Billboard Bits: Shakira, Travis, The Corrs

News on Shakira, Travis, and the Corrs

ShakiraLatin superstar Shakira has joined the ranks of Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Faith Hill, and Kiss, signing a global sponsorship and advertising deal with Pepsi-Cola. The agreement will see the artist star in two new television commercials for the soft drink maker, which will subsequently sponsor Shakira's worldwide concert tour beginning later this year.

"Shakira's not only a talented singer/songwriter, she's also a role model who expresses the feelings of a new generation of Latino youth," Pepsi-Cola director of urban and ethnic marketing Charlee Taylor-Hines said in a statement.

The new commercials, in both English and Spanish, will begin appearing this week on U.S. television outlets. Radio, print, and in-store advertising will also feature the singer, as will Pepsi's Web site.

Shakira's most recent album, the Sony Discos set "MTV Unplugged," debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard Latin 50 last October.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Travis will celebrate the Tuesday (June 12) release of its third Independiente/Epic album, "The Invisible Band," with two free shows and autograph sessions next week. On Tuesday, the group will perform at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Gardens, and on June 14 will play outside the Virgin Megastore in Los Angeles. As an added bonus, the first 75 fans at each show will receive a complimentary ticket to the local stop on Travis' upcoming tour with Dido, which begins Sunday (June 10) in Vancouver. "The Invisible Band" is the follow-up to the runaway U.K. hit "The Man Who," which peaked at No. 2 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart last May. First single "Sing" is No. 37 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart this week.

Irish pop group the Corrs will be featured in its own pay-per-view special, "The Corrs in Concert." The film, which captures a sold-out 2000 performance at Dublin's Lansdowne Road Stadium, will be available via U.S. cable outlets throughout June and July beginning Saturday (June 9). This is the second Corrs concert available to fans, as the band released a concert DVD, "Live at the Royal Albert Hall," last year. The group's most recent Atlantic album, "In Blue," peaked at No. 21 on The Billboard 200 last September and has sold 902,000 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan.