The January 16 premiere of this year's American Idol drew 37.3 million viewers. The show presented contestant auditions in Minneapolis. The following night, 36.9 million viewers tuned in to watch auditions in Seattle. The audition shows gave FOX-TV its highest ratings ever for entertainment programming. Next week, the network will air American Idol auditions from Memphis and New York.
Lindsay Lohan, 20, checked herself into the Wonderland rehabilitation center in Los Angeles on January 17. She released a statement through her publicist that said, "I have a made a proactive decision to take care of my personal health." Entertainment Tonight interviewed her mother, Dina, who said, "There have been several interventions, and I'm happy that Lindsay has taken the initiative to be in a better spiritual and mental place."
Bruce Hornsby will perform a show with bluegrass musician Ricky Skaggs on January 21. The concert will take place at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York. They'll preview songs from their upcoming collaborative album, which will be released on March 20. The album includes their new version of Hornsby's 1987 Top 5 hit "Mandolin Rain" and a cover of Rick James "Super Freak." They plan to tour in support of the album, and have also taped a Country Music Television Crossroads special, which will air on February 2.
Susan Moss, the lawyer for David Gest, says her client and his soon-to-be-ex-wife Liza Minnelli have "resolved all disputes between them, and the parties will be divorced without fault on the part of either of them." Terms of the settlement will not be made public, but reports say that Gest and Minnelli will withdraw their divorce petition from the New York courts and refile in Tennessee, a no-fault divorce state. Pop star Michael Jackson introduced the couple and they married in 2002. They filed for divorce in 2003. Multi-million-dollar lawsuits against each other followed. Gest claimed that Liza beat him during drunken rages. Minnelli countersued with claims that Gest stole millions of dollars from her account and attempted to poison her.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
New albums scheduled for release on January 23 include: Freedom's Road by John Mellencamp, 10 Days Out (Blues from the Backroads) by Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Wincing the Night Away by The Shins, 2007 Grammy Nominees by various artists, Welcome To My World by DeLana Stevens and Learn To Sing Like A Star by Kristin Hersch, who will appear on VOA's live music show Border Crossings on Friday, January 26, at 10:00 a.m.
Little Big Town, Richard Marx and Blue County will appear at the 13th annual "Country in the Rockies" fundraiser, which takes place January 26-30 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In addition to concert performances, the event features a celebrity ski team race, race clinics, mountain excursions and daily activities. Proceeds will benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation, which funds leukemia, cancer and AIDS research.
Grand Ole Opry members Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Lorrie Morgan and Riders In The Sky will set sail with fans on the Grand Ole Opry Cruise this week. Carnival's cruise ship Pride will depart Los Angeles on January 21 and stop in the Mexican ports of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas before returning to California on January 28. The Grand Ole Opry Cruise will include private shows by the Country stars, a question-and-answer session with the artists, and many other activities.
On January 27, Fats Domino will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 12th annual Best of the Beat Music Awards in his hometown of New Orleans. New Orleans artists taking part in a tribute to Fats include Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint and Art Neville.
TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION
On January 25, Country star Toby Keith will begin another round of dates on his "Hookin' Up & Hangin' Out" tour. He'll start his 2007 concerts in Albany, New York and continue along the East Coast through February 10. Toby's latest album, White Trash With Money, has sold more than one million copies since its release in May 2006.
Puerto Rican pop singer Chayanne will kick off a 100-city world tour on January 27 in Santiago, Chile. He'll be supporting his upcoming album, which Sony Records will release in March. Chayanne has more than 20 concerts planned in the U.S. They'll begin in Miami on April 20.
Country duo Sugarland begins a U.S. concert tour on January 27 in Orlando, Florida. They'll be promoting their new CD Enjoy the Ride, which includes the current hits "Want To" and "Settlin'." Headlining shows are scheduled to wrap up on March 12 in Houston, Texas. In April, Sugarland will join Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Sara Evans and Pat Green on the "Flip Flop Summer 2007" stadium tour.