Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
Pras Won't Back Wyclef for Haiti President
Wyclef Jean's run for the Haitian presidency won't be backed by his former bandmate, Pras. The Fugees star issued a statement endorsing musician Michel "Sweet Micky" Martell as Haiti's next President because "he is the most competent candidate for the job." On Thursday (Aug. 5), Jean officially declared his candidacy for the election, set to place Nov. 28. (New York Daily News)
Timberlake Will Play Gay Character on 'Cleveland Show'
Justin Timberlake is set to voice a homosexual character on an upcoming episode of "The Cleveland Show." The pop singer will reportedly play a gay love interest for Terry, a character voiced by "Saturday Night Live"'s Jason Sudeikis, on the Fox animated sitcom. The episode is set to air in February. (Us Magazine)
Abdul Gives Her 'Idol' Opinion
Paula Abdul talked to TV Guide Magazine about 'American Idol' and the judges panel's recent shake-up. "I'll always be a fan of the show... People grow with time and you can always expect change," the former 'Idol' judge said about the show's hectic offseason. As for Randy Jackson's future tenure as a judge on 'Idol,' Abdul said, "I think it's important for people to have familiarity with someone." (TVGuide.com)
Jay-Z Readies Memoir for November Release
"Decoded," a 336-page book that details Jay-Z's history and musical career, will be released Nov. 16. According to RollingStone.com, the Spiegel & Grau hardcover will mix first-person memoir, family and friend interviews, and detailed analysis of the rapper's lyrics. Dream Hampton, former editor of The Source, worked with Jay-Z on the book. (RollingStone.com)
Bieber Surprises Summer Band Camp
Justin Bieber stopped by Sanford, Florida's Seminole High School yesterday (Aug. 5) and delivered a surprise performance to the summer band camp. The tween star played the guitar, chatted with students and presented the school with a $5,000 donation from the Grammy Foundation and Best Buy in support of music education. ( MTV.com)
BMI To Honor will.i.am
Will.i.am will be presented the President's Award by BMI during the organization's Urban Awards ceremony on Sept. 10 at Hollywood's Pantages Theater. The award honors the creators and publishers of the most-performed urban songs of the previous year.
(Reporting by Monica Herrera and Jason Lipshutz)