Canadian Country-pop star Shania Twain and her husband, music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, have separated after 14 years of marriage. Shania's publicist, Jason Owen, released a statement that says, "This is a private matter and there will be no further comment at this time." The couple has a six-year-old son named Eja.
21-year-old Florida native Syesha Mercado ended her run on American Idol on May 14. This week, 25-year-old former bartender David Cook and 17-year-old singing prodigy David Archuleta will compete for the 2008 American Idol title. The show moved to L.A.'s Nokia Theatre for the performance showdown on May 20 and the season finale on May 21. The venue seats 7100 people.
Neil Diamond scores his first Number One album this week (week ending May 24) with his new release, Home Before Dark. First-week sales reached 149,000 copies. Six others debut in the Billboard 200's Top 10. Toby Keith lands on the list at Number 2 with his anthology, 35 Biggest Hits. Clay Aiken earns his fourth Top 5 debut, coming in at Number 4 with his fourth album On My Way Here. Its title track, co-written by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, is the album's first single. Also debuting in the Top 10 is Gavin DeGraw's new self-titled release. It comes in at Number 7 to give Gavin his first Top 10 album. Entering at Number 8, 9 and 10, respectively, are Josh Groban's Awake Live, Dierks Bentley's Greatest Hits and Luis Miguel's Complices.
On May 20, Sony Music Group's Burgundy Records released Crayons, Donna Summer's first new album in 17 years. The former disco star says, "My dream is that when people hear the music it will remind them of their youth, their childhood and the joy and wonderment they felt exploring their first pack of crayons." The album's first single, "I'm A Fire," reached Number One on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart. The second single is the dance track "Stamp Your Feet."
Us magazine reports that pop singer Ashlee Simpson will marry Pete Wentz of the rock group Fall Out Boy on May 17. The only detail printed is that "save the date" invitations have been sent out, but the location of the marriage wasn't given. Wentz gave Simpson a ring in February, but the couple waited until April to announce their engagement.
Country legend Dolly Parton is threatening to sue satellite radio shock jock Howard Stern for altering tapes from one of her audio books to include lewd and racist comments. , "I have never been so shocked, hurt and humiliated in all my life," she says, "I cannot believe what Howard Stern has done to me. In a blue million years, I would never have such vulgar things come out of my mouth. Please accept my apology for them and certainly know I had nothing to do with this. If there was ever going to be a lawsuit, it's going to be over this."
The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has selected 25 recordings to be added to the National Recording Registry. They include Michael Jackson's Thriller album, Herbie Hancock's Headhunters album, Roy Orbison's 1964 hit "Oh Pretty Woman," Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' 1965 hit "Tracks Of My Tears" and the late Kitty Wells' 1952 Country classic "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels." The full list can be found at www.loc.gov <http://www.loc.gov>.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
New albums scheduled for release on May 20 include: "Departure" by Jesse McCartney, "3 Doors Down" by 3 Doors Down, "C'mon" by Keith Anderson, "Julianne Hough" by Julianne Hough, "II Trill" by Bun B, "Anywhere I Lay My Head" by Scarlett Johansson, "A Place Where We Could Go" by Jeremy Jay and "A Planet Called Harlem" by Teyana Taylor.
On May 19, singer Andy Williams received this year's Society of Singers' ELLA Award. Barry Manilow, Johnny Mathis, Petula Clark and Glen Campbell are some of the artists who will pay tribute to Williams at the dinner and ceremony in Beverly Hills, California. Previous ELLA recipients include Frank Sinatra, Gladys Knight, Tony Bennett and Celine Dion.
The 43rd annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards were presented on May 18 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kenny Chesney led the contenders with 11 nominations, including Entertainer of the Year, Top Male Vocalist and Album of the Year for "Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates." Other major nominees included Rodney Atkins with six nominations, and Brad Paisley, Sugarland and Big & Rich with four mentions each. Newcomer Taylor Swift received three nominations, including Top New Female Vocalist and Album of the Year for her self-titled debut release. Country legend Reba McEntire will host the show for the tenth time. Two special honors were handed out during the ceremony. Garth Brooks received the ACM's first Crystal Milestone Award in recognition of his record-breaking record sales. Brooks is the top-selling solo artist in U.S. history with 123 million records sold. Rascal Flatts was given this year's Home Depot Humanitarian Award for their charity work. A playground will be built in a city chosen by the vocal group.
TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION
British singer Natasha Bedingfield will kick off her first U.S. headlining tour on May 21 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She'll be supporting her new release, "Pocketful of Sunshine." The album entered the Billboard 200 at Number 3 to become the third highest debut ever by a British female artist. Bedingfield's tour will end on July 10 in San Francisco.
On May 22, Bon Jovi will begin a European tour in Gelsinkirchen, Germany. Before wrapping up the outing on June 28, the rock band will perform 22 shows in 11 countries, including Portugal, Spain, Austria, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom. Bon Jovi's next round of North American concerts begins on July 6 in Ontario.