THE CONCERT FOR NEW YORK CITY
VH1, Cablevision, Miramax Films and AOL officials say as of Thursday, the amount of money raised by "The Concert For New York City" has passed the $30 million mark. This includes tickets sales, domestic and international television rights, and concert merchandise as well as donations made through both a toll-free number and the Internet.
To help raise even more money, Columbia Records will release "The Concert For New York City" album on Nov. 27, benefiting the Robin Hood Relief Fund.
In addition, eBay is auctioning off select items from "The Concert For New York City."
The Oct. 20 concert at Madison Square Garden featured an all-star musical lineup of Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, David Bowie, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, The Who, James Taylor, Destiny's Child, Kid Rock, Backstreet Boys, John Mellencamp, Macy Gray, Goo Goo Dolls, Marc Anthony, Bon Jovi, Melissa Etheridge, Jay-Z, and Five For Fighting, plus Janet Jackson (who appeared live via satellite), and Paul Shaffer as musical director.
SONGS OF HOPE
Proceeds from the Song of Hope Online Auction (auctions.yahoo.com/booth/cityofhopecharity) will benefit City of Hope, the Southern California medical institution committed to battling cancer and a host of other life-threatening diseases.
Other artists, songwriters and composers featured in the auction include Barbra Streisand, Jewel, George Strait, Faith Hill, Maria Carey, Jimmy Buffet, Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Barry Manilow, Brian McKnight, The Carpenters, Ani DiFranco, Destiny's Child and the Backstreet Boys.
WORLD TRAID911 BENEFIT
Peter Criss of KISS, Cyndi Lauper and Seal are among the entertainers scheduled to take part in the First Annual World TrAID911 Benefit, being held next Monday at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom.
The event -- which will be hosted by Chevy Chase -- will raise money for educational assistance to the children and spouses of those killed or permanently disabled as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Other artists who'll perform include PM Dawn, Joan Osborne, and Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra.
KISS's ACE FREHLEY
KISS lead guitarist Ace Frehley has joined the line-up for New York Steel, a benefit show being held Nov. 28 at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom. All proceeds from the event will go to families of the New York Police and Fire Department who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center twin towers.
"New York gave me life and celebrity status," said Frehley, "and my performing at the concert would give me a chance to give a little back to the city I've always loved, particularly to the families of our fallen firefighters and police officers. Long live New York and rock 'n' roll."
The event will also feature a recently reunited Twister Sister, former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach, Anthrax and Overkill.
The Ace Frehley Band -- which includes guitarist Richie Scarlet, bassist Karl Cochran and Steve "Budgie" Warner on drums -- will perform a short set of Ace's best classic rock songs.
"It's been awhile since I performed as a solo artist with my band. We're just gonna get up on stage for 30 plus minutes and kick ass," promised Frehley.
R.E.M.'s PETER BUCK
The guitarist for the rock band R.E.M. has been ordered to stand trial Nov. 12 in London on air rage charges.
That's according to The Guardian newspaper. Peter Buck is charged with being drunk on an airplane and with criminal damage, using threatening words and assaulting two British Airways employees during a nonstop flight between Seattle and London last April. The musician was on his way to the British capital to take part in a concert on South African Freedom Day.
One of the most non-threatening groups in pop history, Hanson, is causing legal trouble for online music service MP3.com.
Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson have filed suit, alleging the Web site allowed illegal access to their songs. They are seeking an injunction against the San Diego-based company and seeking damages of $150,000 per infringed song.
Singer-songwriter Tom Waits and Oscar-winning pop composer Randy Newman both sued MP3.com in May, and more than 50 songwriters and music publishers demanded royalties and an injunction against the site in August.
Hanson came to fame in 1997 with the upbeat song "MMMBop" when they were 16, 14 and 11 years old, respectively.
(Thanks to UPI's Joe Warminsky in Washington)
MARY J. BLIGE
Mary J. Blige is atop the music world with her hit single "Family Affair," which has soared to No.1 on both Billboard's Hot 100 and the National R&B charts this week. This marks the first chart-topping single of Mary's career.
The song -- produced by Dr. Dre --- is from the Grammy-winning singer's latest platinum-certified album "No More Drama," which debuted at No.2 earlier this fall.
Blige performed "Family Affair" at the Radio Music Awards in Las Vegas last Friday and also appeared the same night on Lifetime Channel's "Women Rock," performing her next single "No More Drama." She will launch a national tour next year.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN
Less than two months after its release, "Toxicity" -- the sophomore CD from System of a Down -- has been certified "platinum" by the R.I.A.A. The album debuted at No.1 on the
Billboard Top-200 Album chart and is currently in 14th place.
System of a Down wraps up the "Pledge of Allegiance" tour Friday in State College, Pa. The band will then headline a handful of shows in the South before heading home to Los Angeles and some radio shows in December. A major headlining U.S. tour is slated to begin at the end of January.
(Web site: systemofadown.com)
The Cranberries are offering an exclusive bonus track to their fans via the Internet. The Irish group has made available, for streaming, a song called "Many Days," which was recorded in Dublin earlier in the year.
The release of the bonus track coincided with last Tuesday's North American release of "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" (on MCA Records), the Cranberries' fifth album.
To listen to "Many Days," purchasers of the new album (anywhere in the world) simply need to log on to the band's official web-site (cranberries.ie). From there, the user is asked, "Have you got the new album yet? If so, you are entitled to a free bonus track! Click here."
