Aretha Franklin Dies

Billboard Bits: Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg/Jamie Foxx, Sara Evans

Stevie Wonder lined up for Super Bowl pre-game festivities, Snoop Dogg adds Jamie Foxx to single and Sara Evans compilation arrives early.

Stevie Wonder has signed on to perform during the Super Bowl XL pre-game festivities in his native Detroit. The National Football League championship will be held Feb. 5 at the Motor City's Ford Field. Wonder, who provided halftime entertainment for the big game in 1999, is expected to perform several songs on a bill with several additional entertainers.

Although the NFL has not made an announcement regarding Wonder's participation, the league's official site is reporting the news, citing an Associated Press report that quotes a Motown executive.

As previously reported, the Rolling Stones will star in the Sprint Super Bowl XL Halftime Show.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Snoop Dogg has added Jamie Foxx to his new single, "Real Soon," also featuring Kurupt, Daz and Nate Dogg. Snoop hopes the collaboration will raise awareness of the impending execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, co-founder of the California-based Crips gang. Foxx, who portrayed Williams in the 2004 film "Redemption," has also been publicly rallying for clemency on his behalf.

"Real Soon" will appear on the
compilation "Snoop Dogg Presents Welcome to Tha Chuuch: Tha Album," due Dec. 13 via Doggystyle/Koch, the same date as Williams' scheduled execution. The song is available at

Williams, 51, was sentenced to death in 1981 after being convicted of murdering four people in Los Angeles. He has maintained his innocence and written several children's books warning against the danger of gangs that have earned him Nobel Literature Prize nominations.

-- Clover Hope, N.Y.

expected in February, Cracker Barrel Music has released a Sara Evans compilation that boasts previously unreleased acoustic version of "No Place That Far" and a live rendition of "Born to Fly."

"There is nothing like stripping down a song and performing it acoustically," Evans says of "No Place That Far," which reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart in 1999. "I have always wanted to do a version similar to the way I wrote it."

The 12-track disc retails for $11.99 exclusively at 540 Cracker Barrel locations throughout the United States and via The company has previously issued exclusive compilations by Alison Krauss + Union Station and the Charlie Daniels Band, as well as the five-disc Grand Ole Opry Live Classics series.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.