Billboard Hot 100 Fest

Billboard Bits: Hank Williams, Supergrass, Polo Montanez

News on Hank Williams, Supergrass, Polo Montanez

NellyHank Williams Jr. and Hank Williams III will be on hand Jan. 4 in Nashville as the "Grand Ole Opry" commemorates the death of country legend Hank Williams. The late artist's son and grandson will perform together for the first time during the tribute, which will take place at the show's original home of the Ryman Auditorium, and will air nationally on CMT's "Grand Ole Opry Live."

"It was a year ago that I made my first performance on the 'Grand Ole Opry' in over 17 years," Hank Williams Jr. said in a statement. "And boy, it was a sad night as I honored my brother Waylon Jennings. This time I will be honoring my father and who better to be performing with but my own son, Shelton [Hank III]."

For more information, visit the Opry's official Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

NellyU.K. rock outfit Supergrass' fourth studio album, "Life on Other Planets," has been set for a Feb. 11 North American release by Island. The set, issued by Parlophone internationally, debuted in October at No. 9 on the U.K. album chart on the strength of the singles "Never Done Nothing Like That" and "Grace."

Beforehand, the group has a handful of European tour dates on tap, including a run of shows supporting Foo Fighters in Germany and Holland. Supergrass is expected to tour North America in February and March, marking the group's first shows in the territory since a fall 2000 opening stint with Pearl Jam.

Here are Supergrass' tour dates:

Dec. 1: Hamburg, Germany (Color Line Arena, w/ Foo Fighters)
Dec. 2: Brussels (Ancienne Belgique)
Dec. 7: Berlin (Arena, w/ Foo Fighters)
Dec. 8: Cologne, Germany (Palladium, w/ Foo Fighters)
Dec. 9: Amsterdam (Heineken Music Hall, w/ Foo Fighters)
Dec. 11: Treviso, Italy (New Age)
Dec. 12: Milan (Magazzini)
Dec. 14: Bilbao, Spain (Kafe Antozia)
Dec. 15: Barcelona (Apolo)
Dec. 16: Madrid (Arena)

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

NellyCuba's leading commercial artist of the year, Polo Montanez, was still fighting for his life over the weekend after a car crash late last Wednesday left him with severe injuries, including a fractured skull. His stepson was killed and his wife injured in the smash near Havana following a family celebration. Doctors said yesterday (Nov. 24) his condition was "critical."

A singer and guitarist, Montanez' guajiro (country peasant) style has likened him to an easy-listening version of Eliades Ochoa, another internationally renowned Cuban guajiro artist. Montanez found success at the age of 55 in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico, and other Latin American countries with "Guajiro Natural," on French label Lusafrica, which is soon to re-release his debut album "Guitarra Mia".

-- Howell Llewellyn, Madrid