Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
Taylor Swift Postpones Several Tour Dates Due to Illness
Taylor Swift has rescheduled four of the dates on her summer tour after coming down with bronchitis this weekend. A statement from her label explained that Swift's doctor had advised the singer that she would not be well enough to perform. Originally scheduled for July 8, her Charlotte, N.C. show has been moved to Nov. 16. Her two Atlanta dates, July 9 and 10, are now scheduled for Oct. 1 and 2. Swift tweeted on Saturday (July 2) that her Louisville concert would be rescheduled for Oct. 11. The tour will pick back up on July 14 in Montreal, after Swift has had the chance to recover. (MTV)
Lil Wayne and Ashanti Team Up In The Studio
Earlier today (June 6), R&B star Ashanti tweeted a picture of her and Lil Wayne together in the studio. No official word about a possible collaboration, but the odds are good. Ashanti has a new record coming out, while Weezy's still plugging away at his much anticipated album, "Tha Carter IV," scheduled, as of now, to drop August 29. (@Ashanti via Rap Radar)
OutKast to Release New Album?
Hip-hop duo Outkast could be releasing a new album next year -- their first since 2006's "Idlewild." According to HipHopWired, Andre 3000 and Big Boi will be releasing the album early next year, along with respective solo albums sometime this year. Big Boi has released one solo album since Outkast went on hiatus, while Andre 3000 has collaborated with artists such as Jay-Z and Ke$ha on singles. (HipHopWired)
Pink Talks Natural Birth, First Month As a Mother
Grammy-winning pop star and new mother Pink revealed that she was hoping to experience a natural child birth after watching Ricki Lake's documentary "The Business of Being Born." However, daughter Willow Sage (now 4 weeks old) was instead born by cesarean section. Pink also discussed why she and husband Carey Hart chose the name Willow Sage and the ups and downs -- mostly ups -- of starting a family. (People)
Jordin Sparks to Sing National Anthem at MLB All-Star Game
Jordin Sparks, the winner of season six of "American Idol," will sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" for the Major League Baseball All-Star game on July 12 in Phoenix, Ariz. The MLB All-Star weekend will also feature performances by Cee Lo Green, Jason Aldean, Michelle Branch and former New York Yankees' All-Star Bernie Williams. Sparks, William and Aldean will participate in the celebrity softball game on July 11 along with Nick Jonas and "Glee's" Chord Overstreet. (Yahoo)
Rick Springfield Pleads Not Guilty to DUI
An attorney for Rick Springfield entered a not guilty plea on the rocker's behalf in a drunken driving case during a hearing Tuesday in Malibu. Springfield was arrested May 1 by a sheriff's deputy who stopped him for allegedly speeding in his 1963 Corvette on Pacific Coast Highway. (Associated Press)
Paul McCartney Launches Contest For Music-Inspired Art
Beatles icon Paul McCartney is asking fans to submit artwork inspired by his music, in a contest with Talenthouse. The winning contestant will recieve $1,000, prizes, and the honor of having the work of art displayed in Generation, a London art gallery. The works by 10 runners-up will also be displayed in a Saatchi & Saatchi online gallery. (Wall Street Journal)
(Reporting by Associated Press, Sarah Maloy, Alec Bojalad, and Jon Blistein)