American Music Awards
Billboard Bits: Mariah, The D.O.C., Sex Pistols
News on Mariah Carey, The D.O.C., Sex PistolsEMI yesterday (Jan. 7) moved to dismiss widespread reports that Mariah Carey would be paid an estimated $50 million to exit her Virgin Records contract, Billboard Bulletin reports. "In light of recent press comment that EMI has paid or agreed to pay Mariah Carey a lump sum to release her from her recording contract, EMI wishes to make clear that it has made no such payment or agreement," the company said in a statement. EMI refused further comment.
Carey has been with Virgin less than a year, following 10 years at Columbia in which she racked up sales of 40 million units in the U.S. Her first Virgin album was the soundtrack to "Glitter," the film in which she starred. The set has sold just 490,000 copies in the U.S. to date, according to SoundScan, and reportedly cost EMI $10 million in losses.
-- Lars Brandle, London
Veteran rapper the D.O.C. has set a March 19 release date for "Deuce," his first album in more than five years. Longtime collaborator Dr. Dre has leant his vocals to the track "Gorilla Pimpin'," which also features young Dallas-based MC 6Two. Nate Dogg and Kurupt guest on the single "Concrete Jungle." As previously reported, "Deuce," which will be released on the D.O.C.'s own Silverback Records, also sports appearances by Xzibit, MC Ren, and Ice Cube.
The D.O.C. was one of the original West Coast rappers, working with Dr. Dre prior to the formation of N.W.A. and collaborating as a lyricist on that group's "Straight Outta Compton" album. But in November 1989, the rapper was involved in a car accident that crushed his larynx and almost killed him. Reconstructive surgery allowed him to speak again, but his voice was very different, evidenced by a guest spot on Dre's 1992 album "The Chronic" (Death Row) as well as his own 1996 comeback set "Helter Skelter" (Giant).
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
The Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" has been named "the most exciting tune of all time," according to the new edition of the U.K.'s Q magazine. "Can there be a more exciting proposition than a song that terrifies the establishment?" asks Q of the controversial 1977 release, which was at the time banned by the BBC. In a top-50 covering an array of musical styles, the Pistols came in ahead of the Prodigy's "Firestarter" at No. 2, the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" at No. 3, Public Enemy's "Rebel Without a Pause" at No. 4, and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at No. 5.
Completing the top-10 were Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life," James Brown's "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine)," Oasis' "Rock'N'Roll Star," the Clash's "White Riot," and the Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash." U2 was represented by "Where the Streets Have No Name" at No. 16 and Elvis Presley by "That's All Right" at No. 20.
-- Paul Sexton, London