Discouraged by poor sales for the first release in Mariah Carey's reported four-album, $80-million deal with EMI's Virgin Records, the label is in discussions to buy the pop diva out of the rest of her contract, according to the Los Angeles Times. The paper reports EMI has lost $10 million on Carey's label debut, "Glitter," which has sold just 478,000 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan, and about 2 million units worldwide.
Although he has long since tired of the description, pianist George Winston has become synonymous with the new-age genre thanks to his seasonal-themed recordings for the Windham Hill label over the past two decades. And while Winston's output at one time was dominated by original compositions, in recent years, the artist has delved headfirst into interpretations of songs by everyone from Vince Guaraldi ("Linus and Lucy") to Garth Brooks to Winston's Windham Hill colleague Philip Aabaerg.
Rapper Mos Def has slated a handful of January dates for his rock band, Black Jack Johnson. The two-week run is set to kick off Jan. 4 at the House of Blues in Los Angeles and play seven shows, closing out Jan. 10 at Peabody's Down Under in Cleveland.
Multi-platinum U.K. pop quintet Steps has split. Rumors about group members' eventual plans to go solo were commonplace in the British pop world, but the announcement yesterday (Dec. 26) that they had amicably decided to pursue individual careers was nonetheless unexpected. Steps enjoyed four years of unbroken success with global album sales of 12 million units, amassing 13 consecutive U.K. top-5 singles, more than any other group apart from the Beatles.
Modern rock act the Gin Blossoms, which rose from Tempe, Ariz., nightclubs in the early '90s to platinum-selling album success before disbanding in 1997, is scheduled to appear at Nita's Hideaway in Tempe on New Year's Eve. It will be the band's first performance since a one-show regrouping for Phoenix's New Year's 2000 celebration.
Nashville country-soul collective Lambchop has set a Feb. 19 release date for "Is a Woman," the group's sixth Merge album and the follow-up to 2000's critically acclaimed "Nixon." According to the label, the album -- produced by frontman Kurt Wagner and guitarist Mark Nevers -- finds Lambchop's lush sound stripped down to a more intimate level.
Bono, lead singer of the Irish rock band U2, has been named "European of the Year" for his campaign for debt relief in developing nations, in a poll conducted by the weekly, Brussels-based European Voice. Danish film director Lars von Trier was named "Visionary of the Year." Ten winners were selected by European Voice readers from a list of 50 nominees compiled by journalists and opinion leaders from across the 15 European Union nations.
Residents of Highland Park, Mich., are burning mad because a film crew torched a house as part of rapper Eminem's upcoming movie "8 Mile." The house was set afire as part of a key point in the film, when the main character portrayed by Eminem decides to turn his life around.
2002 marks the 40th anniversary of the formation of the Rolling Stones. The pioneering U.K. rockers will almost certainly be performing to mark this milestone, and the inevitable media hoopla will ensue. But don't be surprised if said coverage will gloss over -- if it mentions at all -- the figure of Andrew Loog Oldham, without whom there would be no Rolling Stones as we know them.