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Shania Twain breaks records

Plus, Pierce Brosnan, Frankie Muniz, John Travolta, Ice Cube, ”Titus,” and more

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Shania Twain
George Holz

RECORD BREAKER Shania Twain‘s album ”Come on Over” now stands as the best-selling album in country music history and the best-selling album ever by a female artist, after being certified for sales of 17 million units. ”Over” was previously tied with Garth Brooks’ ”No Fences” for best-selling country album and Alanis Morissette‘s ”Jagged Little Pill” as the best-selling album by a female artist.

INJURED Actor Pierce Brosnan‘s 16-year-old son, Sean, suffered multiple fractures and spinal injuries Saturday when a car he was riding in plunged 150 to 200 feet down a steep embankment near Malibu, Calif. Brosnan was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center, where he was being treated for a fractured pelvis, a possible vertebra fracture, and a ruptured bladder.

CASTING ”Malcolm in the Middle”’s Frankie Muniz joins Matt Dillon, Stephen Dorff, Brad Renfro, Balthazar Getty, and Deborah Harry in the ensemble drama ”Deuces Wild.” The story, set in 1958, revolves around a group of Brooklyn youngsters.”The Basketball Diaries”’s Scott Kalvert will direct. And Martin Scorsese is executive producing…. John Travolta will star in Paramount’s ”Domestic Disturbance” about a divorced father (Travolta) who must rescue his 11-year-old son from the boy’s new stepfather. The script was written by Lewis Colick (”October Sky”).

TV NEWS HBO has signed a deal with rapper/actor Ice Cube to develop and produce ”Be Careful What You Wish For,” a series about the urban recording industry. Although he will not star in the series, Cube will write the pilot, have a recurring role, and possibly direct. Other rap artists may also appear in cameo roles…. Fox has ordered 13 additional episodes of ”Titus,” the working-class comedy starring Christopher Titus. The show has been a surprise success, averaging 11 million viewers weekly…. 25-year-old Brande Roderick, one of 74 year old Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s three girlfriends, will be the new female lead of ”Baywatch Hawaii.”

MORE CHANGES Diana Ross has tapped remixer Jonathan Peters (Whitney Houston’s ”My Love Is Your Love”) to retool several classic Supremes tunes for her upcoming ”Return to Love” tour. Peters, who was personally contacted by Ross, will create a dance medley from such hits as ”Reflections,” ”Baby Love,” ”Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart,” ”Where Did Our Love Go?,” ”Stop in the Name of Love,” and ”You Keep Me Hanging On.” In a statement to Allstar, Peters said: ”It seemed a crime to mess with these classics, but when Diana Ross tells you to do it, you do it.” Of course, Mary Wilson might beg to differ.

SPICE WORLD British Airways has offered compensation to Victoria ”Posh Spice” Beckham after her luggage was stolen at Heathrow Airport, Sunday. According to Reuters, the lost baggage reportedly contained clothing, song lyrics, and other personal belongings…. Reuters also reports that a British tabloid is calling Sporty Spice Mel C ”Beefy Spice” after printing pictures of the fitness-conscious star in a thong bikini. One onlooker is quoted as saying, ”She was more like a Russian shot-putter than a glamorous Spice Girls star.”

REEL DEALS Variety reports that rocker Rob Zombie will make his feature film writing and directing debut with ”House of 1,000 Corpses.” Several years ago, Zombie was tapped to write and direct ”The Crow: 2037, ” but the project has yet to be produced…. Following the blockbuster success of ”Erin Brockovich,” Universal Pictures has renewed its three-year first-look production deal with Jersey Films, the company run by ”Brockovich” producers actor Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, and Stacey Sher.

NAPSTER NEWS The University of Southern California says it won’t join other schools in banning student access to the popular MP3-swapping site Napster. USC issued a statement Friday saying it will permit its students access to Napster ”only for demonstrably legal purposes.” Carol Mauch, an attorney for USC, said that Napster contains some applications ”which are clearly legal, such as the chat rooms focused on various styles of music.” USC made the announcement following a lawsuit filed by Metallica, which accused USC, Yale, and Indiana University of encouraging students to pirate copyrighted music. Yale and Indiana were dropped from the lawsuit after announcing they would block student access to Napster.

TOURING The Limp Bizkit/Cypress Hill tour will kick off July 4 in Chicago and conclude Aug. 6. Limp Bizkit is still working on the follow-up to their hit ”Significant Other,” tentatively titled ”Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water.” Cypress Hill’s new album, the two-disc set ”Skull & Bones,” will be released Tuesday.

MORNING SHOW NEWS ”Today” show host Matt Lauer tells the upcoming USA Weekend magazine that celebrities and politicians often frustrate him. ”They’re trying to schmooze you,” says Lauer. ”Politicians and movie stars practice [their responses], and it’s very hard to know if you’re getting a real window into anything that resembles their personality.”

HIP-HOP HOORAY Rap music mogul Russell Simmons is mobilizing such hip-hop artists as Sean (Puffy) Combs, Mary J. Blige and LL Cool J for ” Rap the Vote,” a voter registration drive aimed at young music fans. The ads will appear on TV and on Simmons’ new Website, 360hiphop.com, which launches next month…. Simmons is also planning to open a 14,000-square-foot flagship store in Harlem, which will carry Simmons’ own Phat Farm clothing line, other designer duds, home furnishings, and jewelry…. In other hip-hop fashion news, Sean ”Puffy” Combs was nominated for a Perry Ellis Award For Menswear by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The winners will be announced during the 2000 American Fashion Awards show in New York on June 15.

ALL IN THE FAMILY Leslie Carter, 13 year old sister of the Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter, has signed with DreamWorks Records. Nick’s younger brother Aaron is already signed to edel music. And the family cat is said to be the subject of a bidding war.

OBITUARY 31-year-old Ronald Blackburn, a founding member of the hip-hop group Digital Underground, was shot to death outside a San Francisco nightclub Thursday…. Neal Matthews Jr., a member of the singing quartet The Jordanaires, died Friday at age 70 of an apparent heart attack. The Jordanaires sang backup for Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline Ricky Nelson, Merle Haggard Tom Jones, among others.