Billboard Bits: Vandross, Chemical Brothers, Deftones

Stories on Luther Vandross, the Chemical Brothers, and the Deftones.

Luther VandrossR&B mainstay Luther Vandross is planning to write a book about his battle with obesity. "It's an autobiographical approach, because I want to make sure that's it's understood that this is how I did it and this is what happened with me," the now svelte singer says. "This is not what I'm suggesting you do, but everybody wants to know, 'How did you do it?'" he says.

The 50-year-old Vandross, whose tall frame once carried more than 330 pounds, said he has been able to keep his weight down for almost three years by staying away from what he calls "illegal foods" -- rich soul food -- and a daily regimen of exercise.

Earlier this month, Vandross' self-titled J Records album debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 6 on The Billboard 200. The set stands at No. 6 and No. 13, respectively, on this week's charts.

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Chemical BrothersFreestyle Dust/Astralwerks will issue the Chemical Brothers single "It Began in Afrika" Sept. 11 as a limited-edition release. Backed with the track "Hot Acid Rhythm 1," the single has been making the club rounds via a select set of the Brothers' -- Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons -- contemporaries, notably DJs Pete Tong, Danny Tenaglia, Francios K, Fatboy Slim, Roger Sanchez, and Paul Oakenfold, all of whom who have been including the track in their sets in recent weeks.

The release will serve as the first single from the duo's as-yet-untitled album, which is tentatively due out later this year. It will be the follow-up to 1999's "Surrender," which peaked at No. 32 on The Billboard 200. That album spawned the singles "Let Forever Be" (No. 18 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Single Sales chart, No. 29 on the Modern Rock Tracks tally), and "Out of Control" (No. 34 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart).

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

DeftonesFaced with doctors ordering singer Chino Moreno to further rest his vocal chords to prevent sustained damage, the Deftones canceled last night's (July 18) appearance in San Diego and tomorrow night's show at the San Diego Sports Arena. The move brings the total of four shows the band has been forced to cancel since Moreno took ill earlier this week.

Beverly Hills ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Joseph H. Sugarman says Moreno has "a huge inflammation on his right vocal chord and partial paresis on his left vocal chord," according to a statement released by the band. Along with antibiotics, Moreno has been placed under "strict vocal arrest," and will have his condition evaluated daily.

As previously reported, the Deftones -- who recently kicked off a U.S. tour with Godsmack, Puddle of Mud, CKY, and From Zero -- canceled their appearance Sunday in the band's Sacramento hometown, and followed suit with Tuesday's show outside San Francisco.

The other bands on the bill have been playing as scheduled; the Deftones hope to rejoin the roadshow Saturday in Phoenix.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Copyright 2001 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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