Coldplay Has World Domination with New Album, Live 8 Expands While African Artists Plan Own Event, Keri Russell's Next Mission

Coldplay Tops Album Charts in 22 Countries
Surprise, surprise. Coldplay's new album is at the top of the charts. The English rock band's X&Y sold more than 737,000 copies during its first week of U.S. sales. It also topped the album charts in 21 other countries. For such a huge band, should we be embarrassed to still love them? We blame Chris Martin's handsome good looks and the catchy pop tunes. Hey, anything we can do to bump Mariah Carey off the top of the chart. In England, the album sold 464,000 copies, making it the second-biggest album debut ever, after Oasis's 1997 LP Be Here Now. Gwyneth must be so proud.

Live 8 Expands, African Artists Plan Own Event
After some complaints that Bob Geldof's Live 8 charity concerts across Europe were too "Anglo-Saxon," African musicians are planning their own event for July 2. And meanwhile, Geldof's events have expanded to Tokyo, Toronto and Johannesburg. Peter Gabriel is in charge of the Africa Calling concert, which will be held in southwest England. "Bob's sole criteria is that he has to keep millions of eyes around the world glued to the television and he felt if it was some remote part of China or Latin America, if it was an unknown artist... people might switch off," Gabriel said. "So if they didn't sell 10 million records they weren't going to be invited. I don't agree that's the right thing to do, but I fully understand." Africa Calling's featured artists will include Youssou N'Dour, Angelique Kidjo, Maryam Mursal and Salif Keita. Geldof's five concerts include such international superstars as Madonna, U2, Pink Floyd and R.E.M., raising money to alleviate African poverty.

Keri Russell to Star with the Cruiser In M:I-3
Keri Russell has signed on to star opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 3. (We're just waiting for the subtitle M:I-3 -- I Really Do Love Katie Holmes.) Her Felicity creator J.J. Abrams is directing the sequel. Russell will play a junior agent mentored by Cruise's Ethan Hunt. The part had been offered to Scarlett Johansson and Lindsay Lohan had also expressed interest, but maybe they thought they were too old. The rest of the cast includes Ving Rhames, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Michelle Monaghan and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Oh, Felicity, just promise you won't go all Scientology on us. Ben and Noel wouldn't approve.

Blabber Bits
The bitch is back. For quite a while. Elton John announced that his show "The Red Piano" will run through 2008 in Las Vegas. The show, which opened in February 2004, had only been expected to run for three years and 75 shows, but John has now added 150 shows. A Nashville DJ has sued Kid Rock for $575,000, claiming the entertainer punched him at a strip club in February. Jacko's certainly celebrating the acquittal in his criminal trial, with a splashy video on his Website and a proposal for a Jackson family reality TV show. But he might have more legal hurdles ahead. He could still face a civil suit that could carry stiff monetary charges. Just ask O.J.


 

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