MILLION SELLERS No surprise here, but Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys both hit sales landmarks this week. With more than 6 million copies sold, ”…Baby One More Time” is now tied with LeAnn Rimes’ ”Blue” as the best-selling album ever by a teen female. And by hitting 7 million, the Boys’ ”Millennium” tied with ‘N Sync’s debut album as the top seller of the year.
CASE CLOSED Sean ”Puffy” Combs has put that whole ”beat the hell out of a record executive” thing behind him. By pleading guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree harassment, he was sentenced Wednesday to attend a one-day anger-management course. Had he gone to court to face the original assault and criminal-mischief charges for allegedly beating Steve Stoute with a chair and champagne bottle in April, he risked being sentenced to up to seven years in prison. ”This is a case that is much ado about nothing,” his lawyer told the press after the hearing. ”He shouldn’t have lost his temper, and he wants to put all of this behind him. It was an unfortunate incident. He felt very good about taking the plea.”
EDITORS EVERYWHERE Singapore officials have demanded edits of ”Eyes Wide Shut” in order for it to be shown in their country, and since Kubrick forbade Warner Bros. to make any cuts in his film, it may never be screened there. The government’s Film Appeals Committee nixed one scene with female-on-female oral sex, and also said that having the sacred Hindu text the Bhagavad Gita chanted over an orgy scene was sacrilegious and has to be taken off the soundtrack. May we suggest replacing it with Britney Spears’ ”Crazy”? It might help throw her album over the edge and finally put that upstart LeAnn Rimes in her place.
RECORD RELEASE Marilyn Manson is releasing a live album in mid-November, which will feature songs from throughout his career recorded during last year’s ”Mechanical Animals” tour. The shock rocker will also be putting out a compilation of 13 of his music videos called ”God Is in the TV,” which will include the previously unseen ”Coma TV.” MTV has twice delayed the clip, which includes a reenactment of JFK’s assassination starring Manson and Rose McGowan: Once because of the Columbine shooting, and again after JFK Jr.’s death. The tape (sales date unknown) will also include an hour of behind-the-scenes tour footage that might possibly send you to hell just for looking at them.
ON STAGE Chrissie Hynde and Stevie Nicks have signed on to join Sheryl Crow in her Sept. 14 Central Park concert. (Eric Clapton and Sarah McLachlan are already on the roster.) David Bowie was reportedly going to be part of the fun, but organizers announced he had to pull out because of scheduling conflicts.
ON THE AIR The UPN is close to picking up ”Doomsday,” a new animated show by Howard Stern about a family trucking around America in a mobile home after a nuclear war. Think ”The Road Warrior” with less violence and more flatulence.
CASTING Singer Mary J. Blige is making her acting debut in ”Prison Song,” a musical showing what led a young man (played by rapper Q-Tip) from a poor upbringing to prison…. There’s a ”Rugrats” sequel in the works for Thanksgiving 2000, and Susan Sarandon, John Lithgow, and Debbie Reynolds have signed their voice boxes on. In ”Rugrats in Paris – The Movie,” the tots will head to Paris. And it’s a movie. Any other mysteries in the title we can straighten out for you?…. William Hurt woos Lena Olin and upsets her son in the process in ”Sebastian’s Love,” to be directed by Lasse Hallstrom (”What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”)…. Michael Caine will star as a gangster in ”King Swanny,” a modern update of ”King Lear.”