Chart-topping rapper Jay-Z (real name: Shawn Carter) pleaded guilty in a New York court this morning (Oct. 17) to stabbing producer Lance "Un" Rivera in a December 1999 incident. Carter will most likely receive three years probation at a Dec. 6 sentencing hearing, according to a Manhattan district attorney spokesperson. He faced a possible 15 years in jail on the second degree felony assault charge.
Rock rapper Kid Rock will release "Cocky," the follow-up to his breakthrough 1998 album "Devil Without a Cause," Nov. 20 via Clarkston Chophouse/Lava/Atlantic. The album will be led by the single "Forever," for which Atlantic will solicit U.S. radio airplay beginning Monday (Oct. 22). A supporting video clip for the track is currently in production.
CBS has set a Nov. 13 airdate for a two-hour special of highlights from Michael Jackson's star-studded concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden last month. The show, which will run from 9-11 p.m. ET, will open with Whitney Houston, Usher, and Mya's rendition of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'."
Recording labels should not refrain from releasing albums with violent material in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., according to a recently completed Billboard.com poll. More than 68% of 5,433 respondents who weighed in say they support sticking with releases seen by some as violent.
Fans of E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren will be pleased to hear that the guitar slinger has just released a new solo album, "Break Away Angel." However, they may be dismayed to learn that, due to record company disinterest, it is available only via his official Web site and at his concerts. It's an ignominious position for a man who is one of the more notable musical talents of his generation.
The bill for the Oct. 21 United We Stand - What More Can I Give? benefit in Washington, D.C., continues to evolve. Huey Lewis & the News and Carole King are the latest artists to sign on, while Kiss and Mick Jagger have each pulled out. Also new to the lineup is Janet Jackson, who will provide a video montage created especially for the concert.
Britney Spears has restructured her fall North American tour after a case of the flu delayed rehearsals. The trek will now begin Oct. 31 in Washington, D.C., with the originally scheduled kick-off dates on Oct. 26 in Miami and Oct. 28 in Tampa, Fla., rescheduled for Dec. 19 and 18, respectively. Spears is touring in support of her third Jive album, "Britney," due Nov. 6 in North America. First single "I'm a Slave 4 U" debuted at No. 68 on The Billboard Hot 100 last week.
Singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading was honored yesterday (Oct. 15) at Buckingham Palace in London for her services to music. The 50-year-old performer, who grew up in Birmingham, England, became an MBE, or Member of the Order of British Empire, at a palace ceremony with Prince Charles.
Madonna's Grammy-winning song "Ray of Light" is the theme for Microsoft's advertising campaign for Windows XP, which the company toned down after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but still promoted as its biggest pitch since Windows 95.
The Justice Department (DOJ) last week sent subpoenas to U.S. music companies, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and MusicNet and Pressplay in its continuing investigation into possible anti-competitive aspects of the yet-to-launch online subscription services. The subpoenas ask for documents concerning licensing terms, rates, and negotiation conditions for online music services.