Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
Justin Bieber Asks for Charity Donations for Birthday
To celebrate his 17th birthday, Justin Bieber is asking his diehard fans to direct their good will toward Charity: Water, a clean water charity that he hopes he can help raise $17,000. "1 in 8 people in the world lack access to clean water. so this year i want to give my birthday away to help @charitywater #makeachange," the pop star wrote on Twitter today (Feb. 28), one day before he turns 17. Bieber is asking that fans donate at least $17 to the site "to help make a change." (@justinbieber)
Slayer Singer Hospitalized in Australia
Tom Araya, the frontman for metal band Slayer, was hospitalized in Sydney, Australia yesterday (Feb. 27), forcing the group to cancel their headlining slot at the country's Soundwave festival last night. Although Araya's ailment has not been announced, Soundwave promoter A.J. Maddah says that the band will be able to perform at a Soundwave event this Saturday. ( Rolling Stone)
Nelly Furtado to Donate Money from Libyan Dictator
Nelly Furtado took to her Twitter account early Monday morning (Feb. 28) to let her fans know that she wants nothing to do with the fruits of Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi. As his stronghold on the country weakens, amid anti-government violent protests and increasing revelations of corruption, she revealed, "In 2007, I was paid 1million$ by the Gadhafi clan to play a 45min. show for guests at a hotel in Italy. I am going to donate this $." (Full story at Billboard.biz)
GZA Inspires FX Comedy Pilot
Wu-Tang Clan member and elder hip-hop statesmen GZA (real name: Gary Grice) and his publicist, Heathcliff Berru, have inspired a single-camera comedy for FX that centers around an aging rapper and his music industry manager. "Igotchaback" is currently being developed for the network by actor David Krumholtz. ( Deadline.com)
String Cheese Incident, Tiësto to Headline Electric Forest Festival
The String Cheese Incident will perform three times at the inaugural Electric Forest festival, a successor to the Rothbury Festival, which will take place June 30-July 3 at the Double JJ Resort in western Michigan. Also on the bill of nearly 60 acts are Tiësto, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Sephen Marley, JJ Grey & Mofro, Railroad Earth and the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, while REO Speedwagon will headline a special Saturday Afternoon Special. Tickets go on sale at noon EST on March 5. The String Cheese incident previously performed at the 2009 Rothbury Festival. Crowds estimated in the mid-30,000s attended turned out in 2008 and 2009 for the event, which was called off last year and reinvented for 2011.
Lupe Fiasco Teams with AXE for Brooklyn Concert
Lupe Fiasco previewed tracks from his long-delayed third album, "Lasers," at a packed concert at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg last night (Feb. 27). The event was part of the WalMart Soundcheck series presented by AXE, which has previously sponsored "One Night Only" concerts by T.I. and Weezer. Fiasco tore through new tracks like "Words I Never Said" and "The Show Goes On" in between performing older hits like "Kick, Push," "Superstar" and "Go-Go Gadget Flow."
(Reporting by Jason Lipshutz, Gary Graff, Monica Herrera and Karen Bliss)