Plus, news about the Spice Girls, Elvis Presley, Jennifer Connelly, Sundance, Jon Favreau, John Stamos, Tim Burton, and others

By Gary Susman
November 28, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST
Sean ''Puffy'' Combs: Evan Agostini/ImageDirect

SOUND BITES ”Safety” and ”role model” are phrases you might not associate with Sean ”P. Diddy” Combs, but MTV has picked him to promote safe sex as host of the channel’s annual AIDS documentary, to air on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1. ”More than ever before, we need to focus on what unites us, not divides us,” the rap impresario said in a statement. ”HIV and AIDS touches everyone, it kills without conscience, rich or poor, black or white, young or old.” The show, called ”Staying Alive,” will air on MTV worldwide and features interviews with teens and AIDS patients from around the globe….

Nostalgia moves faster than ever nowadays. The Spice Girls, who were huge stars in 1998, last toured in 1999, and were has-beens by the time the released their album ”Forever” in 2000, are talking about a reunion tour. Emma Bunton (”Baby Spice”) tells English newspaper The Sun, ”We have discussed touring as a four-piece but never getting Geri back for it.” (Geri Halliwell, the Spice Girl formerly known as Ginger, left the quintet in 1998.) ”It’s something we would all like to do and I think it would be an amazing show because we would have Spice songs as well as solo ones.” After Sept. 11, it seems nothing could be more irrelevant than a Spice Girls reunion, but then, if irrelevant pop vocal groups can’t stage nostalgia tours anymore, then the terrorists win….

Sure, Elvis Presley was the king of rock & roll, but he was also an acclaimed gospel singer; the three Grammy Awards he earned were all for his devotional music. Today, he’ll be inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, in a ceremony at the People’s Church in Franklin, Tenn., south of Nashville. Other inductees today include Albertina Walker, Wendy Bagwell & the Sunliters, and the Rambos. (They must sing ”Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.”)

Speaking of Christian music, Warner Music Group is buying Word Entertainment, the Nashville company that is the third-largest Christian record label, whose 30 artists include Amy Grant and Point of Grace. Word commands 25 percent of the Christian music market, which makes up 5 percent of the overall music market.

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