Wenn Music Review 2005

By Stephen Cunningsworth

From marriage to divorce, natural disaster to fundraising, and convicted criminals to falsely accused superstars, 2005 gave us another non-stop 12 months of music industry mayhem.

Michael Jackson had the world on the edge of its seat as his trial on child molestation charges took one unexpected turn after another for the first six months of the year. And after his controversial acquittal, a galaxy of stars united for July's Live 8 concerts in an idealistic bid to end poverty and put pressure on world leaders to cancel developing world debt.

Elsewhere, Lil' Kim was sentenced to serve a year and a day in prison after being found guilty of lying before a federal grand jury about her involvement in a 2001 shooting incident, while hip-hop giant 50 Cent entered into a dangerous war of words with former protégé The Game following another shooting outside the same New York City radio station.

Despite vowing to stay out of the spotlight, Britney Spears was a constant source of tabloid gossip and ended months of speculation by declaring she was pregnant with husband Kevin Federline's baby.

But for every heart-warming celebrity announcement, heart-breaking news was to be found on the next page. The music industry mourned the deaths of soul star Luther Vandross, The Four Tops singer Renaldo 'Obie' Benson and Elvis songwriter Baker Knight. The world also marked the 25th anniversary of former Beatle John Lennon's tragic murder at the hands of crazed fan Mark David Chapman.

On a more positive note, comeback stars Mariah Carey and Green Day blew away the competition at the 2005 awards ceremonies, leaving the industry humbled by their longevity - no doubt ensuring an equally memorable year in 2006.

JANUARY

The year began with the world in a state of shock and anguish following the Indian Ocean tsunami which devastated south Asia and west Africa on 26 December 2004. Families were destroyed as thousands of people lost their lives in the natural disaster's giant waves, and millions more were left homeless with their livelihoods in tatters. The music industry jumped into action with stars hastily organising fundraising concerts and offering hefty donations to bolster the relief effort.

Environmentalist rocker Sting was the first western artist to perform in Thailand in the wake of the tsunami when he organised a charity show in Bangkok before playing similar concerts in disaster-stricken Malaysia and India. Meanwhile, queen of pop Madonna sent 10,000 bottles of blessed Kabbalah Water to help survivors find enlightenment, and hosted an American Red Cross fundraising telethon on US TV, where she was joined by Christina Aguilera, Diana Ross and Maroon 5.

Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and Beck were so moved by the tragedy they staged a benefit show in Los Angeles, while former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney donated a staggering $1.8 million (GBP1 million) of his personal fortune to a British charity distributing medicine and drinking water in Indonesia. Retiring diva Cher earmarked all the profits from her concerts in January for tsunami charities, and The Black Eyed Peas toured Indonesia's devastated Banda Ache region before performing at a fundraising concert in Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur alongside Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Backstreet Boys and Wyclef Jean.

On 15 January, popular British boyband Busted announced they had split. The Crashed The Wedding hitmakers looked set to dominate the UK charts for years to come but heart-throb frontman Charlie Simpson pulled the plug on the group to devote his time to serious rock project Fightstar. Urban girl group Mis-teeq followed hot on Busted's heels when they broke the news of their parting at the end of January after eight years together.

But there was good news for rock fans in January - the surviving members of Australian outfit INXS announced the launch of a reality TV show to find a replacement for Michael Hutchence, who was found dead in his hotel room in 1997. INXS Rock Star debuted in July and new talent JD Fortune was crowned new frontman in September.

Traffic rocker Jim Capaldi died in London on 28 January following a long battle with stomach cancer. He was 60. And there was also widespread mourning when an internet rumour convinced millions of fans Ozzy Osbourne had died. The speculation became so rife, the Black Sabbath singer was forced to issue a statement through his publicist to reassure the world he was still alive and kicking.

Courtney Love was celebrating a new start when a Los Angeles judge granted her custody of her daughter Frances Bean on 11 January. Love was ruled to be unfit to look after the youngster - whose father is late Nirvana icon Kurt Cobain - when she was hit by a series of law suits for drug possession and assault in 2004. A few days later, the Hole singer was sentenced to three years probation for attacking a woman with a torch and a liquor bottle. In August, Love broke the terms of her probation agreement after failing a drugs test and was ordered into rehab for six months.

Urban stars Nas and Kelis were also looking forward to a new life when they exchanged vows in Atlanta, Georgia, on 8 January - two years after they were engaged.

