Billboard Bits: White Stripes, Jon B, Rimes, Slash/Wylde

News on White Stripes, Jon B, Rimes, Slash/Wylde

WhiteAMC Theaters will screen the White Stripes' live DVD, "Under Blackpool Lights," Dec. 9 in 13 U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. Screenings are also on tap throughout the United Kingdom, beginning tonight (Nov. 19) in Brighton.

As previously reported, "Under Blackpool Lights" arrives Dec. 7 via V2. The set was taped earlier this year at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool, England, and shot on super 8 and 16 mm film by famed director Dick Carruthers (the Who, Led Zeppelin).

Beginning Tuesday, Apple's iTunes Music Store will offer preview clips of the tracks "Seven Nation Army," "Hotel Yorba" and "Jolene" as well as digital downloads of their audio versions.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

JonJon B acknowledges that the last four years have been tough. For one thing, his studio burned down. Then he was mired in label limbo. But the latter situation is no longer the case with the recent release of "Stronger Everyday." His first album since the 2001 set "Pleasures U Like" arrives by way of Sanctuary Urban Records Group/E2 Music Group/Vibe Select/BMG.

"This album is an encouraging statement to anyone who has been through hard times," the Pasadena, Calif.-based singer/songwriter tells Billboard. "It's true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. You've got to keep it flowing."

While maintaining his smooth R&B style, an edgier Jon B also surfaces on "Everyday," which was produced by Just Blaze and features the late Dirt McGirt (aka Old Dirty Bastard). Scarface joins the proceedings on "Through the Fire," which samples Aretha Franklin's "Precious Memories."

In the midst of planning a tour, Jon B says other upcoming projects include producing a new R&B artist with his mentor, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.

-- Gail Mitchell, L.A.

RimesNet profits from sales of LeAnn Rimes' holiday album "What a Wonderful World" through JCPenney will be donated to fund student programs throughout the United States via the JCPenney Afterschool initiative. The retailer expects to sell between 250,000 and 300,000 copies of the album, which carries a retail price of $13.99.

"I love children and appreciate being a part of JCPenney's efforts to open a world of opportunity for them," Rimes says of JCPenney Afterschool, which works in partnership with such organizations as YMCA of the USA, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, 4-H and Junior Achievement. "I was surprised to learn that more than 14 million kids are unsupervised and home alone after school, when they could be taking part in an enriching experience."

Rimes released "What a Wonderful World" Oct. 12 via Curb, and will kick off a holiday tour Nov. 28 in Red Bank, N.J. The 12-date run closes Dec. 21 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

SlashSlash (Velvet Revolver, Guns 'N Roses) and Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society) are the latest musicians to be immortalized in KnuckleBonz' Guitar Hero series of collectible figures. Their likenesses will be sculpted, cast in poly-resin and hand painted, with production limited to 3,000 of each. The Slash figure will be available in February, Wylde in March; both list for $99.

KnuckleBonz established the line with a figure of another Osbourne guitarist, the late Randy Rhodes. That statuette will be released later this month. For more information, visit the company's
Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.