50 Cent was named Songwriter of the Year on Monday, as the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers presented its Pop Music Awards in Beverly Hills, California. Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" shared Song of the Year honors with Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" (written by Johnta Austin, Jermaine Dupri and Manuel Seal). Green Day also took the Creative Voice Award, while Annie Lennox was presented with the Founders Award. The ceremony featured a brief Eurythmics reunion, as Lennox was joined by guitarist Dave Stewart for a performance of her solo hit "Why." ...

Madonna is catching some heat from the Catholic League following the Sunday launch of her Confessions world tour, in which she wore a crown of thorns and sang "Live to Tell" while hanging from a mirrored cross. "When the Material Girl first embraced Kabbalah, we thought her newfound faith would inspire her to show some respect for religion," said Bill Donohue, who heads up the Catholic civil-rights organization, in a statement issued Monday. "But I guess you really can't teach an old pop star new tricks. Madonna has been spicing up her act with misappropriated Christian imagery for a long time now. ... Do us all a favor, Madge, and stick to singing and dancing." Madonna's tour continues through September 4, with dates throughout North America and Europe. ...

U2 and Mariah Carey took home handfuls of Grammys less than four months ago, but it's already time to start planning for next year's big event. The 49th annual Grammy Awards will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 11, it was announced Tuesday (May 23). The ceremony will air live on CBS. ... The Hip-Hop Action Network's Hip-Hop Summit on Financial Empowerment went down in Miami over the weekend, drawing Fat Joe, Pitbull, Remy Ma, MC Lyte, and members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and the Diplomats. Action Network Chairman Russell Simmons was there too, of course, and Doug E. Fresh acted as summit co-moderator. ...

Jamie Hewlett, co-creator of the Gorillaz and the man who put faces to Murdoc, 2D, Russel and Noodle, was honored as the Designer of the Year by London's Design Museum on Monday. Hewlett was awarded approximately $47,000 for his contributions to the group's graphics, "live" performances and Gorillaz.com. A collection of Hewlett's work will be on display at the Design Museum through June 18. ... Legendary rocker Lou Reed headlined a free concert in New York on Tuesday, marking the grand opening of the building at 7 World Trade Center — the first new edifice at the World Trade Center site in its outdoor park. The bill also features Brazilian Girls, Citizen Cope, Ollabelle and Suzanne Vega. ...

Julia Roberts, Anna Paquin and Martin Short are among those who will present Tony Awards on June 11. The ceremony will be broadcast live at New York's Radio City Music Hall on CBS at 8:00 p.m. ... Norah Jones is set to make her feature acting debut alongside Natalie Portman, Jude Law and Rachel Weisz in the romantic comedy "My Blueberry Nights," Variety reports. The film, director Wong Kar Wai's first English-language feature, will star the Grammy winner as a woman traveling the U.S. in search of the meaning of love. It will shoot in locations across the country this summer. ...

Imogen Heap has turned the expression "Don't get your hands caught in the cookie jar" into reality. After a gig in Knoxville, Tennessee, the singer indulged in a few shots of Jägermeister, went to the reception area of her hotel and snuck a cookie box into her suitcase — only to get busted by management. A security camera caught Heap in the act, and after management called police, she returned the item. ... Like your coffee with a Kiss? Then you're in luck. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley will be at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, June 27 to christen the Kiss Coffeehouse, the so-called "most outrageous coffee and dessert shop ever constructed." The restaurant will have various blends of Kiss-brand coffee and will be adorned with 20-foot-tall smoking Kiss boots and rare memorabilia. ...

