News on Alicia Keys, Timbaland/Magoo, SFA

AliciaR&B star Alicia Keys has joined the lineup of UrbanAID 2, an April 9 concert to raise awareness of AIDS issues. Hosted by comedian Jamie Foxx, the show at New York's Beacon Theater will also feature previously announced performers Jay-Z, P. Diddy, and R. Kelly.

The event, organized by LIFEbeat, is being co-chaired by Def Jam founder Russell Simmons and P. Diddy. Black Entertainment Television (BET) will tape the show for future broadcast on the cable channel.

Last week Keys won five Grammys, including best new artist and best R&B album for her acclaimed debut album "Songs in A Minor" (J Records). The artist will share the stage tonight (March 4) in Oakland, Calif., with R&B newcomer Glenn Lewis, and again on Sunday in San Diego. Keys has also begun to schedule a handful of mid-summer tour dates, including an Aug. 1 stop at the California Mid-State Fair.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







Timbaland"Indecent Proposal," the sophomore album from noted hip-hop duo Timbaland & Magoo, will be re-released April 23 by Blackground Records. Originally released last November, the set peaked at No. 3 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 29 on The Billboard 200. The album -- which features guest appearances by Jay-Z, Petey Pablo, Ludacris, Tweet, and Fat Man Scoop -- has sold 329,000 copies in the U.S. to date, according to SoundScan.

"Proposal" -- which will also boast the addition of a Timbaland-produced remix of the late Aaliyah's "I Am Music" -- is being re-released thanks to a new distribution agreement between Blackground and Universal. The label's releases were previously distributed via Virgin, and Atlantic at the time of the duo's 1997 debut, "Welcome to Our World." That set debuted at No. 9 on the R&B/Hip-Hop tally and peaked at No. 33 on The Billboard 200. It has sold 1 million copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan.

Last October, Timbaland told Billboard the album might very well be his last as an artist. "I just didn't have the control that I wanted [with this album]," he admitted. "I wasn't able to oversee things the way I would have liked to in terms of release dates, etc. I turned it in a year and a half ago, and it's just coming out."


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.









SFAWelsh experimental pop quintet Super Furry Animals, which recently inked a deal with XL Recordings/Beggars Banquet Group to release its fifth album, "Rings Around the World" in North America, will kick off a North American tour April 18 in Minneapolis. Confirmed dates run through May 11 in Vancouver, with more expected.

Due March 19, the North American release of "Rings" will come with a bonus disc featuring six b-sides, "Tradewinds," "Roman Road," "Patience," "Happiness is a Worn Pun," "Gypsy Space Muffin," and "All the S*** U Do." As previously reported, the album will be simultaneously released with a DVD featuring specially commissioned films for each of the album's songs, bonus short films and songs, remixes, and more.

Released on Epic U.K. in July 2001, "Rings" debuted at No. 3 on the U.K. album chart, produced three hit singles, and was nominated for the U.K.'s prestigious Mercury Music Prize.

Here are Super Furry Animals' tour dates:

April 18: Minneapolis (400 Bar)
April 19: Chicago (the Abbey)
April 20: Toronto (Opera House)
April 21: Montreal (Cabaret)
April 22: Boston (Paradise)
April 24: New York (Irving Plaza)
April 25: Philadelphia (Theater of Living Arts)
May 3: Dallas (Gyspy Tea Room)
May 4: Austin, Texas (Mercury)
May 7: Los Angeles (El Rey Theatre)
May 8: San Francisco (Bimbo's)
May 10: Seattle (Graceland)
May 11: Vancouver (venue TBA)


-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.