News on Busta Rhymes, Boston Music Awards, Clint Black

BustaRapper Busta Rhymes got a lift from some high-profile guest stars last night (March 12) at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom. Rap duo M.O.P. joined Rhymes and the Flipmode Squad for a cover of the former's "Ante Up," while Rah Digga chimed in on "Betta Stay up in Your House," from Rhymes' latest J Records set "Genesis."

Later in the set, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and the Neptunes' Pharrell Williams appeared for "Pass the Courvoisier," which segued into "All About the Benjamins." The former track is No. 6 on Billboard's Hot Rap Singles tally and No. 15 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart this week.

Rhymes' latest round of touring ends Saturday in Binghamton, N.Y., but he is on the bill for the Beyond 2002 Super Festival, set for April 12-14 in Miami. For a full report on last night's show, visit Billboard.com's Live Reviews section.


-- Matt Elzweig, N.Y.







GodsmackHard rock act Godsmack leads the slate of performers for the 15th annual Boston Music Awards, to be held April 11 at the city's Orpheum Theatre. Former New Kids On The Block principal Joey McIntyre will host and perform, as will Letters To Cleo's Kay Hanley, rock acts Reveille, the Sheila Divine, Must, and singer/songwriters Bill Morrissey and Tracy Bonham. Tickets for the event are on sale now via Ticketmaster.

Staind, Aerosmith, and American Hi-Fi lead this year's field with seven nominations, followed by Godsmack and Cracktorch with six, Dropkick Murphys with five, and the Sheila Divine and Scissorfight with four. Winners will be chosen via a combination of voting by the public and music industry professionals.

For a full list of nominees, click here.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







Clint BlackCountry star Clint Black will be in the spotlight March 30 as he stars in the next installment of A&E's "Live by Request." The two-hour show, which will air live on cable channel beginning at 9 p.m. ET and via the Jones Radio Network, will find Black taking requests via a toll-free phone number and Internet submissions. The show will be rebroadcast March 31 at 1 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.

Black will no doubt end up performing several selections from his RCA collection "Greatest Hits Vol. 2." Released last November, the 16-track set debuted at No. 8 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and No. 97 on The Billboard 200. Along with such favorites as "Nothin' But the Taillights" and "Something That We Do," the album also featured three new songs: "Little Pearl and Lily's Lullaby," "Money or Love," and "Easy for Me To Say."

Past performers on the "Live by Request" series include Elton John, Neil Diamond, Tony Bennett, Willie Nelson, Gloria Estefan, James Taylor, k.d. lang, Vince Gill, Loretta Lynn, and Reba McEntire.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.