— The Jackson 5, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald and the Supremes are among the pivotal performances showcased as part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s upcoming exhibition: “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment.” The exhibition premieres April 23 at the Washington, D.C.-based museum and runs through Aug. 29. It will then travel to Detroit (Oct. 1-Jan. 2, 2011), New York (Jan. 30, 2011-May 1, 2011) and four additional U.S. cities to be announced.
— A newly discovered live performance by the late R&B/jazz saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. is coming May 18. “Grover Live,” recorded June 7, 1997 at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill, NY, is produced by Jason Miles (Miles Davis, Sting) and being released through G-Man Productions/Lightyear Entertainment. The 18-song set includes Washington’s 1981 top 5 R&B/pop crossover hit, “Just the Two of Us” with Bill Withers, as well as his first top 20 R&B single, 1975’s “Mr. Magic.”
— Grammy Award-winning singer Stephanie Mills will be releasing a new album, “Breathless,” on her own CJ Entertainment label. “Yesterday,” the set’s lead single, is now available through iTunes, Amazon and stephaniemillsmusic.com. “Breathless,” due in early summer, is the artist’s first new studio album
since 2004’s “Born For This!”
— The Apollo Theater will induct Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin into its Apollo Legends Hall of Fame during the theater’s 2010 Benefit Concert and Awards Ceremony June 14 in Harlem, New York. Also being honored that evening will be Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, who will receive the Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis Arts and Humanitarian Award. Comedian/actor/singer Jamie Foxx will host the benefit/ceremony, which annually raises funds for the non-profit theater’s educational and community initiatives.
— Quincy Jones has partnered with Academy Award-winning composer/conductor Tan Dun to co-compose the theme song for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China. “A Better City, A Better Life” also includes contributions from Jones protégé Alfred Rodriguez and singer/songwriter Siedah Garrett. The World Expo begins May 1.
— Manfred Mann, The Pretty Things and recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees the Hollies will be the featured acts in the second installment of the “British Invasion” DVD series (Reelin’ in the Years Productions). Slated for fall release, this upcoming installment follows the March 30 rollout of the series’ first four volumes: Dusty Springfield, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Herman’s Hermits and Small Faces (Billboard, April 3).