HITS Daily Double
Look for Linkin Park’s new WB album, Minutes to Midnight, to score the year’s top first-week sales, with estimates it will top 600k, more than enough to beat back Norah Jones’ previous 2007 record of 418k back in February.


Linkin Park Soars, Shrek the Third Roars, Sopranos, Desperate Housewives Shockers, Rob Leonard Takes Pinehurst, Curlin Wins Preakness, NBA’s Final Four, Baseball Interleague Rivals
It was that kind of weekend. Shrek the Third broke box office records for an animated film, while Linkin Park is about to score the biggest first-week sales debut of the year to date. Curlin nipped Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense by a nose in the home stretch of the Preakness Stakes, meaning for the 29th consecutive year, since Affirmed in 1978, there will be no Triple Crown winner. Rob Leonard took the Pinehurst Cup down in North Carolina, as Commish Rick Krim hopes the ratings for this Thursday night’s VH1 Rock Honors are better than his golf game. In the NBA, it’s the Spurs vs. Jazz and Pistons vs. Cavaliers, while in the NHL, Ottawa awaits the winner of the Anaheim-Detroit series, with the Ducks up 3-2. In baseball, the Mets took the interleague, inter-city weekend series from arch rivals the Yanks, as did the Angels over the Dodgers, Cubs over the White Sox, and the A's over the Giants. The Sopranos continues to disturb, and with two episodes left, Tony remains, as one character put it, “on the precipice,” while the season finale of Desperate Housewives apparently ended with one of the major character's suicide. Also this week, American Idol will crown their sixth winner. And it won’t be Sanjaya.

Look for Linkin Park’s new WB album, Minutes to Midnight, to score the year’s top first-week sales, with estimates it will top 600k, more than enough to beat back Norah Jones’ previous 2007 record of 418k back in February.

Paramount’s Shrek the Third raked in the green, grossing an estimated $122.9 million at 4,122 North American theaters in its debut. Surpassing the $108 million opening of Shrek 2, the new film set a record for the best opening by an animated film and was the third-best debut ever, behind $151.1 million for Spider-Man 3 and $135.6 million last year for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, with that filmi’s third installment due this Friday. The previous topper, Sony’s Spider-Man 3 spun up $28.5 million at 4,324 theaters, bringing its three-weekend total to $281.8 million. Third place and $5.1 million went to yet another sequel, Fox Atomic’s 28 Weeks Later in its second week, followed by Paramount’s Disturbia, with $3.6 million in its sixth week, and Universal’s Georgia Rule, rounding out the top five with $3.4 million in its second week.

OOPS SHE DID IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN: Britney Spears was booed Saturday night at the House of Blues in Orlando, FL, part of her comeback attempt that included shows in L.A. and Anaheim, when the backing track skipped five times during the 15-minute lip-synched performance. Spears reportedly played down the incident, and kept cranking out her five-song show. All of the defrocked pop star's latest concerts, a handful of similar gigs under the guise The M&Ms, have been lip-synched. Check out the videotape here.

George Michael, confessing a dependency on prescription drugs and extolling the virtues of marijuana, said he was considering exiling himself from England to avoid the scrutiny of the news media. Michael told ITV talk-show host Michael Parkinson, “I have got to think seriously about whether or not my love for my country is keeping me somewhere which is not good for me.” Michael has homes in London and Dallas. This month, he pleaded guilty to driving while unfit and blamed his behavior on fatigue and prescription medicine brought on by the loss of his mother, Lesley, in 1997. As for marijuana, he said, “Nobody ever came home stoned and beat up their wife.”

Fats Domino, who lost his home, pianos and gold and platinum records when Hurricane Katrina struck, gave his first public performance since then before a crowd of hundreds in a sold-out New Orleans nightclub on Saturday night. Accompanied by his longtime friend and musical partner, the saxophonist Herbert Hardesty, the 79-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee had the crowd jumping and screaming when he belted out “Blueberry Hill,” “Blue Monday,” “Ain’t That a Shame” and “Walking to New Orleans.” Domino is expected to move back into his home in the devastated Ninth Ward later this year.

Evanescence has a new line-up. Two weeks since guitarist John LeCompt was fired from the band and drummer Rocky Gray quit, the band has added Troy McLawhorn as new guitarist and Will Hunt on drums. The replacements both come from the band Dark New Day, as singer Amy Lee told MTV News: “I am a big fan of Dark New Day and can’t wait for the fans to see what the guys bring to our live show.” The new Evanescence debuted this past Saturday at the Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, OH.

Former Creed frontman Scott Stapp was arrested Friday (5/18) in his Florida home on a domestic assault charge. No one was injured in the incident at the home Stapp shares with his wife, but a police spokesman said there was evidence of assault. Stapp was held at Palm Beach County Jail and is expected in court today.

MUSIC ON TV: Jesus and Mary Chain make a rare TV appearance on Late Night with David Letterman (CBS 11:35 p.m.). Maroon 5 play The Late Show with Jay Leno on the eve of their album release (NBC 11:35 pm.), while Ozzy Osbourne is the scheduled guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC 12:05 a.m.)

The N.Y. Times brings us up to date on the Anthony Pellicano story here.

The N.Y. TimesJeff Leeds writes about the intense expectations for the Maroon 5 album, which hits retail tomorrow, at their new label here.

The N.Y. Times salutes the current toast of the N.Y. theater world, none other than the Negro Problem’s Mark “Stew” Stewart, for his new hit play Passing Strange here.

The N.Y. Times looks in on what displaced moguls Michael Eisner, Tom Freston, Gerald Levin and Sherry Lansing have been up to since they left their high-profile gigs here.

The N.Y. Times on the return of Pee-wee Herman. Paul Reubens talks of his comeback here.

The N.Y. Times examines how the N.Y. Post is examining itself over the Page Six scandal here.

The L.A. TimesRichard Cromelin chats with Rufus Wainwright about his survival in the music business here.

The L.A. Times assesses the winners and losers at this year's KROQ Weenie Roast here.


In 1963: Stevie Wonder recorded his second album, The 12-Year-Old Genius, live at Chicago's Regal Theatre. He actually turned 13 a few days earlier, but the album contained his first hit, "Fingertips, Part Two."

In 1964: Bob Dylan arrived in Paris. He later met future Velvet Underground singer Nico and wrote the song “I’ll Keep It with Mine.”

In 1968: Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones was arrested for cannabis possession.

In 1971: Paul McCartney released his second solo album Ram.

In 1976: The Rolling Stones began a six-night stand at London’s Earl Court.

In 1980: A fight broke out between The Clash and the audience at a gig in Hamburg, Germany. Joe Strummer hit one fan with his guitar and he was later arrested.

In 1980: Bob Dylan played the last of his "born again" gospel shows in Dayton, OH.

In 1996: George Harrison announced that he planned to produce Ravi Shankar’s Mantram: Chant of India.

In 2003: Paul McCartney received an honorary doctorate from St. Petersburg State University in Russia.

In 2003: Pearl Jam announced on their website that they had left Sony Music’s Epic label.

In 2003: Ruben Studdard won the second season of American Idol.

In 2004: Snoop Dogg filed for divorce from Shante Broadus, his wife of seven years, blaming “irreconcilable differences.” Snoop sought joint custody of their three children: Corde, 9; Cordell, 7; and Cori, 4.