Billboard Bits: BET, Osbourne, Skynyrd, Timony
News on BET, Kelly Osbourne, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Mary Timony.Yolanda Adams, Ruben Studdard, Kirk Franklin, BeBe Winans and Fantasia are among the performers set for BET's "Celebration of Gospel" concert special, which the network will air Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The show will take place Jan. 22 at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles.
Other performers at the event will include Donnie McClurkin, Smokie Norful, Mary Mary, Fred Hammond, Shirley Caesar, BET host Dr. Bobby Jones, the Clark Sisters and Kiki Sheard.
BET, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is also planning an all-star anniversary special to be held sometime in November and air as a two-hour special.
-- Carla Hay, N.Y.
Kelly Osbourne will release her sophomore album June 7 via Sanctuary. The as-yet-untitled set was produced by Linda Perry (Christina Aguilera, Pink) and is the follow-up to Osbourne's 2002 Epic debut, "Shut Up." That set debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and has sold 159,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Osbourne recently launched a clothing line, Stiletto Killers, which offers t-shirts, sweatpants and sweatshirts emblazoned with such slogans as "Gotta Pee," "F*** Off," and "I Hate U." The artist can also currently be seen in the ABC television drama "Life As We Know It."
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Veteran Southern rock act Lynyrd Skynyrd will headline a live CMT special at the Jacksonville (Fla.) Veterans Memorial Arena Feb. 5, the night before the Super Bowl, sources tell Billboard.com. Dubbed "Lynyrd Skynyrd's Super Bowl Saturday Night Special," the hour-long show will air at 9 p.m. ET and will also feature Los Lonely Boys and Jo Dee Messina.
Last year in Houston, CMT produced a similar special with Toby Keith, Willie Nelson, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Sammy Hagar, Ted Nugent, Waymon Tisdale and others.
As previously reported, Paul McCartney will headline the Ameriquest Mortgage Super Bowl XXXIX Halftime Show at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., which will air live on Fox. Second season "American Idol" finalist Josh Gracin will perform during the NFL's official festivities the night before.
-- Ray Waddell, Nashville
Former Helium frontwoman Mary Timony has signed to Lookout! Records, which will release her new solo album, "Ex Hex," in mid-April. The indie veteran has released two solo albums on Matador Records, also the home of Helium. The most recent was 2002's "The Golden Dove."
Produced by Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, "Ex Hex" features Timony on guitar and vocals and Devin Ocampo of the Medications on drums. As previously reported, Medications appears on Canty's new live DVD series, "Burn To Shine," which will be released later this month via Trixie.
-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.