Billboard Bits: Cher, Lyrics Born, Midón, Matt Bianco

News on Cher, Lyrics Born, Midón, Matt Bianco

CherCher will perform the final live show of her storied career April 30 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, concluding the seemingly endless Farewell tour that began well over three years and 300 shows ago. The artist has reported close to $200 million in grosses to Billboard Boxscore from 251 shows on the trek, with an attendance of 2.6 million.

Tickets for the finale go on sale Feb. 7 via Ticketmaster. Cher has five North American shows on tap (including tonight in Salt Lake City) before she heads south to Australia and New Zealand for the first time in a decade. North American dates resume April 7 in Montreal.

-- Ray Waddell, Nashville






BornRapper Lyrics Born will offer up five new songs and eight remixes on "Same !@#$ Different Day," due April 26 via Quannum. Among those lending a hand are producer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura on "I'm Just Raw," DJ Shadow and Joyo Velarde on "Over You," KRS One and Dilated Peoples' Evidence on "Pack Up," Morcheeba on "Stop Complaining" and Lateef the Truth Speaker on "The Last Trumpet."

The source material for the remixes was tracks from Lyrics Born's 2003 Quannum album "Later That Day," which reached No. 40 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart. The single "Callin' Out," which is remixed by Casual and E-40 on the new collection, is currently heard in a commercial for Diet Coke featuring actor Adrien Brody.

Lyrics Born will be featuring the tracks on his spring tour, which gets underway Feb. 24 in San Francisco.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.






RaulStevie Wonder and Jason Mraz are among the guests contributing to "State of Mind," the debut album by singer/songwriter/guitarist Raúl Midón. Due May 10 via EMI's Manhattan Records label, the set was produced by Arif and Jo Mardin and features 13 Midón originals.

Wonder contributes harmonica to the cut "Expressions of Love," while "Keep on Hoping" is a vocal duet with Mraz. Midón will repay the favor to the latter with a guest appearance on Mraz's forthcoming Atlantic album. Other appearances include Latin jazz flutist Dave Valentine, Sammy Figueoua and Cyro Baptista on percussion, vibraphonist Stefon Harris and Gergoire Maret on harmonica.

Midón will preview material from the album Feb. 16 in New York and at next month's South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.






BiancoMore than two decades after going their separate ways, the original members of Matt Bianco have reunited to record a new album and will launch their first U.S. tour in March. "Matt's Mood" will be issued March 1 via Decca, with the concert outing to begin three days later in Annapolis, Md. Dates in Atlantic City, N.J. (March 5), Westbury, N.Y. (March 6) and New York (March 8) are confirmed, with more to follow.

After just one album together, 1984's "Whose Side Are You On?" (Atlantic), the group split and singer Basia embarked on a solo career that spawned the albums "Time and Tide" (1988) and "London Warsaw New York" (1990) both of which topped Billboard's Contemporary Jazz albums chart. She also scored Adult Contemporary chart hits with the tracks "New Day for You" and "Cruising for Bruising."

Matt Bianco is rounded out by vocalist Mark Reilly, who reactivated the band name for several recordings (including the single "Don't Blame It on That Girl" sung by Emilio Estefan); and keyboardist Danny White, who played keyboards for Basia during her solo projects.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.