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Tuesday, 23 January, 2001, 18:12 GMT
Popstars wannabe gets second chance
Aspiring singer Claire Freeland has been given a shot at the big time after being ditched from ITV's series Popstars.

The Glaswegian singer won the hearts of viewers when she appeared on the programme, which is aiming to create its own pop group.

She was ruled out of the group's final line-up at the weekend after judge Nigel Lythgoe said she did not think she had the right look.

Now Metropolis Studios in London is offering the 23-year-old call centre operator free time in the studio with producer Andy Wright, who has worked with acts including S Club 7, Jeff Beck, Eurythmics and Simply Red.

Wright said: "She's got a fantastic voice, that goes without saying, but she appears to have the personality to succeed."

Noel: 'Americans have bad taste'

Oasis star Noel Gallagher has blamed the bad taste of the American public for his band's lack of US success.

"Americans have got very bad taste, hence the Backstreet Boys.

"They can't sing, can't play, can't dance," the guitarist said.

He also accused the boy band of damaging children's teeth by promoting soft drinks.

"They should be shot," he said.

Oasis were the closing act at the Caracas Pop Festival in Venezuela.

Graham: Another Boyzone tour planned

Despite their successful solo careers, Boyzone star Mikey Graham has announced that the group are planning another tour.

"It's not the end, not at the moment anyway," Graham told reporters at the world's largest music industry fair, Midem in Cannes, France, where he was promoting his solo album.

"We plan to do a tour hopefully at the end of this year," the 28-year-old said.

"We don't feel we have to close the door on Boyzone. We would like to keep it running alongside our solo careers. "

Chili Peppers end Rio festival

US rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers wrapped up the week-long Rock In Rio festival with a show in front of more than 250,000 people.

The Californian group provided organisers with the only near-capacity crowd of the event.

Neil Young, 'N Sync, REM and Guns 'n' Roses were among other acts performing throughout the festival.

Crowd control problems marred the last day but no injuries were reported.

Tiger star Yeoh in wax

Michelle Yeoh, star of the award-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, met her match when she visited Hong Kong's new Madame Tussaud's wax exhibition.

Yeoh, 38, was one of the first Hong Kong celebrities to pose for the museum, which opened last August and boasts waxworks of about 100 stars.

The Malaysian-born action star shot to fame in the 1997 James Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies, playing Colonel Wai-Lin opposite Pierce Brosnan.

Bolton loses court fight

Singer Michael Bolton has lost a court battle to overturn a decision that one of his hits copied parts of an old song.

The High Court in Washington rejected the appeal by Bolton, co-writer Andrew Goldmark and their record companies.

In 1994 a jury decided that Bolton's 1991 hit Love Is A Wonderful Thing was partly copied from a 1966 Isley Brothers song of the same name.

A record award of $5.4m damages was made at the time.

Bacharach gets Polar prize

Legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach is to receive Sweden's top music award, it has been announced.

Bacharach, who wrote the music for a string of hits including I Say A Little Prayer and Alfie, is to be presented with the Polar Music Prize.

He will receive the award from King Carl Gustaf of Sweden in May.

Modern classical composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and synthesiser inventor Robert Moog are also being honoured.

Love Hewitt plans new image

Jennifer Love Hewitt, star of I Know What You Did Last Summer, hopes to put her girl-next-door image behind with a feisty new role in the comedy Breakers.

Hewitt, 21, told New York's Daily News she plans to play up her temptress side while making her character a role model that her young fans can still admire.

She's a role model in her own right," said Hewitt who plays one half of a mother and daughter con team. "She's strong, smart, clever, witty and sexy."

Witherspoon's Fishing production

Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon is set to produce and star in an adaptation of US best-seller The Girl's Guide To Hunting And Fishing.

The 24-year-old, best known for roles in Election and Cruel Intentions, will play a young woman finding her way in the New York publishing world.

The film, adapted from two episodes in Melissa Banks' short story collection, is her second feature as producer.

No director is attached to the project yet.

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