Rap music mogul Marion "Suge" Knight was released yesterday (Aug. 6) from a federal prison in Oregon after serving nearly five years behind bars. The 36-year-old co-founder of Death Row Records was released in the morning and shortly after boarded a plane for Los Angeles.
Pearl Jam, R.E.M., and Alanis Morissette will perform at a star-studded hunger benefit concert for the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Oct. 22 at Seattle's Key Arena. The show will be the centerpiece of the FAO's Groundwork 2001 celebration, which will feature a week's worth of concerts sponsored by the city's Experience Music Project.
An expletive-filled, handwritten letter drafted by John Lennon to Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda, after the Beatles' 1970 breakup is to be sold at auction. The six-page draft -- expected to fetch up to $112,000 when it goes under the hammer at Christie's in London on Oct. 4 -- captures the bitterness between Lennon and the McCartneys during and immediately after the Fab Four's demise, and Lennon's anger at the treatment of Yoko Ono.
John Mellencamp and fiction writer Stephen King expect to complete the stage musical they're working on sometime in February. "Steve has written the most beautiful story," Mellencamp says. "I've written about five songs for this thing and there's not one rock song anywhere near it."
The U.K. is heading for its next dance crossover No. 1 single, if initial sales yesterday (Aug. 6) are reflected across the entire chart week. Early data had "21 Seconds" by Relentless act So Solid Crew, a recent favorite at BBC Radio 1 and on TV outlets including The Box and Kiss TV, outselling the current chart-topper, Atomic Kitten's "Eternal Flame" (Innocent/Virgin) by three to one. Jennifer Lopez's new U.K. release "Ain't It Funny" (Epic) is in the third spot.
Hard rock act Tool, rapper Snoop Dogg, and rockers the Black Crowes are among the artists confirmed for the third edition of New Orleans' Voodoo Music Festival. Set for Oct. 27 in City Park, the eclectic day-long festival will also feature performances by local favorite Better Than Ezra, as well as Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, Spooks, G. Love & Special Sauce, Gov't Mule, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, John Mayer, Will Hoge, and Tuba. More artists are expected to be added.
Tracks by Erykah Badu, Nelly Furtado, Macy Gray, India.Arie, Jill Scott, and Amel Larrieux featuring the Roots will be found on the "Red Star Sounds Volume I: Soul Searchin'" compilation, due Oct. 9 from Epic and Red Star, a new label created by the Heineken Foundation. Proceeds from the release will benefit VH1's "Save the Music" initiative.
Albums by a trio of R&B artists -- newcomer Alicia Keys, Sisqo, and Jagged Edge -- are at the forefront of the latest list of gold and platinum certifications by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Keys' debut album, "Songs in A Minor" (J Records), Sisqo's sophomore Def Soul/Def Jam set "Return of Dragon," and JE's "Jagged Little Thrill" (Columbia), were certified for U.S. shipments of 500,000 copies (gold) and 1 million copies (platinum), in a first accounting for each by the RIAA.
Earth, Wind & Fire will celebrate its 30th anniversary next month with the Cool Blue September tour, due to launch Sept. 1 at the National Car Rental Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Sponsored by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, the trek has dates scheduled through Sept. 30 in Concord, Calif., with more expected. The recently reunited Rufus featuring Chaka Khan will support EWF throughout the tour.
In 1993, just after the release of New Order's sixth album, "Republic," it looked like England's greatest electro-pop band had broken up. It would be five years before the group performed together again and seven before its members dared write new material with each other. But now, with the imminent release of the act's latest album, "Get Ready," vocalist/guitarist Bernard Sumner says, "Time's a great healer. It made me remember the good things about being in New Order, not just the bad."