Billboard Bits: Death Row, Mariah Carey, Zappa Plays Zappa

News on Death Row, Mariah Carey, Zappa Plays Zappa

Now that Marion "Suge" Knight Jr. and Death Row Records have filed for bankruptcy, a number of parties flush with cash are snooping around the label's sizeable master and publishing catalogs. At deadline, it's unclear if classic albums from Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur and Kurupt are up for grabs. But sources say 50 Cent is among the parties sniffing around the assets.

As previously reported, Knight filed for bankruptcy to avoid losing control of Death Row in a $107 million civil court judgment awarded to Lydia Harris, who claims the rap mogul cheated her out of a 50 percent stake in the company.

-- Susan Butler, N.Y.

Global beauty products company Elizabeth Arden has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with superstar Mariah Carey. The deal includes the development, marketing and distribution of Mariah Carey-branded fragrances. This partnership marks the singer's first foray into the lucrative beauty industry.

Carey's first fragrance, under the terms of the agreement, is scheduled to arrive in specialty and upscale department stores next spring. According to a statement from Elizabeth Arden, Carey will be involved in all aspects of product development, packaging and marketing.

Carey is not the first celebrity to sign with Arden. The company's portfolio also includes fragrance lines from Elizabeth Taylor and Britney Spears.

-- Michael Paoletta, N.Y.

The North American installment of the Zappa Plays Zappa tour will kick off June 11 in Philadelphia and play eight additional shows through a June 24 date in San Francisco. As previously reported, the shows will celebrate the music of the late Frank Zappa as played by his son, Dweezil, and former band members such as Steve Vai, Terry Bozzio and Napoleon Murphy Brock.

"His music from the middle '70s was really pivotal, and that's going to play a really big role in what we're doing -- things from 'Apostrophe,' 'Over-Nite Sensation,' 'Sheik Yerbouti,' 'Joe's Garage,'" Dweezil
told last fall. "But we want people to feel like they're getting a real well rounded experience. He had over 70 albums, so that's hundreds and hundreds of songs. It's only a two-hour show -- we'll be lucky to get 30 songs in there. But it's going to change on a nightly basis."

Here are the Zappa Plays Zappa tour dates:

June 11: Philadelphia (Tower Theatre)
June 12: New York (Beacon Theatre)
June 13: Boston (Orpheum Theatre)
June 15: Detroit (Meadowbrook Music Festival)
June 16: Toronto (Hummingbird Centre)
June 21: Phoenix (Dodge Theatre)
June 22: Anaheim, Calif. (House of Blues)
June 23: Los Angeles (Wiltern Theatre)
June 24: San Francisco (Warfield)

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.