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The Spice Girls' single goes No. 1 in England

Plus, the Backstreet Boys plan a world tour, Al Pacino will play Napoleon, Jamie Foxx may costar in ”Ali,” and more

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Emma Bunton, Spice Girls, ...
Spice: Craig Barrett/Retna UK

MUSIC HISTORY On Sunday the Spice Girls became the first female group to score nine No. 1 singles on the British pop charts, with the song ”Holler/ Let Love Lead the Way.” The Girls’ first single in nearly two years, ”Holler” is on their upcoming album, ”Forever” (out Nov. 6). Only four music acts have more British No. hits: Madonna, Cliff Richard (go check yourself if you don’t believe us), Elvis, and of course, the Beatles.

TOURS The Backstreet Boys release their new album ”Black & Blue” on Nov. 21, but they won’t start touring for the record until late January. AJ McLean told SonicNet on Friday that the Boys will kick off their world tour Jan. 23 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. After an eight week North American run, the quintet will visit Asia and Australia, then Europe and South America before returning to the U.S. for another six week run. According to McLean, the tour will run the entire calendar year, through November or December 2001. ”It’s finally going to be a true world tour,” McLean said. ”We’ve been saying we were going to do a world tour for the last two years, but we end up hitting the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and that’s about it as far as we go. This time we’re taking this tour the whole way around the world.” So let’s get this straight? Is he saying this will be a WORLD tour?… Been waiting to see Sheryl Crow perform for less than $50? Here’s your chance. The Grammy winning singer songwriter will headline a memorial concert in tribute of the late Missouri governor Mel Carnahan. Crow, who’s from Kennett, Mo., had appeared at previous fundraisers for the Democratic governor, who attended law school with her father. The $25 concert, which Crow’s camp says will include some of the singer’s friends, is scheduled for this Friday, Nov. 3, at the Pageant Club in University City, just outside St. Louis. Carnahan died in an Oct. 16 plane crash that also killed his son, Roger, and his chief campaign adviser, Chris Sifford. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Missouri Children’s Trust Fund.

LEGAL BRIEF Elton John began a $29 million legal action suit against a top firm of accountants Thursday. According to Reuters, Sir Elton, who was not present at London’s High Court for the start of the case, is suing international accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Andrew Haydon, former managing director of John Reid Enterprises, which used to manage the singer’s affairs. John claims millions of dollars are missing from his business holdings and is scheduled to appear as a witness during the hearing.

CASTING, PART I Al Pacino has signed on to play Napoleon Bonaparte in the feature drama ”Betsy and the Emperor,” a story loosely based on the French leader’s exile on the island of St. Helena. Patrice Chereau (”Queen Margot”) will direct the film, a fictional account of Napoleon’s relationship with his jailer’s daughter. Guess the years of being told he has a Napoleon complex finally paid off for Pacino…. Mike Myers is in final negotiations to headline the $20 million comedy ”Timepiece,” costarring Anne Heche and the busiest woman in Hollywood, Helen Hunt. The comedian, who, considering the budget, must have cut his $20 million asking price, will play a filmmaker directing a documentary about Heche. The movie, which Hunt is coproducing, starts shooting next February.

CASTING, PART II Jamie Foxx is in talks to star opposite Will Smith in Michael Mann’s Muhammad Ali biopic for Columbia Pictures. Foxx will play Drew ”Bundini” Brown, a flamboyant member of the Greatest’s entourage. ”Ali” begins shooting in January…. Johnny Knoxville, the star and cocreator of MTV’s popular new reality series ”Jackass,” will get $1 million to star in the comedy ”The Tree.” Stephen Surjik (”Wayne’s World 2”) will direct ”Tree,” a road trip buddy film about a truck driver (Knoxville) and a presidential aide who must transport the national Christmas tree from Washington State to Washington, D.C…. Christina Applegate will join fellow blond Cameron Diaz in the romantic comedy ”The Sweetest Thing.” Diaz and Applegate will play sexy best friends in search of — what else? — true love. Roger Kumble (”Cruel Intentions”) will direct.

TRAGEDY The LAPD shot and killed Anthony Dwain Lee, a supporting actor, at a Halloween party Saturday night. According to a Reuters report, police were called in to a Beverly Hills costume party after neighbors complained. After Lee, who had appeared in ”Liar, Liar” and several TV shows including ”NYPD Blue,” pointed a fake gun at a uniformed officer, the policeman feared for his life and shot him several times through a glass door. Apparently some partygoers were dressed as cops, so it is not known whether Lee thought the police officers were real or guests in costumes. Lee was 39 years old.

AXED Fox has sent its Friday night drama ”FreakyLinks” into hiatus during November sweeps. The ratings doomed series, about a webmaster who tracks down paranormal events, will be preempted Nov. 10 and 17 for ”Million Dollar Mysteries,” two hour long specials that examine high profile unsolved crimes. A Fox spokeswoman announced that the Internet savvy series isn’t canceled — it will be back in December.

TUBE NEWS Comedian Caroline Rhea (”Sabrina the Teenage Witch”) is getting her own syndicated TV show. Rhea, who’s also a regular on ”Hollywood Squares,” will star in ”Caroline,” a one hour variety/ talk show which Paramount Television will start selling to stations in the next few weeks.

BIRTH Holy Smokes, it’s another baby! Chris O’Donnell (”Batman and Robin”) and his wife, Caroline Fentress, had their second child, Christopher Eugene O’Donnell Jr., on Tuesday. O’Donnell’s publicist announced on Saturday that baby Christopher weighed 7 lbs. 9 oz. The couple also have a 1 year old daughter, Lily Anne.

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