SURGERIES ”Titanic” diva Celine Dion underwent surgery and will be convalescing for the next three weeks. Though the nature of the operations were undisclosed, it was reported the singer, who is currently on a two to three-year sabbatical, was being treated at a New York City fertility clinic. Dion declined to perform at the funeral today of Canadian hockey legend Maurice Richard, citing health problems…. Rocker Rod Stewart, 55, had an operation to remove a lump in his thyroid gland. Doctors had chosen to remove the nodule to ensure that it was benign. His spokesman said that his vocal chords were unaffected by the surgery. Oh, good, we were so worried.
WEB NEWS Michael Jackson announced that he is a key partner and investor in HollywoodTicket.com. The promotional site, which gives fans a chance to win backstage passes to concerts, will launch later this summer. Jackson is expected to play a big role in soliciting talent for the site’s productions. The first contest features a backstage ticket to ‘N Sync‘s concert in L.A. on June 9. Gee, why didn’t he get his buddy Liz Taylor for the first gig?
MOB SCENE More than 130 fans were arrested and 30 injured at a rave-like festival outside of Boston, featuring Godsmack, Cypress Hill, and Stone Temple Pilots. About 56 people were taken in for minor drug possession and alcohol related offenses, while the others were busted for trespassing, after hundreds rushed the field-level barricades during the Godsmack set. None of the injuries — mostly broken noses from the mosh pit — were considered life threatening.
BLOCKED Workers at England’s much-maligned $1.14 million Millennium Dome were lambasted in the regional press yesterday, after it was revealed that an unrecognized Michelle Pfeiffer was told the attraction was over capacity and turned away when she tried to visit with her two small children. ”It seems she arrived incognito with a group of friends and tried to go in via the pay booth,” a Dome spokesman said. Oh, the audacity.
NAPSTER NEWS Motley Crüe has turned against fellow metalheads and joined forces with Camp Chaos, the Web-based animators behind ”Napster BAD,” a spoof of Metallica that recently flooded the Internet. The band has created ”Metalligreed,” featuring band members sharing their opinions on Metallica and its part in the Napster battle. In one clip, the cartoon caricature of singer Vince Neil spouts, ”What a group of cranky, moody assholes. I mean they employ a f—ed-up gimmick like a lawsuit to stir press and media attention… just to promote their f—ing tour.”
WEB DEALS AOL and CBS will combine forces to promote the 24 hour webcast of ”Big Brother,” the prime-time reality series that begins July 6. The companies will cohost the BigBrother2000.com, and AOL customers will have access to exclusive content and chats with the ”Big Brother” participants once the 13-week series ends…. ”Ren & Stimpy” creator John Kricfalusi signed a deal with Icebox.com that commits his newest, raunchiest work exclusively to the site for the next three years.
OASIS WOES Liam Gallagher tells the British tab the Sun today that Oasis will be ”dead” if his wayward bro, Noel, chooses to release a solo album. Liam also downplays the squabble between the two that led Noel to abruptly ditch the band’s tour last week. ”I have disagreements with everyone, not just Noel,” he says. That’s comforting.
CASTING George Clooney is in talks to star in Fox 2000’s ”Unfaithful,” a drama based on 1968’s French thriller ”La Femme Infidel”…. Anthony Hopkins has reportedly been offered the lead in Castle Rock’s ”Hearts in Atlantis,” a thriller based on a Stephen King short story. ”Snow Falling on Cedars” director, Scott Hicks, is in talks to helm the flick…. ”The Messenger”’s Milla Jovovich will star with Adrien Brody (”The Summer of Sam”) in the indie film ”Dummy.”
CABLE NEWS AT&T has made a deal to carry the Hot Network, a hardcore porn channel, in an effort to add much-needed customers to its cable-telephone business. The company, which has promised to have 400,000 customers by the end of the year, currently has 60,000. Come on, ”Reach out and touch someone.”
CHARITABLE ACT Sting is reportedly planning to take on world chess champion Garry Kasparov in a charity match on ”Good Morning America” in late June. Hope the money raised isn’t contingent on Sting’s playing time.
OBITS Singer, sax player, and bandleader Gordon ”Tex” Beneke, who made hits of songs like ”Chattanooga Choo Choo” and ”I Got a Gal in Kalamazoo” for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, died in a convalescent home near Orange County, Calif. He was 86.