A West Warwick, R.I., nightclub erupted in a raging fire during a rock band Great White's pyrotechnics display last night (Feb. 20), killing nearly 100 people and injuring more than 180 others as frantic mobs rushed to escape. Officials from the Station club said the special effects were used without permission. The death toll rose as firefighters searched through the charred shell of the single-story wood building. Gov. Don Carcieri said the number of dead had reached 95 by this afternoon.
News that Simon & Garfunkel will be honored Sunday (Feb. 23) with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the Grammy Awards has sparked rumors of a reunion of the famed duo. Unfortunately for fans, representatives of the individual artists issued a joint statement to scuttle talk of a possible tour.
U2 frontman Bono has joined with musician Bob Geldof to form DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa), the latest in a series of initiatives aimed at assisting African countries in need. "They are three of the most pressing issues facing Africa," Bono told the Hollywood Reporter. "It's not just, let's help the poor people. At the heart of this is, do we really believe in equality and equal opportunity?"
Rapper Juvenile, accused of hitting a man on the head with a champagne bottle and grabbing a police officer, pleaded guilty today (Feb. 21) in Miami to felony battery and was sentenced to 75 hours of community service. Juvenile, whose real name is Terius Gray, will also be on unsupervised probation for one year, donate $5,000 to a local children's charity, and pay $782 in court costs as part of a plea deal. If he violates his probation, he would face a possible five years in prison.
R&B artist Brian McKnight will on March 25 release a new studio album, "U-Turn," via Universal/Motown. The set finds the artist collaborating with such guest vocalists as Nelly, Carl Thomas, Fabolous, Tyrese, and Kirk Franklin.
Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising" will win the album of the year trophy at Sunday's (Feb. 23) Grammy Awards ceremony, according to a Billboard.com poll. Of 14,054 votes cast by music fans, the Boss' Columbia album took in 36% of the tally. The album is also nominated for best rock album, while its title track is up for song, best rock song, and best male rock vocal performance of the year awards.
Veteran folk singer/songwriter James Taylor has set an itinerary for an extensive North American tour that encompasses a whopping 55 dates over the course of five months. The jaunt will kick off May 15 in Dallas and run through an Oct. 10 in Irvine, Calif., with a month-long break in September.
Rock/rap act Limp Bizkit has changed the name of its forthcoming Flip/Interscope album. The album's originally announced title, "Lessismore," has been dropped in favor of "Bipolar," according to a note from frontman Fred Durst posted today (Feb. 20) on the band's official Web site. In addition, Durst has posted a new song, "Just Drop Dead," on the site.
Country singer Johnny Paycheck, best known for his 1977 hit song "Take This Job and Shove It," died Tuesday in his sleep in a Nashville nursing home of emphysema and diabetes, among other problems. He was 64.
R. Kelly claims the latest allegations against him are an attempt to damage his career. The singer released a statement in response to reports that police in Chicago are looking into charges that he assaulted a woman. The unnamed 24-year-old alleges Kelly sexually abused her Tuesday at a recording studio on the city's North Side. Police say all they are dealing with at this point are allegations against the singer.
Jennifer Lopez's "All I Have" featuring LL Cool J rules Billboard's Hot 100 for a fourth-straight week despite the continuing airplay gains of 50 Cent's "In Da Club." The J.Lo/LL single -- the fourth No. 1 on the Hot 100 for Lopez and first for LL Cool J -- also holds fast at No. 4 on Billboard's R&B Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.