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Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Jan. 2, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

INTRIGUING PEOPLE

Mariah Carey and Madonna are among People magazine's "25 most intriguing people of 2001."

The publication notes Carey's hospitalization during the summer for what was described as "an emotional and physical breakdown," sluggish sales of her "Loverboy" single, a $117 million recording contract to live up to, a faded three-year romance with Latin singer Luis Miguel, and scathing reviews for her major film debut "Glitter." But it also noted how Carey emerged to perform at the Sept. 21 "America: A tribute to Heroes" telethon and has since appeared at awards shows, filmed an upcoming episode of "Ally McBeal," and made plans to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl in February.

As for Madonna, she began 2001 as a newly married mom of two children living in London with her British filmmaker husband, Guy Ritchie. Was it a sign the often outrageous pop singer was ready to settle down? Apparently not. Six months later in Barcelona, Spain, she launched her sold-out, 48-date "Drowned World Tour" -- her first in eight years -- by bursting onstage in a red kilt and cursing a blue streak, showing off a toned bod that belied her 43 years. And her "What It Feels Like for a Girl" video, directed by Ritchie, was so violent that it was banned from MTV.

The People list also includes San Francisco Giant outfielder Barry Bonds, President Bush, Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., Nicole Kidman, Harry Potter, David Letterman and England's Prince Harry.

Also making the grade: Julia Roberts, Katie Couric, Reese Witherspoon, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Jennifer Aniston, singer Diana Krall, Kim Catrall, Kelly Ripa (Kathie Lee Gifford's replacement), Condoleezza Rice (Bush's national security adviser), Mel Brooks, 9/11 widow Lisa Beamer, stem-cell scientist James Thomson, author Jonathan Franzen, psychic John Edward, space tourist Dennis Tito, and the cast of TV's "Friends."


MICHAEL JACKSON REDUX

Michael Jackson won't be performing at the American Music Awards next Wednesday, but he will be performing on television that same night -- on another network.

CBS plans to re-broadcast the singer's concert special, "Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration" (at 9 p.m. ET), with previously unseen footage of Britney Spears and Lil' Romeo. It'll air against the AMAs on ABC.

Jackson's two-hour concert special, which originally aired Nov. 13, gave CBS some of its highest ratings this year -- it was the network's biggest Tuesday night, excluding sports programming, since 1994. A CBS spokesperson admits it's rare for the network to repeat such an event, but said the decision to do so was made in early December, at least two weeks prior to Dick Clark filing a lawsuit against the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences president and CEO, Michael Greene, which charged Jackson had dropped out of his awards special so that he wouldn't be prevented from performing at AMA's rival awards show, the Grammys (also airing on CBS).

At the heart of Clark's claim is the issue of exclusivity. That's what prevented earlier footage of Spears from being included in the first broadcast of Jackson's concert special -- their duet on "The Way You Make Me Feel," Jackson's No.1 hit from his 1987 album "Bad," was considered a conflict with her HBO deal for the live concert special, "Britney Spears Live From Las Vegas," that aired Nov. 18. Spears was prohibited from appearing anywhere else on television within a month of her HBO special, causing her performance to be edited out of the Nov. 13 broadcast.

The rerun of Jackson's special will also include Lil' Romeo's rendition of "My Baby" (which samples the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back").


DEF LEPPARD

Two members of Def Leppard have recorded a double album of David Bowie covers called "Cybernauts," which is only available in record stores in Japan and online (at defleppard.com/cybernauts).

The album largely draws from Bowie's "The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars" album -- including tracks such as "Watch That Man," "Cracked Actor," "Moonage Daydream," "Jean Genie," and "Suffragette City."

Singer Joe Elliott and guitarist Phil Collen are joined on the album by bass player Trevor Bolder and drummer Woodmansey, who played with the Spiders From Mars in the 1970s.

Bowie has given his approval for the album. Elliott says they'll stop selling the album later this year.


ALLMAN BROS. BAND

Gregg Allman says six songs have been recorded for a new studio album by the Allman Brothers Band. Guitarist Warren Haynes is back in the group after the sudden death in 2000 of bass

player Allen Woody. Allman describes the tracks so far as "very bluesy ... good and refreshing."

(The above two items thanks to UPI's Mike Cooper in Atlanta)


MEXICO'S 'MATERIAL GIRL'

Mexican pop singer Gloria Trevi -- known as Mexico's "Material Girl" for her sexually provocative performances -- could avoid extradition from Brazil to her native country, where she faces sexual assault charges, due to her pregnancy, the BBC reports.

Trevi was arrested in Rio de Janiero in January 2000 following allegations that she, her manager and her choreographer kidnapped and sexually abused young girls.

Trevi's baby, which is due this month, will have Brazilian citizenship and cannot be extradited -- thereby preventing Trevi from being forced to leave the country. While it's unknown how the pop star became pregnant in prison, Trevi claims she was raped by a police officer. There has been speculation that she was artificially inseminated to avoid extradition, according to the BBC.

The singer is currently hospitalized and under 24-hour police guard.


LICK 'EM

Coming later this year to Irish post offices: stamps bearing the likenesses of U2 frontman Bono and veteran rocker Van Morrison. The online news provider Undercover News reports the stamps are part of Ireland's new 38 Euro Cent stamp series, to be issued in October. Also being honored with their own stamps: guitarist Rory Gallagher and the late Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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