Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
New Orleans Jazz Fest 2011: Arcade Fire Duet With Cyndi Lauper; The Strokes, Wilco, Lauryn Hill & More
In addition to the more traditional jazz artists that dominated the lineup of the 42nd annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest this past week (April 29-May 8), an eclectic group of rock, soul and rap performers also took the stage. Highlights for the festival's final weekend included Arcade Fire dueling with Cyndi Lauper on "Girl Just Want To Have Fun" (which you can watch below) on Friday (May 6), as well as the Jazz Fest debuts of Lauryn Hill (who was only 20 minutes late) and The Strokes on Saturday (May 7). Sunday night (May 8) saw Kid Rock perform, while Saturday saw a comeback from New Orleans rapper Mystikal and Thursday (May 5) saw a chatty set from Wilco. (Associated Press, Rolling Stone)
Morrissey's New Album Complete, Delayed By a Lack of Label
In a statement he penned in response to a recent (and less-than-ideal) interview he did with BBC Radio 4, Morrissey elaborates on his next album, saying the hold-up on the completed album is a lack of a record label. "The follow-up to [2009's] 'Years of Refusal' is ready and fluttering wildly against the bars. There is still no record label and the years shuffle like cards. My talents do not lie in DIY," the former Smiths singer writes on his official site. (Morrissey-Solo.com via Stereogum)
Drake Plays Bar Mitzvah After Kanye West's Fee Deemed Too High
Kanye West's $1 million fee was reportedly too high for former NBC Univeral CEO Jeff Zucker, who expressed interest in hiring the rapper to perform at his son Andrew's bar mitzvah. Zucker supposedly balked at the request, instead hiring Drake for the event, which took place Saturday (May 8) night at the Four Seasons in NYC. (New York Post)
Kings of Leon's Matthew Followill Welcomes First Child
Kings of Leon Guitarist Matthew Followill and wife Johanna Bennett welcomed their first child, son Knox Cameron Patrick Followill, on April 22, though news of the birth is just now making the round. Knox was born in Nashville, and according to the Kings of Leon's rep, "Mother, father and baby are happy and healthy and doing well!" (People)
Michael Bolton Calls 'SNL' 'Jack Sparrow' Digital Short a 'Highlight of His Career'
Thanks to the Lonely Island, Michael Bolton could be mounting a comeback. On this weekend's "Saturday Night Live," Bolton appeared with Andy Samberg's rap-comedy trio in a much-applauded digital short for the Lonely Island's song "Jack Sparrow." Now has taken to his website to express gratitude to the Lonely Island guys: "Working with Andy, Akiva and Jorma on the Jack Sparrow digital short was one of the highlights of my career and most memorable experiences of my life… They made me do things I never would have expected to be comfortable with and I'm so glad I did. Truly grateful to be a part of this project and CANNOT WAIT for the chance to work with the guys again." (MichaelBolton.com)
Will Smith Emerges as Frontrunner to Star in Quentin Tarantino's Next Film
Will Smith has emerged as the frontrunner to star in Quentin Tarantino's next film, "Django Unchained," a spaghetti Western about a slave in the Old South who teams with a German bounty hunter to search for his wife. Smith is being teed up for the title role of Django, a freed slave who seeks to reunite with his slave wife, a journey that will see him team with a German bounty hunter to take down an evil plantation owner. (Read the full story at the Hollywood Reporter.)
(Reporting by Associated Press, the Hollywood Reporter and Jillian Mapes)