Billboard Bits: Peter/Melanie Gabriel, Janet, Big Lurch
News on Peter/Melanie Gabriel, Janet Jackson, Big LurchPeter Gabriel married longtime companion Meah Flynn last Sunday at the Li Capanni hotel he owns near Sardinia's Emerald Coast, according to the Associated Press. The reclusive artist continues to work on his long-awaited next album, "Up," which is tentatively due sometime this year. In March, Gabriel released the soundtrack to the Australian film "Rabbit Proof Fence" via the 404 Music Group.
Meanwhile, Gabriel's daughter Melanie is following in her father's footsteps and has begun recording her debut album. Seven songs have been put to tape with production assistance from New York-based singer/songwriter John Washburn, who describes the music as "artsy-pop, sort of like Fleetwood Mac meets Beck." A spokesperson says the as-yet-untitled album will likely be independently released.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
A Baltimore-based music producer has filed a $20 million defamation lawsuit against Virgin artist Janet Jackson, Billboard Bulletin reports. In his suit -- filed yesterday (June 12) in Los Angeles Superior Court -- Eric Christian alleges that Jackson illegally filed and obtained a restraining order against him nearly five years ago.
Jackson alleged Christian to be an imminent physical threat based on his claim that she had plagiarized his lyrics. Christian says the L.A. order is illegal due to his Maryland residence, and also claims that subsequent news reports violated his constitutional rights. A lawyer for Jackson could not be reached for comment.
-- Erik Gruenwedel, L.A.
Rapper Antron "Big Lurch" Singleton pleaded not guilty today (June 13) in Los Angeles Superior Court to murder charges. The 27-year-old Texas artist, who was in L.A. working on his debut album, was arrested April 10 for the murder of a 21-year-old woman in South Central L.A., and will begin his pre-trial hearings July 18.
According to police, Singleton was arrested after officers responded to a call to investigate a possible assault. Officers found the deceased body of Tynisha Ysais on the upper floor of an L.A. apartment unit, and subsequently discovered Singleton lying in the street a few blocks from the crime scene.
Earlier this month, L.A. Detective Raymond Jankowski testified that Ysais' chest had been ripped open, and her lung showed evidence of being chewed, according to published reports. Singleton was said to be found covered in blood.
The young rapper had worked with such artists as Mystikal, C-Bo, RBL Posse, and Mac Dre, and has been living in L.A. for the last few months.
-- Todd Martens, L.A.