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Madonna Visits Malawi; Michael Jackson to Release CD Box Set


On October 4, Madonna arrived in Malawi, where she plans to create an education and feeding center for orphaned children. The pop star announced in August that she hopes to raise $3 million for programs to help AIDS orphans. Before leaving for Malawi, she met with former President Clinton about getting low-cost medicine into the country. Malawi's secretary to the minister for gender and child welfare, Andrina Mchiela, told reporters that Madonna plans to adopt a child during her visit. The singer's publicist, Liz Rosenberg, refuted the statement by saying, "I think that anything that brings attention to the country is fine with her, even if it's information that's not correct. She wants people to pay attention to Malawi and to the one million children who don't have parents and don't have care there."

A Michael Jackson CD/DVD box set will be issued on Epic Records November 14. Visionary - The Video Singles will feature 20 of his hits, plus accompanying videos to the songs. Tracks include "Thriller, "Bad," "Rock With You," "Billie Jean," "Heal the World," and many others.

Four albums debut in the top four positions on this week's Billboard 200 chart (week ending October 14). Entering at Number 4 is the new Alan Jackson CD Like Red On A Rose. Tony Bennett makes his highest debut ever at Number 3 with Duets: An American Classic. Janet Jackson opens at Number 2 with 20 Y.O. And, Ludacris debuts at Number One with his fifth album, Release Therapy.

Two Country stars will have holiday albums released on October 10. Brad Paisley's first Christmas collection, Brad Paisley Christmas, features many holiday classics, plus a few original tracks. He wrote one of the originals, called "Born on Christmas," when he was a child and first performed it at age 13. And, Wynonna Judd has also recorded her first holiday album as a solo artist. A Classic Christmas includes Wynonna's versions of "Winter Wonderland," "White Christmas" and other standards, as well as "Ave Maria" sung in Latin and one new song, titled "It's the Messiah."

Rod Stewart's first rock album in eight years will be released on October 10. Still The Same…Great Rock Classics Of Our Time offers Rod's interpretations of "Love Hurts," "Have You Ever Seen the Rain," "Fooled Around and Fell In Love," "Still the Same" and other rock favorites.

On October 10, BNA Records will release the Barbara Mandrell tribute album She Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool. Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney duet on Mandrell's 1981 Number One hit "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool." Also covering her songs are Dierks Bentley, Lorrie Morgan, Terri Clark, Brad Paisley and Willie Nelson, among others.

NEW ALBUM RELEASES

New albums scheduled for release on October 10 include: "Absolutely" by Sister Hazel, "Take the Weather With You" by Jimmy Buffett, "Tru3 Magic" by Mos Def, "Long Island Shores" by Mindy Smith, "Mary Mary Christmas" by Mary Mary, "Yours Truly" by Natalie MacMaster and "Tulsa" by Wayne Hancock.

TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION

On October 10, Bob Dylan will begin a 6-week North American tour in Vancouver, British Columbia. The 25-city outing will support his latest album Modern Times. Opening acts throughout the tour include Kings Of Leon, the Foo Fighters and the Raconteurs. Shows are scheduled to wrap up on November 18 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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