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In Case You Haven’t Heard …

Posted by ThatsMyJamRadio on May 18, 2007

A Quick Serving of News and Gossip from the Music Biz

Kelly Clarkson recently made a triumphant return to the airwaves with her latest single, “Never Again,” from her forthcoming studio album, My December. The set, scheduled for release in late July, will be promoted once Clarkson hits the road in the earlier part of that month. She’ll also perform on the New York stage of Live Earth, the 24-hour intercontinental concert for “a climate in crisis” that’s the brainchild of former Vice President, Al Gore.

Another Live Earth headliner was so inspired by the event that she wrote something special for it. Madonna, who will perform across the Atlantic at Live Earth’s London stage, wrote “Hey You,” which was produced by Pharrell and is available for download on MSN.com for a limited time.

Though Madonna is currently taking a break after her worldwide excursion à la the Confessions tour, she’s rumored to be teaming up with hit men Timbaland and Justin Timberlake for her venture down a more rhythm and blues path. In the meantime, Timbaland is hoping to keep busy by forming an experimental rock band with longtime protégé, Nelly Furtado. She’ll release as many as three more singles from her current effort, Loose, before working with Tim and then on a Spanish- and Portuguese-language album.

Timberlake may be busy with more pressing concerns. He and former bandmates of *NSYNC, along with their label, Jive Records, were recently named the defendants in a lawsuit filed by Royal T, né Troy Alexander. T claims to have approached Jive in 1990 with a demo tape that included a song called “Up Against the Wall,” which he says is lyrically similar to *NSYNC’s song of the same name from their 2001 album, Celebrity. As of this writing, Jive nor *NSYNC had yet to respond to the suit.

Speaking of boy bands, B2K’s former frontman, Omarion, will be sharing studio time with Bow Wow to work on what Bow Wow describes as an “event” album. The two collaborated in the past on “Let Me Hold You” from Bow Wow’s 2005 release, Wanted.

Until that project gets underway, fans will have to be held over by “Wall to Wall,” a joint off Chris Brown’s forthcoming album, Exclusive, that’s set for a September release. Brown recently provided the track to New York radio station, Hot 97, against Jive Records’ wishes and the single has been heard during some of the station’s mixshows.

New material from New Order won’t be showing up on any mixshows, as bassist Peter Hook has announced that the group has disbanded. Fortunately, dance aficionados will soon have a new album from Paul van Dyk (In Between, scheduled for August 14 and featuring guest appearances by David Byrne of Talking Heads and a yet-to-be-named member of the Pussycat Dolls), tour dates for Erasure and soon-to-be-released tracks from Basement Jaxx’s forthcoming set to entertain them.

Mariah Carey is also said to be logging studio time working on her next project. The diva will once again team up with Jermaine Dupri, but also has some song submissions from Bryan Michael-Cox. Akon is developing ideas for another diva’s comeback album. In between apologies for an onstage, suggestive dance with an underage girl that resulted in Verizon dropping sponsorship for Gwen Stefani’s Sweet Escape Tour (on which he was the opening act), Akon has been reported to be one of the main producers for Whitney Houston’s next studio album. Houston, in the meantime, is battling former husband, Bobby Brown, to win custody of their 14-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina.

Six-time nominee, Beyoncé, is hoping to leave with a few trophies from the seventh BET Awards. B is up for “Best Female R&B Artist,” “Best Collaboration” (two nods, both with Jay-Z, for “Déjà Vu” and “Upgrade U”), “Video of the Year” (again, two nominations, for “Irrreplaceable” and “Beautiful Liar,” her duet with Shakira) and the Viewers’ Choice Award.

A potential nominee for the 2008 edition of the awards is Kanye West, whose upcoming album, Graduation, will be released in September. Guest Chris Martin of Coldplay will appear on the track “Homecoming.” If new music is a must sooner rather than later, Daddy Yankee will drop El Cartel: The Big Boss on June 5, promising the effort will take reggaeton to the next level and away from the current “creative rut” of genre’s artists.

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