This past year, the music industry continued to provide its share of drama and controversy. A diva crumbled right before our eyes. A young band reached superstar status, and the world lost one of its most famous and beloved musicians. The music community also rallied in the aftermath of a national tragedy.
In July, pop and R&B diva Mariah Carey was hospitalized after a physical and emotional breakdown. She succumbed to the pressures of acting in her new film Glitter, recording the soundtrack album, and maintaining a full schedule of personal appearances. The movie failed to spark any interest, and the album sold a disappointing two million copies, far below Mariah's usual standards. Citing a $10 million loss on the Glitter project, Virgin Records is allegedly looking to relieve Mariah of her $100 million contract. Reports say that she is being offered a large sum of money to leave the label.
According to Pollstar Magazine, Irish band U2 had the highest-grossing North American concert tour of 2001. During their "Elevation" tour, the group played 80 shows and earned nearly $110 million. Supporting their latest album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, U2 abandoned their previous multi-media extravaganzas in favor of a basic stage set and a renewed focus on the music.
Other top concert tours of the year included "N Sync, the Backstreet Boys, the Dave Matthews Band, and the duo of Elton John and Billy Joel.
Florida band Creed was one of the big success stories of 2001. At year's end, Creed's third album, Weathered, remained at the top of the Billboard albums chart for the fifth week in a row.
Since 1997, Creed has sold more than 16 million albums worldwide. The band plans to be on the road for most of 2002, with a tour that opens January 16 in Atlanta. In February, Creed will headline ceremonies at the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Rock/rapper Eminem continued to be a controversial personality this year. He pleaded guilty and received two years probation on weapons and assault charges; was sued for divorce and child support by his wife; was taken to court by his own mother in a defamation case; and was also sued by a former classmate. Eminem appeared nude in a British magazine, and is now working on his first film.
After the country was rocked by the September 11 terrorist attacks, major performers donated their time and talents to the relief effort. Former Beatle Paul McCartney wrote and performed a new song called "Freedom," at his Concert For New York City on October 20. Sir Paul gathered fellow rock luminaries such as Elton John, The Who, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Elton John and many others. So far, more than $100 million has been raised for the Robin Hood Foundation, which benefits families of police and firefighters killed in the attacks.
Three decades after their break-up, The Beatles had the Number One album of the year, according to Billboard. The Beatles' greatest hits collection, 1, spent eight weeks at the top of the albums chart.
And, as Beatlemania had a resurgence, the world said good-bye to band member George Harrison, who died of cancer in November. The singer, songwriter and lead guitarist was 58. Surviving Beatles Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney had a final reunion with George in his last days.