KICK-OFF Korn will launch their new album ”Issues” in uptown style. On Nov. 15 the band will perform the album live at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, complete with backup from a choir. Tickets will be given away by selected radio stations worldwide; the show will be broadcast live at 10 p.m. EST on those radio stations, and cybercast on the Korn website.
BATTLE OF THE SPICES Selling well is the best revenge: Departed Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and still-Spicing Emma (”Baby Spice”) Bunton both released solo singles last Monday in England. Halliwell’s ”Lift Me Up” shot to No. 1 on the British charts while Bunton’s ”What I Am” had to settle for second. ”I’m the happiest girl in England,” Halliwell told BBC Radio One. ”I’ve got the biggest grin on my face.” Meanwhile, Bunton may be checking to see if Jeff Gilooly is looking for work.
BAND PLAYS ON Van Halen has dumped a third singer, but insists that the band will survive. Announcing Gary Cherone’s departure, they made the usual obligatory ”We-wish-Gary-well-we’re-all-still-good-pals” noises, and added, ”The band is currently working on its next LP, and Cherone is pursuing new musical ventures.”
ALL-STAR LINEUP Ricky Martin, Britney Spears, and Jennifer Lopez are scheduled to perform on this year’s Billboard Music Awards, which will be broadcast live from Las Vegas Dec. 8 on Fox.
REEL DEALS The Farrelly Brothers will produce ”Sonny Bright,” a comedy about a government employee who gets entangled with a woman after her ex-con boyfriend dies next to him on a plane. Doug Liman (”Go”) will direct…. ”Seinfeld” cocreator Larry David has sold a pitch to Castle Rock for ”Envy,” a black comedy about two friends whose relationship goes bad when one gets wildly rich, a plot that echoes David’s ”Sour Grapes.” If at first you don’t succeed…. Brad Silberling (”City of Angels”) may direct a remake of H.G. Wells’ ”The Time Machine.”
GIVE HIM BACK HIS NAME The Artist Formerly Known As Prince has told Time magazine that he doesn’t like the wordy appellation bestowed on him, and he prefers to be known by the unspeakable glyph he adopted in 1993. His wife, Mayte, says that when she needs to talk to him, ”I just stand in front of him and get his attention. But if you need to say what I call him, you can say I call him ‘honey.”’ That’s not recommended for everyone.
ONLINE THREAT Variety reports that ”Access Hollywood” may pull what was going to be a weekly segment in which Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX) founder Max Keiser predicts the upcoming weekend’s box office grosses. The segment prompted an outcry from studio execs who have threatened to block access to their stars and movie clips if it continues. At HSX, visitors buy imaginary ”shares” in upcoming movies based on how they believe films will perform, and Keiser has been translating the resultant ”stock prices” to probable grosses. According to Variety, studios that are already nervous about opening-weekend numbers – where movies can be declared a bomb after only three days – were enraged that somebody was now calling winners and losers even before the films opened. (Keiser cut close to the bone with his predictions.) Many studio reps have complained to ”Access” exec producer Gary Considine, who claims that he will keep running Keiser’s segment and declined to comment on the potential boycott.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN? James Brown may be one of the musicians delivering an anti-hate and -violence message in a concert tour organized by Michael and Vonda Shoels, whose son was killed at Columbine. The couple told the Associated Press that it was the idea of Brown’s minister, and they are meeting with the Godfather of Soul this week in Georgia.
CASTING Paul Giamatti (Pig Vomit in ”Private Parts”) will play undercover cop Martin Lawrence’s partner in ”Big Momma’s House”…. Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth (”You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”) will star in a new NBC sitcom as the good-hearted assistant to an amoral New York megamogul. When her soul is crushed by the greed she encounters, hilarity ensues!
RUMOR SQUASHED Paul McCartney isn’t letting a little gossip get in the way of a good deed. He has been helping a British former model, Heather Mills, record a benefit album for disabled war victims, and is brushing aside the English press’s dream that there’s an affair blooming. ”I will continue to work with Heather Mills on the recording project,” McCartney said in a statement. ”And even though this story [of romance] is not true, I hope it will bring attention to her worthwhile efforts for the disabled worldwide.” Mills, 31, had a leg amputated six years ago after being hit by a motorcycle cop.