Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Dec. 7, 2001 at 4:45 AM   |   0 comments

AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS

Producers have announced an all-star line up of presenters for the 29th annual American Music Awards -- including Cedric The Entertainer, Melissa Etheridge, Nelly Furtado, Ginuwine, Ja Rule, Alicia Keys, Master P. with his son Lil' Romeo, "Malcolm In The Middle's" Frankie Muniz, Nelly, LeAnn Rimes, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, SHeDAISY, Tyrese and Luther Vandross.

The list of presenters also includes India.Arie, Blu Cantrell, actor Chris Klein, Lifehouse, Ludacris, Method Man, Jamie O'Neal, O-Town, Redman, supermodel Niki Taylor and Trick Pony.

Producers previously announced that Brooks & Dunn, Cher, Toby Keith, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Shaggy and Yolanda Adams would perform at the awards ceremonies in Los Angeles on Jan. 9. The show will air on ABC.


DESTINY'S CHILD

Destiny's Child is taking a break, but the individual members of the Grammy-winning trio are staying busy. Beyoncé Knowles told E! Entertainment that she and her mates -- Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams -- still plan to tour Europe, but the tour has been put off until 2002 because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. She said Destiny's Child will "still be together in five years' time."

Knowles is working on a solo album, and is scheduled to play Foxy Cleopatra in "Austin Powers in Goldmember" -- the third in the series of Mike Myers' movies about the groovy, time-traveling international super spy. Williams is at work on a gospel album, while Rowland is said to be thinking about doing an alternative R&B project.


ELTON JOHN

Elton John recently told a concert audience that he's retiring. But he has taken it back. The entertainer told the syndicated radio show "Live from the Lounge" he didn't really mean it when he said his new album, "Songs from the West Coast," would be his last. He said he was "just having a bad day" when he announced his retirement during a rant about how awful the music business has become.

"I love playing so much," said the 54-year-old John. "I'll probably make another record." However, he said he might cut back on the touring in order to spend more time with his partner, David Furnish.

(The above three items thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


MARIAH CAREY

Mariah Carey will appear on "The Late Show with David Letterman" next Tuesday. It's her first visit to the CBS show in three years.

This week, Carey -- who has been on a European tour to promote her first film, "Glitter," and its accompanying soundtrack -- performed for U.S. troops in Kosovo in a USO-sponsored trip to the Balkans. On Tuesday, her latest album, "Mariah Carey's Greatest Hits," was released.

The singer will headline the CBS special "A Home for the Holidays with Mariah Carey" on Dec. 21 (8-9 p.m. ET/PT). She'll be joined by Destiny's Child, teen soprano Charlotte Church, Latin pop star Enrique Iglesias and singer Mandy Moore.


WU-TANG CLAN

The Wu-Tang Clan's latest album, "Wu-Tang Iron Flag," hits stores Dec. 18 (on Loud Records). It comes a little more than a year after the group's last platinum-plus CD, "The W."

"We are always in the studio working on either solo projects or together and because it usually takes a few years in between for us to release an album we thought we'd try something different from our norm and hit the hood with something new quicker than before," said RZA. "Everybody's rhymes were on point and it only took us about 30 days to make 'Iron Flag.' I believe it's some of our best work yet."

The album's first single, "The Rules," includes a direct message from Ghostface Killah for the terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks: "Who the f**k knocked our buildings down, Who the man behind the World Trade massacre, Step up now, Where the four planes at ... Fly that sh*t over my hood and get blown to bits."


GODSMACK

Godsmack will lead the way on next year's soundtrack to Universal Pictures' "The Scorpion King," the third installment of The Mummy movie series. The band will record a new track and lead single for the album, as well as head up the recruitment of additional artists for the soundtrack, which is due in stores April 2 (on Universal Records).

On Tuesday, Godsmack was named Rock Artist of the Year at the 2001 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.


RAY MANZAREK

What if Jim Morrison was not buried in a Paris graveyard? What if he was still alive? Where would he be hiding? And what would he be up to?

Who better than Doors founder and keyboardist Ray Manzarek to suggest an answer?

In his first novel, "The Poet In Exile," Manzarel tells the story of a paradigmatic, tortured rock artist forced to disappear to save his life and reconcile himself with his immense talent. The tale bears more than a passing resemblance to the real life and times of the singer who may be the greatest frontman in the history of rock 'n' roll.

"The Poet In Exile" will be published next month.

© 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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