John Clark, a 23-year-old Indianapolis man who claims he's Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds' illegitimate son, was arrested Friday for trying to extort $9 million from the Grammy-winning artist. According to AP, Clark threatened to go public with his claims but offered to keep quiet in exchange for payment. Indianapolis authorities said Clark was charged with felony theft and misdemeanor intimidation after accepting a bogus $9 million check from one of Babyface's attorneys and signing a faux nondisclosure agreement. "The story was that he was going to ruin Babyface's reputation by claiming to be Babyface's illegitimate baby," prosecutor Carl Brizzi told the wire service. Clark contends he's Edmonds' son and has the documents to prove it, but Brizzi said he's failed to produce them. Clark is being held without bond at the Marion County Jail, and an initial hearing on the matter is set for Tuesday. ... 3LW are back after a four-year break — and they've got Jermaine Dupri on their side. The producer twiddles the knobs and is featured on the R&B group's new single, "Feelin' You," while Scott Storch, Dre & Vidal and others help out elsewhere on the group's third LP, Point of No Return, due August 15. ...

Ex-Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar, a former resident of San Bernardino County, California, was presented with a certificate by county officials Tuesday proclaiming May 23 Sammy Hagar Day. Hagar plans to open his upcoming tour in San Bernardino on June 3. ... On Monday, Seattle's city council recommended that a new park be built adjacent to the future home of an African-American museum that will be named in late guitarist Jimi Hendrix's honor. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the final decision rests with Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds, who will be advised by a park-naming committee. Councilwoman Jean Godden argued for the resolution, saying that while there may be some concerns as to "what kind of a role model he was, given his problems with substance abuse" that "if you think about it, there's hardly anyone who's a genius and has contributed to culture who hadn't had some personal flaws." There's no word on when Bounds will issue his decision. ...

Bloodsimple, featuring former members of Long Island, New York's Vision of Disorder, are down a drummer following the departure of Chris Hamilton. The band, which released its debut, A Cruel World, a little more than a year ago, has yet to name a replacement, and details concerning the split have not been released. Bloodsimple will head back to the studio this summer to record their sophomore LP, which is being eyed for a late 2006 release. ... Machine Head, Converge, Vision of Disorder and Horse the Band have been added to select dates on this summer's Sounds of the Underground tour as special guests. The festival, featuring As I Lay Dying, In Flames, Trivium and others, kicks off July 8 in Cleveland and runs through August 12 in Universal City, California. ...

Sony BMG's tentative settlement of 15 consumer class-action suits was granted final approval by a federal judge Monday, AP reports. The agreement, which was given preliminary approval in January, will allow consumers to exchange CDs with XCP or MediaMax copy-protection software for replacement discs without software. Sony will also offer a patch to remove the software from computers and has pledged to stop manufacturing CDs with the XCP and MediaMax software.

05.22.2006

After helping anchor Coachella and Wango Tango, Kanye West has signed on for another big extravaganza: San Diego's Street Scene 2006. Slated for August 4-5, the 22nd installment of the fest will feature Snoop Dogg, Tool, Wu-Tang Clan, My Chemical Romance, Yellowcard, AFI, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Queens of the Stone Age, Bloc Party, She Wants Revenge, Sean Paul and tons more. Two-day passes can be bought starting Monday (May 22), while single-day tickets will go on sale in July. ...

Cam'ron shared some crew love at New York's Nokia Theatre early Sunday morning, coming onstage to support comic Katt Williams, who headlined a show that started a little past midnight. Williams' debut LP, It's Pimpin', Pimpin', drops on Cam's Diplomat Records later this year. ...

During an interview Friday with Los Angeles radio station KROQ, Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose discussed the run-in he had Thursday with fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger in New York. Rose said the altercation, inside the Plumm nightclub, started over a drink. "I moved his girlfriend's drink so it wouldn't spill," Rose explained, adding that Hilfiger then smacked his arm and told him to put the drink back. "He just kept smacking me," said Axl. "It was the most surreal thing, I think, that's ever happened to me in my life." Rose filled out a police complaint against the designer. Following the fracas, which took place at Rosario Dawson's birthday party, Guns N' Roses performed an acoustic set, and Axl dedicated the song "You're Crazy" to "My good friend Tommy Hilfiger" during the performance. ...

