Billboard Bits: Beastie Boys, Trisha Yearwood, Kobe

News on Beastie Boys, Trisha Yearwood, Kobe Bryant, Tone, Brian McKnight

Five years worth of Beastie Boys history will be chronicled in photographs in Ari Marcopoulos's forthcoming book "Pass the Mic: Beastie Boys 1991-1996." The tome, due in September from powerHouse Books, spotlights the hip-hop pioneers in concert, in the studio recording such classic albums as "Check Your Head" and "Ill Communication," and off the stage in non-musical pursuits.

Last fall, the Beasties raised funds for Tibetan rights organizations Milarepa through the sale of similar photographs at a New York gallery. A separate photo book was also included in a limited edition vinyl box set of the 1999 best-of collection "The Sounds Of Science."

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

A highway in Monticello, Ga., will be renamed on April 27 in honor of country star Trisha Yearwood. The singer will be on hand in her hometown's town square for the public ceremony that will officially change the name of Highway 83N to the Trisha Yearwood Parkway.

"I Would've Loved You Anyway," the first single from Yearwood's upcoming album "Inside Out" (MCA Nashville), is No. 37 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. The album is due out June 5, the same night Yearwood will appear on CBS' "Late Night with David Letterman." A June 8 appearance on NBC's "Today" is also planned, as is her sixth appearance on the CBS drama "Jag," on which she stars in the recurring role of Lt. Commander Teresa Coulter. That episode will air in May.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Columbia Records has dropped Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant, sources tell Billboard Bulletin. Bryant signed with the label in 1998, but never released his debut rap album, "Visions." A single, "K.O.B.E." was issued in 2000 but failed to appear on any Billboard charts. Bryant did guest with Tone on Brian McKnight's 1998 single "Hold Me," which peaked at No. 12 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. A label spokesperson did not return calls seeking comment.

-- Rashaun Hall, N.Y.>


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