'O BROTHER,' THOU ART NO.1
Almost 15 months after its release, the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack has finally topped the Billboard Top-200 album chart. The CD made a late sales surge to snag the No.1 spot, selling 159,000 copies for the week ending Sunday, according to figures from SoundScan quoted by E! Online.
The recording -- an eclectic mix of country, bluegrass, gospel and blues that was virtually ignored by radio -- is still riding its Grammy bump. Last month, the T. Bone Burnett-produced collection took home an armful of Grammys, including the Album of the Year award.
Brandy's latest CD, "Full Moon," came in second place to score the week's highest debut. Last week's No.1, Alanis Morissette's "Under Rug Swept," fell to third.
The remaining Top 10 albums were Linkin Park's "Hybrid Theory" at four, Alan Jackson's "Drive" at five, Ludacris' "Word of Mouf" at six (and passing the 2 million sales mark), Alicia Keys' "Songs in A Minor" at seven, Jennifer Lopez's "J to tha L-O! The Remixes" at eight, Kylie Minogue's "Fever" at nine and Pink's "M!ssundazstood" re-entering the Top 10 at 10.
Former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach is out on bail after being arrested Wednesday following an altercation with a bartender in Middletown, N.J.
Allstar News reports the rocker became upset when he wasn't allowed to step outside the Lincroft Inn -- to have a cigarette outside -- with his drink. He allegedly threatened to return to the bar and shoot the bartender. Police were called to the scene, where Bach was also allegedly found in possession of marijuana and rolling papers.
He was charged with making terrorist threats as well as disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia. No court date has been set.
PUDDLE OF MUDD'S WES SCANTLIN
Authorities in Ventura County, Calif., have decided not to pursue charges against Puddle of Mudd singer Wes Scantlin in connection with his alleged roadside altercation with his fiancée last weekend, MTV News reports.
Scantlin and Michelle Rubin were arrested last Sunday after witnesses reported seeing a man forcing a woman into a Jeep Cherokee alongside a highway in Piru, Calif. Sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers stopped the Jeep shortly after and arrested Scantlin and Rubin, who were on their way to a video shoot. They were booked at the Ventura County jail and released after posting $20,000 bail each.
The arrests did not affect the Puddle of Mudd tour, which kicked off Tuesday in Austin, Texas.
Despite widespread reports by the BBC, the New York Post and various British tabloids, the pop diva denies the couple has separated -- telling MTV Italy, "No, that's not true. Me and Justin did not split up."
The rumors were fueled by reports that Spears had been seen crying at a Hollywood restaurant with actress friend Tara Reid, and by claims that she'd stopped wearing the diamond friendship ring Timberlake gave her last summer.
BSB'S A.J. MCLEAN
Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean is getting married.
The singer told VH1 that he's engaged to up-and-coming singer Sarah Martin. He says they plan to tie the knot in 2003 -- hopefully on the anniversary of the day they met.
No comment on McLean's nuptial plans from his spokesperson.
McLean -- who did some rehab time last summer to kick alcohol abuse and depression -- is the third BSB to pop the question. His bandmates Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell each married in 2000.
In the meantime, the Backstreet Boys have said they'll be returning to the studio in the next couple of weeks to begin work on their next album, the follow-up to 2000's "Black & Blue."
That gaggle of hard-working White House pressies hanging around the West Wing driveway earlier this week had good reason for being there. They all turned out to witness the appearance of Bono, lead singer of the Irish rock band U2, at the White House.
The hipster expert on Third World debt relief, clad in his trademark dark sunglasses, stopped by the White House to talk about his favorite subject -- aid to developing countries. He even tagged along to President Bush's speech at the Inter-American Development Bank.
And there is nothing like a rock star to increase the level at the White House. As one Fox News staffer remarked as dozens waited for Bono to emerge from the Oval Office, "There's more people out here than when the Dalai Lama visited."
(From UPI's Capital Comment)
-- Neil Young has the flu and that forced Crosby Stills Nash and Young to postpone Friday's show at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Wash. The concert has been rescheduled for April 28. All tickets already issued will be honored for the new date. CSNY are currently about halfway through their 2002 nationwide "Tour of America." The almost three-month road trip follows up the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers' hugely successful 2000 reunion tour, which marked their first live shows as a foursome in 25 years.
-- Silverchair won't be appearing as scheduled at Australia's Gone South festival in Hobart, Tasmania, Saturday due in a viral infection in the knees of singer David Johns. Allstar News quotes the band's official Web site (chairpage.com) saying the infection has caused severe swelling and pain and that John's doctors "have demanded complete rest for at least two weeks to help him recover." Silverchair manager John Watson reports this is the first gig the band has ever postponed.
