Thousands mourn Lisa ''Left Eye'' Lopes. Plus, news about the Rolling Stones, ''The Osbournes,'' Tobey Maguire, Howard Stern, Pamela Anderson, Creed, Robert Blake, and others

By Gary Susman
May 03, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston: Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images/NewsCom

SOUND BITES A capacity crowd filled the 10,000-seat New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in the Atlanta suburb of Lithonia, Ga. on Thursday to mourn . Fans had been lining up outside the church for up to six hours before the 10:30 a.m. funeral for the TLC rapper who had died a week earlier at age 30 in a car crash in Honduras. Famous mourners came too, including fellow TLC members and , Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Keith Sweat, , and , the producer who had shepherded TLC’s career, helping them become the top-selling female group in history and becoming president of Arista Records himself along the way. Lopes’ white coffin was decorated with figures of angels and engraved with the lyrics of TLC’s ”Waterfalls.”…

To kick off their press conference announcing their fall tour, their first in three years, The Rolling Stones will come down to earth in a giant bag of hot gas. In a stunt that seems better suited to Led Zeppelin, they’ll be landing a blimp in New York City’s vast Van Cortlandt Park on Tuesday before they reveal the schedule of what will probably be the final tour of their 40-year career. Oh, the humanity!

It’s been a good week for the Osbournes. Mom made People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People list, the family is going to rub shoulders with the Bushes this weekend at the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner (they’re guests of Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren), and they’re close to signing a deal with MTV for two more seasons of their reality sitcom ”The Osbournes” for a reported $20 million. So reports Variety, which says that the family will let TV cameras record their lives for at least one more season, and possibly two, for $10 million a year, or 50 times what they earned this first season. (In return, MTV would get the rights to rerun each episode into the ground.) MTV has said the deal is still being negotiated, but Kelly Osbourne told TV’s ”Access Hollywood” on Thursday that the family had signed on for another year, that at least part of the show would be filmed at their country house in England, and that her older sister Aimee, who sat out the first season, might show up for a few episodes. Sharon made a similar statement on ”The Tonight Show” Thursday, confirming that we’d be seeing more of ”The Osbournes” next year, possibly including Aimee.

SCHOOL DAZE Tobey Maguire may play a high school science nerd in ”Spider-Man,” but in real life, he was an indifferent student starting in seventh grade, when he began to focus on acting at the expense of schoolwork. By ninth grade, ”I was starting to work more and more, so I was leaving school a lot to work, and I didn’t really care anymore,” he said during a recent ”Spider-Man” press conference in Los Angeles. ”And then 10th grade, I took home study, but I cheated the entire year. Didn’t answer one question myself. ‘Cause they sent you all the answers, and your parents are supposed to grade them for you, check them or whatever, but they sent you the answers for the tests and everything, so I did my entire year in about two days. Copying all of the answers. And then I took my CHSPE — California High School Proficiency Examination — which is equivalent to a GED, and that’s my schooling.”…

Howard Stern has frequently blasted his alma mater, Boston University, for not wanting to associate itself with him and his success. (Guess the school doesn’t want to hear ”BU” and ”lesbian strippers” in the same breath.) But it turns out the King of All Media has quietly funded a scholarship program there for college students at BU who follow in his footsteps and go on to study broadcast journalism at the university’s College of Communication. He’s donated $100,000 to the school, offering two $10,000 scholarships each year for the next five years. The first two winners, Katherine Loy and Sandra Oliveira, told the BU Daily Free Press they were ”shocked” to learn of their good fortune last Friday, as they didn’t even know the scholarships existed. ”I’ve always been a big fan of Howard,” Oliveira said. ”I was surprised they actually mentioned his name [at the ceremony] because they try not to usually.” Loy said she would write to thank Stern and would appear on the air with him if invited. ”I don’t think I’ll have to go on his show and take off my clothes or anything,” she said.