Billboard Bits: Alicia Keys, Angie Stone, Sun Records
Stories on Alicia Keys, Angie Stone, and a Sun Records tribute concert.Alicia Keys is the latest performer to sign on for the 2001 Billboard Music Awards. Keys joins previously announced performers 'N Sync, Tim McGraw, and Shaggy on the bill at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas
The 12th annual event will air live Dec. 4 on Fox beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
A reworked and remixed version of Angie Stone's "Brotha," featuring Alicia Keys and Eve, will be added to new pressings of the neo-soul artist's just released J Records album "Mahogany Soul." A new video featuring the guests is in the planning stages even as the original clip, featuring cameos by Will Smith, Luther Vandross, Sinbad, and Raphael Saadiq is currently airing on various video outlets.
"Mahogany Soul," released last Tuesday, is the follow-up to Stone's 1999 album "Black Diamond." That set peaked at No. 9 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 46 on The Billboard 200.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent will lead From the Cotton Fields: A Tribute to Sun Records, Nov. 24-25 at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, N.J. The event will feature D.J. Fontana of Elvis Presley's band, rockabilly artists Sonny Burgess and Billy Lee Riley, blues artist Little Milton, vocalist Phoebe Snow, saxophonist Ace Cannon, and guitarist/producer Cowboy Jack Clement.
The goal is "to bring up virtually every living Sun guy, regardless of age," organizer Rick Korn said in a statement. A New Jersey resident, Korn formerly managed the late Carl Perkins, one of the Memphis label's signature artists in its heyday. The show will also feature clips of the documentary "Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy of Sun Records," which is set to debut Nov. 28 on PBS.
Tallent will serve as musical director for the shows, which will benefit the Alliance of Neighbors of Monmouth County, which aids N.J. shore-area victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., and World Hunger Year (WHY). Tickets priced from $50-$350 will go on sale Thursday (Nov. 15) at 10 a.m. at the Paramount box office, as well as Jack's Music Shop in Red Bank, N.J. and Vintage Vinyl in Fords, N.J. At deadline it was still possible that tickets may be available through Manny's Musical Instruments in New York, but it was not official.
Many of the same artists participated at a pair of benefits last month at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. Originally conceived as a Sun Records tribute to benefit WHY, the concert shifted focus after the Sept. 11 attacks and instead benefited the Alliance. Those shows, which raised more than $800,000, also featured performances by Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Joan Jett, among others.
Korn says that Springsteen will be invited to take part in the newly arranged tribute shows, but his participation has not yet been confirmed.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.