George Michael says he's nervous to return to his home in the U.S. because of the criticism he's received for his new song and video, "Shoot the Dog." The British singer's video condemns U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair for his close ties with the U.S., portraying him as President Bush's obedient lap dog. The video shows a cartoon of Bush tickling a poodle representing Blair on the White House lawn.
Billboard Century Award winner James Taylor will release "October Road," his first album in five years, Aug. 13 via Columbia. As previously reported, first single "On the 4th of July" debuted last month on AOL and Netscape Music; the cut jumps 29-21 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart this week.
Universal has firmed up the tracklisting for the double-disc soundtrack to "XXX," due Aug. 6. The set is divided into rock and hip-hop discs; the first single from the rock disc is Hatebreed's "I Will Be Heard," while the first single from the hip-hop disc is rapper Pastor Troy's "Are We Cuttin'" featuring Ms. Jade. "XXX," starring Vin Diesel, rapper Eve, and Samuel L. Jackson, opens Aug. 9 in U.S. theaters.
Updating yesterday's (July 10) report about Bruce Springsteen's forthcoming tour, in support of his Columbia album "The Rising," tickets for six of the trek's 39 North American shows will go on sale Saturday via Ticketmaster.
Rapper Fat Joe (real name: Joseph Cartagena) was booked yesterday afternoon (July 10) for assault after turning himself in to New York police. According to police, the rapper and members of his entourage were involved in a May 12 altercation with a man named Steve Garib at B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill in New York's Times Square, in which Garib suffered a fractured jaw, multiple bruises, cuts, and contusions.
Goo Goo Dolls frontman John Rzeznik is making an improbable leap, writing music for Disney's upcoming animated children's film "Treasure Planet," due Nov. 27 in U.S. theaters. "It was really interesting to watch them put together this really elaborate, animated thing. And then put your two cents into it. It was a lot of fun. I was really proud that I got to do it," Rzeznik said.
Two bills being drafted on Capitol Hill could have a significant impact on the U.S. music industry, Billboard Bulletin reports. A Senate measure, sponsored by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) would give new life to out-of-print recordings by allowing artists to bring them back to market. Ownership of recordings is not addressed in the bill, and therefore would continue to reside at the record company.
A memorial service for the late Billboard editor in chief Timothy White will be held July 23 at 4 p.m. in the Tishman Auditorium of the New School, 66 W. 12th St., New York. To attend, please RSVP to email@example.com.