-- Singer/songwriter Will Downing will perform on the national broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon. He will appear live via remote from New York. The performance marks a milestone for Downing. Bedridden for almost a year with the debilitating disease polymyositis (in which the body's immune system attacks muscle fibers), the Peak recording artist returned to performing this spring.

-- Dionne Warwick, Bonnie Raitt and Jerry Butler will co-host the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's 20th anniversary Pioneer Awards. The ceremony will take place Sept. 9 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. This year's special honorees include Chaka Khan, Bill Withers, the Whispers, Kool & the Gang, Donny Hathaway and former Stax and Motown label chief Al Bell.

-- Aretha Franklin's first-ever holiday album is on the way. Due in stores Oct. 14 via DMI Records, "This Christmas Aretha" features classic and contemporary holiday songs produced by Franklin and DMI founder Tena Clark. DMI Records is a division of the Pasadena, Calif.-based music branding agency DMI Music & Media Solutions.