Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
Beyonce Returns To Studio with Ne-Yo
Beyonce is back in the studio after taking a break from music earlier this year, according to Perez Hilton. The news follows a tweet by Ne-Yo on Sunday (Aug. 29) in which the R&B singer writes, “Studio with Mary J. Blige tonight, Beyonce tonight. I LOVE MY JOB!!!” Beyonce recently spent some of her downtime addressing pregnancy rumors. (Perez Hilton)
Dipset Signing to Interscope?
A reunion of rap group the Diplomats — which features Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana and Freekey Zekey — seems to be inches away from being official, as the group is finalizing a deal with Interscope Records. The news follows Cam’ron and Jones’ recent tweets about a label deal “almost being done.” To find out more and hear new Dipset track “Salute,” check out Billboard.com’s new hip-hop and R&B blog, The Juice.
Slash Files For Divorce
Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash has filed for divorce from wife Perla Ferrar after nine years of marriage, TMZ reports. Sources say that Slash (real name: Saul Hudson) is looking for joint custody of the couple’s two young boygs, and that the split has been extremely heated. (TMZ)
Snoop Surprises Michael Jackson Fans in Brooklyn
One day after headlining Rock the Bells in New York, Snoop Dogg made a surprise stop at Spike Lee’s birthday party for Michael Jackson Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The rap star spit his classic “Gin and Juice” over Jackson’s “Butterflies” and was followed by fellow West Coast vet Warren G, who performed “Regulators” for hundreds of MJ fans. Other highlights from the party included a Reverend Al Sharpton-led moment of silence for Jackson and Hurricane Katrina victims, and a snazzily dressed Jackson fan moonwalking atop a port-a-potty. Jackson would have turned 52.
Blink-182 Cracks Crude Obama Joke at Leeds Festival
Pop-punk trio blink-182 normally offers a series of puerile jokes at their live shows, but singer-guitarist Tom DeLonge raised eyebrows with a context-free crack at President Barack Obama while headlining the U.K.’s Leeds Festival on Saturday (Aug. 28), according to Spinner. DeLonge told the crowd that he was “going to go down on Barack Obama” during a performance of “Anthem Part Two.” The band also cursed off Reading Festival, which took place the previous day (Aug. 27) in the U.K. ( Spinner)
CMJ Initial Lineup Announced
The first round of artists has been revealed for CMJ Music Marathon, set to hit New York City Oct. 19-23. Ghostface Killah, School of Seven Bells, The Drums, Small Black and Surfer Blood have all been confirmed for the week-long event. (CMJ)