PASSAGES: Clay Fends Off Rod Stewart

10/30/2003 at 02:43 PM EST

SOLD: Clay Aiken, 24, held on to the No. 1 spot on the album sales chart for a second week as his "Measure of a Man" staved off the challenge presented by Rod Stewart's "As Time Goes By ... The Great American Songbook: Vol. II," according to SoundScan. "Measure" did slide 64 percent to sales of 225,000, though it still outsold Stewart by 12,500 units. The Eagles' two-CD "Very Best of the Eagles" took third place with sales of 161,000. Other debuts included Mandy Moore's "Coverage" (No. 14); former Immature singer Marques Houston (No. 18); and Something Corporate's third effort, "North" (No. 24).

SCHEDULED: Britney Spears's upcoming North American tour will kick off March 3 in a city yet to be announced, reports Billboard. Her schedule will include 56 dates and will mostly focus on the West Coast through April. A tour of outdoor amphitheaters will begin in mid-July. The tour will be in support of the pop princess's upcoming album, "Get in the Zone," due Nov. 18.


QUOTED: "It's something that I really enjoy, it's something that I'm quite good at -- so it's hard for me to say I'll never race again." -- Jason Priestley, 34, who suffered major injuries in a crash at the Kentucky Speedway last year, to PEOPLE


YANKED: NBC's struggling Sunday night legal drama "The Lyon's Den," starring Rob Lowe, 39, will be placed on hiatus during the November sweeps period, reports the Associated Press. The latest ratings had "The Lyon's Den" ranked 58th, with an estimated 8.85 million viewers. NBC spokesman Curt King said "The Lyon's Den" would return in December.

BUSTED: Days after a judge warned him to stay off drugs, ill-starred former Stone Temple Pilots rocker Scott Weiland marked his 36th birthday early Monday morning by crashing into a parked car in Hollywood and leaving the scene, Los Angeles police say. Reuters reports that Weiland was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, then released after posting $15,000 bail. Weiland recently entered a no-contest plea to two felony drug possession charges in August, and was ordered to enter a drug-counseling program. On Oct. 20 a Pasadena judge allowed him to remain free so long as he stayed clean.

SPLIT: Citing irreconcilable differences, the wife of "Dancing on the Ceiling" singer Lionel Richie filed for a separation Wednesday after nearly seven years of marriage, reports AP. Richie, 54, and Diane Alexander, a former dancer and clothing designer, were married in New York in 1996 after a long and sometimes tumultuous relationship. The couple have a 9-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

HIRED: Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, 77, has a new career as a commercial pitchman, Thursday's Wall Street Journal reports. The legendary (if aging) swinger, who's already appeared on commercials for "X Games" and for Jack Daniel's bourbon, is about to start hawking hamburgers for the Southern California fast-food chain Carl's Jr., says the paper -- which insists that young consumers think Hef is cool. "I don't seek these things out," Hefner tells the Journal. "They are brought to me."

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