The July 2 "Live 8" concerts, organized by Bob Geldof to bring awareness to global poverty, were aired to an audience of two billion people. Cable music channel MTV reports that its coverage reached 1.4 million viewers and sister network VHI drew 762,000 viewers. AOLmusic.com reports that five million Internet visitors logged onto the site to view free video of the concerts. "This is the biggest online event in history. This sets the bar for the future in terms of scope and reach - and for a cause like 'make poverty history' - what could be better than that?" Bill Wilson, the Senior Vice President of AOL Programming said, Pirated versions of "Live 8" performances began appearing on eBay, but were quickly removed. EMI Records will release a DVD of the events in November.
Grammy-winning rapper Lil' Kim, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, received a one-year prison sentence for conspiracy and perjury. She was accused of lying to a grand jury to protect her manager Damion Butler and bodyguard Suif Jackson, who were at the scene of a 2001 shooting in New York City. One person was injured outside a radio station where Lil' Kim and her entourage reportedly crossed paths with a rival hip-hop act. Jackson and Butler pleaded guilty to weapons charges and testified against Lil' Kim. In addition to her prison sentence, the 29-year-old was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine.
Elton John received the city's Brotherly Love Award prior to his July 4 charity performance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,. The honor recognized Elton's efforts to combat HIV and AIDS. To date, his Elton John Foundation has donated $45 million to HIV/AIDS projects in 55 countries worldwide.
On July 19, Epic Records will issue the double CD, The Essential Michael Jackson
. The 37-song collection spans his career from 1969 to 2001. There won't be any new or previously unreleased tracks on the album.
Carly Simon's first studio album in five years will be
released on July 19. Moonlight Serenade contains Carly's versions of 11 pop standards, including "I've Got You Under My Skin," "In the Still of the Night" and "Moonglow." The flip side of the CD will be a DVD of behind-the-scenes studio footage and interviews with Carly and her producer Richard Perry.
Singer Pink has proposed to her boyfriend, motocross racer Carey Hart. Reports say she wrote "Will you marry me?" on the pit board at his July 2 race in Mammoth Lakes, California. As he drove by a second time, she added "I'm serious," at which time he pulled over and lifted Pink into his arms. Pink met Carey at the 2001 X Games in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 13th annual Country Thunder USA festival will take place July 22-24 in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. This year's lineup includes Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, LeAnn Rimes, Charlie Daniels, Big & Rich, Phil Vassar, Montgomery Gentry, and many others. In addition to more than 60 hours of music, the five-day event will offer outdoor camping and souvenir, clothing and food vendors.
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Daryl Hall and John Oates' web site reports that the duo has cancelled concerts for the remainder of July due to illness. Hall has been diagnosed with Lyme Disease, which is caused by the bite of infected deer ticks. Daryl complained of having flu-like symptoms during the past few weeks and had not been able to perform some of the concerts on their itinerary. He's now on antibiotics and resting at home and is expected to make a full recovery. Hall & Oates plan to resume their tour in August. Their manager is currently trying to re-schedule the postponed dates. Daryl issued a statement saying, "We are so sorry to disappoint our fans, but we promise to make it up to them. This illness made it impossible for me to give my best effort to our audience, but now that it's been identified, I'm looking forward to a complete, quick recovery and to get back out there with John as soon as possible."
July 23, Crosby, Stills and Nash will kick off a 34-date U.S. tour in Florence, Massachusetts. Last year, David Crosby and Graham Nash recorded the new studio album Crosby and Nash, which marked their first album of original songs in nearly 30 years. Shows are scheduled to wrap up on September 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada.