Tenor Luciano Pavarotti and multi-faceted music impresario Quincy Jones are among the five individuals selected to receive the 2001 honors from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Actress Julie Andrews, actor Jack Nicholson, and pianist Van Cliburn will also be honored during a Dec. 2 ceremony at the center's Opera House in Washington, D.C.
Country-soul collective Lambchop is wrapping work on its forthcoming studio album and is shooting for a March 2002 release on Merge Records. According to the Nashville-based group's multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Marx, the yet-to-be-titled follow-up to 2000's widely acclaimed "Nixon" will be a "real departure."
Having recently completed a 42-city tour of North America in support of his latest Atlantic album, "Human," Rod Stewart has announced another set of North American dates running through October and November. He is also making plans for 2002, including a brief tour of Australia. Tickets for a number of the shows, including the Australian dates, go on sale this weekend.
Grammy-winning songstress Toni Braxton is wrapping up work on her first Christmas album, "Snowflakes," due Oct. 23 from Arista. The album is being produced by Braxton and her husband, Mint Condition's Keri Lewis, who are also expecting a child before the end of the year.
The Vocal Group Hall of Fame will induct 14 acts spanning five decades as its class of 2001, including the Bee Gees, Eagles, the Lettermen, Oak Ridge Boys, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. The organization will bestow its Harmony Award for outstanding contributions to the world of vocal group music on each of the acts at a Sept. 13 ceremony at its Sharon, Pa.-based museum.
In the wake of her tragic death, Aaliyah's self-titled Blackground/Virgin release shoots 19-1 on The Billboard 200 this week, based on a sales jump from 62,000 to 306,000 units in the U.S., according to SoundScan. The late artist's surge to No. 1 was predicated last week when retailers reported massive sales gains following the Aug. 25 plane crash that took the life of Aaliyah and eight others.
R&B newcomer Nikka Costa will embark on her headlining Funky White Bitch club tour Sept 29 at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colo. The jaunt will have Costa on the road until a Nov. 2 date in Vancouver. The artist is currently the support act on Erykah Badu's North American tour, which wraps this week.
Some of the music industry's biggest stars, including Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, Destiny's Child, Christina Aguilera, and Alicia Keys, are participating in sessions for a new recording of Marvin Gaye's 1971 crossover hit "What's Going On." The recording is being organized in New York by producer Jermaine Dupri and U2 frontman Bono, and aims to raise money for AIDS research in Africa.
Label representatives yesterday (Sept. 5) delivered a doomsday scenario of what could occur if the California senate repeals a subdivision of the state's labor code that exempts recording artists from the "seven-year personal services contract." "Record companies would have to give very serious consideration to moving many of our operations out of state," said Roy Lott, deputy president, EMI Recorded Music, North America.
Mariah Carey, who for the past month has been recovering from an emotional breakdown, has reportedly suffered a relapse. The New York Daily News reports that the singer has been a patient at UCLA Medical Center since Tuesday after suffering what a source called "an emotional setback." A spokesperson for the artist issued a terse "no comment" to the paper when contacted.
"It feels like, in a general sense, that the band is just hunkering down into the barrel of a cannon, about to be shot like a circus clown across the circus tent," Cake singer John McCrea tells Billboard.com. Indeed, the Sacramento, Calif.-based modern rock act has reason to feel that way, with a hit single in "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" and encouraging sales of "Comfort Eagle," its fourth album, and first for Columbia,
The second My VH1 Music Awards this year will be broadcast Dec. 2 event from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Award categories, nominees, and winners are chosen entirely by voting on VH1.com; categories will be announced Oct. 1, nominees will be unveiled on Nov. 2. Fans can vote for winners up to the last possible moment before the awards are presented on the telecast.
A quartet of emerging neo-soul R&B artists -- Craig David, Sunshine Anderson, Lina, and Res -- will be featured on this week's episode of HBO's "Reverb," set to debut tonight (Sept. 5) at 8 p.m. ET/PT. David, the U.K.'s two-stepping favorite son, will perform his current hit, "Fill Me In" -- which is at No. 17 on Billboard's Hot 100 -- from his Atlantic debut, "Born to do It." David's performance was filmed at New York's Irving Plaza, as were Anderson's and Lina's, while Res was captured at the city's Bowery Ballroom.