The 'Mean Girls' Musical Looking for a Summer Finish and More Insider Scoop

mean girls
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Lacey Chabert, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfriend in "Mean Girls," 2004.

Summer Finish For Mean Girls Musical

The Mean Girls musical from Tina Fey; her composer husband, Jeff Richmond; and lyricist Nell Benjamin is expected to be finished by late summer. And then the hard work begins: table reads, rewrites and investor meetings.

"We definitely want to see some kind of shape by the end of the summer," says Richmond of the adaptation of the 2004 film about a treacherous clique of high-school girls that starred Lindsay Lohan, Lizzy Caplan, Rachel McAdams and Amy Poehler. (Fey wrote the screenplay and also appeared in the movie.) "With that in mind, we know that 60 or 70 percent of that will go away when we start bringing in real singers and actors. We'll do a lot of rewriting." He adds that "the most difficult part of the process is determining, 'What are your best song ideas, and what do you leave alone as dialogue?' "

Robin Marchant/Getty Images for ESPN
J. Cole attends ESPN the Party at WestWorld of Scottsdale on Jan. 30, 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  

J. Cole's Label Change

When J. Cole records a follow-up to his 2014 Billboard 200 No. 1 album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive (which is still riding high at No. 35 on the album chart), Roc Nation and his Dreamville label will release it through Universal, not Columbia. All three of Cole's albums were part of Roc Nation's then-distribution deal with Columbia.

Two years ago, Roc Nation began operating as a stand-alone label within Universal Music Group. An inside source says the transition is "amicable." In fact, Cole gives a shout-out to Columbia on the last track from Drive, 'Note to Self'; they made history together. Cole launched Dreamville Records, his Interscope-distributed label, last January. Dreamville's artist roster includes rappers Bas, Omen and Cozz.

Exclusive: Raphael Saadiq, Lee Fields & More Offer Music History Lesson With E&J's Generations of Soul

Leon Bridges' Idol Says He's 'Very Cool'

Retro soul phenom Leon Bridges has said that kindred spirit Raphael Saadiq is one of his idols, and on April 2, Saadiq returned some of the love. At the 40th anniversary party for E&J Brandy at Mack Sennett Studios in Los Angeles, Saadiq -- who's part of the brand's "Generations of Soul" campaign -- told Overheard: "Everybody's been asking me about [Bridges]....Some friends told me about him about four months ago and I've heard his music. I'm like, 'Oh, that's very cool.'" Both artists are on Columbia and Saadiq said, "They've been calling me to come out to see him," but he added: "I've been busy working on different projects."

An edited version of this story originally appeared in the April 18th issue of Billboard