R&B trio TLC captured Artist of the Year honors and “Cracked Rear View” by Hootie & the Blowfish was named Album of the Year at the 1995 Billboard Music Awards in New York City Wednesday night. “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio won the award for Single of the Year.
But the evening’s big story was Michael Jackson, who was hospitalized earlier in the day after collapsing in a New York theater during rehearsals for a television special. Jackson had been scheduled to accept a special Billboard award, and several presenters and winners offered their best wishes to him.
Jackson’s award was for being the first artist to enter Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart at No. 1. He did it last September with the single “You Are Not Alone.”
Jackson’s sister Janet was also scheduled to appear but remained at her brother’s bedside. Janet Jackson was honored with a special Artist Achievement Award for accomplishments including 107 weeks at No. 1 on seven different Billboard charts.
Joni Mitchell was presented with the Century Award, Billboard’s highest honor for creative achievement.
The Billboard Music Awards, which debuted in 1990, are the industry’s only honors based on record sales and airplay. Winners are determined by information provided by SoundScan and Broadcast Data Systems.
Here is a complete list of winners:
Artist of the Year: TLC
Album of the Year: “Cracked Rear View,” Hootie & the Blowfish
Single of the Year: “Gangsta’s Paradise,” Coolio
R&B Single/Artist: “Creep,” TLC
R&B Album: “My Life,” Mary J. Blige
Country Single/Artist: “Sold,” John Michael Montgomery
Country Album: “The Hits,” Garth Brooks
Rock Artist: Live
Rock Track: “December,” Collective Soul
Rap Single/Artist: “One More Chance,” Notorious B.I.G.
‘New York News’ canceled
“News,” starring Mary Tyler Moore as the tough editor of a struggling New York tabloid, put out its last edition Nov. 30. After eight episodes, it ranked 89th among 121 series on Nielsen’s hit parade.
No permanent replacement has been named yet for the 9-to-10 p.m. Thursday slot. On Thursday, CBS ran back-to-back episodes of Angela Lansbury’s “Murder, She Wrote” - an original, followed by a repeat.
In other programming news, Gary David Goldberg’s new comedy, “Champs,” will join ABC’s lineup Jan. 9 at 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays. The first TV series from DreamWorks, “Champs” stars Timothy Busfield as a suburban dad who hangs with his high school basketball buddies.
Current occupant of the slot, Craig T. Nelson’s “Coach,” will have its last shot there Dec. 19. ABC promises it will return later this season in a new time period.
Ford to play Travis McGee
A new franchise could be in the works, and Harrison Ford just might be the man to star in it.
Sources at 20th Century Fox confirmed that the studio has beaten out heated competition from other studios to buy the rights to the Travis McGee books by John MacDonald, the series of 21 detective novels centered on the classic American private eye who lives on a boat in Florida, the Busted Flush.
The books have not been out of print in over 30 years and have sold more than 32 million copies. Ballantine Books is preparing a $250,000 media blitz to reintroduce the character to younger audiences.
Fox has attached Joe Ruben (“Money Train”) and Amy Robinson (“With Honors”) to produce. While sources at Fox said Ford was not attached to star, other sources said he had expressed strong interest in the project.
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