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Rock News Two: The week in pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Feb. 16, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

SWEET'S MICK TUCKER DIES

Mick Tucker, drummer for the Sweet, died Thursday following a long battle with leukemia. He was 54.

MTV News reports Tucker underwent a bone marrow transplant from his brother five years ago and while the disease went into remission, he never fully recovered his strength. He died at a hospital in Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, Southeast England, with his wife and daughter at his side.

Tucker was a founding member of the band, which called itself the Sweetshop when it formed in London in 1968.

"He was the most underrated drummer that ever came out of England," said band bassist Steve Priest of Tucker. "He was the powerhouse of the band. He was technically marvelous. His timing was impeccable, but he had lot of soul as well and he really felt what he was playing."

The Sweet had numerous hit singles during the 1970s glam-rock era, including "Fox on the Run," "Love Is Like Oxygen" and "Ballroom Blitz," the latter of which was featured in the 1992 film "Wayne's World." The band broke up in 1982, although it had several reunions during the next 10 years.

Tucker's funeral is planned for Feb. 25.

"He was like my brother," Priest said. "He was very intelligent and passionate. He was a nice lad."


WAYLON JENNINGS' FUNERAL

Waylon Jennings was buried Friday in a private service near his home in Chandler, Ariz.

His longtime publicist, Schatzi Hageman, quoted Jennings' widow, singer Jessi Colter, as saying the service was "beautiful" and very much the way Waylon, who died in his sleep Wednesday at his home, would have wanted it. Colter also said she hoped to announced details next week for a public memorial service for Jennings in Nashville.

"I know how very much people loved Waylon and want to pay their final respect," said Colter in a statement issued by Hageman Thursday. "Therefore we will be planning a memorial service to take place in Nashville and those plans will be forthcoming."

Jennings -- one of the driving forces behind the so-called outlaw movement in country music three decades ago -- had been in poor health recently, and had undergone surgery in April and November 2001 in connection with treatment for peripheral vascular disease. On Jan. 7, it was announced that the singer's left foot had been amputated in December after a diabetes-caused infection set in.

Jennings was 64 when he died.

Hageman invited fans to send cards and condolences to the family c/o 1117 17th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Sue Brewer Fund/Songwriters Guild Foundation, 1222 16th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212.


R. KELLY

R. Kelly is denying allegations that he had sex with an underage girl.

The allegations are based on a videotape mailed anonymously to the Chicago Sun-Times. The newspaper has turned over a copy of the tape -- which supposedly shows the R&B singer, whose real name is Robert Kelly, having sex with a teenage girl -- to police.

In a statement quoted by MTV News, Kelly's lawyer, John M. Touhy, called the tape a fabrication and said it was released in a "blatant attempt to do as much damage to Robert Kelly as possible."

Kelly told a Chicago TV station (WMAQ-TV) he thinks the tape was made by a former employee who tried to blackmail him once before and released to spoil his performance at the opening of the Winter Olympics Feb.8.

This isn't the first time Kelly has been accused of having sex with underage girls. He's due in court next Thursday in Chicago to face charges that he had sex with another girl, Tracy Sampson, when she was only 17. She's suing him for $50,000. Sampson claims that during her internship at Epic Records, the married Kelly induced her into a sexual relationship that lasted from May 2000 to March 2001.

MTV News reports that Sampson's lawyer, Susan E. Loggans, previously represented yet another alleged victim of Kelly's, Tiffany Hawkins, who claimed Kelly had sex with her when she was 15. In 1998, Kelly settled Hawkins' civil suit for a reported $250,000.


STABBING WESTWARD

Stabbing Westward is calling it quits after 12 years.

In a farewell note on its Web site, the Chicago-based industrial rock quartet told fans: "Thank you very much for all the support and love. We are very sad and, as well, very excited about all our futures."

No word on what those future plans will be, MTV News reports, although the band's manager said they'll likely stay in the musical realm.

Three years after its 1993 debut album "Ungod," Stabbing Westward found success with its "Wither Blister Burn & Peel" CD. But the follow-up, 1998's "Darkest Days," didn't do as well and the band was dropped by Columbia Records in 2000. It signed with Koch Records but a self-titled fourth album, release in May 2001, sold poorly.


JESSICA SIMPSON, NICK LACHEY

98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey and longtime steady Jessica Simpson are officially engaged.

E! Online reports the news was confirmed Friday by a publicist for Simpson's Columbia Records. No word on how the popsters popped the question, and no wedding date has been set.