And romance was also on show when controversial British singer/guitarist Pete Doherty embarked on a destructive love affair with supermodel Kate Moss, after they met at her 31st birthday party on 15 January. But the Babyshambles frontman was jailed for six days in London's Pentonville prison after he was arrested on assault and blackmail charges following an altercation with freelance film-maker Max Carlish in February. Upon his release, Doherty promised to kick his heroin and crack cocaine addictions for his new love Moss, but he stumbled from one controversy to the next.

But matters came to a head when a British newspaper published photographs in September showing Moss snorting cocaine in a London studio with Babyshambles. She was rushed into rehab in Arizona and paid for Doherty to undergo similar treatment in November following her discharge. But she dumped him when he quit the program after just eight days.

FEBRUARY

February got underway with R+B superstar Jennifer Lopez confirming her marriage to Latino heart-throb Marc Anthony - even though her June 2004 nuptials had been widely reported the world over. But J.Lo will remember 2005 for being a regular People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) target because she uses fur in clothes sold by her fashion label Sweetface. The animal rights group staged protests at her planned public appearances and launched a dedicated anti-J.Lo website.

Awards ceremonies featured heavily in the February pop calendar. The Grammy Awards were unofficially renamed 'The Ray's' when late, great soul man Ray Charles was honoured with eight prizes. The blind superstar, who died in summer 2004, won all of his posthumous awards for his final studio album of duets, Genius Loves Company. It was a night of fitting tributes to Charles too - Jamie Foxx and Alicia Keys teamed up for a stirring version of Georgia On My Mind. R+B beauty Alicia Keys scooped four awards including Best R+B album, while U2 grabbed two gongs for their hit single Vertigo.

On the other side of the Atlantic, New York pop-rockers Scissor Sisters took home three Brit Awards including Best International Album. Keane were named Best British Breakthrough Act and picked up the Best British Album gong for their Hopes And Fears LP. Franz Ferdinand triumphed in the Best British Rock Act and Best British Group categories.

Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera accepted her boyfriend Jordan Bratman's marriage proposal on 12 February when the management executive presented her with a diamond engagement ring. Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler split from his wife Teresa after 17 years of marriage. And Victoria Beckham gave birth to her third son by soccer star husband David. Cruz was born in a Madrid hospital on 20 February.

Blink-182 star Travis Barker rubbished rumours the punk trio have split for good - insisting they will reform, while Korn guitarist Brian 'Head' Welch quit the band to concentrate on his newfound Christianity.

ABBA reunited for the first time in 19 years when they attended the Stockholm premiere of the musical Mamma Mia!

50 Cent dumped his G-Unit protégé The Game live on air during an interview on New York City radio station Hot 97. As 50 Cent left the building a member of his extended entourage was shot in the leg. The feud between the former friends bubbled to the surface throughout the year, with hip-hop insiders believing 50 Cent decided to dump The Game after he refused to support his long-running feud with the Murder Inc label and its premier artist Ja Rule.

2005 wasn't a year to remember for Orange Juice star Edwyn Collins, who was hospitalised this month after suffering two potentially fatal brain haemorrhages. Collins, most famous for his 1995 solo hit A Girl Like You, was then struck down by hospital superbug MRSA in May - just when it looked as though he was on the road to recovery. After undergoing further surgery to remove infected tissue, Collins has been making a slow but steady recovery and returned home in August. He had a steel plate inserted into his skull in December to aid his rehabilitation.

Elsewhere, Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme was forced to bring the band's European tour to a premature halt after he developed a serious lung infection which caused him to cough up blood in a Paris, France, hotel room.

Two of the biggest celebrity trials of recent years got under way in February. Both Michael Jackson and Lil' Kim stood before juries for the first time on 28 February.

A protracted jury selection process was successfully completed on 23 February with the appointment of eight women and four men to the unenviable task of deciding whether or not Jackson was guilty. He faced a 10-count indictment with molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo at his Neverland Valley Ranch and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. During the trial, the court heard Arvizo's younger brother Star allege he saw Jackson touching Gavin inappropriately. The singer's and Arvizo's fingerprints were also found on the same page of a pornographic magazine.

But the court also heard allegations the Arvizo family were money-hungry and manipulative. Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe also praised the singer in court as a "good father, great with kids, puts other people ahead of him." And Jackson's friend Macaulay Culkin also told the court Jackson had never done anything inappropriate to him, even though they shared a bed on numerous occasions.

