Billboard Bits: Fantasia, 311, NFL Kickoff

News on Fantasia, 311, NFL Kickoff

FantasiaAlthough she's still on tour supporting her J Records debut, "Free Yourself," Fantasia has begun mulling plans for its follow-up. "I will be going back into the studio sooner or later," the artist tells Billboard. "I'd like to step out into some other areas like country or rock. I love all music. And I've got names for days of people I'd like to work with, including [recent tour partner] Rahsaan Patterson. He has become one of my favorites."

Asked if she's planning on writing any of the material on her sophomore set, Fantasia says, "I'd like to. I'm always picking up a pen and writing something. I started writing songs when I was 13 or 14 and into gospel."

The High Point, N.C., native recently scored four nominations for the 10th annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards, which will be handed out Sept. 7. Her autobiography, "Life Is Not a Fairy Tale," will be published in October by Simon & Schuster.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

311Enduring reggae/rock quintet 311 has been recording each pf its live shows for six-plus years, but has yet to settle on the best way to begin releasing the material. "We have every show we're ever played since 1999 on tape," bassist P-Nut tells "Our sound man is a Deadhead, and from his experiences with them, he knew that nothing would beat a board tape every night."

P-Nut says 311, whose shows are traded actively in the bootleg community, hopes it's "only a matter of time" before the band will unveil the live archive, as well as B-sides and outtakes. "When and if we go indie, that's something we might release on the Web site, just to keep the fans excited," he offers. "Maybe release a show a week -- that way we could do it forever."

311's new Volcano album, "Don't Tread on Me," debuted this week at No. 5 on The Billboard 200. The group's tour with Papa Roach and Unwritten Law continues tomorrow (Aug. 27) in Atlanta.

-- Jeff Vrabel, Jacksonville, Fla.

GoodGood Charlotte and Rihanna have been added to the lineup for a Sept. 8 show at Los Angeles Coliseum as part of the "NFL Opening Kickoff 2005."
As previously reported, Kanye West and Maroon 5 will also perform at the show, highlights from which will be broadcast on ABC.

The special will be anchored at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., home to last year's Bowl winning New England Patriots. Green Day and Santana will perform there, with Trisha Yearwood on hand to sing the National Anthem. Immediately afterward, the Patriots will face the Oakland Raiders in the first game of the 2005-2006 season.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.