Billboard Bits: Lachey/Simpson, Chicago, Living Things

News on Lachey/Simpson, Chicago, Living Things

The first new music to emerge from the Jessica Simpson/Nick Lachey split will come from Lachey, in the form of the ballad "What's Left of Me." The track will premiere tomorrow (Feb. 3) at 12:01 AM ET via AOL Music, which will also feature an interview with the artist. There's no word yet when Lachey's next solo album will hit stores.

As for Simpson, sources say she has recorded demos of several new songs and is now sifting through material from various songwriters and producers. Her next solo album is expected for a summer release via Columbia. It will be the follow-up to 2003's "In This Skin," which has sold 2.9 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Veteran jazz/rock act Chicago will release its first all-original studio album since 1991's "Twenty 1" March 21 via Rhino/Warner Bros.
As previously reported, "XXX" was produced by Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus, whose group guests on album track "Love Will Come Back." First single "Feel" will arrive later this month at U.S. Adult Contemporary radio outlets.

"There's some heavy rock'n'roll on the thing, some R&B and a ballad, but we tried to stay away from that 'Hard Habit To Break' formula," woodwind player Walter Parazaider told recently, referencing the 1984 No. 3 Billboard pop hit sung by former member Peter Cetera.

Chicago will be on the road all spring, including two separate two-week stints at Las Vegas' MGM Grand on March 16-30 and May 18-31.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Living Things are hitting the road next week in support of their 2005 album Jive "Ahead of the Lions.” The club tour will open Feb. 10 in Baltimore, the night after the band plays a Fashion Week event in New York. At deadline the run stretches to a March 29 show in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., but Western U.S. dates are also planned leading up to a late April appearance at the
Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.

The band's latest single, "Bom Bom Bom," can be heard in a new TV commercial for Cingular's new iTunes-capable phones. The track peaked in December at No. 21 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.