Billboard Bits: Bruce Springsteen, Kidz Bop & More
Bruce Springsteen will on July 15 release "Magic Tour Highlights," a digital-only EP of tracks culled from Springsteen's current "Magic" swing. No physical release is planned.Bruce Springsteen will on July 15 release "Magic Tour Highlights," a digital-only EP of tracks culled from Springsteen's current "Magic" swing. No physical release is planned.
As an added bonus, each track features a special guest star. Alejandro Escovedo appears on his own "Always a Friend," from Houston; Tom Morello's guitar work decorates a fierce "The Ghost Of Tom Joad" from Anaheim, Calif., and Roger McGuinn turns up for "Turn! Turn! Turn" from Orlando.
The set closes with a performance of "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" from Indianapolis, notable as being the last E Street performance with keyboardist Danny Federici, who died in April. Each performance will also be available as a downloadable video. All royalties from the project will benefit the Danny Federici Melanoma Fund.
Springsteen's "Magic" tour continues in Sweden tomorrow (July 4); portions of that show will be broadcast on the E Street Radio channel on Sirius Satellite Radio, hosted by Springsteen biographer Dave Marsh. Springsteen's "Magic" tour returns to the States for July 27-28 and 31 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
-- Jeff Vrabel, Savannah, Ga.
For the first time, an edition of the best-selling children's music series Kidz Bop will feature an established artist in the project's marketing efforts, Billboard can exclusively reveal.
Reggae-pop singer Sean Kingston will be featured in TV commercials for "Kidz Bop 14," which will be released on July 29 by Razor & Tie. Kingston appears on the record with the Kidz Bop kids -- also a first for an established artist -- on a new version of his single "Take You There." He'll appear in the song's music video as well.
Four of Kingston's singles have hit Billboard's Hot 100, including "Beautiful Girls," which spent three weeks at No. 1 last year. "Kidz Bop 14," like the rest in the series, features popular songs sung by kids for kids. Since its launch seven years ago, the Kidz Bop franchise has sold 10.5 million CDs.
-- Laura Leebove, N.Y.
MasterCard this week launched a campaign with an extensive music component. As part of a new campaign dubbed "Roots of Rock" from New York ad agency McCann-Erickson the credit card maker is offering MasterCard holders free downloads from the entire Universal Music Group catalog from priceless.com.
While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed the card maker did say that once 100,000 songs had been downloaded the company would continue to offer the catalog at a price of .80 per track.
In addition select live performances that have aired over the past years on PBS's "Soundstage" will be available for unlimited free download to cardholders. Some of the artists available include: Heart, Counting Crows, Billy Idol, Jewel, and Ringo Starr.
MasterCard users who make a purchase with their cards up until Aug. 31 will also be entered into a sweepstakes with a grand prize of having a meet and greet with Jon Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton or Kenny Chesney.
-- Kamau High, N.Y.