Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip.
M.I.A. Still Promising Free Show
M.I.A. has scheduled a show in New York City for Sept. 27, but the set will not be free, despite the singer's promise that she will hold a free NYC concert to amend for a problematic performance at HARD Fest last month. According to NY MAG, however, a rep for the singer confirmed that a free NYC show is indeed still on its way, and that they are currently "working on details, place and date." (NY Mag)
Don Imus Prepping 'Imus Ranch Record II' Release
Radio host Don Imus has announced the Oct. 26 release of "The Imus Ranch Record II," a 13-track compilation that will benefit the Imus Ranch children's foundation. Jamey Johnson, Levon Helm, and The Blind Boys of Alabama all contribute to the album, set for release on new West Records.
Natasha Bedingfield Returns with 'Strip Me'
"Pocketful of Sunshine" singer Natasha Bedingfield has revealed the details of her new album, "Strip Me," due out Nov. 9 on Phonogenic/Epic Records. The disc, which was recorded in Los Angeles, will be preceded by the title track, set for release as the first single on Sept. 21.
Allison Iraheta Leaves Jive Records
"American Idol" singer Allison Iraheta has parted ways with Jive Records, EW reports. The singer, who finished in fourth place during the show's eighth season, will continue to work under "Idol" recording arm 19 Recordings and is currently on tour with fellow "Idol" alum Adam Lambert. (EW)
Clare Burson Inspired by Century-Old Cheese?
Singer Clare Burson has revealed to the New Yorker that her debut album was partly inspired by a 117-year-old piece of cheese that was first given to her great-grandfather. Burson, whose disc "Silver and Ash" is out Sept. 14 on Rounder Records, says that she "worries" about the culinary phenomenon, which was recently preserved by Tenement Museum employees. ( New Yorker)
(Reporting by Jason Lipshutz and Monica Herrera)