The couple hooked up during a 1999 tour. The two became a fixture on MTV with their hit duet, "Where You Are," off Simpson's multi-platinum 1999 album, "Sweet Kisses." Lachey also penned a couple of songs, including "Forever in Your Eyes," for Simpson's follow-up, "Irresisible."

The couple briefly split up last spring but soon reconciled. He's 28 and she's 21.

According to official 98 Degrees Web site, the group is currently "on an extended break (and) have no immediate plans to record or tour."


BEST SONG OSCAR NOMINATIONS

Paul McCartney and Sting will compete against veteran soundtrack composer Randy Newman, newcomer Enya and songwriter Dianne Warren for this year's Oscar for Best Original Song.

The nominees are McCartney for "Vanilla Sky," from the movie of the same name; Sting's "Until...", from the time-travel romance "Kate & Leopold"; Enya's "May It Be," from "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"; Randy Newman's "If I Didn't Have You," from the animated flick "Monsters, Inc."; and Diane Warren's "There You'll Be," recorded by country singer Faith Hill, from "Pearl Harbor."

All of these songs were nominated for Golden Globes as well, except for Newman's tune. The award went to Sting.

Newman also garnered an Oscar nod in the Best Original Score category for his music from "Monsters, Inc."

The nominations for the 74th Academy Awards were announced Tuesday in Beverly Hills, Calif. They'll be presented March 24 in ceremonies airing live from Los Angeles on ABC-TV.

In a statement, Sting said he was "thrilled" by his second Oscar nomination. "I was sent this film to watch shortly after Sept. 11 at a time when we all felt numb. The movie was filled with love and optimism and inspired me to write a song that would be as romantic and positive as the film itself. I'm pleased that those sentiments have been met with such enthusiasm."

Sting was nominated for an Oscar in 2001 for "My Funny Friend and Me" from the motion picture "The Emperor's New Groove." The song also has been nominated in the Best Song Written For A Motion Picture category at the upcoming Grammy Awards.


SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME

Sting, Michael Jackson, Randy Newman, Barry Manilow and Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The announcement of the class of '02 was made Monday by the National Academy of Popular Music in New York.

The group represents a decidedly contemporary era in American pop music, much as last year's did. In 2001, the hall welcomed Dolly Parton, Diane Warren, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, Paul Williams, Billy Joel (Johnny Mercer Award), Gloria & Emilio Estefan (Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award) and Dionne Warwick (Hitmaker Award).

The Songwriters Hall of Fame was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond. It includes such top songwriters as Burt Bachrach, Jim Croce, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, James Brown and Curtis Mayfield.

The 33rd annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction and awards dinner will be held June 13 in New York.


DAVE MATTHEWS, DESTINY'S CHILD

Rock the Vote has announced that it will honor Dave Matthews and Destiny's Child on Feb. 26 at the House of Blues in Hollywood. Jeff Ayeroff, founder of the non-profit organization, said the artists will receive Patrick Lippert Awards for "embodying the spirit of community activism that is being embraced by youth across America."

Matthews and the members of Destiny's Child join a list of Rock the Vote honorees that includes Bono, Sheryl Crow, Wyclef Jean, Pearl Jam, Queen Latifah, R.E.M., Sting and Neil Young.

Lippert -- a former president of Rock the Vote -- launched a voter registration project that resulted in a 20 percent increase in the turnout of young voters in the 1992 U.S. presidential election. He died in 1993 from AIDS-related pneumonia.

Rock the Vote was founded in 1990 by recording industry professionals in response to political freedom of speech controversies.

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


GRAMMY AWARDS

Destiny's Child, Train and country singer Alan Jackson are among the artists who've been added to the line-up of performers for the 44th Annual Grammy Awards later this month.

Destiny's Child will sing a duet with Alejandro Sanz, Billboard.com reports. They originally were slated to perform together at the 2001 Latin Grammys, which were canceled in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "We are honored to perform with such a giant in the Latin world and are eager to show all our fans another side to Destiny's Child," group member Kelly Rowland said in a statement.

Other performers will include U2, Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews Band, 'N Sync with Nelly, and a multi-artist tribute to the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack. Presenters will include Dixie Chicks, Kid Rock, Gloria Estefan, No Doubt's Gwen Stefani, Janet Jackson, Diana Krall, Britney Spears and comedians Kevin James and Ray Romano.

Comedian Jon Stewart will host the event, which will be broadcast live from Los Angeles Feb. 27 on CBS-TV.


