Billboard Bits: WMG/YouTube, George Strait, Luther Vandross
Warner Music Group has pacted with YouTube to make videos from such artists as Madonna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day legally available for the first time on the popular online site.Warner Music Group has pacted with YouTube to make videos from such artists as Madonna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day legally available for the first time on the popular online site. WMG will also make behind-the-scenes clips, interviews and original programming available to YouTube users.
In addition, YouTube users will be authorized to incorporate WMG videos into clips of their own creation. The deal comes days after the Universal Music Group accused YouTube of massive copyright infringement amounting to "tens of millions of dollars" in damages.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Just as George Strait is set to be feted with a Country Music Hall of Fame induction, the Texan scores his 41st No. 1 single and eclipses Conway Twitty's long-held title as the artist with the most chart topping tracks. Strait's "Give It Away" rises 2-1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, toppling Steve Holy's "Brand New Girlfriend."
Strait first topped the chart when "Fool Hearted Memory" crowned the chart for one week in August 1982. The late Conway Twitty's No. 1 chart span began in 1968 with "Next in Line" and ended when "Desperado Love" topped the chart in 1986. He died in 1993 at the age of 59.
-- Wade Jessen, Nashville
A second Luther Vandross tribute CD is on its way in the form of "Forever, for Always, for Luther, Vol. 2," due Nov. 20 via Universal-distributed Rendezvous. The collection is produced by two of the guiding lights behind 2004's first volume, Rex Rideout and Bud Harner.
This time out, the lineup includes Kirk Whalum (making a return appearance), Patti Austin, Jonathan Butler, Jeff Lorber, Wayman Tisdale, Gerald Albright, Will Downing, Maysa (of Incognito fame) and Norman Brown. A portion of the CD's proceeds will benefit the American Heart Assn. Sources say a U.S. tour is being planned for the spring.
-- Gail Mitchell, L.A.