-- Throat problems by lead singer Guy Garvey forced Elbow to cancel its last tour date in Atlanta. The band's label, V2 Records, said Harvey had been battling the flu since the band's New York City date last week.
Creed will kick off the second leg of its North American "Weathered" tour April 29 in Fargo, N.D. The road trip is in support of the band's latest album, "Weathered," which has sold more than five million copies domestically since its release last November.
4/29 -- Fargo, ND, Fargodome
5/1 -- Champaign, IL, Assembly Hall
5/3 -- Indianapolis, IN, Verizon Wireless Music Ctr.
5/4 -- Moline, IL, Mark of the Quad Cities
5/6 -- Wichita, KS, Kansas Coliseum
5/8 -- Salt Lake City, UT, Delta Center
5/10 -- Portland, OR, Rose Garden
5/11 -- Spokane, WA, Spokane Arena
5/12 -- Tacoma, WA, Tacoma Dome
5/15 -- Sacramento, CA, ARCO Arena
5/16 -- San Jose, CA, San Jose Arena
5/18 -- Oakland, CA, Oakland Arena
5/19 -- Los Angeles, CA, Staples Center
5/22 -- Las Vegas, NV, Thomas & Mack Ctr.
5/23 -- Phoenix, AZ, Cricket Pavilion
5/25 -- Las Cruces, NM, Pan American Ctr.
5/27 -- Oklahoma City, OK, Myriad Convention Ctr.
5/29 -- Austin, TX, Frank Erwin Ctr.
5/30 -- Mercedes, TX, Mercedes Showgrounds
5/31 -- Selma (San Antonio), TX, Verizon Wireless Music Ctr.
No Doubt kicks off a North American tour next Monday in support of its current album, "Rock Steady," RollingStone.com reports.
3/18: Sacramento, CA, Memorial Auditorium
3/20-21: Seattle, Paramount Theater
3/23: Portland, OR, Roseland Theater
3/25: San Jose, CA, Event Center Arena
3/27-28: Universal City, CA, Universal Amphitheater
3/30: Las Vegas, Hard Rock Hotel: The Joint
4/2: Orem, UT, McKay Events Center
4/3: Denver, Fillmore Auditorium
4/5: Kansas City, MO, Uptown Theater
4/6: Chicago, Aragon Ballroom
4/7: West Lafayette, IN, Elliott Hall of Music
4/9: Detroit, State Theater
4/11: Toronto, Kool Haus
4/12: Amherst, NY, Alumni Arena/University of Buffalo
4/14: Ithaca, NY, Cornell University
4/15: Lowell, MA, Paul E. Tsongas Arena
4/17-18, 20: New York, Roseland
4/22: Philadelphia, Electric Factory
4/23: Pittsburgh, PA, Amphitheater at Station Square
4/25: Cleveland, OH, Tower City Amphitheater
4/26: Washington, DC, Charles E. Smith Center
4/27: Charlotte, NC, Center Cityfest
4/29: Myrtle Beach, SC, House of Blues
5/1: Lake Buena Vista, FL, House of Blues
5/2: West Palm Beach, FL, Sunfest
5/4: Nashville, River Stages
5/7: Houston, Verizon Wireless Theater
5/9: Austin, TX, Austin Music Hall
5/10: Dallas, Bronco Bowl
5/12: Bernalillo, NM, Santa Ana Star Casino
Pink will kick off her first-ever headlining tour May 2 in Phoenix. The 27-date road trip, according to RollingStone,.com, comes in support of her second release, "M!ssunderazstood" and on the heels of her recent Grammy win for "Lady Marmalade," along with Christina Aguilera, Mya and Lil' Kim.
5/2: Phoenix, Ariz., The Webb Theater
5/5: Las Vegas, Rain in the Desert
5/7: Salt Lake City, Kingsbury Hall
5/9: Denver, Filmore
5/12: Austin, Texas, Austin Music Hall
5/14: Houston, Aerial Theater
5/15: Dallas, Next Stage
5/18: Orlando, Fla., Hard Rock
5/19: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Broward Center
5/22: Atlanta, Tabernacle
5/25: Hershey, Pa., Hershey Amphitheater
5/26: Wallingford, Conn., Oakdale
5/28: New York, Beacon Theater
5/31: Boston, Orpheum Theater
6/1: Philadelphia, Tower Theater
6/4: Washington D.C., Nations
6/5: Cleveland, Tower City Amphitheater
6/7: Pittsburgh, Amphitheater at Station Square
6/9: Toronto, Canada, Massey Hall
6/10: Detroit, State Theater
6/12: Chicago, Rosemont Theater
6/13: Minneapolis, Minn., Orpheum Theater
6/18: Spokane, Wash., Opera House
6/19: Vancouver, Canada, Orpheum Theater
6/22: Portland, Oregon, Rose Garden Arena
6/25: San Francisco, Warfield
6/28: Los Angeles, Wiltern Theater
John Mellencamp hits the road July 3 in Burgettstown, Pa., for a summer tour that'll wrap a month later in Las Vegas. 14 dates have been confirmed so far, Billboard.com reports, with more stops expected to be added.