The Cranberries are currently in Europe conducting media interviews for the album. The band expects to tour beginning in February in the Southern Hemisphere.
NEW ALBUM NEWS
-- Sheryl Crow, Billy Joel, B.B. King, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Wonder are among the artists making guest appearances on Tony Bennett's latest album. "Playin' with My Friends: Bennett Sings The Blues" hits stores next Tuesday. Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Diana Krall and Kay Starr are also among the singers who perform duets of classic blues songs with Bennett.
-- Two never-before-released versions of the single "Son of a Gun" are included on Janet Jackson's "All For You -- Special Limited Edition" boxed set. Scheduled to reach stores Nov. 20, the boxed set will include the CD and a DVD, along with a 24-page booklet with new photos of Jackson from her "All For You World Tour 2001." The DVD -- titled "Janet: The Virgin Years Video Collection" -- will include 15 of Jackson's music videos as well as behind-the-scenes footage, a sneak peak from private tour rehearsals and audition footage.
-- Lit, Eve 6, Planet Asia, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World and Sum 41 are among the artists featured on the soundtrack of the upcoming snowboard-themed comedy film "Out Cold." The album's first single, "Lipstick & Bruises" by Lit, is already getting airplay. The CD is due out Nov. 20 --- one day before the movie opens nationwide.
-- Elvis Presley, Quincy Jones and Perry Como are among the artists featured on the soundtrack album for the upcoming motion picture "Ocean's Eleven." The soundtrack includes such defining 1960s hits as "Theme For Young Lovers" and "Dream Dream Dream" from Percy Faith and His Orchestra; the Perry Como smash "Papa Loves Mambo"; "Caravan" by the Arthur Lyman Group; "Blues In the Night" from Quincy Jones; and Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation," originally heard in his film "Live A Little, Love A Little." Other tracks include "The Projects" by Handsome Boy Modeling School, a 1999 hip-hop collaboration between De la Soul's Trujoy and Del of Del Tha Funky Homosapien. "Ocean's Eleven" stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle in roles originally made famous in the 1960 film featuring Rat Pack luminaries Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Angie Dickinson.
-- Lucy Pearl member Joi has a new album coming out early next year. "Star Kitty's Revenge" marks her debut on the CrazyWorld/Universal Records label. The 19-track CD features collaborations with Raphael Saadiq (Whitney Houston, Tony Toni Tone, Angie Stone), Andre Betts (Madonna, Living Colour) and Sleepy Brown (Outkast, Organized Noise). The first single, "Missing You," was produced by Joi's long-time producer Dallas Austin and will be released to radio Nov. 27.
-- Tom Waits has two entirely separate albums due out on April 9, 2002 (on Anti/Epitaph Records). The first CD, titled "Alice," is described as containing "dark tunes from an adult fairytale." The songs on the second CD, titled "Red Drum," were inspired by the dark tale of Woyzeck -- a poor soldier driven mad by medical experiments and an unfaithful wife. Each album was recorded chiefly using acoustic instruments.
Snoop Dogg has inked a recording deal with MCA Records. The signing also brings Doggy Style Records into the MCA Records fold for marketing and distribution. Doggy Style's current roster includes such artists such as Kokane, La Toiya Williams, Soopafly and E-White.
In addition to releasing albums, the deal includes the production of companion films starring each of Doggy Style's artists that will go direct to home video outlets through Snoopadelic Films.
Snoop Dogg predicts: "Doggy Style will change the face of urban music -- we're ready to unleash the best artists I know with MCA. Doggy Style music will blow your mind."
(Web site: mcarecords.com)
Filming is underway in Detroit on Universal Pictures' "The Untitled Detroit Project," a drama directed by Curtis Hanson ("Wonder Boys," "L.A. Confidential") that marks the motion picture acting debut of rapper Eminem.
Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez reportedly is replacing Halle Berry in the cast of Ben Affleck's upcoming project "Gigli" -- described as the story of a mobster who kidnaps a district attorney's mentally challenged brother, and the woman sent by the mob to make sure he does the job right.
Filming is scheduled to begin next month, with Martin Brest ("Meet Joe Black," "Scent of a Woman," "Beverly Hills Cop") directing from his own screenplay.
Berry had been expected to co-star with Affleck, but she had a scheduling conflict with "X-Men 2," the sequel to last year's box-office hit.
(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)
Just days after a two-week stint in a Nashville hospital with a case of bronchitis, the news provider country.com reports Johnny Cash has been re-admitted.
The 69-year-old "Man in Black" has a physical condition that makes him super-susceptible to all kinds of infections. He is said to have bronchitis again.
During Cash's last hospitalization, doctors noted that they preferred to have him under observation rather than fighting his infection at home. It's not thought he'll be kept in the hospital as long as last time.
For the past two months, Euro singing star Samantha Mumba has been working flat out to prepare a new album and promote her single "Lately." Now, the London Sun reports Mumba has been ordered to bed to take it easy for at least 10 days, after collapsing from exhaustion. The 18-year-old artist has returned to her parents' home in Dublin.
Mumba's manager says she began to have dizzy spells while working in the recording studio. They got worse. Finally she fainted.
Mumba, a striking beauty for her age, has parlayed the looks of a supermodel and her unique singing style into a real hit in Europe in the past year or so.
(The above two items thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)