Plus, news about Limp Bizkit, J.K. Rowling, Aaliyah, Carson Daly, Scott Weiland, Junior M.A.F.I.A., Afroman, and others
U2, Bono

SOUND BITES If anyone has earned a Christmas vacation, it’s U2. According to a report by Amusement Business, the Irish quartet played 113 concerts this year, making their Elevation tour the year’s top concert draw, earning $143 million. Running neck and neck for second and third place were ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys. ‘N Sync earned $90.2 million on the road, edging out Backstreet’s $89.8 million by playing half as many shows, but in larger, stadium-sized venues. Madonna‘s Drowned World Tour was fourth, earning $74 million for 47 dates. Dave Matthews Band came in fifth, grossing $65 million.

Piano duo Billy Joel and Elton John had the year’s sixth highest-grossing tour. Eric Clapton, who said this year’s tour would be his last, finished at No. 7 for the year. Janet Jackson and Aerosmith‘s cancellation-plagued tours were No. 8 and No. 9, respectively. Rounding out the top 10 tours was AC/DC….

Help wanted: Top rock band seeks replacement guitarist. Propensity for masks and face paint not required. Ability to get along with Fred Durst a must. From Jan. 10 to Feb. 11, Limp Bizkit is holding open auditions to replace Wes Borland, who recently split the band. The auditions will be held at 23 Guitar Center stores around the country. If you can’t make those dates, you can upload an MP3 of your demo. Full audition details are available at the band’s website.

COVER TO COVER Next up for J.K. Rowling: it’s ”Harry Potter and the Raging Hormones.” The boy wizard developed a crush on a fellow Hogwarts student, Cho Chang, in Rowling’s fourth Potter book, ”Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” The author tells the BBC that, among her characters in the next book, there will be ”more boy girl stuff inevitably, they’re 15 now, hormones working overtime.” Other things Potter readers can anticipate: ”Harry has to ask some questions that I hope the reader will think, ‘well, why hasn’t he asked this before?’ Harry finds out a lot more about his past.” Rowling says she has already written the final chapter of the seventh and last book, but she won’t discuss it ”for obvious reasons… this is really where I’ll wrap everything, it’s the epilogue and I basically say what happens to everyone after they leave school, those who survive because there are deaths, more deaths coming. I really don’t think you need much insight to guess that death and murder are always a possibility in the world. And more people are going to die. And there’s at least one death that’s going to be horrible to write.”

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