Jennifer Lopez is in negotiations to star opposite Richard Gere in Miramax Films' "Shall We Dance?" -- a remake of the 1996 Japanese feature that Peter Chelsom will direct. Production is scheduled to begin in June.
Bonnie Raitt, Cake, and Concrete Blonde are among the rock acts confirmed for We The Planet, a music and activism festival set for April 20 (Earth Day) at Speedway Meadow in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Rap outfits The Coup and De La Soul are also on the bill, with additional performers to be announced in the coming weeks.
After being rejected twice by the city of Atlanta, promoters of a hip-hop festival planned for April hope to hold it at the Georgia International Horse Park in nearby Conyers, Ga., 27 miles east of downtown Atlanta. Town officials have agreed to host the Urban Hip-Hop Music Festival at the park during the April 11 weekend.
Veteran rap trio the Beastie Boys have made a new song, "In a World Gone Mad," available for free download from their official Web site. The cut, the first new Beasties song to be released in more than four years, addresses the looming U.S.-led war with Iraq. "This song is not an anti-American or pro-Saddam Hussein statement," group member Adam Horovitz said in a statement. "This is a statement against an unjustified war."
Annual North Carolina Americana festival MerleFest will be documented on CD, DVD, and VHS with the June 17 national bow of the self-released "MerleFest Live! The 15th Anniversary Jam." The releases, which will be available April 22 in North Carolina, were recorded live at the 2002 edition of MerleFest on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C.
The Chinese government has ordered the Rolling Stones to ax four of their best-known hits from their landmark mainland shows next month. The band, which is scheduled to perform in Shanghai April 1 and in Beijing April 4, will not be allowed to play "Brown Sugar," "Honky Tonk Woman," "Beast of Burden," or "Let's Spend the Night Together," said Chen Jixin, head of concert organizers Beijing Time New Century Entertainment.