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Rock News Two: The week in pop music

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   April 13, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

RAINFOREST FOUNDATION BENEFIT

Guitarist Jeff Beck, singer/songwriters Carole King and Rebekah Del Rio, country star Wynonna Judd, R&B icons Patti LaBelle and Smokey Robinson, and vocalist Lulu are among the performers who'll appear at Saturday's 11th annual Rainforest Foundation benefit concert at New York's Carnegie Hall.

Also on the bill -- benefit regulars Elton John, James Taylor and Sting, Billboard.com reports, as well as sitarist Ravi Shankar.

Ravi Shankar is expected to perform a piece he has written in memory of the late Beatle George Harrison, one of the two individuals to whom the night is dedicated. "We have titled the evening 'Give Me Love, Give Me Peace on Earth' from George Harrison's timeless lyrics," concert producer Trudie Styler said in a statement.

Styler and her husband, Sting, co-founded the Rainforest Foundation in 1989.

The event has been deemed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest environmental fundraising event in the world, according to organizers. It's the culmination of Rainforest Awareness Week in New York, when a number of awareness-building and fundraising events will be held throughout the city.

(Web site: savetherest.org)


WILLIE NELSON & FRIENDS

An all-star line-up will join Willie Nelson on stage Sunday at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium for the special concert event "Willie Nelson & Friends: Stars & Guitars." They'll perform some of Nelson's favorite songs in the two-hour show that'll be taped for airing May 27 on the USA Network.

Actor Vince Vaughn will host the event, which coincides with the release of Nelson's new album, "The Great Divide" (Lost Highway Records). Artists taking part include Ryan Adams, Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora, Sheryl Crow, The Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt, Norah Jones, Mark Knopfler Band, matchbox twenty, Dave Matthews, Brian McKnight, Aaron Neville, Ray Price, Hank Williams III and Lee Ann Womack.

(Web site: usanetwork.com)


LOLLAPALOOZA

Lollapalooza fans will have to wait another year. Although organizers were hoping for a summer 2002 return for the grandfather of the modern traveling music festival, tour founder Perry Farrell said it's too late to secure a solid lineup for this year.

"Having gotten a late start, we felt it would be smart to start building now for summer 2003," Farrell said in a statement quoted by Billboard.com. "It will afford us a chance to get the headliner we really want."

Farrell launched the first Lollapalooza tour in 1991 with his own band, Jane's Addiction, headlining a bill that also featured Nine Inch Nails, Ice-T/Body Count, Living Colour, the Butthole Surfers and the Rollins Band. Since then, the tour served as the model for a host of successful festival tours -- including Ozzfest, Lilith Fair, and the Vans Warped Tour, as well as the latest to join the scene, Moby's Area: One, which debuted last summer.

The last Lollapalooza took to the road in 1997, with Tool, Korn, Snoop Dogg, Tricky and Orbital.


URBAN AID 2

The Roots, Musiq, Alicia Keys, Fat Joe, Ashanti, Ja Rule, P. Diddy & Family, and Jay-Z took the stage at New York's Beacon Theatre Tuesday night for a good cause -- AIDS awareness and prevention. The occasion was LIFEbeat's UrbanAID 2 benefit concert.

Hosted by comedian/actor Mike Epps, the show also featured Murder Inc. affiliates Vita, Charli "Chuck" Baltimore, and Caddilac Tah, who joined Ja Rule on stage for his set, Billboard.com reports. The event was taped for future broadcast on BET.

In addition to the music, LIFEbeat honored longtime supporters Maria Davis and actress Rosie Perez with the Spirit and Pioneer Awards, respectively.

LIFEbeat is a national non-profit organization dedicated to reaching America's youth with the message of HIV/AIDS prevention.


VOTER REGISTRATION CONCERT

Michael Jackson, Tony Bennett, k.d. lang, Ruben Blades and BeBe Winans will headline a star-studded concert April 24 at the famed Apollo Theater in New York to kick off a nationwide voter registration drive by the Democratic National Committee.

"Having only 50 percent of eligible voters currently registered to vote is a trend that must change," said DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, "and today we are helping to change it."

