Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
Cali Swag District Announces Debut Album, "The Kickback"
"Teach Me How to Dougie" creators Cali Swag District will release their debut album, "The Kickback," on July 12, with "Burn Out (Drive Fast)" announced as the next official single off the album. The release follows the tragic death of M-Bone, a member of the group who was shot to death last month. "We're sure that M Bone is doin' the Dougie at the gates of heaven and we know he would want us to keep the movement goin' here," says group member Yung in a release.
Snoop Dogg Pitching Rap Version of "American Idol"
Snoop Dogg has been pitching TV networks on an "American Idol"-type show to find the next hip hop star, the New York Post reported Monday. While the rapper is arguing the show could be as popular as "Idol," selling the idea to TV industry executives hasn't been easy, according to the paper. ( THR)
Simon Curtis Releasing 'Heavy and Militant' New Album Tomorrow
Pop singer-songwriter Simon Curtis tells Billboard.com that his second album, "RA" (out June 7), "is the sonic embodiment of what my life has been over the past year" and "to say that this is my baby is no understatement." The 14-song set -- which Billboard exclusively previewed in March -- is "heavy and militant" according to Curtis, though it's still filled with dance beats and pop hooks. The effort features an arresting cover shot by photographer Tyler Shields, who has lensed everyone from Lindsay Lohan to "Glee's" Dianna Agron. Curtis says the "striking" and "disturbing" cover -- a red-hued close-up shot of him screaming, mouth agape -- "totally encapsulated the album in a single visual."
Patti LaBelle Sued after Airport Attack
Soul singer Patti LaBelle is being sued by a West Point cadet, Richard King, who claims that LaBelle's bodyguards physically beat him at a Houston airport in March. According to the lawsuit, "LaBelle believed King was standing too close to her (no doubt expensive) luggage, even though he was oblivious to her presence and the danger he was in." ( Chron)
Jack White May Record New Material for 'Schoolboys' Movie
Jack White is in talks to record new music for Bobcat Goldthwait's film adaptation of "Schoolboys in Disgrace," the 1975 concept album by the Kinks. "He's a great technical player and would bring some great anarchy to it, which is in keeping with the script," says Kinks frontman Ray Davies. (BBC, via Rolling Stone)
"American Idol's" Paul McDonald Engaged to Nikki Reed
Paul McDonald, who finished in eighth place on season 10 of "American Idol," is reportedly engaged to "Twilight" actress Nikki Reed, who showed off a ring at the MTV Movie Awards red carpet last night. "He's the one," the actress said. ( E!)
(Reporting by the Jason Lipshutz and Keith Caulfield)