DICK CLARK VS. MICHAEL GREENE
It's Dick Clark vs. National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences President and CEO Michael Greene.
Clark -- whose company, Dick Clark Productions Inc., produces the American Music Awards -- accuses Greene of implementing a black list preventing performers from appearing on both the AMA and the Grammies telecasts. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles, seeks more than $10 million in damages.
At a news conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., Wednesday, Clark said during the past several years, artists who have wanted to perform on both shows -- including Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and Toni Braxton -- "have been precluded from doing so because of this arbitrary and unfair policy."
After Spears withdrew from the AMA show two years ago, Clark said he spoke to Greene and that Greene at the time promised him "the blacklist policy would be terminated." However, the suit alleges that as recently as last month, Greene caused Jackson to breach an oral contract with Clark to appear on the upcoming 29th Annual American Music Awards, to perform and to receive an Artist of the Century award.
Clark accused Greene of "intentional interference" that will hurt the AMA's TV ratings and diminish the value of the Jan. 9 televised on ABC.
In an interview with the syndicated show "Access Hollywood" that aired Thursday, Greene claimed it's standard practice in the entertainment business to arrange for exclusivity when booking performers.
He said the Grammys telecast is seen by 2 billion people around the world, and insisted he would not "put a recycled show on the air." He repeated the accusation first leveled by NARAS on Wednesday -- that Clark filed the suit to get attention for the 29th Annual American Music Awards.
Clark denies the lawsuit is a stunt.
"I've been doing this for a lot of years," he said. "Do they think I'm that stupid, that if I was going to do this as a publicity stunt that I would do it three weeks ahead of the show instead of three days ahead?"
The AMA telecast airs Jan. 9 on ABC. Nominations for the 44th Annual Grammy Awards will be announced Jan. 4, with the awards handed out Feb. 27 in ceremonies airing live on CBS.
Rocker Tommy Lee -- who's engaged in a court battle with ex-wife Pamela Anderson for custody of their sons -- took his story public this week, sitting for an interview with "Access Hollywood."
While Anderson claims in court filings that Lee is guilty of child endangerment, Lee says the kids actually can't stand their mom. "Yeah, they've said we hate mommy, she works too much," said Lee. "I don't know how much of that to take to heart because they say a lot of crazy things."
Lee also said that allegations of drinking and anger on his part should not be taken seriously, and said it frustrates him to hear Anderson call him an unstable man who uses alcohol. "Yeah, it does frustrate me, but it doesn't make me angry," said Lee. "It makes me sad because that's not, I don't think that's very cool, not very stable of her to make those accusations. Especially when she doesn't see me or communicate with me. I haven't seen her in years. How would she know who or how I am?"
Lee said just wants to be in his kids' life as much as his ex-wife is.
(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)
AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS
Britney Spears will perform her newest single, "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman," on the 29th annual American Music Awards.
Producers also announced last Monday that Mick Jagger will perform on the telecast, and Usher will sing his current hit, "U Got It Bad." They join a list of previously announced performers that includes Yolanda Adams, Brooks & Dunn, Cher, Toby Keith, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Shaggy and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs -- who will co-host the show with Jenny McCarthy.
Producer also announced additions that the list of presenters for the show will include Clint Black, Steven Curtis Chapman, Faith Evans, Melissa Joan Hart, Reba McEntire, Jo Dee Messina, Mandy Moore, 'N Sync, Pink and KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.
Previously announced presenters include India.Arie, Blu Cantrell, Cedric The Entertainer, Melissa Etheridge, Nelly Furtado, Ginuwine, Ja Rule, Alicia Keys, Master P with his son Lil' Romeo, Method Man, Frankie Muniz, Nelly, LeAnn Rimes, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, SHeDAISY, Niki Taylor and Luther Vandross.
The American Music Awards will air live on ABC-TV on Jan. 9 from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
ENTERTAINING THE TROOPS, Part 1
Singers Chris Isaak and Dwight Yoakam and comedians Cedric the Entertainer and Willie Barcena are accompanying Jay Leno on a mini-tour of U.S. military installations to entertain the troops at Christmas time.