Comedian Chris Tucker and actress Cicely Tyson will emcee the show, titled "A Night At The Apollo." Former President Clinton is also scheduled to appear.


FAN NATION FESTIVAL

The Goo Goo Dolls, Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Ryan Adams, John Mayer and Five for Fighting have signed on for the second annual Fan Nation festival, RollingStone.com reports. The event is scheduled for April 27 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, Calif.

Fan Nation is modeled on Nashville's Fan Fair, in which fans are given the opportunity to meet musicians during autograph sessions and performances in smaller venues. Last year's fest featured Counting Crows, the Wallflowers and Third Eye Blind.

(Web site: fannation.artistdirect.com)


BILLBOARD LATIN MUSIC AWARDS

Celine Dion and Marc Anthony are among the artists who'll perform at this year's Billboard Latin Music Awards.

The awards show, now in its 13th year, will be held May 9 in Miami Beach, Fla., MTV News reports. The ceremony will follow the Billboard Latin Music Conference, which takes place May 7-9, and air on the Telemundo network May 12.

Lupillo Rivera leads the pack with six nominations -- two each in the categories Regional Mexican Album of the Year/Male and the Regional Mexican Album of the Year/New Artist. Juan Gabriel received four nominations. His single "Abrazame Muy Fuerte" tops the list for receiving most airplay, and he's a finalist in the Songwriter of the Year category. Finalists with three nods each are Marco Antonio Solis, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Jaci Velasquez.


'SPIRIT'

When "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" screens at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18, the audience reportedly will get something out of the ordinary -- a live performance of the film's music by composer Hans Zimmer and rocker Bryan Adams, who wrote and performed several original songs for the animated feature.

"Spirit" combines traditional and 3-D animation in a story about a wild stallion in the Old West.

Adams and Zimmer have already accompanied clips of the movie with live performances of their soundtrack music at least twice -- at the movie industry's ShoWest convention in Las Vegas and at a DreamWorks party in Los Angeles last month.

"Spirit" opens in U.S. theaters on May 24.

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


VH1 DIVAS LAS VEGAS

Mary J. Blige, Cher and Celine Dion are going Las Vegas. They're the first performers confirmed for "VH1 Divas Las Vegas: A Benefit Concert for the VH1 Save the Music Foundation," Billboard.com reports.

The event will air live May 23 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, marking the fifth such "Divas" special to date. Additional performers and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.

Blige was on hand last year to honor Aretha Franklin for the fourth "Divas" special, which also featured Celia Cruz; Marc Anthony; the Backstreet Boys' Howie Dorough, A.J. McLean, and Kevin Richardson; Jill Scott; Nelly Furtado; and Kid Rock. Stevie Wonder joined the ensemble for a finale of Franklin's "Freeway of Love."

For Dion, next month's show will be a prelude to her three-year gig at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, which starts in March 2003.


ROLLING ROCK TOWN FAIR

Godsmack and OutKast headline the third annual Rolling Rock Town Fair, slated for July 27 at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds in Latrobe, Pa. Also on the bill, RollingStone.com reports, are Nickelback, P.O.D., Alien Ant Farm, Sevendust, Default and Injected.

Members of Sevendust -- in Pittsburgh for a show Tuesday night -- appeared at Tuesday afternoon's news conference announcing the line-up. "I think this is gonna be one of the best concerts we've done in a long time," said the band's frontman, Lajon Witherspoon.

Dubbed "Rolling Rock Town Fair 3.3," the concert has been organized as "a thank you to loyal Rolling Rock drinkers," according to David van Wees, brand director for the beer, now owned by Labatts USA. He noted the fair also is a thank-you to music fans, and to residents of the pastoral Westmoreland County locale, where Rolling Rock is manufactured.

Last year, 45,000 fans traveled from across the states, Europe and Canada to catch Stone Temple Pilots, Live, Deftones, Incubus and other acts. The fair's 2000 debut featured the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Moby.