Mellencamp is touring in support of his latest album, "Cuttin' Heads," which debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard Top-200 album chart last fall and has since been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. The single "Peaceful World," featuring India.Arie, is No. 18 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 Tracks chart this week.
July 3: Burgettstown, Pa. (Post Gazette Pavilion)
July 5: Milwaukee (Marcus Amphitheatre / Summerfest)
July 9: Clarkston, Mich. (DTE Center)
July 10: Columbus, Ohio (Polaris Amphitheatre)
July 12: Noblesville, Ind. (Verizon Wireless Music Center)
July 13: Tinley Park, Ill. (Tweeter Center)
July 15: Cincinnati (Riverbend Music Center)
July 18: Mansfield, Mass. (Tweeter Center)
July 23: Atlanta (HiFi Buys Amphitheatre)
July 25: West Palm Beach, Fla. (Mars Music Amphitheatre)
July 28: Bonner Springs, Kan. (Sandstone Amphitheatre)
July 30: Denver (Fiddler's Green)
Aug. 2: Los Angeles (venue TBA)
Aug. 3: Las Vegas (Aladdin Theatre)
Ja Rule, the Roots, Fat Joe, Ashanti and Musiq have joined the list of artists who'll take part in the April 9 UrbanAID 2 benefit concert at New York's Beacon Theatre.
Billboard.com reports, however, that R. Kelly has dropped out of the show -- which will also feature Alicia Keys, Jay-Z and P. Diddy, who's co-chairing the LIFEbeat-organized event along with Def Jam founder Russell Simmons.
BET will tape the concert for future broadcast on the cable channel.
ST. LUCIA JAZZ FESTIVAL
Lauryn Hill will perform May 11 as part of the annual St. Lucia Jazz Festival in the Caribbean. The event -- now in its 11th year -- will also feature performances by India.Arie, Branford Marsalis, Smokey Robinson, En Vogue and Buddy Guy, according to Billboard.com.
The festival at the Pigeon Island National Landmark opens May 3 and runs through May 12.
Hill's only other recent performance came Feb. 15 during the Biggest Hearts In Entertainment concert in Los Angeles that paid tribute to U2's Bono.
A two-hour episode of the former Fugees member's MTV "Unplugged 2.0" episode premiered last Sunday on MTV2. A one-hour version will air on MTV on a later date, and a CD of the show -- which featured Hill performing all new material with only her acoustic guitar as accompaniment -- is due out in April, according to her official Web site.
(Web sites: stluciajazz,org, lauryn-hill.com)
Cher says her upcoming tour in support of her new album, "Living Proof," will be her last.
"I want to do some movies and I really haven't had time to," the 55-year-old singer told MTV News. "There's a musical that I really want to do called 'The Enchanted Cottage,' and that is the thing that is really closest to me right now. I have never had the chance to sing and act in a movie."
Cher -- who won a Best Actress Oscar for 1987's "Moonstruck" -- believes musicals could make a comeback following last year's Oscar-nominated "Moulin Rouge."
"The old kind, where people just break out into song for no reason, I don't think that can happen," she said. "But I think people really enjoy music, they enjoy acting, and if you can find a way to bring that together in something that appeals to people now, I think it works."
"Living Proof" debuted at No.9 on the Billboard Top-200 album chart this week. Dates for Cher's road trip will be announced soon.
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND
Dave Matthews Band is working on its sixth studio album for RCA with an eye toward a summer release for the as-yet-untitled recording. Billboard.com reports the follow-up to 2001's "Everyday" includes re-recordings of several songs originally taped for "Everyday" but later shelved.
That music found its way onto the Internet, and has also appeared in DMB live setlists.
Dave Matthews Band's two-leg summer North American tour begins April 4 in Washington, D.C., pauses for the month of June, and starts up again July 5 in West Palm Beach, Fla. Soulive, Gov't Mule, Robert Randolph, and Bela Fleck & the Flecktones will support on various dates.
A spokesperson for Staind says the release of the band's "Staind: MTV Unplugged" DVD -- once set to hit stores Aug. 21 -- has been put on hold.
"There are no plans for the "Unplugged' DVD right now ... " the spokesperson told Allstar News, "because we're releasing the 'Family Values' album, which Staind is a big part of. The band has tentative plans to go into the studio this summer and begin a new record."
The "Family Values Tour 2001" CD features Staind's "Fade" and "It's Been A While," as well as lead singer Aaron Lewis doing "Black" and guesting on Stone Temple Pilots' "Creep" and Linkin Park's "One Step Closer." The album also includes tracks by Static-X and Deadsy.
