News on Godsmack, Sean McGrath, Billy Ray Cyrus
Godsmack has parted ways with founding drummer Tommy Stewart just as the multi-platinum Universal rock group begins working on its third album. Stewart, who had previously taken a year's leave of absence from Godsmack before rejoining in 1998, amicably split from the quartet to pursue other musical interests.
"Tommy is a great guy and a tremendous drummer. We wish him all the success in the world ... he deserves it," lead vocalist Sully Erna said in a statement. Erna, bassist Robbie Merrill, and guitarist Tony Rambola have already begun writing songs for the new set, due out early next year on Republic/Universal.
The new album will be the follow-up to "Awake," which has sold 2 million copies in the U.S. to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Most recently, the group has found success with "I Stand Alone," the lead single from Universal's "The Scorpion King" soundtrack. The cut was just knocked out of the No. 1 slot Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks tally by Chad Kroeger's "Hero" after spending four weeks on top.
-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.