Then, on 13 June, Jackson was acquitted of all charges. Since the end of his trial Jackson - who weighed just 41 kilograms after his ordeal - has rarely been seen in public and is currently residing in Bahrain where he is said to be buying a property he will make his permanent home. His music career appears to be in tatters despite attempts to resurrect his reputation with an All-Star Hurricane Katrina single. Several jury members have since revealed they felt Jackson was guilty of some charges but felt pressured into acquitting him.

Lil' Kim found herself facing a jury on 28 February where she stood charged with lying during a police investigation to protect members of her entourage who were involved in the shootout outside Manhattan's Hot 97 radio station. The rapper was found guilty of lying before a federal grand jury and conspiracy to commit perjury on 17 March and was sentenced to serve a year and a day in jail in July. She began her sentence in September.

MARCH

The month began with veteran rocker Rod Stewart proposing to his model girlfriend Penny Lancaster in March after a five year relationship following his split from Rachel Hunter.

Only days after she performed a duet at the Grammys with husband Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez pulled out of her promotional tour of Europe after being struck down with a mystery illness. But British rockers Coldplay did make a return to the stage - the In My Place hitmakers previewing songs from their new album X+Y at Los Angeles' Troubador club on 11 March to a rapturous response from fans.

Former Stone Roses star Ian Brown had a response of a completely different kind when he performed in San Francisco four days later - he was arrested following an on stage fight with a fan who was unhappy with the Great American Music Hall's sound quality. Police investigated the incident but no charges were pressed.

The Black Crowes reformed in March and spent the rest of the year playing sell out concerts and recording new material.

Rapper Nelly was left grieving following the death of his sister Jacqueline Donahue on 24 March. Nelly scrapped a series of concerts to spend time with his family and attend his sibling's funeral. She had fought a long-running battle with leukaemia.

And, in tragic news, Crowded House drummer Paul Hester committed suicide in Melbourne, Australia. Crowded House singer Neil Finn cancelled a tour with his brother Tim to return home to mourn his friend's death.

Meanwhile, troubled diva Whitney Houston was forced into a rehab centre on 23 March on a court order.

APRIL

Rehabilitation continued as a theme in April - Billy Joel finished a stint in a treatment centre for alcohol dependency and declared himself fit and healthy. Meanwhile, Aaron Carter's mother begged him to check into rehab to kick his drug problems. April proved to be a trying time for the Carter family because Backstreet Boys singer Nick pleaded not guilty to two drink driving charges on 13 April and had his license revoked.

There was happy news for Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, however. The happy couple ended speculation about Spear's weight gain and announced they were expecting a baby on 12 April. A posting on the Toxic singer's website read: "The time has finally come to share our wonderful news that we are expecting our first child together." As her autumn due date rapidly approached, the 24-year-old confessed to being scared of her impending motherhood but she was all smiles after her son Sean Preston was delivered at a Californian hospital on 14 September.

Cult rocker Mark Lanegan quit touring with Queens Of The Stone Age, while hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons returned to the Def Jam record label six years after selling it in a $100 million deal.

Canadian rock icon Neil Young was discharged from hospital following brain surgery - but other music industry veterans were not so lucky. Jamaican reggae star Junior Delgado died of natural causes in London aged 46, while American Head Charge rocker Bryan Ottoson was found dead on his band's tour bus.

Celebrity rock family The Osbournes were rocked by another cancer scare in April and Sharon and her eldest daughter were forced to pull out of stage run in a London production of The Vagina Monologies. Aimee found a lump on one of her breasts and was jetted back to Los Angeles for specialist treatment. She was given the all clear by doctors in May, but her father Ozzy was diagnosed with Parkin Syndrome in April and will have to take medication to control the motor-neuron condition's involuntary shudders for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, Franz Ferdinand singer Alex Kapranos dodged death on the band's Russian tour after eating a dessert containing traces of peanut - which he has a fatal allergy to.

And Cher completed her Fairwell Tour at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl on 30 April after playing a staggering 325 shows in the space of three years.

MAY

Jet and Missy Higgins were the big winners at the Australian Performing Right Association Awards in May, but the country was left in a state of shock when chanteuse Kylie Minogue cancelled the homecoming leg of her Showgirl world tour after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The Spinning Around singer told her fans, "I was so looking forward to bringing the Showgirl tour to Australian audiences. Nevertheless hopefully all will work out fine and I'll be back with you all again soon."

