GRAMMY AWARD NOMINATIONS
Irish rockers U2 led the field with eight nominations when the Recording Academy announced the nominees Friday for the 44th Annual Grammy Awards.
Newcomer India.Arie was second with seven nominations, and Alicia Keys had six.
U2 is up for album of the year for their best-selling album, "All That You Can't Leave Behind," and also were tabbed for song and record of the year. The veteran rockers also bagged nominations for rock song of the year for both "Elevation" and "Walk On."
Keys had been expected to fare better than India.Arie -- largely because her album, "Songs in A Minor," outperformed India.Arie's album, "Acoustic Soul," in the marketplace. However, the neosoul "Acoustic Soul" was nominated for album of the year while the jazz-based "Songs in A Minor" was not.
"Acoustic Soul" was also nominated for song and record of the year, for "Videos," and India.Arie was nominated for best new artist.
The other nominees for album of the year are Bob Dylan's "Love and Theft," rap-rock band Outkast's "Stankonia" and the bluegrass soundtrack album from the movie, "O, Brother, Where Art Thou?" featuring various artists. The other nominees for record of the year are Keys' "Fallin'," OutKast's "Ms. Jackson," Train's "Drops of Jupiter," and U2's "Walk On." Besides "Videos," the nominees for song of the year are Keys' "Fallin,'" Train's "Drops of Jupiter," Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like a Bird" and U2's "Stuck In a Moment You Can't Get Out Of." The award honors songwriters.
Other multiple nominees include bluegrass artist Alison Krauss, Brian McKnight, Aerosmith and frontman Steven Tyler, Janet Jackson, Coldplay, Missy Elliott, Ja Rule, Jay-Z and 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake.
Destiny's Child, Furtado, India.Arie, Ja Rule, Stevie Nicks, Outkast, Carl Reiner and Usher helped announce the nominations at a news conference. The Recording Academy had previously announced that Grammy-winner Billy Joel will be honored as this year's MusiCares Person Of The Year, in recognition of his "professional and philanthropic accomplishments." A tribute to his career is planned for Feb. 25 in Los Angeles.
The 44th Grammy Awards will be presented Feb. 27 at the Staples Center in L.A., in ceremonies airing on CBS.
Michael Jackson will be on the American Music Awards after all -- he just won't be performing.
The pop star had agreed to sing at the AMAs but then pulled out of the show last month, angering producer Dick Clark enough to sue Recording Academy President and CEO Michael Greene for $10 million -- alleging that Greene's policy of refusing to book artists who perform at the AMAs for the Recording Academy's Grammy Awards forced Jackson to back out of his agreement with Clark.
MTV News reports that while Jackson will now appear on the AMAs to accept his Artist of the Century Award, Clark is still going forward with his lawsuit, filed last month in Los Angeles. "This doesn't affect the lawsuit because it doesn't address (Greene's) policy of interference, and Jackson is still not performing (on the AMAs)," Clark's lawyer, Greg Aldisert, explained.
Jackson joins a line-up of performers and presenters that includes Britney Spears, 'N Sync, Shaggy and Cher. The 29th annual American Music Awards will be handed out next Wednesday at the Shrine Auditorium in LA, in ceremonies airing live on ABC.
2001 BEST-SELLING ALBUMS
Linkin Park sold more than 4.8 million copies of their debut CD, "Hybrid Theory," to top SoundScan's list of the best-selling albums for 2001, according to E! Online.
"Hybrid" -- which also earned the group a Best New Artist Grammy nomination Friday -- actually debuted on the charts more than a year ago. But steady sales and word of mouth have since boosted it into the Top 10, where it finished last week at number two, just behind Creed's new album "Weathered." All told, Linkin Park has sold 5.5 million copies of "Hybrid Theory."
Only a few thousand copies separated "Hybrid Theory" from the runner-up, Shaggy's "Hot Shot," which moved 4.5 million discs thanks largely to the smash single "It Wasn't Me." Y2K's champ 'N Sync, had to settle for third in 2001, as "Celebrity" sold 4.42 million.
SoundScan's Top 10 of 2001:
1. Linkin Park, "Hybrid Theory"
2. Shaggy, "Hot Shot"
3. 'N Sync, "Celebrity"
4. Enya, "Day Without Rain"
5. Staind, "Break the Cycle"
6. Alicia Keys, "Songs in A Minor"
7. Destiny's Child, "Survivor"
8. Creed, "Weathered"
9. "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack
10. "Now That's What I Call Music! Vol.6"
Overall album sales in 2001 were about 762.8 million, 3 percent off from the record 785.1 million sold in 2000. The industry will undoubtedly blame the slumping sales on September 11 and the recession.
