Billboard Bits: CMAs, Hip-Hop/Hoops, Descendents

News on CMAs, Hip-Hop/Hoops, Descendents

Toby KeithToby Keith, Martina McBride, George Strait and Shania Twain have been added to the performance lineup for the 37th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. They join previously announced duet performers Dolly Parton and Norah Jones and Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett.

Set for Nov. 5 at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House, the ceremony will be hosted for the 12th year in a row by Vince Gill and broadcast live on CBS. Keith leads the field with seven nominations. Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley and the late Johnny Cash each received four nominations.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

JaSome of the biggest names in hip-hop will lace up their sneakers for a charity basketball game this weekend. Ja Rule, R. Kelly, DJ Clue, Lil' Wayne, Trick Daddy, David Banner, Murphy Lee, Jadakiss, Juelz Santana, Cam'Ron and Cadillac Tah are among the artists who will battle top streetball players in the contest, to be held Saturday (Oct. 11) at American Airlines Arena in Miami.

The event comes in conjunction with the
2003 Source Hip-Hop Music Awards, to be held two days later in Miami. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Miami-area youth organizations.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

DescendLegendary punk act the Descendents will release a new, as-yet-untitled studio album in March 2004, to be preceded by a January EP, both via Fat Wreck Chords. The band -- singer Milo Aukerman, drummer Bill Stephenson, bassist Karl Alvarez and guitarist Stephen Egerton -- has recorded and mixed about 20 songs, but it is unknown how many will make the final cut.

Among those recorded is a new version of the song "Lucky," originally released as the B-side of the band's 1996 single "I'm the One." The latter appeared on that year's Epitaph album "Everything Sucks," the band's last studio release.

The new album puts plans for an All/Descendents instrumental album on the back burner. Formed in the late '80s, All includes three-quarters of the Descendents lineup and singer Chad Price. All's last studio set was 2000's "Problematic" (Epitaph). In 2001, the label released the two-disc "Live Plus One," which boasts a disc culled from two All shows that year and a compilation of Descendents live performances from 1996.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.