Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
Chris Brown Reveals Bruno Mars, Lil Wayne Collabs
Chris Brown isn't just recording with Justin Bieber these days. The beleaguered R&B/pop star is also laying down tracks with Bruno Mars, Pitbull, Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne, according to his Twitter feed. On Friday, Brown distanced himself from a controversial Twitter beef with B2K's Raz-B by posting a link to "Where Do We Go," a song featuring Pitbull and produced by Jim Jonsin, and promising the release of "Look at Me Now," featuring Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne, at midnight. Brown also tweeted that he was getting ready to hit the studio with Bruno Mars. "Me and Bruno Mars are doing an incredible record soon…(like 2011 Elvis and Michael," he wrote. "Gonna be a movie!!!!" (@chrisbrown)
M.I.A. Drops NYE Mixtape, 'Vicki Leekx'
M.I.A. has delivered on her promise to drop a mixtape on New Year's Eve, offering up 'ViCKi LEEKX," a unrelenting assault of global beats, on a website of the same name. The 36-minute set, which features production by Diplo, Rusko, Switch and Blaqstarr, samples Nicki Minaj's "straight from Sri Lanka" line on Kanye West's "Monster" and opens with a quote from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange: "We choose the right format. We leak the information to the public, and we defend ourselves against inevitable legal and political attacks." (VickiLeekx)
U2 Lends Maroon 5 Its Private Jet
Who needs frequent flier miles when you have friends like U2? Maroon 5 recently got an assist from the rock megaband, which lent its private 360 tour jet to Adam Levine and his bandmates for a flight to Trinidad. "Dear U2," Levine wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of his band in front of the jet. "Thanks for letting us borrow your plane...it's kick ass." (@adamlevine via JustJared)
Russell Brand Tweets Photo of Katy Perry Sans Makeup
Is Russell Brand in the doghouse for New Year's Eve? The British funnyman tweeted a candid photo of his wife, Katy Perry, and deleted it soon after, but not before the world got a glimpse of the usually glammed-up pop star without any makeup. (Daily Mail)
Spider-Man Actress Confirms Departure
Natalie Mendoza, the lead actress who was rumored to be leaving "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" after suffering a concussion, has confirmed her departure from the show. In a statement, Mendoza says, ""It has been a difficult decision to make, but I regret that I am unable to continue on 'Spider-Man' as I recover from my injury. I wish Julie and the cast and crew every success with this production." (New York Times via Vulture)
(Reporting by Monica Herrera)