Oh, what a week it was for music news. My head hurts just thinking about it. No, wait – that’s just my hangover.
Twelve-time Brit Award winner and international chart topper Robbie Williams disclosed plans to release a version of “We Are the Champions,” recorded with the remaining members of Queen. Poor Freddie Mercury is pirouetting in his grave. Williams also told a British chat show he’s been wrestling with alcoholism off-and-on for the past four years. Let’s hope he sobers up for good before somebody convinces him to tackle “Radio Ga Ga.”
Mariah Carey’s new deal with Virgin Records will net the singer $117 million for five albums, or $23.5 million per disc. Assuming each CD is 74 minutes long, that means she’ll be earning $317,567.55 per minute, or $5,292.79 a second. Minimum wage in the United States, meanwhile, is holding steady at $5.15 an hour. All That Glitters, indeed.
A little-known songwriter is suing Marc Anthony, claiming the Latin heartthrob plagiarized substantial chunks of his No. 3 hit “I Need to Know” from the plaintiff’s obscure original of the same name. “It’s yet another example of where there’s a hit, you often find an opportunistic lawsuit,” the singer’s attorney told the press. How come nobody ever files these suits over good songs? Oh, right, we’re talking about “hit” music. Never mind.
Speaking of hits, the singles compilation Now That’s What I Call Music! 6, featuring such future Where Are They Now? candidates as ATC, 3LW, LMNOP, and Evan & Jaron (hey, weren’t they the Wonder Twins on Super Friends?), entered the album charts at No. 1. Apparently some people still haven’t figured out how to use Napster.
In Michigan, Eminem dodged having to serve hard time but was sentenced to two years’ probation for carrying a concealed weapon. Upon learning of the verdict, Elton John congratulated Slim Shady with a $420,000 bouquet, delivered by up-and-comer FTD.
Carol Dennis, a former backup singer for Bob Dylan, admitted that she and the grizzled Oscar winner had been secretly married for six years, and had a daughter together. Dennis made the disclosure in response to unflattering allegations in a new Dylan biography. “To say that I got a huge settlement that forced Bob to do concert tours in the ’90s is totally fictitious, irresponsible, and hurtful,” she told the media. She did, however, admit to accepting an undisclosed sum to shoulder all the blame for Under the Red Sky.
Angst-ridden quartet Live is soliciting fans for opinions of six new songs posted at www.getlivemp3.com and is taking them into consideration as it completes work on the forthcoming follow-up to The Distance to Here. What a great idea – focus groups for albums. I mean, just look at how soliciting opinions from the unwashed masses has improved the quality of Hollywood movies.
Steven Seagal is working on a record album. It reportedly includes a cover of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” Smart move – if this guy sings half as well as he acts, he’s going to have to ask more than just the Almighty for forgiveness.
Finally, rumors are flying that British performer Geri Halliwell (a k a the Artist Formerly Known as Ginger Spice) had her head digitally superimposed on the body of a professional dancer for her new video, a cover of the Weathergirls’ 1982 gay classic “It’s Raining Men,” featured on the soundtrack to Bridget Jones’s Diary. Can’t vouch for the video, but the recording is one of the worst things we’ve ever heard (and that’s including Geri’s cover of “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” in Rugrats in Paris) – maybe next time they should superimpose her head onto the body of a professional singer.