Plus, news about Justin Timberlake, Eminem, Jude Law, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jim Carrey, Bernie Mac, Matthew Broderick, Aretha Franklin, and others

By Gary Susman
Updated November 30, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST
Creed: Stewart/Retna

Meredith Willson's The Music Man

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SOUND BITES Creed fans had their wallets wide open, sending the band’s ”Weathered” to No. 1 on the Billboard chart its first week and making it the second-biggest selling premiere of the year. The record sold 887,225 copies, according to SoundScan, second only to the 1.9 million copies that ‘N Sync‘s ”Celebrity” sold its first week in July. Also debuting strongly was the compilation ”NOW That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 8,” which includes hits by ‘N Sync, Destiny’s Child, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Aaliyah. It sold 548,900 copies to finish second. Britney Spears‘ ”Britney” sold 451,000 copies, some 114,000 more than last week, but that wasn’t enough to keep it from slipping one spot to No. 3. Garth Brooks‘ ”Scarecrow” dropped three slots to No. 4 (442,750 units). Vaulting 10 places to No. 5 was the ”NOW Christmas” carol compilation (231,175 sold).

Enya‘s ”A Day Without Rain” slid one spot to No. 6. Debuting at No. 7 was ”Cocky,” Kid Rock‘s first album of new material in three years. Pink‘s ”M!ssundaztood” opened at No. 8. Enrique Iglesias‘ ”Escape” fell three spots to No. 9, and Linkin Park‘s ”Hybrid Theory” reentered the top 10 at No. 10….

Elton John continues to allow himself to be upstaged by other famous faces in his videos. After the recent ”I Need Love,” which featured Robert Downey Jr. lip-synching the entire song, the video for ”The Train Don’t Stop There Anymore” stars Justin Timberlake, camping it up as the mid-’70s Elton, camping it up in the pianist’s trademark gimmicky glasses, platform shoes, and feather boa of the period. The ‘N Sync singer wanders backstage at a concert, tangling with various hangers-on, including a manager played by Paul Reubens. (Hmmmm… first Downey, now Reubens, currently the target of a kiddie-porn probe; does John have a lightning rod for scandal? Who’s next, Eminem? Oh, wait…)

Director David LaChapelle praised Timberlake’s impersonation. ”I thought I’d have to coach Justin,” he told the New York Daily News. ”But he ended up blowing everybody away. He knew so many of Elton’s mannerisms. Even Elton said, ‘My God, the hair stood up on my neck.”’ The video should air on TV in about a month.

REEL DEALS Eminem‘s critics have been complaining for years that his music is likely to inspire violence. Now some Michigan residents and officials are worried about possible damage from his autobiographical movie. Currently in production near the Detroit haunts of his youth, the film shoot plans to burn down a house in Highland Park, Mich. Despite the rapper’s pledge to demolish three other abandoned homes in the neighborhood, donate $2,000 to a local charity, and speak to area high school students about the film industry, about 50 residents protested the plan on Tuesday, and Highland Park councilors voted unanimously against the blaze in a non-binding resolution. Still, Ramona Henderson Pearson, Highland Park’s emergency financial manager, has final say, and she’s told local newspapers she supports the plan.

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Meredith Willson's The Music Man

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