Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
50 Cent and Chelsea Handler: Couple Alert?
Chelsea Handler and 50 Cent have been linked romantically, after a photo surfaced of the two getting close at the Blue Nile jazz bar in New Orleans on Sunday night. Neither Handler, who hosted this year’s MTV VMAs, nor 50 has officially commented on the rumors, but the funnywoman did post this completely NSFW photo on her Twitter account, which may or may not be connected to the allegations. Handler’s network, E!, claims the two “haven’t hooked up, but she’s open to it.” (TMZ, E!)
Kelly Clarkson Reveals New Album Info
During an impromptu Twitter Q&A session with fans on Monday night (Oct. 4), Kelly Clarkson revealed details about her upcoming album, including song titles and collaborations. Clarkson indicated that though it is unlikely that the album will see stores until early 2011, the first single will be released well before then. Clarkson also revealed that she and Jason Halbert had just finished in the studio, and surprised fans by mentioning that there will be two duets on the new album — both with artists with whom Clarkson has previously worked. (@kelly_clarkson)
Keith Urban on the Hunt for New Talent with Guitar Center
Keith Urban has teamed up with Guitar Center for its “Your Next Record” contest, which aims to give unsigned talent a chance to record and play with the country star. Aspiring artists have until Nov. 30 to submit music at yournextrecord.com, and the winner will get to record a three-song EP and open for Urban at a concert, among other prizes. “I think we’ve all heard someone whose musical talents blow us away and sometimes all that stands between their garage and an arena is a chance,” says Urban, who will release new music of his own, with his forthcoming “Get Closer” album, on Nov. 16.
‘I Am T-Pain’ App Hits 2 Million Mark
Paid iPhone auto-tuning app “I Am T-Pain” has sold over two million downloads, Ge Wang co-founder, CTO, and chief creative officer of Smule told audiences at the Billboard Mobile Entertainment Live Music App Summit today in San Francisco. The No. 1 paid iPhone app was the second Smule app to break two million, after prior hit Ocarina, which turns the iPhone into a playable flute. ( Billboard.biz)
Wyclef Jean Named Brown University Fellow
Rapper Wycleaf Jean has been named a visiting fellow in Brown University’s Department of African Studies for the current academic school year. Jean will engage in school activities and functions that pertain to the University’s Haiti initiative, including faculty conversations, lectures and classes. The rapper has said that his time at Brown will be a “period of learning and reflection.” (Huffington Post)
Bob Dylan Adds 12 Fall Tour Dates
Bob Dylan has added a dozen more dates to his fall tour, including three shows at New York City’s Terminal 5 on Nov. 22, 23 and 24. The living legend will be touring nationwide through November before ending in Mashantucket, Conn. on Nov. 27. (Brooklyn Vegan)
African Children’s Choir to Hold Annual Gala in NYC
The African Children’s Choir will be hold its annual fundraising gala in NYC on Oct. 18. The choir, which has performed with the likes of Josh Groban and Chris Daughtry and appeared on “American Idol,” holds the gala to sponsor its tours and educational costs once its members return home. This year the event will be hosted by Carla Gugino and feature appearances by some of Broadway’s most recent stars, including Andy Karl from “Wicked” and Tituss Burgess from “Jersey Boys.”
(Reporting by Monica Herrera, Jillian Mapes, Antony Bruno, Megan Vick and Emma Gaedeke)