General News

NEWSMAKERS: Oh, 'Baby, Baby' -- Country Superstars to Wed

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Thank God, they're making it legal.

Amy Grant Christian superstar Amy Grant and country star Vince Gill, who challenged their respective squeaky-clean images when they split with their respective longtime spouses and took up with their respective selves, are set to wed, Gill's rep has confirmed. The private Nashville ceremony reportedly will take place Friday.

Grant, 39, is best known for selling boatloads of albums with reverential work such as "My Father's Eyes" and then selling boatloads of albums with the pop cross-over hit "Baby, Baby." Gill, 42, is best known for winning boatloads of awards for not-so-minor country classics such as "I Still Believe in You."

The two met in 1993. At the time, Grant was married to songwriter and talk-show host Gary Chapman; Gill was wed to Sweethearts of the Rodeo singer Janis Gill. By 1997, the Gills' marriage was over. And in June, the Grant-Chapman union officially went under.

Grant and Gill, who'd been rumored to be an item for years, went public with their relationship in the fall. It was a relationship, they said, that was strictly above board until they were both free.

Says Grant of Gill: "We got along like two peas in a pod and made no bones about it."

BURN, LEO, BURN: Isn't it enough that "The Beach" bombed? Not for environmentalists in Thailand. The tree-huggers, miffed for months over the way they said the Leonardo DiCaprio production messed with their beach, lit into the flick today at its Thai premiere.

The high point (low point?) of the event was the guy who donned a Leo mask and then pretended to commit suicide. Lest you think that the malcontents were being plain mean, let it be pointed out that they were really just trying to be, you know, symbolic. According to the environmentalists, the real Leo should be so ashamed of the way "The Beach" crew treated Thai beaches during last year's location shoot that he should want to hurt himself or something.

In the end, the charity screening did go on, and, as far as we know, the real Leo (who was not present) did not hurt himself or something. Of course, he might still want to if he gets a look at the box-office charts. Through last weekend, "The Beach" had earned an all-washed-up $36.9 million at domestic theaters.

JACKO WORLD: Michael Jackson isn't giving up his dream of providing fun and merriment to the children of Eastern Europe. The entertainer next week will visit Polish officials to renew talks about opening a theme park in Warsaw, it's been announced. Jackson has been circling Poland since 1996, but his initial plans to build a $500 million complex there were scrapped due to local protests.

BUST-ED: Now available for viewing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Earth, Wind & Fire ("Boogie Wonderland"), the Lovin' Spoonful ("Do You Believe in Magic") and the Moonglows ("Please Send Me Someone to Love"). All these artists and more, including legendary rock god, um, Nat King Cole, were inducted in ceremonies Monday in New York. (The actual hall is located in Cleveland.) Look for TV coverage of the all-star induction party Wednesday on cable's VH-1.

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