CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 14th June

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Not guilty: Jacko trial update
- Supreme court declines review of Beastie Boys sample ruling
- Chili Peppers finishing work on new album
- Green Day want to film fans
- AOL ready to make music service public
- Wrigleys give away loads of iPods
- Will.I.Am writes song for EWF
- Single Review: JJ72 - She's Gone
- Warner recount the figures
- Prodigy release greatest hits
- UK unsigned announce judging panel
- Brian Wilson UK live dates
- Mani pulls out of Glastonbury over Man U
- Album Review: Damien Jurado - On My Way To Absence
- Subways play at Islington
- Status Quo want to play at Live 8
- Over two million texts help raise £3 million for Live 8
- Napster man ready to officially launch new venture
- Digital TV reach continues to grow
- Cuban Boys release tribute to Peel
- Acts added to TDK Cross Central
- Jon Bon Jovi / Island Def Jam fall out?
- Album Review: Red.Star.Line - Red.Star.Line
- American Idol contestant claims character assassination
- Jordan pops sprog
- Gallagher & Gallagher don't speak

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COLLEGE MEDIA NETWORK>>

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THE TOP BIT>>

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NOT GUILTY: JACKO TRIAL UPDATE
Well, as the famous saying goes, it's not over until your clearly deranged fans start releasing doves into the Santa Maria sky. But said deranged fans released said doves, and so the latest installment in Michael Jackson's never dull life reached its conclusion with the singer acquitted of all of the ten charges made against him by District Attorney Tom Sneddon and the Arvizo family.

Jackson, of course, was accused of molesting teenager Gavin Arvizo, who met the pop star while undergoing cancer treatment. It was also alleged Jackson supplied alcohol to the minor and that he conspired to keep the Arvizo family hostage at his Neverland home in a bid to force the teenager, his mother and his siblings to make a video speaking up in his favour following the screening of the horribly damaging Martin Bashir documentary.

As the twelve jurors deliberated over the case last week an increasing number in the media started to talk about a guilty verdict, leading to speculation as to how the singer would cope with the anticipated 18 years he faced in jail. But, in reality, by the beginning of last week it was bleeding obvious that the singer was likely to found not guilty of, if nothing else, the more serious charges made against him. The principle of 'innocent until proven guilty' still stands, even in America (well, most of America), and it was hard to see how anyone could claim that the evidence presented in court room proved - beyond reasonable doubt - that Jacko was guilty as charged.

Despite providing a vivid insight into Jackson's eccentric (and perhaps questionable) lifestyle, the prosecution failed to deliver the kind of conclusive evidence many expected them to have found during their 18 month long investigations into the Arvizos' allegations. In the end the whole case rested on claims made by Gavin Arvizo and his brother Star, and the past actions and confused testimony of their mother, Janet Arvizo, damaged their credibility as witnesses. The prosecution's case was further damaged when Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe, expected to give a damning testimony against the singer, told the court what a great person her ex-husband was.

In a desperate last minute attempt to boost the credibility of their main witness, the prosecution screened the original police interview with Gavin Arvizo, convinced it showed a genuinely scared child recalling how he had been sexually molested by one of his idols, and not a devious teenager telling officers what his mother had coached him to say. Perhaps it did, but it clearly wasn't enough to convince the jury, who told reporters last night: "We expected some better evidence, something more convincing - but it just wasn't there".

Despite rumours that Jackson planned to address the crowds if found not-guilty, the singer left the court room without comment, simply waving to the fans that had gathered outside the court room. His lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, who put on a good show throughout the trial in his bid to damage the credibility of the prosecution's main witnesses, told reporters: "Justice was served. Michael Jackson is innocent."

As the crowds left the court room, fans started to gather outside Jackson's Neverland home. They were met by the singer's father, Joe Jackson, who briefly came to the gates to explain Jackson was sleeping - left very tired, and seemingly in ill health, after the grueling trial. He told the gathered crowds: "As far as we are concerned justice has been served".

Elsewhere, Jackson's brother Tito told CNN: "As they kept reading the counts, the pressure was lifting off me and I was holding my mom tight and we all cried through every count".