JUNO AWARD NOMINATIONS

Our Lady Peace, Nickelback, and Leonard Cohen top the list of nominees for this year's Juno Awards, Canada's answer to the Grammys.

JAM! Music reports OLP leads the list of nominees with five: best album, best group, best single, best album design and best video for the band's CD "Spiritual Machines."

Veteran singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen is up for four Junos -- best artist, best songwriter, best pop album, and best video. Nickelback -- which has enjoyed a breakthrough year in the United States with its album "Silver Side Up" -- also earned four nominations for best album, best group, best single, and best rock album. Engineer Randy Staub is also nominated for his work on the album.

Other multiple nominees include Sum 41, Diana Krall and Hawksley Workman with three nominations apiece.

Barenaked Ladies -- in the midst of a self-imposed one-year break from recording and touring -- will host this year's ceremonies April 14 in St. John's, Newfoundland. Along with BNL, performers confirmed for the show include Nickelback, Sum 41, Alanis Morissette, Nelly Furtado, Amanda Marshall, Diana Krall, and Great Big Sea.

Many of the nominees:

Best Album -- "All Killer No Filler" by Sum 41, "Silver Side Up" by Nickelback, "Spiritual Machines" by Our Lady Peace, "The Look Of Love" by Diana Krall, "Whoa, Nelly!" by Nelly Furtado

Best Single -- "California" by Wave, "Everybody's Got A Story" by Amanda Marshall, "How You Remind Me" by Nickelback, "If It Feels Good, Do It" by Sloan, "Life" by Our Lady Peace

Best Video -- "I Hear You Calling" by Gob (director: Josh Levy), "In My Secret Life" by Leonard Cohen (director: Floria Sigismonidi), "In Repair" by Our Lady Peace (director: Oli Goldsmith), "Jealous Of Your Cigarette" by Hawksley Workman (director: Sean Michael Turrell), "Plumb Song" by Snow (director: Stephen Scott)

Best Artist -- Leonard Cohen, Nelly Furtado, Garou, Diana Krall, Amanda Marshall

Best Group -- Matthew Good Band, Nickelback, Our Lady Peace, Sum 41, The Tea Party

Best New Solo Artist -- Gabrielle Destroismaisons, Jelleestone, Maren Ord, Thrust, Hawksley Workman

Best New Group -- Default, Joydrop, Smoother, Sugar Jones, Wave

Best Songwriter -- Jann Arden -- "Never Mind," "Thing For You" (cowritten with Russell Broom); Leonard Cohen -- "My Secret Life," "You Have Loved Enough," "Boogie Street" (co-written with Sharon Robinson); Sarah Harmer -- "Hideout," "Don't Get Your Back Up," "Uniform Grey"; Ron Sexsmith -- "This Song," "Just My Heart Talking," "April After All"; Rufus Wainwright -- "Poses," "Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk," "Grey Gardens"

Best Producer -- Ben Dunk (with Rick Neigher) for "California," "Think It Over" by Wave; Justin Gray for "Days Like That" and "I Got U" by Sugar Jones; Daniel Lanois (with Brian Eno) for "Beautiful Day" and "Elevation" by U2; Mark Makowy for "Alone In The Universe" and "Too Close To The Sun" by David Usher; Bob Rock for "Flavor Of The Weak" by American Hi-Fi; and "Make It Right" by Econoline Crush

Best Rap Recording -- "Bad Dreams" by Swollen Members, "Easy To Slip" by Solitair, "Firestarter Vol. 1: Quest For Fire" by Kardinal Offishall, "Jelleestone 13" by Jelleestone, "Still Too Much" by Ghetto Concept, featuring Snow, Kardinal Offishall, Maestro, Red 1 and Ironside

Best Pop Album -- "Girl Versions" by Emm Gryner, "Morning Orbit" by David Usher, "Open" by Cowboy Junkies, "Saturday People" by Prozzak, "Ten New Songs" by Leonard Cohen

Best Rock Album -- "All Killer No Filler" by Sum 41, "Brothers & Sisters, Are You Ready?" by Big Sugar, "Pretty Together" by Sloan, "Purge" by Bif Naked, "Silver Side Up" by Nickelback

Best Alternative Album -- "Down At The Khyber" by The Joel Plaskett Emergency, "(Last Night We Were) The Delicious Wolves" by Hawksley Workman, "Night Of The Shooting Stars" by Rheostatics, "Poses" by Rufus Wainwright, "The Constantines" by The Constantines

Best Dance Recording -- "Absolutely Not" by Deborah Cox, "Innocente" by Delerium, "Spaced Invader" by Hatiras, "It Doesn't Matter" by The Underdog Project, "The Light" by Elissa

