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Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Jan. 8, 2002 at 4:45 AM
MARIAH CAREY

EMI is denying reports that it paid $50 million to buy out Mariah Carey's mega-bucks deal with Virgin Records.

Last week, the New York Post reported that EMI had forked over a wad of cash to rid itself of Carey's five-album, $80 million contract, which the 31-year-old singer signed only last April. The newspaper claimed Carey toasted the good-bad news while dining with boyfriend Luis Miguel at the St. Regis hotel in Aspen, Colo.

But Carey and EMI are both squashing the rumors -- with E! Online quoting the label in a statement saying that "EMI wishes to make clear that it has made no such payment or agreement."

And a statement from Carey's publicist echoed the label's comment: "There were inaccurate reports in the media that the recording agreement between Mariah Carey and Virgin Records has been terminated," it reads. "EMI has correctly stated that the contract remains in full force."

In April, the singer left her ex-husband Tommy Mottola's Columbia Records to sign a $20 million-per-album deal with Virgin, joining a roster of artists that includes Lenny Kravitz, Mick Jagger and Janet Jackson. But during the summer, Carey suffered an "emotional and physical breakdown," preventing her from promoting her film debut "Glitter" and its soundtrack. In the end, both the movie and the album tanked.


CHRISTINA AGUILERA

Christina Aguilera's people are threatening legal action against a Web site that's been airing a sexually explicit video and photographs it claims to be of the pop star. CDNow's All-Star Music News quotes a statement on the pop singer's official Web site (christina-a.com), saying, "The video clips advertised on the Web sites are of a woman with blonde hair shown only from the back -- the person in the video is not Christina."

Aguilera's representatives threaten to "vigorously pursue all necessary action against the individuals responsible, including, if necessary, initiating criminal proceedings."


'THE CONCERT FOR NEW YORK'

The DVD of the double-CD "The Concert for New York" will include additional performances, including the Who's "Behind Blue Eyes" and Elton John and Billy Joel's version of "Your Song." The five-hour DVD, coming out at the end of this month, will also include the eight short films that were created and shown at the October charity concert.


SARAH MCLACHLAN

Canada's Jam! Web site (jam.canoe.ca) says singer Sarah McLachlan, organizer of the three Lilith Fair tours by female musicians, has recorded nine songs for a new studio album.

Sessions for the CD have been delayed because McLachlan is expecting her first child in April. Her mother has also been suffering from serious illness.

The new disc would be McLachlan's first album of new material since "Surfacing" in 1997.

(Thanks to UPI's Mike Cooper in Atlanta)


LISA LOEB

"Cake And Pie" -- the A&M Records debut album of singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb -- hits stores Feb. 26. The CD features 12 original songs composed or co-written by Loeb and a variety of songwriters and producers -- including Randy Scruggs, Dweezil Zappa, Glen Ballard and Peter Collins. Bob Clearmountain and Jack Joseph Puig also lend their talents to the mix.

The first single will be "Someone You Should Know." The CD also includes the track "We Could Still Belong Together," which was featured in the film and on the soundtrack for the movie "Legally Blonde" (2001).

Loeb expresses her own philosophy on life in the CD's title and in the package's stylized cover art. She explains the emphasis on the word "And" as symbolic for enjoying life to its fullest.

"When someone asks if you'd like cake or pie," she says, "why not say you want cake and pie? It's my way of saying you should strive for everything possible in your life."


CHICAGO

For decades, the innovative rock group Chicago has been one of the world's most popular ensembles, with a string of mega hits. Now, the eight-man group -- after more than 35 years of packin' 'em in -- is appearing in Las Vegas in the major room at the Stardust.

The Casino says the group has scored 26 consecutive hit albums, selling more than 120 million units. At a time when many rock groups were getting by with skimpy electric guitar-driven arrangements, Chicago was using huge orchestrations and driving rhythms -- also winning them fans among jazz aficionados.

Four members of the group have been with Chicago since day one: Lee Loughname, James Pankow, Walt Parazaider and Robert Lamm.

The group will perform many of its most famous hits -- including "25 or 6 to 4," "Saturdays in the Park," "Just You and Me" and "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" -- during its weeklong run at the Stardust.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


HOLLYWOOD SQUARES

Dionne Warwick, Frankie Valli, Pat Boone, Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves, James Darren, Gary Lewis, Little Anthony, Sheena Easton, Mark Lindsay, Ronnie Spector, Freddy Cannon, Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr., Gary Puckett, Lou Christie, Gary "U.S." Bonds, Lesley Gore and Mitch Ryder literally have lent their "names" to one of the world's oldest charities, Helen Keller Worldwide. Each has autographed a collector's edition vintage 1959 Continental 2 Stereo jukebox and autograph book, which will be auctioned off on eBay.com Jan. 10-20. All proceeds will benefit Helen Keller Worldwide, whose New York headquarters located adjacent to the World Trade Center were completely destroyed on Sept. 11.

The music legends will also test their tic-tac-toe skills by appearing this week on the syndicated "Hollywood Squares" TV game show.

"Taping Hollywood Squares 'Classic TV Week' was one of the highlights of my year," said Lesley Gore. "I was born a New Yorker and have lived in New York most of my life, so the 9/11 tragedy hit close to home. I am proud to have my name on any item that will benefit Helen Keller Worldwide. I hope that this jukebox, a symbol of the music of the 50's and 60's, raises a lot of money so that the foundation can re-establish its New York offices and continue its valuable work."

"Jukeboxes like this were my home for the first 10 years of my career," said Pat Boone. "I am glad my name and music are a part of it, and that it can benefit others."

(Web site: hollywoodsquares.com, kingworld.com)

© 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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