Plus, news about Linkin Park, Lisa Lopes, Suge Knight, Britney Spears, Dan Aykroyd, Howard Stern, Sean Penn, Eve, Vin Diesel, Robert Carlyle, Kim Novak, and others
Credit: Creed: Kevin Mazur/

SOUND BITES For the sixth straight week, Creed’s ”Weathered” holds the top spot on the Billboard chart. But after several weeks of increasing holiday sales, its numbers dropped to a mere 397,725 copies sold this week, according to SoundScan, nearly half a million less than last week. Still, the post-Christmas week saw several longtime chart lingerers jump several spots. ”Hybrid Theory” by Linkin Park leapt five places to No. 2 (263,025 CDs). Vaulting 12 spots each were Ludacris’ ”Word of Mouf,” which landed at No. 4 (228,425 units) and Ja Rule’s ”Pain Is Love,” landing at No. 8. Nickelback’s ”Silver Side Up” climbed one slot to No. 5 (226,225 sold). Slipping one place to No. 3 was compilation ”NOW That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 8” (233,925 copies).

Usher’s ”8701” jumped three spots to No. 6. Enya’s ”A Day Without Rain” slid two slots to No. 7. Nas’ ”Stillmatic” dropped one place to No. 9, and Pink’s ”M!ssundazstood” held at No. 10.

SoundScan, which has been measuring album sales at record stores for 10 years, reported that 2001 was the first year in its history that the number of albums sold declined. It recorded sales of 768.2 million CDs last year, down from 785 million in 2000. The company also had different yearend figures from the Recording Industry Association of America, which last week cited Shaggy’s ”Hotshot” as 2001’s top-selling album. According to SoundScan, the top 10 selling albums of last year were Linkin Park’s ”Hybrid Theory” (4.8 million copies), followed by Shaggy’s ”Hotshot” (4.5 million), ‘N Sync’s ”Celebrity” (4.42 million), Enya’s ”Day Without Rain” (4.4 million), Staind’s ”Break the Cycle” (4.2 million), Alicia Keys’ ”Songs in A Minor” (4.1 million), Destiny’s Child’s ”Survivor” (3.7 million), Creed’s ”Weathered” (3.5 million), the ”O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack (3.4 million), and ”NOW That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 6” (3.1 million)….

It’s apparently official: TLC’s Lisa Lopes has signed on with newly-free gangsta rap mogul Suge Knight. And she wants to be known as ”N.I.N.A.” (”New Identity Not Applicable”), not ”Left Eye.” (Similarly, Knight wants his label known as Tha Row, not Death Row.) Her publicist confirms that Tha Row should be releasing her solo album soon. It’s not clear whether the album will contain any of the same material as her long-awaited ”Supernova,” which was supposed to come out on Arista last summer. She says on her website that she split from her old label because of a ”contractual breech [sic] on Arista’s behalf.” It’s also not clear when or if she’ll marry Andre Rison, the football star whose house she famously burned down but whom she still planned to marry last July, or when or if we’ll hear from TLC again, though Lopes and her two bandmates supposedly went into the studio to record new tracks in November.

A Day Without Rain
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