Rapper 50 Cent has settled his lawsuit against an engineering firm over repairs and renovations to a Connecticut mansion he bought from boxer Mike Tyson in 2003, a court official said Friday. Details of the settlement, confirmed by Linda Cohn, deputy chief clerk at Hartford Superior Court, were not released. The rapper’s lawyer, Michael Feldman, declined to comment. A message was left for an attorney for the firm, BVH Integrated Services of Bloomfield. The case went to trial Tuesday, and the entertainer testified his lawyers hired the firm to inspect the property before he bought it. He said that BVH came back with an estimate of about $500,000 for needed repairs, but that he ended up spending $6 million. Lawyers said that about $3 million of that was spent on maintenance repairs that should have been included in the firm’s estimate, and that the rest was spent on additional improvements. BVH’s lawyer, Michael Byrne, has disputed 50 Cent’s allegations, saying his client shouldn’t be liable for the difference because 50 Cent wanted “extravagant and costly upgrades.” The firm was to make a visual inspection to determine how much it would cost to repair the roof, decks, driveway and other aspects of the property. A contractor hired by BVH to conduct the 2003 inspection, John Wilcox Jr., testified Tuesday that there was no intention to provide an inaccurate estimate, and he wasn’t given enough time to do a comprehensive review. He also said the mansion was built with inexpensive materials. 50 Cent, also known as Curtis Jackson, sued in 2006. He put the mansion up for sale in 2007 for $18.5 million and allowed the MTV show “Cribs” to film an episode to show off the details of the 19-bedroom, 37-bathroom property. The home includes a recording studio and a nightclub that features a swing dangling from the ceiling. There were no buyers, and 50 Cent said Tuesday that the house is no longer for sale. Tyson bought the estate for $2.8 million in 1996 from Colonial Realty founder Benjamin Sisti, who was sent to prison for nine years for fraud after Colonial went bankrupt in 1990 and investors lost more than $350 million.
After a four year break, British singer-songwriter David Gray is set to return September 22 with “Draw The Line,” his first set of all new songs since 2005’s “Life In Slow Motion.” While the final track list is still being finalized, fans can expect at least eleven new songs and guest vocal turns by Annie Lennox and Brooklyn based singer-songwriter Jolie Holland. A twelfth song, tentatively entitled “Indeed I Will,” is also under consideration. This will be Gray’s first release on Mercer Street Records, the sister label of Downtown Records. Aside from a new label, Gray says “Draw The Line” is marked by a handful of other necessary changes he found himself needing creatively – in particular, a new band. Joining him is Keith Prior on drums, Robbie Malone on bass and Neill MacColl on guitars. “I’ve known for some time I’ve needed a change; a need for a challenge,” Gray tells Billboard.com. “My appetite for everything was undiminished. But I needed to find new people and make a fresh start. It’s very easy to get jaded and I wanted some new blood and new ideas.” “Draw The Line” was written and recorded while Gray was without a record label, something that he also says worked to his advantage. “Just like with “White Ladder,” which was a different set of circumstances, this one I made out of contract. Every little tiny detail, I feel strong about it all. I feel completely bulletproof with this. I think it shines the light on facets of me as a performer, a writer and a singer that I haven’t perhaps illuminated as brightly enough for a long time.” “This has been a phenomenally creative period for me,” he adds. “I’ve produced a huge amount of material and this is just one lot of it.” Gray is very fond of his guest vocalists, too. Regarding Annie Lennox, he says she “absolutely transformed the track,” the album’s closer “Full Steam Ahead.” Holland performs on “Kathleen,” one of the quieter tunes on the set. “It’s got some charm to it, that one,” he says. “It’s just held its own amongst these bigger numbers. Holland’s vocals just lifts the song out. She’s a star; she’s a rare thing.” Gray will return stateside this fall in support of “Draw the Line.” The lead single will be the album’s opener, “Fugitive.” Profit Sharing Network Info M.I.A. protégé and act on her N.E.E.T. label through Interscope, Rye Rye, will go out on A-Trak’s “Hamburger” tour, taking off in Shangai, China on May 28th and capping off at Hard Festival in Los Angeles, Calif. On August 8th. “I was out one day and [DJ] Blaqstarr called me saying I should come to the studio because somebody wanted to meet me,” Rye Rye, born Ryeisha Berrain, told Billboard earlier this year about teaming up with M.I.A. “It was M.I.A. and Diplo, and [M.I.A.] was like, ‘I’ve been looking for you!’ I was looking at her like, ‘Who is this lady?’ ” Rye Rye’s already completed an international tour while working on her debut album, which is due this year. Tracks on the album include the club track “Bang;” “Older Man,” about being in love with someone twice your age; “Quit Swinging” and “Shake It To Ground” – the track that initially caught M.I.A.’s attention — will all appear on the set.