Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
Tom Cruise Rocks in First 'Ages' Look
A photo of Tom Cruise playing the character Stacee Jaxx in the upcoming film adaptation of the Broadway hit "Rock of Ages" has been released, and it's a doozy. Cruise is shown shirtless and screaming into a mic, with his hair flowing down to his shoulders. ( TomCruise.com)
Cee Lo Defends Tweet as Not Homophobic
Cee Lo Green has recently come under fire for a tweet he sent to a music critic that some have interpreted as anti-gay. "@gimme_noise I respect your criticism but be fair! People enjoyed last night! I'm guessing ur gay? and my masculinity offended u? well f--k U!" he reportedly wrote. He took to Twitter on Friday to dispute the claims. "Apologies gay community!" Green tweets. "What was homophobic about that? I said I was guessing he [was] gay which is fine but its nice to [know] what u think of me." ( THR)
Lance Bass Creating Boy Band Reality Show
Former *NSYNC member Lance Bass has revealed that he has sold a reality show to VH1 that involves former boy band members, including Joey McIntyre, A.J. McLean and Joey Fatone, drafting boy band teams a la "The Voice" and trying to form a cohesive group. New Edition's Bobby Brown has not yet signed on, but Bass says, "I think he'd love it." ( Vulture)
The Edge Not Allowed to Build Five Mansions
A proposal led by U2 guitarist The Edge for five mansions overlooking Malibu, Calif., has been rejected by California's coastal development agency, despite assurances by him that it would be one of the greenest developments in the world. The California Coastal Commission voted 8-to-4 Thursday against the proposal, citing concerns that it would irrevocably damage the environment. Staff told the commission that approving such a project would set a precedent and invite other large developments to rugged, environmentally sensitive locations. "In my 38 years, I have never seen a project as environmentally devastating as this one," said Peter Douglas, executive director for the commission. ( Associated Press)
Kara DioGuardi to star in Broadway's 'Chicago'
Kara DioGuardi is about to make her Broadway stage debut as a merry murderess. The songwriter and former "American Idol" judge is the latest celebrity to step into the role of Roxie Hart in the Tony Award-winning revival of "Chicago." DioGuardi is now the head judge on Bravo's "Platinum Hit." She will be in the show for eight weeks beginning Sept. 5. ( Associated Press)
The Roots Announce NYC Show Series
Next week, the Roots will be involved with a series of special New York City shows: On June 20th and 21st, ?uestlove will present a super group comprised of himself, Booker T. Jones, Gary Bartz, Christian McBride and Eric Kranzo. On June 22nd, The Roots will perform Rakim's "Paid in Full" alongside the veteran rapper to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. On June 23, The Roots will be performing at the Van Jones MoveOn event at Town Hall.
(Reporting by Jason Lipshutz, Associated Press, and The Hollywood Reporter)