Billboard Bits: '8 Mile,' MTV VMAs, Tim McGraw

News on '8 Mile,' MTV VMAs, Tim McGraw

NellyThe upcoming Eminem film "8 Mile" will be shown Sept. 8 as a "work in progress" as part of the Toronto Film Festival. The film, which opens Nov. 8 in U.S. theaters, was directed by Curtis Hanson ("Wonder Boys," "L.A. Confidential") and also stars Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer, and Brittany Murphy.

"8 Mile" will be accompanied by a soundtrack on Eminem's own Shady Records label, featuring his own tracks, plus contributions from Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, and Kid Rock, as well as Xzibit, who also makes an appearance in the film.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.






NellySheryl Crow, Ja Rule, the Hives, and the Vines have joined the list of performers for the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, set for Aug. 29 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. They join joining previously announced performers Shakira, Eminem, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Nas, Pink, Ashanti, and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. Brandy, Usher, Linkin Park, and P.O.D. will present awards at the show.

With six nominations each, Eminem and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott and P.O.D. lead the field for this year's awards. P.O.D. and Eminem are both up for the best video, best direction, and viewer's choice honors -- for "Alive" and "Without Me," respectively. Among Elliott's nominations is a best hip-hop video nod for "One Minute Man," featuring Ludacris and Trina.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.






NellyCounty superstar Tim McGraw will stage a Sept. 7 concert for "Sing Me Home," his fall NBC primetime special in his hometown of Start, La. McGraw and his band, the Dancehall Doctors, will tape the show beginning at 7 p.m. at the C.W. Earle Cotton Gin, and plan to stick around for a post-taping jam session afterwards.

Tickets for the general admission event -- set at $10, with children under 6 years old admitted free -- are on sale via Ticketmaster, as well as several local outlets in Rayville, West Monroe, and Ruston. For more information, visit McGraw's official Web site. A portion of the proceeds will benefit local youth sports and college scholarships and local area charities that have been supported by McGraw's annual Swampstock benefit concert/softball game.

The special will be timed to premiere around the release of McGraw's as-yet-untitled new album, which is due Nov. 26 via Curb. That set will be the follow-up to last year's "Set This Circus Down," which bowed at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and No. 2 on The Billboard 200, and has sold 1.9 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.