Peace and Brotherhood
Roger Clinton, everybody's favorite presidential half-brother/R&B singer, will be rocking in North Korea next month. He will be among the performers at an event dubbed "The 2000 Peace and Friendship Concert," to be held in the capital of Pyongyang. Clinton will be joined by teenage pop stars from South Korea along with North Korean performers, according to the Seoul-based promoter Korecom.
The free concert will be taped and aired at a later date on South Korean television. It is considered significant because the two Koreas have technically been at war with each other since 1950, and visits between citizens of either nation are extremely rare.
Clinton's musical career received a boost in 1992 when his older brother, an amateur saxophonist, was elected to the Oval Office. He made a splash during the inaugural festivities, memorably performing a ballad with pop divas En Vogue. He has previously performed in South Korea to promote better relations between the United States and that country.
In Like Finn
"V.I.P." star Pamela Anderson Lee has been invited to a family reunion in central Finland. The much-photographed Lee's great-grandfather immigrated to Canada from the town of Saarijarvi in 1908. Relatives there have tried in the past to persuade their American cousin to make the trek.
Lee--revered the world over for her former role in the television show "Baywatch"--was invited for a 1995 gathering but declined through her lawyer.
She has some 800 relatives in Finland. Her great-grandfather was born Juho Hyytiainen, but changed his name upon arriving in Canada. "I guess he changed his name to Anderson because the locals could not pronounce Hyytiainen," said Terttu Suopellonmaki, a relative.
The High Cost of Music
Two high-profile New Year's concerts were canceled this week after slow ticket sales. Celebration 2000, which was to take place in New York and feature Chuck Berry, Sting and Aretha Franklin, and a concert in Alaska headlined by Jewel are believed to have fallen victim to consumer complaints about ticket prices.
Tickets for Celebration 2000 began at $1,000, while tickets for Jewel were $100. Organizers for Celebration 2000 plan a scaled-back show with slashed prices, according to sonicnet.com. Jewel says she canceled due to concerns about the Y2K bug, but only a fraction of available seats had been sold.
Overcharging appears to be taking its toll on other millennium concerts. Ticket sales are slow for concerts by Kiss, the Eagles, Billy Joel and Barbra Streisand.
Mickey Rooney Hospitalized
Hollywood notable Mickey Rooney, 79, has undergone emergency surgery at a hospital in Sydney, a spokeswoman announced yesterday. He was diagnosed with a minor colon perforation. There was no word on his condition, although his condition was not considered to be life threatening.
The Beatles are still considered the most influential rock-and-roll band ever, according to a recent Internet poll. "With the diversity of music multiplying every day, it is amazing to see tomorrow's stars are still looking to the Beatles for inspiration and direction," Ernesto Schmitt, president of peoplesound.com, said in a statement . . . Oasis's longtime record label, Creation, says it's not true that the British band is leaving to form its own label.
CAPTION: Mickey Rooney, under the weather.
CAPTION: North star: Roger Clinton, center, will perform in Pyongyang.