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News 08/17/2007

Method Man has been ordered to visit 15 New York high schools to talk to students about the dangers of drugs as part of a plea deal stemming from his marijuana-fueled DUI bust in May. The rapper was charged with driving under the influence of drugs and possession after cops found pot in his SUV, but he was able to plead down to disorderly conduct.

Uncle Kracker, a former disc jockey for Kid Rock, was released on $75,000 bond after his arrest early Friday on a second-degree sex offense charge. Authorities said the "Follow Me" singer was collared after a 26-year-old woman accused him of committing a sex act against her at a Raleigh, North Carolina nightclub where he had been scheduled to perform.

Jordin Sparks officially signed her "American Idol"-guaranteed record contract Friday, inking a deal with 19Recordings/Jive Records. The debut album from the talent competition champ is due to hit stores in November. "I can't wait to share this next chapter of my story with all the fans that have supported me so far," Sparks said in a statement.

"American Idol" champ Ruben Studdard is planning to open a nightclub in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, tentatively dubbed Ruben's Club 205, after the area code shirts he wore on the show.

About 40,000 fans trailed through Graceland Thursday on the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death to pay tribute to the late King, blanketing his grave with teddy bears, roses, and other offerings. The rock icon is buried in a small garden next to his beloved white-columned home.

News 08/16/2007

Jay-Z has an estimated income of $34 million in 2006, according to Forbes.com's new list of Hip-Hop Cash Kings. 50 Cent came in second with an estimated $32 million in earnings and Diddy placed third with a $28 million payday.

Amy Winehouse has postponed all her touring commitments for the foreseeable future, in order to address "health issues," her rep said Thursday. The "Rehab" singer was hospitalized for severe exhaustion last week.

37-year-old rocker mom Gwen Stefani told InStyle she's eager to pop out a sibling for one-year-old Kingston, but not until she completes her tour and puts out another record with No Doubt. After that, though, it's full speed ahead. "I can't wait to get pregnant again," she says. "It's so fun and consuming and romantic."

Bruce Springsteen will release his next CD, Magic, Oct. 2 on Columbia Records, the label said Thursday. The album marks the Jersey native's first studio outing with the E Street Band since 2002's Grammy-winning The Rising.

A photographer convicted of assaulting Heather Mills was sentenced Thursday to 140 hours of community service. Mills testified Jay Kaycappa cornered her in an underground passageway in July 2006 and grabbed her shoulder in order to swing her around and take a picture of her face. Kaycappa's lawyers have said they will appeal his conviction.

Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough and his longtime girlfriend, Leigh Boniello are engaged...and have been for a while now, People reports. The aging boy bander popped the question at Boniello's home in New Jersey on New Year's Eve, with 40 friends and family members looking on. The couple plans to wed later this year.

Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie sued frontman Gordon Gano on Wednesday, claiming he was robbed of credit for some of the band's songs and was seeking a proper accounting of the group's earnings. Ritchie also accused Gano of damaging the band's reputation by allowing "Blister in the Sun" to be used in a Wendy's commercial. Gano declined to respond to the claims in detail, but said he penned all of the Femmes' songs, with one or two exceptions.

Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham's soccer-playing husband David Beckham made his first start for the L.A. Galaxy Wednesday night and scored his first goal for the team on a free kick in the 27th minute. In all, the soccer star played 63 minutes, leading his team to a 2-0 victory over D.C. United in the SuperLiga semifinals. Meanwhile, England coach Steve McClaren said Beckham will be called to the national team for Wednesday's match against Germany at Wembley Stadium. Whether he plays or not will depend on how his ankle is feeling. Meanwhile, Victoria is publishing a style guide titled That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything in Between through Harper Entertainment, the publishing company announced Thursday.

News 08/15/2007

Foxy Brown turned herself in Tuesday to answer to charges that she hit her Brooklyn neighbor with her Blackberry last month, per ABC News. The rapper was charged with felony assault, menacing, harassment, and criminal possession of a weapon, and released on $5,000 bail. Her next court date is scheduled for Sept. 26.

"American Idol" alum Clay Aiken is slated to appear on an upcoming episode of FOX's "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" to raise money for his organization, The Bubel/Aiken Foundation, which works to help children with special needs.

The subpoenas keep coming as the custody battle between Kevin Federline and Britney Spears heats up. The pop princess' short-lived assistant Shannon Funk became the latest Spears confidante to get served Tuesday, as she arrived at Long Beach Airport after returning from a trip to Manhattan. Funk shrugged off the summons, telling OK! magazine, "Honestly I have nothing negative to say about Britney so let [Kevin's lawyer, Mark Vincent] Kaplan go after me. I'm on Team Britney! I support her no matter what. Kevin's a bad father."

