Billboard Bits: Beanie Sigel, Opry Cruise, Live 8

News on Beanie Sigel, Opry Cruise, Live 8

BeanieThe lead-up to incarcerated rapper Beanie Sigel's recent album, "The B.Coming," is at the center of the DVD "The B.Coming of Beanie Sigel." Due July 26 via Damon Dash Music Group, the project spotlights Sigel's trial on gun possession charges, which resulted in a one-year prison sentence.

The DVD also goes behind-the-scenes of Sigel's life, as he rears the group State Property, develops a cartoon and solidifies his ties with Roc-A-Fella Records. Viewers will also footage of Sigel under house arrest at Dash's New York home as he scrambles to finish "The B.Coming" before heading to prison.

Released in late March, "The B.Coming" debuted at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 349,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

PamPam Tillis will join country music veterans Roy Clark and Charley Pride on the ninth annual Grand Ole Opry Caribbean Cruise. Sailing Jan. 22 from Tampa, Fla., the eight-day cruise will offer private concerts, cocktail parties and autograph events, as well as a Q&A session with the performers on board Carnival's Miracle ship.

The itinerary will take the ship Grand Cayman Island, the Mexican ports Costa Maya and Cozumel, as well as Belize. For more information or to book passage, call 866-653-OPRY.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Johannesburg's Live 8 concert will feature an all-African line-up of artists, including veteran reggae artist Lucky Dube and African pop group Malaika.

A spokesperson today (June 22) confirmed the July 2 concert will be held at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg's Newtown Precinct. Organizers have tapped South Africa's Mohotella Queens, Jabu Khanyile and Bayete, kwaito star Zola and Lindiwe, the Zambian winner of the 2004 "Project Fame" African talent search.

South Africa's involvement in Live 8 has the endorsement of the country's former president Nelson Mandela, who sources say might introduce the Johannesburg leg.

-- Diane Coetzer, Johannesburg