Many celebrities took part in benefits to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. On September 2, Louisiana-born Country star Tim McGraw and New Orleans natives Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. appeared on the NBC television network's telethon "A Concert for Hurricane Relief." On September 10, the MTV Network aired a live multi-city concert from New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Nashville. Artists signed on for the event include Rob Thomas, Green Day, Alicia Keys, John Mellencamp, Gretchen Wilson, Ludacris and the Dave Matthews Band. The benefit aired on MTV, VH1 and CMT (Country Music Television) and proceeds will go to the American Red Cross and other relief organizations. And, legendary comedian Jerry Lewis announced that his annual Labor Day Telethon (September 4 and 5) benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) would feature celebrity fundraising appeals for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. He also promised that MDA will donate $1 million of its funds to help victims in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
On September 8, the Fashion Rocks concert took place at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath and actress Poppy Montgomery co-hosted the event, which was held as part of the city's annual fashion week. Performers included Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys, Joss Stone, Tim McGraw, Destiny's Child, Shakira, Billy Idol, Duran Duran, Nelly and David Bowie. CBS-TV will broadcast the show on September 9.
On September 6, Virgin Records released the Rolling Stones' new CD A Bigger Bang. It's the legendary rock group's first release since 1997's Bridges to Babylon. The Rolling Stones are currently performing North American concerts in support of A Bigger Bang. Dates are scheduled to continue into early 2006.
E! Online reports that Britney Spears may be the next artist to sign a long-term engagement at a casino resort in Las Vegas. Jack Wishna, the consultant who is working on the deal, met with Britney, her manager and lawyers. The venue has not been announced, but Wishna says, "This particular property is looking for a big name that will take them to the next level in terms of entertainment, and Britney would certainly do that for them." Britney's deal would bring her to Las Vegas for a number of weeks in 2007-2008. The pop star and her husband, Kevin Federline, are expecting their first child this month.
On August 31, Country superstar Toby Keith announced the launch of his own Show Dog Records. He reportedly owed DreamWorks Records one more album before he could begin releasing his own records. However, in an interesting turn of events, Universal Music Group announced that same day that it would be closing its DreamWorks Nashville offices. The label's remaining artists, Darryl Worley, Jessica Andrews, Jimmy Wayne, Tracy Lawrence and newcomers Hot Apple Pie and Tori Baxley will move to other record companies owned by Universal Music Group. Toby says the goal of his new company is "to bring songwriters to life as recording artists." His longtime songwriting partner, Scotty Emerick, who previously recorded for DreamWorks, is among the first artists signed to Toby's new label.
Green Day swept the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, which were held on August 28 in Miami, Florida. The rock band went into the race with a leading eight nominations and took home statues in seven categories, all for the video to its hit single "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." They won the Video of the Year, Best Rock Video, Best Group Video, Viewers Choice Award and several technical categories. Other multiple winners included Missy Elliott, Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani and Gorillaz.
On September 7, the 10th annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards took place in Pasadena, California. R&B newcomer Ciara, this year's leading nominee, co-hosted the show with Toni Braxton and Brian McKnight. Other top contenders included Fantasia, Amerie and Destiny's Child.
The 4th annual Americana Music Association (AMA) Honors & Awards will be presented at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on September 9. Veteran singer-songwriter Steve Earle and newcomers Mary Gauthier and Tift Merritt lead the nominees with three mentions each. During the ceremony, singer Judy Collins will receive the Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award for promoting social and political causes. Previous recipients include Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Steve Earle. In addition, the late singer-songwriter John Hartford will be honored with the AMA's President's Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards will be given to Guy Clark and Marty Stuart.
TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION:
This week, John Mayer will begin a 26-date North American theater tour with his new trio, which also consists of bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Steve Jordan. Concerts start on September 6 in San Francisco and are scheduled to wrap up on October 12 in Philadelphia. During the outing, Mayer's trio will open three shows on the Rolling Stones' "Bigger Bang" tour.