Billboard Bits: John Legend, Reba McEntire, Clem Snide
Verizon Wireless is partnering again with R&B superstar John Legend on a mobile music promotion.Verizon Wireless is partnering again with R&B superstar John Legend on a mobile music promotion. Via the Music Mogul program, Verizon will provide 30-second clips of two songs off Legend's upcoming album, "Once Again." Verizon subscribers will vote on which song should next be released to radio.
Every voter will be entered into a sweepstakes to win a free trip to Europe to see Legend perform live. The sweepstake winner will then record an introduction to the chosen Legend song, which will be aired with it on radio.
In August, "Once Again" was introduced through Verizon's V CAST service during a private performance in New York. The Wireless carrier also sponsored dates on Legend's summer tour in 2005. In other Verizon news, the carrier is close to announcing an exclusive deal to sell Jimi Hendrix ringtones via its network.
-- Antony Bruno, Denver
Dolly Parton and Wynonna have joined the bill for the next episode of "CMT Giants," which will salute Reba McEntire. They join previously announced artists Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, Kelly Clarkson, Martina McBride, Brooks & Dunn, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles and LeAnn Rimes for the event, to be held Oct. 26 at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.
"CMT Giants" will air Nov. 18 on the country network. Barbara Mandrell, "Desperate Housewives" star James Denton and "Reba" co-stars Melissa Peterman and Christopher Rich will serve as presenters. Tickets go on sale Saturday (Sept. 16); a portion of the proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Indie rock act Clem Snide has completed work on a new album, "Lose Big," which won't be released until the band finds a new label home. The group parted ways with spinART after 2005's "End of Love."
In the meantime, frontman Eef Barzelay will be previewing the new material during a tour next month under the Clem Snide (solo) moniker, beginning Oct. 7 at the Jammin' Java in Vienna, Va. A live album from the group will be on sale exclusively at these performances.
-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.