Billboard Bits: MTV Europe, Grand Ole Opry, UCLA
News on MTV Europe, Grand Ole Opry, UCLAOrganizers say the MTV Europe Music Awards, set for Nov. 8 in Frankfurt, Germany, will continue as scheduled. The announcement comes a day after Janet Jackson's decision to cancel her appearance on the show and her entire European tour.
"MTV Europe is disappointed that [Jackson] will be unable to attend but would like to stress that the show will still go ahead as planned and that the maximum security precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of all artists, guests, and attendees at the event," the network said in a statement.
As previously reported, U.K. cartoon band Gorillaz leads the field with six nominations. Meanwhile, all four "members" of the act will participate in an Oct. 9 online chat sponsored by MTV and Yahoo!. The event can be accessed from 14 international MTV Web sites, which are also streaming the music video for the group's new single, "Rock the House," beginning today (Oct. 2).
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
The Grand Ole Opry will celebrate its 76th birthday Oct. 12-13 with Opry members Vince Gill, George Jones, Pam Tillis, Travis Tritt, Steve Wariner, Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Brad Paisley, Jeannie Seely, Ricky Skaggs, Ralph Stanley, and the Whites among those set to appear. The Opry will host two shows each night.
In addition, the weekend -- which falls in the midst of Opry Homecoming Month -- will include a slate of activities in and around the Grand Ole Opry house. Among the features are the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Celebration, autograph signings in the Opry Museum, and a homecoming picnic hosted by comedian T. Bubba Bechtol.
Other artists due to appear at the Grand Ole Opry throughout October include Charley Pride, Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, Ray Price, Allison Moorer, Rhonda Vincent, and, making her debut on the Opry stage, Carolyn Dawn Johnson. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Opry's official Web site.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Rapper Mos Def, original Temptations member Otis Williams, and songwriting team Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller are among those who will take part in the University of California at Los Angeles' (UCLA) Music Legends discussion series. Conceived by entertainment attorney and former record company executive Richard Schulenberg, each session will feature a one-on-one interview with the guest about life in the music industry, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.
"I've been teaching the legal aspects of the music business for more than 20 years," Schulenberg said in a statement, "and I realized how important it is to give the students a personal sense of music industry history so they could understand how the industry worked and how it has changed."
Held in Haines Hall on the UCLA campus, the series will kick off tomorrow (Oct. 3) with Russ Giguere, lead singer of 1960s act the Association. Others due to take part in the series are vocalists Sam Moore (Sam & Dave) and Johnny Mathis, producers Denny Diante (Barbra Streisand, Grateful Dead) and Phil Ramone (Billy Joel, Paul Simon), and industry veterans Russ Regan (record company executive and promoter) and Lee Solters (public relations representative).
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.