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Entertainment Today

By DICK KELSEY, United Press International   |   Aug. 27, 2002 at 3:00 AM   |   Comments

LABELS BLAME PIRACY FOR DROP IN CD SALES

The recording industry said Monday compact disc sales dropped 7 percent in the first half of 2002, blaming illegal Internet downloads for much of the decline.

Record labels reported a 5.3 percent drop in CD sales for all of 2001.

The Recording Industry Association of America says the decline, and a 70 percent increase in seizures of pirated discs, show downloading copyrighted songs for free is hurting sales.

Acknowledging that a drop in consumer spending affected CD sales, the RIAA said illegal downloading is "the main culprit" in the decline.


MAKEOVER FOR MICK'S IMAGE?

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger is pushing 60, and he apparently wants to adopt a toned-down image as he ventures into his seventh decade of life.

Mick's hired British public relations specialist David Rigg to downplay his history of a take-no-prisoners party animal who chases women young enough to be his daughter.

The aging rocker reportedly wants to improve his chances of being knighted by the queen, and to look refined as he attends more charity events and family functions.

The Stones launch their upcoming world tour in Boston next week.


YOKO ONO OKS USE OF 'IMAGINE'

John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono has decided to loosen her tight grip on the slain Beatle's work.

Sixty-nine-year-old Yoko gave in to an appeal by actor and activist Gabriel Byrne and granted Amnesty International permission to use one of Lennon's most celebrated songs, "Imagine," in a human rights education campaign.

A children's choir will sing the 1971 song in a campaign set to begin in October.


ABC, PETER JENNINGS SAID NEAR AGREEMENT

ABC-TV reportedly has decided to extend its contract with "World News Tonight" anchor Peter Jennings.

The network isn't commenting on reports by The New York Times and other media that a signed agreement with 64-year-old Jennings is imminent.

Toronto-born Jennings, whose broadcasting career started when he hosted a half-hour children's program on the CBC at age 9, joined ABC in 1964.


RUSSELL CROWE'S 'POST-OSCAR EGO' SHOWING

Actor Russell Crowe is at times a real handful for the cast and crew working on his new movie.

Crowe, who won an Oscar for best actor in "Gladiator" and has received two other nominations, is the star of "The Far Side Of The World" currently being filmed in Mexico.

But Crowe suffers from what the Washington Post calls "bouts of post-Oscar ego."

He reportedly threw another actor across the bar at the new film's opening cast party and had to be overpowered by a "muscular woman" who put him in a "hammer lock," the Post reported.

Crowe also is said to have insisted on having his personal hairdresser flown in from Australia to tend to his locks.

© 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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