Following his defeat, Santa Barbara district attorney Tom Sneddon told reporters: "We did the right thing for the right reasons". Opinion of Sneddon is split. Jackson's supporters accused the official, who had tried to get the singer to court following the allegations made by Jordan Chandler back in 1993, as having a vendetta against the pop star - seeing a case where there wasn't one, and investing phenomenal public funds into pursuing it. Others say Sneddon could never have ignored the Arvizos' allegations, especially following Jackson's admission during the Martin Bashir documentary that he regularly shared his bed with teenage boys. Though some of that opinion are still critical of the district attorney, accusing him of preparing a poor case despite the considerable time and resources available to him. But Sneddon told reporters last night: "I'm not going to look back and apologise for what we've done. We've done a very conscientious and thorough job."

Speculation is now rife as to the future of Michael Jackson. Throughout the trial many commentators have said that, even if he was found not-guilty, it was hard to see how Jackson could regain his position of one of the world's most successful pop stars. The revelations about Jacko's life, they argued, would be just too much for most music fans - he may be "not guilty", but is he innocent? However this morning some seem to be more optimistic about Jackson's future - aware that he is very capable of pulling off PR coups when he wants to. Perhaps that future will depend more on his ability to make decent new music and put on a good show, rather than the public's opinions on Jacko's private life.

One thing that is certain, Jackson is sure to give it a try. Partly for financial reasons - if reports about his finances are anywhere near true he will need to find a new revenue stream if he is to avoid having to sell his stake in Sony/ATV Publishing and/or his Neverland home - but primarily because Jackson has never known a life which didn't involve making pop music.

And finally, what about Gavin Arvizo? The chances are that he, like previous accuser Jordan Chandler, will soon want to get out of the spotlight, to stop being known simply as "the Michael Jackson boy".

Oh yes, and finally finally, what about the CMU Daily? The end of the Jackson trial could leave quite a hole in your daily pop round up. Bring on the Phil Spector trial - we'll be there!

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SUPREME COURT DECLINES REVIEW OF BEASTIE BOYS SAMPLE RULING
Elsewhere in the pop courts, the US Supreme Court has declined to consider whether a 1992 Beastie Boys song infringed the copyright of jazz flautist James W Newton.

Newton accused the Beastie Boys of using a sample of his musical composition 'Choir' in their track 'Pass The Mic' without his permission. The rappers paid a licensing fee for the six-second, three note segment of Newton's recording, but did not pay an additional licence for use of his composition.

When Newton originally sued for copyright infringement, the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said the short segment used in 'Pass The Mic' was not "distinctive enough" to be considered Newton's work.

Newton hoped to have the Supreme Court overturn that decision, and several members and representatives of the jazz and independent artists community - including the American Composers Forum, the Electronic Music Foundation and Meet the Composer - had filed a joint friend-of-the-court brief in support of the jazz musician.

However the Supreme Court refused to reconsider the case, making their ruling without comment. Some in the artist community argue that decision now leaves some important questions about copyright in the digital age unanswered, although the Supreme Court's dismissal of the case might back a separate ruling made in the US Court of Appeals For The 6th Circuit last week when it was ruled that the copyrights on recordings that are sampled should be protected however small the sample, but that such strict copyright protection is not offered to the compositions behind the recordings.

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CHILI PEPPERS FINISHING WORK ON NEW ALBUM
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are currently in Los Angeles wrapping up work on a new and as yet untitled album, the follow up to 2002's 'By The Way'. Guitarist John Frusciante told Rolling Stone "There's heavier stuff than the band's ever done and there's also a lot of beautiful, soaring melodies."

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GREEN DAY WANT TO FILM FANS
Green Day, who will play their biggest ever UK shows when they take to the stage at the Milton Keynes Bowl this weekend, are looking for fans planning to attend the gigs, on 18 and 19 Jun, to appear in their new DVD.

A spokesperson for the film, being made by Ridley Scott Associates, said "We are offering lucky Green Day fans a chance to be in 'Green Day Live At Milton Keynes' concert film. All fans have to do is send in a video clip or photo of themselves, tell us a bit about who they are and importantly what they love about Green Day's music." Interested parties over the age of fifteen should send all the information to greenday@rsafilms.com as quickly as possible.