MORE ALBUM NEWS
-- Los Lobos has wrapped up work on its 11th studio album. Co-produced by the band and legendary producer John Leckie, "Good Morning Aztlan" will be released on June 4. 2002 marks the 25th anniversary of Los Lobos' recording career. The band's first album, "Los Lobos Del Este De Los Angeles," was released in 1977. In 2001, the band released the Grammy-nominated four-CD box set "El Cancionero Mas Y Mas: A History Of The Band From East L.A."
-- After months of speculation -- and some pretty accurate Internet leaks -- Rush's U.S. label, Atlantic Records, has announced the new album is in fact called "Vapor Trails" and is expected in stores in May. Jam Music reports the CD, the Canadian power trio's 17th studio album and their first since 1996's "Test For Echo," was recorded in Toronto with producer Paul Northfield (Hole, Marilyn Manson).
-- Jarvis Cocker, Lambchop, Evan Dando and members of the Tindersticks are among the artists who've recorded their favorite Lee Hazlewood song for an upcoming tribute album to the legendary songwriter and producer. NME.com reports "Total Lee" will hit stores June 3 (on the City Slang label). Others on the album include the Webb Brothers and Johnny Dowd.
Moby samples some old TV stars in his new video.
Jam Music reports the techno musician recruited Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges of "Diff'rent Strokes" fame to appear in his video for "We Are All Made Out Of Stars," from his upcoming album "18." Other celebrities on the video include actor Corey Feldman, porn star Ron Jeremy, former Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, Vern "Mini-Me" Troyer of the second "Austin Powers" movie and "Ghost World" star Thora Birch.
This isn't the first time Moby has recruited Hollywood for his videos. A previous clip featured Christina Ricci in an angelic cameo.
"18" is due out May 14.
DETROIT MUSIC AWARDS
Eminem, Madonna, Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker, Marshall Crenshaw, The White Stripes and D-12 are among the nominees for the 2002 Detroit Music Awards, which will be presented April 19 at the State Theatre in downtown Detroit.
The DMAs are an annual presentation of the Motor City Music Foundation (MCMF), a non-profit volunteer organization formed to nurture, promote and expose musicians and their work in the greater metropolitan Detroit area.
Among this year's multiple nominees in 72 categories are The Brothers Groove, Buggs Beddow, Jan Krist, The Wrenfields, The Alligators, Carl Craig, The Dearing Concert Duo and others. Distinguished Achievement Awards will be presented to Detroit Jazz great George 'Sax' Benson, Longtime Detroit radio host Ed Love and the annual Cass Corridor event "Dally in the Alley."
Live performances at this year's show include a special Detroit-style Hip-Hop Throwdown featuring Royce da 5-9 along with friends Obie Trice and Paradime. Other artists performing are George 'Sax' Benson, the heavy metal band Riot in Progress, past Reggae award winners Immunity, and Country artists Janis Leigh and Traci Leigh Bouchard.
There will also be a special tribute to the late Aaliyah by student dancers from the Almdale Conservatory and the Detroit Dance Academy.
Members of Second City will host the event for the second year in a row.
HIP-HOP HALL OF FAME
Hip-hop trailblazers Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Run-DMC's DJ Jam Master Jay, Crazy Legs and some of the people who inspired them in their youth were all present Wednesday night in New York for the inaugural Hip-Hop Hall of Fame induction ceremony, MTV News reports.
Unfortunately, many of the first 15 inductees -- including the father of hip-hop DJ Kool Herc, LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, Afrika Bambaataa, KRS-One and Russell Simmons -- were no-shows. The late Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur were also among the inductees.
The Hip-Hop Hall of Fame is part of the Hip-Hop Super Conference & Expo, which runs through the end of the week at the Puck Building. It's the brainchild of David Olu, who created the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame board game two years ago. He told MTV News the inductees were chosen by people voting at the Web site (hhsc2002.com) the past few months. Notorious B.I.G. was the favorite, getting 60 percent of the nods.
Organizers said they're currently trying to secure a location for the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame museum.
1950s and '60s pop singer and actress Connie Francis is suing Universal Music Corp. in federal court in New York.
In court documents, Francis alleges that Universal over the years has breached its contractual obligations to her, systemically grossly underreported record royalties due her, and intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon her by licensing the use of her recordings in two sexually explicit motion pictures featuring rape scenes and deviant sexual conduct.
The entertainer's lawyer, Brian Caplan, said they're seeking tens of millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages, the rescission of her recording agreements, and the return of her master recordings.
Francis was raped in a Long Island, N.Y., hotel room in 1974, which led to years of depression. Later, she was a member of President Reagan's task force on violent crime, which addressed the issues of the plight of crime victims.