Following a hailstorm of publicity and several hit singles, rapper 50 Cent's "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" debuts this week on top of The Billboard 200. As previously reported, the Shady/Aftermath/Interscope set was rush released last Thursday to combat bootlegging, but even with that short sales period it sold a massive 872,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, the fourth-highest weekly total achieved by a rap album.
Modern rock outfit Cold is gearing up for a short club tour to preview its forthcoming album "Year of the Spider." The set, due April 29 on Flip/Geffen, finds the band getting some help from Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, who lends his talents to first single "Stupid Girl." Cold will launch a two-week trek March 2 in Hartford, Conn.
Columbia will on March 25 release an 11-track tribute to two of Bob Dylan's inspirational albums. "Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan" will pay homage to 1979's "Slow Train Coming" and 1980's "Saved," albums the Jewish-born Dylan recorded after he abruptly became a born-again Christian.
Nebraska-based new wave revival act the Faint will release a remixed version of its critically lauded 2001 album, "Danse Macabre," March 25 via Astralwerks. The newly reworked disc, originally released by Saddle Creek, will consist of remixes from the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Les Rythmes Digitales (LRD), and Tommy Sunshine, among others.
California officials postponed a parole board hearing to decide whether jailed rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight should go back to prison for allegedly associating with gang members. Members of the California Board of Prison Terms "wanted to review our decision about whether he could have legal representation at the meeting," Bill Sessa, the panel's liaison, said yesterday (Feb. 11).
Madonna is courting controversy again -- this time with a violent music video for the new song "American Life" that her publicist says depicts the "catastrophic repercussions and horror of war." "It is an anti-war video, but the purpose of the video, as with a lot of Madonna's work, is to be thought-provoking," publicist Liz Rosenberg said. "It is many other things as well" as anti-war, she said.
Depeche Mode singer/guitarist Martin Gore has set an April 28 release date for his upcoming Mute solo album, "Counterfeit2." The set, Gore's first solo album since 1989, will feature 11 tracks originally done by such artists Lou Reed, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, John Lennon, Brian Eno, and Iggy Pop. The first single, to be released April 14, is a cover of David Essex's "Stardust."
The big screen adaptation of the Broadway musical "Chicago" leads the pack with 13 nominations for the 75th annual Academy Awards, including a best picture notice. Among those artists who have earned their first Oscar nominations are Irish rock act U2, rapper Eminem, and veteran singer/songwriter Paul Simon.
2001 - Musician-actor Harry Connick Jr. performs at and serves as creative director for the 2001 NBA All-Star Game halftime show. He writes a song for the occasion and performs it with his 15-piece band.
A special edition of R&B outfit B2K's sophomore album, "Pandemonium!," will be released March 25 by Epic. The new version will sport new artwork and feature four tracks added to the album's original lineup, including the new R. Kelly-written and -produced single "Girlfriend." The set will also feature the new songs "Bump That" and "What a Girl Wants," and a remix of "Girlfriend."