NBC says the entertainers will perform Saturday and Sunday at an undisclosed location before returning to the United States on Monday, Christmas Eve. Highlights from the performances will air Dec. 26-28 on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
(The above two items thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)
ENTERTAINING THE TROOPS, Part 2
Jessica Simpson and 98 Degrees' Nich Lachey are among the entertainers who'll be heading overseas this holiday season to bring some cheer to U.S. troops.
The USO "We Deliver America" tour --- sponsored by Nissan North America --- will bring the celebrities to undisclosed locations to entertain service personnel on land and at sea. Also taking part in the tour --- Wayne Newton, comedians Drew Carey and Louis Dix, country singer Neal McCoy and some of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.
Mariah Carey will sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans.
Plans call for Carey to be accompanied by conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. The orchestra will also play a program of American classics during the pre-game festivities at the Superdome on Feb. 3, accompanying two as-yet unannounced artists on "America the Beautiful." The artists might be Marc Anthony and Mary J. Blige. The New York Daily News reported Friday that those two have been signed for the pre-game show.
It was previously announced that U2 would perform at halftime.
Each night during the games, a different band will take the stage at Olympic Medals Plaza for a one-hour free show:
2/9 Dave Matthews Band
2/11 Foo Fighters
2/13 Barenaked Ladies
2/14 Sheryl Crow
2/15 Smash Mouth
2/16 Brooks & Dunn
2/20 Marc Anthony
2/23 'N Sync
2/24 Martina McBride
2/25 The Temptations (for Team 2002 members only)
Additional performers will be announced in January.
Throngs of holiday shoppers and commuters in New York City were surprised last Sunday with a live concert in the Grand Central Terminal featuring two-time Grammy Award winner Melissa Etheridge.
The 60-minute set on the East Balcony was filmed by MuchMusic USA and will air nationally on Christmas Day (at 9 p.m. EST) on the cable network.
Playing guitar and piano, Etheridge performed songs that included some of her best known hits such as "Come To My Window," "Bring Me Some Water," "Chrome Plated Heart," "I Want To Be In Love" and her new hit single "Lover Please" from her recently released album, "Skin."
'MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET'
Mariah Carey, Alicia Keyes, Mary J. Blige, and Shaggy were among the artists who'll performed last Tuesday evening at WKTU's "Miracle on 34th Street" concert at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Also on the bill: Amber, Blu Cantrell, Kevin Ceballo, Deborah Cox, Craig David, Enrique Iglesias, Chaka Khan, Christina Milian, Stephanie Mills and Shakira.
LIL BOW WOW
Lil Bow Wow celebrated the release of his second album, "Doggy Bag" --- the follow-up to his multi-platinum debut "Beware Of Dog" -- with a free Fan Appreciation Concert at Manhattan's Hammerstein Ballroom last Tuesday.
Bow Wow's career has been a series of firsts: he became the youngest musician to kick off the Grammy Awards when he introduced Madonna's opening at this year's ceremony. And he recently entered "The Guinness Book of World Records" as the youngest solo rapper to hit No.1 on the U.S. charts.
Lil Bow Wow will star in the upcoming Fox film "Like Mike" as a kid who finds a pair of magic sneakers that give him the basketball prowess of Michael Jordan. "Like Mike" is set for release in June 2002 -- the same month Bow Wow is scheduled to launch his very own line of hip kid's clothing under the moniker "Lil Bow Wear."
Rapper Shaggy has much to be thankful for this holiday season. His latest album "Hotshot," released in August 2000, has been certified as America's best selling album of 2001, with more than 6 million copies sold.
Now get ready for the remixes: in February, MCA Records will release "Hotshot Ultramix," a collection of remixes of songs that appeared on the "Hotshot" album as well as three previously unreleased tracks. The CD includes remixes of "It Wasn't Me," "Angel," "Dance and Shout," "Hope," and more.
