WildWritings.com December 2004 News:
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Connecting  Entertainment & Teens!
Buffy Stars Battle Over Wonder Woman Role
Teen Hollywood
Ex-Buffy stars Sarah Michelle Gellar and Charisma Carpenter are allegedly competing for the lead role in forthcoming superhero movie Wonder Woman.

The actresses - who played Buffy Summers and Cordelia Chase in the hit TV series - are battling for the iconic role after their former boss, Joss Whedon, agreed to direct the movie remake of the 70s television show, reports British newspaper the Daily Record.

An insider says, "Joss has told the studio that Sarah is his first choice followed by Charisma. Sarah expressed an interest, but the producers are more interested in Charisma because she is less well known.
Ashlee Simpson Lauching Tour In February
"Ashlee Simpson is planning a "La La" - palooza of her own, as the three times platinum-selling Geffen Records artist readies her first U.S. headlining tour set to launch next February. The dates follow the spectacular success of Ashlee's debut CD "Autobiography" and premiere single "Pieces Of Me," as well as her latest hit single "La La." The video for "La La" which has been spending it's time in MTV's TRL top ten has helped propel sales of the album including a move this week from 42 to 33 with a sales increase of 61% (the market as a whole was up only 22%)." 
Lindsay Lohan And Colin Farrell 'Definitely Dating'
The big buzz from New York is all about how Colin Farrell and Lindsay Lohan finally hooked up -- nearly a year after Farrell, 28, told the then-17-year-old starlet, ''Call me when dating you won't get me sent to jail!'' Now 18 and legal, Lohan spent a romantic weekend in the Irish actor's Plaza Hotel suite following their weekend gig on ''Saturday Night Live.'' According to the Big Apple press, the duo spent the wee hours Sunday romping at popular New York nightspots, Lohan dancing on banquettes, Farrell guzzling pricey scotch and both spending many, many, hours behind closed doors at the Plaza. ''We'll see how long this lasts -- I give it two weeks -- but they are definitely dating,'' confirmed a source inside Lohan's camp Tuesday.
Kanye Scores 10 Grammy Nominations; Usher And Alicia Keys Land Eight
Perhaps it is possible to have both critical and commercial success — if you're Kanye West, that is.

On Tuesday (December 7), he scored 10 Grammy nominations — more than anyone else — for his album The College

"I wrote my Grammy speech four years ago, in my head, when I was taking the train from Newark." — Kanye West

Dropout, his single "Jesus Walks" and his production work for other artists throughout 2004.

Among West's noms: Dropout was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album, while "Jesus Walks" scored a nod for Song of the Year. "You Don't Know My Name," the song he produced for Alicia Keys, was nominated for Best R&B Song. West also landed a nomination for Best New Artist.

For West, who had loudly voiced his displeasure for being shut out at the American Music Awards in November (see "Usher, Outkast Clean Up; Kanye Strikes Out At American Music Awards"), the recognition from the Recording Academy might feel like sweet vindication. But he seemed to take it all in stride.

"Any time I'm nominated in the same category as Usher, I expect to lose. Usher is like Johnnie Cochran — you expect him to win," he joked. "Also, I'm so glad the Outkast album [came out] last year."

Still, he plans on taking home some golden trophies come awards night.

"I wrote my Grammy speech four years ago, in my head, when I was taking the train from Newark to Baseline [Studios, in New York]."

Following close behind West was the dynamic duo of Keys and Usher, who each scored eight nominations — both were nominated for Album of the Year, and their duet, "My Boo," received nods for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals.

"I'm really excited. It's been a really incredible year, a really inspiring year," Keys, who will perform at the awards ceremony, told MTV News. "[But] my main focus is to really, really, really bring it home with a performance that night, so that's what my sights are set on. Two years ago [when Keys won five Grammys] was an amazing time for me, and once again, here we are, and it's even more incredible."

The late, great Ray Charles landed seven nominations, including Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for his final release, Genius Loves Company. Revitalized punkers Green Day — 10 years after their first Grammy nominations for their album Dookie — saw their American Idiot album land six nods, including Album of the Year, Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance. Norah Jones, Prince and Loretta Lynn each scored five nominations each.

The Black Eyed Peas capped off a big year of their own, earning four nominations, including Record of the Year, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance by a Duo for their single "Let's Get It Started." They'll be looking to take home their first Grammys, just like a trio of first-time rock noms: Las Vegas glam-rockers the Killers (Best Rock Album for Hot Fuss, Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for "Somebody Told Me"), Scottish fashionistas Franz Ferdinand (Best Alternative Music Album for their self-titled debut, and Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal and Best Short Form Music Video for "Take Me Out") and indie stalwarts Modest Mouse (Best Alternative Music Album for Good News For People Who Love Bad News, Best Rock Song for "Float On").

The nominations were announced on a packed stage at the Henry Fonda Music Box Theater in Hollywood by presenters that included West, Joss Stone, the Black Eyed Peas and Hoobastank. The 47th annual Grammy Awards will air live from Los Angeles on February 13.
Jermaine Dupri Producing All-Star 'We Are The World' Sequel
Attention all top-flank recording artists: One of music's top-flank producers needs a little help for a great cause; he wants to make history — again.

