Billboard Bits: Madonna, Widespread Panic, 'Rock Fore! Dough'

News on Madonna, Widespread Panic, 'Rock Fore! Dough'

During an appearance on the syndicated "Ellen DeGeneres Show" that airs today (Feb. 9) in the United States, Madonna confirmed widely speculated plans for a 2006 tour. "You have a huge announcement that I'm so excited about," said DeGeneres, to which Madonna quipped, "No, I'm not pregnant."

"OK, I can't hide it anymore: I'm going on tour this summer," she continued. Beyond the time of year, specific details regarding the outing were not revealed during the show. A spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment by deadline.

The appearance was taped in Los Angeles, where Madonna was on hand to open last night's (Feb. 8) Grammy Awards telecast with "virtual band" Gorillaz. DeGeneres also appeared on the show, introducing Paul McCartney's performance by saying he "needs no introduction" and walking off the stage.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Widespread Panic has completed recording of its next studio album, due in June via Sanctuary Records.
As previously reported, the group worked for the first time with producer Terry Manning (Big Star, ZZ Top) at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas. The as-yet-untitled set will boast new songs and "an old favorite or two," according to the band. Additional details have yet to be announced.

While it's been three years since Panic released a new disc, the group has put out new music recently. The group recorded the track "Perfect Hair" for the Cartoon Network "Adult Swim" series "Perfect Hair Forever" and also utilized it in a short shown during a New Year's Eve concert in Atlanta. The clip can be viewed via the Adult Swim Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Collective Soul and Hootie & the Blowfish will headline the second annual Drive for Show, Rock Fore! Dough benefit concert April 4 at the First Tee of Augusta (Ga.). Hosted by R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills, the concert will also feature performances by Better Than Ezra, Tonic's Emerson Hart and the edison project.

The show falls during a busy week in the area, which will be in the midst of the Professional Golf Association's (PGA) annual Masters tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course. Fittingly, the concert benefits the First Tee of Augusta, which teaches young people values through the game of golf.

Tickets priced from $25-$75 go on sale Feb. 25 via
Ticket Alternative and the event's Web site,

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.