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The Black Crowes announce a ''hiatus''

Plus, news about Creed, the American Music Awards, Mary J. Blige, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Dennis Hopper, George Lucas, Nicole Kidman, Suge Knight, and others

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Chris Robinson, The Black Crowes
The Black Crowes: Lee Kennedy/ZUMA Press

Have the Black Crowes shaken their last moneymaker? The band issued a statement saying that they’re ”on hiatus,” with frontman Chris Robinson ”pursuing a solo career,” and drummer Steve Gorman quitting the band for good. A report in the New York Post, however, suggests that the ”hiatus” is permanent, that Robinson’s marriage to Kate Hudson a year ago means he isn’t hanging out and raising hell with his bandmates anymore, that the band was demoralized by the poor sales of 2001’s ”Lions,” and that the sibling rivalry between Chris and guitarist Rich Robinson made the split irreversible.

It’s certainly true that the Robinson’s public squabbling was notorious enough that the band joined with the similarly fractious Noel and Liam Gallagher of Oasis for a 2000’s jokingly named ”Brotherly Love” tour. Still, the Crowes remain a top touring attraction, and the Post quoted the band’s publicist as saying the Robinson brothers spent Christmas together in Aspen. He also denied rumors that Chris Robinson had broken up the band by fax….

SOUND BITES It’s been nearly two months of winter ”Weathered” for Creed, who’ve held the top spot on the Billboard chart for seven weeks. Like most albums in the top 10, ”Weathered” saw a 50 percent drop in sales this week, moving 165,725 units, according to SoundScan. Linkin Park‘s ”Hybrid Theory,” which became 2001’s top-selling album without ever reaching the top of the chart, was at No. 2 this week, selling 125,350 copies. Ludacris‘ ”Word of Mouf” climbed one slot to No. 3 (105,600 sold). Nickelback‘s ”Silver Side Up” took fourth place, with sales of 103,275. Dropping two places was ”NOW That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 8” (96,575 copies).

Rounding out the top 10 were Enya‘s ”A Day Without Rain” (No. 6), Ja Rule‘s ”Pain Is Love” (No. 7), Pink‘s ”M!ssundaztood” (No. 8), Nas‘ ”Stillmatic” (No. 9), and No Doubt‘s ”Rock Steady,” climbing one place to No. 10.