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Rock Star Supernova
Instead of finding the lead singer for an existing rock band, which was the goal of the CBS reality TV show Rock Star: INXS, the second season of Rock Star, Rock Star: Supernova, searched for a vocalist to front the supergroup of drummer Tommy Lee, bassist Jason Newsted, and guitarist Gilby Clarke. Beginning in July 2006, the trio auditioned 16 rockers, several of whom had albums of their own under their belts, including Icelandic rocker Magni, alt-rocker Patrice Pike, petite belter Jill Gioia, brooding Ryan Starr, and iconoclastic Zayra Ruleta. In September, Clarke, Newsted, and Lee chose Canadian singer Lukas Rossi as their frontman. Rossi, who had played with the bands Cleavage and Rise Electric before the show, had also worked with producer/Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and the Philosopher Kings' Jay and John Levine. Rossi also did TV and radio work, with his vocals featured in a national ad campaign for McDonald's and the themes for the animated TV shows Beyblade and Rescue Heroes.
Just before the finale of Rock Star: Supernova, the legal battle over the band's name came to a head: the Californian punk-pop band Supernova, which formed in 1989 and had their song "Chewbacca" featured on the Clerks soundtrack, filed a federal lawsuit alleging trademark infringement in June against the show's production company, Mark Burnett Productions, as well as the network; Rockstar Entertainment; and Clarke, Newsted, and Lee (who were later removed as defendants). The court sided with the original Supernova, leaving the Rock Star band to find a new name. They continued with the rest of their plans, recording their debut album with songwriter/producer Butch Walker; the singles "Be Yourself and 5 Other Common Clichés" and "It's All Love" received radio airplay, and an early 2007 tour with the Panic Channel, the band of Rock Star host Dave Navarro, was also in the works. ~ Heather Phares