The Rolling Stones smashed their own 11-year-old record for the highest-grossing North American concert tour of all time last year, helping lift overall ticket sales to a new high, trade publication Pollstar said. The Stones sold US$162 million worth of tickets by playing their golden oldies for 1.2 million concertgoers, while Irish rockers U2 pulled in US$138.9 million from 1.4 million fans. U2 worked a little harder for its payday, playing 78 shows in North America, compared with 42 performances by the Stones.
Capping one of pop music's biggest comebacks, Mariah Carey has overtaken rap star 50 Cent in a year-end battle to claim the hottest-selling album of 2005. Carey's Grammy-nominated The Emancipation of Mimi climbed to the No. 1 spot for the year on US sales of 290,000 copies during the week ending Dec. 25, raising her 37-week total to 4.87 million units, retail tracker Nielsen SoundScan reported.
A female US singer who did not do so well last year has had some good luck at last. Two men have been arrested for trying to sell Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez's stolen wedding video back to the couple for US$1 million, authorities said.
The men tried to ransom the video after first shopping it around unsuccessfully to media outlets including People, Us Weekly and Access Hollywood, according to a criminal complaint filed.
Tito Moses, 31, and Steven Wortman, 49, were arraigned last week in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of conspiracy, attempted grand larceny and possession of stolen property.
A copy of the video shot during the celebrity couple's wedding in June 2004 was in a laptop computer that was in Anthony's car when it was stolen in Linden, New Jersey, last October. The car was later recovered but the laptop was gone.
According to the complaint, once they failed to sell the video to the media, Moses and Wortman called Marc Anthony Productions and tried to sell it back to the star.
A detective from the New York Police Department posed as an Anthony associate and engaged in a series of negotiations with Moses and Wortman between Dec. 20 and Dec. 27, during which the men demanded US$1 million for the laptop, the complaint said.
At one point the detective refused the US$1 million demand and Wortman threatened to destroy it, the complaint said.
Finally, some quotes to wrap up the year that was in Pop Planet.
``Her and my relationship is a time in the past. And it's a time that I'll always look back with in fondness, but her and I have moved on, and she has a separate life and I have a separate life. And it's better that we keep it that way.'' -- Chris Klein, on ex-fiancee, Katie Holmes, in an AP Radio interview.
``I'm not one of those dudes who come drunk to the set. But there was a lost weekend where I had a little time off and I did some Ecstasy and I went on a kind of crazy rampage.'' -- Jack Black, one of the stars of King Kong.
``I never made any sort of racial slurs, let alone made any comments about the officer being Mexican, as a Mexican myself.'' -- Eva Longoria, through her publicist, on a traffic stop by police involving her basketball star boyfriend, Tony Parker. Longoria was a passenger in the car.
``Now that I have your full attention, never judge a book by its cover.'' -- Kevin Federline, on his new Web site. Federline is an aspiring rapper and husband of Britney Spears.