Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Keller Williams, John Scofield, and Charlie Hunter top the list of acts set for the third annual Walther's Grassroots Music & Arts Festival, to be held Aug. 10 in Cockeysville, Md.
Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger is joining the ranks of musicians turned record executives, having formed his own label, 604 Records. Formed with Kroeger's longtime attorney Jonathan Simkin, the imprint will be distributed in the United States by Nickelback's label, Roadrunner Records, also home to hard-hitting acts such as Slipknot and Sepultura.
Goodie Mob rapper Khujo was in a serious car accident in Atlanta early yesterday morning (June 25) and has lost his right leg below the kneecap, according to an Arista Records spokesperson. The spokesperson could not confirm reports that Khujo had fallen asleep at the wheel after leaving a Goodie Mob recording session, but notes that the rapper "is in good spirits."
R&B star R. Kelly, accused of videotaping sex acts with a 13-year-old girl, pleaded innocent to 21 counts of child pornography today (June 26) in Chicago. Kelly, whose first name is Robert, made no statement at his arraignment. "I can't talk right now," he told said on his way out of the courtroom.
Rap duo Outkast took home the favorite music group honor at last night's (June 25) second annual BET Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. Usher left with the best male R&B artist award, while newcomer India.Arie took the female R&B artist trophy. Outkast's Big Boi dedicated the group's award to Khujo from fellow Atlanta rap act Goodie Mob. Khujo (real name: Robert Barnett) was reportedly badly hurt in a car accident the night before.
U.K. electronica/rock trio Dirty Vegas has been drafted to open for Moby's North American tour, which will play dates before and after the latter's stint on the Area2 trek. The dates kick off July 14 in Dallas and will run through Aug. 23 in Phoenix, with additional stops expected to be added. Dirty Vegas has three U.S. dates on tap beforehand, including a show tomorrow (June 27) at New York's South Street Seaport.
Rapper Lil' Romeo has taken a sweet role starring opposite Jessica Alba ("Dark Angel") in Universal Pictures' "Honey." Music video director Bille Woodruff will make his feature directorial debut on the film, which is being produced by Universal's Marc Platt and music mogul Andre Harrel. Shooting is scheduled to begin Sept. 9 in Toronto.
Tenor Luciano Pavarotti has picked a date to sing his last note -- on his 70th birthday, Oct. 12, 2005. He told Connie Chung on last night's (June 25) episode of her CNN show, "Connie Chung Tonight," that he would be busy for two or three more years and then would retire. He said he would not sing again, "not even when I'm taking the shower."