(Web site: rollingrock.com)


JACKSON BROWNE

Jackson Brown is taking to the road. His solo, acoustic tour kicks off May 5 in Concord, N.H., RollingStone.com reports.

Tour dates:

5/5: Concord, N.H., Capitol Center

5/6: Bangor, ME, Hutchins Concert Hall

5/7: Portland, ME, Merrill Auditorium

5/9: Stamford, CT, Center for the Arts

5/10: Providence, R.I., Performing Arts Center

5/11: Burlington, VT, Memorial Auditorium

5/13: Springfield, MA, Symphony Hall

5/14: Pittsburgh, Benedum Center

5/15: Easton, PA, State Theater

5/17: Rochester, N.Y., Auditorium Theater

5/18: Baltimore, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

5/19: Norfolk, VA, Harrison Opera House

5/21: Greensboro, N.C., War Memorial Auditorium

5/23: Ft. Myers, FL, Mann Auditorium

5/24: Pompano Beach, FL, Pompano Beach Amphitheater

5/25: Clearwater, FL, Ruth Eckerd Hall

5/27: Birmingham, AL, Alabama Theater

5/28: Nashville, Tennessee Performing Arts Center

5/29: Memphis, TN, Orpheum

5/31: Louisville, KY, Whitney Hall

6/1: Elmer, N.J., Appel Farm Music Festival


EAGLES

The Eagles are taking to the road this summer, beginning May 31 in Reno, Nev., and ending July 20.

Billboard.com reports that while the dates and venues are still being nailed down, the trek will hit about 30 cities -- including St. Paul, Minn.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Ky., Milwaukee (Summerfest), Omaha, Neb.; Birmingham, Ala.; Portland, Ore.; Tupelo, Miss.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Biloxi, Miss.; and Oklahoma City.

The Eagles made a 20-city European tour last summer but have not toured the United States since the "Hell Freezes Over" reunion jaunt in the mid-1990s. They last played live in late February as part of the Recording Artists Coalition benefits in the Los Angeles area.

The band is currently working on its first studio album of all new material since 1979's "The Long Run."


THE CALLING

Fans of The Calling are gearing up for the band's upcoming North American tour. They're organizing Road Trip 2002, a freewheeling bus sojourn across America, which will follow the band from city to city.

In addition, the Calling Street Team -- as the fans are collectively known -- is organizing a trio of Fan Fest events for the summer, with gatherings to be held in Mason City, Iowa, New York and Los Angeles.

The group's fans are linked up via the Internet and other means. For the band's video of its new single "Adrienne," the word went out via fan Web sites that L.A.-based fans were being invited to serve as extras in the video. Once news of the shoot hit the Web, fans from as far away as Texas and New Jersey turned up at the Los Angeles shoot earlier this month.

The Calling's debut RCA Records album "Camino Palmero" has been certified gold and is rapidly heading towards platinum. The group's first hit single, "Wherever You Will Go," was first heard when the band performed the song in the film "Coyote Ugly," and was named the official theme song of the 2001 NHL Stanley Cup.


'SPIDERMAN' SOUNDTRACK

Aerosmith does its version of the "Theme From Spider-Man" on the soundtrack of the live-action motion picture, a Columbia Records spokesperson told MTV News. The album -- which includes tracks exclusive to the soundtrack as well as previously released songs -- is due in stores April 30.

Sum41's recently recorded studio version of "What We're All About" will be the soundtrack's first single. The second single will be "Hero" by Nickelback singer/guitarist Chad Kroeger, Saliva frontman Josey Scott, Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron and guitarist Tyler Connolly of Theory of a Dead Man.

Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello has remixed Macy Gray's "My Nutmeg Phantasy," which originally appeared on last year's "The Id." Gray has a cameo role in "Spider-Man," which stars Kirsten Dunst and Toby Maguire. Former Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman wrote the movie's main title theme as well as the track "Farewell."

Other artists featured on the soundtrack include Alien Ant Farm, Default and the Strokes.

"Spider-Man" opens nationwide May 3.


