News Roundup: Dec. 13

Top Story

Two weeks after his succumbing to cancer, the secrecy surrounding George Harrison‘s last rites and the actual place of his death suggests a deliberate attempt to protect his dignity and prevent his final resting place from becoming a stop on tour attraction. According to Reuters, a death certificate listing a nonexistent address contradicts reports that Harrison died at the home of friend and security consultant Gavin de Becker. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department said Wednesday that celebrities often use this ruse to throw off reporters and that giving a different address as the place of death is not a crime. Harrison‘s ashes were reportedly scattered in the Ganges River following his death on Nov. 29.

In General

Julia Roberts will host the A&E documentary Old Friends, which focuses on three women from a small town outside Chicago who have remained good friends since 1906. The show is scheduled for broadcast next year, The Associated Press reports.

Alanis Morissette will release an album of all new material on February 26, followed by a world tour. According to Rolling Stone, Under Rug Swept will feature 11 songs written and produced entirely by Morissette and include guest spots from Me’shell Ndegéocello, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, Stone Temple Pilots guitarist Dean Deleo and former Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery. Songs written and recorded during the Under Rug Swept sessions that were not featured on the final album will be released as a separate album at a later date.

The NFL announced Tuesday that pop star Mariah Carey will sing “The Star Spangled Banner” before Super Bowl XXXVI at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans on Feb. 3. U2 will perform during the halftime show and pre-show performers will be announced next week, SonicNet reports.

Fox announced it will release X-Men 2, the sequel to last year’s X-Men, on May 2, 2003. While the original cast will reprise their roles, including Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Halle Berry, the sequel will feature several new mutants from the X-Men comics universe, Variety reports. Shooting will begin next May in Canada.

In Courts

The two surviving members of the influential rock group Nirvana have filed a counterclaim to Courtney Love‘s lawsuit seeking control of the Nirvana catalogue, reports. In conjunction with the suit, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic released a letter to Nirvana fans stating they had no choice but to respond to her misguided campaign and lawsuits to appropriate the music of Nirvana. “Our music is just a pawn in her endless legal battles and her obsessive need for publicity and attention,” the letter states.


Barbra Streisand received the Liberty and Justice Award from the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition civil rights organization on Tuesday night at the Beverly Hilton hotel, AP reports. Jesse Jackson founded the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition 30 years ago. Sugar Ray Leonard, Chris Tucker and Smokey Robinson attended the gala, which was also a celebration of Jackson‘s 60th birthday on Oct. 8.

Billy Joel will be honored in February as the 2002 MusicCares Person of the Year for his accomplishments as a musician and as a humanitarian, Reuters reports. MusicCares was established in 1989 by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to provide assistance to musicians. Joel will receive the honor at a special tribute dinner, concert and silent auction held on Feb. 25 in Los Angeles.

Joni Mitchell, Al Green, Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney and Count Basie will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 2002 Grammy Awards on Feb. 27 in Los Angeles, Rolling Stone reports. The Lifetime Achievement Awards recognize artists for lifelong contributions to the recording medium.


French actor Jean Richard died Wednesday at the age of 80 after a battle with cancer, AP reports. Richard appeared in some 80 movies but was most famous for his pipe-smoking detective on the long-running TV show The Investigations of Inspector Maigret. He also created the Jean Richard Circus in 1957 and the La Mer de Sable theme park in 1963, which are still owned by his family.