Billboard Bits: Luther Vandross, ZZ Top, Lonestar

News on Luther Vandross, ZZ Top, Lonestar

VandrossLuther Vandross' next studio album, "Dance With My Father," will be released June 17 by J Records. Vandross self-produced the set, which features star-studded guest spots by the likes of Busta Rhymes, Beyonce Knowles, Stevie Wonder, Queen Latifah, and Foxy Brown, according to a spokesperson. The album is the follow-up to 2001's "Luther Vandross," which debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and has sold 1.2 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Vandross has a handful of appearances on tap for May, beginning with a May 12 tribute to Ashford & Simpson at Aaron Davis Hall in Harlem, New York. Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan, Chuck Jackson, Freddy Jackson, and Paul Shaffer are also confirmed to perform at the event. From there, Vandross will play four nights (May 22-23, 25-26) at Westbury Music Fair on Long Island.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

ZZ TopThe release of veteran Southern rock act ZZ Top's latest album has been delayed. Originally scheduled for April 15, the RCA set "Mescalero" "will be rescheduled for release at a later date," according to a statement from the label.

The band's previously announced Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers tour -- with Ted Nugent and Kenny Wayne Shepherd with Double Trouble -- will be unaffected by the change. The tour is due to kick off April 25 at the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City, La., and wrap June 21 at the Gwinnett Civic Center in Atlanta.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

LoneCountry act Lonestar's hit single "What About Now" has been tapped for use in a video promoting travel and tourism in the U.S. Featuring an opening filmed in Nashville, the video will premiere April 9 at the National Tourism Summit in Washington, D.C., before being shown regularly by major U.S. airlines, car rental companies, hotel room channels, and theme parks, among other outlets.

"What About Now" topped Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in August 2000. The song originated from Lonestar's 1999 BNA album "Lonely Grill," which reached No. 3 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. The song will also be included on the compilation "Greatest Hits - From There to Here," due June 10 from BNA.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.