Best R&B/Soul Recording -- "Don't You Forget It" by Glenn Lewis, "Never Leave Hurt Alone" by Sugar Jones, "Day Dreaming" by Chin, "The Day Before" by Baby Blue Soundcrew featuring Jully Black And Baby Cham, "Unforgettable" by Jamie Sparks

Best New Country Artist -- Steve Fox, Aaron Lines, Ennis Sisters, J.R. Vautour, Doc Walker

Best Country Artist/Group -- Paul Brandt, Lisa Brokop, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Jimmy Rankin, The Wilkinsons

Best Vocal Jazz Album -- "Image In The Mirror: The Triptych" by Jeri Brown, "I Saw The Sky" by Melissa Walker, "It's Wonderful" by Susie Arioli Swing Band, "The Look Of Love" by Diana Krall, "Tribute" by Emilie-Claire Barlow

Best Contemporary Jazz Album, Instrumental -- "Live" by Francois Bourassa Trio + Andre LeRoux, "Nuage" by Jeff Johnson, "Of Battle Unknown Mysteries" by Chris Tarry, "Sigame" by D. D. Jackson, "The Recline" by Metalwood

Best Traditional Jazz Album, Instrumental -- "And It Really Was ..." by The Brigham Phillips Big Band, "Forgotten Memories" by Don Thompson, "Murley, Bickert & Wallace: Live At The Senator" by Mike Murley, "Spectacular" by Campbell Ryga, "Street Culture" by Paul Tobey

Best Reggae Recording -- "Breathe" by Sonia Collymore, "Never Let Jah Go" by Chester Miller, "Love (African Woman)" by Blessed, "A Friend For Life" by Illey Dread, "They Called Me Madness" by Peculiar I

Best Roots & Traditional Album, Solo -- "Beyond The Storm" by Eileen McGann, "Far End Of Summer" by David Francey, "For A Song" by Maria Dunn, "Gather Honey" by Penny Lang, "Verchuosity" by April Verch

Best Roots & Traditional Album, Group -- "Cordial" by La Bottine Souriante, "Petit Fou" by Mapatat, "Post Atomic Hillbilly" by Undertakin' Daddies, "Sin & Other Salvations" by The Wyrd Sisters, "Songs of Work & Freedom" by The Brothers Cosmoline

Best Blues Album -- "Big Mouth" by Colin Linden, "Breakfast At Midnight" by Rita Chiarelli, "Drive On" by Michael Jerome Browne, "Double Shot!" by Mel Brown & Snooky Pryor, "Rattlebag" by Paul Reddick + The Sideman

Best Gospel Album -- "Downhere" by Downhere, "Imagerical" by Matt Brouwer, "Love Letters" by Londa Larmond, "Travelers" by Carolyn Arends, "Waiting For Aiden" by Steve Bell

Best Global Album -- "Alma De Santiago" by Jane Bunnett, "Distant Wind" by Mei Han/Randy Raine-Reusch, "Havana Remembered" by Hilario Duran, "Kashish Attraction" by Kiran Ahluwalia, "The Journey" by Alpha Yaya Diallo

Best Recording Engineer -- Richard Chycki for "Jaded" by Aerosmith, Pierre Marchand for "Evil Angel" and "Greek Song" by Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Martin/Nick Blagona for "Angels" and "Lullaby" by The Tea Party, Brad Nelson for "Follow Her Around" and "You And Me" by Jimmy Rankin, Randy Staub for "How You Remind Me" and "Too Bad" by Nickelback

Best Selling Album, Foreign Or Domestic -- "All That You Can't Leave Behind" by U2, "Black & Blue" by Backstreet Boys, "Chocolate Starfish And The Hotdog Flavored Water" by Limp Bizkit, "Hot Shot" by Shaggy, "Survivor" by Destiny's Child

Best Selling Francophone Album -- "Cordial" by La Bottine Souriante, "Disparu" by La Chicane, "Du Coq A L'Ame" by Lynda Lemay, "Etc..." by Gabrielle Destroismaisons, "Les Vents Ont Change" by Kevin Parent

Best Instrumental Album -- "Angel's Embrace" by Dan Gibson and David Bradstreet, "Armando's Fire" by Oscar Lopez, "Fiesta Del Sol" by Kenny Vehkavaara, "Inspiration Classique" by Richard Abel, "The English Country Garden" by Dan Gibson and John Herberman

Best Album Design -- Garnet Armstrong and Lionel Drew for "The Audio Of Being" by Matthew Good Band, Carylann Loeppky for "Poem" by Delerium, Our Lady Peace and Catherine McRae for "Spiritual Machines" by Our Lady Peace, John Rummen for "H-Wing" by Kevin Hearn, Sebastien Toupin for "Disparu" by La Chicane


NAS

NAS is taking to the road. Billboard.com reports the rapper will launch a North American tour next Saturday (Feb. 23) at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. The trek -- set to close March 30 in Las Vegas -- comes in support of his latest album "Stillmatic."