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AOL READY TO MAKE MUSIC SERVICE PUBLIC
AOL is reportedly getting ready to launch a web-based portal on 21 Jun, making the company's US services available to non-AOL customers for the first time. Certain aspects of the AOL offer will remain exclusive to those people who use the company as an internet service provider, but much of the company's music services will be available to everyone, including its music on demand stream. The move will see AOL adopt an advertising-funded rather than subscription-funded approach to most of its content services. No word yet on whether the change will affect the company's UK services.

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WRIGLEYS GIVE AWAY LOADS OF IPODS
Wrigley's are giving away 10,000 iPods (5000 20GB players, and 5000 iPod Shuffles) as part of a new promotional campaign for their Extra chewing gum. The iPods are part of a massive 100,000 prize giveaway - the other prizes also have a music theme, including gig tickets and iTunes vouchers. Prizes will be given away through special vouchers included in gum packets, and via its new promotional website http://www.closertomusic.com.

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WILL.I.AM WRITES SONG FOR EWF
Black Eyed Peas star Will.I.Am has written and produced a song for Earth, Wind & Fire, who are to celebrate their 35th anniversary by releasing their 23rd album, entitled 'Illumination'. Will.I.Am created a track called 'Lovely People' for the long player, which also features collaborations with a variety of contemporary artists including Raphael Saadiq, Kelly Rowland and OutKast's Big Boi. The album is to be released in September.

Earth, Wind & Fire's Philip Bailey said "The idea of illumination is vibrant and positive. Earth Wind & Fire collaborating with the new soul movement made sense because the thrust of their music is still about playing instruments and utilizing vintage sounds, only in today's setting."

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SINGLE REVIEW: JJ72 - She's Gone (Lakota)
Irish trio JJ72 looked like 'the band most likely to' a few years ago, scooping up critical plaudits and celebrity fans with their stirring angst rock. But their second album was mostly ignored and then they lost their bassist Hilary Woods. Now they're back with new bassist Sarah Fox, and this new single, only available as a download or as a 7" as a taster to the new album 'On' due in Sep. 'She's Gone' has the familiar epic JJ72 sound; they sound like they're playing at the very top of an extremely high and windswept mountain. Musically they have matured, their sound is a little subtler and Mark Greaney's vocals are less mannered. But they still have that special something and young Greaney hasn't lost his marvellous guitar expertise. But who is the 'she' who is 'gone' - is it departed bassist Hilary, or her twin who Mark dated? JW
Release date: 6 Jun
Press contact: Ian Cheek [all]

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WARNER RECOUNT THE FIGURES
Well, this is a bit confusing. The Warner Music Group has re-released its financials for the quarter ending 31 Mar, reporting a net income of $4 million, which looks quite good compared to the loss of $48 million made in the same quarter last year. This is confusing because figures previous released by the record company said they had made a loss of $18 million in the first quarter of 2005, compared to a $45 million loss the previous year.

Apparently the different sets of figures relate to two different companies. The first less favourable figures were for WMG Acquisition Corp, which is "an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music Group Corp". The new figures are for the whole Group.

The new financial report notes: "The most significant differences between Warner Music Group Corp and WMG Acquisition Corp are the levels of cash and debt they hold and the related net interest expense." So that's that cleared up.

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PRODIGY RELEASE GREATEST HITS
Prodigy are releasing a hits compilation this summer, according to NME.com. The album, called 'Their Law: The Singles 1990-2005', will come out on 22 Aug and will feature two new tracks as well as the previously released singles. Preceding that, Prodigy will make a series of live appearances over the festival season, dates as follows:

7 Jul: Brixton Academy, London
10 Jul: T In The Park Festival, Scotland
6 Aug: Somerset House, London
9 Aug: Oxegen Festival, Ireland
20 Aug: V Festival, Staffordshire
21 Aug: V Festival, Chelmsford

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UK UNSIGNED ANNOUNCE JUDGING PANEL
UK Unsigned has announced a judging panel for its UK Unsigned Grand final, which takes place in Aug. The judges include Will Bloomfield, A&R from Modest Entertainment, Chris Herbert and Daryl Costello from Safe Management, The Heartless Crew, Voices With Soul and Rowetta from the X-factor, and UK Unsigned winners from last year, Fun*dmental.