MORE ALBUM NEWS

-- The Goo Goo Doll's seventh album, "Gutterflower," hit stores Tuesday and to mark the occasion, the band was at FYE in New York's Rockefeller Center to perform and sign autographs. The rockers put on a show for fans and then signed copies of their new CD. The first single from the album is "Here Is Gone."

-- A veteran rocker and a relative newcomer help David Bowie on his next album, "Heathen." Allstar News reports Pete Townshend of The Who contributes guitar to the CD's lead track, "Slow Burn." The Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl also plays guitar on the album, although the song he's on has not been announced. "Heathen" is due out June 11.

-- Former Verve lead singer Richard Ashcroft is aiming for September for the release of his new, as-yet-untitled album. He told JAM! Music that he and producer Chris Potter are currently completing work on the follow-up to his solo debut, "Alone With Everybody." Ashcroft said he's hopeful DJ Shadow will be able to make time in his busy schedule to dress some tracks with turntable work. The two previously collaborated on the U.N.K.L.E. album "Psyence Fiction."

-- Texas guitarist Andy Timmons' "That Was Then, This Is Now (the best of X-tacy)" will be released May 7 (on the Favored Nations label). It's his first internationally distributed release and features 11 newly remastered instrumental tracks from his first two self-released solo albums, "Ear X-tacy" and "Ear X-tacy 2," as well as five new songs recorded especially for this compilation. The lone vocal track and first single on this instrumental album, "Slips Away," is a tribute to the late former Beatle George Harrison.


R. KELLY

R. Kelly has recorded a salute to America's armed forces.

His spokesperson tells MTV News the song -- titled "Soldier's Heart" -- was written and produced by the R&B singer and pays particular tribute to the soldiers who are fighting the war against terrorism. It hits stores April 23.

Proceeds from sales of the single will be donated to Army Emergency Relief (AER), an organization that provides financial assistance to active and retired soldiers and their families and to hospitalized veterans in Kelly's native Chicago.

The tune is Kelly's first solo work to be released since the Chicago Sun-Times reported in February that it had received a videotape of Kelly allegedly having sex with an underage girl. "The Best of Both Worlds, " the album Kelly recorded with Jay-Z, has seen poor sales since its release last month.

Kelly performed at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics just after the tape surfaced, though he backed out of Tuesday's Urban Aid 2 benefit.


NOTORIOUS B.I.G.

The widow and the mother of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks, two former L.A.P.D. chiefs, and the city of Los Angeles, among others.

Allstar News reports the lawsuit -- filed by singer Faith Evans, the rapper's widow, and his mother, Voletta Wallace in federal court -- claims the police didn't do enough to prevent the murder of B.I.G. -- real name Christopher Wallace -- who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in 1997.

According to court documents, Evans and Wallace claim Parks stopped the investigation into the rapper's murder once it became apparent that one of his officers was involved. That officer, David Mack, who is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence for armed robbery, reportedly was the lead suspect in the case, which remains unsolved.

It's been speculated that Wallace was killed in retaliation for the 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur, which also remains unsolved.

No comment from the L.A.P.D.


EMINEM

Eminem has agreed to pay $100,000 to a Michigan man he allegedly pulled a gun on after the man kissed the rapper's wife.

E! Online quotes the Macomb Daily newspaper saying a panel of arbitration lawyers recommended the amount after hearing from both sides last month. Neither the controversial rapper nor the kisser admitted to any wrongdoing.

Only days after the June 2000 incident outside a suburban Detroit bar, John Guerra, 28, filed an emotional distress lawsuit against Eminem -- whose real name is Marshall Mathers III -- claiming he'd feared for his life when the rapper stuck the unloaded handgun in his face. Guerra said he had just hugged Kimberly Mathers, and she had kissed him, when the rapper went ballistic.

The Mathers later divorced.

Eminem eventually pleaded guilty to criminal charges of carrying a concealed weapon stemming from the incident and is serving two years' probation. He also on probation in another case that took place the same weekend and involved the same pistol, in which he allegedly pulled the weapon on associates of the rival Detroit rap group Insane Clown Posse.

Eminem still faces lawsuits from a former school bully the rapper allegedly mocked in one of his tracks and a French jazz composer who claims Eminem illegally sampled a song.


