Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo is on the phone from Los Angeles, listing the positive results of both a recent spat with the band's label, Geffen/Interscope-concerning the forthcoming "Maladroit" (due May 14) -- and the group's decision last year to cut loose its manager, when a call comes in on another phone.
Veteran Mexican singer/songwriter Juan Gabriel took home four honors at the 13th annual Billboard Latin Music Awards last night (May 9) in Miami, including songwriter of the year, hot Latin track of the year, and Latin pop airplay track of the year for his hit song "Abrazame Muy Fuerte." Gabriel was followed in wins by chart newcomers Manu Chao and Lupillo Rivera and salsa/pop star Marc Anthony, who took two awards each.
The fact that song stylist Nnenna Freelon's 10-year recording career is moving into high gear seems indisputable. With five Grammy Award nominations to her credit and an increasingly hectic touring schedule, the North Carolina-based singer is preparing for the June 11 release of her seventh album, "Tales of Wonder," via Concord.
New Orleans hip-hop duo Big Tymers soar to the top of The Billboard 200 for the first time with "Hood Rich" (Cash Money/Universal), which sold 160,000 units in its first week in the U.S., according to SoundScan. The album, which knocks Kenny Chesney's "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" (BNA) from the top, also arrives at No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip Albums chart, ending Ashanti's four-week reign with her self-titled Murder Inc/Def Jam set.
Tenor Luciano Pavarotti was sick last night (May 8) and canceled his appearance at the Metropolitan Opera -- his next-to-last scheduled performance at the famed New York opera house. The 66-year-old singer, whose live opera appearances have diminished in recent years, is still scheduled to sing the role of Cavaradossi in the Met's "Tosca" on Saturday.
R&B star R. Kelly, who has been accused of having sex with an underage girl on videotapes that have circulated across the country, denied the allegations yesterday (May 8) in a television interview. "I've done a lot of wrong things in my life, but I'm not a criminal. I'm not a monster," the 33-year-old artist said during a taped interview on "BET Tonight with Ed Gordon."
Chart-topping Epic quartet B2K and newcomer Jhene will join Bow Wow (who at 15 is trying to shed the "Lil'" from his moniker) on his summer's Scream 2 tour, which kicks off July 25 in Memphis. B2K is a veteran of last year's incarnation of the trek.
Singer/songwriter Jewel has established a program dubbed Soul City Cafe to expose up-and-coming musicians and spoken word artists. Aspects of the plan include a showcase segment during Jewel's upcoming North American tour, home appearances, art festivals, and a contest.
U.K. folk rock artist Linda Thompson will release "Fashionably Late," her first new studio album in 17 years, July 30 via Rounder. The album follows 1985's "One Clear Moment" (Warner Bros.), and a pair of compilations -- 1996's "Dreams Fly Away" (Hannibal) and last year's "Give Me a Sad Song" (Fledg'ling).