TOP OF THE NEWS: Tupac Shakur was one of the most successful recording artists around but died owing Death Row Records $4.9 million, his attorney told the Los Angeles Times. Shakur's mother, Afeni, and the attorney claim the label shorted Tupac on royalties.

WHEN TO SAY WHEN: Anheuser-Busch, the nation's largest brewer, will stop airing beer ads on MTV. Instead, the maker of Budweiser and Michelob will try to appeal to an older crowd by advertising on VH1. This is the first time any brewer has publicly announced it would not advertise on a particular network.

LOST CONTROL: Police in Hollywood, Florida charged singer (and Whitney Houston spouse) Bobby Brown with drunk driving, the result of an incident in August in which he crashed his Porsche.

PEAKED EARLY: Looks like Universal won the race to bring out the first volcano picture of 1997 now that Fox has announced it would delay the scheduled February 28 release of Volcano until May or October. Universal recently pushed the eruption of Dante's Peak forward to February 7.

NO SHOES, NO SERVICE: Reebok International sued TriStar Pictures, claiming that the movie company failed to include an ad for Reebok shoes in Jerry Maguire, as promised in exchange for a $1.5 million promotional campaign by the shoe company.

FUNNY THING: Larry David, the co-creator ofSeinfeld, has signed a deal to write and direct his ownfeature comedy with Castle Rock Entertainment. No details on the project were given.

CHCHCHANGES: David Bowie plans to celebrate his 50th in style with a concert January 9 at Madison Square Garden in New York starring Billy Corgan, Foo Fighters, Lou Reed, Sonic Youth and others all peforming Bowie songs for the benefit of Save the Children.

FAMILY TIES: The New York Post says that singer Joni Mitchell is desperately seeking a child she gave up for adoption in 1965 but has been blocked by those holding the records. She wants her elderly parents to meet their granddaughter.

NO ESCAPE: After learning that the grave of the great magician Harry Houdini in New York had suffered from years of vandalism, David Copperfield paid $15,000 to restore the site.

NOT ANCHORED: Daily Variety says the two contenders for Greg Kinnear's job as host of NBC's Later With... are Eleanor Mondale of E! and Greg Giraldo, star of this seasons's flop sitcom Common Law on ABC.

NOT FORGOTTEN: NBC has set Jan. 9 as the night whenformer Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole will appear onits Thursday-night comedy Suddenly Susan.

NOT FOR SALE: The United Artists Theater Circuit, the second-largest U.S. theater chain, denied a report last week that it is up for sale.

NEAR MISS: Britain's censors have reportedly cleared an edited version of Crash, the Holly Hunter film about car-crash fetishists.

OH, SHUT UP: Van Toffler, executive VP of MTV Productions, on last weekend's success of the Beavis and Butt-head movie, now officially calculated at $20.1 million: "It reaffirms ourbelief that there is an audience out there if you speak to themin ways that are meaningful to them--not that this is exactlya message film."

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