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Billboard Bits: Cash, 'Today,' Alien Ant Farm, AMAs

News on Johnny Cash, 'Today,' Alien Ant Farm, AMAs

KidKid Rock and Brooks & Dunn are the latest acts to join the lineup of the Johnny Cash tribute concert, set for Nov. 10 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. As previously reported, the event will be hosted by actor Tim Robbins and taped to air Nov. 15 on CMT as the two-hour special "The Johnny Cash Memorial Tribute: A Celebration of Friends and Family."

Also performing will be the late artist's daughter, Rosanne Cash, as well as Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, John Mellencamp, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Rodney Crowell, Marty Stuart and Steve Earle. The event will also feature pre-taped messages from Whoopi Goldberg and Ray Charles.

Immediately following the special, CMT plans to air "Inside Fame: Johnny Cash." The network was granted the last in-depth biographical television interview with Cash and his wife June Carter Cash before their deaths. Cash died Sept. 12 at the age of 71 from complications of diabetes; Carter died May 15 following heart surgery.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

PinkNBC's "Today" morning show has extended its concert series outside its New York studios into the fall, with six free performances planned through November. Sarah McLachlan will appear Nov. 7, followed by Pink (Nov. 14), Britney Spears (Nov. 21), the Dixie Chicks (Nov. 24), Enrique Iglesias (Nov. 25) and Chicago (Nov. 28).

Sponsored by Toyota, this year's concerts in Rockefeller Plaza kicked off in April with a performance by Fleetwood Mac and have featured more than 20 artists. Most take place on Fridays, although a few, including the upcoming Dixie Chicks and Iglesias appearances, will be held on different weekdays.

In other NBC news, long-running variety show "Saturday Night Live" has slated musical guests for its new November shows. This weekend's show will feature OutKast (Nov. 1), with upcoming episodes to star Dave Matthews (Nov. 8) and Missy Elliott (Nov. 15). The shows will be hosted by Kelly Ripa, Andy Roddick and, for the 11th time, Alec Baldwin, respectively.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

AlienFounding Alien Ant Farm guitarist Terry Corson has exited the band. A message on the band's
official Web site cites "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the split. Guitarist Victor Camacho, described as an old friend of the band, is subbing during Alien Ant Farm's ongoing tour; his first show was Wednesday night in Birmingham, Ala. Corso's last gig as an AAF member was Monday in Columbus.

Alien Ant Farm is opening 311's U.S. tour through a Nov. 30 stop in Atlantic City, N.J. The band is out supporting its latest DreamWorks album, "truant," which was produced by Stone Temple Pilots' Robert and Dean DeLeo. Released in August, the set debuted at No. 42 on The Billboard 200.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

MonicaMonica and 'N Sync's Lance Bass will co-host the American Music Awards pre-show festivities. The music stars will join R.J. Williams, host of Showtime's "The Red Carpet," to interview celebrities on ABC in the hour leading up to the Nov. 16 awards show, which will be broadcast live from Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium beginning at 8 p.m. ET (tape delayed on the West Coast).

As previously reported, Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock, Ricky Martin, OutKast, Ashanti, Hilary Duff, Alan Jackson, Metallica, Britney Spears, Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken will perform during the 31st annual AMA ceremony.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.