News on Linkin Park, Timbaland, Yusuf Islam

LinkinLinkin Park's Chester Bennington has been released from a Los Angeles hospital after suffering from severe back and abdominal pains. "I finally got out of the hospital over the weekend after nine days, and the doctor instructed me to rest for the next two-to-three weeks," Bennington wrote on the band's official Web site. "Right now it seems like it was some bacteria or virus that spread throughout my intestines and body, putting me in intense pain. It also would not let me eat for a week."

Linkin Park was forced to cancel 12 European dates, which Bennington hopes will be rescheduled. "I plan on playing our warm up show in Las Vegas on June 27, and ripping everyone's face off this summer on [the] Summer Sanitarium [tour]," he said. That trek, also featuring Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Deftones, and Mudvayne, begins July 4 in Detroit.

"My doctors and nurses were amazing, and very helpful during my stay," Bennington continued. "I also wanted to say I truly appreciate the tens of thousands of get-well E-mails I got from fans. Our fans really are the best in the world."

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

TimTimbaland was named songwriter of the year at ASCAP's 16th annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards last night (June 10) in New York. Timbaland was recognized for four hit songs: Aaliyah's "I Care 4 U" and "More Than a Woman," Tweet's "Oops (Oh My)," and Missy Elliott's "Work It."

Other winners included Ashanti's "Foolish" (top R&B/hip-hop song), Nelly's "Hot in Herre" (top rap song), and Fat Joe's "What's Luv?" (soundtrack song of the year). The event honored the songwriters and publishers of the most-performed ASCAP songs of 2002 in R&B, hip-hop, rap, dance, and reggae.

EMI Music Publishing was named publisher of the year. New York radio legend Hal Jackson received the organization's first Legendary Broadcaster Award.

-- Rashaun Hall, N.Y.

DaveCat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) is set to re-release his 1984 collection "Footsteps in the Dark -- Greatest Hits 2" June 24 via A&M/UME. The album, which has been digitally remastered from the original two-track tapes, features 14 of Stevens' most well-known tunes, along with personal liner notes explaining his embrace of the Islam religion in 1977, which led him to abandon pop music.

The reissue will bring to an end A&M/UME's three-year campaign to reintroduce Stevens' music, including the September 2000 release of "The Very Best of Cat Stevens" and the following year's 79-track box set "On the Road To Find Out."

"Footsteps in the Dark" will be reissued with the original album artwork and liner notes. The album includes 11 favorites that hadn't appeared on the 1975 "Greatest Hits" collection, alongside three tracks that hadn't been released on a Cat Stevens album: "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out" and "Don't Be Shy" from the film "Harold and Maude," and the B-side "I Want To Live in a Wigwam."

In 2003, Islam recorded some of his Cat Stevens compositions for the first time since his religious conversion. He made new versions of "Peace Train" and "Lady D'Arbanville" (retitled "Angel of War") available on the Internet, via his official Web site.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.