Plus, Robert Downey Jr., Wyclef Jean, L.A. Reid, ''Dr. Laura,'' ''Destination Mir,'' and more
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JAILED Grammy winning Bone Thugs N Harmony member Flesh N Bone (né Stanley Howse) was sentenced to 12 years behind bars today. The 27 year old was convicted for pointing an AK 47 machine gun at a friend during an altercation last December — a weapons charge that could have earned him up to 19 years’ imprisonment. The Los Angeles judge, Darlene Schempp, told Flesh Bone she decided to be ”lenient” because of the rapper’s troubled childhood. ”This is one of the worst cases I’ve read of childhood abuse,” she said after reviewing Howse’s file. Outside the courthouse, the rapper’s wife wept upon hearing about the conviction. ”He didn’t deserve no sentence of 12 years,” she told Reuters. ”He’s done a lot for the community.”
GIG Prodigal son, indeed. Robert Downey Jr. is balancing out his new lowbrow TV career (he’ll have a recurring part on ”Ally McBeal”) by treading the highbrow boards. The recent jailbird will take on the role of Hamlet in a stage production directed by Mel Gibson in Los Angeles. The two celebs reportedly became chummy while working on the ’90s action flick ”Air America.” (We can only assume they hope this project will be slightly more memorable.) A star studded cast will complement Downey’s interpretation of the tortured Danish prince, according to Variety. More importantly, the production may spark a new vogue among Hollywood denizens: literacy.
MUSIC NEWS Former Arista chief Clive Davis has found another big name for his start up. Wyclef Jean is establishing a joint venture with J Records, Variety reports. According to the deal, Wyclef will produce new acts under his Clef Records imprint while J covers sales and marketing…. Meanwhile, Davis might be happy to hear that his predecessor at Arista, L.A. Reid, may be facing some bad press. It has recently come to light that Reid owns the publication rights to many of the label’s writers, Foxnews.com reports today. And when Arista trumpeted a major deal this week with Kevin ”She’kspere” Briggs, it failed to mention that Reid owns the rights to Briggs’ songs. Now, explain it to us: Is that synergy or conflict of interest?
RETRO ROCK The Doors are open for business again: Elektra will release a tribute record called ”Stoned Immaculate: The Music of the Doors” on Nov. 14. Creed, Stone Temple Pilots, Aerosmith, the Cult, Train, and Smash Mouth appear on the disc along with the three surviving members of the Jim Morrison fronted band. Also in November, VH1 will debut a ”Storytellers” featuring the Doors musicians and several of the contributing acts. In more Doors news, next week the band’s official website unveils the Internet label Bright Midnight Records, which will offer previously unavailable live and studio Doors tracks.
(By Dan Snierson)
DELAY The flailing ”Dr. Laura” show — which has already taken a beating in the ratings — stopped production for a week. Of course, gay activists have been protesting Laura’s TV debut since it was announced, and its studio Paramount has been forced to sell advertising at discounted rates. Spokesperson Linda Lipman told the L.A. Times that the break gives them an opportunity to ”retool” the show. But, given that the show only premiered last week, the move is a bit, um, ”deviant.”
REALITY TV The network space race may have been grounded even before it could blast off. According to the New York Times, CBS, ABC, and Fox have all recently met with a company called Dreamtime Holdings, which is pitching a NASA endorsed space show that would compete with ”Survivor” exec producer Mark Burnett‘s new project ”Destination Mir.” The show would allow regular folk to train at NASA’s Houston training facilities for a space shuttle trip to the International Space Station. The only problem is that NASA does not know anything about it. ”NASA has not seen a proposal for such a show,” a spokesperson told the Times. This revelation surprised Fox execs. ”We were told NASA was involved,” network chief Sandy Grushow told the paper. ”If they’re producing this thing through NASA, that’s the powerful attraction.” Apparently, he’s heard about the great bathrobes and complimentary shampoos in the orbiting travel lodge.
JAILED Jan-Michael Vincent, star of the ’80s hit ”Airwolf,” has been sentenced to 60 days in the slammer. The actor, 56, admitted to violating probation for a 1996 drunken driving conviction. He was arrested on July 20 after engaging in a drunken altercation with his wife. Alas, another helicopter maverick succumbs to the pressures of everyday life.
SPLIT Nashville Pussy bassist Corey Parks is leaving the band. MTV.com reports that Parks and the group officially split yesterday. Parks, apparently, had been courted by Courtney Love as a possible replacement for Hole bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur, but she politely declined. Parks will reportedly record a single with Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister. Never again will Parks find a band that gets more accidental hits on its website. Unless, of course, she takes up with Orgy.