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Madonna Releases New Album; Jackson to Remain in Bahrain


The winners of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music's 2006 Polar Music Prize have been announced. They are legendary rock group Led Zeppelin and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will present the monetary awards, worth more than $123,000 U.S., on May 22, 2006 at the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra's concert hall. Previous Polar Music Prize winners include Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Dizzy Gillespie, Elton John, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, among others.

Michael Jackson's father recently spoke to an Associated Press reporter about his son's plan to continue living overseas. "He'll come back to visit, but not to stay, not to live. They didn't treat him right here," Joe Jackson said. Michael and his three children have been living in Bahrain since his child molestation trial ended in June. Joe also said he expects Michael to continue his music career. The self-proclaimed "King of Pop" is currently working on a Hurricane Katrina benefit single, which reportedly includes a number of today's pop and hip-hop stars.

The 20th release in the series of NOW! That's What I Call Music series debuts at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart the week ending November 19. Music fans bought 378,000 copies of the compilation, which features hits by the Backstreet Boys, Weezer, Kelly Clarkson, the Black Eyed Peas, Natasha Bedingfield, and many others. Santana's new CD, All That I Am, enters the Top 200 chart at Number 2. Rounding out the Top 5 positions are Nickelback's All the Right Reasons, the Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business and #1's by Destiny's Child.

On November 15, J Records will release Rod Stewart's American Songbook box set. The 4-CD set includes all of the British singer's American Songbook collections, "It Had To Be You," "As Time Goes By," "Stardust" and "Thanks For The Memory."

Walk The Line, the Johnny and June Carter Cash film biography, will open in U.S. theaters on November 18. Starring in the film are Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny and Reese Witherspoon as his wife June. June Carter Cash died at age 73 in May of 2003. Johnny died four months later - September 12, 2003 - at age 71. Two days before the film opens, CBS-TV will broadcast a two-hour tribute to Cash. "I Walk the Line: A Night for Johnny Cash" will feature performances by U2, Jerry Lee Lewis, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow, the Foo Fighters, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, and others. In other news, a Broadway show, titled after another of Johnny's classic hits, is in the works. Ring of Fire is scheduled to open on Broadway in February 2006.

On November 15, Warner Brothers Records released Madonna's new album Confessions on a Dancefloor. True to its title, the album is entirely filled with dance music. "Hung Up" is its first single. Madonna is planning to promote the collection with a concert tour in mid-2006.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run album, Columbia Records will release a remastered version as part of a 3-CD box set. Also included in the November 15 release are the live concert film Hammersmith Odeon, London '75 and a new documentary Wings For Wheels: The Making of Born To Run.

On November 15, Arista Records will releases the debut album by 2005 American Idol winner Carrie Underwood. "Some Hearts" includes her Number One debut single "Inside Your Heaven" and her current Country hit "Jesus Take The Wheel." The album also features an autobiographical song called "I Ain't In Checotah Anymore." Carrie grew up in the small rural town of Checotah, Oklahoma.

AWARDS PRESENTATIONS/WINNERS

The 39th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards were presented on November 15. For the first time in its history, the event took place in New York City and will be open to the public. Brad Paisley and Lee Ann Womack led this year's contenders with six nominations each. Brad earned his first Entertainer of the Year mention, as well as nominations for Male Vocalist of the Year and Single, Song and Music Video of the Year for his recent hit "Alcohol." Lee Ann competed in the categories of Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year for "There's More Where That Came From" and Single of the Year for "I May Hate Myself in the Morning." Other multiple nominees included Keith Urban and Toby Keith with four nods each, and Gretchen Wilson, Rascal Flatts, George Strait and new Country trio Sugarland with three apiece. The 39th annual CMA Awards ceremony aired live on CBS-TV.

Colombian rock singer Juanes dominated the 2005 Latin Grammy Awards, which were handed out in Los Angeles on November 3. Nominated for nine awards, Juanes won the Best Rock Song trophy for "Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor," the Best Music Video honor for "Volverte a Ver" and the Best Rock Solo Vocal category for "Mi Sangre." Spanish balladeer Alejandro Sanz, who earned four Latin Grammys in 2004, won two trophies this year. Sanz took home the Song of the Year and Record of the Year honor for "Tu No Tienes Alma." Dominican salsa artist Juan Luis Guerra was also a double winner. He received the Best Christian Album award for "Para Ti" and the Best Tropical Song award for "Las Avispas." Other winners included Brazilian singer Ivan Lins, Spanish singer Bebe and Italian pop singer Laura Pausini. (Total list of winners at www.grammy.com)

TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION:

The Brian Setzer Orchestra will kick of its 2005 Christmas tour in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 16. The 4th annual holiday outing will support the group's two seasonal collections, 2003's "Boogie Woogie Christmas" and its new release, "Dig That Crazy Christmas."

On November 19, pop singer Carly Simon will begin a 10-date theater tour in Boston, Massachusetts. Her son and daughter, Ben and Sally Taylor, will perform with Carly, who's promoting her new album Moonlight Serenade. She'll make a stop in Washington, D.C. on November 29 to perform at DAR Constitution Hall.

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