Minogue was also forced to cancel her headlining appearance at England's legendary Glastonbury Festival, scheduled for June. The 37-year-old was rushed to hospital in Melbourne and had a lump removed from her breast on 20 May and her doctors were confident they had caught the illness in enough time to allow Minogue to make a complete recovery. Further surgery was carried out on cancerous tissue which had not been removed and Minogue also underwent revolutionary fertility treatment in a bid to stop her becoming sterile as she began a gruelling course of chemotherapy and radiation in Paris - where she stayed with boyfriend Olivier Martinez and his parents.

Troubled former East 17 singer Brian Harvey endured a year in the spotlight for reasons he would rather had never taken place. On 22 May he was rushed to a London hospital after taking an overdose of sleeping pills. Just days after he was discharged, Harvey was crushed under the wheels of his own car in a freak accident as he was reversing out of his driveway. He was left fighting for his life after sustaining a broken leg, a shattered pelvis, severe abdominal injuries and fluid-filled lungs. His pain was so severe doctors kept him unconscious under heavy doses of sedatives. By the end of the year, Harvey's manager declared he had made a miraculous full recovery.

Against the backdrop of life-threatening accidents and illnesses, happiness still flourished. Rod Stewart announced he was expecting his seventh child - his first with fiancee Penny Lancaster - and country singer Kenny Chesney married Hollywood star Renee Zellweger in a surprise ceremony in the Virgin Islands. Soul legend Stevie Wonder celebrated the birth of his sixth child - his second with wife Karen 'Kai' Millard Morris. He named his son Mandla Kadjaly Carl Stevland Morris in honour of South African political icon Nelson Mandela.

The Darkness announced the departure of bassist Frankie Poullain. Frontman Justin Hawkins accused the moustachioed rocker of alienating himself from the band and for trying to sabotage his relationship with guitarist brother Dan.

Elsewhere, Coldplay were left fuming when their comeback single Speed Of Sound was beaten to the top of the UK singles chart by novelty mobile phone ringtone Crazy Frog. Guitarist Johnny Buckland raged, "I can't believe we were beaten by that awful thing."

Sixties rockers Cream reunited for a series of sell out shows at London's historic Royal Albert Hall in May. Buoyed by their success, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce turned their attention to New York City in October with a residency at Madison Square Garden.

Hip-hop mogul Sean Combs was lucky to escape death when an aircraft taking him from New York City to Miami was struck by lightning. The plane plummeted earthward but the pilot was able to regain control and make an emergency landing in Palm Beach.

Reformed boyband Backstreet Boys began the lone European date of their comeback tour on 30 May by running over a fan at Dusseldorf airport in Germany. Julia Wagner suffered a fractured leg as the group's bus edged through crowds. The five-piece made up for Wagner's injury by making her guest of honour at the show in Cologne the following night.

French keyboard maestro Jean-Michel Jarre married French actress Anne Parillaud on 12 May, but American pop beauty Jessica Simpson and her husband Nick Lachey were forced to hit out at rumours their union was on the rocks. The couple, who starred in hit show Newlywed, moved to quash reports she was having an affair with skate star Bam Margera.

Finally, Oasis were named the most successful British act of the last decade and police officers closed the case on Meredith Hunter's murder at the Rolling Stones' infamous 1969 concert in Altamont, California.

JUNE

June got underway with Jack White secretly marrying his model girlfriend Karen Elson on 2 June in Brazil. The couple had a five-week whirlwind romance before tying the knot just a month after The White Stripes frontman's old flame Renee Zellweger wed Kenny Chesney. White insisted it was love at first sight.

There was sad news just around the corner and R+B supergroup Destiny's Child announced live on stage on 12 June that they would split when their world tour ended in September. A subsequent statement from the band read: "We have been working together as Destiny's Child, since we were nine, and touring together since we were 14. After a lot of discussion and some deep soul searching, we realised that our current tour has given us the opportunity to leave Destiny's Child on a high note."

Sinead O'Connor began recording a reggae album in Jamaica - two years after she announced her retirement from the music industry. Roxy Music announced they had reformed to make their first album since 1983, and Billy Corgan took out a full-page advert in the Chicago Tribune expressing his desire to reform the Smashing Pumpkins.

