Aretha Franklin Dies
Billboard Bits: Santana, Hallyday, Obie Trice
News on Santana, Hallyday, Obie TriceSantana is the first act confirmed to play the second Rock In Rio -- Lisbon festival, set for May 26-27 and June 2-4 at Bela Vista Park. The massive event was staged in Brazil in 1985, 1991 and 2001 and moved last year to Lisbon, where organizers say it drew approximately 100,000 music fans each day. More information can be found at the festival's Web site.
The Carlos Santana-led band will play Rock In Rio -- Lisbon's World Stage June 2 at the end of a European tour that will open April 30 in Helsinki and feature his keyboardist/son's Salvador Santana Band opening through a May 30 show in Assago, Italy. Prior to the European trip, Santana has a brief South American tour planned that begins March 9 in Buenos Aries.
Santana is touring in support of last year's "All That I Am." Released in October, the set debuted at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 534,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Legendary French artist Johnny Hallyday has left Universal Music France to sign a multi-album deal with Warner Music France. The 62-year-old artist spent the past 43 years signed to Philips, then PolyGram and now Universal. The artist and his record company embarked in 2004 in a bitter legal case. Hallyday had wanted to break free from Universal and re-claim the masters of the 1,000-plus recordings he made over four decades.
In April 2005, an appeals court in Paris held that Universal would be able to continue to exploit the artist's catalog. The court also ruled that Hallyday still owed an album to Universal, and that he will have to promote the album. The court added that if he wished to exploit live recordings of works owned by Universal, he would have to reach terms with the company.
Warner plans to release a live album this fall for which the company will have to negotiate a transaction with Universal Music. A blues studio album is also expected early 2007.
-- Aymeric Pichevin, Paris
Rapper Obie Trice is recovering at home in Detroit after being shot while driving on an area freeway on Dec. 31. The bullet is still lodged in Trice's skull; doctors have yet to decide whether it can be removed at a later date.
Police have yet to make any arrests in the incident or label the case an accident or an attempt on Trice's life. "As far as all the rumors and guessing games, people talking road rage and all that nonsense, I'm not getting involved in any of that right now," the artist says in a statement.
Trice's next album for Eminem's Shady Records, "Second Round's on Me," is due for release this spring.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.