The event, the conclusion of UK Unsigned's national talent quest, takes place on 7 Aug at The Hackney Empire in London, and sees hopefuls battling it out for the title of best British unsigned artist and a share of £10,000 in prize money. Previous performers at the competition have included Katie Melua, and the aforementioned Fun*dmental, who are now signed to DA Works Records and have said "UK Unsigned have set up an ideal opportunity for genuine talent to be showcased and gain the right attention"

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BRIAN WILSON UK LIVE DATES
Following last year's release of 'lost' album 'SMiLE', and it's first ever live performances, Brian Wilson is returning to the UK for some special 'In Concert' gigs this summer, and will be supported by up-and-comers The Magic Numbers. The announcement coincides with the release of eagerly awaited two disc 'SMiLE' DVD, which features the world premiere of the album, as performed by Wilson and his 10 piece band in London back in 2004.

The dates are as follows:
23 Jun: Bristol Colston Hall
12 Jul: Eastbourne Congress Theatre
14 Jul: Brighton Dome
15 Jul: Birmingham NIA Academy
16 Jul: Glasgow Clyde Auditorium

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MANI PULLS OUT OF GLASTONBURY OVER MAN U
Former Stone Rose now Primal Scream bassist Mani has apparently pulled out of playing a DJ set at Glastonbury in support of Man United fans angry about the takeover by new owner Malcolm Glazer. Mani told Conrad Murray of 6Music that it was because he was booked to appear in a venue sponsored by Budweiser, one of the companies on a product list being boycotted by the Man U fans in protest at the new ownership. Mani said "I'm not having anything to do with Budweiser or any of the other United sponsors until they stand up to Glazer and help get him out of our club. I love Glastonbury and I was looking to forward to DJing there again but there's no way I'm doing it if Budweiser are involved."

The guitarist also said that he will lend support to a new football club set up by the disillusioned fans and plans to put together a super group of Man United supporting band members to release a single. Mani can be heard talking up those plans this Wednesday evening on BBC GMR's Manchester Music Show or online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester

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ALBUM REVIEW: Damien Jurado - On My Way To Absence (Secretly Canadian)
Jurado's previous album 'Where Shall You Take Me' was one of the most acclaimed of 2003, scoring unanimously excellent reviews from critics, so 'On My Way To Absence' clearly has much to live up to. Fortunately, Jurado is not a songwriter to rest on his laurels, nor an artist who suffers from complacency, but an artist whose musical direction has often shifted in the past, with each album taking on different styles and genres. In the past, Jurado has dabbled with Americana and ambient experimentalism, but with 'On My Way To Absence', Jurado has developed a very stripped down, 'urban folk' sound, which owes much to the likes of Nick Drake. The prevailing mood on this record is dark and melancholic; Jurado creates a world where hope is absent, and despair reigns. Human relationships are characterised by jealousy and an inability to communicate, and Jurado's characters are permanently living on the edge. It appears that the better songwriters find solace in this kind of atmosphere, and begs the question, what would singer-songwriters actually write about if they were content with life? Jurado is certainly a gifted songwriter, able to create vivid landscapes and convey the saddest tales within his songs. 'Lottery' sums up the entire album with its opening line; 'Misfortune - got you like a sickness'. This track, a duet with Rosie Thomas, is one of the album's strongest songs, a mournful and subtle acoustic number about someone who's recently died. 'Big Decision', a track with only four lines repeated over and over, is another highlight; sounding sparse and epic with some delicious harmonies as well. 'Sucker' features some terrific guitar work, and sounds more than a little like Neil Young. 'On My Way To Absence' confirms Jurado's reputation as one of the more consistent and diverse contemporary singer songwriters. The listener can easily envisage, and engage with, the uncompromising world that Jurado constructs, and it's important that records with loose concepts to them can do this. Highly recommended. KW
Release date: 6 Jun
Press contact: In House Press [all]

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SUBWAYS PLAY AT ISLINGTON
On 20 Jun The Subways release 'Rock & Roll Queen', the second single from debut album 'Young For Eternity', and celebrate that with a gig on the same day at the Islington Academy. They'll also be doing the rounds of the festivals, with appearances at Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, T In The Park, Isle Of Wight and Guilfest.