Currently Shaggy is on tour overseas but will return to the United States in time for next month's American Music Awards, He's up for the "Favorite Male Artist, Pop or Rock" and "Favorite Artist, Rap/Hip-Hop" awards as well as the "Internet Artist of the Year" award. He'll be performing on the show, which airs Jan. 9 on ABC-TV.
38 Special -- the Lynyrd Skynyrd offshoot band led by Donnie Van Zant -- is playing a new kind of southern rock these days, an aspect of the genre that has not yet been attempted: Christmas music.
The band's latest album, "A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night," is meant to remind old-time fans of the band's Andy Warhol moment, when "Wild-Eyed Southern Boys" went platinum in the early 1980s on the strength of the Southern Rock anthem "Hold On Loosely." Now they're singing about "A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night," but this time around, the partygoers aren't the wild-eyed southern boys drinking in the parking lot or having a party over at Joe's while his folks are out of town.
"I've been as good as I can be," they sing. "Let's call the gang over/sounds like a party to me."
The Boys are grown up now and partying in their own house, while (ahem) "the kids are in bed," although not specifically listed as actually sleeping.
Don Barnes -- whose songwriting collaboration with Jim Peterick signaled the band's rise to stardom -- has teamed up with Peterick again for the blues-pop lament "It's Christmas and I Miss You." There's also the suitably raucous southern rock Christmas song flag-waver, "Hallelujah, It's Christmas."
(Thanks to UPI's John Swenson in New York)
The software company ToolTrust has teamed up with the "What More Can I Give" charity record to enlist corporate support for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The centerpiece of the partnership will be the release of "What More Can I Give," which was written and produced by Michael Jackson. The tune features such artists as Anastacia, Shawn Stockman and Michael McCary of Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys, Aaron Carter, Celine Dion, Joy Enriquez, Billy Gilman, Gloria Estefan, Hanson, Michael Jackson, Beyonce Knowles of Destiny's Child, Ricky Martin, Ziggy Marley, Reba McEntire, Brian McKnight, Mya, N'Sync, Tom Petty, Carlos Santana, Jon Secada, Shakira, Thalia, Usher, Luther Vandross and 3LW.
ToolTrust officials say the basic plan is to use the record, the song's video and the "making of" special to offer sponsors a financially and philanthropically compelling reason to help in the disaster relief effort. The goal is to raise $50 million.
CRITICS' CHOICE SONGS
Tunes from 2 movies that haven't even been released in the United States yet are among the four nominated for the 2001 Critics' Choice Awards, announced in Los Angeles Tuesday by the Broadcast Film Critics Association. They include "May It Be" by Enya from "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" and Sting's "Until" from "Kate & Leopold." The other nominees are "There You'll Stay" by Faith Hill from "Pearl Harbor" and the title track from "Vanilla Sky" by Paul McCartney.
"Lord of the Rings" opens nationwide Wednesday and "Kate & Leopold" hits theaters Christmas Day.
The Critics' Choice Awards will be presented on Jan. 11 in Beverly Hills, Calif., in ceremonies to be broadcast on E! Entertainment TV on Jan. 14.
MIAMI HURRICANES MOTIVATED BY RAP GROUP
The Miami-based rap group No Good is providing "championship inspiration" for the Miami Hurricanes.
The rappers' tune "Ballin' Boy" has been adopted by the college football team as its "fight song," and has been played in the locker room to get the players psyched up before a game. It's apparently working: the Hurricanes are the No.1-ranked college team in the country, having been undefeated this entire season. A special copy of "Ballin' Boy" will accompany the 'Canes when they travel to Pasadena, Calif., to face the No.2-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers on Jan. 3 at the 2002 Rose Bowl game for the NCAA title.
So who does No Good have their money on to win? According to No Good's Derrick Hill, "As long as they have our 'Ballin' Boy' blasting in their locker room, Miami is taking home the trophy."
This weekend, members of the 'Canes will join No Good in the studio to record a special promo version of "Ballin' Boy."
The rap group's debut album is slated to hit stores in 2002 on ARTISTdirect Records.