Good Charlotte rocker Joel Madden and teen singer Hilary Duff confirmed what the world had already taken as fact - that they were an item. Love was also in the air for pop punk Pink when she proposed to her boyfriend Carey Hart by holding up a sign that read, "Will you marry me?" as her beau was taking part in a motorcycle race.

Soul Asylum bassist Karl Mueller died on 17 June following a year-long battle with throat cancer - he was 41. And Australian singer/actress Olivia Newton John was left in a state of panic when her long-term lover Patrick McDermott went missing during a fishing expedition on 30 June - he has not been seen since and the Grease star has hired a private detective in an attempt to track him down.

England's Glastonbury Festival boasted such an eclectic line-up of acts over the last weekend in June, music fans often failed to notice they were wallowing in knee deep muddy water. Dance gurus Basement Jaxx replaced cancer-stricken Kylie Minogue to close the show on Sunday with a spellbinding performance. But Primal Scream singer Bobby courted controversy when he refused to leave the stage on Sunday and told the crowd, "Did anyone come to see Kylie? F**k you!" And Babyshambles rocker Pete Doherty celebrated The Clash guitarist Mick Jones' 50th birthday with a stirring rendition of punk classic White Riot.

Also in June, The Rolling Stones set a new record with the price of tickets for their A Bigger Bang tour. Tickets went on sale on 27 June for as much as $450 (GBP250). The high cost of watching the Stones gig from a decent seat equates to approximately $3.60 (GBP2) a minute.

JULY

July began on a sombre note with soul legend Luther Vandross and The Four Tops star Renaldo 'Obie' Benson both passing away on the first day of the month. Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Cissy Houston all performed at a celebration of Vandross' life at New York City's Riverside Church, which was attended by thousands including Usher, Dionne Warwick, Alicia Keys and Patti LaBelle. He was buried the following weekend in New Jersey in a golden casket.

The 2nd July saw the world unite under the Live 8 banner in a bid to persuade world leaders to cancel developing world debt. Eight concerts were organised in London, Paris, Berlin, Philadelphia, Rome, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Moscow and Barrie, Canada.

The international extravaganza kicked off in Tokyo with a performance by local band Rise. The Japanese line-up also included Bjork and Good Charlotte. The Rome gig saw acts such as Duran Duran and Faith Hill; in Berlin, Green Day, Brian Wilson and Roxy Music all took the stage. The Paris concert contained performances by James Brown, Craig David and The Cure, while the Pet Shop Boys played in Moscow.

In London a host of stars including Sir Paul McCartney, REM, Coldplay, U2, Sir Elton John, Mariah Carey, Robbie Williams, The Who and Pink Floyd all played. McCartney brought the show to a triumphant close with an all-star rendition of his classic The Beatles tune Hey Jude. He opened the show accompanied by U2 for his first ever live performance of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Geldof found the scene so moving he shed tears as he watched on from the wings.

Snoop Dogg, Green Day, Madonna, Velvet Revolver, Robbie Williams and Razorlight all caused controversy by swearing during their London performances - because the footage was being shown live on British TV in the afternoon. The lowlight was Sir Elton John's Children Of The Revolution duet with controversial rocker Pete Doherty. The Babyshambles singer appeared to be the worse for wear judging by his dishevelled appearance and his vocals were mumbled and barely audible. Meanwhile, in Johannesburg, Mary Fitzgerald took the stage as did Nelson Mandela, while in ecological centre the Eden Project in Cornwall, England, a host of African acts performed.

Will Smith got the Philadelphia leg of Live 8 off to a sombre start when he appeared onstage at the city's Museum Of Art and urged the crowd of thousands to snap their fingers every three seconds - to represent the death of a child in Africa. Smith was so visibly moved by the experience, he had to take a few seconds to compose himself before introducing opening act The Black Eyed Peas who performed their socially aware hit Where Is the Love. They were followed by crowd-pleasing performances from Bon Jovi, Kanye West and Def Leppard. R+B beauty Alicia Keys paid tribute to soul great Luther Vandross during her slot, saying, "This might be the last opportunity we have to change the world. This might be the last life of thousands of people thousands of miles away, just like it was the last breath for our brother and friend Mr Luther Vandross just last night."

At the Canadian Live 8 leg in Barrie, diva Celine Dion was booed by the audience because she chose to appear via video link rather than in person. Concert co-host Dan Aykroyd had to beg the crowd to stop booing Dion. The crowd were much more receptive to performances from Neil Young, Avril Lavigne and Simple Plan.

