Hip-O Records will on March 26 release "Nick Carter: Before The 'Boys' 1989-1993," a collection of recordings made by the Backstreet Boys member before the boy band launched him to international fame. The 14-track set consists of recordings Carter made with his vocal teacher Mark Dye between the ages of 9 and 13.
Talented R&B newcomer Alicia Keys is the choice of music fans to win the best new artist honor at the upcoming 44th annual Grammy Awards. The J Records artist -- whose debut album, "Songs in A Minor," has sold 4.4 million copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan -- pulled in 36% of 9,327 votes.
"The Velvet Underground and Nico," one of rock's most influential debut albums, is getting an overhaul. The 1967 bow of rock luminaries the Velvet Underground will be re-released March 5 by Polydor/UME in a digitally remastered double-disc version with bonus tracks and two separate mixes.
Detroit-based minimalist blues/rock duo the White Stripes have scheduled a two-week tour of the East coast of the U.S. to kick off in late March. The tour, which will follow the Stripes' ongoing European jaunt in support of the group's third album, "White Blood Cells" (Sympathy for the Record Industry), will launch with an appearance at Cleveland's Odeon, and includes a four-night stand at New York's Bowery Ballroom.
As tipped here last month, Immortal's soundtrack to the upcoming film "Blade 2" will feature a number of unique pairings between electronic and hip-hop artists. Redman's collaboration with animated act Gorillaz, "Gorillaz on My Mind," is slated to be the first single. The soundtrack, due March 19, also features partnerships between Mystikal and Moby ("Gettin' Aggressive"), the Roots and BT ("Tao of the Machine"), and Bubba Sparxxx and the Crystal Method ("PHDream").
Enigmatic R&B/funk artist Prince has confirmed 28 dates for his planned U.S. tour in support of his latest album, "The Rainbow Children" (NPG). As previously reported, the One Nite Alone With Prince tour will kick off March 1 in Saginaw, Mich., and will last through a May 4 finale in Las Vegas.
The Rockin' Roadhouse tour, featuring country artists Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Lawrence, and Joe Diffie, has announced the first volley of what is expected to be a total of 75 dates through Dec. 31. The tour is set to begin June 22 in Fargo, N.D., and dates are set through Nov. 15-16 in Robinsonville, Miss. Rockin' Roadhouse will hit arenas, amphitheaters, fairs, festivals, and "any suitable venue with a mega-crankin' sound system and ice cold beer on tap," according to organizers.
After being forced off the road last November, R&B singer Usher will make good with a North American tour this spring. The artist's Evolution tour, which will follow a busy European itinerary, is set to kick off April 25 in Denver, and close July 7 in New Orleans. Usher dislocated his shoulder while rehearsing for the original tour, planned in support of his Arista album "8701."
Artists are paying tribute to Waylon Jennings, who died Wednesday at the age of 64 from diabetes-related health problems. "Waylon Jennings was an American archetype, the bad guy with a big heart," said Kris Kristofferson, who sang with Jennings in the Highwaymen along with Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. Singer George Jones called Jennings' death a "great loss for country music."
Hibernating jam band Phish has selected the next six shows for release in its ongoing Live Phish series, due April 16 from Elektra. The performances, each covering three discs, are: 8/26/89 (Townshend, Vt.); 8/14/93 (Tinley Park, Ill.); 6/22/94 (Columbus, Ohio); 8/13/96 (Noblesville, Ind.); 11/17/97 (Denver); and 7/10/99 (Camden, N.J.). This time, four of the titles will feature assorted "filler tracks" from concerts around the respective dates of the original shows.