Plus, news about Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Kid Rock, Pamela Anderson, Erik Estrada, George Clooney, Tom Bosley, Kelsey Grammer, and others

Bad News, Mr. Swanson

SOUND BITES As if her racy wardrobe didn’t clash enough with her professed good-girl personal life, Britney Spears is now defending her use of the occasional less-than-innocent curse word on her upcoming album, ”Britney.” She explains, ”When I say ‘hell’ and ‘damn,’ I say it out of frustration in my songs. It’s not, like, a normal term of endearment that I use all the time.”…

Michael Jackson announced that he has finally finished the recording sessions for ”What More Can I Give,” his long-awaited all-star single to benefit the Sept. 11 victims. Jackson recorded himself and some three dozen other acts in separate sessions, including Ruben Blades, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Hanson, Julio Iglesias, Beyoncé Knowles, Ricky Martin, Ziggy Marley, Reba McEntire, Brian McKnight, ‘N Sync, Tom Petty, Carlos Santana, and Jon Secada. He plans to mix all their tracks together in the studio. It’s not clear how long that will take, or when the single will be released. His ”Invincible” album hits stores tomorrow.

Jackson debuted the song at last week’s benefit concert ”United We Stand — What More Can I Give” in Washington, D.C., though a poor sound mix, an all-star chorus that didn’t seem to know the words, and heavy audience attrition after a 12-hour show that ran past midnight meant that few people have heard the song as Jackson intended. One of those choristers was Usher, who, according to the New York Post, was nowhere to be found during a sound check earlier in the evening. Production assistants reportedly scoured the capital looking for him, finally discovering him browsing at a Barnes & Noble. They rushed him back to the stadium and arrived just minutes before the big number….

Hemet, California, is a town of retirees, a place better known for early-bird specials than Saturday-night specials. It’s not the first place you would think of for Snoop Dogg to perform. But that’s what he’s doing on Nov. 11, holding a benefit concert for the Red Cross’ terror relief drive at Hemet’s 6,900-seat Ramona Bowl. Promoters say they picked the location because it’s within driving distance of Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and San Diego….

Bad News, Mr. Swanson
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