Billboard Bits: Big Pun, 'Rocky Horror,' Neutrino
News on Big Punisher, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Neutrino & OxideA New York City Council committee has decided not to approve a measure that would have named a Bronx intersection after late rapper Christopher ''Big Pun'' Rios because of its discomfort over some of his lyrics.
The 28-year-old singer, who weighed nearly 700 pounds, died of a heart attack on Feb. 7, 2000. He was the first Latino hip-hop artist to go platinum with sales that topped more than 1 million albums. His fans collected 7,000 signatures requesting that the intersection of 163rd Street and Rogers Place in the Morrisania section be renamed Big Pun Place.
The council committee voted on the measure yesterday (May 2), saying it objected to the profanity and references to violence and drug dealing in some of the lyrics.
"The Rocky Horror Show - The New Broadway Cast Recording," will be released May 15 by RCA Victor. The recording features cast members -- including Dick Cavett, Lea DeLaria, Jarrod Emick, Tom Hewitt, Kristen Lee Kelly, and Daphne Rubin Vega -- from the show, which opened to rave reviews last November.
New renditions of all of the show's infamous songs -- including "Damn it, Janet," "Time Warp," and "Sweet Transvestite" -- were produced by Jeffery Lesser (Barbra Streisand, Jeffery Gaines). Written by Richard O'Brien, "Rocky Horror" was originally produced as a stage show in 1973 in London, and as a film two years later. That version, starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, and Meat Loaf, became a campy cult favorite, drawing audiences to participatory midnight screenings for years.
Although the revival also stars female rocker Joan Jett, she does not appear on this soundtrack. A spokesperson for the project says "the producers wanted her to be onboard but couldn't come to terms with her management." For more information on the show, visit its official Web site.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Neutrino, one half of U.K. chart-topping dance act Oxide & Neutrino, was arrested by police after he was shot in Central London during the early hours of Wednesday morning (May 2). Neutrino suffered a flesh wound and took himself to the hospital, where police were alerted to his injuries. "He was questioned by police at Charing Cross station about an allegation of possession of a firearm," a spokesman tells Billboard.com. The 19-year-old performer was released on police bail pending a return to the police station on Aug. 1.
Oxide & Neutrino scored a No. 1 single in the U.K. last year with "Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty)" and reached No. 6 in December with the follow-up, "No Good 4 Me." The duo was also nominated for best British dance newcomer at the Brit Awards 2001.
A new single, "Up Middle Finger," is due May 14 on EastWest, preceding the album "Execute," which is scheduled for a May 28 release.
-- Lars Brandle, London
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