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Kanye West Tops Billboard's Hot 100 List; Marc Anthony, J-Lo Launch Joint Tour


Kanye West debuted at Number One with his new album Graduation after selling more than 950,000 copies its first week in record stores. The collection also topped the U.K. albums chart. The week ending September 29, he achieves another chart triumph by taking over the Number One spot on Billboard's Hot 100 list with the album's first single, "Stronger." Kanye's previous album, 2005's "Late Registration," sold 860,000 copies its first week of release.

A judge in the Britney Spears/Kevin Federline child custody case ordered both to attend the court's "Parenting Without Conflict" classes. In addition, Britney is required to undergo random drug and alcohol testing twice a week. Both are forbidden from drinking alcohol or taking non-prescription medication within 12 hours of caring for the children and are prohibited from talking badly about each other in front of their sons. Britney and Kevin have joint custody of two-year-old Sean Preston and one-year-old Jayden James.

Stevie Wonder is working on a new album that pays tribute to his late mother Lula Mae Hardaway. "The Gospel According to Lula" will be released in early 2008. In the meantime, Stevie can be heard on Queen Latifah's second Verve Records release, Trav'lin' Light, which will be out on September 25. The collection also includes guest performances by Erykah Badu and Jill Scott. Trav'lin' Light features songs originally recorded by Peggy Lee, Roberta Flack, Etta James, and others.

On September 25, the first solo album by former Righteous Brother Bill Medley will be released. Damn Near Righteous includes a duet with Brian Wilson on the Beach Boys' classic "In My Room." Medley also sings with his daughter McKenna on the track "Rock My Baby."

Jon Bon Jovi, Bonnie Raitt, Jewel and Bruce Springsteen are among the artists featured on the new benefit CD Give US Your Poor. Proceeds will go to help fight homelessness in the U.S. Some currently or previously homeless musicians guest on the collection, which Appleseed Recordings will release on September 25.

NEW ALBUM RELEASES

New albums scheduled for release on September 25 include: "Italia" by Chris Botti, "TCG" by The Cheetah Girls, "Just Like You" by Keisha Cole, "Washington Square Serenade" by Steve Earle, "The Awakening" by Melissa Etheridge, "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace" by the Foo Fighters, "River" by Herbie Hancock, "Baby Makin' Project" by Jagged Edge, "Funk This" by Chaka Khan, "Shine" by Joni Mitchell, "The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams" by Meshell Ndegeocello, "This Is Love" by Ann Nesby, "Still Feels Good" by Rascal Flatts, "Songs of the Season" by Randy Travis, "The Real Thing: Words and Sounds, Vol. 3" by Jill Scott and "Songs About Girls" by Will.i.am.

AWARDS PRESENTATIONS/WINNERS

T.I. earned nine nominations to lead the contenders for the 2007 BET (Black Entertainment Television) Hip-Hop Awards. They include Best Live Performance, CD of the Year for T.I. vs. T.I.P. and Track of the Year for "Big Things Poppin' (Do It)." Other leading nominees include Lil' Wayne, who is up for seven awards, Kanye West with six nominations, Common with five mentions and Jay-Z, who is up for four trophies. The BET Hip-Hop Awards will be handed out on October 13th in Atlanta, Georgia.

TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION

Van Halen will launch its much-anticipated North American concert tour on September 27 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The band features original members Eddie and Alex Van Halen, singer David Lee Roth and Eddie's 16-year-old son Wolfgang on bass. The band planned to head out on the road earlier this year, but was forced to postpone the tour when guitarist Eddie Van Halen entered a rehabilitation facility. The tour runs through December 22.

On September 27, "CMT On Tour 2007" will kick off in Charleston, South Carolina. Sugarland, Little Big Town and Jake Owen will perform in 32 U.S. cities through December 15.

Pop band Maroon 5 will begin a 28-city North American tour on September 29 in Detroit, Michigan. The group will be supporting its latest album "It Won't Be Soon Before Long." One dollar from each ticket sold will go to efforts to minimize carbon emissions on the tour. Maroon 5 is working with the organization Global Cool. Lead singer Adam Levine says, "Our world is in a serious predicament right now and we all need to play a role in reversing the catastrophic effects of global warming." After wrapping up North American dates on November 10, the band will head to the Europe, where shows are planned from November 25 through December 17.

On September 29, Jennifer Lopez and her husband Marc Anthony will kick off their first tour together. Concerts begin in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They'll perform solo sets and also share the stage on the 18-date outing, which is currently scheduled to end on November 4 in Orlando, Florida. They'll give one dollar from each ticket sold to the children's fitness and healthy lifestyle program ING Run for Something Better.

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