Billboard Bits: MTV Europe, Manny Albam, Les Savy Fav

News on MTV Europe, Manny Albam, Les Savy Fav

R.E.M.Australian pop songstress/current U.K. chart queen Kylie Minogue and modern rockers R.E.M. are the latest artists signed to perform live at this year's MTV Europe Music Awards, to be held Nov. 8 in Frankfurt, Germany. Minogue and R.E.M., which is nominated in the best group category this year, join a lineup that includes Craig David, Blink-182, Depeche Mode, Destiny's Child, Dido, and Rammstein. The show will be hosted by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, appearing as his alter ego, Ali G.

As previously reported, Janet Jackson was among the first performers confirmed for the event, but last week called off her appearance and her entire European tour, citing uncertainty in the wake of last month's terrorist attacks.

-- Monika Maurer, The Hollywood Reporter

Jazz composer, arranger, conductor, and teacher Manny Albam died Oct. 2 at his home in Croton-On-Hudson, N.Y., Billboard Bulletin reports. He was 79. The cause of death was cancer. Albam's career spanned seven decades in which he worked with such jazz luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, Sarah Vaughan, and Count Basie. Albam's 1958 jazz version of "West Side Story" was nominated for a Grammy. He was a founder of BMI's Jazz Composers Workshop; at the time of his death, he was still serving as co-musical director. Additionally, Albam was a professor of composition at the Manhattan School of Music and a former co-director of the Eastman School of Music's prestigious summer arrangers' workshop.

Indie rock act Les Savy Fav will celebrate the Oct. 23 release of its third full-length studio album, "Go Forth" (frenchkiss), with a Nov. 1 New York show to benefit fallen firefighters. Specifically, the show at the Bowery Ballroom will honor Johnny Heffernan, guitarist and principal songwriter of fellow New York punk band the Bully's, who along with five others from Engine Company 28/Ladder Company 11 did not survive the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center. Proceeds of the show will benefit the firehouse and the families of the firefighters. Les Savy Fav is in the midst of a three-week European tour that will wrap Oct. 18 at the Garage in London. The New York benefit will kick off a U.S. tour expected to last through December. Labelmates the Apes will support on some dates, including the benefit show.