Billboard Bits: 'Chicago,' Edwards, VH1 'Diva' Search

News on 'Chicago,' Kathleen Edwards, VH1 'Diva' Search

ChicagoThe big screen adaptation of the Broadway musical "Chicago" continues to collect accolades, the latest being a leading five nominations for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards. The film will compete for the coveted best performance by an entire cast honor with "The Hours," "Adaptation," "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," and "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers."

Renee Zellweger earned a best female actor nomination for her "Chicago" role, as did Richard Gere in the best male actor category. Both Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Latifah were nominated for best female actor in a supporting role. For the full list of nominees, visit the official SAG Awards Web site.

As reported yesterday, "Chicago" nabbed 12 British Academy Film Awards nominations, and is hotly tipped as an Oscar favorite. Earlier this month Zellweger and Gere took home the Golden Globes' best actor awards and the film was named best picture.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

KathleenKathleen Edwards will kick off the first leg of a U.S. tour in support of her Zoe/Rounder debut, "Failer," on Feb. 18 in Cambridge, Mass. Released Jan. 14, the rootsy alt-country album debuted at No. 20 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart.

The tour follows a set of high-profile television appearances on CBS' "The Late Show With David Letterman" and "Saturday Early Show," and NBC's Last Call With Carson Daly." More dates are expected in the coming months.

Here are Kathleen Edwards' upcoming tour dates:

Feb. 18: Cambridge, Mass. (TT the Bear's)
Feb. 20: Bryn Mawr, Pa. (The Point)
Feb. 21: Arlington, Va. (Iota)
Feb. 22: Pittsburgh (Club Cafe)
Feb. 25: New York (Village Underground)
Feb. 26: Northampton, Mass. (Iron Horse)
Feb. 27: Bryn Mawr, Pa. (The Point)
Feb. 28: New York (Joe's Pub)
March 1: Boston (Orpheum Theater, w/Kasey Chambers)
March 7-8: Buffalo, N.Y. (The Tralfamadore; supporting Blue Rodeo)
March 12-16: Austin, Texas (South by Southwest)

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Mimicking the concept of Fox's hit show "American Idol," VH1 is planning a reality series with the working title "Destination Diva: The Search for a Superstar." Set to premiere April 14, the show will conduct an international talent search to find what VH1 calls "the ultimate diva." Contestants will be sent to a "diva boot camp" and the series will chronicle the process of elimination until the winner is named. The winner will then make his or her debut at VH1's annual Divas Live concert in May.

In other VH1 news, the network is continuing to fill its programming with countdown shows. Set to debut in the second quarter are "Top 50 Hip-Hop Artists," "Top 100 Pop Culture Icons," "Top 50 Teen Idols," and "Top 25 Fads." VH1 will also premiere new documentary specials: "Shania: What It's Like" (Feb. 12); "Dashboard Dreams," about the relationship between cars and rock'n'roll (Feb. 17); and "Hip-Hop Babylon" (summer). As previously reported, the network has also given the green light to the documentary "Karaoke Dreams," a reality-TV special following karaoke singers, which will premiere March 2.

-- Carla Hay, N.Y.