Billboard Bits: Petty/Pearl Jam, ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards, Ricardo Arjona

News on Petty/Pearl Jam, ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards, Ricardo Arjona

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Pearl Jam kicked off their six-show stint of co-headlining shows last night (June 26) in St. Paul, Minn. Playing first, Pearl Jam tacked on a snippet of Petty's "I Won't Back Down" at the end of its own "Daughter." For his last song of the night, Petty returned the favor and brought out Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder to handle a verse on "American Girl."

The artists will take the stage again tonight in St. Paul, to be followed by two shows in Milwaukee (June 29-30) and another two in Denver (July 2-3). In addition, Pearl Jam's official bootleg download service is offering both shows from any of the three cities for the price of one.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

50 Cent and Jermaine Dupri were named songwriters of the year at the 19th annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, held last night (June 26) at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. This marked the second time 50 Cent had earned such honors, and the fifth for Dupri.

EMI Music Publishing was name publisher of the year at the ceremony, which was hosted by Ciara. A pair of lifetime achievement awards were also handed out: LL Cool J was presented with the ASCAP's "golden note award," and Bill Withers was honored with the "rhythm & soul heritage award."

Also at the awards, Sean Paul was named reggae artist of the year, and 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" was honored as ringtone of the year.

Singer/songwriter Ricardo Arjona will launch his U.S.tour with a concert at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Aug. 4. The 20-plus date Adentro tour, named after his latest Sony BMG studio album, is the Guatemalan's artist most extensive so far in the United States.

Arjona is currently touring Latin America, where he will play 100 shows. He is in the midst of 14 dates at the Luna Park Theater in Buenos Aires, where he sold 50,000 tickets in 48 hours.

-- Leila Cobo, Miami


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