Jermaine Dupri has been called on to produce an updated version of one of the (if not the) most legendary collaborations of all time, "We Are the World."

"It's called 'We Are the Future,' " Dupri said from Los Angeles on Tuesday after hearing the Grammy nominations (see "Kanye Scores 10 Grammy Nominations; Usher And Alicia Keys Land Eight"). Dupri got four nods. "All new artists [are gonna be on this version], it's the 20th anniversary of 'We Are the World.' Quincy Jones called me, he asked me to do it. We're just gonna make it something extravagant. We gonna try to re-create, follow in the footsteps of those who made a big record before, like Michael [Jackson], Quincy and Lionel Richie."

The plan is to record the song on February 13, the night of the Grammy Awards, Dupri said. After the ceremony, a big celebrity bash is going to be held, and artists who will be participating in the project will be pulled out periodically to a nearby studio. Dupri wants to record the song at A&M Recording Studios, the same place "We Are the World" was made in 1985.

"Hopefully Usher will be there, Kanye [West], Jay-Z hopefully, all the bigwigs," J.D. said. "[We want] to do what they did way back when. I'm looking forward to that. That's something you give your heart to. For Quincy to call me, that's my idol. I'm trying to make sure it's right."

Dupri said this new track is automatically going to be different from "We Are the World" because it'll have rappers on it, but he's hoping that it will strike a chord like its predecessor.

"When I first heard the original it was crazy," Dupri remembered. "When I just heard about Quincy, Michael, Lionel getting together to write a song, I was really intrigued. I heard Band Aid and all them other records. Usually I didn't go for them sappy type of songs. You hear them and be like, 'OK.' You know what it's for, but it ain't nothing I would ride around and listen to in my car. But 'We Are the World' struck me as something. It was a big record, and the way they did it was huge because they played it around the world simultaneously.

"It just became one of them type of records," he continued. "It's difficult for us to duplicate what happened, but at least we gonna try to come close to it. The artists is key to the whole situation. I hope the artists hear me and want to be a part of it."

"We Are the World" was recorded in January 1985 after the American Music Awards. Besides the song's writers, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner and Cyndi Lauper were among those who participated in the musical coalition known as USA for Africa. The proceeds from the song went to famine relief in Africa.

"We Are the Future" is just a fraction of what music fans are going to be hearing from Dupri in the coming months. He's looking for a new home for his So So Def imprint, and when that gets solidified he plans to put out albums by himself and Da Brat. In the meantime he's executive producing albums by So So Def alumni Bow Wow and Jagged Edge as well as girlfriend Janet Jackson, and he produced four songs for his good friend Mariah Carey. Then there's that Grammy ceremony he'll be attending in February.

His work on Usher's Confessions LP earned him nominations for Album of the Year and Best Contemporary R&B Album, as well as two Best R&B Song nominations for "Burn" and "My Boo."

"You expect it but you can't never take it for granted that it's going to happen," he said.

"This feels like what we were waiting on. I know Usher was waiting on this. This is his year to at least win the Grammys and have a good Grammy shelf in his house. The [awards] I'm up for, I don't know if I'm gonna win. I can't really say 'cause they're tough. One of them categories, "My Boo" and "Burn" are nominated in the same category. I have a better chance in that category."
Lindsay Lohan Bares Her Heart... And Her Clothes
Lindsay Lohan posed without clothes for the cover of Entertainment Weekly's breakout star issue and inside, Lindsay gets intimate about her breakup with "That 70's Show" star Wilmer Valderamma.

"I just gave you all my life and I would not do this anymore for you and now you've left me in the dust," Lohan told EW, as if speaking to Wilmer. EW senior editor Kristen Baldwin told Access Hollywood, "She's sad about it. She's confused. She says she's not quite sure why they broke up." 
JoJo Says She's 'Not That Kind Of Girl,' Wants Dr. Dre For Next Album
LOS ANGELES — So how did JoJo celebrate the recent platinum certification of her debut album?

"I just ordered a pizza," the 13-year-old singer said. "It was nothing really big, it was just that special moment."

A special moment JoJo would be happy to relive if her album goes double platinum or better. And she's doing her best to make that happen, planning a tour and preparing to release a third single.

The track she's leaning towards is "Not That Kinda Girl." "It's a great beat," JoJo said. "It just says that you are not impressing me with all the things that you have and all that, and I am not that kind of girl that's into those kinds of things."

Contending with "Not That Kinda Girl" is "Never Say Goodbye," an Underdogs-produced "beautiful ballad," according to the singer, who will make the decision in the next few weeks.

JoJo is also already thinking about her second album and declaring her wish list of collaborators.

"This is so weird, but I would really like to work with Dr. Dre ... because nobody would expect that," she added. "This really is the year of Kanye West, but I feel Dr. Dre is so amazing and I would love to work with him."

After portraying a young Linda Ronstadt on "American Dreams," JoJo also gained an appreciation for band-driven music. "They played the live instruments and it was all real," JoJo said. "And she had amazing vocals and I really appreciated that."

