Deja Vu: Beatles Are #1

The Beatles Colockwise: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Lennon
From Kiribati in Micronesia and the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga, to Sydney, Paris, London, New York and throughout the world, the new century was ushered in with fireworks, champagne and celebration.

And while the predicted Y2K computer chaos did not occur, there were some surprises in the arts and entertainment world.


In the field of music Napster was the big story in 2000. The heavy metal group Metallica argued that the free swapping and downloading of music via the Internet infringed upon its intellectual property and filed suit to shut Napster down. Other bands joined in on both sides of the battle, some colleges outlawed Napster sites on their networks and record companies scrambled for ways to protect copyrighted music.

Thirty years after they broke up, the Beatles were once again in the news. Michael Abram, accused of stabbing George Harrison was found innocent by reason of insanity. Mark David Chapman's request for parole was denied, twenty years after killing John Lennon. The Beatles' authorized biography Anthology hit the best seller lists and their compilation of greatest hits One was number one on the charts. Their official Web site also went online.

Eric Clapton became the first three-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was honored for his work as a soloist, having previously been inducted as a member of the bands the Yardbirds and Cream. Others honorees included Earth, Wind & Fire, Lovin' Spoonful, the Moonglows, James Taylor, Hal Blaine, King Curtis, James Jamerson, Scotty Moore, Earl Palmer, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday and Clive Davis.

Latino artist Ricky Martin had them dancing in the streets. Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera and Mandy Moore still attracted the under 16 crowd, while trying to appeal to an older audience, as did The Back Street Boys and N'Sync.

Country music's Dixie Chicks won the lion's share of the Country Music Association Awards, with Faith Hill and husband Tim McGraw winning best female and male vocalist awards.

At the Grammy Awards, Santana's Supernatural won Album of Year. TLC had a big comeback with their R&B album, Fanmail. Troubled rapper Eminem won awards for both best rap album and rap solo performance. B.B. King's Blues on the Bayou took an award for best Traditional Blues album, while June Carter Cash's Press On won for best Traditional Folk Album. Comedian Chris Rock walked away with bet Spoken Comedy Album. Korn's Freak on a Leash sizzled with the Best Short Form Music video.

David Sanborn won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance with Inside. Ruben Blades won for best Latin Pop Performance, while the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir won for best Gospel Choir Album. Cher, Sting, Tony Bennett and Black Sabbath also won awards.

Harry Belafonte, Woody Guthrie, John Lee Hooker, Mitch Miller and Willie Nelson were all honored with Lifetime Achievement awards. And Elton John won a special Legend Award.

Sadly, several groups and legends also called it a day in 2000. Oasis split up - the Gallagher brothers refusing to work any more with each other. Barbra Streisand, Celine and Tina Turner also called it quits.


Exiled Chinese playwright and novelist Gao Xingjian was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Swedish academy praised him saying, "In the writing of Gao Xingjian literature is born anew from the struggle of the individual to survive the history of the masses. He is a perspicacious skeptic who makes no claim to be able to explain the world. He asserts that he has found freedom only in writing."

Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) by Stacy Schiff won in the biographical category.

After ending up on the wrong end of the voting three times, Margaret Atwood won Britain's most famous literary award, the Booker Prize, for her novel The Blind Assassin.

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter continued to dominate the best sellers list with stories about the young wizard and his friends. Around the world, readers young and old lined up to purchase Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, fourth in the projected series of seven books. Daniel Radcliffe will play the young sorcerer in the upcoming movie, and John Cleese, Richard Harris and Maggie Smith have signed on as cast members. Harry Potter merchandise, including furniture, is selling briskly.

The Art Worldsize>

The price-fixing scandal at Sotheby's and Christie's auction houses created headlines in the art world. Charges flew back and forth, fingers were pointed and reputations were shattered. The keenest of rivals, they were charged with colluding on prices in the '90's when a slump in the art market threatened to destroy their profitability.

Record prices were reached for works by Salvador ali and old master Rembrandt. And there was an increase of interest by devotees of the postwar period with works by Willem de Kooning, Francis Bacon, and Ellsworth Kelly also fetching record prices. A Mark Rothko 1953 abstract painting sold for $11 million.

And while Matisse's "La Robe Persane" sold for more than $17 million there was a dampening of prices for Impressionist era works.

The Internet also played a greater role in the sales of art and antiques in 2000. EBay and saw increased revenue and traffic as more dealers and buyers logged on.

For the year on stage, screen and television, click here.

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