or mash-up, to get a commercial release when the Beck/ Pharrell Williams/ Jay-Z creation appears on iTunes in October. The tune was created by a New York DJ who blended the Neptunes and Jay-Z's "Frontin' " with Beck's Midnite Vultures song "Debra." ... Beyoncé is joining the Texas Music Project — along with Clint Black, Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt — to strengthen music education in schools. The charity hopes to distribute $200,000 to Texas schools in 2004, thanks to the sales of its CD series, Don't Mess With Texas Music. Beyoncé is contributing "Dangerously in Love" to the second volume to help the nonprofit organization give grants to schools. ...

They Might Be Giants are working with Disney to produce "Here Come the ABCs," an animated DVD that teaches kids about the alphabet. In 2002, TMBG released No!, an album of kid-themed songs. The band also plans to release a storybook-and-CD package through publisher Simon & Schuster. ... Synthy dance-punkers Le Tigre will attempt to find solace on their third record, This Island, due October 19. The 13-track disc was produced by Nick Sansano (Sonic Youth, Public Enemy), while the Cars' Ric Ocasek handled production duties on the track "Tell You Now." ...

Just more than three years after he passed away, a DVD celebrating George Harrison's solo career will be released. "The Dark Horse Years 1979-1992" will include footage of the former Beatles guitarist talking about his solo career and the formation of Dark Horse Records; seven music videos featuring segments of Harrison discussing each track, including "Got My Mind Set on You - Version 1" and "This Is Love"; four songs recorded live in Japan from Harrison's 1991 tour with Eric Clapton; and three segments of Harrison's performance in "Shanghai Surprise." The DVD will be released on November 2. ... Pete Townshend is about to bring the daily doings of the Who to TV, or more specifically, Web TV. The Who guitarist is planning on launching Who TV on his site (www.petetownshend.com). The streaming video channel is expected to show band rehearsals, live shows and special pay-per-view events. ...

Legendary producer Phil Spector has been ordered to appear in court on Monday for what his lawyer thinks will be an indictment by a secret grand jury for the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson. "Nobody said to me, 'Your client has been indicted,' but as a former deputy district attorney and a lawyer for 34 years, I can't imagine any other reason to be there Monday morning with Phil," attorney Roger Rosen told Reuters. A grand jury indictment, which was also used against Michael Jackson but is otherwise rare, is a way for prosecutors to avoid pretrial hearings, which are held to determine if a case is strong enough to go to trial. "Phil is very disappointed," Rosen said. "He felt strongly that there was a very significant possibility that this case would be thrown out at the prelim." ...