Billboard Bits: Macy Gray, Toby Keith, Shakira

News on Macy Gray, Toby Keith, Shakira

Groove ArmadaR&B star Macy Gray will issue her third Epic album, "The Trouble With Being Myself," in March, according to the label. The artist will precede the set's release with a club tour that will kick off in February.

The album will be the follow-up to "The Id." Released in September 2001, the set debuted at No. 9 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 11 on The Billboard 200, and has sold 569,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

As previously reported, Gray has teamed up with Queen Latifah and Lil' Kim to record the song "Cell Block Tango (He Had It Comin')" for the soundtrack to the upcoming film "Chicago," due Jan. 14 from Epic.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Groove ArmadaFord Motor Company spokesperson/country music star Toby Keith will headline the auto maker's The Road Is Ours 100th Anniversary Celebration concert series, part of a five-day celebration June 12-16 at Ford's Dearborn, Mich., world headquarters.

The performance by Keith, who recently sang in a Ford TV advertising campaign, will be a highlight of the celebration, which also includes music by artists to be announced as well as interactive exhibits, tours of auto plants and the Henry Ford Museum, rides in vintage Ford models, and a fireworks display. For tickets and more information, visit Ford's official Web site.

Keith's latest album, "Unleashed" (DreamWorks Nashville), debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 in August. The single "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American)" hit No. 1 on Hot Country Singles & Tracks in July.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.

Groove ArmadaBeginning today (Dec. 19) in her hometown of Barranquilla, Colombia, Shakira and her Pies Descalzos (Bare Feet) foundation will partner with the Reebok Human Rights Program to distribute shoes to needy children. Today's event will see the star helping kids from Escuela San Vicente de Paul, one of the poorest schools in the area.

Over the course of a year, Reebok and Pies Descalzos will distribute 10,000 pairs of shoes in Colombia. Shakira's organization was founded to help Colombian children through its support of hospitals, educational opportunities, and community programs.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.


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