Billboard Hot 100 Fest

Billboard Bits: Jingle Ball, Cash Tribute, t.A.T.u.

Stories on WHTZ New York's (Z100) Jingle Ball, the Johnny Cash Musical Tribute, and t.A.T.u.

Jay-ZJay Z, Beyoncé, matchbox twenty, Sean Paul, Kelly Clarkson and Michelle Branch are among the artists confirmed for New York radio station WHTZ's (Z100) annual Jingle Ball concert. The event will be held Dec. 11 at Madison Square Garden and will be hosted by Jennifer Lopez. Other performers include 3 Doors Down, Simple Plan, Jason Mraz and Hilary Duff.

Members of the stations ZVIP program will get first crack at tickets, beginning Thursday (Oct. 30). Proceeds will benefit the music therapy organization Musicians On Call as well as the Ronald McDonald House.

As in past years, a free festival featuring music, fashion and beauty displays will be held beforehand at the Manhattan Center. Last year's Jingle Ball featured performances by Justin Timberlake, Ashanti, Ja Rule and Nelly, among others.

-- Jonathan Cohen, San Francisco

Johnny CashActor Tim Robbins will be on hand Nov. 10 to host the Musical Tribute to Johnny Cash at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry.
As previously reported, the event will feature performances by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dwight Yoakam, George Jones, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Travis Tritt, Hank Williams Jr. and Sheryl Crow, among others. The show will be taped for broadcast Nov. 15 as a two-hour special on CMT.

In other news, Rosey Nix Adams, the daughter of Cash's late wife, June Carter Cash, 45, and bluegrass fiddle player Jimmy Campbell, 40, were found dead Friday in Clarksville, Tenn., in a parked bus. Officials believe carbon monoxide from propane or kerosene heaters on the bus may have been the cause. Emergency medical workers found drug paraphernalia near the bodies, according to reports.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

t.A.T.u. Russian pop duo t.A.T.u. last night (Oct. 26) crashed a live Japanese TV show featuring prime minister Junichiro Koizumi and Naoto Kan, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan. As the two politicians were being interviewed by the hosts of the NTV network's "Truth Report Bankisha," t.A.T.u. members Julia Volkova and Lena Katina walked onto the set, holding hands and video cameras.

Koizumi reportedly asked if they were Russian, and when one of the girls answered "yes" in English, the prime minister then asked in English: "From Russia with love?" Volkova and Katina then sat on the floor and filmed the rest of the interview before being ushered offstage during the next commercial break.

t.A.T.u. is in Japan to shoot a video and promote its December concert tour of the country. The duo's first visit here, in late May, featured a live TV-show walkout, thwarted attempts to shoot music videos, a canceled live gig and what struck many Japanese as rude, obnoxious behavior in general.

-- Steve McClure, Tokyo