SCHEDULED: Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson and B.B. King will perform at Ray Charles’s funeral, to be held Friday at Los Angeles’ First African Methodist Episcopal Church. On Friday, the coffin of Charles (who died last Thursday at 73 after battling liver disease) will be displayed at the Los Angeles Convention Center for fans to pay their respects. Recorded tributes from Quincy Jones, Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby are also expected to be played at the funeral.
PLANNED: A new role is in store for Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs, 34, who plans to launch the Daddy’s House Dance Party world tour this summer, along with a new CD, reports the Associated Press. He’ll preview what fans can expect at a party in Manhattan Thursday for Entertainment Weekly’s upcoming “Must List” issue. (The magazine will be on newsstands Friday.) Combs’s last album was 2002’s We Invented the Remix, on his Bad Boy record label.
FOUGHT: Michael Moore and distributors of his documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 are contesting the “R” rating it received from the Motion Picture Association of America (which will keep out those under 17, unless with a parent or guardian) because of its strong language and violence. “We’re going to do everything we can do to get it overturned and make it a PG-13 rating so we can bring Fahrenheit 9/11 to the widest possible audience,” Lions Gate Films Releasing president Tom Ortenberg tells Reuters.
SIGNED: Celine Dion, once a commercial pitchwoman for Chrysler, now has her own line to sing about – of children’s apparel, that is. The Canadian songbird, 36 has sewn-up a deal with licensing company Art Impressions to launch a kids’ line, due out in fall 2005. Dion and her husband-manager, Rene Angelil, have a son, Rene-Charles, born in 2001.
SUED: Louisiana chef Johnny ‘Jambalaya’ Percle, from the Nottoway Plantation in White Castle, wants R&B star Smokey Robinson to stop promoting his a line of frozen gumbo with the slogan “The Soul is in the Bowl.” Percle claims he registered the phrase “Soul in Yo Bowl” with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office in 1997. So, Percle is suing Robinson and California-based SFGL Foods in federal court, seeking a permanent injunction and unspecified damages. “If he would have called it ‘Smokey Robinson’s Gumbo,’ he wouldn’t have heard boo from Johnny Jam,” Percle told The (Baton Rouge) Advocate. “But I truly believe by all legal rights, ‘Soul in the Bowl’ is mine, not his.”
KAPUT: The seven-week marriage of supermodel Ali Landry and former Saved by the Bell star Mario Lopez is officially ending, with Landry seeking an annulment citing “irreconcilable differences” and accusing Lopez of fraud in taking her to the altar, TV’s Extra reports. No comment from legal reps for either party. … Viggo Mortensen’s former wife Christene Edge, the former lead singer of the L.A. punk band X, has petitioned a court to increase child support payments for the couple’s 16-year-old son, reports the Smoking Gun Web site. Edge (who used the professional name Exene Cervenka), says in her documents she needs more money for the child’s computers, trips, tutoring, car insurance, parties and other expenses. … T-Boz of the R&B group TLC (real name: Tionne Tenese Watkins Rolison) has filed for divorce from her husband of four years, rapper Mack 10 (Dedrick D-Mon Rolison), saying he committed adultery and threatened to kill her. He denies the allegations in court documents filed Friday. He alleges that his wife made the claims “for the sole purpose of attempting to gain an advantage in these proceedings” and to prevent him from seeing their 3-year-old daughter, Chase Anela.