Chart-topping Arista rap group Outkast has vacated its opening slot on Eminem's European tour and will return to the U.S., as group member Big Boi prepares for the birth of his child. The Atlanta-base

Chart-topping Arista rap group Outkast has vacated its opening slot on Eminem's European tour and will return to the U.S., as group member Big Boi prepares for the birth of his child. The Atlanta-based duo was to support Eminem in Brussels; Paris; Manchester, U.K.; and London starting Monday (Feb. 5), then cap the run with a solo performance Feb. 11 at the London Astoria.

"We are incredibly pleased for Big Boi and wish him and his girlfriend all the best with the birth of their child," says an Arista spokesperson, who adds the label is "working to get Outkast back to the U.K. as soon as possible."

Outkast's fourth album, "Stankonia," is No. 17 on Music & Media's European Top 100 Albums list, while the single "Ms. Jackson" has risen to No. 3 on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles tally. The track, which is No. 2 on The Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Rap Singles chart, is due out Feb. 19 in the U.K.

As previously reported, the group is slated to begin a North American tour in support of "Stankonia" Feb. 28 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with fellow Atlanta-based rapper Ludacris in tow. Slimm Calhoun, the first signing to Outkast's Aquemini imprint, will also support.

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