The 89th Academy Awards

Billboard Bits: Cash, Crahan, Anastacia, Savage

News on Cash, Crahan, Anastacia, Savage

Johnny CashA funeral was held today (Sept. 15) for Johnny Cash, who died Friday at Baptist Hospital in Nashville of complications from diabetes resulting in respiratory failure. A private service and burial took place at the Hendersonville Funeral Home in his longtime home of Hendersonville, Tenn., just north of Nashville. His wife, vocalist June Carter Cash, was buried there after her death May 15. Plans are being made for a public memorial service.

Former Vice President Al Gore and singer Kris Kristofferson were among the speakers at the service. Performers included Sheryl Crow and Larry Gatlin.

-- Ray Waddell, Nashville

ToThe self-titled debut album from To My Surprise, a side project of Slipknot drummer Shawn "Clown" Crahan (aka "No. 6"), will be released Oct. 7 via Roadrunner Records. Rounded out by lead singer/guitarist Brandon Darner and bassist Stevan Robinson, the group's sound is more straight-up rock than the horror-metal of Crahan's other outfit.

"[Crahan] doesn't find it necessary to tell you what he's thinking or where he's going with an idea. But before you know it, you're already there," Darner says of his inspirational bandmate. Most people don't know the real Shawn, but I think they soon will."

The band's
official Web site is offering an early taste of the Rick Rubin-produced album with streaming audio of the driving track "Get It To Go."

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

AnaPop artist Anastacia and Evelyn Lauder of the Estée Lauder Companies have joined together to create the Anastacia Fund at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). The artist will also serve as the spokesperson for cable network Lifetime's annual Stop Breast Cancer for Life awareness campaign.

"I established the Anastacia Fund because I believe that women need to have choices when it comes to managing their health," says the artist, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in January. More information about the fund can be found at the BCRF
Web site.

As previously reported Anastacia will join Celine Dion, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Mya, Dolly Parton and Kenny Loggins at the fourth annual Women Rock! benefit for breast cancer research. The Sept. 30 event at Hollywood's Kodak Theater will be hosted by Mandy Moore and will air Oct. 23 on the Lifetime cable channel

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

RandyProfessional wrestling mainstay "Macho Man" Randy Savage is set to release his debut album as a recording artist on Big3 Records. "Be a Man" arrives Oct. 7 and finds the inimitable personality reinventing himself as a rapper.

The album was recorded with Big3's in-house writing/production team Da Raskulls and features the title song, a challenge/dis song directed at wrestling rival and one-time partner Hulk Hogan. Other cuts include "I'm Back," "RU Ready," "Hit the Floor," "Feel the Madness," "It's a Macho Thang" and "Perfect Friend."

"Variety is the key," Savage says in a statement. "The album totally expresses me; it's like an autobiography." According to a spokesperson, Savage will embark on a promotional tour of malls and music stores this fall.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.