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STATUS QUO WANT TO PLAY AT LIVE 8
Status Quo are apparently begging Bob Geldof for a slot at Live 8 - if for no other reason but that they can't remember enough about their performance at Live Aid back in 1985, because, say Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, they were all, er, drunk.

Parfitt said "We didn't realise the gravity of Live Aid until we got on stage. But it was over in a second. Neither of us remembers much of the day after that. Fifteen minutes after coming off-stage, I was completely drunk. I don't remember anything else. So it would be great if we can remember it this time."

Rossi added: "Apparently we were back on stage for the finale of Feed The World. I only know this because I've seen the film of it. But I do remember falling off a table with David Bowie just before we went back on..."

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OVER TWO MILLION TEXTS HELP RAISE £3 MILLION FOR LIVE 8
Talking of Live 8, as you've probably seen by now, 2,060,285 texts were received during the week long SMS lottery for tickets to the London event. The competition has raised about £3 million. Half of that will go to the Princes Trust who cancelled their Party In The Park event to make way for Live 8. They in turn will share some of that with Capital FM's Help A London Child campaign, which also normally benefits from the Party In The Park. The rest will go on the production costs of the event, with any remaining moneys distributed to Live 8's charitable partners. Sorted.

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NAPSTER MAN READY TO OFFICIALLY LAUNCH NEW VENTURE
Original Napster founder Shawn Fanning is reportedly close to officially launching Snocap - which, as previously reported, hopes to make online file sharing legit by enabling P2P networks to recognise what music is being shared. The idea is that the P2P companies charge users a subscription fee which they pass back to the record labels according to which tracks are shared - all of which is monitored by Snocap technology.

Fanning is expected to use the publicity surrounding the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on the MGM v Grokster case (which might place more liability for file sharing based copyright violation, onto P2P companies) as a way of gaining maximum coverage for his new venture.

Three of the four major record companies are affiliated to the new service, though, as previously reported, the real challenge for Snocap is whether or not the major P2P companies will adopt the model and, more importantly, whether music fans will ever pay a subscription service in order to share their record collections online.

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DIGITAL TV REACH CONTINUES TO GROW
61.9% of UK households now have some kind of digital TV, or at least that's what communications regulator OfCom reckon. 643,517 households got digital TV in the first quarter of this year, bringing to total number of digital viewers to 14.32 million. That figure breaks down into 5 million odd on Freeview, about half a million on free-to-air satellite, over 7 million on Sky and 2.5 million on cable.

This will boost government hopes that they can turn off analogue TV signals in a few years time - though I'm pretty sure most of those 14.32 million households have second and third TVs in them still receiving analogue TV signals, which is something no one ever seems to talk about when considering the ending of analogue TV broadcasts.

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CUBAN BOYS RELEASE TRIBUTE TO PEEL
The Cuban boys are to release a tribute song for John Peel, after he helped them in their musical career by unleashing the top ten novelty number 'Hamster Dance' onto the world. The band went on to record a number of Peel Sessions, the DJ being fan of their 'madcap' approach - they were later invited to the legend's 60th birthday party. The planned release, 'The Nation Needs You' is described as a track which "mixes techno beats with Status Quo - and the voice of Peelie himself - the exact thing you'd expect to find in the midst of a John Peel Radio Show!"

