Zack De La Rocha, the lead singer of Rage Against the Machine, has quit the politically outspoken rock band, saying in a statement Wednesday that the band's "decision-making process has completely failed." The singer didn't detail any problems other than to say that the L.A.-based rap-metal quartet's "artistic and political ideal" had been undermined.
Rage, which has advocated causes such as the Zapatista uprising in Mexico and the rights of workers in sweatshops, performed at a protest rally outside the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in August. And bassist Tom Commerford was arrested at the MTV Video Music Awards in September when he jumped onto a piece of the stage at Radio Music City Hall while the group Limp Bizkit was accepting an award.
The remaining band members haven't made any public statements.
JA RULES RULES BILLBOARD: New York rapper Ja Rules knocked Radiohead from the top of The Billboard 200 albums chart this week, moving 276,000 units of "Rule 3:36" for the week ended Sunday, according to SoundScan. Radiohead's "Kid A" tumbled to No. 10.
Over on The Hot 100 singles chart, Christina Aguilera spent a third week at No. 1 with "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)."
SWAN SONG FOR PUMPKINS: The Smashing Pumpkins, who announced their breakup in May, will play two farewell shows in their hometown of Chicago on Nov. 29 and Dec. 2, Rolling Stone reports. The Pumpkins are currently on tour in Europe. Tickets for the Chicago shows go on sale Oct. 21.
SCARY SPICE IN CUSTODY FIGHT: The fight between Mel B of the Spice Girls and her estranged husband, Dutch dancer Jimmy Gulzar, over their daughter, 20-month-old Phoenix Chi, moved to a British courtroom today, Reuters reports.
The couple, who completes their divorce next month, had agreed that Gulzar could see the child every other weekend. Gulzar now wants the child every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and at all times when the Spice Girl is away. The private hearing is expected to last three days.
AGUILERA's EX-MANAGER FIRES BACK: Steven Kurtz, the former manager of Christina Aguilera, has issued a statement in response to the teen pop singer's lawsuit filed last week. "Knowing Christina's intelligence and independent mind, I am hopeful that, upon reflection, Christina will question the motive of those persons who have encouraged her to pursue this baseless litigation and isolated her from those who have contributed to her success," Kurtz said in the statement. Them's fighting words.
BRITNEY AND MANAGERS SUED: Britney Spears and her management team are being sued by a company called DNA Visual Business Solutions, Entertainment Weekly reports. The company says it was hired to design Spears' official Web site britneyspears.com but was never paid.