BILLY PRESTON

Songwriter/singer Billy Preston has been scheduled to receive a kidney transplant.

Preston -- often called "The Fifth Beatle" because of his contributions to the work of the Fab Four -- had been touring with Eric Clapton when he began having severe pains in one leg. Ironically, the leg pain was caused by another problem but the trip to the doctor prompted tests that showed that the 55-year-old Preston was in renal failure.

Assist News Service says that Preston claims that someone must have been looking out for him and reports that his faith remains strong. The prognosis is good and the surgery will likely take place in the next few weeks.

(Thanks to UPI's Dennis Daily)


OZZY OSBOURNE

Ozzy Osbourne was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Friday. The rocker-turned-TV-star's slab of cement resides in front of the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, according to RollingStone.com.


MADONNA

The artist who created new nude paintings of Madonna fears her filmmaker husband, Guy Ritchie, will want to punch him when he sees the work.

NME.com reports Peter Howson -- one of the Material Girl's favorite artists -- unveiled 10 new paintings of the singer and actress at a small gallery in Ayr, Scotland, Wednesday. He said he was disappointed that he hadn't heard from Madonna about the paintings, which he did from memory, even though he sent her copies several weeks ago.

Howson said the portraits are meant to show Madonna as a powerful and charismatic person, as well as touch on her religious upbringing.

The exhibit formally opens Saturday and runs through June 4.


'N SYNC'S LANCE BASS

'N Sync's Lance Bass is continuing preparations to travel 'n space.

The singer told MTV News Monday that he's trying to maximize his downtime during 'N Sync's current tour to fit in additional medical tests in the United States before heading to Russia yet again to see if he can qualify for a fall flight aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. Bass had previously undergone a rigorous battery of examinations in March to qualify for a seat on the Russian mission to the International Space Station that's set to launch Oct. 22 and return to Earth Nov. 1

Destiny Productions President David Krieff -- who accompanied Bass to Moscow to film the experience for a possible television special -- said Bass's tests in the United States are being conducted "with guidance from Russia. ... The thinking is that he'll go right into training in Moscow. We're getting ready to rock here."

Though Bass's visa to Russia has already been arranged, he'll still need the approval of the Russian space agency before he can get on the short list to be the one civilian among a team of two other cosmonauts aboard the flight. If Bass makes the cut, he will be the third civilian in space. South African Mark Shuttleworth -- who is currently training at Star City near Moscow -- will be the second civilian to go into space, with his visit to the ISS booked for April 20.


SARAH MCLAUGHLAN

It's a girl for singer/songwriter Sarah McLaughlan and her drummer husband, Ashwin Sood.

McLaughlan's publicist said the couple's first child was born last Saturday in Vancouver. She's been named India Ann Sushil Sood.

McLaughlan, 34, has been largely out of commission since closing down her feminist Lilith Fair music fest three years ago. Her last studio album was 1997's "Surfacing," although her publicist said a new album from McLaughlan is in the works for this year.

Topics: A.J. McLean, Aaron Neville, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, BeBe Winans, Billy Preston, Brian McKnight, Bryan Adams, Carole King, Celine Dion, Chad Kroeger, Cicely Tyson, Columbia Records, Dave Grohl, Dave Matthews, David Bowie, David Mack, Elton John, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Guy Ritchie, Hank Williams, Hans Zimmer, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Jeff Beck, Jill Scott, John James, John Mayer, Jon Bon Jovi, k.d. lang, Kid Rock, Kirsten Dunst, Lance Bass, Madonna, Marc Anthony, Mark Knopfler, Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson, Nelly Furtado, Norah Jones, Notorious B.I.G, Ozzy Osbourne, P. Diddy, Patti Labelle, Pete Townshend, R. Kelly, Ray Price, Richie Sambora, Rosie Perez, Ruben Blades, Sheryl Crow, Smokey Robinson, Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, Terry McAuliffe, Tony Bennett, Tupac Shakur, Vince Gill, Vince Vaughn, Willie Nelson
© 2002 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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