Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
Bieber Will Not Face Charges in Assault Case
This past October, Justin Bieber was accused of punching a 12-year-old boy in the face during a laser-tag battle in which the alleged victim called Bieber a homophobic slur. The Ontario police department investigating the incident has decided not to file charges against the singer. Corporal Turley of the Richmond Royal Canadian Mounted Police recently said that the evidence collected was not enough to warrant further investigation, and that she could not confirm Bieber's involvement due to a law that does not allow the dissemination of information into criminal cases involving minors. ( MTV)
New Bilingual Ricky Martin Album Announced
Ricky Martin's first new album in six years, titled "Musica+Alma+Sexo" (Music+Soul+Sex), will be released Feb. 1, 2011. The bilingual album's first single, "Lo Mejor De Mi Vida Eres Tu" (feat. Natalia Jimenz), is currently charting at No. 3 on Billboard's Latin Pop Songs chart. The English translation of the song, "The Best Thing About Me Is You" (feat. Joss Stone), will see a radio release in January.
Music's Hottest Producers Help With "American Idol" Auditions
"American Idol" is in Vegas and using some of music's hottest talent at the mixing boards to narrow down the competition. The 60 "Idol" contestants left after auditions in Hollywood are now in Vegas learning Beatles songs to perform on the same stage Cirque Du Soleil performs the "LOVE" show. Producers Alex Da Kid (Eminem's "Love The Way You Lie"), Christopher "Tricky" Stewart (Justin Bieber's "Baby"), Rodney Jerkins (Lady Gaga's "Telephone"), Polow da Don (Keri Hilson's "Turnin' Me On") and Jim Jonsin (T.I.'s "Whatever You Like") have all been recruited to coach the contestants through this phase of the competition. The potential "Idols" will only perform for judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, not a studio audience. (Entertainment Weekly)
Jon Bon Jovi to Be Appointed to White House Council on Community Solutions
President Obama announced today (Dec. 14) that he will appoint Jon Bon Jovi as a member of the recently-established White House Council on Community Solutions. Bon Jovi's ongoing philanthropic efforts include the chairman position of his own Soul Foundation, a non-profit that aids poverty and homelessness. Bon Jovi and his fellow council members will provide advice on mobilizing citizens, non-profits, businesses and government to work together more effectively.
Das Racist Detained and Deported in the U.K.
Das Racist missed its gig in London last night (Dec. 13) due to being held in a London airport and then deported back to Switzerland. The band posted an apology on its website explaining the situation and that its members were held in a room with refreshments and other detainees -- none of which that could speak English. While no full explanation has been given for the ordeal, the band blames it on "…sticklerism on the part of U.K. Customs regarding paperwork." ( Stereogum)
The Ronettes Reportedly Suing Phil Spector
The Ronettes may have led the pack of girl groups in the 1960s thanks to producer/manager Phil Spector, but now the "Be My Baby" group is supposedly suing Spector. Recent reports claim that Darlene Love, Ronnie Greenfield (who was previously married to Spector) and the state of Estelle Bennett and Bedra Talley Ross filed a lawsuit against Spector (and his Phil Spector Records and Phillies Records) for $150,000 in back royalties and $1 million in punitive damages. The "Wall of Sound" producer has been serving his 19-years-to-life sentence in prison for murdering Lana Clarkson since spring 2009. (Perez Hilton)
Gossip's Beth Ditto Releasing Solo EP
Lead singer Beth Ditto of Portland dance-punk band Gossip will release her debut solo EP featuring four new songs this January, teaming up with U.K. producers James Ford and Jaz Shaw of Simian Mobile Disco. Ditto previously worked with Simian Mobile Disco on the song "Cruel Intentions," off SMD's 2009 album "Temporary Pleasure." (NME)
(Reporting by Jillian Mapes, Walter Frazier and Megan Vick)