Billboard Bits: CMA, 'Rocktober,' Jubilee, Ramones

News on CMA, 'Rocktober,' Jubilee, Ramones

NellyVince Gill, Brooks & Dunn, and Brad Paisley have been added to the performance lineup for the 36th annual CMA Awards. They join previously announced talent Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, George Strait, and Shania Twain for the event, set for Nov. 6 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The awards will be broadcast live on CBS beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

Gill, who holds a record with 18 CMA wins, will host the event for the 11th straight year. He is expected to perform a new song from his next MCA album, due early next year.

As previously reported, Jackson leads the field with a record 10 nominations. Keith is nominated for six CMA honors, while Chesney has three nominations to his credit.

-- Carla Hay, N.Y.

NellyAs an extension of its popular summer concerts, NBC morning show "Today" is presenting a five-week "Rocktober" concert series, beginning Friday (Oct. 4) with a performance by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The concerts -- staged at "Today's" Rockefeller Center studios in New York -- are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. The concerts will be televised during "Today's" regular broadcast of 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET/PT.

Here are the dates for the "Rocktober" concert series:

Oct. 4: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Oct. 11: Bon Jovi
Oct. 18: Faith Hill
Oct. 22: Santana and special guest
Nov. 1: Christina Aguilera

-- Carla Hay, N.Y.

NellyRock act the Tragically Hip and jazz great Oscar Peterson are among the performers who will take part in next week's Canadian Golden Jubilee Gala for Queen Elizabeth II. Set for Oct. 10 at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall at 8 p.m., the event will be broadcast live in the Newfoundland, Atlantic, and eastern time zones via the country's CBC television network and taped delayed in the central, mountain, and pacific time zones.

Also taking part in the event, which will be attended by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, will be Ginette Reno, Measha Bruggergosman, Michael Schade, Evelyn Hart and Rex Harrington, Mario Pelchat, Luck Mervil, Julie Massicotte, and Cirque Du Soleil. For more information on the Queen's Royal Visit to Canada, visit the celebration's official Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

NellyThe release of "We're a Happy Family," the long-awaited Ramones tribute album spearheaded by Rob Zombie, has been pushed back a month to Dec. 24 by DV8/Columbia Records. As previously reported, the set features contributions from Pete Yorn, Metallica, the Pretenders, Tom Waits, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Garbage, Kiss, and more.

Zombie himself turns in a version of "Blitzkreig Bop," and Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder recorded two songs in collaboration with Seattle band Zeke, "I Believe in Miracles" and "Daytime Dilemma (Dangers of Love)," the latter of which will only appear as a limited-edition bonus track on initial pressings of the album.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.