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Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Oct. 22, 2001 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

BENEFIT CONCERTS

It was a star-studded weekend as entertainers took to the stage to raise money for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

First was the "Concert for New York City" Saturday night, which honored fire and police department rescuers and raised money for those affected by the attack on the World Trade Center.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- a featured speaker at the Madison Square Garden event -- called his city the "greatest" and said New Yorkers, despite their tears for those lost, are "stronger, tougher and ready to defend ourselves as never before."

Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Elton John, Jim Carrey, Eric Clapton, Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld were among more than two dozen show business notables who appeared live or in the several films about New York. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., husband Bill Clinton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., made appearances as well.

Throughout the nearly six-hour show, fire fighters, police, emergency workers, survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks and family members of the victims were brought on stage for recognition.

"My dad was a fireman, World War II," McCartney said. "Liverpool took some heavy bombing. I'm proud of him, all you guys."

The former Beatle -- credited with making the show come together --- was the night's final act. He performed "Lover to a Friend," a new single he said would raise money for the September 11 Fund, and "Freedom," which he wrote in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack. Its lyrics included the line, "I will fight for the right to live in freedom."

McCartney also reached back to the Beatles repertoire for "Let It Be" and the evocative "Yesterday," which prompted the longest and loudest applause and cheers.

The concert was telecast on the VH1 cable network and streamed on the Internet by AOL. CNN reports Columbia Records is expected to release a two-disc CD set featuring music from the show, with much of the proceeds going to charity.

Then on Sunday, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Aerosmith, 'N Sync, Rod Stewart, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Usher, Train, Goo Goo Dolls, Kiss, Al Green and Aaron Carter were among the artists tasking part in the marathon "United We Stand: What More Can We Give?" concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

The Backstreet Boys kicked off the eight-hour, sold-out show with the national anthem.

James Brown -- dressed in gold -- sang "God Bless America." The audience sang along and waved small American flags.

Other performers were Ricky Martin, Mariah Carey, Bette Midler and Destiny's Child. Parts of the concert are scheduled to air on ABC as a two-hour special Nov. 1.

All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross Relief Fund, the Pentagon Relief Fund, the Salvation Army Relief Fund and the Rewards for Justice Fund.

In Nashville, country music stars Tim McGraw, Trisha Yearwood and Sara Evans were among those scheduled for Sunday night's Country Freedom Concert at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.


2001 VH1/VOGUE FASHION AWARDS

Mariah Carey, Macy Gray, Sugar Ray, Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, John Mellencamp and India.Arie are among the artists scheduled to perform Tuesday at the 2001 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards. The ceremony is being held at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom (at 9 p.m. ET/PT).

Nelly Furtado, Moby, Elton John, Destiny's Child, Gwen Stefani, Lil' Kim, Sean "Puffy" Combs and Courtney Love will also appear on the special, which'll air live on VH1.

Nominees for the category of "Visionary Video" are:

U2, "Beautiful Day"

Radiohead, "Knives Out"

Fatboy Slim, "Weapon of Choice"

Aerosmith, "Jaded"

Everclear, "AM Radio"

Moby/Gwen Stefani, "Southside"

Dave Matthews Band, "I Did It"

Other categories for the 2001 "VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards" include Rock Style and Outrageous Group.

(Web site: vh1.com)


INCUBUS

Incubus's new album "Morning View" hits stores Tuesday. To promote it, the band is making three in-store appearances -- including a first-ever signing in the rockers' hometown of Los Angeles:

DATE VENUE CITY TIME

10/24 Tower Records New York City 6-9 p.m. (ET)

10/25 Tower Records Concord, CA 6-9 p.m. (PT)

10/26 Wherehouse Records Los Angeles 7-10 p.m. (PT)

"Morning View" is Incubus's fourth full-length album. The CD was written and recorded at a mansion in Malibu, Calif.


STEVIE WONDER

As if Stevie Wonder didn't already have enough legal troubles after a former girlfriend sued him for $30 million in palimony, now a former employee is suing the Motown legend for wrongful termination.

Ron Brewington -- who worked for Wonder's Los Angeles radio station KJLH both as a part-time employee and a freelance contributor -- filed suit for unspecified damages last week, accusing the station of unfairly terminating him late last year.

Sharp-eyed readers of movie ads might recognize Brewington's name. He is often quoted giving rave reviews to movies, and has often been mentioned -- among others -- as an example of critics who trade good reviews for studio hospitality.

Brewington has always maintained that his reviews honestly reflect his opinion about a movie.

Brewington has also worked as a freelance contributor for UPI and formerly was on the staff at the American Urban Radio Network.

A lawyer for Wonder issued a statement dismissing Brewington's allegation: "KJLH does not believe that Mr. Brewington's claims have any merit and it will defend against his allegations."

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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