A.B. Quintanilla, founder and leader of EMI Latin band A.B. Quintanilla Y Los Kumbia Kings, has inked a deal to form a joint-venture label with the major, to be called King of Bling. Also partnered in the label is Quintanilla's bandmate Cruz Martinez. Quintanilla previously served as the lead songwriter/bandleader for his late sister, Selena.
Latin superstar Ricky Martin is planning to release two new Columbia albums by year-end: one in English and one in Spanish, with a few songs overlapping from disc-to-disc. In an exclusive interview at the recent Billboard Latin Music Conference in Miami, Martin revealed that he will have writing input in the entire process.
Former Clash principal Joe Strummer is gearing up for a round of international performances this summer with his band, the Mescaleros. A number of them encompass festivals, beginning June 8 at the Fleadh in London's Finsbury Park on a lineup that also features the Pogues, the Proclaimers, Paul Brady, and Paul Kelly.
John Mellencamp has amicably parted company with Columbia Records, with whom he issued his past two studio albums. "It was a good arrangement at a good time," Mellencamp says in a statement, "because the company I had been associated with for 20 years, Mercury/Polygram, was passing into history, and my former manager, Tommy Mottola was at Sony, so the fit was a helpful one. Now, with the whole business in transition, it'd be nice to explore more options."
A pair of diverse international superstars -- Canadian songstress Celine Dion and Irish rock act U2 -- will star in upcoming U.S. television specials on CBS. Dion's will sneak a peek at her forthcoming Las Vegas show, while U2's will originate from the grounds of a castle in the band's homeland. Airdates for both have yet to be announced.
Genre-jumping troubadour Beck has wrapped work on his next Interscope album, due Sept. 24 in North America and a day earlier internationally. The set was produced by Nigel Godrich, who previously worked with Beck on 1998's "Mutations" album. Beck has also collaborated with producer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura but it is not yet known if those tracks will be featured on the as-yet-untitled album.
U.K. viewers eager to watch the domestic misadventures of Ozzy Osbourne and his family will have to wait a bit longer. MTV said the British transmission of its reality series "The Osbournes," scheduled to begin Sunday (May 19), has been delayed for contractual reasons. The music network didn't say what the issues were or when the show might air.
The hype machine that is U.K. rock journalism has proclaimed just about every new band as the next big thing at one point or another, but rare is the act that truly lives up to such billing over the long haul. And while Manchester, England's Doves were the subject of extensive media praise for their 2000 debut, "Lost Souls," band members would never have predicted the chart onslaught that has accompanied "The Last Broadcast," due June 4 in North America via Capitol.
Singer/songwriter Juliana Hatfield will be the subject of a greatest hits collection, "Gold Stars 1992-2002," due June 25 from Zoe/Rounder. The 20-track disc will include songs from her six solo albums as well newly recorded tunes and the first material to see the light of day from her unreleased album "God's Foot."
Elvis Crespo's career has been marked by transformation. From his successful stint as the lead singer of Grupo Mania, he launched an exciting solo career-propelled by a charismatic stage demeanor and a handful of catchy singles, including "Suavemente" (Softly) and "Tu Sonrisa" (Your Smile).