A new video of Lisa Marie Presley singing "In the Ghetto" accompanied by her late father, Elvis, will be posted Friday on the AOL music site Spinner.com, a company spokesperson said Tuesday. The younger Presley had her vocals added to the original version of her dad's hit song from 1969 to mark the 30th anniversary of his death. The video duet also features images of the King.

Michael Jackson's endless legal bills continue to mount. The reclusive entertainer was sued by his former entertainment lawyers Tuesday, who claim they are owed more than $113,000 in unpaid fees. Los Angeles-based law firm Lavely & Singer says Jackson agreed in arbitration last year to shell out $180,000 in three installments, but that he failed to make the final payment of $113,750 by the July 31 deadline. The singer's spokesperson had no comment.

News 08/14/2007

Britney Spears' confidantes continue to get served by Kevin Federline. The tarnished pop princess' former bodyguard Daimon Shippen was issued a court summons Monday night and is expected to be forced to testify about Spears' parenting skills in the brewing custody, sources confirm to "E! News." Spears' longtime assistant Alli Sims was previously served with a subpoena over the weekend.

The newly trim rocker Courtney Love credits her latest bout of weight loss to "colonics and fasting" in an interview with the latest issue of Harper's Bazaar. "I hate reading magazines where the actresses are saying, 'Broccoli and fish, broccoli and fish.' You liars. You bulimic liars," Love said.

John Lennon is making his digital debut. Apple announced Tuesday that 16 of the late Beatle's solo albums are now available for download through the iTunes Music Store. For a limited 30-day period, exclusive video content will be included with the albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Sometime in New York City, Walls and Bridges, Milk and Honey, and the collections Anthology and Working Class Hero.

Viacom has been named title sponsor for The Dream Concert, a musical tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. taking place on Sept. 18 at Radio City Music Hall with the goal of raising money towards building a memorial to the civil rights hero on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

A woman has pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of Johnny Jackson, a former drummer for the Jackson 5. Yolanda Davis told police she stabbed Jackson with a steak knife after he lunged at her during a fight in March 2006. She is due to be sentenced Sept. 24 and could face two years behind bars if the judge accepts an agreement with prosecutors. Jackson replaced the Jackson 5's original drummer in 1967, but was not related to Michael, Jermaine, Tito, et al.

News 08/13/2007

Lana Clarkson's mother testified Monday in the Phil Spector murder trial that, at her daughter's home, she found three letters praising Clarkson's acting skills that were supposedly from Showtime, NBC, and FOX but which turned out to be forgeries. The actress' agent testified recently that Clarkson was a highly marketable actress, even though she hadn't achieved A-list status. The defense, which is claiming that Clarkson killed herself, is working to portray her as depressed and frustrated about her career in the months leading up to her death on Feb. 3, 2003.

Fats Domino received a whole lotta loving from the home crowd Monday when reproductions of 20 of the gold records he lost during Hurricane Katrina were presented to the rock-and-roll pioneer at a New Orleans nightclub. "It's Fats. He's deserving of it all," said singer Irma Thomas, who also lost her home in the flood. "We all lost a lot, but he had more to lose. His career was a lot longer and a lot bigger than any of ours."

Van Halen has announced plans to embark on a fall tour featuring original lead singer David Lee Roth on vocals for the first time in 22 years. The rockers will kick off the North American trek on Sept. 27 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Britney Spears' confidant and assistant Alli Sims has been served with a subpoena in the ongoing custody battle between the fallen pop princess and Kevin Federline, a source confirmed to "E! News." Sims is expected to be quizzed on Spears' parenting skills...from how frequently and what she feeds her two sons to how late they are allowed to stay up at night. Given that Sims is usually by Spears' side on the club circuit, it's unclear how she's expected to know these things.

Aretha Franklin canceled her hometown concert in Detroit Sunday night, citing heat exhaustion after temperatures were forecast to climb above the 90-degree mark. "I am exhausted from the heat and cannot tolerate heat in these extremely high numbers and being in concert simultaneously," the Queen of Soul said in a statement. Franklin said she hoped to reschedule the appearance for a later date.

A trustee who was accused of misappropriating $350,000 from James Brown's estate resigned and handed over a check for that amount during a court hearing Friday, the Augusta Chronicle reported. David Cannon also resigned as the co-executor of the late soul singer's will. A follow-up hearing on the matter has been scheduled for Sept. 24, as the battle over Brown's estate marches on.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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