Billboard Bits: 'N Sync, Keys, Bono, Journey
News on 'N Sync, Keys, Bono, Journey'N Sync will make its first group appearance in more than a year-and-a-half when it sings the National Anthem July 25 as part of its Challenge for the Children charity event. The group will sing prior to a celebrity basketball game, in which its members will compete.
The day before, 'N Sync will put its athletic talents on display as part of a celebrity skills challenge. Tickets for both events can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
Founded by the group in 1999, Challenge for the Children has to date raised $3.5 million for children's charities and health-related causes, according to the organization.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Chock full of tales from touring, Alicia Keys will be writing a regular travel column for the New York Daily News. Her first column, which will run in the newspaper's Sunday (July 18) issue, will detail a recent trip to Dubai.
"Writing a travel column is definitely new for me but I love the challenge," Keys says. "Being on a world tour, I have been blessed to see some amazing places. I love the process of writing, so it's exciting to be able to internalize all I've seen and report back to my hometown, New York City."
As previously reported, P. Putnam's Sons will publish Keys' first poetry book this fall and will follow it with a "diary-style" book in 2005.
The artist's latest album, "The Diary of Alicia Keys" (J), debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 in December and has sold 3.1 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
U2 lead singer Bono and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) will be honored by the National Civil Rights Museum with its annual Freedom Awards. "These two men stand as symbols of the 2004 theme, 'A Passion for Change," the Memphis-based organization says.
National honoree Lewis and international honoree Bono will be feted at an Oct. 18 ceremony at the Cannon Center for Performing Arts and a banquet at the Cook Convention Center.
For more information, visit the museum's Web site.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Journey was honored at Chicago's Wrigley Field during last night's (July 15) Cubs game as part of "Classic Rock Night." Guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain performed a Journey-fied instrumental version of the National Anthem before Cain threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Later, Cain joined singer Steve Augeri to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," during the seventh-inning stretch. The performance by a celebrity is a Cubs tradition begun after the death of longtime Cubs announcer Harry Caray, whose enthusiastic renditions of the song were a hallmark of his broadcasts and the experience of catching a game at Wrigley.
Since his death, movie stars, politicians, local sports figures and musical guests such as Shania Twain, Eddie Vedder and long-times Cubs fan Billy Corgan have all taken part. Journey added a little bit of its hit "Wheel in the Sky," before leading the stadium-wide sing-along.
Journey is in the midst of a 10-day break" from its 2004 Summer Detour. The trek picks up again July 20 in Trenton, N.J.
-- Matt Carmichael, Chicago