BSB'S NICK CARTER
Backstreet Boy Nick Carter is due in court March 4 after being arrested early Wednesday morning for allegedly disobeying police orders to leave a Tampa nightclub.
E! Online reports the blond, 21-year-old singer -- and youngest member of the boy group -- was charged with a misdemeanor count of resisting or opposing a law enforcement officer without violence. Carter was handcuffed and placed in a squad car, but was later released on his own recognizance, police said.
The arrest took place at the Pop City nightclub after police broke up a fight and were shooing onlookers away. An eyewitness tells The Smoking Gun Web site that Carter broke into tears after being cuffed, telling officers, "I've never been arrested. I don't know what to do!"
No comment yet from the Backstreet Boys' management or publicist.
Up until now, the only Backstreet Boy making tabloid headlines was the group's "official" bad boy, A.J. McLean, the tattooed Backstreeter who in July checked himself into rehab for alcohol abuse and depression. The group was forced to postpone its U.S. and Canadian tour twice, but the 24-year-old singer returned to the group in August.
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.
Legendary British guitarist Eric Clapton has married the 25-year-old American mother of his baby daughter.
The London newspaper The Sun reports Clapton, 56, tied the knot with Melia McEnery, from Columbus, Ohio, in a low-key ceremony at a church near his home in Surrey, southern England, on New Year's Day. Guests were told they were attending the christening of the couple's six-month-old daughter Julie Rose. But after the baptism, Clapton and McEnery were called forward by the vicar and exchanged wedding vows.
The ceremony took place at St. Mary Magdelen church at Ripley, where Clapton's son, Conor, four, is buried. He died after falling from a window in a skyscraper apartment in New York 11 years ago and is immortalised in Clapton's song "Tears in Heaven."
Clapton was married for nine years to Patti Boyd, the ex-wife of former Beatle George Harrison. They divorced in 1988.
Clapton met McEnery, a graphic artist, on a trip to Los Angeles.
The New York Post reports Virgin Records has agreed to buy out Mariah Carey's $100 million, five-album contract for $50 million. The newspaper says Carey celebrated the news in Aspen, Colo., where she and her boyfriend, Luis Miguel, spent Christmas.
(Thanks to UPI's Mike Cooper)
Weezer has begun work on its next album, tentatively due in stores this spring. Billboard.com reports demo versions of 13 new songs -- including "Porcupine," "Dope Nose," "Sandwiches Time," and "December" -- are available in MP3 form on Weezer's official Web site. Earlier reports acknowledged that the band has written more than 30 new songs since the release of their latest, self-titled album, which was released last June and has been certified platinum.
The band has set aside March for touring Europe, with stints in Portugal, Spain, and the U.K. in the works. Three of the Spanish dates (March 13, 15-16) will be package shows put on by telephone company Moviestar, featuring headliners the Cranberries, Dover, and a local band in addition to Weezer. In May, the group will hit Japan for an 11-date stretch.
Weezer's upcoming international tour dates:
March 10-11: Portugal (city/venue TBA)
March 12: Spain (city/venue TBA)
March 13: Madrid (Plaza de Toros Vista Alegre)
March 14: Spain (city/venue TBA)
March 15: Barcelona (Palau Sant Jordi)
March 16: San Sebastian, Spain (Plaza de Toros de Illumbe)
May 14-15: Japan (city/venue TBA)
May 16: Tokyo (Budokan)
May 17: Sendai, Japan (Zepp)
May 19: Hiroshima, Japan (Quattro)
May 20: Fukuoka, Japan (Zepp)
May 22-23: Osaka, Japan (Zepp)
May 25: Nagoya, Japan (Kousei Nenkin Hall)
May 26-27: Tokyo (Zepp)
MORE ALBUM NEWS
-- 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. 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.
-- KRS-One's upcoming new album has a decidedly gospel edge. The rapper said the 20 tracks of "Spiritual Minded" were written in response to Sept. 11. In fact, the song "Tears" is dedicated to the lives that were lost in those terrorist attacks. The album hits stores Jan. 22.
-- 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."
Proceeds from the British re-release of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" will go to the Material World Charitable Foundation, which aids charities around the world that work with children and the poor.
The foundation was established in the 1970s, around the time that Harrison released his "Living In The Material World" album. The new single will include the remix of the 1971 hit that Harrison did for the reissue of his "All Things Must Pass" album a couple of years ago.
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.
Supporters ranging from Destiny's Child and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds to Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton and Brown University President Ruth Simmons will appear on "An Evening of Stars: A Celebration of Educational Excellence," the annual television fund-raising event of the United Negro College Fund. The telethon airs on 71 TV stations nationwide this Saturday.
(Thanks to UPI's Capital Comment)