Billboard Bits: Eminem, Pressplay, Sticky Fingaz
News on Eminem, Pressplay, Sticky FingazEminem will play his only U.S. show of the year July 12 at Ford Field in his hometown of Detroit, a spokesperson confirms. 50 Cent and Missy Elliott are also on tap for the show, with additional acts expected to be added. Tickets go on-sale Saturday (Feb. 14) via Ticketmaster and promoter Clear Channel's official Web site.
Ford Field, which can hold about 45,000 people for concerts, played host in October to the Rolling Stones' Licks tour. The Summer Sanitarium tour, featuring Metallica, Limp Bizkit, and Linkin Park, will visit the venue sometime this summer.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Pressplay will launch an updated version of its service Friday (Feb. 14), with music from new content partners DreamWorks, Palm, Ubiquity, Rykodisc/Ryko Label Group, and Sub Pop. The upgrade will also include access to Billboard chart data and personalized radio services.
The new content -- which includes music from Nirvana, Frank Zappa, and Zero 7 -- expands Pressplay's library to 250,000 tracks. The upgrade, Version 2.5, will allow users to search for music using Billboard's archival chart data, building off an earlier alliance between Pressplay and Billboard. Users will also be able to create radio stations using artists and tracks they specify.
In an effort to drive subscriptions, Pressplay is offering 10 free permanent downloads to users who refer new members to the service.
-- Brian Garrity, N.Y.
Former Onyx member Sticky Fingaz has landed a starring role in the new UPN series "Platinum." In the new program, which UPN is billing as "network TV's first hip-hop drama," Sticky Fingaz plays one of two brothers who run a successful New York record company. The one-hour program premieres April 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and then moves to its regular 9 p.m. ET/PT Tuesday time slot the following day.
"Platinum" will be cross-promoted on MTV (which is also owned by UPN parent Viacom) through music videos and "Platinum" reruns shown on MTV. Several real-life rappers to be announced are expected to make guest appearances on the show. Music video/film director Kevin Bray, who is also a producer of the show, directs the series' first episode. The show's executive producers include acclaimed director Francis Ford Coppola and his daughter, Sofia.
In other Sticky Fingaz news, he will be featured in the film "Lockdown," co-starring Master P. The rapper's as-yet-untitled upcoming solo album is due sometime this year on his own record label, OPM (Other People's Money).
-- Carla Hay, N.Y.