Tour dates:

Feb. 23: Athens, Ohio (Ohio U. Convocation Center)

Feb. 24: Cleveland (Agora)

Feb. 26: Columbus, Ohio (Newport Music Hall)

Feb. 27: Chicago (House of Blues)

Feb. 28: Royal Oak, Mich. (Royal Oak Theatre)

March 1: Toronto (Kool Haus)

March 3: Boston (Avalon)

March 5: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)

March 6: Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Mid-Hudson Civic Center)

March 7: South Amboy, N.J. (Club Krome)

March 15: Orlando, Fla. (House of Blues)

March 16: Myrtle Beach, S.C. (House of Blues)

March 17: Atlanta (Earthlink Live)

March 18: New Orleans (House of Blues)

March 28: Los Angeles (House of Blues)

March 29: San Diego (4th & B)

March 30: Las Vegas (House of Blues)


PRINCE

Prince is planning to tour with his band, the New Power Generation, beginning March 1 in Saginaw, Mich. The tour is being called "One Nite Alone With Prince; A Man and His Music." It comes in support of Prince's latest album, "The Rainbow Children."

Tour dates:

March 1: Saginaw, Mich. (Heritage Theatre)

March 2: Chicago (Chicago Theatre)

March 5: Cincinnati (Cincinnati Music Hall)

March 6: Detroit (Opera House)

March 9: Louisville, Ky. (Palace Theatre)

March 10: Cleveland (Palace Theatre)

March 25: Baltimore, Md. (Lyric Theater)

March 26: Pittsburgh, Pa. (Benedum Center)

March 28,30: Washington, D.C. (Warner Theater)

April 2: Richmond, Va. (Landmark Theater)

April 4: Miami (Sunrise Theatre)

April 5: Jacksonville, Fla. (Times Union Center)

April 6: Lakeland, Fla. (Lakeland Center)

April 9: New York (Lincoln Center- Avery Fisher Hall)

April 11: Norfolk, Va. (NTELOS Pavilion)

April 12: Atlanta (TBA)

April 13: New Orleans (UNO Theatre)

April 15: Dallas (Music Hall)

April 16: Houston (Compaq Center)

April 18: Phoenix, Ariz. (Dodge Theatre)

April 20: Los Angeles (Kodak Theatre)

April 25: St. Louis (Fox Theatre)

April 26: Kansas City, Mo. (Midland Theater)

April 30: Seattle (Schnitzer Concert Hall)

May 1: Portland, Oregon (Paramount Theatre)

May 3: Concord, Calif. (Chronical Pavilion)

May 4: Las Vegas (TBA)


P. DIDDY

'N Sync's opening act for its upcoming "Celebrity 2002 Tour" will be ... P. Diddy.

That's according to BBC Radio 1, which reports the hip-hopster and record mogul will join Smash Mouth and Ginuwine as support acts for 'N Sync's mid- and West Coast dates. The road trip kicks off March 3 in Oregon.


COACHELLA VALLEY MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL

Foo Fighters, Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers have joined the lineup for the 2002 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Allstar.com reports.

Oasis and Bjork will headline the two-day festival being held April 27-28 at Indio Polo Fields in Indio, Calif. Bjork will perform April 27 while Oasis handles the closing duties April 28.

Other scheduled performers include Queens of the Stone Age, Mos Def, Dilated Peoples, KRS-One and Basement Jaxx. It's been rumored that the Strokes also will be added to the bill.


LIMP BIZKIT'S FRED DURST

Limp Bizkit's frontman Fred Durst is blasting those who criticized the band's tour to find a replacement for guitarist Wes Borland, who left the group last year.

Since the auditions started in mid-January, NME.com reports a number of fans have complained about the process -- saying they were only given 60 second to display their talents and had to sign a disclaimer so the band could use their likeness in the future. The audition tour ended in Los Angeles last Monday.

