Aretha Franklin Dies
Billboard Bits: Shakira, Dido, Sarah Harmer, Gucci Mane
News on Shakira, Dido, Sarah Harmer, Gucci ManeAn Olympic setting is planned for the June 5 world premiere of the latest CD from Shakira, "Fijacion Oral," released in North America two days later via Epic. Shakira will perform three songs at Madrid's Puerta de Alcala square as part of a celebration intended to bolster the city's bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.
A huge crowd is expected for the free show, as it follows a parade down Madrid's eight-lane Castellana thoroughfare featuring a 1.8 mile-long flag emblazoned with "Madrid 2012." Several other events are planned throughout the day.
As previously reported, Shakira will quickly follow "Fijacion Oral" with an all-English album, "Oral Fixation," due for release in November.
-- Howell Llewellyn, Madrid
Due June 7 from RCA in the United States (June 13 internationally), the CD/DVD "Dido: Live" chronicles a hometown stand on the artist's 2004 Life for Rent tour. Filmed over three nights at London's Brixton Academy ("a venue she visited many times as a punter when she was growing up," according to her official Web site) in August by director David Barnard (Bjork, Travis), the DVD boasts 17 songs, while the CD features 12 tracks from the shows.
Songs on both discs are "Stoned," "Here With Me," "See You When You're 40," "Life for Rent," "Isobel," "Honestly Ok," "Mary's in India," "Take My Hand," "Thankyou," "Sand in My Shoes," "White Flag" and "See the Sun." The DVD also includes "Hunter," "My Life," "Don't Leave Home," "Do You Have a Little Time" and "All You Want."
Fans who pre-order the set through Dido's Web site will be entered into a contest to win tour books and t-shirts signed by the artist.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Canadian singer/songwriter Sarah Harmer is turning her interest in preserving the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, into a seven-city concert and awareness-raising tour. The trek will open June 14 in Owen Sound and conclude June 26 in Burlington at the Royal Botanical Gardens, running along the Escarpment.
"The Niagara Escarpment is recognized as one of the world's unique natural wonders," says Harmer, whose latest album, "All of Our Names" (Zoe/Rounder) opened at No. 43 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart. "It is home to the oldest trees in eastern North America -- 1000+ year old white cedars, 40% of Ontario's rare plant species, countless endangered and threatened species and ancient aquifers and wetlands that house and filter precious drinking water for Southern Ontarians."
Full details of the tour, hiking opportunities and the preservation efforts with which Harmer is involved can be found at her official Web site.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Just as his single, "So Icy," is climbing the charts, rapper Gucci Mane might soon find his career put on ice.
The Atlanta-based rapper, whose legal name is Radric Davis, is scheduled to turn himself in to the Dekalb County Police Department to answer a murder charge. A warrant was issued for his arrest following the discovery of a body near Columbia High School in Decatur, Ga.
Davis recently taped an episode for BET's "Rap City" in support of his album, "Trap House," due Tuesday (May 24) on Big Cat Records. "So Icy" debuts this week at No. 24 on Billboard's Hot Rap Songs chart.
-- Ivory M. Jones, N.Y.