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Beyonce Releases New Album; Manilow Undergoes Anthroscopic Surgery


On September 5, Columbia Records released Beyonce's second solo album, B'Day. Beyonce wrote and arranged each of the tracks and also co-produced the album. Its first single is "Déjà vu," a duet she recorded with Jay-Z. The song spends its second week at the top of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart (week ending September 9).

Pianist George Winston released his Hurricane Katrina benefit album on September 5. Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions - A Hurricane Katrina Benefit includes songs inspired by New Orleans pianists James Booker, Professor Longhair, Henry Butler, Dr. John, and others who influenced Winston's career. The album also contains several songs written by Winston and a 12-minute version of "When The Saints Go Marching In."

One day after receiving the Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program, Barry Manilow underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage tears in both of his hips. His publicist, Carol Marshall, reports that Manilow returned home in a wheelchair, but was expected to be walking by September 2. Marshall says he will undergo at least six weeks of physical therapy before continuing his "Music and Passion" engagement in Las Vegas.

On September 8, Toby Keith's first feature film will open in U.S. theaters. Broken Bridges tells the story of a country singer who falls from the spotlight and returns to his hometown where he is reunited with his childhood sweetheart. The movie also stars Kelly Preston and singer/actress Lindsey Haun. Toby recorded seven songs for the soundtrack (released August 29), including his version of the spiritual "Uncloudy Day," which also features Country legend Willie Nelson and gospel star BeBe Winans.

Pop singer Jessica Simpson was tapped as the first guest on the new season of The View, airing September 5. The talk show also debuted new co-host Rosie O'Donnell, who joined Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasslebeck and Barbara Walters. Rosie ended her own show in 2002 after a successful 6-year run. She was chosen to replace Meredith Vieira, who left The View to take Katie Couric's place on The Today Show.

NEW ALBUM RELEASES

New albums scheduled for release on September 5 include: Billy Gilman's self-titled collection on Image Entertainment; Heard It In a Love Song by Mark Chesnutt on CBuJ Entertainment; and Good Monsters by Jars of Clay on Essential Records.

MUSICAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS/BENEFITS

On September 7, the 3rd annual Fashion Rocks concert will be held at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Elton John, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Kanye West, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Nelly Furtado, Jamie Foxx, the Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, Rihanna and the Pussycat Dolls are among the artists lending their talent to the show, which will benefit Elton's AIDS Foundation. CBS-TV will air the concert on September 8.

Switzerland's 2006 Gstaad Festival will take place September 8 and 9. This year's headliners include Irish pop star Ronan Keating and Country singers Clay Walker and Rhett Akins. The popular annual festival is referred to as the "Crown Jewel of European Events" by Nashville's music industry.

AWARDS PRESENTATIONS/WINNERS

James Blunt and Gnarles Barkley were both double winners at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, presented in New York on August 31. Blunt's hit single "You're Beautiful" gave him the Male Video of the Year award and also won in the category of Best Cinematography. Gnarls Barkley's clip to "Crazy" won for Best Editing and Best Direction. Other major winners included Panic! At the Disco, who won the Video of the Year honor for "I Write Sins Not Tragedies;" Kelly Clarkson, Female Video of the Year for "Because of You;" The All-American Rejects, Group Video for "Move Along;" Chamillionaire, Rap Video of the Year for "Ridin';" Beyonce featuring Slim Thug and Bun B, R&B Video of the Year for "Check On It;" and Pink, who earned the Pop Video of the Year for "Stupid Girls." (Complete list of winners at www.mtv.com)

Billboard's 7th annual R&B/Hip-Hop Awards will take place on September 8 in Atlanta, Georgia. Leading this year's contenders is Jamie Foxx, who's nominated in eight categories. Four of his mentions are for collaborations with Kanye West ("Gold Digger") and Ludacris ("Unpredictable"). Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige received seven nominations each, including Album of the Year. The R&B/Hip-Hop Awards are based on sales and radio airplay. During the ceremony, Billboard will present one special honor. The first Otis Redding Excellence Award will recognize an artist's outstanding achievement in music, culture and business.

Brad Paisley and Brooks & Dunn lead the nominees for the 40th annual Country Music Association Awards with six nominations apiece. Both are mentioned in the Entertainer of the Year category, which also includes Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban. Kenny and Keith join first-time nominee Carrie Underwood as the second most nominated artists this year. Each received four nominations. Other major contenders are Rascal Flatts and Dolly Parton with three mentions apiece. Brooks & Dunn will host the event for the third year-in-a-row. The 40th annual CMA Awards will be presented at Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center on November 6th and broadcast live on ABC-TV. During the three-hour telecast, musician/producer Harold Bradley, legendary singer Sonny James and Country star George Strait will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. (www.cmaawards.com)

TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION

On September 9, hip-hop star Jay-Z will kick off a world tour in Krakow, Poland. His itinerary also includes stops in 13 other European cities, seven shows in Africa, five in Asia and three in Australia. During the 7-week trek, he'll promote awareness of the world's water crisis. Earlier this month, Jay-Z spoke at the United Nations Headquarters where he said, "Most young people are unaware of the world's water crisis, but if they knew about the staggering numbers of people affected by lack of clean water, they would be moved to act." Jay-Z is filming the outing for the upcoming MTV documentary Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life, which will begin airing on November 24.

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