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Faith Hill Releases New Album; Huey Lewis & the News on 25th Anniversary Tour


On August 2, Warner Brothers Records will release Country star Faith Hill's long-awaited album Fireflies. Her last studio collection, Cry, came out in 2002. Faith's new project features her current Top 5 single "Mississippi Girl," an autobiographical song co-written by former Lonestar member John Rich, who's half of the popular Country duo Big & Rich. Hill is promoting Fireflies with high-profile radio and television appearances. She recently taped a one-hour radio special at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum that was broadcast on Country stations throughout the U.S. on July 28 and 29. And, on August 15 and 16, Faith will tape her two concerts at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. The shows will be part of her third primetime television special, which will air on November 23 on NBC. Fireflies includes a duet with her husband, Country superstar Tim McGraw, called "Like We Never Loved at All."

Huey Lewis & The News are currently performing their 25th anniversary tour in support of the group's live CD and DVD Live at 25. When the tour is over in late October, Huey Lewis plans to make his Broadway debut in the revival of Chicago. He'll play the role of attorney Billy Flynn, beginning November 1.

The "NOW That's What I Call Music" series' 19th compilation debuts at the top of this week's Billboard 200 chart. That marks the seventh in the "NOW" series to enter at Number One. First week sales of NOW 19 reached 436,000 copies. That's 97,000 copies more than first week sales of NOW 18 and 19,000 more than NOW 17.

The Rolling Stones have decided to name their next album A Bigger Bang. The Stones released a statement saying, "While in the studio recording the album last year, the band came up with the title A Bigger Bang, reflecting their fascination with the scientific theory about the origin of the universe." The group's last new studio album, Bridges to Babylon, was released in 1997. A concert tour in support of A Bigger Bang will begin on August 21. The album is set for release on September 6.

Country singer Mindy McCready's personal problems seem to be escalating. Last year, she pleaded guilty to drug fraud after illegally obtaining the painkiller OxyContin. This past May, she was charged with driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license. Mindy made the news again in May after her boyfriend, William McKnight, attacked her. He faces attempted murder charges. Now we've learned that last week Mindy was charged with identity theft and several other counts in Arizona. She was visiting her mother in Florida when she found out about the charges. Later in the week, she was found unconscious in a Florida hotel lobby. Mindy spent four days in the intensive care unit of a Tampa area hospital. She was in Florida with McKnight, who told authorities that he is Mindy's fiancé. He gave them a four-page note written by McCready. According to investigators, it contained her final goodbyes to family and friends.

NEW ALBUM RELEASES:

New albums scheduled for release on August 2 include: C.O.D. by Ray Cash on Columbia Records; Be by Common on Geffen Records; Seven Day Cycle by Ebony Eyez on Capitol Records; Roc-A-Fella Presents by Teairra Mari on Def Jam Records; Sondheim, Etc., Etc. - Live at Carnegie Hall by Bernadette Peters on Angel Records; twentythree by Tristan Prettyman on Virgin Records; Hooked On A Feeling - The Best of by B.J. Thomas on Goldenlane Records; and Barely Famous Hits by the Warren Brothers on BNA Records.

MUSICAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS/BENEFITS:

A two-hour primetime special presenting highlights of this year's CMA Music Festival will air on ABC on August 2. The festival, which brings artists and fans together each summer, took place in Nashville June 9-12. In addition to many concert performances by today's biggest Country stars, the ABC special will feature segments that give viewers a tour of the four-day event, including artist autograph sessions and interviews with fans from around the world. This year's CMA Music Festival drew more than 145,000 Country fans to Nashville.

AWARDS PRESENTATIONS/WINNERS:

The Billboard-AURN (American Urban Radio Networks) R&B/Hip-Hop Awards will be presented on August 5 in Atlanta, Georgia. The event will honor the most popular artists, songs and albums in hip-hop and rhythm-and-blues. During the ceremony, R&B singer Chaka Khan and rap group A Tribe Called Quest will receive the organization's Founders Awards for their musical achievements.

Green Day leads the nominees for the 2005 MTV Music Video Awards. Six of the eight are for the clip to "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and two recognize the group's "American Idiot" video. Gwen Stefani and Missy Elliott follow close behind with six nods each. Other contenders include U2 with five mentions and My Chemical Romance with four nominations. The MTV Video Awards will air live from Miami, Florida on August 28.

TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION:

On August 6, Country duo Brooks & Dunn will kick off their "Deuces Wild" tour in Dallas, Texas. The outing will support their upcoming album Hillbilly Deluxe, due out on August 30. Brooks & Dunn will take the Warren Brothers and Big & Rich along with them on the tour. They'll stop in 35 cities before wrapping up dates on October 30 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

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