And speaking of acting, JoJo is set to shoot her first movie, "Aquamarine," in February. Co-starring Emma Roberts (Nickelodeon's "Unfabulous"), the flick will be based on the Alice Hoffman novel about two teenage friends spending their last summer together who find a mermaid in their beach club's pool and must find a way to safely get her back to sea.

"They're still casting, so I can't say much about it," JoJo said. "As far as acting goes, as long as it's [a role] I can do well, then I am all for it and willing to give it a try."
Usher Signs onto 2 more Film deals!
Usher fans had better start getting their popcorn money together, because the singer will be hitting the box office in a major way in 2005.

In addition to his work on an untitled MTV Films project and a Jackie Wilson biopic, Usher has recently signed on to do two more films.

First up will be the romantic comedy "Dying for Dolly," in which Mr. Entertainment will star as a Mafia don's right-hand man who falls for his boss' daughter. The Lions Gate film will also star Chazz Palminteri ("The Usual Suspects") and Emmanuelle Chriqui ("On the Line"). Usher will also serve as an executive producer on the film, which begins production on December 10 and will shoot through January.

Usher will then slip on his dancing shoes for MGM's "Step in the Name of Love." According to reports, the film will be an urban update of "Saturday Night Fever"; no word yet on a start date or co-stars for that film.

In the meantime, Usher will have his hands full musically with a projected Best of Both Worlds-style album with Ludacris (see "Usher, Ludacris, Lil Jon Back On Radio With 'Lovers & Friends' " ).
Turkeys In The 'Hood: Artists Give Back This Thanksgiving
This Thanksgiving, a slew of artists will celebrate the holiday by flipping the bird to their fans.

Cam'ron, Lil' Wayne, Bryan "Baby" Williams, Mariah Carey and others will show what they're thankful for by giving back to the communities that support them.

The Diplomats, including Cam'ron, Jim Jones and Juelz Santana, will be celebrating the release of their new mixtape, Diplomatic Immunity 2, and Cam'ron's new album, Purple Haze, with a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway. The hip-hop group is holding court at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building in New York's Harlem and handing out turkeys to the first 97 people in line on Wednesday (November 24) from 3-5 p.m.

Mariah Carey is taking the holiday meal giveaway a step further by hosting a Thanksgiving dinner in Brooklyn, New York, through the Fresh Air Fund organization. Children and their families have been invited to join the singer for the three-hour dinner on Wednesday evening.

On Tuesday, Baby and members of his Cash Money Records crew hosted their Fifth Annual Cash Money Turkey Giveaway in New Orleans. This year, they worked in conjunction with the Lugz Shoe Company and were joined by Lil' Wayne, Mannie Fresh, Ronald "Slim" Williams, and members of the Hornets and the Saints, New Orleans' professional sports teams, who helped hand out 3,000 turkeys and holiday dinners. Also on Tuesday, Joe Budden helped distribute turkeys at the Turkey N Da Hood Community Day at the Montgomery Gardens public housing complex in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Finally, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, James Brown, showed his charitable side on Monday when he gave away 1,000 turkeys in his annual giveaway in Augusta, Georgia. Wife Tomi Rae Brown and son James Brown Jr. helped the Godfather of Soul pass out the birds to a line that stretched around the block, according to local paper The Augusta Chronicle.
Destiny's Child And Lil Jon Can't Top Eminem
Despite now having a proper week's worth of sales under their belts, Destiny's Child and Lil Jon can't unseat Eminem from the top of the Billboard albums chart.

Even combined, weekly sales of Destiny's Child's Destiny Fulfilled and Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz's Crunk Juice aren't enough to best the second-week total of Slim Shady's Encore. Following an abbreviated, three-day first sales week — due to Encore's Friday release, as opposed to the traditional Tuesday (see "Eminem Shreds The Competition, Even With A Premature Encore") — Eminem's fourth album sold more than 870,000 copies during its second week in stores, making for a 10-day total of 1.5 million copies, according to SoundScan.

Like Encore, Eminem's last album, 2002's The Eminem Show, also surfaced online prior to its release date and was rushed into stores a day early. After one-day sales of more than 284,000, The Eminem Show moved a whopping 1.3 million copies in its second week. Still, Eminem's second-week showing ranks as the third-best sales week of the year, behind the opening tallies for Usher's Confessions and Norah Jones' Feels Like Home.

Release-date violations (the term for retailers selling an album prior to its official on-sale date) only slightly cannibalized first-week sales of Destiny Fulfilled and Crunk Juice, though the few copies that were sold early wouldn't have affected the chart position of either album next week. After selling more than 61,000 copies before its release date, Destiny Child's fourth album moved over 496,000 copies to take the #2 spot. Even collectively, the sales of Destiny Fulfilled can't touch the more than 600,000 copies 2001's Survivor sold in its opening week.

Meanwhile, Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz are chugging down the success of Crunk Juice. The rowdy Atlanta group's latest LP will land at #3 after selling more than 363,000 copies.