Paul McCartney, Avril Lavigne, David Bowie, and Celine Dion are among the performers contributing material to a new album, "Peace Songs," that will benefit a Canadian charity for children who are victims of war.
The song choice for the first "American Idol" charity single has been changed to a pair of cover versions of Lee Greenwood's "I'm Proud To Be an American" and "God Bless the U.S.A." Performed by the show's second season finalists, the double-A side single will be released April 15 or April 22 via RCA Records.
Embattled R&B star R. Kelly has recorded and released a new song to show support for members of the military currently fighting the U.S.-led war in Iraq. "A Soldier's Heart" is described as a "tribute to the courageous soldiers and military men and women who are risking their lives to preserve freedom."
The Beastie Boys will perform April 25 at Las Vegas' House of Blues, in a show that will serve both as a tribute to slain Run-D.M.C. DJ Jam Master Jay and a warm-up for the veteran rap trio's headlining slot the next night at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. Longtime Beasties associate DJ Hurricane will also be on the bill for the all-ages Vegas show.
1999 - Rock 'n' roll pioneer and Rhythm & Blues Hall of Famer Jesse Stone dies in Altamonte Springs, Fla. He is 97. Stone, one of the founders of Atlantic Records, helped define the rock sound through his work as writer and arranger of such seminal hits as Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle & Roll."
A Norwegian court will retry in December a teenager whose DVD-copying exploits made him a hero to hackers worldwide, in a case that will be closely monitored by the motion picture industry. In January, an Oslo court acquitted 19-year-old Jon Johansen, dubbed "DVD Jon," of charges that he developed a computer program that enabled mass copying of movies on DVD digital discs.
Blues/jazz diva Etta James will kick off a U.S. tour Friday (April 4) in Anaheim, Calif. The trek, which will hit a mix of clubs, theaters, and festivals through early July, gets underway in advance of James' latest studio album, "Let's Roll," due May 6 through Private Music.