Billboard Bits: White, Springsteen/Vedder, Collins

News on Barry White, Springsteen/Vedder, Collins

Natalie ColeLegendary seductive soul singer Barry White will soon be seeking a kidney transplant. The artist's doctors have confirmed that he has a history of hypertension that has led to a decline of his kidney functions. After stabilizing his body through dialysis therapy, he will become a candidate for a kidney transplant.

White's last release was the two-disc "Ultimate Collection," issued by Universal in 2000. The set debuted at No. 98 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

EVHe was born and raised in the Chicago area, so it makes perfect sense when Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder joined Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band onstage last night (Sept. 25) at the city's United Center for a duet on the Boss' "My Hometown." Decked out in a t-shirt and a fedora, Vedder handled verses on the "Born in the U.S.A."-era track, tinkering with the lyrics to change "this is your hometown" to "this was my hometown" amid raucous applause.

For their part, Springsteen and the E Streeters were in high spirits all night. Recent shows have seen the band deviate from their initial setlist heavy on tracks from its latest Columbia album, "The Rising," and last night's performance boasted the tour premiere of "Jackson Cage," as well as a beautiful "For You," performed by Springsteen alone at the piano.

Pearl Jam opened the Who's $400-a-ticket benefit Monday night at the House of Blues. This isn't Vedder's first intersection with the Springsteen canon, as the singer has covered Springsteen's "Bobby Jean" in concert, and even recorded a pre-Pearl Jam solo demo of "One Step Up" from the Boss' 1987 album "Tunnel of Love."

It's rare for Springsteen to be joined by big-name guests on full E Street Band shows these days. None had yet appeared on this current tour, but on the 2000 E Street reunion jaunt, a Washington, D.C., show found Bruce Hornsby, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Shawn Colvin, and Mary Chapin Carpenter guesting with Springsteen during the encores.

-- Jeff Vrabel, Chicago

Natalie ColePhil Collins will be honored Nov. 13 with City of Hope's Spirit of Life award during a gala dinner in New York. Collins, who will share the honor with Conde Nast Publications president Steven T. Florio, will perform during the event, which will be held at Cipriani at 42nd Street.

This second annual gala presented by the Fashion and Media Industry for City of Hope is staged to raise funds as well as awareness in New York for the California-based center for advanced research and treatment of life-threatening diseases. Last year's event honored Rod Stewart and Richard Beckman.

For ticket information contact City of Hope's Rick Boylan at 800-732-7205. For more information on the organization, visit its official Web site.

As previously reported, Collins will release his next album, "Testify," Nov. 12 via Atlantic. The album is the artist's first release of new music since the 1999 "Tarzan" soundtrack, which won Collins an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy on the strength of the single "You'll Be in My Heart."

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.