2000: The year in review

JANUARY—Victoria “Posh Spice” Adams intimates on British television that her husband, Manchester United soccer star and all-around stud-puppet David Beckham, has a habit of slipping into her knickers—literally. London fashion experts are baffled. “I just don’t understand physically how he can fit into her G-strings,” says one.

FEBRUARY—Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the ’50s R&B singer who set the stage for Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson with his horror-show theatrics and the voodoo hit “I Put a Spell on You,” dies in Paris at age 70. “I came into this world black, naked, and ugly,” the singer once remarked. “And no matter how much I accumulate here, it’s a short journey. I will go out of this world black, naked, and ugly. So I enjoy life.”

MARCH—Competition for the Oscar for Best Original Song is tough this year, with former ‘Til Tuesday thrush Aimee Mann and perennial crank Randy Newman the favored candidates, and “Blame Canada” from South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut as dark horse. Instead, the statuette goes to Phil Collins for his insipid contributions to Disney’s Tarzan. Copy editors worldwide are stumped by seeing “original” and “Phil Collins” appear in the same sentence.

APRIL—After papers report that she is carrying a boy, a pregnant Madonna issues a statement saying, in part, “Despite what you may have read . . . I do not know the sex of my baby and I have no plans for marriage.”

MAY—Bj�is the hit of the Cannes Film Festival, where she makes her feature film debut in Lars von Trier’s twisted musical Dancer in the Dark. She is awarded the prize for Best Actress, and the movie wins the coveted Golden Palm. ‘N Sync is also at Cannes drumming up interest in their upcoming film, though the nature of the boy band’s flick is kept under tight wraps. Months later, it too is revealed to be a twisted musical: Grease 3.

JUNE—A 39-year-old Ohio woman accused of stalking Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose is sentenced to a year in prison after violating her probation by coming within 300 yards of the rocker’s Malibu mansion. Karen Jane McNeil, who claims to be Rose’s wife, also insists they communicate via psychic power. Authorities consider reducing her sentence after she offers to help Axl’s record label determine telepathically when, if ever, the new GN’R album will be finished.

JULY—’80s rock sensations the Bangles, who broke up in 1989 but recently announced plans to reform, are the latest subjects of VH1’s Behind the Music. Despite the quartet’s squeaky-clean image, the episode teems with raunchy humor, booze and drugs, and endless footage of singer Susanna Hoffs frolicking in scanty underwear and making bedroom eyes at the camera. Wait—my mistake—that was Comedy Central’s broadcast of The Allnighter.

AUGUST—Notorious rap star Lil’ Kim, who drops rhymes that make porn stars blush and has been known to show up in public with little more than a coaster covering her tits, is reportedly offered a six-figure deal to bare all for Playboy. But Kim expresses reservations. “She’s indicated she wants to make sure it’s tastefully done and consistent with her spirituality,” her lawyer tells the press.

SEPTEMBER—Tori Amos delivers a baby daughter. Upon feeding the tyke for the first time, the new mom—who was once photographed suckling a piglet at her teat—quips that “an ounce of breast milk is even more potent than the finest tequila.” We’ll stick to Patr�thanks.

OCTOBER—When a female patron at a New York watering hole is unimpressed by the boasts of the Backstreet Boys’ Anthony James “A.J.” McLean, he decides to court her the old-fashioned way—with fire. The bartender fills his mouth with Sambuca, then ignites the liquor with a match. Cinnamon is sprinkled over the blaze, producing a shower of fireworks, before McLean gulps the concoction down. “It was like an exploding volcano,” the bartender later tells the New York Post, “really cool but kind of dumb if you’re a singer.”

NOVEMBER—Eminem offers a “very generous” reward after one of his bags disappears en route to New Orleans from Cincinnati. The contents include a Discman, headphones, several CDs, and a notebook full of unrecorded lyrics, easily identified by “a picture of Britney Spears on the cover.”

DECEMBER—British singer Kirsty MacColl, best known for “Fairytale of New York,” her yuletide duet with the Pogues, dies at 42. “Humor is really underrated in all the arts,” she said in 1993. “I see a lot of major artists who take themselves so seriously, and obviously it works, because everybody else takes them seriously as a result. How can anyone take them seriously when their songs are such crap and the delivery is transparently shallow? But people believe it—they gobble it up.”