Pop Beat: 98°, Garbage, Deborah Gibson ...

Boy band donates $2,500 to performing arts school.

Pop quartet 98° made a $2,500 donation Thursday (Aug. 10) to the School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, according to a band spokesperson. The group, three of whom attended the school, also donated a grand piano provided by the Disney Channel. ...

Garbage have entered a Madison, Wis., studio to work on their third album, according to Interscope Records. Singer Shirley Manson is posting a diary about the process on www.garbage.com. ... Organizers of Beatstock 2000 are aiming to break their own mark in the Guinness Book of World Records by putting 54 acts on one stage in one day. The lineup includes hitmakers from the '70s (Carol Williams, Musique), '80s (Deborah Gibson, Colonel Abrams) and '90s (C+C Music Factory, Amber), as well as current chart toppers Pink and Son by Four. ...

*NSync's Challenge for the Children II basketball game raised $550,000 for charity, according to event organizers. The July 29 game, which also featured Queen Latifah, Youngbloodz, Jordan Knight and Pink, as well as basketball players Elton Brand and Stephon Marbury, will benefit the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women, the Justin Timberlake Foundation and the Nordoff-Robbins Foundation. ... Rapper Eminem, whose mother filed a $10 million defamation of character lawsuit against him, ignored a recent $2 million settlement offer she made, according to The Macomb Daily newspaper. Eminem is scheduled to give a deposition in the case Sept. 13. ...

Papa Roach, who will continue to tour into September following their stint with Korn, will be joined on the road by fellow hard-rockers Taproot and (hed)pe, according to a band spokesperson. ... EMI division Virgin America has entered a $15 million joint venture with Blackground Records in an effort to strengthen its urban music catalog, according to the Los Angeles Times. The label is home to recording artists Aaliyah and Timbaland. ...

Singer Lou Rawls will star in a nationally touring musical, "Me & Mrs. Jones," according to the Associated Press. The music for the show was composed by R&B songwriters Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. ... Sting will play a free concert Sept. 12 in New York's Central Park, according to a spokesperson for the former Police singer and bassist. About 25,000 free tickets will be distributed for the show, which will be broadcast on radio stations nationwide. ...

Stone Temple Pilots have nixed plans to release a greatest hits LP in October so they can continue promoting their fourth album, No. 4 (1999), according to the band's Q Prime spokesperson. The LP, which they'd planned to call Big Bang Babies, would have included two new tracks, "You Can't Drive Me Away" and "Heed the Water Whisper." The spokesperson said STP have not decided where the tracks will land eventually, though singer Scott Weiland had said previously that they may turn up on movie soundtracks. ... Singer/actress Olivia Newton-John will perform at the Sept. 15 opening ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, the Associated Press reported. Other Australian singers booked for the event include John Farnham, Vanessa Amorosi, John Williamson and Tina Arena. ...

Monday's birthdays (Aug. 14): Dash Crofts (Seals & Crofts), 60; David Crosby, 59; Gil Bridges (Rare Earth), 58; Larry Graham (Sly and the Family Stone, Graham Central Station), 54; George Newsome (Climax Blues Band), 54; Sharon Bryant (Atlantic Starr), 44; and Sarah Brightman, 39.

— sonicnet.com staff report