Singer/songwriter Chris Whitley died Sunday (Nov. 20) in Houston at the age of 45 after battling lung cancer. The veteran Texas-reared artist recorded for Columbia, ATO and, most recently, Messenger Records, which released his tenth studio album, "Soft Dangerous Shores," in July. A new release, "Reiter In," is due in mid-December on vinyl and will appear on CD sometime next year.
Canadian sibling rock act Tegan & Sara's upcoming DVD, "If It's Not Fun, Don't Do It," will include the usual ingredients: a full concert recorded last year in Toronto, the band's videos and some surprising fan-created footage.
As tipped here last week, U2 has confirmed the first dates for the 2006 portion of its mega-successful Vertigo tour. A run of five shows in Australia and New Zealand will begin March 17 in Auckland; U2 guitarist the Edge tells Billboard.com additional, as-yet-unannounced dates are on tap in Japan and South America.
Madonna yesterday (Nov. 20) added a ninth U.K. No. 1 album to her career tally, joining her 11th No. 1 single to complete her domination of the British sales charts. "Confessions on a Dance Floor" (Warner Bros.) went straight to No. 1 on the new album survey, while "Hung Up" started a second week at the singles chart peak.