Elvis Costello tells Billboard.com his next studio album "will be something quite different." Of the as-yet-untitled album, due Sept. 23 from Deutsche Grammophon, the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee adds, "It's all original songs written at the piano. There are 11 songs and they are among the most direct I've ever written lyrically, and, musically, I hope they do something new."
Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough is set to start work on a solo album that will include songs in both English and Spanish. He tells Billboard that during the Backstreet Boys' current break, he decided to shop some of his songs -- he has had tunes cut by Mandy Moore and K-Ci & JoJo, among others -- and those discussions led to his own project.
Reunited country act the Mavericks, rising rock group Kings Of Leon, and pseudo-revivalist choir the Polyphonic Spree are among the latest acts confirmed for the second annual Austin City Limits Festival. The Sept. 19-21 event in Austin, Texas' Zilker Park has also added singer/songwriters Caitlin Cary and Tift Merritt to its lineup.
In the midst of lush green hills and fields of young corn, Bob Geldof met victims of Ethiopia's latest drought, 19 years after the Irish pop star first called for help for the millions hit by famine in the Horn of Africa nation.
50 Cent's "21 Questions" featuring Nate Dogg has a lock this week on three of Billboard's major singles charts. The song is No. 1 on the Hot 100 for a second-straight week, and leads the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart and the Hot Rap Tracks tally for a sixth week in a row. The rapper of the moment also maintains four cuts on the Hot 100, three of which are in the top-10.
BMG Heritage has set a July 1 release for "Elvis: Close Up," a four-disc box set featuring a bounty of unreleased Elvis Presley material. "Close Up" follows last year's RCA release of the box set "Elvis Today, Tomorrow, and Forever" and the single-disc collection "ELV1S 30 #1 Hits," which debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 2.8 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.