"Veronica Mars" star Kristen Bell and music legend Prince have won the annual World's Sexiest Vegetarians poll put on by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway and Joaquin Phoenix were also in the running. ... Three 6 Mafia are performing live at WWE's "Friday Night Smackdown!" which will be taped Tuesday in Bakersfield, California, to air Friday on UPN. WWE: Wreckless Intent — featuring "Some Bodies Gonna Get It," the Mafia's theme song for wrestler Mark Henry, along with tracks by Saliva, Silkk the Shocker and P.O.D. — hits stores Tuesday. ...

The Arctic Monkeys will embark on their upcoming North American tour without bassist Andy Nicholson, who will miss the shows due to exhaustion. "Owing to fatigue following an intensive period of touring, Andy shall be taking a rest," the band's management said in a statement. Nick O'Malley will stand in for Nicholson on the tour, which begins in Vancouver, British Columbia, on May 27. Of course, the British press has interpreted the news to mean that Nicholson is out of the band, but a U.S. spokesperson for the Monkeys said Nicholson will rejoin them after the North American tour wraps. ...

Queen Latifah will be honored with the William "Jazz" Jones Brightest Star Award by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark at the organization's 18th annual Evening of the Stars on Monday (May 22) in New York. The gala, featuring Kenan Thompson and Miri Ben-Ari, recognizes contributions toward improving the quality of life of inner-city children and their families. John Sykes, president of network development for MTV Networks, will be presented with the 2006 Award for Caring, and one young person will receive the organization's Youth of the Year Award at the ceremony. ... Salma Hayek is hosting Wednesday's Colombia sin Minas concert, a special acoustic showcase featuring Juanes, Alejandro Sanz and Ana Gabriel. The benefit concert, held at Los Angeles' Gibson Amphitheatre, will raise money to aid children victimized by antipersonnel mines in Colombia. ...

Staind, Flyleaf, Nonpoint, Wicked Wisdom and Dope are among the bands confirmed for the JJO Band Camp 2006 festival, scheduled for August 6 at Willow Island in Madison, Wisconsin. More acts will be announced in the coming weeks. ...Primus and the Flaming Lips have been confirmed as the headliners for this year's Hedgpeth Festival, set to take place July 28 and July 29 in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. Mike Patton's Peeping Tom, They Might Be Giants, the Kings of Leon, Blue October and Minus the Bear are also on the festival's bill. ... When it comes to Las Vegas entertainers, few can fill Wayne Newton's shoes, but Toni Braxton is going to give it a try. The singer will take over for Newton as the headliner at the Flamingo Las Vegas hotel and casino, she announced at a press conference Friday. "Toni Braxton: Revealed" kicks off August 3 and is set to run six nights per week through March 2007. ...

Chevelle have been forced to pull out of the first eight dates of their forthcoming tour with Nickelback and Hoobastank after bassist Dean Bernardini sustained an injury to his left hand. The canceled dates run from the tour's June 30 opener in Cincinnati though a July 26 stop set for Columbia, Maryland. The trek is scheduled to wrap up September 16 in Kansas City, Missouri. ... Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have been busy recording material for their forthcoming album. The band, featuring members of Foo Fighters, NOFX, Lagwagon, No Use for a Name and Swingin' Utters, has been working in the studio since April, putting its spin on songs written by Johnny Cash, the Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks and Hank Williams, among others. There's no word yet on when the yet-untitled release will be in stores. ... Conan O'Brien will host the 58th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which will air live August 27 from Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on NBC. Emmy nominations will be announced July 6. O'Brien previously hosted the ceremony in 2002. ...

Freddie and the Dreamers leader Freddie Garrity died Friday while hospitalized in Wales, The Associated Press reports. He was 69. Freddie and the Dreamers, a British band best known for the 1965 U.S. hit "I'm Telling You Now," sparked a loose-limbed dance called "The Freddie," inspired by Garrity's bouncy onstage moves. ... Longtime Grateful Dead crewmember Lawrence "Ramrod" Shurtliff died of lung cancer Tuesday, the AP reports. Guitarist Bob Weir called the 61-year-old, who served as president of the Dead's board of directors when the band incorporated in the 1970s, "our rock."