February 22, 2001

Entertainment News

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Music’s Night

Steely Dan took home top honors, Faith Hill and U2 were big winners, and Elton John and Eminem hugged. Turn to Page 12 for a complete wrap-up of last night’s Grammy Awards.

Mo’ Problems

A surprise witness may ruin Puff Daddy’s chances of staying out of the big house. It now appears that a key witness, Matthew “Scar” Allen, is in custody and could be brought to testify against Sean “Puffy” Combs in the coming week. For now though, the prosecution has rested in the case against the hip-hop artist.

Puffy and his bodyguard, Anthony “Wolf” Jones, are being charged with gun possession and bribery in connection with a December 1999 shooting that injured three bystanders at the posh Club New York in Times Square. The defense is scheduled to begin its argument tomorrow.

According to witnesses, Allen was standing next to Combs during the shootings, and it was their dispute which is believed to have triggered the gunfire.

Sell Out

Also in court this week, song-swapping service Napster is trying to make a deal with the Recording Industry Association of America, in order to escape the potentially lethal blow from its copyright infringement lawsuit.

E! Online reports that Napster is offering $150 million annually over five years to Sony, Universal, Warner, EMI, and BMG, plus $50 million to independent labels. This offer comes one week after a federal appeals court told Napster to stop its 50 million users from trading copyrighted material over the Web. In effect, Napster is out of business unless the record labels can settle.

Trump TV

Donald Trump, real-estate and casino tycoon, is about to jump onto the reality television bandwagon.

He has proposed a new reality-based game show, tentatively titled Billionaire, where four contestants are given $1 million to spend in a half-hour. The person who can do it the quickest or come the closest to the million dollar mark will win what they have purchased. Trump of course is one of the main draws of the program and will host the proceedings.

Contestants will apply for the show, but they will not know they’ve been selected until just before they play. According to Trump, this spontaneous selection process will be part of the show’s unique appeal.

Players will be prohibited from using phones or computers for purchases, and a chauffeured car will provide transportation throughout their buying spree.

Billionaire is expected to debut this summer or fall, and unfortunately, I’ll be watching.

E-News, in 30 Seconds

Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, criticized Elton John for agreeing to perform with Eminem at the Grammys … CNN reports that between 350,000 and 400,000 feature length films are downloaded daily by students on college campuses … Ricky Martin will star in his first motion picture, The Assassination … X-Files creator Chris Carter said that this may be the show’s last season … Julia Louis-Dreyfus is close to signing with NBC for a new series … Drew Barrymore and Tom Green’s home was destroyed by fire early Sunday.

Quote of the Week

“Britney Spears became my talisman. I became obsessed with wearing Britney T-shirts. I felt it would bring me good luck. And it did.”

— Madonna in Rolling Stone, on her superstitious infatuation with the teen queen

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