Eminem, Artist of the Year

Rolling Stone magazine readers and critics have spoken, and their man is controversial rapper Eminem.

Eminem, considered a frontrunner to receive a Grammy Award nomination when they are announced next week, was named artist of the year by both critics and readers of Rolling Stone.

The rap star also picked up the best hip-hop artist award from both readers and critics. Critics voted his latest release “The Marshall Mathers LP” best album. Readers voted him best male performer, an honor which critics instead bestowed upon R&B singer D’Angelo.

Readers gave their best album vote to one of Eminem’s enemy boy bands, the Backstreet Boys, and their new release “Black & Blue.”

They also named Limp Bizkit best band, best hard rock/metal band and the band with the best album cover, while frontman Fred Durst was named best rock artist.

But according to the mag’s critics, the award for best rock artist belongs to Radiohead.

In other categories, Madonna took the female prize for best single for “Music.” U2 was named best band, Nine Inch Nails best tour and Moby best dance artist.

The results are in Rolling Stone’s Dec. 29 issue.

BEATLES, DESTINY’S CHILD ARE STILL NO. 1: The Beatles again topped Billboards Top 100 album charts this week while 57 albums registered sales of more than 100,000 units, and 189 of the Top 200 albums posted gains over the previous week.

The Fab Four’s “1” sold 1.26 million copies during the week that ended on Christmas Eve, a gain of more than 430,000 from the week before, and the hits compilation has now sold 4.6 million copies in the United States in just six weeks of release.

The Top 10 was relatively unchanged. The Beatles were followed by the Backstreet Boys’ “Black and Blue,” Vol. 5 of ”Now That’s What I Call Music” and Creed’s “Human Clay,” all selling more than 570,000 units each.

Over on the Hot 100 singles chart, Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women, Part I” from “Charlie’s Angels” spent an eighth consecutive week at No. 1, holding off challenges by Dream and Shaggy.

GUILT OVER SUICIDE: INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, who killed himself in 1997, had discussed suicide with U2 singer Bono who now feels guilty that he let his friend slip through the cracks, Rolling Stone magazine said on Wednesday.

In the Dec. 29 issue, Bono said that they had both agreed how “pathetic” suicide was, “(a)nd we kind of promised each other we wouldn’t, we wouldn’t cross that line where things get stupid.”

Hutchence broke that promise in November 1997, when he hung himself in a Sydney, Australia, hotel room.

Bono wrote a song about Hutchence called “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of,” which appears on the new U2 album “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.”

Describing himself in the interview as a deeply loyal friend, Bono recalled feeling guilt, anger and annoyance when hearing of Hutchence’s death.

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