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Billboard Bits: Brit Awards, Minnelli, Mellencamp
News on Brit Awards, Liza Minnelli, John MellencampThe Strokes, Dido, Gorillaz, Kylie Minogue, Mis-teeq, Shaggy, and Sting are confirmed to perform at the 2002 Brit Awards, to be presented Feb. 20 at London's Earls Court. As previously reported, Gorillaz snared a leading six nominations for the Brit Awards, including best British group, album ("Gorillaz"), newcomer, single and video ("Clint Eastwood"), and dance act. Robbie Williams and Minogue earned four nods apiece, while Dido and the Strokes each have three.
Last week, a minor controversy ensued when Dido was deleted from list of nominees for best British newcomer, after it was discovered that she had been nominated for best female artist last year. "I just thought it was hilarious," she told Billboard.com. "I mean, what a mess-up. But, actually, it worked out brilliantly because a friend of mine [singer/songwriter Tom McRae] was the next person down on the list. And, so actually, I was really, really thrilled."
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Liza Minnelli will take a new show on a European tour beginning in April in London. The 55-year-old performer plans a five-night run at Royal Albert Hall, followed by dates in Denmark, France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Minnelli, winner of three Tony Awards, an Academy Award, and two Golden Globes, has suffered health problems in recent years, but is "feeling fantastic, looking fantastic and sounding great," her publicist said.
The tour will begin after Minnelli's March 16 wedding to producer David Gest in New York. Pop star Michael Jackson, who introduced the couple, is to be a best man. Elizabeth Taylor and Marisa Berenson, Minnelli's co-star in the film "Cabaret," will be matrons of honor. It will be a fourth marriage for the singer and the first for Gest.
A home builder who pleaded guilty to overbilling John Mellencamp received a four-year suspended sentence today (Jan. 22) and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. Timothy O. Eldredge pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft of $134,471 by falsified billing invoices in an effort to bilk the singer and his wife, model Elaine Mellencamp, according to a spokesman for the Marion County (Ind.) prosecutor's office.
The couple had hired the Eldredge Group of Indianapolis to build a $2.5 million home near Lake Monroe, south of Bloomington, Ind. Prosecutors said Eldredge had subcontractors make two invoices, one showing an actual cost and another a higher cost. The Mellencamps paid the higher amount to Eldredge, who paid the lesser amount to the subcontractor.
Eldredge gave the Mellencamps a $98,000 check today to complete paying restitution, Rayl said. Marion Superior Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt also sentenced the 53-year-old to four years on probation and 400 hours of community service.
Mellencamp said he was satisfied with the sentence. "I thought the judge was as severe as she could have been under the circumstances," he told Indianapolis radio station WIBC.
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