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Bette Midler, Cher Announce Vegas Concert Plans; Bon Jovi Working on Documentary

On February 20, Bette Midler will begin a two-year engagement at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. She's taking over the stage used by Celine Dion during the past five years. Celine's "A New Day" show closed in December 2007. Midler's 90-minute "The Showgirl Must Go On" production will run five nights a week.

In related news, Cher has announced that she'll also perform a long-running show at the Colosseum at Caesar's Palace. Her 90-minute show will be presented four nights a week beginning on May 6. Cher released a statement that said, "I started in Vegas at Caesars, so I've come full circle. I'm back and I plan to give my fans the best experience yet. I think everybody knows I only do things in a big way."

Bon Jovi held a conference call with reporters on February 13 to announce that they have commissioned Academy Award-winning director Barbara Kopple to make a documentary about the group. Guitarist Richie Sambora said, "Musically we documented things pretty well; we put out a box set a few years ago, but we look at other bands, contemporaries like U2, even Tom Petty and Aerosmith, and they had cameras rolling all the time. We didn't have a lot of footage like that going on." He added that Kopple will "capture the story about our success and the anomaly of our success, and then some of the trials and tribulations and stories and back stories."

Two artists have been forced to cancel concert tours due to health problems. Lenny Kravitz was recently hospitalized after suffering from severe respiratory tract infections and the flu during the past month. The 43-year-old singer was to begin a European tour on February 18. His spokesperson, Carleen Donovan, says Kravitz will reschedule the outing as soon as possible. And, Country legend Dolly Parton has been advised by doctors to postpone her U.S. tour for six to eight weeks. She was scheduled to kick off the tour in late February or early March. Parton's new album, "Backwoods Barbie," will be out on February 26.

The Country Music Association has named this year's Country Music Hall of Fame inductees. They include Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, The Statler Brothers and late Country music pioneer Ernest "Pop" Stoneman. Kyle Young, Director of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, says, "The 2008 Hall of Fame inductees represent a historical spectrum encompassing the earliest days of commercial Country music recordings, the modern evolution of the Country gospel quartet tradition, the arrival of more complex themes and social consciousness in Country music songs, and the advent of a vocalist who espoused the integrity of Country music's root forms and transcended the genre in a way that few others have been able to do." The formal induction ceremony will take place later this year as part of the 42nd annual Country Music Association Awards.


New albums scheduled for release on February 19 include: "Mockingbird" by Allison Moorer, "Jesus Of Cool" by Nick Lowe, "Working Man's Café" by Ray Davies, "Steal Hear" by Coolio, "Strange Folk" by Kula Shaker, "Comedians & Angels" by Tom Paxton and "Day & Night Driving" by Seven Mary Three.


Juan Luis Guerra leads the nominees for the 19th Billboard Latin Music Awards. The Dominican singer is up for a total of seven honors. Following close behind is Colombian artist Fanny Lu with six nominations. Dominican-American group Aventura and Mexican singers Marco Antonio Solis and Vicente Fernandez each received five mentions. This year's Billboard Latin Music Awards will be handed out on April 10 in Hollywood, Florida.


On February 18, Country star Carrie Underwood will begin her first headlining tour in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Her "Carnival Ride Tour" will stop in more than 30 North American cities and will feature special guest Josh Turner in the opening slot. Carrie is also appearing on Keith Urban's current tour, which runs through late April.