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ACTS ADDED TO TDK CROSS CENTRAL
Mylo and Jeff Mills are the latest additions to the line up for this years TDK Cross Central which takes place in London's King's Cross Freight Depot, from 27 - 28 Aug. Other acts already confirmed for the event include The Magic Numbers, Goldfrapp, The Others, Jamie Lidell, Vitalic, Felix Da Housecat, Francois K and Test Icicles

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JON BON JOVI / ISLAND DEF JAM FALL OUT?
Rumour types on US website HitsDailyDouble are wondering why it was that Jon Bon Jovi didn't show at the 48th birthday part of LA Reid, the boss of Universal's Island Def Jam Records, Mr Bon Jovi's record label. Some reckon Bon Jovi is pissed off with Reid because he was sent back to the studio after delivering his latest album to the record company because it was a bit rubbish. One source told the New York Daily News: "L.A. wasn't satisfied with Bon Jovi's new album. He didn't believe it had a radio hit. So - just like they did with Mariah [Carey] - he sent Jon back into the studio."

But Reid told the paper that Jovi didn't make it to the party because it was raining: "Jon called to say he couldn't make it to the party because of the weather. He had to fly in a helicopter [from his New Jersey estate]." On sending the old rocker back to the studio, Reid played down those stories too: "I'm always sending people back to the studio. But Jon sent himself back. Jon had just finished the album when I got (to the label). He wasn't so knocked out by it. So he worked on it some more and he really pulled it out."

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ALBUM REVIEW: Red.Star.Line - Red.Star.Line (Pronoia Records)
You have to wonder whether some generic splices are inspired or luckily accidental. This debut album from East London's pedantically named Red.Star.Line (don't forget the dots now) bruises along all out of shape, pulling itself inside-out like Iggy Pop, keeping itself trim like Howard Devoto and Magazine and occasionally unexpectedly peeling like an indie belltower to the tune of Echo & the Bunnymen. But it doesn't always feel like it knows where it's going, and like a headstrong wino starts, stumbles forward a few steps at a time with intent and then clean forgets his momentum. The quality is a bit papery too, when a deeper weight would no doubt pack a more consistent punch. But it does fuzz away merrily with a grimace, songs like the uppity 'Centerville', foot-to-the-floor 'Katabatic' and riff-led 'The Plan' count tunes by The International Noise Conspiracy and Pretty Girls make Graves as peers even if they never quite reach the same heights. It's party music rather than anything as significant as they're probably hoping for, but by that standard it succeeds just as far as it has to. JB
Release Date: 6 Jun
Press Contact: Quite Great [all]

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AMERICAN IDOL CONTESTANT CLAIMS CHARACTER ASSASSINATION
Corey Clark, that American Idol contestant who claimed that he had an affair with judge Paul Abdul, has said that he will cooperate with the show and the Fox network in an investigation of his allegations, and has released a long and boring statement to that effect, saying "It is painfully clear that unless my fellow AI season 2 contestants and I are directly involved with Fox executives during the investigation, we will never know if an investigation ever really took place. With that said, I will not only fully comply with a Fox investigation of American Idol, but I will refrain from discussing my information concerning the questionable conduct with anyone except the officials handling the questioning once the investigation begins."

Clark, who claims that he will have the support of several of his fellow American Idol contestants, and also likes referring to himself in third person, continued: "In spite of Fox & American Idol's countless attempts to assassinate the character of Corey Clark and place his allegations on the backburner, he is stronger than ever."

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JORDAN POPS SPROG
Glamour model Jordan (just in case you weren't aware of what her job is), real name Katie Price, has given birth to a slightly premature baby boy following a caesarian section at London's Portland Hospital. The unnamed baby weighed 5 pounds and 13 ounces.

Thrilled fiancé Peter Andre told reporters "I swear to God we are the happiest people in the world. There's no words that could explain what you feel at that moment when you see the baby. He's beautiful, healthy ... he does look like me, I have to tell you that. We were a bit scared because he wasn't supposed to be here for another three or four weeks and Katie had a few complications."

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GALLAGHER & GALLAGHER DON'T SPEAK
Liam and Noel of the clan Gallagher are apparently not speaking again. Liam stormed off stage during a gig in Italy, leaving the band with three more songs to sing without him.

The Sun reports that Noel said: "I don't talk to Liam any more. I can't. It always ends up in a fight. He screams like some juvenile to get attention. It's so sad. He's so defiant all the time. Lately it's been like he's lost interest."

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