Billboard Bits: Barry Manilow, Public Enemy, Smithereens

News on Barry Manilow, Public Enemy, Smithereens

BarryBarry Manilow will be presented with the Society of Singers' 12th annual ELLA award on April 28 in Beverly Hills, Calif. The honor is presented "to singers whose contribution to the music world is equaled by his/her dedication to humanitarian causes and community support," according to the organization, and has previously been conferred upon Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Peggy Lee, among others.

A number of artists will be on hand to perform Manilow's songs, including Brian McKnight, Dave Koz, Michael Feinstein, Linda Eder, comedian Wayne Brady, and actress Suzanne Somers. Manilow will also perform at the event.

And although he is currently off the road, the musical "Copacabana," which features Manilow's hit songs, is making its way across North America. The production hits Reading, Pa., tonight (April 22) and will close May 18 in Kingston, N.Y.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

ChuckVeteran rap act Public Enemy will release a commercial two-disc "Son of a Bush" CD/DVD single May 6 via SlamJamz /In The Paint/Koch. The track, from last year's "Revolverlution," is highly critical of the election of U.S. President George W. Bush and his first few months in office, as well as of his father, former President George Bush: "Have you forgotten / I been through the first term of rotten /The father, the son / and the holy Bush ... I told y'all when the first Bush was tappin' my phone ... Can't truss 'em."

The CD will also include "Twisted Sense of God Pt. 1," a track by PE frontman Chuck D's side project Fine Arts Militia, and another "Revolverlution" track, "Get Your S*** Together." The DVD will boast the video for PE's "Gotta Give the Peeps What They Want" as well as the documentary clip "Behind Enemy Lines," both directed by Robert Patton-Spruill. Also included is a lyric feature for the tracks on the audio CD. The package will carry a retail list price of $7.98.

Released in July 2002, "Revolverlution" debuted at No. 4 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart and reached No. 16 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

The SmithereensNew Jersey-based rock act the Smithereens will be on hand for the U.S. Tennis Association's (USTA) USA Tennis Month kick-off April 28 in New York. Hosted by Daisy Fuentes, the "Rock & Rally" event will feature the band's performance, as well as interactive on- and off-court tennis activities in the city's Rockefeller Center.

Also taking part will be tennis stars Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, James Blake, Alexandra Stevenson, Zina Garrison, and U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe. Last year's event featured Sister Hazel performing and drew more than 25,000 people to Rockefeller Center. For more information on this and other USA Tennis Month events, visit the
USTA Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.