In an obscenity-laden posting on the band's Web site (limpbizkit.com), Durst lashes out against the complainers, saying they "simply and plainly 100-percent sucked," and that because of the number of fans trying out for the group, only a small amount of time could be slotted for each audition.

As for the disclaimers, Durst said that was in case Limp Bizkit decided sometime in the future to make a documentary about the auditions.

The band has yet to announce a new guitarist.


PINK

Pink has a non-stop schedule of TV appearances beginning Saturday with an MTV special "Making The Video." The promotional video for "Don't Let Me Get Me," the latest single from her "Missundaztood" CD, is set to premiere on the show. In addition, Pink will appear next Thursday on "Late Night With David Letterman," Friday on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," followed by the Grammy Awards on Feb. 27 and the Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards April 20.

Arista said "Missundaztood" has passed the 2 million mark in sales. The singer is planning a headlining tour this spring.


JANE'S ADDICTION

Members of Jane's Addiction about about to start work on their first album in more than 10 years.

The band, fronted by Perry Farrell, reunited last year to headline the Coachella Festival, and then performed a string of dates across North America. Now, new bassist Martyn LeNoble tells Rolling Stone magazine the band wants to continue playing live although not "the same repertoire."

"We love playing together, and we play great shows but if we're ever going to do that again we know that we need some new material. I don't think we want to stop playing, but we do want to stop playing the same repertoire," he said.

The band's last studio album, "Ritual de lo Habitual," was released in 1990.


MORE ALBUM NEWS

-- Jennifer Lopez's remix album, "J To Tha L-O!," debuted in the top spot on this week's Billboard Top 200 album chart, with sales of 156,049 copies in its first week. It marks the first time a remix album has premiered at No.1 on the chart. The CD features 11 tracks from Lopez's multi-platinum albums "On The 6" and "J.Lo." There's also a new song, "Alive," written by Lopez, her husband Cris Judd and producer Cory Rooney. "Alive" will be featured in the May 24 Columbia Pictures release "Enough," starring Lopez and Billy Campbell.

-- Barry Manilow's 20-song collection "Ultimate Manilow" debuts this week at No.3 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, marking the highest album chart debut of his career. The CD sold 113,365 copies in its first week of release. "This is truly an astonishing feat, and I'm thrilled to see that Barry Manilow is getting the recognition he deserves," said Antonio "L.A." Reid, CEO of Arista Records. Manilow has the distinction of earning Arista's very first No.1 pop and AC single, "Mandy," back in 1975.

-- Backstreet Boys fans can hear where Nick Carter got his start on "Nick Carter: Before The 'Boys' 1989-1993." The CD -- due in stores March 26 -- features Carter's first professional recordings, made in the Orlando, Fla., studio of Carter's producer and vocal coach Mark Dye. The 14 tracks include two songs written especially for Carter by Dye. Carter was barely a teenager when he joined Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, A.J. McLean and Howie Dorough in the Backstreet Boys. The group became a hit in Europe in 1995 and three years later in the United States.


PULP

The video for Pulp's new single "Bad Cover Version" is a send-up of star-studded charity records. NME.com reports it features a host of look-alikes singing in the same style as the clip from Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas."

In fact, the video was even shot at the same London studio where Bob Geldolf and Midge Ure's legendary charity song was recorded in 1984.

The Pulp video includes look-alikes of George Michael, Kurt Cobain, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Kylie Minogue, Paul McCartney, Missy Elliott and Bono.

In addition, Pulp's Jarvis Cocker does his impersonation of Queen guitarist Brian May. Two years ago, Cocker appeared as May on the cover of New Music Express's double Christmas-New Year's issue.

Topics: A.J. McLean, Alan Jackson, Alanis Morissette, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, Bjork, Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, Brian Wilson, Britney Spears, Columbia Records, Cris Judd, Curtis Mayfield, Dave Matthews, David Letterman, Diane Warren, Dionne Warwick, Dolly Parton, Elton John, Epic Records, Eric Clapton, Faith Hill, George Michael, Gloria Estefan, Gwen Stefani, James Brown, Janet Jackson, Jeff Johnson, Jessica Simpson, Jim Croce, Johnny Mercer, Jon Stewart, Keith Richards, Kevin James, Kid Rock, Kurt Cobain, Kylie Minogue, L.A. Reid, Leonard Cohen, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Missy Elliott, Mos Def, Neil Young, Nelly Furtado, Nick Carter, Nick Lachey, P. Diddy, Paul Williams, Queen Latifah, R. Kelly, Ray Romano, Rosie O'Donnell, Sammy Cahn, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Wyclef Jean
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