Another Live 8 show was organised in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 6 July to coincide with the beginning of the G8 summit and artists including Annie Lennox, Dido and Travis performed. Geldof and Bono were delighted when Tony Blair and George W Bush championed a G8 deal to give $50 billion (GBP28 billion) worth of aid to the world's poorest countries on 8 July. The Irish rockers are convinced the historic Live 8 gigs played a significant part in this decision, putting pressure on the G8 leaders to stamp out poverty.

Artists who saw a major upsurge in their record sales following Live 8 pledged to donate their extra income to the Make Poverty History campaign. The live recording of McCartney and U2's Sgt Pepper's performance became the fastest selling download of all time when it went on sale.

However, the Live 8 shows left a bitter taste in the mouths of some. Status Quo accused McCartney of hogging the limelight after he opened and closed the London show. Damon Albarn criticised Pete Doherty's shambolic appearance for being disrespectful to the plight suffered by millions of Africans everyday - because he couldn't put his drug addictions to one side to be able to sing a song properly.

Sir Elton John, who defended his disastrous duet with Doherty, later described the Live 8 extravaganzas as "disappointing" and "lacking a sense of occasion". Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richard admitted he refused to perform because he was suspicious about Geldof's political motivation. Meanwhile, the Make Poverty History campaign expressed regrets over its decision to join forces with Sir Bob Geldof, Bono and the Live 8 concerts because they hijacked their cause and expressed outlandish opinions. For his part in Live 8, Geldof was nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

Live 8 euphoria in London was short-lived - on 7 July the British capital was rocked by three bombings of trains on its underground network, and one on the upper deck of a red bus. Queen, REM, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Prodigy and Sum 41 were forced to cancel live shows with large chunks of the city's transport network locked down. Musicians sent messages to hope the bereaved and survivors of the terror attacks carried out by homegrown Islamic extremists, but R+B singer Omarion horrified shocked Londoners by releasing a statement saying he was alive and well - because he had never travelled on London public transport. Dance star Moby blasted the terrorist behaviour as being against what is taught in the Qu'ran, while rockers Queen performed a special show for survivors and rescue workers in London's Hyde Park.

There were more losses to the music industry - Ska artist Laurel Aitken, blues rocker Long John Baldry and jazz bassist Al McKibbon all passed away. Upcoming British rocker Patrick Sherry lost his life in tragic circumstances during a gig with his band Bad Beat Revue. The audience at the show in Leeds were horrified when a spectacular stage dive stunt went wrong. Sherry jumped off the stage and tried to grab hold of a lighting rig - but he missed and plummeted to the ground, landing on his head. He never regained consciousness.

Meanwhile, former Catatonia singer Cerys Matthews gave birth to her first child and named her son Jones - in honour of her compatriot and duet partner Tom Jones.

Josh Homme finally revealed he sacked Nick Oliveri from Queens Of The Stone Age in 2004 because he beat up his girlfriend. Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington began a child custody battle for his three-year-old son Draven after his wife Samantha filed for divorce. Bennington found himself in court again, when he and his bandmates joined forces to launch a court battle seeking to cancel their contract with Warner Music Group.

Anastacia was also looking at a fresh start after ending her longterm romance with German TV presenter Patrice Bouedebila. There was harmony in Snoop Dogg's household again when he cancelled his divorce papers filed against his wife of eight years, Shante.

When Christina Aguilera appeared in public with a heavily bandaged right wrist, stories quickly surfaced that she had sustained two snapped tendons in a fight with a crazed fan in a Paris nightclub. However, the Dirrty singer quickly denied she had been involved in a violent altercation, claiming she sliced herself on glass while at her Los Angeles home.

Sixties icon Marianne Faithfull was left in state of shock she read reports she had suffered a serious heart attack - because she was fit and healthy and in the middle of her European tour. However, Motorhead rocker Lemmy Kilmister was hospitalised during a tour of Germany suffering from exhaustion and dehydration after performing in the middle of a heatwave. It was also revealed in July that Spiritualised frontman Jason Pierce was recovering after suffering a serious illness that took him to the brink of death.

Black Sabbath were forced to cancel their Ozzfest concert in New Jersey on 27 July when singer Ozzy Osbourne became too ill with cold-like symptoms to take to the stage. Meanwhile, country star Mindy McCready was hospitalised after taking a drugs overdose in a suicide attempt. She was discharged after four days.

Elsewhere,


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Tags: Inxs - Abba - June - REM


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