Billboard Bits: Cash Money, Linda Eder, Avalon

News on Cash Money, Linda Eder, Avalon

WilliamsCash Money Records sibling CEO's Ronald "Slim" Williams and Bryan "Baby" Williams will tonight (Feb. 5) launch their Cash Money for Kids program, which will supply 100 tickets to all New Orleans Hornets home basketball games to underprivileged youths in the city. The program's kick-off will be acknowledged by Hornets owner Ray Wooldridge and New Orleans mayor C. Ray Nagin during tonight's game against the Sacramento Kings.

"Baby and I wanted to reward kids who are doing well in school, this is one way," Ronald Williams said in a statement. The duo's charitable efforts also include the Johnny & Gladys Williams Foundation, named in memory of their deceased parents. The organization donates food, offers scholarships, and has hosted a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway for the past four years.

Hornets tickets purchased by Cash Money Records will be distributed to New Orleans-area charitable organizations and underprivileged children through the team's community relations department.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

EderBroadway star Linda Eder will salute the stage on her forthcoming album, "Broadway My Way." Due Feb. 18 via Atlantic, the 13-track album finds Eder performing such memorable numbers as "Don't Rain on My Parade" from "Funny Girl" and "On the Street" from "My Fair Lady."

Also included is "Gold," which comes from "Camille Claudel," a new musical written by Eder's husband, composer Frank Wildhorn. Centered on the famed sculptress's life and relationship with her lover, Rodin, the show is expected to open late this year on Broadway.

Eder -- a veteran of such shows as "Jekyll & Hyde," and her husband's "The Scarlet Pimpernel" and "The Civil War" -- will celebrate the release of "Broadway My Way" with a Feb. 19 performance at New York's Carnegie Hall.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

AvalonChristian vocal group Avalon will release a greatest hits set, "Testify to Love: The Very Best of Avalon," March 25 via Sparrow Records. The set, which features three new tracks, collects songs from Avalon's five albums, all of which have breached the top-10 of Billboard's Top Contemporary Christian Albums tally.

While the band has previously released a remix collection, this is Avalon's first greatest-hits package. The group will support the release with a North American tour that will hit a number of colleges and churches. Dates will be announced on Avalon's official Web site.

The recently recorded songs include album opener "New Day," "Everything to Me," and "Pray," all of which feature newest group member Melissa Greene. Avalon won favorite contemporary inspirational artist last month at the American Music Awards.

-- Todd Martens, L.A.


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