Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
Taio Cruz to Perform John Lennon's 'Imagine' on New Year's Eve
Taio Cruz will become the first artist to do a live performance of John Lennon's "Imagine" when he takes on the song from Times Square just before midnight on New Year's Eve. The performance will be made an iTunes exclusive on Jan. 1, 2011, with sales of the song benefiting the non-profit organization Big Brothers Big Big Sisters.
Justin Bieber Launches 'Justbeats' Headphones
Less than a week after his trading cards hit retailers, Justin Bieber has launched his own line of top-line headphones under Dr. Dre's Beats by Dre company. The purple "Justbeats," which offer on-ear and in-ear versions and ControlTalk, will sell exclusively at Best Buy for $119.95.
The Zombies Toasting 50th Anniversary with New Album
U.K. pop group the Zombies will celebrate its 1961 formation next year with a new studio album, says singer Rod Argent. "We're about two-thirds of the way through recording it now -- and I have to say it's sounding really good," says Argent. The band is also planning on holding a London gig to celebrate the milestone. ( Spinner)
Ke$ha Joins Campaign for Freedom of Speech
Ke$ha is the latest pop star to sign on with the "1 For All" campaign supporting the First Amendment and freedom of speech. In a full-page advertisement for the campaign, which ran in today's USA Today, Kesha said, "Thanks to the First Amendment, you can be whoever and whatever you want to be," hinting at her latest single "We R Who We R."
Doug E. Fresh Judges the Best 'Dougies' of the Year at ESPN
Rapper, roducer and beatboxer Doug E. Fresh, most widely known for his "Dougie" dance, stopped by ESPN today (Dec. 10) to evaluate the best "Dougies" of 2010. Cali Swag District's hit single, "Teach Me How to Dougie," was perhaps the flame that ignited the dance's popularity this year.
Cyndi Lauper Announces Housing Initiative for Homeless LGBT Youth
Singer/songwriter Cyndi Lauper recently announced that the True Colors Fund, her organization that works to inspire LBGT equality, will be opening up the True Colors Residence next summer in Central Harlem for youth members ages 18-24. The residency will mark New York's first permanent housing facility for the LGBT youth who have become homeless after being kicked out of their homes or obligated to run away. The True Colors Fund also launched the "Give a Damn Campaign" last April, an effort that gained support from numerous celebrities, including Pete Wentz, Jason Mraz and Elton John.
(Reporting by Jillian Mapes, Jason Lipshutz, Walter Frazier and Emma Gaedeke)