Usher and So Solid Crew took top honors at the U.K.'s sixth annual MOBO Awards, presented last night (Oct. 4) at the London Arena. The acts won two awards each. So Solid Crew won for best U.K. garage act and best newcomer. To the amusement of the capacity crowd, the act from London's South Side brought an entourage of some 20 "crew members" onstage to accept the awards. During one of So Solid Crew's exuberant speeches, the microphone short-circuited and had to be replaced.
Australian pop duo Savage Garden, which over four years sold 20 million copies worldwide of its two albums -- "Savage Garden" and "Affirmation" -- has split. Singer Darren Hayes broke the news to Australian journalists by phone from his home in San Francisco while promoting his upcoming debut solo album, "Spin."
Modern rock act Incubus will celebrate the Oct. 23 release of its Immortal/Epic album "Morning View" with a 90-minute live performance and interview radio special. "Incubus: The Morning View Sessions" will be broadcast on the album's release date at 8:30 p.m. from New York's Sony Studios by Westwood One.
Reversing her earlier decision, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Fumiko Wasserman ruled this week to allow Courtney Love's suit against Universal Music Group (UMG) to proceed with 10 causes of action. In June, Wasserman rejected 11 of Love's 15 claims, including a high-profile attempt to invalidate a 1987 amendment to the California Labor Code that limits personal-services contracts to seven years.
As tipped in the program for her recently wrapped Drowned World tour, Madonna will on Nov. 13 release a best-of set, titled "GHV2," through her own Maverick label. The 15-track album spans Madonna's career since 1991, with such top-10 hits as "Music," "Erotica," "Secret," "Frozen," "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," and "Ray of Light."
As tipped here in August, Virgin has set a Nov. 20 release date for "Rotten Apples," an 18-track best-of from defunct modern rock pioneers Smashing Pumpkins. The album will be available as a single disc, or as a double-disc package including a new 16-track B-sides compilation titled "Judas O."
Shaggy is the latest high-profile artist to postpone engagements across the Atlantic in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. last month. The MCA singer's promotional tour of the U.K. and Ireland, which was to start Tuesday in Belfast, has been rescheduled for mid-February. Dates in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand will go ahead as planned for late October and November. A spokesperson says the move comes "in the light of the events" of Sept. 11.
Recent albums by lauded U.K. rock act PJ Harvey, American singer/songwriter Ryan Adams, and Icelandic experimental rock act Sigur Ros are among the 10 titles listed as finalists for the inaugural Virgin Megastore Shortlist Prize for Artistic Achievement. Designed as a U.S. version of the U.K.'s prestigious Mercury Music Prize, the award will honor contemporary music's most creative and adventurous releases.
Jay-Z's "The Blueprint" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam/IDJMG) is No. 1 for a third straight week atop The Billboard 200, despite suffering a 36% sales decline to 174,000 units, according to SoundScan. In a week where only one album debuts in the top-10, "The Blueprint" faces no real challengers, once again holding off Alicia Keys' "Songs in A Minor" (J Records) at No. 2. "The Blueprint" also makes it three weeks in a row atop Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Erick Sermon's label and manager are refuting published accounts that the injuries the rapper suffered last week were the result of a suicide attempt from a third-story window. Earlier reports said the rapper had been in a car accident in Paterson, N.J.
Kentucky native Wynonna Judd plans to perform two shows tomorrow (Oct. 5) for troops at Fort Campbell, Ky., home to the Army's 101st Airborne division. "Since Sept. 11, I have been searching for a way to actually do something to make a difference during this trying time for our nation," Judd said in a statement. "I am so inspired by the renewed sense of patriotism of our country, and I want to participate with and remind the soldiers at Fort Campbell that we are unified behind them."
How does one explain the success of Andrea Bocelli with Latin audiences? The Italian tenor does not speak Spanish (unlike Laura Pausini) and has yet to record an entire album in that language (unlike Pausini, Eros Ramazotti, and Nek). Yet Bocelli's past two albums have sold millions of copies in the Latin region on the strength of merely a few Spanish tracks each. And he is expected to repeat that feat with the upcoming "Cieli di Toscana" (Sugar/Polydor), due Oct. 15 worldwide.