Just days after Interscope Records executive Steven Stoute gave his first interview (to the Los Angeles Times) in which he discussed the beating he allegedly received at the hands of Sean "Puffy" Combs, hip-hop mogul Combs has announced his plan to release a gospel album. The album will be titled "Thank You," reports MTV News, and will feature Brandy, Faith, 112, Kelly Price, Brian McKnight and Mase, who collaborate with singer Tonya Blount on the first single, "I Love Him." In April, Bad Boy star Mase announced he had found God and would be retiring from rap. . . .
A British commemorative stamp honoring Freddie Mercury, the Queen frontman who died in 1991 from AIDS complications, has drawn objections from critics who call it inappropriate for the Royal Mail to feature the flamboyant singer. The stamps honoring Mercury are part of a series noting Britain's various achievements during the last millennium. But some people have objected to the inclusion of a bisexual who died of AIDS. "The queen we would rather see on our postage stamps is not stripped to the waist and wearing spray-on red trousers," columnist Simon Heffer wrote last week in the tabloid Daily Mail. Heffer attacked the stamp as a "vulgar" commemoration of a star "whose degenerate lifestyle caused him to die of AIDS at an unfortunately early age." Others have objected based on a technicality: A tiny portion of the stamp also depicts Queen drummer Roger Taylor, which violates the Royal Mail's rule that only members of the royal family are depicted on stamps during their lifetimes.
The Royal Mail issued a statement standing by the stamp, which went on sale Tuesday, saying the organization was proud to have Mercury depicted and that both the Queen and Mercury's family had approved its design.