Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International


Soul music diva Diana Ross was charged with three counts of driving while under the influence of alcohol in Arizono Monday, Tuscon police confirm. Ross, 58, was stopped by cops after a witness noticed the white car she was driving swerving erratically on the road. Acting on the tip, cops stopped the former Motown star and gave her a breath test, which showed her blood-alcohol level to be .20, more than twice the legal limit, police said. The former Supremes lead singer was alone in the car. Police wrote her up on three counts, all misdemeanors, then drove her to the area location where she was staying. Ross is scheduled to face charges in municipal court Jan. 13.



Justin Timberlake has found yet another shoulder to cry on. The lovesick Lothario is making the interview rounds crying over the loss of former heartthrob Britney Spears. The latest revelations come by way of Rolling Stone.

"I may not ever get over her," Timberlake whined in the interview. "I do have to come to the realization that I might never (recover). But I still love her. I really do still love that girl."


Timberlake, 21, revealed to Rolling Stone Spears was the third girl in his life to break his heart -- the first two were high school sweethearts.

"I mean, she has a beautiful heart," said Timberlake, "but if I've lost my trust in someone, I don't think it's right for me to be with them."


Rapper/film star Eminem almost singlehandedly propped up the ailing record industry in 2003, R.I.A.A. year-end stats confirmed. With the best-selling album and soundtrack of the year, Eminem dominated the Recording Industry Association of America certifications, Billboard Bulletin reports. "The Eminem Show" (Interscope) went platinum by moving a million copies in its first week on its way to more than 7 million units moved. Later in the year, the soundtrack to the Eminem film "8 Mile" sold more than 3 million copies. That's more than twice the sales of the second biggest seller, Nelly, whose "Nellyville" (Fo' Reel/Universal) accounted for 5 million units. Avril Lavigne was next, moving 4 million copies of "Let Go" (Arista).


On "Belive," the second gospel-flavored album from master New Orleans vocalist, pop star and Grammy winner Aaron Neville, classic gospel favorites share the spotlight with beloved folk/funk/pop tunes and original melodies, all imparted with Neville's deep connection to the inspired music he grew up loving. "Believe," the followup to Neville's first gospel recording, 2000's Grammy-nominated "Devotion," bristles with heartfelt emotion and Neville's trademark vocals. The album is scheduled for release on Neville's own Tell It Records, through EMI Gospel, Jan. 28. Co-produced with Barry Beckett, who worked with Bob Dylan on his 1979 gospel-laced "Slow Train Comin'," the album's mood is upbeat. Included are Neville's glorious version of "Amazing Grace" and "Ave Maria," and his soulful versions of Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody" and Sam Cooke's "Change Gonna Come."



It's been a lot of fun covering the pop music world for all of our faithful readers out there. Rock News wishes all of our fans a happy, healthy and tuneful 2003. Keep watching this space for coverage of the best and worst moments the wacky world of pop music has to offer in the year to come.

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