Billboard Bits: CMT Awards, AIC, C-Murder, Osbourne

News on CMT Awards, AIC, C-Murder, Kelly Osbourne

KennyKenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson are the first performers confirmed for the 2005 CMT Music Awards. Set for April 11 at Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center, the two-hour event will be hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy and will air live on CMT.

Nominees for the fan-voted awards have not yet been announced. Tickets to the show go on sale Feb. 19 via and Ticketmaster.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

KristThe surviving members of Alice In Chains will regroup for the first time since 1996 at a Feb. 18 tsunami benefit in Seattle. Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney and Mike Inez will be joined by as-yet-unannounced vocalists for the event at the Premiere nightclub, which will also feature performances by Heart's Ann Wilson, Nirvana's Krist Novoselic, Queensryche's Chris DeGarmo and rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot.

Proceeds will be donated to the humanitarian organization CARE, which will funnel them into Asian tsunami relief efforts. Tickets go on sale Thursday (Feb. 3) via the
Web site of event sponsor KRQI-Seattle.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

MurderSome rappers find jail nothing more than a mild hindrance to their recording careers, and C-Murder will try to continue that trend when he releases a new album next month via Koch. The 15-track "The Truest S*** I Ever Said" will arrive March 22, more than two-and-a-half-years since the artist (real name: Corey Miller) was convicted of second-degree murder in Louisiana.

The album is led by the single "Y'all Heard" featuring B.G., and will be supported later this month by a video shot in prison and New Orleans. Other guests on the set include Fat Joe on "Stressin,'" Soulja Slim on "Holla at Me" and Capone and Montez on "I Heard U Was Lookin' for Me."

"I'm kickin' it back to the streets," C-Murder says. "It's about the trials and tribulations of my life. People will be able to relate to it."

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

KellyKelly Osbourne will release her sophomore album, "Sleep in the Nothing," June 7 via Sanctuary.
As previously reported, the 10-song set was produced by Linda Perry and features several songs co-written by Osbourne, the daughter of heavy metal icon Ozzy Osbourne and a reality-television personality-turned-actress.

The album will be led by the single "One Word," described by the label as a "haunting pop ballad." Elsewhere on the disc, Osbourne addresses topics such as date rape ("Don't Touch Me"), teenage restlessness ("Suburbia") and society's ills ("Entropy").

Osbourne is among the cast members of the freshman ABC drama "Life As We Know It," which has been on hiatus in recent weeks. It next appears on the network's March 6 primetime schedule.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.