TOURS Britney Spears may have sold zillions of records, but when it comes to live performances, audiences prefer stage veterans like Tina Turner. Turner’s farewell world tour grossed $80.2 million – more than any other act this year, according to stats released by Pollstar. ‘N Sync took a close second with $76.4 million. The boy band actually sold more tickets than their soulful rival – whose arena VIP seats were higher priced. Nevertheless, Turner’s ability to draw the crowds surprised many observers, given that the rocker was not traveling on the tail of a new hit record. (Her latest release, ”Twenty Four Seven,” hit stores in Dec. 1999.) Here’s a list of the year’s top 10 tours according to Pollstar:
1. Tina Turner $80.2 million
2. ‘N Sync $76.4 million
3. Dave Matthews Band $68.2 million
4. Kiss $62.7 million
5. Tim McGraw/ Faith Hill $48.8 million
6. Dixie Chicks $47.3 million
7. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band $45.9 million
8. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young $42.1 million
9. Metallica $42 million
10. Britney Spears $40.5 million
TV NEWS Another FBI agent is joining the cast of new faces on ”The X-Files.” Annabeth Gish (”Mystic Pizza,” ”Double Jeopardy”) has signed on to a three episode story arc this year. Gish will play an as yet unnamed partner to Robert Patrick’s John Dogget. Over time, the plot will reveal that she has a history with Dogget. If the show returns next year, Gish’s character will become a regular, exec producer Chris Carter told the Hollywood Reporter. ”She is quite unlike any of the other agents,” he said. ”She has been neither a firm believer nor a major skeptic, either.” In other words, she’s a whole lot like you and me.
WEB NEWS Napster has found yet another ally in the recording industry. Germany’s Edel Music – one of the world’s leading indie labels – announced a distribution deal with the song swapping service on Tuesday. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed; some suspect that Napster will receive little more than psychological support from Edel. (Whereas the widely publicized deal with Germany’s BMG helped the struggling software service financially.) ”It’s not really clear what Napster is getting out of this except that Edel may be the first label to say something about Napster other than it was suing the company,” Eric Scheirer, an analyst with Forrester Research told Reuters.
Meanwhile, Napster is also busy filing trademark infringement lawsuit of its own. The Internet company filed a suit against Sports Service Inc., a company that runs a website creatively titled NapsterStore.com, where merchandise bearing the song swapper’s well known logo is sold. (Lawyers have yet to comment.) Wait, shouldn’t The Offspring be suing them, too?
LEGALESE Janet Jackson’s estranged husband Rene Elizondo Jr. – with whom she was secretly married for nine years until their recent divorce – is suing the pop star over alleged failure to share royalties on her hit records, and for not dividing property the two acquired before 1991. Jackson’s lawyers have not responded to the suit.
CASTING Ray Park – best known as ”Phantom Menace” villain Darth Maul – has signed on to play the title role in a film adaptation of Marvel Comics’ ”Iron Fist.” Park will play Danny Rand, an American child raised in a temple in the Far East who returns to the U.S. to seek vengeance for his parents’ death. Rand has acquired superpowers through the ability to control his ”qi,” or bodily energy. (Jackie Chan can do that, too.)