Billboard Bits: VMAs, Fashion Rocks, Jimmy Sturr

News on VMAs, Fashion Rocks, Jimmy Sturr

KanyeLil' Jon, Petey Pablo and Ying Yang Twins & Terror Squad featuring Fat Joe have joined the performance lineup for the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards. The 21st annual event is set for Aug. 29 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. They join previously announced performers Usher, Kanye West, Yellowcard, Jet, Hoobastank and Jessica Simpson.

This year's show will not have a host, but a number of celebrities are confirmed to present awards or appear during the broadcast, including Dave Chappelle, P. Diddy, LL Cool J, Lenny Kravitz, Ashlee Simpson, Ludacris, Tony Hawk, Jon Stewart and Paris Hilton.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

UsherUsher, Faith Hill, Rod Stewart, Alicia Keys, Avril Lavigne, Black Eyed Peas, Beyoncé, Hoobastank and Mary J. Blige will perform at the Fashion Rocks concert, to be held Sept. 8 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.

Chevrolet is sponsoring a sweepstakes for two tickets to the event, two nights at a Manhattan hotel and roundtrip airfare via the Web site

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

SturrWillie Nelson, Alison Krauss and Lee Greenwood are among the guests contributing vocals to "Rock 'n Polka," the forthcoming album by polka king Jimmy Sturr. Due Sept. 14 from Rounder, the set features covers of rock'n'roll classics such as the Coasters' "Charlie Brown," the Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love," the Beach Boys' "Fun Fun Fun" and the Elvis Presley-popularized "Don't Be Cruel."

Other favorites given the polka treatment on the 13-track disc include Bobby Darin's "Splish Splash" and "Dream Lover," and Del Shannon's "The Wanderer." A cover of Duane Eddy's "Rebel Rouser," a No. 6 Billboard pop hit in 1958, features the guitar great himself. Doo-wop group Larry Chance & the Earls and progressive bluegrass act Blue Highway are guest on the album.

Sturr and his orchestra maintain a heavy touring schedule. According to the artist's
official Web site, they will play the German Alps Festival in Hunter, N.Y., on Saturday (Aug. 7) and have dates scheduled into December.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.