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MORNING REPORT

Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press.

September 05, 1997|SHAUNA SNOW

POP/ROCK

MTV Winners: Last year's Grammy darling, Silver Lake's own Beck, edged out English newcomers Jamiroquai to pick up five MTV Video Music Awards during ceremonies in New York Thursday, including best male video for "Devil's Haircut." But it was Jamiroquai, with a total of four awards, that picked up the top honor, video of the year, for "Virtual Insanity." Between them, the two acts swept all seven so-called professional categories, with Beck's videos being honored for direction, choreography, art direction and editing, while Jamiroquai's video was cited for special effects, cinematography and "breakthrough" video. The remaining winners, none of whom picked up more than one award apiece, included Sublime, the Long Beach-based group whose singer, Bradley Nowell, died in May 1996 of a heroin overdose (best alternative music video, "What I Got"); the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. (best rap video, "Hypnotize"), and Puff Daddy & the Family, for a tribute to the slain rapper (best R&B video, "I'll Be Missing You," featuring Faith Evans & 112). Other winners Thursday were Jewel (best female video, "You Were Meant for Me"), Orange County's No Doubt (best group video, "Don't Speak"), the Spice Girls (dance video, "Wannabe"), Aerosmith (rock video, "Falling in Love [Is Hard on the Knees]"), Fiona Apple (best new artist ("Sleep to Dream") and Will Smith (best video from a film, "Men in Black").

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Grammy's Staying in N.Y.: The Grammy Awards in 1998 will be held in New York for the second straight year--and apparently will go back to Radio City Music Hall despite this year's experiment in the larger Madison Square Garden arena. Details for the 40th annual ceremony will be announced officially Monday in New York by Michael Greene, National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences president, and New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. This year's arena move, long sought by Greene and Grammy telecast producer Pierre Cossette, allowed for a doubling of attendance and for a flashier show. But industry sources say that staging and production costs proved high and many artists and music executives complained that the environment was less involving than past years at cozier, 6,000-capacity venues such as Radio City or Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium.

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What a Teacher: Latin jazz great Tito Puente will offer a rare glimpse into the music business for 50 students from Fremont High School in Watts when he welcomes the teens to a sound check and participates in a question-and-answer session hours before his 10 p.m. show tonight at Sunset Boulevard's House of Blues. It's part of the Discover Grammy Festival, a series of community events that provides opportunities for students and, in some cases, the general public, to learn more about music. Also participating in upcoming Southland events in the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences' program are Alison Krauss & Union Station, Santana and Harry Belafonte.

REMEMBERING DIANA

John's Tribute: British pop singer Elton John has confirmed that he will play piano and sing a newly written version of his song "Candle in the Wind" during Saturday's funeral for Princess Diana. During an exclusive interview tonight at 10 on ABC's "20/20," John tells Barbara Walters that he was asked to sing at the funeral by one of Diana's sisters, and that the performance had been cleared by both the queen and the clergy at Westminster Abbey. John--who was captured on camera being comforted by Diana during slain fashion designer Gianni Versace's recent funeral--says that his writing partner, Bernie Taupin, has penned new words to "Candle in the Wind," a song originally written about the late Marilyn Monroe. The new version begins: "Goodbye, England's rose. . . ." Immediately following the funeral, John says, he will head to a studio to record the song, with proceeds from its sale going to the charitable fund established by Kensington Palace this week in Diana's memory.

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Jackson's Remembrance: Pop star Michael Jackson, meanwhile, dedicated his Wednesday night concert in Ostend, Belgium, to Diana, erecting two 21-foot high pictures of the tiara-wearing princess at either side of the giant stage just minutes before the show's start. The crowd of 60,000 applauded and held lighters above their heads while swaying to a recording of "Smile" from Jackson's "'HIStory" album. The lilting song is due to be Jackson's Christmas single. Jackson had canceled his Sunday night show in Ostend after news of Diana's death, saying he was too upset to perform. His concert promoters said he was so overcome with grief that he had required a doctor's care. Jackson has not said whether he will attend Diana's funeral, as he has a scheduled concert near Madrid Saturday night.

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Collins Takes On Land Mines: Singer-songwriter Judy Collins rallied in support of one of the princess' favorite charities Thursday when she campaigned in Sarajevo against land mines. "This was one of the Diana's last efforts," said Collins, who was in Bosnia-Herzegovina on Behalf of UNICEF. "I think that her tragic death will . . . [keep the issue of] land mines in the forefront."

QUICK TAKES

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will honor Thomas W. Sarnoff, president of the academy's foundation and a former NBC executive, with the Syd Cassyd Founders Emmy, during ceremonies Sunday in Pasadena. The award is given periodically to those who have "given long and distinguished service to the academy." . . . The rap group Wu-Tang Clan will play at the House of Blues on Sept. 17 in advance of its Sept. 18 appearance with Rage Against the Machine at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre.

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