Plus, ''Survivor'' in space, Lisa ''Left Eye'' Lopes, ''Spider-Man,'' Halle Berry, Marc Anthony, and more
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CANCELED Christina Aguilera is having, like, a real bummer of a time. Doctors advised the diva-ette to rest her voice for at least three days, according to a statement posted on her website yesterday. This means Aguilera was unable to perform last night at the GTE Virginia Beach Amphitheater, where she was scheduled to play for a crowd of nearly 20,000. Laryngitis forced the singer to cancel a show in New York over Labor Day weekend, as well as a gig in Boston last Friday. ”Due to efforts to avoid a lengthy or serious vocal problem, Christina’s doctors, concerned that her voice is slightly strained due to her heavy schedule, have asked her to take three days off to rest,” the statement says. All those unnecessary vocal acrobatics probably have nothing to do with it.
REALITY TV NBC is preparing to send citizens to outer space. The network will ante up nearly $40 mil for ”Destination Mir,” ”Survivor” exec producer Mark Burnett‘s new reality concept, according to Daily Variety. The show would track a group of wannabe cosmonauts as they compete over 13 to 15 episodes to see who is best prepared for the solar system. The winner gets a trip to Russia’s Mir space station. In related news, NASA is preparing to launch a space shuttle pilot on UPN.
MISSING TLC‘s Lisa ”Left Eye” Lopes has reportedly been turning up all over the world. ”Inside Edition” has a tape of Lopes and her boyfriend, model Sean Newman, exiting a New Orleans hotel. And her Arista publicist Max Shelton tells Rolling Stone ”there have also been calls from Honduras and Los Angeles over the weekend claiming they’ve seen her.” So maybe that WAS her we spotted munching a knish in Central Park yesterday.
CASTING Nicolas Cage isn’t the only superstar considering a role as the nefarious Green Goblin. Variety reports that John Malkovich is in negotiations to play the web slinger’s nemesis in ”Spider-Man,” Sony’s adaptation of the Marvel comics series. The moral? It’s not easy being green (or is that the Jim Carrey theme?)…. With an Emmy still hot in her hand, Halle Berry is in negotiations to star opposite John Travolta and ”X-Men”’s Hugh Jackman in ”Swordfish.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has offered Berry some $2.5 mil — her highest paycheck to date — to play an undercover spy in the computer hacker thriller.
RAGE Shortly after Rage Against the Machine bass player Tim Commerford was released from police custody for his rafter climbing stunt at the MTV Video Music Awards, his band mates attempted to explain the incident. ”Earlier, Tim had mentioned something about toppling the podium if we won [Best Rock Video],” guitarist Tom Morello told Rolling Stone. Commerford was apparently inspired by a D’Angelo comment about the unlimited ”spirit” of rock. Even before Limp Bizkit (who won the Best Video prize) had left their seats, the Rage member leapt onto the stage, while Morello yelled, ”Tim! No!” he recalled. ”I was cowering in my seat while he climbed up there, squatted on the MTV precipice and started rocking back and forth, seemingly trying to fall over on the two sexiest people in the industry, Lopez and D’Angelo.”’ That would have REALLY showed ’em.
MORE MUSIC BAD NEWS Marc Anthony has bowed out of a performance at the Latin Grammy Awards (Sept. 13) because of complications with his wife, ex Miss Universe Dayanara Torres‘, pregnancy. ”At this time more than ever, I need to retreat and be with my wife and family,” says a statement on his website. The crooner — who was nominated for awards in five categories — and his missus are expecting their baby in February…. Jimmy Page‘s back injury has forced the cancellation of more gigs with the Led Zeppelin guitarist and the Black Crowes. The ensemble has nixed the remainder of their U.S. shows as well as upcoming tour dates in Europe, because doctors ordered Page to rest for at least six weeks. Reports says that tourists have seen black smoke rising from Bonzo’s grave.
WEB NEWS Warner Music Group is making a belated entry into the digital fray. According to the Hollywood Reporter, WMG, which just entered a pact with RealNetworks, will offer more than 1,000 tracks for download beginning in November. Exec VP Paul Vidich told HR that the Internet foray was only somewhat related to the planned merger of Time Warner (EW.com’s parent) and AOL. ”This is a separate initiative…. But the way this will hook back into AOL is that, as we sell though Wall-Mart or CDNow or Amazon, those companies have retail relationships with AOL, and it’s through those retail relationships that the AOL customers will be able to buy the downloads.” In other words, it’s secondary reaction strategy. Like the time when Dr. Evil announced his plan to detonate a nuclear weapon in the center of the earth and thereby cause every volcano in the world to erupt.
LEGALESE Alvin and the Chipmunks have issues with Universal. Reuters reports that the family which owns the rights to the super cute cartoon characters has filed a $105 million lawsuit against Universal Studios. The suit claims that Universal execs inflated the truth when they told Chipmunks creator Ross Bagdasarian’s clan that Alvin, Theodore, and Simon would be a ”cornerstone” of the studio’s endeavors. Instead, they allege that the studio only wanted to buy the rights to a Chipmunks movie that was discussed in the mid-’90s but that has since been shelved. A spokesperson for Universal says that, as a matter of policy, they do not comment on litigation. But Vhy Darlinks?