Billboard Bits: MTV VMAs, Lyricists' Lounge, Lil' Romeo

News on MTV VMAs, Lyricists' Lounge, Lil' Romeo

LudacrisLudacris and Disturbing Tha Peace, and Avril Lavigne are confirmed to perform during the pre-show for the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, set for Aug. 29 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The performances will take place outside the venue prior to the awards show, and will air on MTV starting at 6:30 p.m. (live ET/tape delayed PT).

As previously announced, Ja Rule, Sheryl Crow, the Hives, the Vines, Shakira, Eminem, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Nas, Pink, Ashanti, and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs will perform during the awards ceremony. Eminem, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, and P.O.D. lead the field for this year's awards with six nominations each.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.






NellyThe 2002 Lyricists' Lounge tour will kick off Sept. 12 at the House of Blues in Orlando, Fla. Sponsored by Crown Royal, run will feature Redman, Keith Murray, Onyx, Madd Skillz, Poverty, and Words. The 20-date U.S. club tour will wrap Oct. 9 with a gig at Nation in Washington, D.C.

Established in New York more than a decade ago as an open mic event, Lyricists' Lounge became a tour in 1998 and has showcased the likes of Eminem, Xzibit, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli, among many others. The brand has also spawned an EP and two-full length albums.

Here are the Lyricist Lounge tourdates:

Sept. 12: Orlando, Fla. (House of Blues)
Sept. 13: Gainesville, Fla. (University of Florida)
Sept. 14: New Orleans (House of Blues)
Sept. 17: Phoenix (Cajun House)
Sept. 18: San Diego (4th & B)
Sept. 19: Anaheim, Calif. (House of Blues)
Sept. 20: Los Angeles (House of Blues)
Sept. 21: San Francisco (Fillmore)
Sept. 22: Portland, Ore. (Crystal Ballroom)
Sept. 24: Denver (Fillmore)
Sept. 26: Minneapolis (Quest)
Sept. 27: Milwaukee (Eagles Ballroom)
Sept. 28: Detroit (St. Andrews)
Sept. 29: Chicago (House of Blues)
Oct. 2: Cleveland (Agora Theatre)
Oct. 3: Pittsburgh (Laga)
Oct. 5: Philadelphia (Electric Factory)
Oct. 6: Boston (Avalon Ballroom)
Oct. 8: Providence, R.I. (Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel)
Oct. 9: Washington, D.C. (Nation)

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.






NellyLil' Romeo has teamed up with clothing retailer Mervyn's, which will exclusively offer merchandise from the 13-year-old rapper's clothing line, P. Miller Shorties, in its outlets beginning Sunday (Aug. 25). The rollout will begin with T-shirts and jeans available in the boys department of Mervyn's 264 stores in 14 states. An expansion into velour sets, polos, and active wear is planned.

In November, the deal will expand to include a P. Miller line for young men designed by Lil' Romeo's father, rapper Master P (real name: Percy Miller).

The P. Miller Shorties launch comes as Lil' Romeo prepares to release his sophomore album, "Game Time," due Nov. 5 via No Limit/Universal. The set will be the follow up his self-titled debut, which debuted at No. 5 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 6 on The Billboard 200. "Lil' Romeo" has sold 784,000 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.