R.E.M.'s PETER BUCK
The guitarist for the rock band R.E.M. has been ordered to stand trial Nov. 12 in London on air rage charges.
That's according to The Guardian newspaper. Peter Buck is charged with being drunk on an airplane and with criminal damage, using threatening words and assaulting two British Airways employees during a nonstop flight between Seattle and London last April. The musician was on his way to the British capital to take part in a concert on South African Freedom Day.
But, according to published reports, that's not preventing the self-proclaimed King of Pop from taking the time to write some songs for her. There are reports that Jackson is keen on helping the young Australian-born singer expand to the United States. He has penned two songs -- "I'll Try Anything Once" and "Time Bomb" -- for her upcoming American CD debut.
It was Minogue's single "Can't Get You Out of My Head" that stayed at No. 1 and refused to be bumped by Jackson's "You Rock My World." Jackson had hoped for instant chart success with the single -- his own "breakout" song after years of near-exile from the music world.
(The above two items thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)
MARY J. BLIGE
Mary J. Blige is atop the music world with her hit single "Family Affair," which has soared to No.1 on both Billboard's Hot 100 and the National R&B charts this week. This marks the first chart-topping single of Mary's career.
The song -- produced by Dr. Dre --- is from the Grammy-winning singer's latest platinum-certified album "No More Drama," which debuted at No.2 earlier this fall.
Blige performed "Family Affair" at the Radio Music Awards in Las Vegas last Friday and also appeared the same night on Lifetime Channel's "Women Rock," performing her next single "No More Drama." She will launch a national tour next year.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN
Less than two months after its release, "Toxicity" -- the sophomore CD from System of a Down -- has been certified "platinum" by the R.I.A.A. The album debuted at No.1 on the
Billboard Top-200 Album chart and is currently in 14th place.
System of a Down wraps up the "Pledge of Allegiance" tour Friday in State College, Pa. The band will then headline a handful of shows in the South before heading home to Los Angeles and some radio shows in December. A major headlining U.S. tour is slated to begin at the end of January.
(Web site: systemofadown.com)
The Cranberries are offering an exclusive bonus track to their fans via the Internet. The Irish group has made available, for streaming, a song called "Many Days," which was recorded in Dublin earlier in the year.
The release of the bonus track coincided with last Tuesday's North American release of "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" (on MCA Records), the Cranberries' fifth album.
"We wanted to offer our fans something unique for buying this new album," said guitarist Noel Hogan. "Many of our fans have been with us now for 8 years and we wanted to thank them for being so supportive."
To listen to "Many Days," purchasers of the new album (anywhere in the world) simply need to log on to the band's official web-site (cranberries.ie). From there, the user is asked, "Have you got the new album yet? If so, you are entitled to a free bonus track! Click here."
The Cranberries are currently in Europe conducting media interviews for the album. The band expects to tour beginning in February in the Southern Hemisphere.
Filming is underway in Detroit on Universal Pictures' "The Untitled Detroit Project," a drama directed by Curtis Hanson ("Wonder Boys," "L.A. Confidential") that marks the motion picture acting debut of rapper Eminem.
Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez reportedly is replacing Halle Berry in the cast of Ben Affleck's upcoming project "Gigli" -- described as the story of a mobster who kidnaps a district attorney's mentally challenged brother, and the woman sent by the mob to make sure he does the job right.
Filming is scheduled to begin next month, with Martin Brest ("Meet Joe Black," "Scent of a Woman," "Beverly Hills Cop") directing from his own screenplay.
Berry had been expected to co-star with Affleck, but she had a scheduling conflict with "X-Men 2," the sequel to last year's box-office hit.
(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)
The soundtrack includes such defining 1960s hits as "Theme For Young Lovers" and "Dream Dream Dream" from Percy Faith and His Orchestra; the Perry Como smash "Papa Loves Mambo"; "Caravan" by the Arthur Lyman Group; "Blues In the Night" from Quincy Jones; and Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation," originally heard in his film "Live A Little, Love A Little."
Other tracks include "The Projects" by Handsome Boy Modeling School, a 1999 hip-hop collaboration between De la Soul's Trujoy and Del of Del Tha Funky Homosapien.
"Ocean's Eleven" stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle in roles originally made famous in the 1960 film featuring Rat Pack luminaries Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Angie Dickinson.
SUGAR RAY'S MARK McGRATH
Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray performs a tribute to rock 'n' roll great Buddy Holly in a new TV spot for Dr. Pepper. The commercials are part of an ad campaign that also features country's Garth Brooks, Latin music star Thalia and Black Eyed Peas. They're scheduled to debut next year.