Vocalist Shemekia Copeland led the field at the 2003 W.C. Handy Blues Awards, collecting three trophies during the ceremony last night (May 22) at Memphis' Orpheum Theatre. Copeland's Alligator album "Talking to Strangers" was named blues album of the year and contemporary blues album of the year, and the singer was named contemporary female artist of the year.
The 25th annual Celebrate Brooklyn! summer concert series has announced its slate of shows for the next few months, with artists such as Joan Armatrading, Mos Def, Stephen Malkmus; Rufus Wainwright, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Erykah Badu, the Derek Trucks Band, and Donnie set to appear.
Diana Ross' attorney in a drunken driving case is asking a judge to throw out breath test results and statements the singer made to police on the night she was arrested. Ross, 59, was arrested Dec. 30 in Tucson, Ariz. She has pleaded innocent to the charge. Police said she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 percent; the legal limit in Arizona is 0.08 percent.
Elvis Costello, Joe Ely, Graham Parker, Pete Yorn, and Billy Bragg are among the artists who have contributed tracks to "Light of Day: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen." The two-disc covers collection was released this week in Spain; a U.S. version with extra tracks will be issued in August. Proceeds will benefit the Parkinson's Disease Foundation and the Kristen Ann Carr Fund, which raises money for research and treatment of sarcoma.
Chicago instrumental rock outfit Tortoise is eyeing an early 2004 release for its fifth Thrill Jockey album, multi-instrumentalist John McEntire tells Billboard.com. "We have been working very sporadically for the past year-and-a-half on material that will constitute a portion of the new record," he says. "We are planning another long-ish session this summer, at which time we will be complete."
Thirty-seven years after aborting his most ambitious project midway through recording, former Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson, plans to resurrect the long-lost "Smile" album in U.K. concerts next year. Wilson has set four dates at London's Royal Festival Hall for February 2004 as well as five additional shows throughout the U.K. the following month.
Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis has inked a deal with Blue Note Records, with sessions for his label bow expected to begin this summer. Marsalis was signed to his previous label, Columbia, over two decades ago by current Blue Note president Bruce Lundvall, who at the time was Columbia's general manager.
Pop icon Michael Jackson was hospitalized briefly yesterday (May 21) after falling ill on the same day he was scheduled to give a deposition in a copyright lawsuit. The artist was hospitalized in Indianapolis for observation and treatment before the deposition began, Brian Oxman, an attorney for the Jackson family said.
50 Cent has returned to a familiar place: the top of Billboard's Hot 100. His single "21 Questions" featuring Nate Dogg climbs 2-1 on the chart, knocking Sean Paul's "Get Busy" to No. 2 after a three-week run at the summit.