Nine-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys debuts at Number One on Billboard's Top 200 chart the week ending October 29 with her new CD Unplugged. The performance was recorded at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and features acoustic versions of hits like "Fallin'," "You Don't Know My Name" and "If I Ain't Got You." The collection also includes some new songs and guest appearances by Maroon 5's Adam Levine, Common, Mos Def and Damien Marley. Alicia's two studio albums, 2001's Songs In A Minor and 2003's The Diary of Alicia Keys also made their chart debuts at Number One.
On October 25, Columbia Records will release Destiny's Child's greatest hits set, #1's. In addition to such hits as "Say My Name," "Lose My Breath," "Bootylicious" and "Bills, Bills, Bills," the anthology offers two new songs by the trio, "Stand Up For Love" and "Feel the Same Way I Do." Also included is a collaboration by the trio's Beyonce Knowles with Slim Thug, "Check On It," which will appear on the soundtrack to the upcoming film remake of Pink Panther.
Jive Records will release 'N Sync's Greatest Hits album on October 25. The collection packages 13 of the vocal group's hits, including "Bye Bye Bye," "This I Promise You" and "Tearin' Up My Heart." 'N Sync's last album, Celebrity, was released in 2001. The members are currently pursuing solo projects, but when asked earlier this year if the group would ever return to the recording studio, 'N Sync's Lance Bass said, "We will never be done - it's just one of those breaks where we have to go do other things, especially Justin. It might be five years from now, it might be a year from now, but we will definitely do some more music."
On October 27, Country superstar Toby Keith will be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. The induction will take place during a concert and ceremony in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Born in Clinton, Oklahoma, Toby has sold nearly 14 million albums in the U.S. since making his debut in 1993. His many hits include "Should've Been A Cowboy," "A Little Less Talk and A Lot More Action," "Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue," "I Love This Bar" and "Honkytonk University."
In May of this year, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce of the legendary rock group Cream reunited to perform at London's Royal Albert Hall. The shows were such a success that they decided to bring the Cream reunion show to the U.S. The concerts will take place October 24, 25 and 26 at New York's Madison Square Garden and are the only U.S. dates on the band's itinerary.
Neil Young's 19th annual Bridge School Benefit concerts will take place October 29 and 30 in San Francisco, California. Joining him this year are Dave Matthews, Good Charlotte, Los Lobos, Norah Jones, David Crosby, Stephen Still and Graham Nash. Young and his wife Pegi opened the Bridge School in 1987. The school offers programs tailored to meet the needs of children with severe physical disabilities.
The 16th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA's) will take place October 27 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. This year's top contenders include Alison Krauss & Union Station, Blue Highway, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Rhonda Vincent & the Rage. Krauss, who will co-host the event with Ricky Skaggs, leads the list with 14 nominations. Vincent and her band earned eight, Blue Highway and Doyle Lawson's group received seven and the Del McCoury Band follows with six. VOA's Joan Kornblith is one of three finalists in the IBMA's Broadcaster of the Year category. The winner of that award will be announced at a luncheon on October 27. Good luck Joan! (Entire list of IBMA nominees available at www.ibma.org)