Otis Blackwell, who wrote dozens of hit songs -- including "Don't Be Cruel," "Return to Sender" "All Shook Up" for Elvis Presley -- died yesterday (May 6) of a heart attack. He was 70. Blackwell wrote more than 1,000 songs that were recorded by performers such as the Who ("Daddy Rolling Stone"), James Taylor ("Handy Man"), Peggy Lee ("Fever"), Jimmy Jones ("Handy Man"), and Jerry Lee Lewis ("Great Balls of Fire," "Breathless"). Blackwell was credited with writing songs that sold more than 185 million copies.
The family of Argentine pop star Rodrigo Bueno has sued Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc., blaming the companies for a rollover accident that killed the singer two years ago. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Miami even though the accident occurred in Buenos Aires and a court there ruled the pop star was at fault.
The Violent Femmes' classic self-titled debut album will be reissued nearly 20 years after it was recorded as a double-disc, 36-track deluxe edition. Due June 18 from Slash Records/Rhino Entertainment, the new set will bolster the original 10-track "Violent Femmes" with a collection of U.K. singles and previously unreleased demos and live tracks.
Colombian vocalist Juanes will release his next Surco/Universal Music Latino album, "Un Dia Normal," on May 21. The set is the follow-up to "Fijate Bien," the title track of which won three Latin Grammys last year.
Sevendust, Filter, and Gravity Kills lead the lineup for the inaugural Locobazooka tour, due to kick off June 27 at Milwaukee's Summerfest. Audiovent, Nonpoint, Reveille, and Mushroomhead are also confirmed for the trek, with additional bands to be added.
Actor/comedian Jamie Foxx will star as legendary musician Ray Charles in Crusader Entertainment's "Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story," for which Mark Rydell ("For the Boys," "On Golden Pond") is in talks to direct.
The Rolling Stones will announce 32 dates for its year-long, 40th anniversary world tour today (May 7) at a press conference in New York's Van Cortland Park, Billboard Bulletin reports. The tour kicks off Sept. 5 at Boston's CMGI Stadium and will play a mixture of stadiums, arenas, theaters, and clubs, sometimes hitting as many as three venues in one market. Additionally, the tour will utilize three completely different productions and three unique setlists.
The natural link between country music and NASCAR racing will grow stronger June 11, as Warner Bros. and Curb Records team up to release the "Inside Traxx" compilation, featuring 14 country songs by the likes of Jo Dee Messina, Neal McCoy, Travis Tritt, Dwight Yoakam, and Tim McGraw. The album is part of a multi-faceted co-branding package that also includes the Inside Traxx Winston Cup concert series and Inside Traxx collectible die-cast cars manufactured by Action Performance.
ABBA's Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus were among the nominees announced today (May 6) for this year's Tony Awards. The duo and Martin Koch were nominated in the best orchestrations category for their work on the ABBA-themed musical "Mamma Mia!"
An ambitious live recreation of one of rock's most acclaimed albums -- the Beach Boys' masterpiece "Pet Sounds" -- will find its way onto U.S. record store shelves June 11, courtesy of Sanctuary Records. The album, dubbed "Brian Wilson Presents 'Pet Sounds' Live," will be released June 3 internationally.
Elton John performed last week at London's Buckingham Palace -- but Queen Elizabeth II was not at home to hear him. The singer recorded a song to be played at a concert in honor of the queen's Golden Jubilee on June 3. John will be on tour and unable to perform at the show, which will be held on the palace grounds.
Reunited industrial act KMFDM, featuring founding members Sasch Konietzko and Raymond Watts (aka Pig), will mount its first tour in five years this summer, launching May 31 in Seattle. The 31-date jaunt will take the act, touring in support of its 13th album, "Attak" (Metropolis), to clubs in most major markets. Industrial peers Kidney Thieves and 16 Volt will support.