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Nelly Furtado Releases New Album; Missy Elliot to Star in Bio Pic


On June 20, Geffen Records released the new album by 27-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado. She describes Loose as more R&B flavored than her previous two albums. Nelly recorded most of the collection in Miami with producer Timbaland. Its debut single, "Maneater," recently became her first Number One hit on the U.K. download sales chart. Nelly will promote Loose on a 20-date North American club tour, which begins on July 7 in Montreal.


Smokey Robinson's album of pop standards, Timeless Love, was released on June 20. Among the classics he covers are "I've Got You Under My Skin," "Tea For Two," "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Time After Time."

Universal Pictures is developing a motion picture based on the life of hip-hop star Missy Elliott. 34-year-old Elliott will play herself in the film. Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, she was abused by her violent father and raped by a cousin when she was only eight years old. Since 2004, she's been a spokesperson for the domestic abuse organization Break the Cycle.

More details about Barbra Streisand's upcoming concert tour have been announced. Shows will begin on October 4 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 20 concerts are currently scheduled through late November. The classical-pop vocal quartet Il Divo will join Streisand on the tour, which marks her first major U.S. outing since 1994. She will donate proceeds to various education, environmental and women's health organizations through her Streisand Foundation. Streisand said in a statement, "The increasingly urgent need for private citizen support to combat dangerous climate change, along with education and health issues was the prime reason I decided to tour again."

R&B star Beyonce Knowles recently auditioned female musicians for her touring band. A nationwide search took place last week in several major U.S. cities. She's hiring a drummer, keyboardist, bassist, guitarist and horn and percussion players. Beyonce will be heading out on the road soon to support her second album B'Day, which Columbia Records will release on September 5.

On June 19, New York's Apollo Theater held its Legends Hall of Fame ceremony during its 2nd annual Spring Benefit. Inductees include Little Richard, Gladys Knight and the Pips and the late Ella Fitzgerald.

MUSICAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS/BENEFITS

The 11th annual Midwest Country Stampede Festival will be held June 22-25 in Manhattan, Kansas. This year's four-day lineup of concerts includes appearances by Toby Keith, Gretchen Wilson, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert, Chris Cagle, and more.

TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION

On June 22, Canadian singer Michael Buble will begin a month-long U.S. summer concert tour in Madison, Wisconsin. He's scheduled to perform 23 shows through July 26. Buble will be supporting his third album It's Time, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies in the United States since its release in early 2005. This past April, he received four Canadian Juno Awards (Canada's equivalent of the Grammy), including Artist of the Year.

Rock singer Melissa Etheridge kicked off a three-month North American tour on June 17. She's promoting her 2005 album The Road Less Traveled. Melissa has her two children on the road with her, as well as her partner Tammy, who's expecting twins this fall. Shows will wrap up on August 29 in Phoenix, Arizona.

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