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Morning Report

Arts And Entertainment Reports From The Times, News Services And The Nation's Press.

April 24, 2001|SHAUNA SNOW

POP/ROCK

Plea It Again, Em: Grammy-winning rapper Eminem, 28, pleaded no contest Monday in a Michigan court to weapons charges stemming from an argument with associates of a rival Detroit rap group. Sentencing was set for June 5, with the judge in the case saying she is not now considering jail time, but will not decide for certain until she reviews the case. The prosecutor in the case had previously said he would not push for prison time if Eminem pleaded guilty. Earlier this month, the rapper pleaded guilty in a different Michigan court to weapons charges from a separate incident. He received two years' probation in that case.

Another Rap Plea: Rapper ODB has pleaded guilty to drug possession charges in New York in exchange for a promised sentence of two to four years behind bars. The rapper, a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, was arrested in 1999 when police found cocaine and marijuana in his car after pulling him over for running a red light. He subsequently became a fugitive after fleeing a court-ordered drug program, but was captured at a Philadelphia McDonald's in November. In exchange for ODB's pleading guilty to the criminal drug charges, prosecutors agreed not to file bail-jumping charges. Formal sentencing is set for June 13.

Taking It Back: R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, arrested at London's Heathrow Airport on Saturday and charged with assaulting crew members in an alleged drunken rage during a flight from Seattle, apologized on Monday. "I am very sorry for the incident and, of course, very embarrassed about the whole thing," Buck, 44, said in a statement. Buck was arraigned Monday and posted about $43,000 in bail; he is to return to court June 18. In his statement, Buck also said he is grateful to the London court for allowing him to proceed with plans for an upcoming R.E.M. concert tour in support of the group's album, "Reveal," which is due in stores next month. Though Buck was advised by his attorney not to comment further, R.E.M.'s London-based agent, Bob Gold, called the guitarist's alleged outburst "completely out of character."

Master Marketing Plan? MTV and VH1's ban on Madonna's latest video may work out to the Material Girl's financial advantage. Warner Reprise Video said Monday that it was releasing "What It Feels Like for a Girl"--the video that the cable music stations played once in a "news" special but declined to repeat because of its allegedly violent content--as a DVD single today. The video, directed by the singer's husband, Guy Ritchie, includes scenes of Madonna's character stealing a car and blowing up a gas station. The DVD single's suggested retail price: $9.95.

TELEVISION

Measuring Viewers en Espanol: In another indication of the growth of Spanish-language television, Nielsen Media Research has started measuring the audience of a fourth Spanish-language television network. Nielsen had already been measuring Univision, Telemundo and Galavision. On Monday, the service said it is now also monitoring Gems International Television, a Telemundo Communications-owned cable network.

KUDOS

Music Center Spotlights: Six young performers have each received $5,000 in the Music Center's annual Spotlight Awards. The winners are soprano Juliana Ashley Hansen, 17, of Eagle Rock, for non-classical voice; Holly Zimmerman, 17, of Long Beach, in ballet; pianist Gerald Clayton, 16, of Altadena, in jazz instrumental music; tenor Suren Hazarian, 16, of Los Feliz, in classical voice; pianist Xibei Jia, 15, of Culver City, for classical instrumental music; and tap dancer Josette Wiggan, 17, of L.A.'s West Adams community, in jazz-modern dance. Runners-up in each category received $2,500.

Honors Abound: CalArts will give honorary degrees on May 18 to blues guitarist Ry Cooder, animated filmmaker Faith Hubley and video artist Bruce Nauman. The three will be honored for their "groundbreaking work." . . . The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers will give its Founders Award to legendary film composer Elmer Bernstein at the Beverly Hilton tonight. Previous recipients include Stephen Sondheim and Stevie Wonder. In addition, director Norman Jewison will receive ASCAP's Opus Award recognizing his "collaboration with the society's members." . . . Country singer Kenny Rogers will receive a special career achievement award at the annual Academy of Country Music Awards, airing May 9 on CBS.

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