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Britney Spears Gives Birth to Second Child; Whitney Houston Files for Separation


On September 12, 24-year-old pop singer Britney Spears gave birth to her second son at a Los Angeles hospital. One unconfirmed source says that Britney and her husband, Kevin Federline, have named him Sutton Pierce. The couple's first child, Sean Preston, celebrated his first birthday on September 14. Britney and Kevin mark their second wedding anniversary on September 18.

Grammy-winning singer Whitney Houston has filed for a legal separation from her husband of 14 years, singer Bobby Brown. In court documents, she claimed irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. Houston's publicist, Nancy Seltzer, confirmed to People magazine that Whitney plans to divorce Brown. Proceedings are expected to begin next month. The couple has made headlines many times during the past several years. Police have arrested Brown for illegal drug possession, drunk driving, probation violations, unpaid child support and domestic abuse. In 2003, Whitney reported to police that Brown hit her in the face, but misdemeanor charges were later dropped. Whitney admitted to drug use during a 2004 interview and has twice checked herself into rehab centers. Bobby and Whitney have one child, 13-year-old Bobbi Kristina.

59-year-old British singer Marianne Faithfull is battling breast cancer. Her publicist says doctors in France caught the disease in its earliest stages and they expect her to make a full recovery. Faithfull was scheduled to begin a world tour on October 7 in support of her 2005 album "Before the Poison." She plans to reschedule the tour in 2007. Faithfull released a statement that says, "I have absolute faith and confidence in my fantastic medical team and of course I will be well again, if not better than ever. Next year's tour, I want to assure fans, will be one big celebration."

On September 22, Country legend Charlie Daniels will receive the Americana Free Speech award at the 5th annual Americana Honors and Awards. The honor recognizes musicians and songwriters who have used their powers of creativity and freedom of speech to make a difference. Previous recipients include Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Judy Collins and Steve Earle.

NEW ALBUM RELEASES

New albums scheduled for release on September 19 include: "Summer Girl" by Smash Mouth, "Duchess" by Fergie (of the Black Eyed Peas), "A Thousand Different Ways" by Clay Aiken, "Hoodstar" by Chingy, "From This Moment On" by Diana Krall, "Right Where You Want Me" by Jesse McCartney, "Tru3 Magic" by Mos Def, "Countrified" by Emerson Drive, "Weather the Storm" by Carolina Rain, "Despite Our Differences" by the Indigo Girls, "Gently Weeps" by Jake Shimabukuro, "Turn Around" by Jonny Lang, "Indianola" by Steve Azar, "Live Those Songs Again (Live)" by Kenny Chesney, "Koala Motel" by Anne McCue, "Leave the Light On" by Chris Smither, and "Amsterdam Live Concerts 1953" (double CD set) by Big Bill Broonzy.

MUSICAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS/BENEFITS

On September 22, Country trio Rascal Flatts will perform a concert to benefit Nashville's Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. A similar show in 2005 raised $600,000 for the hospital, which is ranked among the top ten children's care facilities in the U.S. The concert will also feature appearances by Country star Gary Allan and newcomer Eric Church.

TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION

On September 20, pop singer Nick Lachey will begin a 35-city North American theater tour. The former husband of Jessica Simpson and member of pop group 98 Degrees will support his second solo album, "What's Left Of Me." The album was recently certified gold in the U.S. for sales of 500,000 copies.

The Rolling Stones will kick off a North American stadium tour on September 20 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The legendary group will promote its latest album, "A Bigger Bang," with 19 shows through November 18. According to Billboard Boxscore, the Stones' concerts grossed close to $150 million during the first half of 2006.

On September 22, Country star Brad Paisley will begin the final leg of his "Time Well Wasted" tour in Atlanta, Georgia. Joining him at his final concerts of 2006 is "American Idol" Carrie Underwood. Brad's "Time Well Wasted" album debuted at Number One on Billboard's Country chart, and since its release in August 2005, has sold more than one million copies in the U.S. It also earned him a leading six nominations for the upcoming Country Music Association Awards. Brad is scheduled to wrap up the tour on December 8th.

On September 23, George Michael will kick off his first European tour in 15 years. He'll perform 47 shows on the "25 Live" tour, which begins in Barcelona, Spain. He last toured in 1991 for his "Cover to Cover" album. George's manager, Michael Lippman, says the outing will be a celebration of his 25 years in music. Fans can expect to hear songs from his years with Wham!, as well as those he recorded during his solo career.

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